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The Wandering Inn, by 'pirateaba', is an ongoing Web Serial Novel that follows the life of a young woman named Erin Solstice who finds herself in a fantasy world ruled by a leveling system and classes. However, instead of becoming a famous adventurer or hero, she becomes an innkeeper.

The story initially focuses around Erin's attempts to survive in a hostile world where she does not know how to defend herself or even survive. Non-human species are the only people who live in the surrounding area, and Erin quickly finds that monsters and magic are an accepted part of this world. Erin is forced to reconcile herself with making moral choices such as killing in self defense — something which is completely unnatural to a normal girl from our world.

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A second protagonist, Ryoka Griffin, is introduced later in the story. She has a different viewpoint and experience of the world than Erin does, and has to contend with her own share of adaptation to this new world. It is soon revealed that she and Erin are in fact only a few inter-dimensional travelers among many and that these events are affecting entire nations as ordinary people become adventurers and start creating waves wherever they appear.

The Wandering Inn began in July 2016 and updates regularly on Tuesdays and Saturdays. The author put out the first volume on Amazon Kindle, and it clocks in at A Song of Ice and Fire levels. Each successive volume was even bigger than predecessor; overall the web serial exceeds 4.3 million words as of September 2019.


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This series provides examples of:

  • A Load of Bull: Calruz is a minotaur with the typical axe in hand, who prefers to use brawn over brain.
  • Action Bomb: Acid Flies uses flesh-dissolving acid to dissolve carrion. If hit, they explode that acid on their would-be predator.
    • The Goblin Lord uses undead goblins filled with explosives to break enemy lines.
  • Action Girl: Ryoka punched a beautiful Silver ranked adventurer in the face and kicked a Minotaur so hard he vomited blood.
  • Adventure-Friendly World: Adventurers are needed to keep monsters in check, and introduce valuable monster parts and artifacts to the economy. They have formal Guild chapters with job requests, taxes, various amenities, and a clearly-defined ranking evaluation system.
    • Bronze are inexperienced, low-level, and have few-to-no magical equipment. Silver are run-of-the-mill, with levels generally below 30 and decent combat capabilities against most monsters. Gold are exceptional, have great equipment and levels, have more obligations to help in case of emergencies, and are required to undergo frequent evaluations under truth-stones to make sure they aren't endangering others or abusing their power. Lastly, Named Adventurers are called that because their names are known across the world, and are generally understood to be some combination of insane, and heroic.
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  • Agent Peacock: Wall Lord Ilvris loves fine wine, fashion, gems, and is a high-level, well-equipped leader who is leading a force to covertly take on The Necromancer.
  • Anti-Magic: Both as a spell as well as an enchantments for weapons.
  • Anyone Can Die: And how! The first warning sign was Klbkch dying to save Erin from goblins, but then came the climax of volume one where nearly all of the 20+ named characters investigating Liscor’s ruins are killed in a disastrous raid wipe. This trend only intensifies as the story continues.
  • Apple of Discord: Loot Drama is a common reason for Adventuring Teams to break up. Pyrite "the Golden Goblin" was infamous for throwing treasure at attacking adventurers, often resulting in them turning on each other while his tribe could escape. Ryoka traded a powerful wand that the Horns of Hammerad had recovered, rather than letting it divide the team.
  • The Archmage: The highest kind of mages. Traditionally, [Archmage] is a high-level class-progression of [Mage], but in recent times it has simply become a title due to no one being able to achieve the actual Class. There are currently six "official" Archmages associated with Wistram who compete in its ruling council for influence.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking:
    • The Prognugators and Revalantors of the Antinium are the equivalents to ministers and commanders of the armies in their Hives, each one is a powerful fighter in their own right.
    • The Captain of the Watch of Liscor, Zevara is one of "the Oldbloods", Drakes who have strong dragon blood in them and thus inherited some of their characteristics, in her case, she breathes fire
    • "The Seven" of the King of Destruction are the commanders of his armies, each one is an expert specialized in some area, Gazi for example single-handedly fights the watch of Liscor and packs of gnolls. She could have had an even easier time fighting if she was not trying to avoid killing.
    • Many of the Lords, Ladies, and Kings possess abilities that put them above the rest of the people, some Skills are combat-oriented while others simply give them the power to give absolute orders, although the effectiveness varies with the level of the user.
  • Backup Bluff: When confronted by several human guardsmen, Ksmvr claims Diplomatic Impunity, and that arresting him would result in war between their species. Being exiled from his Hive, he had no power to enforce any of this, but they were too terrified of kicking of another Antinium War to question it.
  • Badass Gay: After his death, Zel Shivertail's will asks that he be buried with his mentor, General Sserys, while also revealing that he had been in love with the general up until his death. Considering their species' attitude towards homosexuality, this was quickly covered up.
    • Redscar, Garen’s second in command and one of the strongest warriors in the Redfang tribe, is noted to only be interested in male goblins.
  • Badass Normal: Ryoka refuses to have levels or Skills in a fantasy world where everyone else has them. She is a very capable martial artist and has survived many dangerous situations thanks to her instincts, quick thinking, courage, willpower, resourcefulness, and speed.
  • Bar Brawl: Many of the fights in the inn turn into this, and Erin gains the [Bar Fighting] Skill, which is noted to be somewhat unusual for an [Innkeeper].
  • Battle Butler:
    • Lady Magnolia's [Butler] Reynold Ferusdam carries magical items and has the Skills to ward off attackers. It is later revealed that he is, in fact, a [Combat Butler]. Similarly, the rest of Magnolia's staff are trained to be capable in multiple fields by the [Head Maid], Ressa, who is an assassin.
    • Orthenon, [Steward] and Left Hand of the King of Destruction is a powerful warrior on the level of the Seven and he also commands his armies on occasion, he is most of the time occupied managing the kingdom.
  • Beast Man: The aptly named Beastkin, of which there are many tribes, like Rabbit, Fox, Squirrel, and Cat. These are, however, distinct from the animal adjacent races like Gnolls, Lizardfolk, Garuda, Minotaurs, and so on.
