The Realm-by J. Stephen Archer

FBI Agent Louis Freeman’s life is out of control. In the middle of a messy divorce, shunned from the Bureau for a personal indiscretion, and a teenage son he doesn’t understand, he focuses on his hobby: collecting conspiracy theories. 

After an invitation by a colleague to the Kansas City Field Office, with little left for Louis in his hometown, he packs up and heads to the Midwest to start over. 

Desperate to dive into work again, Louis is introduced to a severely shaken Federal witness who was found wandering the highway wearing medieval garb and suffering from what appear to be life-threatening sword wounds. 

The horrific story the traumatized man tells Louis is of a completely immersive, live action role-playing game where guests pay to live in authentic feudal times. Described as spanning hundreds of square miles and containing real castles, real kings, and mysterious boundaries, he also tells of a level of criminality that seems more like a wild conspiracy theory than an actual case.

Louis’ rigid sense of morality is tested when he’s told to forget the case by his boss. After finding compelling evidence of a cover-up, he has no choice but to join the expansive ‘game’ and discover that not only are the kings and castles real, but so is the violence. 

Once inside, Louis will have to learn how to navigate the social, economic, and actual landscape of this feudal land in order to expose the mysterious and brutal truth behind The Realm.