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Literature: Ravirn
Kelly McCullough's series of "science fantasy" novels follows Ravirn, an immortal demigod descended from one of the Fates, through his misadventures in a Greek Mythology-meets-magical-Internet multiverse. Along with his sarcastic webgoblin Melchior and his love interest Cerice, Ravirn is nearly constantly trying to escape some kind of death sentence that he brought about by cheesing off one or more members of the Greek pantheon.

Books in the series:
  • WebMage
  • Cybermancy
  • Codespell
  • MythOS
  • SpellCrash


Provides examples of:
  • Big Bad: In the first book, Atropos. For the rest of the series, Nemesis.
  • Bothering by the Book: Cerberus has orders to kill Ravirn if he enters Hades. The Furies have orders to kill him, period. Neither Cerberus nor Tisiphone really want to kill him—so they foment an "accidental" fight between Cerberus and the Furies, allowing him to escape into Hades proper from the borderlands held by Zeus, then refuse to enter Hades due to jurisdictional issues.
  • Canis Major: Played with by Fenris. When we first see him, he's in the guise of a normal dog on a leash. His true form is about the size of a draft horse.
  • Cassandra Truth: Atropos places a "Cassandra curse" on Ravirn so no one will believe him about her plans.
  • Chaotic Neutral: In-universe Eris. Being the goddess of chaos, her entire reason for existence is to spread chaos and strife throughout the multiverse. Despite that, she is one of the very few gods Ravirn counts among his friends.
  • Cyberspace: Kind of. The series doesn't take place inside computers per se, but all of the infinite parallel universes in existence are organized as the "mweb", which is basically a big magical Internet.
    • And they do sometimes pop in to it.
  • Deus Est Machina: Necessity.
  • Digging Yourself Deeper: Ravirn has a tendency towards this, as Melchior lampshades.
  • Dungeon Punk: Ravirn wears a black leather trenchcoat, creates spells in binary code, and usually causes trouble for himself by hacking into parts of the mweb where he doesn't belong.
  • Eat Me: How Ravirn and Laric defeat Eris's dragon.
  • The Evils of Free Will: Atropos plans to eliminate free will.
  • Flaming Hair: Tisiphone. Yes, including her pubic hair.
  • Full-Frontal Assault: The Furies. As living embodiments of Vengeance, they don't care much for human values like modesty.
  • Greek Mythology
  • Hellish Pupils: Descendants of the Fates like Ravirn and Cerice have slitted, cat-like pupils. Eris, Goddess of Discord, has eyes filled with swirling Primal Chaos.
  • Helping Hands: Laginn.
  • Immune to Fate: Ravirn, after Eris's dragon erases his Thread.
  • Implacable Man: The Furies. Even worse is their older sister, the goddess Nemesis.
  • Love Triangle: Ravirn has two love interests throughout the series, Cerice and Tisiphone.
  • Norse Mythology: In MythOS.
  • Oh My Gods!: "Chaos and discord!" is used as an invective, as are "Sweet Necessity" and "Powers and Incarnations".
  • Magically-Binding Contract: Any oath made in Necessity's name is magically binding.
  • Magitek: All advanced electronics used by wizards can use some level of magic, and often transform into some sort of magical being (pixies, goblins, trolls so far).
  • Mistaken for Servant: Noted to often happen to Athena, though Ravirn is smart enough to recognize her right away.
  • Morality Pet: In a way, Ravirn to Persephone. It is stated that if not for her trust of Ravirn, she would act arbitrarily destructively in order to prevent Hades from gaining control of her again, even if it requires destroying the multiverse. To aid Ravirn, she sends him the source to several viruses designed to completely destroy the computer systems of the four poles and Necessity, and it's implied that releasing these is the least she would do.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Zeus acts like a horny frat boy, but Ravirn eventually realizes he can't be as stupid as he looks or he wouldn't have been able to remain head of Olympus as long as he has.
  • Our Trolls Are Different: They're web servers.
  • Physical God: The Greek pantheon.
  • Playful Hacker: Ravirn fits this to a tee.
  • Portal Network: One of several methods to travel between dimensions is the fairy ring network. Not to mention the "Fury Gates" used by the, well, Furies.
  • Post-Modern Magik: Standard fantasy fare, but brought up to speed in the 21st Century. The Greek gods all use computers, magic is similar to programming code, and goblins and pixies can turn into various electronic devices.
  • Powers as Programs: The spells used are literally coded. When one needs to use the spell, they have their familiar activate it by saying the program name. The spells can also be activated by the casters themselves by humming a tune, but this is usually more difficult and time-consuming.
  • Snarky Non-Human Sidekick: Melchior definitely qualifies.
    • As of MythOS, Ravirn gains two new ones: Laginn, Tyr's hand, and Fenris.
  • Status Quo Is God: Subverted. It's very much the case in some of the myths that form the source material; some of Ravirn's adventures involve breaking the status quo, as in freeing Persephone from Hades and removing the sword from Fenris's jaw. It's even lampshaded in a threat from Ravirn to Lachesis: that the Raven has already wreaked several major and lasting changes to the Greek multiverse, and he is quite possibly capable of taking down Fate forever.
  • Take That: In Webmage, it is revealed that Eris, the Goddess of Discord uses a Mac, while the houses of Fate all apparently use Windows. Though later, she seems to use some kind of virtual machine program to allow Ravirn to code Orion, the spell meant to ruin Puppeteer using an interface more familiar to him.
    Ravirn: "I can see the commercials now: 'The Goddess of Discord uses a Mac. Why don't you?'"
  • The End of the World as We Know It: Persephone's virus!Sharra bids fair to destroy the mweb which notes the worlds' locations relative to each other, basically dissolving the multiverse.
  • Trickster Archetype: When Ravirn has the name Raven bestowed upon him, all of his trickster traits come to the foreground. After all, Raven is a minor chaos power. It even affects his behavior and judgement, making him less cautious.
  • The Unintelligible: The Left Hand of Necessity, which only speaks in asterisks.
  • Unusual Euphemism: Sharra: "While you and Cerice were playing slot-in-the-RAM..."
  • Summon Bigger Fish: While being chased Ravirn uses Jurassic Gas spell which creates gasoline into it past living form in this case dinosaurs.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Webgoblin AIs, though treated as mere machinery, actually possess free will.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Persephone. She releases the virus!Sharra in an attempt to break Hades's hold on her; it instead starts destroying the mweb. She admits regret over this, but is clear that even the dissolution of the multiverse and destruction of most of the worlds would be worth it if she can become free of Hades. Later on, when Hades is one of the few candidates to replace Necessity, she says that if not for her trust of Ravirn, she might "act without restraint", leaving the strong impression that she would destroy the multiverse again if it would prevent Hades from gaining Necessity's power and re-enslaving her.


Rats, Bats and VatsLiterature of the 2000sReady, Okay!
Ranger's ApprenticeFantasy LiteratureRealm of the Elderlings
Ravenor vs. EisenhornScience Fiction LiteratureRazorland Trilogy

alternative title(s): Ravirn
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