Chapter 51:

Volume 1 Summary

The Nonpareil of Resh (Act 1)

The following summary and any after serve as a way for new readers to get an idea of what to expect before reading. It can be skipped by any who have read up to this point if they so choose. 

Gwyn Black is a history major in college when one day, a portal opens around his car and transports him to an alien world known as Resh.

On the planet, there are five major species with a humanoid appearance.

The first is the Aqueenians, whose skin color can appear the same as any gemstone. Their skin is shiny, smooth, soft, and highly valued for beauty by their own species.

Gwyn unintentionally drives his car into a meeting of the Aqueenian royalty as they discuss preparing for an annual conference held between all the species. He is treated in the hospital and put under the care and watch of Princess Fiona, who is the outcast child of the royal family due to both her parents.

Fiona's father, King Whitlock, decides that Gwyn should be killed. Gwyn is brought to a coliseum where he encounters a machinal species called Needaimus, which can bond to a limb and grant powers. Gwyn is faced against a creature known as an Unkillable in the coliseum. He begins to experiment with his ability to change things between liquid and solid but cannot kill the aptly named beast. It proceeds to swallow him whole, and Gwyn uses a sword provided at the match's start to cut the beast's insides. He is spat out, and the Unkillable takes a nap.

Due to his achievement in knocking out the beast, Gwyn won the crowd's support and was given the title 'Nonpareil' by the crown prince, Donn Whitlock.

After the match, Gwyn wakes in a hospital and finds the arm he used in the match has been permanently damaged, and he will only be able to use it in a limited capacity going forward.

In the hospital, Gwyn meets Odell, a Hobusian prince who is in the city for the conference. The Hobusians are shorter, with sandpaper-like grey skin and a bony 'crown' that grows from their foreheads like antlers. Their arms are longer than a human, with six fingers on each hand.

Gwyn and Odell leave the hospital and begin to explore the city, where they run into Fiona. At this point, Gwyn has become more complacent and only gets excited about learning the history of Resh.

Fiona takes him through the castle, and he finds himself invited to a meeting with the Netzians.

The Netzians are humans who, in the past, found themselves on Resh. Over the years, they have intermingled with the other species on the planet, and all have features of the other species while retaining a more human appearance.

The Netzians invite Gwyn to join them, but he isn't keen on making a decision at this point in the story. After leaving, he encounters a ceremonial procession of another species called Bentulousians.

The Bentulousians are a warrior species covered with fur. They have elongated faces and pointed ears on top of their heads and tails. Their fur patterns often resembled horse patterns or cat patterns. The females of the species are giants which can stand twice the height of an average person at the tallest.

The day of the conference comes, and Gwyn, Fiona, and Odell find themselves faced with an Aqueenian invader who has two wings. One wing is feathered, and the other is a mechanical prosthetic. She goes by the stage name Dia Mond, has a profession of beauideal on Resh, and is considered a cursed Aqueenian.

Dia gives the trio trouble with her Needaimus abilities and magic, the latter of which is considered a rarity on Resh. In the end, Dia successfully assassinates King Whitlock in the middle of the conference.

After the invaders escape, Gwyn encounters Harlan, who is a Zenotote—a lizard species on the planet. They have scales that can come in the various colors reptiles might have. Their faces can range from elongated to flat, with the flatter ones being considered ugly by the species standards, and Harlan is often regarded as unattractive as such.

Queen Whitlock announces that she is canceling the conference for funeral preparation and reveals that she has discovered that the plot's mastermind was the Mayor of Nun. Nun is a nation-city that does not comply with the others on the planet and has a population mix of species.

The Queen announces that she will send Gwyn and Fiona on a mission to investigate. For that mission, Odell volunteers to join them. Rheba, a member of the Bentulousians, decides to join as well. Harlan and Hal, from the Netzians, are selected by their leaders to join as well.

The team is given a new model of troop transport and are sent out.