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Web Original / Steelshod

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Steelshod is a series of Reddit posts on the DnDGreentext subreddit by user /u/MostlyReadRarelyPost, based on his homebrew Dungeons & Dragons campaign with two friends. The series focuses around the adventures of the titular mercenary company in a Low Fantasy world informally called "Torathworld", with places based off of the real world, such as Spatalia, the Midlands, Kriegany, Lorraine, and other places.


An index of all posts, including some supplemental information, here.

A work in progress prose version of the saga can be found here.

Needs Wiki Magic Love.

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  • Absurdly Low Level Cap: All characters, both player characters and NPCs have a maximum level of 5. However, they can gain an infinite number of tiers, acting more like levels and giving buffs to the character.
  • Admiring the Abomination:
    • Unferth with the Old Ones, ancient Thaumati gods, and, in a way, vice versa.
    • A faction of Goblins in the Underpass also worship the Old Ones, as do a Wncari tribe.
  • Alchemy Is Magic: Alchemy in the world is considered as magic. It's capable of making thunderbolts in a bottle (explosives), concrete, and highly corrosive gas.
  • Anachronism Stew:
    • The saga appears to be set in the equivalent of the early middle ages while still having a very not byzantine-like roman empire-like Cassala.
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    • Also mortars were invented before trebuchets.
  • Anti-Magic: The Spatalian Cimarutas, which heat up when they encounter bad magic.
  • Being Personal Isn't Professional: Jaspar, Agrippa, and Taerbjornsen. Though, to be fair, the latter one isn't personal, full stop.
  • Big Bad: Many, many villans, ranging from Arc Villain to Greater-Scope Villain, depending on the arc.
    • Initially, Taerbjornsen from the beginning to the Svard War.
    • Unferth, after the Svard War to present as the resident Greater-Scope Villain.
    • The Thaumati as an Arc Villain during an Underpass arc.
  • Blood Magic: Used by priests of Vlar, though the faith is somewhat divided on whether using blood that is not your own or obtained through glorious means is heresy.
  • Catch-Phrase:
    • "Welcome aboard, _____!" Used whenever the Steelshod recruit a new member.
    • Yorrin has "Shut up, Prudence.", though it hasn't been used in a while.
    • Zelde's (Yes, pronounced like that) favorite response is to enthusiastically nod her head and say "Da!"
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    • Out of universe, fans of the series on Reddit will comment "Oh no, Unfourth" when a chapter ends on an ominous cliffhanger with an unknown villain.
  • Cliffhanger: A lot, and I mean a LOT, of Steelshod's chapters end on one, especially nowadays. Examples include:
    • "The Siege of Torva is a doozy. But I think I’ll save that for next time."
    • "They have come a long way looking for Aleksandr. And they intend to kill him."
    • "Trespassers, it says. It is a growl, and a hiss, and a condemnation. You have come a long way, just to die."
  • Crystal Dragon Jesus
    • Torath is a snake god specifically made a as a joke to invoke this trope
  • Defeat Means Friendship: How Steelshod recruits new members, most of the time.
    Welcome aboard, Trio!
  • Diabolus ex Machina: In the final battle for Nahash, after Aleksandr successfully persuades Taerbjornsen into putting an end to the war, Taerbjornsen's magic bearskin suddenly comes to life and engulfs him, and then proceeds to transform into a giant monster and send every bearsark in the battle into an unstoppable rage.
  • Elective Mute:
    • Levin
      Levin is a dour, terse motherfucker. If he says a complete sentence, some serious shit is about to go down.
    • Some members of the Knights Serpentes have been known to take vows of silence, though not always keep them.
  • The Empire: First it was the Svards, then the Ruskans, then the Lorranettes, and now it's shaping up to be Cassala.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Where to begin:
    • Spatalia: Spain and Italy
    • Cassala: The Roman Empire
    • The Midlands: The UK and Ireland
      • Highhurst: Scotland
      • The Wncar Hills: Wales
    • Rusk: Russia
    • Svarden: Scandinavia
    • Al-Hassad: The Arabian Peninsula
    • Lorraine: France
    • Kriegany: Germany
    • Mongols: Targans
    • Frygia: Africa
  • Fat and Skinny: Aleksandr is less fat and more muscular, but Yorrin is definitely skinny.
  • Fantastic Slurs: The countries have their own slurs for each other, such as Spits note , and Loonies note .
  • Holy Ground: The nation of Torathia, named after the local religion's god, Torath.
  • Jack-of-All-Trades: Yorrin, the "Black Wizard", has:
    • -A number of alchemical pots for any situation, including Thunderbolt, Dragonfire, Eyeburn, and Stone Tar.
    • -An elite team of thieves, assassins, and spies called "Shadowsteel".
    • -A widespread network of agents that can, among other things, bring him information, spread his rumors, and assassinate his targets.
    • -Dueling skill and abilities good enough that he can take on bersarks solo.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: Aleksandr is one of these, being a literal knight from Rusk. Honor and chivalry are his bread and butter.
  • Love Triangle: The Trio encounter one with the princess Isabel Garibaldi, Aistulf Lombard, and Juan in their Spatalia arc.
  • The Old Gods: The Thaumati, capable of using magic at will, and live deep in the Underpass.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Yorrin and the other Steelshod begin to worry when Aleksandr starts going down a dark path on his quest to rescue Alaina.
  • Out-of-Character Moment: See above.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Orson (Red) and Levin (Blue). Orson being a friendly, talkative fellow, wheras Levin is quiet and serious. Despite this, they are great friends, and have one of the strongest bonds in the company.
  • Signature Move: Leona has one she likes to do called "Playing the Triangle". Lets just say the knees are the bottom two of the triangle's points.
  • Snakes Are Sinister: Inverted and played straight. Torathians worship Torath, the snake in the Adam and Eve story, as a representation of human ingenuity and cunning. Meanwhile, Al-Hassadians consider Torath to be the Devil.
  • Throw It In!: In-Universe. /u/MostlyReadRarelyPost made up the world as he went, with help from his friends.
  • Vestigial Empire: The old Casalline Empire, which once spanned most of the southern part of the world, leaving most of its technology behind (roads and various buildings).
  • Witch Hunt: Headed by Father Seville in Spatalia.
  • Wizard Classic: The Order of Gnomon are one of the last remaining thaumaturges in the world, and the only ones of them we've seen so far, Borthul and Theodorus, fit this trope like a glove.

Example of: