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Creator / Nimbus Llewelyn

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A fairly versatile British writer on and Archive of Our Own, known for writing lengthy epics and occasionally getting distracted, but also with an effective side line in short stories. Fandoms written in include, but are not limited to: The Avengers, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, Discworld, Doctor Who, Torchwood, The Dresden Files, Smallville, and Star Wars.

A primarily London based, very well-travelled, even more well-read, and almost painfully British (specifically, Anglo-Welsh, though he seems to identify more with the latter) Gentleman Snarker. Is also apparently a fan of Liverpool FC, something which - thanks to their spectacular highs and lows - he once described as 'a creative form of masochism'.

By his own account, he took to fanfiction in his early teens after following his sister's example, and has hinted that she's a well-regarded writer in at least one of his fandoms, though he isn't exactly minded to say which. She's also implied to be one of the very few fellow writers he sees as being unequivocally better than he is. He thereafter used it as a release valve for the copious amounts of Suppressed Rage that come with being a teenage boy, most particularly one attending a boarding school when you really don't want to. After dabbling with short form pieces and incomplete longer form ones around the Discworld and Temeraire fandoms, he began The Wizard in the Shadows at the age of 14 and thus began a long career of writing Door Stopper sized crossovers, usually complete with a Lemony Narrator. The former is associated with a confirmed Creator Breakdown, while the tail end and his more recent series, Child of the Storm, is associated with a Creator Recovery - one confirmed/necessitated by the fact that as of May 2021, he's stated that he's getting therapy.

He's friends with, among others, the authors of The Magic of Torchwood and De-Aged, as well as A.A. Pessimal, crediting the former two as a key beta/source of advice and an invaluable source of scientific expertise respectively, and the latter as a sufficient influence that in his earlier days he borrowed a couple of characters for some Recursive Fanfiction and lobbied for years, ultimately successfully, for the inclusion of a Black Widow Expy in Pessimal's Assassins Guild cast (after all, it's a school for Assassins with a Black Widow house. How can you miss the opportunity?)

Two of his fics have pages on this site: The Wizard in the Shadows and Child of the Storm. Word of God is that Shadows is Old Shame, and he's previously said that the page only remains because he still thinks that it's better than some of the other fics that have pages on the site (apparently he didn't know that he can't take it down, even if wanted to).

Several of his fics are also recommended on this site including: The Wizard in the Shadows, Child of the Storm, Chaos Reigns (a side story of Child of the Storm), Children of the Stars and Justice is Done.

Stories with their own pages

Has shown trope examples of:

  • Ace Pilot: Deconstructs this. Apparently, it's quite easy to fly a small plane. Once, that is, it's in the air. This is crucial since apparently taking off and the landing are the hard parts.
  • Advantage Ball: A firm advocate of the importance of this trope in combat, remarking that "will does not beat skill", that battles are not games of Top Trumps, and emphasising the importance of surprise attacks.
  • As the Good Book Says...: While he doesn't identify as religious, remarking that he's a vaguely Anglican agnostic in the fine tradition of the Church of England, he can quote from The Bible at great length. This is generally done either on the grounds that it's an excellent work of literature - especially the King James edition - or to annoy someone. Apparently, his favourite passage is 1 Corinthians 13, specifically verse 13: "And now these three shall remain; faith, hope, and love. And the greatest of these is love."
  • Atlantis: is positioning this as a key part of the backstory of Child of the Storm. This may or may not have quite a lot to do with a self-admitted epic binge of Stargate.
  • All There in the Manual: Happily explains plot developments, answers questions and provides short profiles for new characters when some of the audience isn't familiar with them in the author notes or via PM. Actually, the main problem is getting him to shut up.
  • Arc Welding: Fond of this to the point of absurdity.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Until The Wizard in the Shadows, he failed to finish anything that wasn't a one chapter short story, usually being distracted by the next plot idea. Longer hiatuses in between chapters can usually be blamed by something similar, except that he's usually gone to write something further on.
  • Atrocious Alias: Any and all diminutives of his penname beyond 'Nimbus' tend to annoy him, apparently.
