Note : Things that are covered by spoiler tags in the main series page and character sheet are mentionned starting Season 2.
While watching TV, a young woman gets seduced by an ad for a MMORPG named Horizon 1.0 featuring its top player, Max Middle known as "Fantöm" in-game. Little time after creating her avatar named Gaea, she runs into Sparadrap, the priest from a small guild that quickly turns out to be the only one that will take low-level recruits due to the game's long existence. Gaea ends up joining the Noob guild, whose only other members are Arthéon, the new warrior avatar of a fallen high-level player and Omega Zell, an assassin that quickly turns out to be quite an extreme misogynist. After a little Level Grinding, the guild goes through Horizon's easiest dungeon, Mortegarde. Gaea starts showing her true self when she takes advantage of being the only survivor of the dying blast from a mid-level boss to keep all the credits (in-game currency) for herself and attracting enemies for distracting Arthéon when he notices the rest of the guild only looted clothes from that particular boss after their resurrection. Omega Zell turns out to be a big fan of Fantöm, to the extent that he can't be face to face with his avatar without loosing the ability to speak anything else than gibberish. That makes him thrilled to find out that Arthéon, who had so far managed to never mention his old guild's name, is actually a former member of Justice, the very guild he dreams of joining ; his bad luck however has him end up making sexist comments while Saphir, Justice's female admissions manager, is in earshot. After getting Fantöm to have a screencap with Omega Zell, Gaea gets contacted by Tenshirock, a hacker that wants to get people to stop playing MMORPG and whose plans involve Fantöm. Arthéon eventually decides it's time to do the first floor of the Galamadriabuyak tower, which is necessary to moves the guild's level cap from 10 to 20. While preparing for it, Golgotha, an old friend of Gaea's, turns out to be playing Horizon and decides to tag along as hired help. On the way to the tower, Sparadrap runs into Tenshirock, who gives him an obscure speech that includes calling him the "Chosen One". A short time after that, Sparadrap loots a new staff. The Noob guild and Golgotha eventually manage to make it to the last challenge of the first tower floor, but Sparadrap has to go to the bathroom at a crucial moment. During his leave, his younger brother takes control of his avatar just long enough to cast the exact spell needed by the rest of the group to defeat the enemies.
Horizon 1.0 becomes Horizon 1.1. Fantöm's team is introduced : a masked man, Saphir and Ystos, the best healer of Horizon who happens to be Sparadrap's younger brother. Meanwhile, the Noob guild members discover that Sparadrap's staff is much more powerful than it should be and put two and two together when he mentions getting accosted by Tenshirock little time before getting it. After it turns out that Sparadrap can't get rid of the staff by normal means, the most viable option is to go to a dangerous and hard to access location with a penalty that destroys random equipped items of players that enter it. Everyone is officially willing to escort Sparadrap there, but Omega Zell considers using the staff for himself in a way that may help him get into Justice guild. Little after the decision is made, the guild finds out that Gaea has somehow managed to get Fantöm to help her level up. On top of all this, Master Zen, the Noob guild founder and Arthéon's predecessor, is back and wants his old job again. Both Omega Zell and Sparadrap refuse as the guild has made better progress under Arthéon's leadership. Little time after that, Stanislas, the player behind Arthéon, gets knocked out and taken away while doing an errand for his mother. The rest of the guild, unaware of what happened, continues playing after Gaea charms Golgotha into filling Arthéon's spot for free. They however get interrupted in the middle of a quest by the masked leader of Justice guild, Saphir and Ystos, who are looking for a Noob guild member that has been blackmailing Fantöm and threatening to get his avatar deleted by a hacker if he didn't cooperate. The situation is such that Fantöm no longer wants to play and Justice is close to loosing to their long-time rivals, the Roxxor guild from the opposing faction. Omega Zell points the finger to Gaea just as the Game Master requested by Fantöm's teammates shows up, notices Sparadrap's staff and decides to suppress his avatar along with Gaea's. Sparadrap creates a new avatar and Ystos helps him level up after Omega Zell refuses to do so to be able to pursue his own plans. Master Zen meets Omega Zell and claims to have talked privately to Arthéon who was scared to loose his character a second time because of Sparadrap's staff, and was considering quitting Horizon. Omega Zell is fooled and willing to let him have his old job back. Gaea shows up in Golgotha's company, opposing it. It turns out that Gaea got contacted by Tenshirock, who was in the mood to do her a big favor : sending her a video that she can use to blackmail the Horizon creators into letting her get her banned avatar back by threatening to put it on the Internet if they don't comply. Just after she and Golgotha interrupt Master Zen's reinstatement, Arthéon turns out to have escaped captivity and to be back on the game. Revelation that he kidnapped Arthéon and an attempt to divert attention on the fact Gaea probably had to do something illegal to