Fanfic: Deliver Us From Evil Series
"I've always trusted your intuition." Deliver Us from Evil
"Then trust this: no matter how far and how long we are separated, we shall always come back to each other. That is more than an intuition, my dear fellow — that is a promise."
is a Sherlockian fanfic series-in-progress by Aleine Skyfire
, a.k.a. Gwendolyn Frame. The projected five-book series is based on the events of Sherlock Holmes
short stories "The Adventure of the Dying Detective", "The Final Problem" and "The Adventure of the Empty House". Essentially, the series revolves around the peak of Sherlock Holmes's conflict with Professor Moriarty and his criminal empire. The novels with their working titles and taglines are as follows (and will be updated as needed):
- Mortality: Scotland Yard and Dr. John Watson struggle to prevent the goal of London’s greatest crime lord: the destruction of Sherlock Holmes.
- The Road to Reichenbach: Caught in a terrible war, Sherlock Holmes finds that the choices he makes will have far-reaching consequences.
- To Take Up the Pen: With Holmes gone and his reputation maligned, Dr. Watson sets out to honor his memory in The Strand Magazine.
- Those Dark Hours: As Holmes and Watson approach a final confrontation, they must wonder when the cost will become too high.
- Dawn's First Light: When Holmes and Watson reunite, they set out to defeat their one great enemy left: Colonel John Moriarty.
The FF.N summary for Mortality
is: In November 1890, a murder investigation sparks off a chain of events that will end at a Swiss waterfall. Scotland Yard and Watson struggle to stop Moriarty's most devastating plan: the destruction of Sherlock Holmes. First in a series.
There are also a series of non-linear one-shots
, an advent calendar challenge set with related stories
, and a set of 100 sentences
that form an expiremental continuity for the series. Mortality
itself is based off of a story arc in the author's self-published ebook
, At the Mercy of the Mind
Now has a Quotes page
and a Laconic entry
This Series Provides Examples Of:
open/close all folders
Tropes Common in the Series
- Ascended Extra: Patterson is actually the biggest, going from one mention in "The Final Problem" to full supporting character status here. Wiggins's rise is just as spectacular, from two brief scenes in the first two Sherlock Holmes novels to one of the starring supporting characters of Mortality. Lestrade also goes from recurring character to star (one of the leading points-of-view in the novel). Mary Watson and Mrs. Hudson go from recurring extras to supporting characters. Moriarty also gets more "screentime"... heck, we'll just say that there are a LOT of canonical characters that get far more development in this series than they did in the Canon.
- Awesome Mc Cool Name: David Jonathan Wiggins. Geoffrey Michael Lestrade (Geoffrey courtesy of the author's favorite Fan Fic writer, aragonite a.k.a. Marcia Wilson.
- Black and White Morality: As per the source.
- The Clan: Contrary to the popular and strictly canonical image of Sherlock Holmes as a basically friendless man aside from Watson, Deliver Us from Evil shows that the man has acquired quite the honorary clan. There is Geoffrey and Annie Lestrade and their children, the Baker Street Irregulars as sons (50 of them at this point in time), John and Mary Watson, Mrs. Hudson, and, of course, Mycroft.
- Continuity Porn: Utilizing the timelines of three short stories and a veritable host of canonical characters and case references.
- Darker and Edgier: Than most of the Canon - certainly more than the stories the series is based on. Quite a bit more violence and more than a touch of profanity (though still relatively low-key).
- Dark Is Not Evil
- Distressed Dude: Holmes, over and over again. Little wonder he has his Death Seeker moments.
- Eye Tropes: The author does love the characters' eyes.
- A Father to His Men: Holmes is portrayed as being this to his Irregulars, the original "Twelve Apostles" especially.
- Five-Man Band:
- Fix Fic
- Last Name Basis: The narrative calls Holmes, Watson, Wiggins, and Lestrade by their surnames until featuring a scene with a family member who naturally calls them by their given names. Subverted a few times with Holmes and Watson, who sometimes slip into "Sherlock" and "John" in each other's point-of-view.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: Many Ascended Extras, including one Deuteragonist and one canonical Hero of Another Story, plus more than a few Original Characters such as Baker Street Irregulars, family members, and Moriarty-hired criminals.