  • Author Appeal:
  • Author Avatar:
    • Has tacitly admitted that Doctor Strange in Child of the Storm is this trope, or as close as he's ever likely to get to writing one.
    • Harry Potter in The Wizard in the Shadows was something of an unconscious one, with Word of God admitting that a lot of his issues at the time of writing were reflected in the story, and in Harry in particular. See Creator Breakdown.
  • Berserk Button:
    • While usually willing to accept criticism and making reference to a number of betas/editors, as well as authors he considers his equals or betters (he gushes about copperbadge, for instance) there is an exception. Clell, author of Harry Potter And The Invincible Technomage, who he was told to seek advice from, that story being the recommended model. Since the stated motivation of writing Child of the Storm in the first place was as a direct rebuttal to Technomage, this went down... poorly.
    • Being told what to write, especially if said 'suggestions' follow typical Super Harry story tropes.
    • Understandably, he got very annoyed when reviewers apparently kept haranguing him about how the power sets of several Child of the Storm characters are different from canon. Especially when they do little more than copy and paste various wikis.
    • Character Bashing in general, particularly Ron the Death Eater, techniques he holds in contempt (mostly because he feels it's indicative of a lack of maturity).
  • Black-and-Gray Morality: From The Wizard in the Shadows onwards, this becomes more and more evident in his writing, though with a touch of White optimism floating around.
  • Britain Is Only London: Mostly averts this, though most of the Britain based action takes place either in locations like Hogwarts or in London, partly because of the fact that he's a Londoner.
  • Boarding School: Attended one of these until 2013. Occasionally hints that it had some elements of a Boarding School of Horrors and notes that Hogwarts was very true to life, except that J. K. Rowling significantly understated both the sex and the violence.
  • Buffy Speak: Fairly frequently, in author's notes, on his profile page and in his writing.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: The general consensus among fans of his stories is that he is, in fact, completely insane, but despite (or perhaps because of) this, he's very good at what he does. Occasional comments suggest that he's aware of his loopiness and considers it very helpful as it gives him a different perspective.
  • Butterfly Effect: shows a fondness for this Child of the Storm.
  • Cast Full of Gay:
    • Child of the Storm is a mild example in the younger generation - while Harry and Carol are straight (the latter's orientation isn't directly addressed, but she's interested in men, judging by her mild lusting over Clint's arms and Rhodey's everything, not to mention the enormous UST between her and Harry), Uhtred and Diana tend to be puzzled by quaint little categories, and Jean-Paul is extremely Camp Gay (how much of his behaviour is a façade is up for debate, he is indubitably out and proud).
    • Of the adults, Darcy, the late Howard Stark, John Constantine (and possibly Peter Wisdom) are/were bi, while Loki is pretty much omnisexual (though he expresses disgust at the myths having him as the parent of Sleipnir, Fenris and Jormungand). Then there's Dumbledore, who's gay, as per canon.
    • In a more general sense, a not inconsiderable proportion of the male Hogwarts students are mentioned as perving on Sean Cassidy, Warren Worthington and to some extent, Harry himself, after he hits a growth spurt.
  • Chekhov's Army: As shown by chapters 75 and 76 of Child of the Storm, to be armed with the contents of the Chekhov's Armoury.
  • Chekhov's Armoury: Stocked with just about every variety of Chekhov's Gun on a scale sufficient to challenge J. K. Rowling herself.
  • Complexity Addiction: Possibly his Fatal Flaw, and he's acknowledged it as a problem.
  • Connected All Along: Specialises in this, via Arc Welding. Sometimes, it's brilliant. Sometimes, it's ridiculous, to the point of being off-putting. Sometimes, it's a little bit of both. Which category applies can be a matter of fine judgement, and he's noted that he's trying to scale back on this/make sure that when it happens it's justified In-Universe.
  • Continuity Nod: very fond of this.
  • Continuity Porn: See the Insufferable Genius entry below.
  • Crapsaccharine World: Child of the Storm seems to be one in the Marvel Universe tradition.
  • Creator's Favorite:
    • Loki in the first half of the first book of Child of the Storm, then Harry Dresden in second half onwards, going from a 3 chapter arc to his own two shot spinoff and a major recurring role.