  • The Beastmaster: [Beast Tamer], and it's higher-level variations such as [Beast Master], and [Beast Trainer] tame and fight with various creatures, often forming a psychic bond in the process.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Averted. Serious injuries, and unpleasant bodily functions are shown with many characters, even attractive women.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Erin is very friendly, and hates killing, even when it's necessary to save her life. But when she does decide to fight, she doesn't hold back.
    Erin: I don’t enjoy it. I hope I never will. But I can kill things. Other monsters, or even people. Not just dead people either. If it came down to it, I could kill someone trying to kill me.
    • Inverted with Ryoka, who, despite being an extremely unfriendly character, discovers she doesn't have any killer instinct when she goes Dungeon Crawling.
  • Big Badass Battle Sequence: The defense of Liscor, when Skinner and his undead horde escape the Liscor dungeon and attack the city, while every relevant character in the area rallies to fight and drive them back. Repeated again in Volume 5 on a much greater scale, when a horde of colossal Face-Eater Moths attack Liscor from the dungeon, with many more characters—introduced over the previous volumes—now participating in the defense, many of which demonstrating how powerful they've become since, particularly Erin.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Aiko and Ken sometimes swear in Japanese, and the two Italians in the United Nations also occasionally speak in Italian.
  • Bizarre Taste in Food: When Erin tried to think up what new kind of food she could offer to her customers, she came up with Acid Flies. As the name implies, the flies carry acid in their bodies that corrodes flesh. By extracting the acid beforehand with her undead... barmaid, who has no flesh to corrode, Erin is able to turn it into a surprisingly tasty dish. Most non-human customers, especially the gigantic insect queen of the Antinium, can't have enough of it.
  • Break the Haughty: Lyonette's character arc, after she comes into the employ of the Wandering Inn. Though initially petulant and absolutely opposed to the idea of manual labor in the inn, after Toren abandons Erin in the wild and Ryoka leaves to go after her, Lyonette is left alone in the inn and is faced with the very real threat of starvation if she doesn't step and willingly do real work for the first time in her life. Her efforts first to just survive in and maintain the inn, and later actively running it to earn needed money while Erin and Ryoka remain away, humble Lyon greatly, until she actively enjoys her labor and its rewards. By the time Erin finally returns to her inn, Lyon's been so greatly changed and runs the inn so well that Zel Shivertail—a new guest at the inn that Lyon won over, not Erin—calls Erin out for unthinkingly treating her like the spoiled brat she no longer is.
  • Breather Episode: Occasionally, there's a chapter where nothing major happens and we simply get to see the daily lives of some of the residents of the world.
  • Bug War: Antinium did attempt to conquer Izril twice, and most think it's just a matter of time for a Third Antinium War to happen.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Many people have to call the names of the skills they are using in order to use them. Many have mastered their skills to the point where they don't need to. Then there's Erin...
    TABLE FLIP ATTACK!
    • Also a notable trait of the bombastic Relc, who loves to call out attacks like "Relc Punch" or "Relc Headbutt," despite them not being proper Skills.
  • Capital Letters Are Magic: Skills, Levels, and Classes have different meaning based on capitalization. All known spells, Skills, and Classes are capitalized and have square brackets around them.
  • The Cavalry: A very personal version. At the climax of Volume 5, with Liscor besieged by the Goblin Lord and the human armies of Tyrion Veltras poised to follow once the city falls to the goblins, the free goblins Erin has befriended over the course of the volume or even earlier—the Redfang Five, the Flooded Waters tribe, and the cave goblins—come to her and ask her what she wants them to do. Moved to tears by their self-sacrificing offer, she begs them to save Liscor. And they do so, decisively turning the battle around and saving the city from Tyrion's scheming—all for Erin's sake.
  • Cell Phones Are Useless: Heavily averted. Cellphones are quite rare in this world and considered to be extremely valuable artifacts.
  • Chainmail Bikini: Averted. Adventuring and warfare are both very dangerous professions. Armor covers as much as possible as heavily as possible.
  • Character Level: A mechanic built into the world in which Erin, Ryoka, and the rest of the Otherworlders find themselves. Most intelligent beings gains Classes, Levels, and Skills based on what they do, how they do it, and how they are perceived by themselves and others.The fact that Goblins and Demons do level does not stop them from being viewed as monsters however.
  • Charm Person: [Ladies] often specialize in this, while various other Ruler, Diplomat, or Merchant Classes can have Skills enabling it to varying degrees.
  • The Chessmaster: Lady Magnolia Reinhart, a high-level [Lady] of extreme wealth and influence and perhaps the most powerful Human woman on Izril.
  • Chick Magnet: Olesm Swifttail's status as a young, successful, and (apparently) handsome Drake has led him to become an unintentional example.
  • City of Weirdos: Liscor is largely seen as this due to being home to an Antinium Hive. As of Volume 6, the growing sentiment among most Liscorians is that everyone else is overacting, and the things that make them different should actually be a point of civic pride. Their Antinium, crazy innkeeper, and even the local passive-aggressive Hobgoblin are all okay.
  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe: [Shamans] derive their power from the shared belief of their tribe, be they gnoll, goblin, or human. [Shaman] magic is viewed with derision at least by the Wistram school of [Mage] magic.
  • Clique Tour: When the series presents the backstory of Pisces and Ceria in the setting's Wizarding School, much of the chapter is taken up with explaining the various political factions of mages within the school, some of which become narratively relevant later on.
  • Continuing Is Painful: When an Antinium dies, there is a method to revive them, but at the cost of lots of resources and 10 levels in each of their Classes for that Antinium.
  • Courier: Being a courier is a very prestigious and well-paid job, as only a few meet the requirements to become one. The world the story takes place in is much bigger than ours and is inhabited by countless monsters; therefore a courier has to be strong enough make his delivery.
  • Cyclops: One of the races is called Gazers, and they have one large, magic-augmented eye in the middle of their face. However, they are only inspired by Cyclops, as they do not share traditional Cyclops' gigantic size or lack of civilization. They don't even technically have just one eye, as they have smaller, less clairvoyant ones all around the main big one.
    • Actual Cyclopes are a type of monster that is considered a Gold-rank threat.
