Hidden Forge: Lucem Ac Tenebras (Rewrite in Progress)

by AstralTempest

Original HIATUS Action Adventure Fantasy Romance Grimdark Magic Male Lead Martial Arts Slice of Life Strong Lead
Warning This fiction contains:
  • Gore
  • Profanity
  • Traumatising content

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Note: Currently working on rewriting the story and releasing it on creative-novels. Once I catch up, my chapters will be available there two weeks in advance.

For Ian Hayes, your average 26-year-old security guard, waking up on time for work is his toughest daily challenge. He’s just an average security guard, but what happens when his life becomes anything but?

When a mysterious portal appears in his bedroom one morning, he dives right in and discovers a new world. However, not everything is as it seems in this beautiful world. Although he devotes himself to achieving his ultimate goal of becoming an incredibly powerful blacksmith, many things can go awry.

As worlds begin to collide, what will become of poor Ian?



To support my work on patreon and receive access to advance chapters: patreon

You can also join my discord for announcements and discussion: Discord invitation


Disclaimer: the New cover art is not mine, but I did edit it. If you are the original artist and do not want it used for this, let me know and I will change it.

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Table of Contents
Chapter Name Release Date
Prologue ago
What's the Matter? Part 1 ago
What's the Matter? Part 2 ago
What's the Matter? Part 3 ago
What's the Matter? Part 4 ago
What's the Matter? Part 5.1 ago
What's the Matter? Part 5.2 ago
What's the Matter? Part 6 ago
Forging a Foundation Part 1 ago
Forging a Foundation Part 2 ago
Forging a Foundation Part 3 ago
Forging a Foundation Part 4 ago
Forging a Foundation Part 5 ago
Forging a Foundation Part 6 ago
Forging a Foundation Part 7 ago
Forging a Foundation Part 8 ago
Forging a Foundation Part 9 ago
Forging a Foundation Part 10 ago
Lost and Found Part 1 ago
Lost and Found Part 2 ago
Lost and Found Part 3 ago
Lost and Found Part 4 ago
Lost and Found Part 5 ago
Lost and Found Part 6 ago
Lost and Found Part 7 ago
Lost and Found Part 8 ago
Lost and Found Part 9 ago
Lost and Found Part 10 ago
Lost and Found Part 11 ago
Lost and Found Part 12 ago
Lost and Found Part 13 ago
Lost and Found Part 14 ago
Lost and Found Part 15 ago
Lost and Found Part 16 ago
Lost and Found Part 17 ago
Lost and Found Part 18 ago
Favorite Character Poll ago
Lucem and Tenebras: Origins (Sneak Peek) ago
Journey Part One ago
Journey Part Two ago

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(This is based on the first 17 entries)

This is a good solid story that doesn't go too quick or too slow.  I find the characters very likable and I am looking forward to more chapters being released.

If you are tired of stories all about fighting or just looking for something new, then I would recommend this title.  It is a refreshing take on a Fantasy like world with a small bit of litRPG thrown in.

This is looking to be a story about a blacksmith(apprentice) who learns about not only the trade but also how to reforging the mistakes of his past or at the very least, create a better future.  There are also some hints of a deeper plot and potential enemies for our main characters.

All in all, I'm really looking forward to seeing what AstralTempest comes up with.

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Magic, Blacksmithing and Naked People

Finally caught up (up to Lost and Found 13 at the time of this review)!

If I were to summarise the story so far, it would go along the lines of 'a-blacksmithing-story-where-there's-not-much-blacksmithing-going-on-as-life-seems-to-hate-the-mc-and-deliberately-prevents-the-blacksmith-wannabe-from-blacksmithing. Also, there's Magic and Women interested in the MC.' (Alayna best grill ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) )

Now on a more serious note:


As a reader, it is enjoyable and something I would recommend this to those who want something different from the normal tropes found commonly on RRL. It mixes Medieval fantasy with futuristic sci-fi in a clear and concise manner so if you want a dual world genre, this novel is for you.


On the whole, very good. Easy to follow, read and also brings out imagry needed. There are a few word choices that are iffy, which is why it's not quite 5/5 but that's beside the point.


A very good plot-line. A bit slow at the start, but I think it's needed to build up the worlds. Not only do you have to world-build for one place (Earth), but you have to do it for another (Ragnaros), so kudos to you.

It brings out the contrast between worlds based on fantasy and science fiction superbly. Though the systems in place haven't been fleshed out yet (like magic or the rules of the 'modern world'), I'm sure that would come with time. As such, this rating won't be that high, relative to the others.

The antagonist group, Napur, is also very well thought out. It makes me wonder what you were searching up for *ahem* inspiration for them.

My only true gripe of the story is that...

