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Deep Mettle Vol I is now available to read on Royal Road®, where Jay Campbell can be found on the site under the author handle: Voidstep.

From October to December 2022, the book has been released as a bi-weekly, chapter-by-chapter serial under the volume title Pipes and Fusils.

Following publication of the final chapter to the site, a 2nd edition of the volume will soon be available on Amazon KDP in both paperback, hardback and e-book. Date to be announced soon.

Volume II, Tools of War, will begin as a Royal Road serial in January 2023, on the same bi-weekly schedule.

Royal Road® is the home of web novels and fan fictions. In their amazing community, you can find various talented individuals who write as a hobby or even professionally, artists who create art for them, and many, many readers who provide valuable feedback and encouragement.

See you there!

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Cover art by Nataša Ilinčić


Deep Mettle Vol. II - Tools of War

"Little spark . . . you are changed . . ."

Antissa has come under Ratheine attack; not from the walls, but from below - her ancient pipes.

The flooded Hub threatens collapse of the Deep under the fortress, while the scheming Sanhedrin council creeps ever closer to removing Rusper Symphin as Viceroy; the engineer whose protection of the refugees from Naemia amounts to treason.

Tool to a nation on the brink, a Naemian boy enters the desert. Armed with the Disc's arcane 'Sight', Florian Flint now takes his place on a secret task-force contingent led by the High Commander Plamen. Its urgent purpose - in nine days - to locate the hidden river system by which the Rath accessed the pipeworks: the key strategic advantage in Vorth's return to open war.

The Disc itself has other thoughts.


The Cycle Schyluscient is a prospective 5-part series of fantasy novels set in and around the isolated Inwold realms. The opening instalment of the series, Deep Mettle, will be released in 2 volumes; available from Amazon KDP in paperback and e-book formats. Cover art for both volumes is by Nataša Ilinčić.

Deep Mettle Vol I: Pipes and Fusils

1 November 2020 (Paperback)

7 November 2020 (Kindle Edition)

Deep Mettle Vol II: Tools of War


Watch this space for updates!

Deep Mettle volume 1

Vol I

Pipes and Fusils

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Vol II

Tools of War

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