  • Courier: "Runners" are for-hire messengers and delivery-people, generally falling under three categories.
    • "Street Runners" deliver inside a city, and are considered to be bad, or inexperienced.
    • "City Runners" deliver anywhere in a wide area, and are competent, if generally considered cowardly and prone to cliques.
    • True Couriers are Gold and Named-rank Runners who securely deliver anything anywhere via some combination of Super Speed, magic, or just being a One-Man Army that cannot be stopped.
  • Defeat Means Respect: Fairly common among Tactician-type Classes, who are usually captured and ransomed if defeated.
    • This a core value of Goblins. A defeated Tribe will readily accept the authority of the Chieftain, often even including the defeated former Chieftain.
  • Degraded Boss: As befits a world built around dungeon crawling, though played with. The initial foray by Silver-ranked adventurers into the dungeon near Liscor accidentally unleashes Skinner, a horrific monstrosity that results in a near Total Party Kill and proceeds to escape and lay siege to Liscor itself, then Erin's Inn once it is rebuffed. Some time later during a different POV we discover that the dungeon has long been breached by the Liscor-based Antinium who have been constantly fending off waves of monsters spilling into their own tunnels, of which Skinner is merely one of many such monsters known as Crypt Worms, albeit significantly more ancient and well equipped than the run of the mill ones.
  • Disappointed by the Motive: The Half-Seekers to Garen Redfang. Their teammates were in the wrong, yes, but he killed family members. Nothing can excuse that.
  • Door Fu: The Half-Troll Durene uses a door as a shield because regular shields are too small.
    • Played with by The Horns of Hammerad in Albez. Yvlon uses a heavily enchanted door as an impromptu shield. When Ksmvr later suggests using it as one full time, they all tell him that'd be ridiculous.
  • The Dreaded:
    • Crelers are monsters with a tendency to burrow through flesh, and the bounty on an adult is several thousand gold. Even mutually-antagonistic monsters will cooperate to fight them, because a nest left unchecked will devour everything.
    • Flos the "King of Destruction" conquered his home continent and nearly the world several decades ago, and is considered to be the highest-level ruler in the world, and almost completely specialized in warfare. The mere possibility that he would use his Skills to aid one side in a war saw a coalition of seven nations partially retreat, and three Wistram Arch-Mages panic.
  • Driving Question: A personal one for Wall Lord Ilvriss, directed at Ryoka: what happened to his lieutenant (and beloved) Periss? Ryoka dodges the question for as long as she can to avoid rousing the Necromancer's ire, but when the Necromancer's servants decide to kill her anyway, she finally tells him Periss was slain by the Necromancer's forces. Getting the answer he most feared sends Ilvriss into a depressive and drunken spiral, until Erin helps him find his purpose again.
  • Due to the Dead: After Zel Shivertail is slain by the Necromancer at the battle of Invrisil, the Goblin Lord forbids his army from desecrating his body and withdraws, recognizing Zel as a Worthy Opponent.
  • Dungeon Bypass: Entering a dungeon from an unintended route can bypass dangerous traps, but usually only at the cost of leaving an Adventurer party attacked from multiple sides with no cleared escape route. Disabling, and even selling parts of Durable Deathtraps is highly recommended however.
  • Dungeon Crawling: As expected for an RPG-Mechanics Verse. A dungeon discovered beneath Liscor kicks off a major part of the plot.
  • Eldritch Abomination:
    • Skinner, oh so much. Where to begin? This gigantic bundle of concentrated Nightmare Fuel is an undead Flesh Golem thing that steals people's skin, ripping it from their living body, and integrates it as part of its gigantic self, with the victim's frozen face still visible on Skinner's patchwork "skin". He achieves this by throwing an outstretched arm from inside his mouth. And his eyes (if you can call them that) glow red and give off an unshakeable aura of fear. …Gasp.
    • The three strangers who visited Erin's Inn and met Ryoka during the Winter Solstice are revealed to be dark monsters more akin to demons of hell. The ones visiting Erin even offered gifts in exchange for her soul, and it is hinted that if even one of them had touched Ryoka she would have been dragged into the darkness forever.
    • Snatcher qualifies as well. A strange nigh-invulnerable headless beast who patrols Liscor's dungeon that seems to enjoy cutting people's heads off and putting them on sticks, then leaving those sticks around to watch his next victims.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: Due to the way levels work and how skills are, broadly speaking, gained by context and necessity, military minds know that a protracted siege or harsh conflict can lead to widespread gains of classes and levels on the defender’s side, making the next wave of attack that much more difficult to succeed. Zel Shivertail for instance gained a lot of his early levels and fame during a defensive siege, and Esthelm’s surviving population was much more capable of withstanding the second attack after having been nearly razed a few months earlier.
  • Elite Zombie: Crypt Lords.
  • Emotion Bomb: Erin's skill, [Immortal Moment], makes a single moment feel like a lifetime. One use of it while singing resulted in everybody present hearing instruments that weren't played and brought even the toughest characters to tears.
  • Evil Laugh: Chapter 1.01C has one. For full effect, make sure your reading device has sound enabled.
  • Notorious Parent: Wiskeria's estranged mother Belavierr has sizable bounties from many major world powers, and a habit of making deals with desperate people. Becomes a full-on Evil Matriarch when she kills Califor, intentionally giving Wiskeria a purpose in life (to stop her).
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Az'kerash, the most terrible Necromancer in centuries, who devastated Liscor, is only known as The Necromancer. Or at least, was, until the reveal in later chapters of his true name, Perril Chandler.
  • Eye Scream: Erin gives one, when Gazi shows up to whisk her and Ryoka away.
  • Failure Gambit: This was Garen's approach to fighting Rags. He's much stronger than her, but doesn't have the organizational abilities to counter the Goblin Lord. When she manages to "defeat" him, he's then made second-in-command to a tactical prodigy that can better unite the Tribes north of Liscor.
  • Fainting: Erin faints when Jelaqua Ivirith, a parasite living in a dead body, literally opens her chest to show Erin her true form and then waves at her from inside the body.
  • The Fair Folk: The annoying little vicious pixies hate Cold Iron and go as far as calling an avalanche to punish whoever dare to show them disrespect.