come back gets Master Zen serious punishment by Golgotha. Soon after, Sparadrap asks to join the guild again due to not having fun with his brother's team. Just as Arthéon points out all that trouble seems to have at least gotten them rid of Tenshirock's "present", Sparadrap reveals that he found it in his inventory just after creating his new avatar. Sparadrap's staff manages to behave just long enough for the guild to do extra Level Grinding and complete the second floor of the Galamadriabyak tower. Arthéon decides it's time to get the item destroyed for good when it manages to cast a strange spell while Sparadrap had not only dropped it, but was dead. The Noob guild ends up getting close to the dangerous zone that can destroy the staff by staying on the tail of Fantöm's team that is going to the same place and obliviously taking care of the enemies for them. The progression of both teams gets blocked when Fantöm's rival Amaras and his team turn out to be blocking access to their destination until an ongoing time limit runs out and cancels the advance Justice has on Roxxor on a high-level series of dungeons. Omega Zell considers this a golden opportunity to put his plan in place and steals Sparadrap's staff, hoping to use it to quickly kill Amaras, but only ends up putting Justice in bigger trouble. Arthéon and Sparadrap mange to get the staff back and break off from the group while the rest helps Justice fight Amaras and his team. They eventually arrive at destination, only to find Master Zen, who calls a Game Master on them. It however quickly turns out that the Game Masters now have a policy of confiscating Tenshirock's presents rather than kicking their unwilling possessors out of the game, causing Master Zen to have an outburst that includes a permanent ban worthy act. Omega Zell shows up soon after, announcing that Justice won the battle and is now on the way to the last dungeon they need to finish to complete their quest line. Sparadrap quickly gets a message from the Game Masters, accompanied by his staff that is now an ordinary game item.
As the 2.0 era starts for Horizon, Arthéon has bad news : he's going to be sent to Boarding School. After trying different options, the guild settles for hiring Nazetrîme, a female berserker to replace him when needed. Aside from her, Noob counts two newbies : elementalist Couette that the guild met in Season 2 and negocian Ivy. Arthéon manages to install Horizon in his school's computer room, but is still held up by his schedule. Some time after that, Morgan Lavande (Omega Zell) gets a special job in real life : long story short, he needs to interview a female gamer to show that women can thrive in video games. Deciding to cut to the chase, he picks the closest to his home among his female guildmates, that turns out to be Gabrielle Jolivet, the player behind Gaea. During their real life meeting, she points out that the job gives him a golden opportunity to interview Saphir, who's well placed in Horizon's best guild and her colleagues. She ends up accompanying Morgan to interview Max Middle, to whom's he's unable to speak, with projects to start blackmailing Fantöm again. During that interview, someone breaks into Gabrielle's appartment and puts the video Tenshirock gave her in Season 2 on "Gaea's blog". Fantöm's team gets confronted by its rivals from Roxxor about the advance their guild has been able to keep up despite the whole Coalition making efforts trying to beat them. They accuse Fantöm of being illegally enhanced, with a video posted on "Gaea's blog" as proof. The head Game Master decides to erase Fantöm's avatar and everything he ever accomplished on Horizon, but is obviously covering up a situation he already knew about and putting the blame on Max Middle. By the next morning, Justice is demoted to the fourth guild of Horizon, everyone thinks Gaea posted the video and players are massively leaving the Empire for the Coalition and the Order, the new third faction. It also turns out that Nazetrîme has been working for Master Zen, now an Order player set on destroying the Noob guild and the actual poster of the video, all along. After being told by Tenshirock that Max Middle knew nothing of the situation, joint efforts of the Noob guild and (mostly) Ystos get him to start over again with a new avatar. The new Fantöm has his mind set on getting back to the top with his own talent and wants no help from his old team. He however needs a guild to progress, and Noob needs to replace Nazetrîme. Meanwhile, the Empire get weaker and weaker and the Coalition gets comfortable trying to destroy it. In the large scale war that ensues, Fantöm get unexpected help in keeping Amaras busy : the latter's long lost mentor Spectre, who is now in the Order and decides to start an impromptu duel with him. Meanwhile, the other members of the Noob guild are the only ones noticing the rest of Team Amaras getting the opportunity to capture the Empire's leading NPC, which would be a big setback in winning the war. While bullying the Noob guild that is desperately trying to keep them from reaching their faction leader, Amaras's teammates inadvertently push Sparadrap's Berserk Button by destroying his pet collection just in front of him, and Fantöm's former teammates show up just as his fit of rage tones down. Justice and Noob swap roles between keeping Amaras's teammates busy and finishing the quest that can keep the Empire from getting destroyed that Fantöm's former teammates had interrupted to come to the rescue; both manage to fufill their goal.