    • Carol Danvers has developed into this in the same story, going from minor supporting character to fully fledged Deuteragonist.
  • Creator Breakdown:
    • Has more than once confirmed that The Wizard in the Shadows, written during his middle teens, was a product of this. It was a response to, and main way of working through, his Real Life issues at the time. For example, thanks to a few years in a Crapsack World with no apparent way home, Harry Potter (the main character) is an unpredictable Mood-Swinger, going from manic cheer to sarky irreverence to grouchy loner to Unstoppable Rage and back again with little to no warning. However, it does end on a lighter, happier, and hopeful note, one carried into its aborted sequel, and his following series, Child of the Storm - though in more tempered fashion in the latter case.
    • He seems to have had another one in May 2021 during the sequel of Child of the Storm, leading to a two and a half month hiatus from all his stories. While this is relatively short (and readers both expressed disbelief that he considered it such and concern for his health), he's noted that it's also quite long by his absurdly high standards. note  He then explained that a lot of his inner demons had finally caught up with him, blunting his muse, and he was getting therapy.
  • Creator Recovery: The tail end of The Wizard in the Shadows is much more optimistic, as is Child of the Storm despite some astoundingly dark moments, and despite another dip, it seems further confirmed by the fact that he's said he's getting therapy.
  • Cuddle Bug: Fond of using this trope to offset the Darker and Edgier moments, blending it with the Security Cling.
  • Cynicism Catalyst: Fond of this.
  • Deadpan Snarker: As much, if not more so, than his characters. Which is quite an achievement. Particularly stupid suggestions/requests tend to draw this, as one response to a particularly stupid suggestion from a Guest Reviewer on Ghosts of the Past (basically, turn the entire thing into a Naruto fic).
    Congratulations – I think that’s actually the stupidest suggestion I’ve ever had.
  • Dear Negative Reader:
    • Usually fairly polite and more than happy to answer questions (often in exhaustive detail), operating an open door policy that consists of answering every review he receives, sometimes even in Author's Notes in the case of anonymous reviewers. However, he sometimes gets snappish, usually at someone demanding an update or someone asking a genuinely stupid question.
    • Repeated stupid questions seem to cheese him off even more, as can be observed by the responses to one persistent anon who went by 'newboy', which got steadily more and more irritable. Since this went on for over forty chapters and the anon ignored repeated requests to get an account so the debate could take some place outside of the now rather lengthy Author's Notes, this isn't entirely surprising.
  • Deconstruction: Quite fond of this in a quiet sort of fashion, exploring the logical implications of tropes such as, say, Younger than She Looks. However, he also likes a good Reconstruction, too, with Child of the Storm beautifully reconstructing the classic Romance Arc with Harry and Carol. Though it has to be said, by all accounts the latter was a complete accident.
  • Door Stopper: On completion, Child of the Storm was longer than War and Peace, Atlas Shrugged and the entire The Lord of the Rings trilogy. The sequel finished at almost 1.1 million words, which would put it in the top 10 longest books of all time. The side-stories are at over 150,000 words put together. And he has plans for up to fifteen more fics in the series.
  • Exact Words:
    • Like Doctor Strange in Child of the Storm (who, not coincidentally, he has conceded to be the closest thing to an Author Avatar that he's ever likely to write), he seems to prefer this approach to outright lying.
    • He also takes an obscure kind of pleasure in pointing out to over excited readers who think that they've picked up a plot point that they should have read more carefully. In one case, there was a throwaway line which appeared to give a clue to the identity of Harry's future wife in Child of the Storm, a source - especially at the time - of rampant speculation among readers and cryptic remarks by the author. Unfortunately, this throwaway line contained one very important word. 'Possible'. As in, 'possible future'.
    • And when he pulled a Tonight, Someone Dies he resurrected them and adds, 'I never said it would stick'.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple:
    • In Child of the Storm, fans have vocally called for Harry Potter/Carol Danvers, on the grounds of the considerable chemistry the two share despite their mutual insistence that they are Just Friends, over the Word of God stated original plan of Harry/Ginny. While he was enigmatic about the former (until the sequel, when he eventually just threw up his hands and went with it, with the two getting together in chapter 46), the latter has long since been confirmed to have been removed, as part of a raft of grand scale changes to the future of the story.
    • The story also manifests an example of this trope, with a strong Bucky/Natasha dynamic woven in, and despite the fact that the fic as a whole is heavily based on the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there's not even a tiny bit of Bruce/Natasha chemistry (despite it being MCU canon).
    • Relatively early on in the same story, he created a poll out of curiosity to see who fans would prefer Harry to be with. Jean Grey won by a clear margin, with Emma Frost and Hermione Granger not far behind, tied in second place. Based on Word of God, Harry's not going to be paired with any of them - Jean Grey is his cousin and Cool Big Sis, though a letter written by a version of Harry from the future notes that she's 'disconcertingly attractive' and pretty definitely shipped with Scott Summers, Emma Frost and Harry are stated not to get on at all and the narration has on more than one occasion noted that Harry very rarely notices that Hermione is female and is 'about as attracted to her as he is to mould'.
  • Fusion Fic: Child of the Storm is one of the 'fused backstory' kind writ large. Very large.
  • Foreshadowing: As he frequently points out, there's a lot of this, so you should pay attention to the tiny details.
  • Gentleman Snarker: Is almost painfully British, has frequently implied that he's of an upper middle class background, including attending a British boarding school of sufficient poshness that he played Eton at sports (apparently they're cheating bastards), and is as much of a Deadpan Snarker as his characters, if not more.
  • I Just Write the Thing:
    • Has occasionally observed that for all his carefully laid plans, his characters have a tendency to go off and do "whatever the fuck they want to". This has apparently resulted in vast plot changes, with apparently up to 400,000 words of miscellaneous future scenes and notes being chucked from Child of the Storm as the plot evolved.
    • More visibly, this happened with Harry and Carol in the same fic. When the latter was introduced, she was meant to be nothing more than a close friend outside of Hogwarts, a muggle (and female) answer to Ron, and a secondary character at most, while Harry was ultimately going to be paired with Ginny Weasley (then, for a while, Gwen Stacy. Both ideas got chucked long before posting). Instead, she became the Deuteragonist, her and Harry's relationship being exceptionally close and fraught with UST which everyone can see, becoming the firm Fan-Preferred Couple, generating three separate ship names - Carry, Harol, and Magic Lantern. They end up getting a Relationship Upgrade in chapter 46 of the sequel, Nimbus having thrown up his hands and given into the inevitable.
  • The Insomniac: Makes frequent reference to writing chapters at ungodly hours of the night/morning, and notes that some of his best/most batshit insane work comes from that time.
  • Insufferable Genius: The genius part is shown by drawing on extensive and obscure canon and slipping it into stories, claiming to keep everything story related in his head, possessing a very large vocabulary, as well as happily displaying an extensive knowledge of history, most Western mythology, international politics, British Law and, most recently, English football, as well as some knowledge of French, Spanish, Latin, and Ancient Greek (though he admits that his Spanish is dire, and his Latin and Ancient Greek aren't much better). The insufferable part is because he quite clearly knows it and is more than happy to show off. However, he does accept corrections. Grudgingly. This occasionally leads to him getting a bit sharp with those who disagree with him.
  • It Amused Me: This seems to be the main reason that he does just about anything.
  • Jigsaw Puzzle Plot: Has developed a taste for this, by Child of the Storm, something that makes guessing what happens next an exercise in futility.
  • Lemony Narrator: Very much so, citing Terry Pratchett and Jim Butcher as two of his major stylistic influences.
  • Like You Would Really Do It: After his Exact Words last time he said he'd kill someone off (those exact words being, 'I said someone would die, I never said it would stick') and previous proclivity of bringing characters Back from the Dead or have them be Spared By Adaptation, readers of Child of the Storm were somewhat sceptical when he next hinted he'd kill someone off. He promptly killed off Luna Lovegood and Arthur Weasley and luxuriated in the tears.
  • Line to God: Practises a 'my door is always open' attitude to readers, encouraging them to PM him questions on fanfiction dot net, and prides himself on answering just about every review that goes beyond 'moar pls', even if, in the case of Guest Reviewers, the answer is in the A/N of the next chapter. Of course, while he doesn't usually lie (unless he feels it's amusing), there's no guarantee that the answer will be helpful...