  • Fantastic Racism: Drakes and gnolls don't think highly of humans, and vice versa. Half-Elves are even despised in certain areas; being called "half-breed" or "freak". The Antinium are hated and feared in any place outside of Liscor. Goblins aren't seen as sentient at all.
  • Fingore: A fairly common occurrence among Adventurers, as healing potions tend to not restore anything cut off. Ryoka Griffin gets two bitten off, and then several broken later on in an interrogation.
  • Flaming Sword: [Burning Blades] is a skill that allows this. When Rags gets it, she sees it is as entirely impractical for actual battle, but uses it to great effect when giving inspirational speeches and starting fires.
  • Food Chain of Evil: The High Passes. Ryoka is attacked by Goblins, who are promptly attacked by Carn Wolves, who accidentally chase her into herd of Flesh-Eating Goats, who then all stumble into a nest of Gargoyles, who are then all scared away as she approaches the cave of Teriarch, who is later revealed to be a Dragon.
  • Forever War: The continent of Rhir has been locked in one against Demons for millennia. Baleros is in a constant state of warfare between mercenary companies.
  • Frying Pan of Doom: Erin's weapon of choice later on in the series. Justified in that she has a skill which allows her to fight with impromptu weapons such as chairs, kitchen knives, and so on.
  • Genre Savvy: One of Ryoka's defining traits, given her intelligence, excellent education, and being rather well-read.
  • Giant Enemy Crab: The rock crabs of the surrounding area are large and aggressive predators that hide in plain sight.
  • Giant Spider: In the nearby area of Erin's Inn are spiders, which are not just huge, but have armor on their back, giving them the name "Shield Spiders".
  • Giving Radio to the Romans: Deconstructed and Played for Drama. Ryoka has plenty of knowledge about Earth's technology, but she's so afraid that the knowledge will fall into the wrong hands that she can't reveal any of it. Not everyone is so concerned, though, and progressively we get things like noblemen eating ice cream and even a millenia-old dragon marveling at a smartphone he magically replicated.
    • Later on, Ryoka realizes that even if she's not giving weapons to the world — specifically, guns — even quality of life improvements like basic medicine, chemistry, et cetera could result in a sea of change that puts Lady Magnolia at the top of society.
  • Good Witch Versus Bad Witch: Regardless of personal morality, [Witches] tend to stand up for each other, as the whole community is often persecuted. Murdering a fellow [Witch] is the only crime not tolerated.
  • Gratuitous Ninja: Averted. The half-Japanese Ryoka jokingly claims she should get a katana to fit the stereotype, and Magnolia notes on several occasions how absurd the idea of ninjas are.
  • The Great Wall:
    • The aptly named Walled Cities. The loss of one is considered irreplaceable, and a blow to the entire Drake species.
    • The Blighted King has four magical walls, and is trying to add a fifth. Each one is over twice as tall as the Great Wall of China, and has some of the best magical defenses, and highest-leveled people defending them, but all but the final wall have been breached before.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Ceria is a half-elf. The Half-Seekers are a Gold-Ranked Adventurer Party made up entirely of various hybrids and "undesirable" species. Durene, Laken's lover and [Paladin] is a half-troll. Half-giants are also a thing.
  • Happy Rain: Liscor's area has incredibly dismal rains in the spring, leading to heavy flooding in the valleys and general annoyance for the population. This trope comes into effect after the second defense of Liscor, when a magically summoned rain storm drives off the horde of Face-Eater Moths attacking the city, allowing the defenders to celebrate and relax in the rain.
  • Harmful Healing: Applying Healing Potions, or most [Healer] Skills to diseases, bad bone breaks, or places where the flesh immediately trying to knit itself back together regardless of what is or isn't in its way is not a good idea.
  • Hidden in Plain Sight: Rock Crabs hide their massive body under a giant shell that looks like a boulder. Since there are no other boulders in the Flood Plains, it makes them really easy to spot...assuming that you know that the giant rock is a monster.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: The Necromancer is actually the master of the Goblin Lord.
  • Hive Caste System: The Antinium have a strict caste system. The queen of the hive bears every one with an explicit purpose in mind, and forms their bodies in a way to make them more efficient in it; a soldier has, for example, a huge muscular body, while a Worker has a small slender one.
  • Hive Mind: The insect-looking Antiniums possess a hive mind of sorts, which makes them all mentally connected to each other. That prove advantageous when they win a chess game against Erin by combining their intelligence. However, they are not quite a true hive mind, as individuals can and do form independent thoughts and personalities.
  • Hive Queen: The gigantic hive queen of the Antinium is able to change the memories of the hive mind. When Klbkch died, his memories were still present in all Antiniums, but if the queen had just wished it, no Antinium would have known he had ever existed.
  • Honest John's Dealership: Stitchworks Alchemy Shop is known for cheap, lower-quality potions, and the owner, Octavia, always trying to make a quick sale. By Volume 6 she's gotten her hands on a source on higher-quality ingredients, toned down the aggressive sales pitches, and generally Taken a Level in Kindness.
  • The Horde: When the Horns of Hammerad, and a few other adventurer groups, explore a recently discovered dungeon, they accidentally free an Eldritch Abomination that unleashes a small horde of the undead on them, and afterwards on the nearby city.
    • More broadly, this is the natural culmination of Goblin-kind: they form small tribes of dozens to hundreds, which given time to grow or conquer and absorb other tribes, will lead to armies of thousands under a Goblin Lord. And if a Goblin Lord and their armies are allowed to grow even stronger, they can become a Goblin King commanding hundreds of thousands or even millions of Goblins. These ultimate hordes are so powerful that Goblin Lords are routinely purged before they ever grow stronger, and the entire world has treaties agreeing to unite against a Goblin King (exceptional in a world almost continually at war).
  • Horrifying the Horror: After his psychotic break, Tom does this to a group of demons who'd just slaughtered a town full of civilians and children.
  • I Am Not Pretty: Duren thinks of herself that way due to her troll heritage.
  • I Know Your True Name: Be very careful to whom you reveal your full name, as a scrying spell allows the user to see the whereabouts of the target, wherever it is, as long as he is aware of the full name. Averted for Ryoka since her "true name" is actually written in Kanji.