- Love Hurts
- Manly Tears
- The Power of Friendship
- The Power of Love
- Action Duo: Holmes and Watson, natch, but only in the second-to-last chapter.
- Adult Fear: Touched upon twice by Lestrade in regards to the Irregulars - considering that he's friends with at least one, has another among his constables, and has a nephew in their ranks, he has every right to feel a parental horror at the boys putting themselves in danger.
- Affably Evil: Wheatley. No, not that Wheatley.
- Anger Born of Worry: The book delivers this in heaping helpings, a la Wiggins, Lestrade, and Watson.
- Badass Boast: Watson delivers a pretty scary one to an insignificant little criminal.
Watson: If your master’s actions destroy him whom I regard as — as the best and wisest man I have ever known… make no mistake that I shall hunt down, to a man, everyone who played a part in his destruction.
- Bad-Guy Bar: The Ebon Stag.
- Berserk Button: Holmes is this to Watson. Unfortunately for Holmes's enemies.
- Big Bad: Professor Moriarty.
- British Weather
- Brutal Honesty: Patterson is rather good at this...
- Calling the Old Man Out: Wiggins does this to Holmes. No fewer than three times.
- Can't Kill You, Still Need You: Rather chillingly averted by Moriarty, who makes it clear that Moran is not indispensable. If you wonder, then, why Moran is still around, it's probably simply because his usefulness outweighs his disobedience - and Moriarty just maybe likes having him around.
- The Cavalry: Arrives Just in Time. This is not a bad thing.
- Chase Scene: A possibly gratuitous example near the end of the book, but it's the final action sequence in a novel that, for all its suspense, doesn't have many of these moments.
- The Chessmaster: Moriarty and Mycroft (possibly Patterson, as well).
- Christmas Miracle
- Cliff Hanger: With a Wham Line (see below). We find out that Moriarty is speaking with Mycroft... in the last line of the chapter.
- Clothing Damage: When Lestrade gets his first glimpse of Holmes during the rescue, the narration calls him "half-clothed". The clothes are mentioned again a paragraph later: The ragged shirt that must have once been white was filthy, blackened, and blood-soaked all over, hanging in tatters on Holmes's truly emaciated frame.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: Holmes is tortured literally within an inch of his life. Moriarty and Moran each have their own reasons for ordering his torture, but the men doing it make it very clear that it's pretty much all fun for them.
- Continuity Nod: And how!
- Patterson, the inspector on the Moriarty case in "The Final Problem."
- Culverton Smith and the events of DYIN taking place two years after Watson's first marriage.
- Gregson and Lestrade are at it once again, and Hopkins is not yet an inspector.
- The Baker Street Irregulars, and Wiggins's age in particular (most fic that include him keep him a preteen/teen boy, regardless of the year).
- Holmes's source of information in Moriarty's gang, Fred Porlock.
- Colonel Hayter, and Moran's Tankerville Club.
- Also, it's made clear that the only Sherlock Holmes stories that have been published are A Study in Scarlet and The Sign of the Four, the only two that had been published by November 1890 in real life.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Played with. Holmes is defeated through a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown, but he does manage to kill two men, first.
- Darker and Edgier: Than the original canon, which was, apparently, half the point of the book in the first place.
- Darkest Hour: Chapter 18. Just... chapter 18.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Holmes, Lestrade, and Patterson are frequently described as simply dark.
- Deadly Doctor: Played with. The Serial Killer has all the knowledge of a Ph.D. without actually having acquired his doctorate.
- Deadpan Snarker: Watson and Lestrade - plus, the Yarders tend towards this whenever there are three or more in a room.
- Death Seeker: Holmes, more than once throughout the book.
- Definitely Just a Cold: Holmes goes back and forth on the seriousness of his illness when speaking with different people.
- Diabolical Mastermind/Evil Genius: Moriarty.
- Disney Death
- Distressed Dude: Holmes, just in case you didn't get that.