Spoiler: Spoiler


Not much to say, as I can't see any faults. Word choices come under style, so shouldn't affect this rating.


All of the characters are well-defined. They're memorable and have their defining traits. I could talk more, but I think character is up for interpretation, and having my opinion stated might influence people while reading it.

Final comment:

As a fellow author, I have to admit that in terms of style, grammar and characters, this is much better than my own novel (story is up for debate). Because of that, it shows how much effort you must have put into it, and I understand the strains of how difficult it is to write consistently for your fans (which showed near the later chapters as you had to say sorry more often for lateness). If my whole review doesn't encourage you to read it, at the very least, read this novel to see the passion Astral has put into it.

  • Overall Score

Thank you AstralTempest i'm loving your novel!

This is a good story with compelling and interesting world-building, a nice set of likable characters and the magic system it's limiting in a good way.

The story it's imaginative and well thought out with the MC gaining pretty strong powers without becoming OP in the first 20 chapters.

I love Gaelen as a mentor... He's strong willed and kind, but he also has some secret, it would be ridiculous for him to reveal all his secret and backstory after knowing the MC for just a month.

Ican only give a sincere advice,Pick this story up it's well worth the time!

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Style: very solid STORY telling so far. Easy to follow, clear and concise. Very descriptive but also I think the author need some review on what he described. I've been able to acurratly guess how important things are by how well they are described as encountered. With major places and people important to plot receiving good descriptions while non plotline things become background objects while not necessary bad, I think your wolrdbuilding would get appt of improvement from it, especially as your working with two very different fantasy worlds. For example the arv devices and the hover cars and what not of the original world. Just because plot is more focused in the medieval world doesn't mean the reader won't find them interesting and want to know some about them. And it will help flesh out the kinda place MC calls home even helping with charectoization. While you don't need to heavily describe every little thing. But overall your work is an excellent read regardless. Style 4/5 Loving the story so far, I was entirely expecting the portal to be closed when the MC returned. The fact that the MC can freely travel between the two worlds is extremely unique. I look forward to seeing how this is fleshed out. I think the MC needs a little more challenge. I've seen some flags pointing to random coincidence leading to op charector. So.e random portal opens in his bedroom. Alright that's cool coincidence and premise of a story. Then get strange awesome power okay they we go. Then somehow within a day find the one person who could teach about strange super rare power that's also willing to take him in and help him out till he can provide his own.... If you can see where I'm going with this. Life is struggle, power wealth respect, the reward. Eating that nice grilled steal you worked your ads of to buy, then walked home on the rain to grill in your home is far more rewarding than the cereal your mom pour into a bowl for you I the morning if you get what I'm trying to say. My opinion though take with it some salt. Story 4/5 Grammar: not much to say here. I failed to catch a single error but I don't really have an eye for it. So accept my 5 stats at your own risk. Characters are coming along nicely as you slowly reveal more and more about them, last chapter especially. I would like to see more, meaning more plot important characters, but even just some random denizens of either worlds to act as comparison for the starting cast. Like is Galean and his daughter special with their eye color or is that a pretty common thing. Is the main charector attractive as apparent in his home world where I imagine futuristic plastic surgery and advances in modern medicine and make up could make everyone look like super models? But that's still a minor thing and many things could be implied without it. 4.5/5
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Loving it so far! Up-to-date with chapter forging a foundation part 3


I have found little to gripe with. No tense mistakes that I can remember, chronology is steady, all that good stuff.


There are very few mystevens that I have with the story. A couple weird things was regarding the involvements between a couple of the characters. It seems very unlikely for the connection to be made immediately. On the whole though, it is very very satisfactory.


Nothing to say besides wow. Thinking back I don't think I have seen a single grammar issue. There are a few times where a different word might have been better but it is excellent quality considering most of the sections on this site.


The characters we're very in-depth for the most part. The first woman sexy isn't terribly fleshed out, but I assume that the character will be fleshed out further down the road. The interactions feel very natural minus the blacksmith's, I forgot his name LOL, insistence on him not being involved with Bianca.

P.S. sorry for any mistakes. I did this review on my phone LOL.


  • Overall Score

Very good story, needs to be more widely spread

This has been a very enjoyable story that has succeeded in drawing me in. It might not be as well known as some other stories (I found it on the most recent updates page), but it without a doubt deserves the title of "Hidden Gem". Likeable characters, and interesting setup with a mix between sci-fi and fantasy and what seems to be a solid direction the the story is going on. It has a consistant and fairly regular update schedule and the fact that the story is a member of the "Pledge" and will, one way or another be finished is just the icing on the cake. I hope that further reviews will see this story climb the rankings and earn itself some more readers.