The Graves of Heirs (WIP) [Updated: July 2, 2021]

Hi! I’m J and I’ve been a long-time (and I mean a very long time) lurker who recently got the courage to make an account and post my own WIP. I hope I’m doing this right! The Graves of Heirs has been a project of mine for several years and I’ve finally decided to start working on it earnestly.

In The Graves of Heirs you take on the role of your favourite series’ villain with all the knowledge of someone who’s read ahead. The first book deals with the villain’s school years and the events that helped shape the rest of the original series. Without further ado, here goes nothing!

The next update (0.4) ETA is planned for sometime before I die of old age (tentative September).



Carmine Ehrenreich is the villainess of your favourite series, The Graves of Heirs; the Queen of Apostates, she makes a pact with the elder god Deathe and tears the titular heirs’ lives apart. When the series ends with her death, you assume that’s that in the story of the possessed sorcerer and close the book.

Only problem is after you’re murdered by… something , you wake up to a proposition offered by Carmine herself; she hates the way the series ended and needs your help to change the story. Before you know it you are trapped in the position of the young Carmine in the horrific Ehrenreich Organization to learn the magic that turned her into a villain. Alongside the first of the heirs you must now make your way through a school year beset with magical mishaps, murderous teachers, and monsters that may or may not be hunting you down in the middle of the night.

Will you save the other students, or leave them to their fate? Will you help the heir, organize his death, or take the place of protagonist yourself? Hindsight is twenty-twenty, after all. You know how events are going to happen - what will you do to change the story?


Features:

  • Choose your gender (m, f), appearance, personality, and the magic you wield.
  • Choose to be one of ten fantasy races:
    • Sine: an aquatic peoples that can breathe underwater.
    • Fae - fairies.
    • Leanan - a peoples with no emotions and an affinity for the dark arts.
    • Deanan - a peoples exiled under the earth with horns and black sclera (white part of the eyes).
    • Xidhe - cat people.
    • Blood Elves
    • Forest Elves
    • Dark Elves
    • Electric Elves (called Electra)
    • High Elves
  • Make friends with a familiar-like creature called a revenant that follows you throughout your adventures.
  • Use your knowledge of the series to ‘predict’ the future.
  • Get good grades.
  • Make a pact with the personification of paranoia and chaos: Deathe.
  • Murder the faculty.
  • Destroy your school.

The Potential RO’s (AKA the students who can crush on the MC)

Summary

Vitalius Ornstein/Astasus Ehrenreich:

Human Male, 9 - The stolen and presumed dead prince of the human Ornstein Empire, Astasus is the original Carmine’s love interest, and the source of her demise; in the first book, through his heroic deeds he managed to bring the Ehrenreich Organization to its knees. Now, he is but a boy caught in the plot of the story you know, eager to please and determined to have your back no matter what.

Eratine Ehrenreich:

Blood Elf Male, 11 - Among the first to die originally, Eratine is a snarky and abrasive brat determined to make your nightmarish life in Ehrenreich all the worse. The second he lays eyes on you he hates you, though he doesn’t seem to get along well with his other classmates either. Still, when you need him most he will do his best to rise to the occasion and his constant nagging seems to be a cover for the very real concern he holds for the others.

Bernadine Ehrenreich:

Electra Female, 12 - Bernadine is a quiet and observant genius who always keeps to herself. Using her inborn abilities to handle and use tech, Bernadine spends her days skipping class and experimenting in her room. The others avoid her and she goes out of her way to avoid them - she has plans, and the other students would only get in the way.

Brigid Ehrenreich:

Fae Female, 11 - Upon learning that her iridescent eyes link her to fae royalty, Brigid will only respond to the name she chose from the historical records of Theun: Princess Hesychia Meloda Ionnina. She’s haughty and high strung, believing that her placement in Ehrenreich is some mistake, and that any day now she’ll be taken to the Theun Organization: Libraria. Believing it to be her ‘noble’ duty, she’s the first to help you when you need it and the first to hide behind you when danger approaches.

Miki-Tane Ehrenreich

Female/Male Xidhe, 12 - Despite their academic genius, Miki is always looking to have fun, often at the expense of others. They’re the first to chant: “Fight!” when fists fly, and the first one blamed when Eratine wakes up with scribbles on his face. Still, when things go bump in the night they’re the one baring the door and when the others are in danger they’re the first to step in front of them.

Diacinth Ehrenreich

High Elf Male, 10 - In the original book, Diacinth was the last of the other students to die - his constant use of invisibility charms and hatred of talking meant he was able to outlast most. He’s painfully shy, though you’d need to be able to see him first to try and start a conversation. He doesn’t sleep in his bed, opting to sleep underneath it, and the few times you catch him unawares he runs away. Still, when you need a pencil sharpener or an eraser, one will magically appear on your desk where the wasn’t one before.