  • I Let You Win: Rags calls out Garen for doing this to her in their fight.
  • Inhumanly Beautiful Race: Half-elves are described as having unearthly features, and so far none of them has been described in unfavourable terms.
  • Insistent Terminology: Drakes get very angry, when you call them lizards.
    • Lyonette insists others use her full name, not shorten it to Lyon, as befits a [Princess]. Her character arc eventually leads her to accepting the nickname as perfectly fine.
  • Interspecies Romance: While not the norm, it is fairly common for Gnolls and Drakes to date or marry. These couples often either adopt, or use specialized fertility spells to have a baby of one of their species. Some species are close enough to produce a hybrid, though this is very rare, and the hybrid is generally an outcast.
  • It Can Think: Skinner.
    • A horrifying revelation to Erin, when Pisces informs her that her pet skeleton Toren was made able to level and grow and so subsequently developed a true individual consciousness unlike other skeletons—after Erin's inconsiderate but also unknowing treatment of Toren as an unthinking servant had already driven him to rebel, leave Erin, and become a violent and uncontrolled killer.
    • Volume 5 has the Raskghar, a primitive offshoot of Gnolls that sacrificed their intelligence and ability to Level millennia ago in return for greater strength. First, they regain sentience in a full moon, immediately becoming a much bigger threat. Then, Liscor realizes almost too late that the moon is still full even in the daylight. Lastly, it's revealed that they can keep their enhanced strength and intelligence permanently by eating a Gnoll's heart.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Often when Pisces tells Erin something he is correct, much to her regret, as following his advice is the last thing she wants to do.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Ryoka, particularly in the early volumes. Though heroic and (usually) well-meaning, her pride, anti-social tendencies, and general mistrust of authority often put her at odds with others, even people who are actually trying to make friends with her. This fades somewhat after she meets Erin and her friends and begins to rely on them, but even then she's rather aloof and prone to keeping to herself.
  • Kill It with Water: How the First Antinium War was won; once it was discovered that Antinium can't float the allied armies started flooding the battlefields, culminating with drowning an entire Hive.
    • Similarly used to great effect against the Face-Eater Moths that besiege Liscor in Volume 5; Pisces and the other mages nearby create a massive rain storm that panics the insect swarm, forcing them to flee back to the dungeon.
  • Laughing Mad: After seeing Wilen slowly die, something snaps inside of Tom, driving him to insanity. He starts to laugh crazily and changes from the rather unfunny clown to a clown such as one sees in horror movies, making even the demons fear him.
  • Lazy Dragon: Teriarch is quite lazy, preferring to contact his sole human friend, Lady Reinhart, through spells rather than actually visiting her. He does offer to fly to Magnolia's manor when he learns she is in danger (she's actually safe, and makes fun of the very idea he'd get out and do something), but retracts it as soon as he learns she's in no imminent peril.
  • Lilliputians: The Fraerlings are a species of human appearance who are about six inches tall.
  • Lizard Folk: One of the most frequently seen races are the Drakes, which are humanoid lizards descended from dragons, though you should never call them either of those. There are actual Lizard Folk as well, whom the Drakes loathe.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Although there are initially only two main POV characters, the number of well fleshed out characters they interact with is quite large. By the start of volume 6, there are at least 15 different groups who have been given POV, most of which have had multiple POV characters.
  • MacGyvering: Rag's Goblins are able to make a functional trebuchet within a day of seeing one in the distance firing on them. Conventional wisdom says you need a specialized team of [Engineers] over the course of months.
  • The Medic: The aptly named Geneva was in her third year of med school when she appeared in Baleros, and soon becomes a [Doctor].
  • Medieval Stasis: Discussed. Because of the prevalence of Skills and Classes, there's been little drive to expand, because why bother when those can do everything?
  • Mighty Glacier: Ryoka's Runner friend Garia is one of the slowest City Runners, but her past as a [Farm Hand] means she's strong enough to make heavier deliveries, and take out a Bronze-rank Adventurer in one punch.
  • Monster Clown: Thomas becomes one after gaining the conditions [Horrific Laughter] and [Lesser Insanity].
  • Monster Lord: Some Goblins (widely regarded as the weakest monsters) can "evolve" like this. A high-level Goblin can become a Hobgoblin and/or Chieftain, who can become a Goblin Lord, who can become a continent-ending Goblin King.
    • The Crypt Lords, and Bone Horrors can develop from large enough groups of more mundane undead.
  • Monster Rights Movement: Despite several bad encounters with them, Erin maintains that Goblins are sentient people, and should not be hunted as pests.
  • Mook Horror Show: Many fights told from Goblin perspectives play out like this.
  • Muggles Do It Better: There are specialized spells and even a sub-class of [Mage] for seizing a city. In Volume 5 however, Liscor isn't worried about the approaching Goblin and Human armies until finding out they have trebuchets. Of course, using magic on the projectiles only make it more devastating.
  • Mutual Envy: Erin and Ryoka are this to each other. Erin wishes she were more athletic and had Ryoka's adventure-filled lifestyle as opposed to her "merely" running an inn. Ryoka wishes she had Erin's way with people and, while she still adamantly refuses to level up, is rather put out that Erin is actually more combat-effective than she is.
  • My Brain Is Big: Played straight with the original Antinium queens on Rhys; the majority of their body mass was brain tissue. In a subversion the current crop merely gorges on food, imitating the mass and volume of their predecessors without much of the brain.
  • My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Rags and Garen are both this… of sorts… for Goblins. They do try to be more civilized than regular Goblins and form bonds with humans (Garen was even part of an Adventuring team, which was unheard of)… but Rags goes on to become a Goblin Chieftain and Garen killed his partners to become chieftain of a large murderous tribe.
  • Necromancer: One of the side characters is a Necromancer, although he is rarely taken seriously. Not that this is the norm for Necromancers; one in particular, simply called The Necromancer, unleashed in the past whole legions of the undead on the continent, resulting in the deaths of millions.
  • The Need for Mead: Despite the fact that Erin manages and inn and eventually learns how to brew alcohol, but still has a relatively small selection.
