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Fanfic / All That Dwell Within Your Gates

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You cannot hope to stand against the might of the wraiths! the sandwich shrieks. Miri shrugs and eats it.

All That Dwell Within Your Gates is a 50,000-word collaboration between guardingdark and mylordshesacactus, taking place in a reinterpretation of the Dungeons & Dragons universe.

The first story technically follows the ongoing quest of a traditional five-member D&D adventuring party, but centers almost exclusively around the two main characters—half-elf Bard Miri Thatcher and drow Dread Necromancer Nathcyrl Auvryren. The narrative splits through the frequent use of time-jumps and flashbacks between the primary storyline of Nath being introduced Miri's extremely normal human family, and the gradually-revealed backstory of how the two met and developed a romance, with glimpses into their adventures. In true D&D fashion the story also contains countless unobtrusive Shoutouts to other media, with Discworld, Elementary and Supernatural foremost among them.


Word of God has stated that All That Dwell Within Your Gates will be the first of a series, though given the lengths of each installment the second has yet to be released. However, a brief interlude oneshot set in Arc III ("Sorry, I Don't Speak Common") was published to celebrate Femslash February 2015.

This work contains examples of:

  • Adorable Abomination: Nath is described as being very pretty but in a way that's just incredibly wrong somehow, regularly kills and eats human beings, and has flat pupil-less blood-red eyes. And she is adorable.
  • Aerith and Bob: Invoked in-universe by Miri, who goes by the name Miria Scuttleleaf instead of the more normal Miri Thatcher; this is partly because she's a travelling minstrel, and wants to take advantage of the 'exotic' aspect of her elven blood.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: Deconstructed. The moral side of Alignment is based on what sort of magic is attracted to your aura. Species who don't hail from the Prime Material Plane have less natural variation in that regard.
  • Anachronic Order: The series description expands on this by dividing events into three of the titular 'Arcs', which the narrative jumps between and within at will.
  • Animals Hate Him: Nath somehow managed to kill a pet skeleton.
  • Attempted Rape: Chala's intentions toward Miri were pretty clear.
  • Bawdy Song: Miri's entire retinue is made up largely of these, a reputation that makes it a bit difficult for her to get more respectable gigs.
  • Berserk Button: Don't hurt Miri in front of Nath. Also, don't taunt her about her stepfather. Actually, don't mention her stepfather at all.
  • Blatant Lies: The sugary-sweet romance story Nath tells Miri's family.
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  • Blue Blood: Nath is from an aristocratic background, as evidenced by her formal introduction of herself.
    "I am Nathcyrl, of the House Auvryren. May the gods smile upon your household, madam; your daughter has spoken of you with great respect."
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: Nath is offended when Katerina doesn't attempt to murder her, as in Drow courtships a suitor is expected to survive the poisoning attempts of their partner's family in order to prove their worth; she thinks being denied this chance means that they don't consider her a valid candidate for Miri's affections. She also considers eating humans perfectly acceptable, provided they were killed in self-defense.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Chala really should have known better than to taunt Lolth.
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: Drizzt Do'Urden is facing off against a furious God of Evil. Miri has the bad feeling he's baiting her successfully, and that something horrible is about to happen. Naturally, she spends the entire bristling confrontation insulting his clothes.
    "Why do you have spikes on your boots? [...] Seriously, what are they even for? [...] Did you find the tackiest bard in Faerûn and let him design that stuff?"
  • Combat Pragmatist: Miri's chosen fighting style is to grab the nearest object, fling it at her opponent's head and hope for the best.
  • Common Tongue: Averted; while most of the main characters speak Elven with varying degrees of fluidity (except for Kadek), Nath often needs Miri to translate things for her, and Miri can't understand anything she says in any of the other languages she's fluent in. They actually use this to their advantage; as only the two of them know any Goblin, they often use it to make aside comments to each other on things they don't want the others to understand.