  • Lying Creator: Generally seems to prefer using Exact Words, but he did once remark cheerfully that the difference between 'hint' and 'red herring' largely depends on his mood.
  • Mathematician's Answer: Sometimes gives these, if he's feeling particularly Puckish.
  • Most Fanfic Writers Are Girls: Averts this and occasionally expresses mild irritation at people assuming that he's a girl because of this trope.
  • Motor Mouth: Gives off this impression in author notes. This tendency to ramble is also reflected in the story, with apologetic A/N's about how he's had to cut a chapter in half because he wrote too much (again) becoming a Running Gag in Child of the Storm.
  • Nice to the Waiter: does his best to reply to every review longer than 'moar pls' and answer every question, while also shouting out to reviewers in general and betas and shown himself to be quite capable of taking a joke. He's also been known to listen to ideas and give honest feedback on them, occasionally evolving into a fully fledged beta reader. However, his patience has limits.
  • Noodle Incident: Has mentioned a number, including having once flown a plane (a small Cessna) - apparently, it's quite easy, once you're in the air. Take off and landing are the hard parts.
  • Old Shame: The Wizard in the Shadows and its connected stories are this, apparently.
  • Original Flavour: he's stated that where possible, he tries to emulate the style of the original canon and maintain the personalities of various characters, which results in often very organic and authentic sounding work. However, it has also been known to result in him getting snippy with those who don't.
  • Playing Against Type:
    • Primarily known for writing epics that dwarf most known works of literature, feature a Lemony Narrator and are generally very funny, yet also wrote three short form pieces entirely devoid of humour. Oddly, he considers them to be among his best works.
    • The Mariner's Woe, (The Silmarillion): Earendil the Mariner slowly going mad.
    • A Patchwork Knight (Marvel Cinematic Universe/The Dresden Files crossover): Bucky Barnes post Captain America: The Winter Soldier being recruited by Mab to be the new Winter Knight.
    • Children of the Stars (Star Wars/Marvel Universe crossover): Rachel Summers, fresh from Days of Future Past, winds up on Tatooine a few years before Phantom Menace and is taken under the wing of Shmi Skywalker. This one is distinctive for being a series of one-shots written entirely in the present tense.
  • Recursive Fan Fiction: Has written some, borrowing a couple of characters from A.A. Pessimal for one Discworld fic, and hinting that a mysterious vampire known only as 'The Welshman' in Child of the Storm is a character from another friend's work, included as a nod to them. He's less keen on the idea as pertaining to his own stuff, though, if it goes beyond a cameo in someone else's work or a different work inspired by his stuff, as he apparently has very particular ideas about what he's going to do and doesn't want them confused or pre-empted by other writers.
  • Revenge Fic: Isn't particularly fond of these, stating repeatedly that character bashing is a sign of bad writing. He also sees Harry Potter And The Invincible Technomage as this, which is a large part of why he has a very dim view of it.
  • Rugby Is Slaughter: used to play the sport and holds this opinion, despite enjoying it (Brits. Go figure).
  • Self-Deprecation: Has been known to wryly admit his own flaws and get somewhat flustered at what he deems excessive praise. This strikes an interesting contrast to his self-proclaimed egomania.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Regularly, usually expressed by the Lemony Narrator.
  • Shout-Out: To the point where a drinking game could be made of picking out the varying references and both The Wizard in the Shadows and Child of the Storm actually has their own Shout Out pages.
  • Shown Their Work: Being a qualified historian, he actually bothers to do the research, most of the time - and accepts factual corrections.
  • Signature Style: A very distinctive one characterised by a somewhat offbeat narrative that usually vacillates between wry and snarky, which takes very strongly from The Dresden Files and Terry Pratchett's Discworld series - though it's not hard to see influences from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and The Order of the Stick. Thematically, he favours complex plots, often with Arthurian themes, which are heavy on continuity and Character Development, dialogue that consists of either monologues or one-liners snapped back and forth, fate kicking main characters very hard in the balls and seriously epic battles. Also fond of Earn Your Happy Ending.