  • No Name Given: The Necromancer who devastated Liscor years back is mostly known only as The Necromancer. "The Thief" is also all that Lyonette was known as until she gets to the Inn, many chapters after her introduction.
    • The Goblin Lord, underscoring his nature as a mere slave to the Necromancer, unlike Garen and Rags who are individualized. After the battle of Invrisil, Zel gives the Goblin Lord the name of Reiss, perhaps as a sign of respect to a Worthy Opponent and a fellow enemy of the Necromancer.
  • Nice to the Waiter: Lady Magnolia treats her servants very well, refusing to make them form a traditional greeting line in poor weather, and finding jobs for those too injured to complete their former duties. Meanwhile Lord Tyrion's [Majordomo] (whose family has served his for six generations) is terrified of being fired for a minor mistake.
  • Ninja Maid: Lady Magnolia's right hand, Ressa, is the [Head Maid] in charge of training the rest of her overly capable staff and an assassin. When Ryoka mistakes her for a [Ninja], Magnolia jokes and laughs.
Magnolia: “A [Ninja]! Wouldn’t that be quite amazing to see? If I bought you some dark clothing, would you hang from the ceiling and jump out of the shadows to fill my cup?”
  • The Nose Knows: Nothing gets past the gnolls' nose, whether you recently killed somebody, or… sexually relieved yourself.
  • No-Sell: Most enchanted weapons can only be resisted by enchanted armour.
  • No True Scotsman: The worst insult a Goblin can give another is to call them or their actions "Not-Goblin".
  • Obsessed with Food: While typically portrayed as inhumanly serious, the Antinium adore food. A magical ring that prevents food-poisoning (allowing them to overcome their species' gluten allergy) is treated with the same reverence as a ring of water-breathing that counters their Super Drowning Skills.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Though Erin is genuinely air-headed and scatterbrained at times, she does knowingly play it up to throw off others and get them to underestimate her.
    • Much more dramatically done with the Goblin Greybeard, who is initially presented as old and feeble, but eventually reveals himself to be the former Goblin Lord Greydath, who served the last Goblin King and remains supremely capable in battle.
  • Older Than They Look: Although Ceria looks to be in her 20s, she actually is 60. Her half-elven blood means she ages about three times slower—and more gracefully—than humans.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: The most terrifying Necromancer the world has ever seen is only known by his nickname, The Necromancer— with few exceptions.
  • Opposite Sex Identical Twins: Trey and Teres Atwood.
  • Our Centaurs Are Different: A race native to Baleros that resembles a humanoid torso on a horse's body. They are prideful, have an odd but strict concept of honor, and make up almost all land-based Runners on Baleros. They revere mothers due to their species' difficult births, and refuse to kill women outside of battle. Someone touching their tail or riding on them is seen as extremely intimate.
  • Our Demons Are Different: Demons are various sentient species that have been corrupted by some unknown force. This results in odd combinations of horns, hooves, skin colors, and other mutations, and a desire to kill all non-Demon life in service to their mysterious Demon King. The continent of Rhir has been locked in a Forever War against them for millennia.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: Sapient, very large European-style monsters, with extremely powerful magic.
  • Our Elves Are Better: Elves were functionally immortal, undisputed masters of magic, and better than humans in every conceivable way. They're all gone however.
    • Half-Elves, the Elves' Half-Human Hybrid descendants, are also better than humans, but are the victim of severe Fantastic Racism from the significantly larger populations of other species.
  • Our Fairies Are Different: Faeries are usually only seen in the world when winter comes, as it is their duty to bring it to the world. Most citizen of the world only perceive the faeries as a blue blur, making them generally considered a natural phenomenon instead of a sentient race.
  • Our Ghouls Are Creepier: Ghouls are especially strong and fast undead, with sharp claws and gaping jaws. They can also be living humans who gained [Horror Ranks] by becoming a humanitarian.
  • Our Goblins Are Different: The Goblins in this story are small, green, and pointy-eared. They also have two rows of shark-like teeth. Due to being a barbaric, uncivilized and outright man-eating lot, Goblins get a lot of Fantastic Racism, which Erin insists is quite unjustified.
  • Our Liches Are Different: They're basically Elite Zombie who can cast spells. Not weak by any stretch, but Ryoka internally notes that they fall far short of the typical trope's sheer power.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: The comparatively few Vampires in the modern era generally act as part of a community without revealing their true nature so as to avoid Van Helsing Hate Crimes. They are living, and able to have (Vampire) children, but are unable to have Levels or Classes. They quickly tan, and get sunburned in direct sunlight, are allergic to garlic and silver, and Cast No Shadow. Some can uses crude mind-control through a hypnotic stare, but that varies in power from person to person.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: Averted and played straight. Zombies are generally just the shambling dead. If there are enough around though, then ghouls and crypt lords start to crop up.
  • Plot Armor: Averted. Adventuring is a hazardous business and even developed characters with hanging plot threads can meet an untimely fate.
  • Poison Is Corrosive: Erin's most terrifying weapon is the jars of acid she extracts from Acid Flies. The liquid is "extremely" corrosive to flesh.
  • Possessing a Dead Body: The Selphids, a race of body-snatchers, were reduced to only possessing dead bodies, and never living ones, by a treaty after they almost destroyed the world.
  • Put on a Bus: Ryoka, just before the conclusion of Volume 4, flees Liscor and her friends, after her altercations with the Necromancer finally come crashing down on her and start killing people. She remains gone as the story moves to Volume 5 and continues not to appear until the volume's epilogue.
  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: "My name is Erin Solstice. This is my inn. And. You. Are. Trespassing."
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: After the Face-Eater moths are successfully driven off from Liscor, to a straggler moth left crawling in the rain:
    Erin: Welcome to Liscor [squishes the moth].
  • Proud Warrior Race: Drakes, Minotaurs, and Centaurs are all known for being very prideful, and having a strong warrior tradition.
  • Pulling Themselves Together: Unlike mundane Skeletons, Toren is capable of doing this. Often played for laughs and coupled with a Cranium Chase, but this gives him a definite edge in a fight as he just doesn't stay down.