  • Constantly Curious: Carter wants to know everything about everything.
  • Containment Field: Circles of Protection from Evil, aka copfes, aka Devil's Traps.
  • Defiled Forever: How Nath views herself at first. Her character arc focuses heavily on her healing from this mindset and regaining her agency.
  • Disappeared Dad: Miri's father was a travelling Elven bard she's never met.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: A misguided Paladin accidentally slices Miri's calf open in an attempt to "rescue" her from her drow "captor". Literally the instant Miri's blood is spilled, Nath releases a burst of Epic-level magic that rends open the earth and bisects the entire city of Unther, actively channeling the raw power of Lolth seemingly for no reason other than to make absolutely certain that Darrell Remington realized the deep and profound degree to which he had screwed up before he died in agony.
  • Evil Tastes Good: Literally, in the case of the Wraithburgers.
  • External Retcon:
    • Alternative Character Interpretation is acknowledged in the foreword in the case of the cameo by Drizzt Do'urden, who is portrayed as heroic in his source material but whom the authors strongly disliked. Artistic license was also taken with the nature of the Drow and their society so as to make the mechanics of the world more believable.
    • The character of "Darrell Remington" could be another example, though it's really more of a Deconstruction. The Winchesters are commonly considered heroic by the fanbase; but while their counterparts are portrayed loyally to the show's characterization, it's a lot harder to ignore their Fantastic Racism when the audience has gotten to know and love the "demon" they intend to kill.
  • Glass Cannon: Nath can be knocked over by a light breeze, but also channels Lolth and splits the earth open enough to cause a major earthquake when mildly pissed off.
  • God in Human Form: Or non-human, as it happens:
  • Go Through Me: While she never actually says the words, Miri spends most of the ambush by a pair of demon hunters in Unther holding herself between them and Nath, who's temporarily without usable magic. Or so they think.
  • Groin Attack: Mentioned as part of Miri's response to her heckler:
    To make a long story short he pushed me off my chair, and I might have kicked him in the balls on the way down, and somehow three Paladins, a Cleric with really good aim and a bobcat got involved…"
  • The Heckler: A righteous Crusader calls Miri a godless heathen for singing the Hedgehog Song. She responds by cheerfully informing him that he left out the part about being a bastard half-breed.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Darrell Remington isn't going to be a Paladin for much longer.
  • Hidden Agenda Villain: Nobody knows what Nath is actually doing in the World Above, possibly including Nath herself.
  • Humans Are Good: Not all of them, but Helen the innkeeper certainly was: taking in a frightened, shivering Drow child simply because she was frightened and cold and wet, giving Little Nathcyrl warm food and a place to sleep, and defending her from a lynch mob single-handedly before sending her off with a pack of provisions when she found the little girl trying to sneak away the next morning. It's a much-deserved display of kindness towards a child who had experienced very little of it.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Possibly the shortest one in history. All it takes for Nath to instantly drop her channeling of Lolth, calm the magical storm/earthquakes, and revert to gentle, nonthreatening concern and the use of benign sleep and healing spells is Miri whispering "Nath, you're scaring me."
  • Insistent Terminology: Miri is Chaotic Neutral.
  • Insubstantial Ingredients: Wraiths don't actually exist on the Prime Material Plane, but that doesn't stop Nath from making dinner out of one. Apparently it's a racial ability.
  • Insult Backfire: Miri, the illegitimate daughter of an Elven bard, opens her mockery of Drizzt with a casual "You're a bastard."
  • Interspecies Romance: Nath and Miri, obviously.
  • Intertwined Fingers: Miri likes to do this a lot.
  • In Touch with His Feminine Side: Allerod mends cloaks and makes fruit bars in his spare time. He's also, well, a half-elf.
  • Jerkass: Drizzt to Nath. Rennic to everyone. It's even on his character sheet.
    What a total bastard, am I right? Eh? Eh?
  • Kids Are Cruel: Subverted beautifully in Carter and Alice, who accept Nath instantly and make tentative efforts to make her feel safe and welcome.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Characters are aware of the existence of alignments, and Miri makes a mental reference to her Character Level at one point. All major characters have character sheets in a bonus second 'chapter', but while none of them does anything that would be impossible at their given level no other awareness of game mechanics appears.
