In the small English village of Gallowmere, all is quiet and well...until one Alice Flaversham is taken from her bed in the dead of night by a Bandersnatch- a being of nothing more than animated cloth. Fortunately, one Shadowchaser by the name of Voltaire is there to save the lovely damsel in distress.
Except he doesn't.
And then he gets arrested.
Thankfully, Voltaire is able to convince Inspector Lestrade of the real danger and severity of the situation, despite his rather questionable sanity. Together with the reluctant Inspector and his hellhound, Baskerville, Voltaire goes to rescue Alice from the abandoned castle on the outskirts of the town.
Except the castle isn't so abandoned anymore- Gallowmere's supposedly dead Lord, Palethorne, has returned. Not only that, but he has revealed himself as a powerful Vampire Grand General and brought forth a whole host of nightmares, spooks and all manner of dangerous supernatural creatures. Palethorne is on the eve of a grand plan that Alice will be a key to, something to restore his former majesty and glory and nothing is going to get in is way.
Save for Voltaire, who insists on standing directly in Palethrone's path....but maybe, just maybe, the crazy gentleman can find a way to pull all this off and not get everyone killed...
Shadowchasers: Dance Macabre contains examples of:
- Agent Scully: Lestrade is very like this at first, but seeing as he's a Mundane until the trouble starts, you can't blame him. That starts to change quickly.
- Animated Armor: There seem to be a lot of these in Palethorn's castle.
- Card-Carrying Villain: Palethorn may even be worse than Vlad Bloodletter in this regard.
- Damsel in Distress: Alice, although not the stereotypical one who sits quietly while waiting to be rescued. (She at least tries to put up a fight, even though it's pointless.)
- Deadpan Snarker: Voltaire practically makes an art form out of this.
- Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: Voltaire seems to do this a lot, insulting and threatening both Palethorn and Argol. Of course, given what he claims about his past, he may well be able to back up at least some of his words.
- Didn't We Use This Joke Already??: Voltaire takes this Up to Eleven with in-universe examples, but not regarding jokes (at least not things that are meant to be jokes). When Palethorne insults him and Jalal by calling him "a servant of that mewling mongrel spawn of a peasant whore", Voltaire takes a journal out, and thumbs through it:Voltaire: Let's see "archaic narrow minded tyrant" (what politician isn't these days?), "prejudice driven borderline sociopath" (again, this is supposed to be an insult?), "sexually ambiguous closet cross dresser" (I suppose wearing the flayed skin of a member of the opposite sex does smack a touch of Silence of the Lambs) ah here we are, "mewling mongrel spawn of a peasant whore"... Congratulations you are the eight hundred and forty third person to address my employer by said insult. And wouldn't you know it I don't give anymore of a hag's left tit now then I did the previous eight hundred and forty two times.
- The Dreaded: Palethorn, for two reasons:
- First of all, Palethorn belonged to a group of vampires called the Great Generals that qualify (who were all -including Palethorn - believed to be dead up to now). Voltaire claims that this group was "the Sith Lords, the Death Eaters, Organization XIII, The Order of the Silence, every shadowy covenant of supremely powerful beings ever depicted in popular culture, saturated in nightmare, marinated in hate and raised to the tenth power" and claims that each of them had "powers equal to or greater then a demi god" and that "people speak these names with the same kind of fear and reverence one would any Elder Evil."
- Second, Palethorn was supposedly one of the worst of them, and he is one of the few that there is any confirmed information of. One of his titles is "the Torture King", there are rumors that Overlords of Hell learned methods of torture from him, and the numbers of innocents he murdered numbered in the tens - if not hundreds of thousand. Certainly, if any villain in this series qualifies as infamous, it's him.
- Gothic Horror: Has hit many of the tropes for that genre and will probably hit them all before it is over.
- I Work Alone: The fic is a first for the series in that Voltaire does not seem to work with any other Shadowchasers, at least not currently. However, he does recruit Lestrade as a reluctant partner.
- Knight of Cerebus: Some of Palethorn's minions may even qualify for this Trope. Argol is a member of a species that lives in the River Styx (yeah, that one and claims to have preyed on minions of the Lords of Hell. As for Palethorn himself, see The Dreaded above.
- Mr. Exposition: Voltaire acts like this towards Lestrade a lot (seeing as Lestrade has almost no experience with Shadows) but doesn't like it much. At one point, he complains that he "feels like Wikipedia".
- Noodle Incident: Voltaire seems to be full of them regarding his past. One example was an incident with a giant squid, which he refuses to elaborate on, because his former apprentice threatened him with bodily harm if he ever told anyone about it (and to this day, she can't look at a plate of calamari without blushing, he claims).
- Speak of the Devil: Voltaire doesn't dare even say Dracula's name aloud in Palethorn's castle; the thought of what might happen if she were to show up and two Elder Vampires were in one place (whether they were allies or enemies) utterly terrifies him.
- To Serve Man: Zigzagged with Argol. It's willing to eat humans, but doesn't like to, for the reason explained on that Trope page.
- How Is That Even Possible?: Lestrade is almost pushed to the limit before Voltaire's duel with Argol, questioning just how the creature is able to understand the game at all. This reaction and Voltaire's rather vague response may be meant as a Take That! against fans who question how things in fantasy settings like this are possible. (Or why card games are Serious Business.)