  • Rainbow Speak: Certain events, creatures, or situations will be depicted by colored text. Everything the frost faeries say is pale blue, the words of a Charm Person using Skills can be pink, a Ruler's words when giving commands can be gold, etc.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Goblins, some kinds of undead, Skinner, and various monsters all have glowing red eyes. A Minotaur's eyes suddenly turning red is a sign of great anger.
  • Religion Is Magic: Since the gods are all dead, miracles (considered separate from mage magic) no longer exist. Because of this, the Class [Healer] evolved into a subclass of [Mage] or [Herbalist], and became significantly less powerful than their faith-driven predecessors.
  • Role-Playing Game Verse: The universe in which Erin finds herself mirrors typical fantasy game settings, down to some of the creatures, like gnolls and rock crabs, originating in games such as Dungeons and Dragons and Runescape.
  • Rogue Drone: The Hive Mind Antinium play with this. Typically, the vast majority of a colony are not individuals, and the "Aberrations" who begin to think of themselves as such Go Mad from the Revelation of existence. However, the Liscor Colony actively tries to produce sane "individuals" in order to better the colony as a whole.
  • RPG-Mechanics Verse: Subverted. It seems to be the case at first, with people getting higher "levels" within their "class" after they perform various tasks. However, it turns out to only superficially resemble the video game mechanics and turns into a nice bit of World Building with how it actually works.
  • Rule of Seven: King Flos had a famous group of extremely powerful, fanatically loyal people known as "The Seven". It's stated there is no cultural significance to this, just that only seven people were qualified enough.
  • Run or Die: Ryoka while trying to make her delivery to the High Passes. She tries to fight off the goblins and Carn Wolves. But when the carnivorous goats arrive and start to eat the wolves and then the gargoyles arrive and start to eat the goats it becomes apparent that she is the very bottom of the food chain.
    • A much more dramatic run in the fourth volume, when Ryoka has aroused the Necromancer's ire for learning he survived his defeat years ago and can only hope to survive by running to and begging for Teriarch's help and protection.
  • Sacred Hospitality: The Faeries, who basically live for annoying and tricking people, stop their mischievousness all together when being bound by rules of hospitality.
  • Sacrificed Basic Skill for Awesome Training: After hearing Ryoka's hypothesis about how leveling works, Klbkch considers dying to lose "unnecessary" levels he got as a guardsman to rise up more easily in his primary fighting classes once resurrected.
  • Sacrificial Lion: The original Horns of Hammerad and the other Silver-rank Adventurers who first brave the Liscor dungeon crypt: despite growing close with protagonists Erin and Ryoka throughout Volume 1, all of them except Ceria and Yvlon are slaughtered in the dungeon by Skinner, demonstrating just how dangerous the dungeon is.
  • The Shadow Knows: Vampires cast no shadow, and many invisibility or transformation spells tend to leave the shadow of the original form behind.
  • Smart People Play Chess: Subverted in the story where it is revealed that Erin is a chess prodigy, despite being generally clueless about many other facets of life. Played straight in that many powerful and intelligent [Tacticians] and [Strategists]—most notably Niers Astoragon, the most famous [Strategist] in the world—are fans of the game, because a proper chess challenge can allow them to level up away from the trials and dangers of a real battle.
  • Spell Levels: Spells are tiered from 0 to a theoretical 9. Tier 0–1 are basically cantrips and usually utility spells or slightly harmful attacks. Tier 3–4 are potent spells like [Fireball], [Ice Lance], or [Invisibility]. The higher the level, the exponentially more difficult it is to learn. Gold level [Mages] can spam lower-tier spells and usually have at least one Tier 5 spell. Az’kerash is suspected to be able to cast Tier 8 spells…
  • Spirited Competitor: Pomle is a small country in Chandrar made up entirely of these. The country was formed a few decades ago by a group of people who just wanted to be left alone to train in neutral territory. The threat they pose to anyone who breaks their peace is enough to keep entire armies from trying to intrude.
  • Spoiled Brat: Lyonette is the typical spoiled noble child. Even after Erin saved her from being frozen to death, or even eaten by monsters, Lyon thinks it's natural and expected for Erin to have done so, as she is a noble, and thus deserving of special treatment. Furthermore, she thinks it's only obvious that she can reside in Erin's Inn, eat her food, and demand her assistance with traveling back home. After discovering that Erin actually expects her to work for all these things she thinks are her right, she is scandalized and enraged.
  • Squishy Wizard: [Mages] tend towards this, but Grimalkin the [Sinew Magus] of Pallass actively subverts it. He trains his students mercilessly and specializes in "Physical Magic", leading to ridicule from the more traditional [Mages]. However, he is able to hold his own against an Archmage in a duel, and his students are considered superior to Wistram graduates, if only because of the superior adaptability and physical capabilities that come from their Training from Hell.
  • Stat Sticks: Largely averted. Magical items tend to interfere with one another, so even most high-level Adventurers only have a few on them at any time.
  • Stereotype Reaction Gag: The Silver Swords member Dawil is offended by the assumption that all Dwarves are knowledgeable about metalworking. Anytime someone brings up blacksmithing however, he goes on a tirade about the minutia of it.
  • Summon Everyman Hero: Erin was teleported from Earth to the new world, which later was hinted to be the cause of the hero summoning. That spell seems to have gone awry, though, as people from Earth were teleported all over the world, and not just at the intended location.
  • Supernatural Fear Inducer: Skinner's eyes serve as this. They strike such fear into those in range that most are paralyzed or flee uncontrollably. Later revealed to be two rubies with a [Terror] spell enchanted to them. Becomes a case of Hoist by Their Own Petard, as Skinner realizes too late that fear only makes Goblins fight harder.
  • The Symbiote: Selphids are a friendly example of parasitic symbiotes (who, by international law, only possesses recently-dead bodies rather than still living beings).
  • Symbiotic Possession: After her back is broken, Geneva enters into this with the Selphid Okasha, who she'd saved a few days before.
  • Team Killer: Garen Redfang is infamous for having done this.