  • Made of Evil: Nath's Wraith sandwich.
  • Meaningful Echo: The opening paragraphs of the two sections dealing with Nath's nightmares are extremely similar.
    • "Shiny" originated as a Language Barrier when Nath didn't know a Goblin word for "pretty", and became something of a loving in-joke used to reassure each other during stressful situations.
  • Mind Rape: Backfires with extreme prejudice on Miri.
  • Morality Pet: Miri to Nath.
  • My Hovercraft Is Full of Eels: Miri is not to speak Goblin much good.
  • Noodle Incident: Miri's heckler, which the reader only knows about through a story she tells Nath.
    "So, bit of advice, Crusaders don't like it when you agree with them, apparently. To make a long story short he pushed me off my chair, and I might have kicked him in the balls on the way down, and somehow three Paladins, a Cleric with really good aim and a bobcat got involved…"
  • Oh My Gods!: The number of hells you make reference to increases the severity of the curse.
  • Otherworldly and Sexually Ambiguous: Most people have trouble figuring out what Nath identifies as. That doesn't have so much to do with her species as her being transgender does, though.
  • Our Demons Are Different: There are several Infernal races, including fiends, devils, succubi, and drow.
  • Pietà Plagiarism: Nath cradling Miri in her arms to heal her, after the latter was injured in a fight with a Paladin.
  • Rape as Backstory: Nath. Dear gods, Nath. Justified in that her recovery from the experience makes up a large portion of her character arc.
  • Really 17 Years Old: Nath is only 75. Miri doesn't take this revelation very well, though after having some time to think about it her qualms stem more from Nath's obvious abuse and emotional vulnerability than from age differences.
  • Redemption in the Rain: The second time Nath has a nightmare about her stepfather, Miri knows what to do and doesn't accidentally make it worse. Word of God says that the Drow phrase Nath whispers afterward was the couple's first "I love you."
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: All the drow.
  • Religion of Evil: The followers of Lolth. Duh.
  • Security Cling: Nath to Miri, after the second time she has one of her recurring nightmares.
  • Ship Tease: Al and Rennic at an inn in Freedale, hints at Alice and James in the future.
  • Sibling Rivalry: Chala takes it way too seriously.
  • Sleep Cute: Nath and Miri tend to sleep curled up around each other.
  • Spider Swarm: Nath can't really help it. Spiders just sort of show up around her.
  • Team Chef: Nath, to everyone's misfortune.
  • Team Mom: Allerod to the party; Katerina Thatcher while the group is in Freedale. Rather a given as she's actually Miri's mom and the matriarch of the family.
  • To Serve Man: Miri just decides to pretend she doesn't know. In fairness, their food was trying to kill them first.
  • Troubled Sympathetic Bigot: Don is just trying to keep his family safe. And to be fair, his concerns are completely reasonable given the setting.
  • Uncoffee: As far as Nath is concerned, it's not tea if it isn't poisonous to humans.
  • The Unpronounceable: If you can pronounce a drow's name correctly you're probably some sort of deity.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Nath's first day in the World Above is told from her perspective, as opposed to the rest of the story, which is from Miri's POV. As such, it's told very much through the eyes of a lost and confused Drow who doesn't know what chickens are, thinks trees are supporting columns holding up the roof, has never been in a tavern and has a panic attack because she thinks the sky is going to collapse and drown everyone.
  • The Vamp: Don and Chala assume Nath is one of these.
  • Villain Protagonist: We really shouldn't be rooting for Nath (or, for that matter, the party in general).
  • Was It All a Lie?: Chala's reveal causes this reaction in Miri. It wasn't.
  • Where It All Began: The final scene is a flashback to when Nath and Miri first met, and ends with Miri accepting the invitation to join their party.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Fileth; in a vicious shift from the story's usually positive if not lighthearted tone, Miri is trapped in a memory of Nath's brutal torture at her stepfather's hands. Nath was the drow equivalent of five years old at the time.
  • Your Tomcat Is Pregnant: Marvin is actually female. Nath decides not to tell Carter.

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