- The Dragon: Colonel Moran.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: Watson, Lestrade, and Wiggins seriously have to work for their Happy Ending, and Holmes doesn't exactly have an easy time of it, either.
- Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Holmes and Patterson, and it's played to unsettle the other characters (though it's insinuated that Holmes is also Raven Hair, Ivory Skin, i.e. Tall, Dark and Handsome).
- Emotional Torque
- Establishing Character Moment: A few pretty concise ones.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Subverted with Professor James Moriarty, who has a brother, Colonel John Moriarty...
James sighed. He had no patience for his brother's pettiness. It was no fault of his own that he'd inherited all the brain and John all the brawn in their proud military and intellectual family. A bit too independent for his own health Moran might be, but it was infinitely preferable to a younger brother's interminable envy.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Moran shows himself to have some respect for Watson as a soldier and for the sacredness of Christmas.
- Fandom Nod: Several, including Geoffrey Lestrade, John Hamish Watson (Dorothy L Sayers), and Moriarty's The Man Behind the Man involvement with the Red-headed League.
- Plus, Mycroft is said to be based in part on Mark Gatiss in his performance of the man for Sherlock.)
- Speaking of Sherlock, a reference is once made to the popular "not my division" line.
- Holmes, Watson, Lestrade, Moriarty, and Moran are also largely inspired by the Granada series.
- Including one scene's opening that is directly based on Colin Jeavons' performance in "The Six Napoleons". Two words: Lestrade, bed-head.
- Watson's "gullible public" is ripped from Holmes's apparently good-natured barb at the beginning of The Secret Of Sherlock Holmes.
- Fate Worse Than Death: Discussed and invoked by Sherlock in two different scenes of the same chapter. The former pertains to his imprisonment, straying toward And I Must Scream; the latter is in a note to Mycroft.
- Five-Man Band:
- Flashback Nightmare: Used several times for Holmes.
- Flat "What.": Watson shocks Holmes into saying this. Intended to be an Unrevealed Shout-Out.
- Foil: Patterson to Holmes, rather as a deconstruction of the popular image of Sherlock Holmes, in-universe but also in real life.
Word of God:
I think that by Patterson living
the image Holmes attempts to project
, it makes Holmes that much more human.
- Foreshadowing: Mary and Watson each seeing Holmes for the last time before his kidnapping.
- A further-reaching foreshadowing occurs when Moran is scoping out 221B from Camden House.
- Also, Holmes's premonition that this Christmas is the last the "family" will spend together for a long time. It will actually be the last they'll all spend together, because by the next Christmas, Holmes will be Faking the Dead and Mary herself will die before he returns.
- Yet another from the same chapter: one of Moriarty's mooks tries to burn down 221B. Call-forward to "The Final Problem".
- Friendly Rival: Obviously, dynamics have changed between Gregson and Lestrade sine A Study in Scarlet...
- Friend on the Force: Holmes has far more than he realizes...
- Genre Savvy: Wiggins, Lestrade, and Patterson.
- Go Into the Light: Holmes wants this very much, but he realizes that he can't just yet.
- Good Guy Bar: The Crooked Arrow, the preferred haunt of the Yarders (who, in turn, appear to be the Arrow's preferred customers).
- Gory Discretion Shot: Sometimes used, sometimes not.
- Grim Reaper: Makes a silent, spectral appearance to Watson, once.
- Heroic BSOD: Both Watson and Lestrade suffer this in different scenes when they think that Holmes is dead.
- Heroic RROD: Wiggins appears to be constantly concerned that this will happen to Holmes. It finally does when he's Locked In The Dungeon, and he relapses into a fever.
- Heroic Vow:
, there is no use in arguing the point. I shall
search for Holmes.
Whether you help me or not is your choice, but you shan't stop me — you have my word on that.
- Hero of Another Story: Patterson. He's spent most of his career investigating Moriarty.
- He's Back: Three examples over two chapters to the same character.
- First example: see Let's Get Dangerous below.
- Second example: The name switch on the protagonist from Sherlock to Holmes in mid-conversation. After the man has been going by "Sherlock" in the narrative for the past few chapters, while being seriously incapacitated.
- Third example: Invoked by the author in the A/N on that scene.