  • Tom the Dark Lord: Zig-zagged with the Necromancer. His current name is the suitably eldritch-sounding Az'kerash, but it is quickly revealed that his true name was the very normal Perril Chandler… Except that his (few) friends nicknamed Perril "Peril".
  • Total Party Kill: Several Silver Ranked adventurer parties team up to enter the new dungeon near Liscor. It doesn't go well. Averted for the Horns of Hammerad since Ceria and Olesm survive.
  • Tournament Arc: "The Titan's Game" involves hundreds of aspiring [Strategists] competing in a near life-or-death struggle against literal armies in a game of... Hide And Go Seek.
  • Training from Hell: Walking into blizzards naked, and being Stewed Alive are both training methods for [Cryomancers], much to Ceria's dismay.
  • Trapped in Another World: Erin Solstice, Ryoka Griffin, and many others. The story could actually be seen as a Deconstruction of the Isekai light-novel genre.
  • Undead Laborers: Erin, the Innkeeper, owns an undead skeleton of unmatched intelligence and durability. She has him do chores for her.
    • The Kingdom of Khelt in Chandar is a Egypt-like Necrocracy built off of this trope. The living citizens pursue art and their passions while legions of their dead ancestors do all menial tasks for them. Meanwhile, benevolent undead rulers who retain Levels and memories from their life command potentially millions of undead to deter neighbors from attacking.
  • Underestimating Badassery: After being scammed, Erin is challenged to a game of chess against a Level 22 [Tactician] to win her money back. Her friends tell her she is an idiot for taking the bet. It turns out that she is probably the best chess player in the world.
  • Undying Loyalty: The Seven never stopped being loyal to Flos, the King of Destruction, even when he lost all motivation, and for ten years just sat in front of his throne, letting his kingdom slowly waste away.
  • Unequal Rites: [Mages] and their various specialized Class progressions generally look down on all other magic Classes. [Shamans] use the collective magic of their tribe to perform large-scale, if inefficient magic. [Hedge Witches] and [Sorcerers] are magic-users with little or no formal training. [Druids] are very dangerous users of nature magic. [Witches] are a generalist Class that relies on Ritual Magic, emotions, and their chosen "craft" to practice their strange magics.
  • Unexpected Inheritance: Selys is given the legendary Heartflame Breastplate based off of a technicality in her uncle's will.
  • Unreliable Narrator: The "Antinium Wars" Chapters follow the in-universe history books written by Krsysl Wordsmith. Unfortunately, the fame from his first book corrupted him. His book on the second war is a Rose-Tinted Narrative filled with Purple Prose that the various readers frequently cut away from to give their accounts of what really happened.
  • Vampires Are Rich: Played with. The one Vampire family we've seen is relatively well-off, but mostly because the once-Human mother in it is part of a well-respected [Herder] family. While she likes to wear a nice dress, play up her accent, and refer to their castle as their "ancestral estates" to impress Ryoka, they actually all work full-time managing their herds.
  • Vegetarian Vampire: Most Vampires don't drink human blood, even though they can do so without turning them, and instead drink animal blood (regular food being optional).
  • We Have Reserves: The Antinium as a whole, with the biological castes every individual Antinium belongs to defining what kind of reserve they belong to. The Individuals among them are the subversion, being the equivalent of officers to common foot soldiers.
  • White Wolves Are Special: Gnolls are never born with white fur. On rare occasions however, one's fur will turn white when exposed to a truly horrific tragedy. The poor Gnoll is then shunned as a Bad Luck Charm.
    • Defied by Rags. When offered a white Carn Wolf as a mount, she refused, saying that such a unique coloration would only make for a target in battle.
  • Wife-Basher Basher: This is the chosen craft of [Witches] who take the name "Hedag." They are implied to have once been abused children that decided to meet eye-for-an-eye justice on those who harm family.
  • Willfully Weak: Ryoka chooses not to gain any Classes, Levels or Skills, despite their obvious advantages. Doing this is so counter-intuitive that most characters are shocked when they find out. She does this because she suspects the System imposes some kind of restriction and alteration in those who embrace it. She's right, and the Faeries compliment her for realizing this and rejecting the System.
  • Wizarding School: The Wistram Academy, is not just renown for being one of the best schools teach magic, but to be a force to reckon with. Even a nation that strikes fear around the world is wary of them.
  • Worthless Yellow Rocks: Goblins have little concept of money. Pyrite, the "Golden Goblin" mined gems and shiny metal as a hobby, giving them to children in his tribe to play with, or using it as "Adventurer Bait".
  • Wound That Will Not Heal: Weapons enchanted with [Evercut] or [Bloodletter's Curse] deal wounds that continuously cut deeper if not removed, and wounds immune to healing potions respectively. Wounds inflicted by spirits also seem to not heal.
  • You All Meet in an Inn: Generally played straight in the story, as the inn is a place for most characters to meet Erin — which is Justified by the story being generally about (and named after) Erin's inn. Averted in the first chapter where Erin finds an inn and stumbles into it hoping to find people, only to realize it has long been deserted.
  • You Just Had to Say It: From Ryoka as her party is leaving a dungeon, "Come on. We are nearly out. Just a bit longer and we can all rest." Once they exit the dungeon Gazi appears and tries to abduct Erin and Ryoka.
  • Your Vampires Suck: Done with goblins for once. A tribe of the InnWorld's usually nomadic, warlike goblins with their own specific culture settled down into an underground mountain city ruled by an obese hobgoblin, where they mimic human society (having adopted the English tongue and a habit of eating out of plates, for instance). Sound familiar? When some of the regular goblins visit, they recognize the tribe's power but disdainfully say among themselves that they are "not goblin".
  • Zerg Rush: A well-tested tactic of the Antinium; one of their bynames during the Antinium Wars was the black tide. The Goblins use similar tactics, lacking individual strength but explosive numbers.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: Since zombies arise naturally on their own if sufficient numbers of people remain unburied for too long, this is a constant, low-level possibility. On battlefields there’re soldiers tasked with removal, burning, burial and what not of all dead before they can start to rise. On Baleros with its plenty mercenary companies there are whole companies whose sole job is disposal of the dead and those companies are, for the purposes of the battle, essentially non-combatants.

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