  • Sleep Cute: By all indications, he's rather fond of this trope, using it frequently in Child of the Storm.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: His works usually lean towards the Cynical end of things, though The Wizard in the Shadows, despite being pretty dark at points, was ultimately idealistic. Child of the Storm started as an Idealistic Lighter and Softer fic before abruptly becoming much darker and more cynical, though it manages to more or less stay on the Idealistic side of things.
  • Song Fic: He's been known to dabble in Child of the Storm, usually by carefully interspersing the lyrics at appropriate breaks in dialogue/narration, for dramatic effect.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: In narration and out: In the former, he can happily switch from serious emotional exploration to dick jokes in the blink of an eye. In the latter... he's a university post-graduate with a classical education behind him and a vast repertoire of dirty jokes and foul language.
  • Stronger with Age:
    • Started The Wizard in the Shadows when he was 14, finished it when he was nearly 18. And it definitely shows.
    • The same thing is happening in Child of the Storm, the first book of which was started when he was 17 (and, as he admits, when he was a much angrier person than he is now) and finished at the age of 21, and the second book was started also at 21, and finished a few days after his 28th birthday.
  • Take That!: is far from shy of taking shots at fandom ideas in particular that he considers absurd. Usually in the firing line are:
    • Severitus and associated Draco in Leather Pants tropes.
    • Loki as a mind controlled victim (his favoured take is apparently More than Mind Control - influence, rather than domination).
    • Harems.
    • Mpreg (save when, as in cases such as Torchwood, it's canonically physically possible).
    • Stupid Dumbledore and Evil Dumbledore.
    • The love of both the Avengers and Harry Potter fandoms of slashing every straight character possible.
    • The idea of seriously pairing young teenage characters and Strangled by the Red String in general.
    • His views on Harry Potter And The Invincible Technomage are harsh to say the least, describing it as "how not to write a crossover", and started writing Child of the Storm explicitly as a counter to Technomage.
    • He isn't too fond of The Last Son, either, with a litany of criticisms. On the other hand, he does acknowledge its virtues, noting its improvement over time and considering its Worldbuilding to be nothing short of fantastic, acknowledging its influence on his own writing.
    • The author is also, suffice to say, not very fond of Donald Trump, or any politicians in favour of Brexit. Actually, he doesn't seem to like any politicians very much. Occasional sly jibes aside, however, he tends to keep it out of the story.
    • He is especially not fond of Margaret Thatcher. In reviewing another fanfic that had a character cite Thatcher being compared to the Wicked Witch of the West as an example of how powerful women are often demonized, he argued that Thatcher actually deserved it for ruining tens of thousands, if not millions, of lives, observing that there's a reason there were actual street parties when she died. He did, however, state that she achieved a lot and that like Winston Churchill she was perhaps "the monster Britain needed." Plus, as he also noted, while there were street parties, tens of thousands also turned out for the state funeral.
  • There Are No Therapists: Firmly against this, as demonstrated by Child of the Storm, and firmly in favour of therapy as a whole - and eventually accepted that he needed it himself in early 2021.
  • Trolling Creator: Just occasionally. Possibly the most (in)famous example is that, when asked about Peter Parker (one of his acknowledged favourite characters) appearing and getting bitten to receive his powers, he agreed that it ought to happen. He promptly had Peter get bitten by a vampire.
  • What a Senseless Waste of Human Life: seems to hold this attitude towards The Troubles, and presents the subject neutrally when it comes up in Child of the Storm, remarking that his mother, who grew up in Northern Ireland during the period, didn't like to talk about it very much.
  • Worldbuilding: Specialises in this, as shown by Child of the Storm - though hints are visible in the Shadowsverse - and is occasionally criticised for it, as it can seem like he's more interested in building the world than advancing the plot.
  • World of Snark: Every world he writes. Every single one.
  • World of Badass: More or less every character will be some form of badass.
  • Writing by the Seat of Your Pants: Cheerfully notes a proclivity for doing this, particularly with Child of the Storm - while there's a grand plan, the details are yet to be filled in, some being chucked in at the last minute. Such as major characters.