- Hidden Agenda Villain: Moriarty. It's not revealed until much later exactly why he allows Moran to keep and torture Holmes.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Moran, as he's shot by either Holmes or Watson in a cab chase during which he'd intended to shoot and kill Holmes.
- Horror Doesn't Settle for Simple Tuesday: Played with twice (justified - it's late in the year).
- Culverton Smith purposefully sends Holmes his deadly gift on Guy Fawkes Night.
- Holmes's captivity comes close to invoking a Twisted Christmas, simply because he's held in captivity for that long. Strays towards Fridge Horror when you realize that Moran might have actually re-initiated Holmes's torture on Christmas Day, simply because Holmes would have been too weak beforehand to safely interrogate. ...then again, maybe not.
- Hyper Competent Sidekick: Wiggins to Holmes.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: Played with. Lestrade and Wiggins shoot at a man across the street, but the narrative says that "at this distance, accuracy was a joke." Then Wiggins, up close, shoots the gun out of the man's hand, they struggle for Wiggins's revolver, and the man ends up with a bullet in his head. Wiggins lampshades that bit by saying that it was a lucky shot. "The forehead? Cor."
- I Need a Freaking Drink: Played with — nobody actually says this of themselves in any variation, but a certain Friendly Rival does make this remark about Lestrade:
Gregson: “Good god, the man needs a drink.”
- In Harm's Way: Wiggins is constantly concerned about Holmes putting himself here constantly — out that he is Properly Paranoid.
- In Medias Res
- Inspector Lestrade: Played straight, but in a positive context.
- Insufferable Genius: Averted with Holmes but played straight with Patterson.
- Ironic Echo:
The word "always" was poised on Holmes's tongue, but he stopped himself. The last time he'd promised that, he had been kidnapped less than two days later.
- It's All My Fault: Holmes (justifiably) believes the entire mess of the story to be his fault, though he shows no remorse for the principles that encouraged the mess.
- Watson also experiences guilt for inducing a panic attack in his friend.
- It's Always Sunny at Funerals: Holmes does not appreciate the sunshine after a tragic death.
- Jack the Ripper: Mentioned a few times (usually as "Saucy Jack) as having been investigated by Holmes.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: We don't see Gregson very much in the book, but when we do...
- Let's Get Dangerous: When chased by Moran, Sherlock resolves that he is sick of being constantly afraid and settles into a kind of cold anger, quiet and utterly deadly that had so cowed criminals in the past. In other words... He's Back.
- Light Is Not Good: Twice, light is referenced rather symbolically when Moriarty makes an appearance.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: A few Baker Street Irregulars and several Scotland Yarders feature quite prominently, aside from Sherlock, Watson, Mary, Mrs. Hudson, and Mycroft. And that's just the good guys! See Ascended Extra above.
- Locked In The Dungeon: Played straight for horror.
- Love Hurts
- Madness Mantra: Strays into Tear Jerker territory... I have no one. I am alone. I am no one. I am alone.
- The Man Behind the Man: Holmes surmises that Culverton Smith was working for Moriarty.
- Manly Tears: Watson and both Holmes brothers go through this.
- Multilingual Bonus: A bit of French, a bit of Yiddish, and a bit of Welsh (Holmes and the Lestrades, respectively).
- My God, What Have I Done?: Very nearly invoked by Holmes in his conversation with Lestrade.
- Narrative Profanity Filter: Shows up more often early on in the story and has steadily shown up less over time.
- Never Say "Die": Watson really can't do it.
- Nightmare Face: Upon his rescue, Holmes's face is said to be very damaged. He's not alone, however - his corpse double had been shot through the forehead after being tortured but apparently kept alive.
- Not Afraid to Die: More than once, Holmes prays that he will not die, but he seems to have Watson more in mind than he does his own life. He's not actually afraid of death itself, and, at least twice, he is willing to die.
- Ominous Fog: Subverted in that, though Holmes is kidnapped in the midst of a London Particular, the heroes tend to be grateful for the concealment of London's mists.
- Only Sane Man: Lestrade, whether to the "team" or to his fellow Yarders.