Nonnatus Ehrenreich

Human Male, 10 - Nonnatus wasn’t raised in the church; abused and neglected by a cruel merchant for his powers, he sees the Church as his saviour. Despite the danger lurking around every corner, he refuses to believe the Church or the teachers are behind it. Fiercely loyal and determined to turn a blind eye to all the horrors Ehrenreich has to offer, he sees the others as doubters in the Church’s majesty, you included, and antagonizes them at all costs.

The Older Students

Summary

Leon Ehrenreich

Fae Male, 14 - The oldest of the apprentices at Ehrenreich, Leon feels it’s his responsibility to take care of the others, and tries his absolute best to be a leader. He attempts to pick up the slack when the teachers refuse to teach, and is always worrying after the others’ safety. He adopts you and Astasus as another part of his flock when you two arrive, and helps you adjust to your new life.

Lonnel Ehrenreich:

Female Sine, 13 - Lonnie is a bubbly and welcoming older-sister-type who’s always trying to smooth things over between the others when an argument starts. She goes out of her way to try and be friends with everyone in Ehrenreich, you included, and is often in charge of making food when the students are left hungry. Only problem is she’s never in the dorms when you need her and she often arrives to class late, wandering about the halls when the mood strikes her despite the danger.

Katere Ehrenreich

Female Xidhe, 13 - A timid and kind master of hexes, Katere hates confrontation and is more likely to hide than actually use one of them. Originally she was an apprentice at the Mariazinha Organization in the xidhe homeland Levotos, but was sent to Ehrenreich after a year for reasons she refuses to disclose. Despite being so clumsy, she tries her best to be helpful to Lonnie and Leon in taking care of the younger students. The only exception to this is Miki-Tane, who she avoids like the plague, though no one really knows why.

Zilevis Ehrenreich

Female Dark Elf, 13 - Zilevis denounces everything the Church stands for, including the name they gave her. Only responding to her chosen name of Lolve, she isn’t afraid to get into up in the teacher’s faces, and facing the dire consequences. Spending more time bandaged than not, she fights with everything she has in an attempt to keep the younger students from the horrors stalking the halls. She is brash and unapproachable, but she cares deeply and only wants everyone around her to be safe.

Astica Ehrenreich

Female Forest Elf, 14 - If Lonnie is your doting older sister, Astica’s the sister that teases you and steals your food. She’s just as caring, but Astica’s lazy and won’t go out of her way to do anything. She’s cunning and will try and find ways out of her work, or she’ll trick other people into doing it for her. She has ancestral magic that grants her complete control over water, but refuses to use it for anything other than the most basic of chores.

Other Characters

Summary

Elia

??? Female/Male, ?? - A ghost wondering the halls of Ehrenreich - or at least that’s what they tell you. No one else can seem to see them, and with a sheet thrown over their heads it’s convincing. Whether they’re on your side or against you it’s impossible to tell - they know you aren’t who you say you are, and tells you they’re the same. Mischievous and mysterious, Elia’s motivations are a mystery, their reason for being at Ehrenreich even more so.


Warnings

This will be updated as I get further into the story.

  • Graphic Violence
  • Mature/Offensive Language
FAQ
On the topic of romance:

Because the MC and the other students are children, the most romance there will be in this book will be something on the lines of puppy love/crushes, and the MC cannot pursue anyone. The characters will be the one crushing on the MC, at least for now. They will be RO’s later on, when they’re older. Also, because majority of the older students ended up female a lot of the students in the MC’s physical age group ended up being boys. That’s why there’s more male options than female. Sorry! The later planned books will have more female options.

  • This is my first foray into a WIP so I want to keep it somewhat not long. Naturally, that’s what I thought before I started writing. Now I haven’t even started chapter one and it’s at 30k words… I guess we’ll see! Wish me luck!

  • The player’s age in this game will be roughly eight (may change, but not too drastically.) They will be older in subsequent games.

  • I have the overarching series planned and plotted - the finer details of each book are still somewhat in the air.

Change Log
  1. [12-05-2021] Uploaded - well, everything. Demo uploaded. Tumblr Started. Thread Opened. Word Count: 36k. Average Playthrough: 7k. Progress: Prologue.
  2. [21-05-2021] Update 0.2! Changed stats and character system. Added cues to race selection, as well as trimming down confusing scenarios. Word Count: 60k. Average Playthrough 16k. Progress: Finished prologue. Onto Chapter One!
  3. [02-07-2021] Update 0.3! Added first two parts of chapter one. Tweaked stats. Word Count 98k. Average Playthrough 27k. Progress: 2/? Chapter One.
Issues That'll Be Fixed By Next Update

Thank you to all the people who post any issues/bugs they have!

  • As reported HERE, there appear to be some issues with the choices upon reuniting with the revenant in Chapter One regarding the revmove variable being equal to 0. If anyone else has this issue please let me know so I can gain a larger sample size as I was unable to recreate it.

Feedback I’m looking for:

  • Bugs. I’ve labelled some of the pages a player shouldn’t see as bugs so if you see that, please let me know, in addition to anything else you may find.
  • Any critiques of pacing or code would be very appreciated! If something feels off or something strangely worded - that kind of stuff.
  • At the very end of writing this demo I realized I wanted the story to be told in first person instead of second and I had to change all the you’s and your’s into I’s and my’s. I tried to go over it as finely as I could but if you find any left over second person vocab let me know and I’ll get that changed!
  • General thoughts about the demo - what you enjoyed, what you didn’t. Anything that comes to mind, I’d love to hear it.
  • If there’s still issues with the race features overlapping (like, you choose to be a deanan, reach the ‘are you sure’ part and change your race only you still have horns). I did some things to try and fix it but I’m not sure if it’s gone.
  • Places where the writing feels janky or off.

Feel free to drop by tumblr and ask anything! Thank you so much for your time!

PS: Thank you mods!!! I really appreciate it!

476 Likes

Looks interesting so far. I’ll be watching to see where it goes, definitely different. :+1:t2:

4 Likes

This sounds super cool! I love the premise already.

9 Likes

This seems very promising. I’m not sure how many stories I can think of on this forum with a comparable concept so I’m eager to see what you do with it. I also quite like the glimpses of customization shown at the end and if it proves manageable I hope it will add flavor to the prose as the story continues. Also I didn’t notice any (at least with one quick playthrough) awkward structure or grammatical/spelling errors so that’s always a plus. I look forward to future updates

7 Likes

Interesting premise. I wonder if you intend to go full butterfly effect / chaos theory or have Plot actively auto-correct itself.

3 Likes

Is it just me, or does the plot remind me of: “My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom!” ?

9 Likes

Thanks! I really appreciate it!

Thank you so much! What I have planned in regards to how the customization affects the story is stuff around various character relationships, certain problem solutions that are race/height exclusive, as well as flavour dialogue throughout.

Thanks! While I won’t claim to be an expert on math/chaos theory, the story will lean more into the butterfly effect while still dealing with concepts as fate vs personal choice.

5 Likes

I love the story! I can’t wait for more.

2 Likes

Can anyone tell me if there is a race of dragons?If there is how do get it.I am not able to find it

Hi! I’m sorry to say there is no playable dragon race (though there will be dragons in the game). The ten playable races are as follows:

  • Sine: an aquatic peoples that can breathe underwater.
  • Fae - fairies.
  • Leanan - a peoples with no emotions and an affinity for the dark arts.
  • Deanan - a peoples exiled under the earth with horns and black sclera (white part of the eyes).
  • Xidhe - cat people.

As well as five elf types:

  • Blood Elves
  • Forest Elves
  • Dark Elves
  • Electric Elves (called Electra)
  • High Elves
27 Likes

Me: reads the description You tempt me, you tempt me… reads the part about destroying the school Alright, I’m in. Busy right now, but I’ll definitely read it as soon as I get free

6 Likes

I really enjoyed this –– I haven’t seen something with this plot / concept as an IF before, so I’m very interested.

2 Likes

I really had fun with the choices in the beginning of the story so far. To begin, I found it interesting that how you interacted with Carmine at the start, determined your personality. What I really enjoy is how it seems like you have little influence to change these things. It feels exactly like being stuck in a fantasy world from a book.

6 Likes

Very interesting

1 Like

Awesome I’m always happy to hear that customization will be reflected in the story. Also I got a good chuckle at the dismay over being turned into a catboy in the Xidhe path

2 Likes

Damn, MC just really got isekai’d into this world, huh.

14 Likes

Oooooh~ This is very interesting. Can’t wait for update!

3 Likes

Finally I can be evil muhahahaha…

5 Likes

Definitely bookmarked!!! I’m gonna replay a couple of times just so I can learn the lore from the selective races ^_^’
Premises fighting against a non favorable fate or causing it to come to fruition have always been a favorite of mine.
If it’s okay to ask…Will we ever see Carmine again…? I kinda already have a soft spot for her

5 Likes

Hi there! I love the demo so far, my one piece of feedback is that it would be nice to know more about the races before picking them, or to maybe have a way to confirm that that is the race you want, like with appearance. Other than that, I find it really interesting and I’m looking forward to more!

2 Likes