Arthéon is now out of boarding school, but has been logging onto Horizon 2.2 without joining the guild. His guildmates really start asking questions when he remotely appoints Omega Zell as an officer, making him de facto the replacement guild leader. Arthéon eventually shows up just long enough to realize it was a bad idea with mostly women in the guild, appoint Gaea as an officer instead and reveal that he's looking for a legendary sword named Sourcelame along with Kary, a female Order player with whom he's quite obviously in love. Gaea's command is far from suiting Omega Zell, who ends up leaving after a major fight with her to reach level 100 on his own. He next shows up on Justice guild's doorstep, where a very grateful Fantöm asks Saphir a favor. Meanwhile, the limits of Gaea's management cause several total party kills which, combined with her own in-game misdeeds, drop her reputation meter low enough to get her kicked out of the Empire. After forming a Pick Up Group with two of the Coalition fanboys she got from the video incident, she kills her former guildmates and earns just enough reputation with the Coalition to now be part of the faction. Seniority puts Sparadrap in command of the Noob guild. The 2.3 update of Horizon comes with a new dungeon. In the absence of Ivy (the smartest of the remaining members), Sparadrap's party is made of Couette, Golgotha and Arthéon, who can come due to Kary having exams. After accidentally splitting with her incomptent new guildmates, Gaea runs into her old ones while they try to figure out riddle essential to progressing and offers to give them the answer under the condition that they promise to never attack her inside or outside the dungeon. While Arthéon ponders the proposal, Sparadrap promptly accepts it on the condition the non-agression pact works both ways and refuses to let her negotiate anything else. After parting ways at the end of the dungeon , Gaea finds out that her new guild, of which she's technically Guild Master, has an abysmal debt towards the Roxxor guild. She quits to escape being punished for non-payment, putting herself in a situation that keeps her from joining a new guild. Meanwhile, Omega Zell's presence ends up making a small but positive difference in team Fantöm's higher level boss fight. Kary and Arthéon manage to find Sourcelame and agree to celebrate by marrying in-game. Fantöm wanting to repay Arthéon for taking him into Noob and his Guild Master wanting to make sure he really found the legendary sword causes their team to attend, along with Couette, Sparadrap, Golgotha and important Coalition figures. The Order's aren't absent as Spectre is the one taking Kary to the altar. The ceremony gets interrupted by Gaea and Omega Zell in the middle their first duel, that gets won by Gaea in front of the last people Omega Zell would want watching. After that, the wedding gets interrupted a second time by a major game-wide event that Horizon's elite can't afford to miss. Kary turns out to prefer finding out about the event to completing the wedding ceremony, much to Arthéon's chagrin. Furious, he goes to find Master Zen and his guild to lash out on them, convinced that Kary was part of a plan of theirs ; they turn out to not even know her. Omega Zell considers leaving Horizon forever, convinced that he dishonored himself and Justice by loosing to Gaea. He gets told that he's making too much of the situation by the only person from who he'd be willing to hear it : Fantöm, who suggests him to now go participate in the event, that consists of keeping an Elite Mook army from invading the Coalition's capital. Gaea tries avoiding the battle altogether, but one of her worried fanboys summons her in the middle of it to make sure she's alright. The former Noob guildmates end up fighting in close proximity to each other, making it easier for Arthéon to tell them all that he's disbanding the guild. Sparadrap teleports him out of the battle to try changing his mind, only to be told by Arthéon that he's decided to go solo, being tired of catering to everyone else around him and the failure that the Noob guild has been. Sparadrap disagrees, and is willing to fight him to show him that he's wrong.
Prologue : All happens during the fight between Arthéon and Sparadrap. Sparadrap can stay on par with Arthéon only because Tenshirock reactivated the plan that had made his staff overpowered in Season 2. Arthéon points out that two things can happen : either a Game Master will discover the staff and ban his avatar or the staff will loose its power whenever Tenshirock decides it, both putting Sparadrap in a sure loss position. Sparadrap doesn't care if any of these things happen if he can keep Arthéon from leaving in the process. As Arthéon can't stop talking once the matter is settled, he ends up complaining about how anything that he's ever tried to accomplish ended up a failure, eventually making Sparadrap realize that letting him go may actually be the best thing to do as a friend. Sparadrap apologizes for his part in Arthéon's state of mind, and insists on showing him that he did make a little progress under his command by fighting him without his staff, but still looses the duel after promising him to show that at least the Noob guild was worth it. [Events exclusive to the fourth book happen] Actual Season : A new Noob guild has been started, with Sparadrap as Guild Master. The other members are Ivy, Couette, Gaea's reroll Gaëa (an archer) and Ystos's reroll Ystös (an assassin). Two upcoming events are keeping the known characters busy. First, Fantöm, Amaras and Spectre are soon to have a three-way fight and Fantöm needs to find out more about Spectre to have a chance to win. One of the best possible sources of info is Tenshirock and Gaea is asking for a large sum of credits (that happens to be exactly what she owes Amaras) to be the middleman. Justice can afford the price only if one of its members wins the grand prize from the much closer big event, a tournament ; the task falls upon Justice's Guild Master Heimdäl. Omega Zell is participating under orders of Saphir, who wants to go get an assessment of his abilities but doesn't trust him to give a honest self-evaluation. Next thing we know, all the current Justice-Noob cluster is either participating or has stakes in the tournament. Meanwhile, Arthéon discovers that the Sourcelame quest was actually a job interview that he passed with flying colors. The sword's owner gets to become a player-controlled world boss that is part of Horizon's storyline. He breaks character just long enough to inform his former teammates of the situation, making Sparadrap happy for him and Omega Zell jealous. The first phase of the tournament has the characters scattered in different arenas. Ivy and Ystös give the Noob guild a head start by respectively winning a three-way battle and curb-stomping through one of the lower-level tournaments. The game's creator decides to make the arena in which Heimdäl, Omega Zell and Couette ended up more interesting by letting Arthéon loose in it. Omega Zell gets close to being choked to death by him and is saved only by the time allotted to the battle running out. The only other remaining players in that arena end up being Heimdäl, Couette and Précieux, a Coalition player that has an ongoing one-sided conflict with Sparadrap. Sparadrap (in his warrior reroll) and Golgotha end up in the same arena as Roxana, who was the one who killed Sparadrap's pets. They team up against her, but only end up making her angry enough to be determined to kill Sparadrap's new set of pets after the tournament is over and more immediately lash out on Golgotha ; Sparadrap's reaction to this is to act as shield between her and Roxana. Their own battle timing out keeps Sparadrap from getting a killing blow. During the second phase, Saphir brutally leaves on a quest that, according to her, can get Justice its number one position back. Roxana finds out about it and defects from the tournament to go stop her. Her opponent, who happens to be Ivy, is bumped up to a battle against Heimdäl and takes advantage of this to warn him since the chatroom is closed to all tournament participants. Heimdäl leaving to keep Roxana busy makes the final be between mutually suprized Ivy and Omega Zell. Ivy enventually uses a kamikaze attack to which Omega Zell survives, making him winner of the tournament. Gaea, meanwhile, cuts a deal with Tenshirock to get the info she needs to give Justice and, as part of it, decides to be the one who will come up with his next plan in addition to not revealing his real life identity on her blog. Tenshirock, not liking being caught from behind, accepts the deal but threatens to Unperson her both in-game and in real life if the idea doesn't work. The mini-Chain of Deals leaves Justice with info about Spectre's Achilles' Heel and Gaea with her credits. The evaluatio, given to Omega Zell via the tournament lead the Justice higher-ups to decide that he should change his character class to berserker. The only way to do this without starting a new avatar from scratch is to beat Horizon's Disc One Final Boss; with everyone else in the guild busy for Fantöm's preperations while not being included in them, Omega Zell decides to go give beating the boss on his own a shot.