- OOC Is Serious Business: Lestrade's initial reaction to a convalescent Holmes.
- Police Are Useless: Played with. Lestrade, Gregson, and Patterson are all portrayed as competent (in Patterson's case, hyper-competent) detectives, but it's through the efforts of Watson and the Irregulars that Holmes's location is discovered. Patterson actually hires Wiggins privately to throw off Moriarty.
- Power Trio: Lestrade, Gregson, and Patterson as The Kirk, The McCoy, and The Spock, respectively, though one scene makes it clear that Lestrade and Gregson switch roles at times as needed.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Mycroft, Lestrade, and Patterson all play this.
- Rescue Arc: Forms most of the book's Act II.
- Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right: Watson and Wiggins, plus Holmes in a conversation with Lestrade.
Holmes: There can be a significant difference between what the law states and what is right. You know this, Lestrade. You work by this principle, yourself — you simply don't do so as blatantly as I.
- Secretly Dying: Holmes, early on in the book, no less... and not telling Watson proves to be a BIG mistake.
- Sequel Hook: The final chapter and the epilogue, which set the stage for the events of "The Final Problem" with Holmes slipping away to take up an offer from the French government, as per Canon.
- Serial Killer: Officially called a "multiple murderer" and unofficially labeled as a monster by Holmes himself.
- Sherlock Scan: Shown in Holmes's thoughts in the first chapter.
- Shout-Out: The most blatant Shout-Out is this: in one scene, Mycroft and Sherlock call each other "Robin" and "Little John", respectively. (The Robin Hood motif is carried on in a later chapter.)
- Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: With a story so heavily based on the powers of friendship and love, loyalty, villains who don't advertize their evil, and doing what's right versus obeying the law, we see this scale an awful lot. Patterson is living proof that Good Is Not Nice, but Moran is something of a Villain with Good Publicity and Standards. Watson does some possibly surprisingly dark things, but he does them for Holmes. As far as the heroes' philosophies are concerned, Patterson comes out firmly as The Cynic, and Wiggins, despite his past as a street Arab, is probably the biggest Idealist.
- So Proud of You: Watson, actually, with Peter Wiggins.
- Also Holmes regarding Davy Wiggins and the Irregulars in general, though Watson plays the trope straighter.
- Survivor Guilt:
I wished not to have anyone come to harm on my account. Lestrade:
Do you know how many people did come to harm on your account
?" (sees the ashen look on Holmes's face) "Never mind. It couldn't be helped. Holmes:
How many? Lestrade:
Mr. Holmes, I— Holmes: Geoffrey. How. Many
- Tall, Dark and Snarky: Patterson. Surprisingly, Holmes himself doesn't snark enough in this story to warrant the title.
- The Note Knew You Would Frown: No, it truly does, Watson—do not frown at the paper that way.
- Team Dad: Lestrade, who even considers himself something of a father figure to Sherlock.
- Team Mom: Mrs. Hudson, who definitely regards Sherlock as the son she never had.
- There Are No Coincidences: Whether via Word of God or something in-universe, the author really loves this trope.
- Those Two Guys: Stanley Hopkins and Alec MacDonald, who get a One-Scene Wonder in the second chapter.
- Title Drop: For the series — Holmes says the Lord's Prayer while Locked In The Dungeon.
- Torture Always Works: Played with. Just barely averted with Holmes Locked In The Dungeon. But even after Holmes is rescued by The Cavalry, he's pretty far gone.
- Tranquil Fury: Mycroft when speaking with Moriarty. One might expect him to blow his top, considering his rather violent wishes. He doesn't, but it sure does sound as if he's doing the Kubrick Stare at the end of the scene (definitely a Death Glare).
- Trauma Conga Line: Hooo boy, lessee. Right from the prologue, we know that Holmes is in major trouble, then we go back in time two months to find out how he gets to this point. Starts out by getting infected with a mutation of a deadly Asian diseason, which is only cured just in time (though not before putting him through a stomach-churning conversation with a Serial Killer and getting himself in trouble with Watson). Less than a week later, he's kidnapped (quite brutally) and Locked In The Dungeon, therefore being subjected to all manner of Cold-Blooded Torture. He almost hits the Despair Event Horizon but wills himself away from it. Even after being rescued (while half-dead), Holmes deals with fever, frailty, Flashback Nightmares, and Survivor Guilt. He ends up with a Result A, although his actions in the sequel do beg the question of just how well he learned his lessons.
- Left to himself, he likely would have gone for Result C and then died.
- If Moriarty had had his way, Holmes would have experienced Result B.
- It's a pretty much a miracle that he gets Result A.
- True Companions: The Holmes brothers, the Watsons, Wiggins, and the Lestrades.
- True Meaning of Christmas: Invoked by the lyrics of these carols, presented in full: "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" and "Silent Night".
- Twisted Christmas: Attempted by Moriarty's men and thwarted by the actions of Watson, Holmes, and Moran, of all people.
- Victorian London
- Villainous Breakdown: Averted with Moriarty, although both times he is angered in the story, he is well and truly furious.
- Culverton Smith plays it straight upon his arrest, as per Canon.
- The Watson: Averted with the Trope Namer himself — played straighter with Lestrade.
- Wham Line: "And how is your younger brother, Mr. Holmes?"
- What the Hell, Hero?/Calling the Old Man Out: Gregson and Lestrade dish this out pretty hard to Patterson when they believe Holmes to be dead.
- Lestrade also gives Holmes a healthy dose in their first scene together.
- Wicked Cultured: Both Moran and Moriarty.
- Wise Beyond Their Years: Davy and Peter Wiggins are both shown as this, the elder being only 22 and the younger being 20 - though they have a mother and a home, they worked as beggars and pickpockets before being hired by Holmes.
- With a Friend and a Stranger: Watson and Wiggins make their plans with Fred Porlock, a man neither has previously trusted.
The Road to Reichenbach
- Aloof Big Brother: Inverted in "Together" - Mycroft steps down from his pedestal long enough to help Sherlock over to his armchair.
- Christmas Miracle: "Together".
- Cold-Blooded Torture: Again, for Holmes. "Deliver Us from Evil: In One Hundred Sentences" provided a fair amount of material for Mortality.
- Disney Death
- Disney Villain Death
- A Father to His Men: Holmes to the Irregulars, Wiggins especially.
- Fix Fic: "Unraveling the Truth", which was written to work out some of the plot-holes in "The Final Problem" and "The Adventure of the Empty House."
- Insufferable Genius: Patterson. So much so, in fact, that Sherlock Holmes actually decides to cut back on his own arrogance whilst around Watson and Lestrade in the future!
- Killed Off for Real: Mary and baby Arthur in "Those Dark Hours."
- Like Brother and Sister: Holmes and Mary, who are on a First Name Basis.
- Man Child: Mrs. Hudson thinks of Holmes in the early days as being this (part of this story, "The Warrior A Child" is recycled for Mortality).
- Sherlock Scan: In "Alliance", Holmes performs one on Patterson without revealing his results to said Inspector.
- Take That: In-universe, Patterson delivers a subtle one to Holmes... that Lestrade still catches.
- A meta example is the Fix Fic "Unraveling the Truth", in which Lestrade calls Watson out on several elements in the canonical version of "The Final Problem."
- Title Drop: Holmes prays the Lord's Prayer... in the short titled "Deliver Us from Evil".
- Torture Always Works: Invoked several times in multiple stories, most noticeably in One Hundred Sentences and "Bereft".
- True Meaning of Christmas: Touched upon briefly in "Bereft"...
- Twisted Christmas: Well, the criminals try this, anyway, in "Together"... Didn't quite work, and that Christmas ended up being a nostalgic memory in years to come.
- Younger Than They Look: In "The Warrior a Child", Holmes appears "gray and drawn and aged beyond his years" in Mrs. Hudson's nightmare. This is a complete inversion of the author's usual portrayal of Sherlock Holmes, generally as boyish and older than he looks.
"Our Father… Who art in Heaven… hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy… will be done, in Earth as it is in Heaven. Give us… this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts… as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but… deli — oh, dear God, deliver us from evil! For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen."