The White Council is a large worldwide organization of human wizards, and is seen as their governing body. It is controlled by the Senior Council. The goal of the White Council is to protect mankind from the abuses of magic as outlined in the Seven Laws of Magic.
The Senior Council is the ruling body of the White Council. In theory the Senior Council is comprised of seven of the oldest wizards in the White Council. When a member dies the next several eldest members of the White Council are put forth as candidates and one is selected to join. In practice this tenent is not always held to. Gregori Cristos was selected as replacement to the deceased Aleron LaFortier even though it is implied he is far from the appropriate age to be normally considered. This selection implies that political skill and personal connections among the White Council might also be an important and unwritten requirement.
The Merlin is the leader of the Senior Council. When members of the Senior Council are absent, the Merlin is endowed with their votes The position is named after the wizard who founded the Council. The current Merlin is Arthur Langtry.
The Gatekeeper is a position in the White Council. The Gatekeepers job seems to have something to do with the several of the laws of magic, his title apparently suggesting an activity with the the Outer Gate. He also seems to have a greater precognitive ability than most wizards. The current Gatekeeper is Rashid.
The Blackstaff is an unofficial position in the White Council.Not a ranking in the Senior Council, nor an official position within the White Council, the Blackstaff is the sole person in the world who can violate any of the Seven Laws of Magic if he deems necessary and be clear of any consequences from the Council. The Blackstaff is also the keeper and wielder of a special staff, the Blackstaff, after which the position is named. The position is currently held by Ebenezar McCoy, who has held it since before his appointment to the Senior Council. One such example of this is how McCoy used his magic to bring a decommissioned U.S.S.R. Communications satellite down on Duke Ortega's castle in South America, killing not only Red Court vampires, but also mortal villagers.
The Blackstaff is a magical staff. It is wielded by the wizard occupying the position of Blackstaff of the White Council. The Blackstaff is literally a black wooden staff. It is similar in most ways to a normal wizard's implement, only where a normal focus would be carved with runes to focus the powers channeled through it, the Blackstaff is devoid of any markings. Harry claims to have a distinct feeling that the Blackstaff appears to have a kind of consciousness all its own, seeming to know its purpose (primarily, killing) and to want nothing less than to carry it out as swiftly as possible. Harry also notes that the more McCoy uses the item, it appears to attempt to exert some kind of control over its wielder, as black tendrils seem to crawl up the arm of the user which appear to hurt the wielder and fade over time. In the course of Changes, Harry Dresden sees the Blackstaff for the first time, witnessing the current White Council Blackstaff, Ebenezar McCoy, summon it from seemingly nowhere. Numerous times throughout the series, Harry and others claim that magic can only be used to perform acts that the user believed in. Once Harry discovered his former mentor's actions as the Blackstaff, he was shocked by his capabilities to break the First Law of Magic despite his teaching Harry the philosophy of magic previously mentioned. It seems plausible that the Black Staff may be able to exert its own will in order to carry out actions that the wielder may not believe in. The author has said that the Black Staff protects the user from the backlash a Warlock experiences when using black magic, the phenomenon of it "being easier to bend someone the more you yourself are bent." It may also allow a wizard to accomplish a GOAL he believes in without believing the magical method is just.
The White Council has existed in one form or another since pre-Roman times. Its headquarters have been moved several times. Among its place of location have been Alexandria, Carthage, Rome, the Vatican in the early days of the Christian Church, Constantinople and Madrid. Since the end of the Middle Ages, for a little under five hundred years, the White Council's headquarters have been the Hidden Halls of Edinburgh; the complex is located beneath the city, with its main part occupying the space under Castle Edinburgh
The Wardens are the military and law enforcement branch of the White Council. Their responsibilities include, protecting both the Senior Council and other White Council members from attacks by other bodies, including the Vampire Courts, the Fae, and Warlocks. Also, serving as judge, jury and executioner when in the field against those who commit most infractions on the Seven Laws of Magic. Wardens can be identified by their gray cloaks and swords, which they use to execute those found in violation of the Laws of Magic, so as not to violate the Laws themselves. Many warlocks are killed resisting arrest, or apprehended after their crimes have earned them a death sentences. Hearings before the Senior Council are rare. Full Wardens wear a grey cloak and carry a silver sword. Because of the former, they are also known as the Order of the Grey Cloak. The swords, as created by Anastasia Luccio, can channel magic in similar ways to a wizards staff, and are owner specific for security reasons. To use a Warden's sword, you would need to adopt that Warden's ideals, motivations and mindset. A powerful wizard wielding a such a sword can infuse it with enough power to shear through obstructions much in the same way a Knight can use his sword to carve through metal. Also, a practitioner can use his Warden's blade to unravel magical workings. An intentional touch (such as the requirement for intentional interruption of a magical circle, rather than an incidental touch) can disrupt warded materials, magical shields and defenses. Those Wardens' who believe most strongly in what they are doing, such as Morgan and Luccio, seem to be more able to put their swords to devastating use. This may because Luccio tied the swords in with faith magic. The wardens have been decimated in the recent war against the vampire courts. Most of their experienced wardens have been killed. This has created a huge need for more wardens but since the ceasefire the wardens have grown greatly, probably due to the recent population growth. This means that a greater number of wizards are being born then before which creates a larger pool of recruits for the wardens. The Wardens now have more battle hardened warriors than at any time in their history, but the vast majority of those Wardens are young, and though veterans of battle, are inexperienced wizards. The Wardens have been responsible for the deaths of hundreds of vampires, Ghouls and demons, in recent years. They also fought two wars against the necromancer Kemmler, the worst dark wizard of the last millennium, and killed him seven times in total. The duties of a warden are
- Executing warlocks
- Enforcing the laws of magic
- Military operations
- Protecting mortals
The wardens seem to have a three rank structure. With various precedents within in each rank.
The basic rank. They are the ones commanded. The basic foot soldiers. Owing to the low number of wardens they seem to be semi-autonomous unless in a major combat situation. Each warden in the USA is based out of a city and usually travels around the immediate area in order to perform their duties. It is not known how they function elsewhere except for the councils headquarters. There seems to be a constant presence there. The more experienced ones probably are based in elite squads. There is no proof though and they might just be formed for emergencies.
It is not known how much power they have over their subordinates seeing as the most detailed commander, Harry Dresden, prefers them to handle stuff on their own. The second in command seems to fall under this rank. They control a couple of cities.
The captain is the commander of all wardens. It is unknown exactly what powers he or she hold compared to the senior council.
The Laws of Magic are a set of rules of the White Council concerning the use of magic. They are intended to prevent the abuse of magic, and protect wizards and normal humans from harmful magic.A wizard violating the Laws, on purpose or unknowingly, is termed warlock. Being found violating the Laws has dire consequences, and the punishment sentenced by the White Council and its Wardens is often death.
The First Law of Magic is Thou Shalt Not Kill. It forbids the killing with magic, specifically the killing of humans. Wizards of the White Council are forbidden to kill human beings through the use of their power. This is the Law that Harry broke in killing his mentor, Justin DuMorne (Justin Morningway, in the television series). Self-defense is very occasionally allowed as a mitigating factor. This Law is also a primary reason Wardens wield swords. Several times throughout the series, Wardens have fought to kill with magic against other human wizards; it's possible Wardens are given somewhat of a free pass in regards to this Law in combat circumstances. The Law is very flexible, however, in regards to things that are not actually human. A wizard may kill, for example, a vampire, ghoul, or any being of the Nevernever without penalty.
The Second Law of Magic forbids the shapeshifting of other beings. Thus demonstrating why, despite Harry's occasional threats, we will most likely never see him actually turn anyone into a frog. Even if done successfully (it is an extremely difficult spell), transformation of another's body against their will – changing a man into an animal, for example – creates an imbalance between body and mind that ultimately degrades the transformed subject's mind to an animal state as well. (Transformation of oneself through magic is not necessarily as destructive, but still risky and potentially hazardous)
The Third Law of Magic concerns the use of psychomancy. Forcible magical violation of someone's mind by extracting knowledge against their will is inherently destructive – Harry describes it as not black, but "dark, dark, dark gray". Mind magic is so dangerous that the Council has not even dared trying to explore how to build better defenses, which gives an advantage to black wizards less bound by scruples.
The Fourth Law of Magic forbids the binding of any being against its will. Enthrallment is the term for dominating another human's mind and personality through magic by binding their will to your own; it is not the same as compelling beings of the Nevernever through arrangements or exchanges. So long as the wizard in question does not actually control the being through magic, the law is not broken. A popular alternative is trapping the creature in a magic circle until it accepts the terms of a bargain, though some Wardens have ignored this distinction in their zeal. As with mind-probing, magically controlling the mind of another person is an inherently destructive and evil act – it is almost impossible to control safely and precisely, and taints the user of the power as well as the subject even if done for the best of intentions. This taint often sends the user into a self-destructive downward spiral, where every act of magical mind control further twists the user and makes more such acts likelier; if the cycle progresses far enough, the user becomes functionally sociopathic, and impossible to rehabilitate.
The Fifth Law of Magic forbids the use of necromancy. This prohibits the research and practice of necromancy, described as the summoning, binding, and exploitation of the unwilling dead (the psychic talent of mediums for speaking to willing spirits is called ectomancy, and is not governed by the same Law). It would also theoretically prohibit any attempt to genuinely resurrect someone from the dead back to true life. In the universe of the novels, nobody is presented as knowing for certain what kind of afterlife, if any, exists; ghosts, even the most apparently intelligent and self-aware, are stated to be only psychic echoes of people created by violent death, not the actual souls of those people themselves. As the Laws are intended to protect humans against the abuse of magic, a loophole in this law (exploited by Harry in Dead Beat) allows the use of necromancy on non-human dead, though the practice is still heavily frowned upon and viewed with a wary eye.
The Sixth Law of Magic concerns the use of magic in relation to time. This prohibits any attempt to change the past through temporal manipulation for fear of paradoxes. Even divination of the future is frowned upon in all but the vaguest, most general instances.
The Seventh Law of Magic is Thou Shalt Not Open the Outer Gates. It forbids the contacting of Outsiders. It is unknown just what the Outer Gates are, but the implication that they mark the furthest boundaries of the universe. Beings from beyond the Gates are known only as Outsiders, and are among the deadliest threats to humanity known – their sheer existence is antithetical to the universe (this may be a Lovecraft-inspired idea, as the Necronomicon has been mentioned in Blood Rites and Backup, and at least some of the beings living on the other side of the Gates are dubbed "the Old Ones" by Harry). They are also noted as being immune to most magic. One Senior Council member is known by the title of the Gatekeeper, conjectured to be permanently assigned to watch for attempts upon them due to the extreme threat.
The Doom of Damocles is a suspended sentence pronounced by the White Council. If a spellcaster uses Black Magic or breaks the Laws of Magic, then the Doom of Damocles is sentenced if they are to be trained by a senior wizard. If the spellcaster uses Black Magic again, the convicted and their mentor are immediately killed.
The Unseelie Accords are a set of agreements (like the Geneva Conventions) that govern behavior between its signatories, who are the major powers of the magical world. The Accords include protocols for etiquette, hospitality, formal duels, and neutral ground, among other things. McAnally's pub is Accorded Neutral Ground, a place where all signatories theoretically agree to refrain from violence, thus serving as a good place to meet and conduct negotiations. The following are known portions of the Accords, in approximate order of appearance in the books:
- There is no spirit of the law, only the letter of the law.
- Beings have license to deliver and receive messages, and to have safe passage granted them so long as they do not instigate violence.
- Part of a pledge of safe passport or conduct is a promise to not drug any offered food or drink.
- Should a member of one faction wrong another faction, the aggrieved party has the right to challenge their enemy to single combat.
- The dueling laws are based on the Code Duello:
- The organizations that represent the duelers pick an emissary from the list of neutral emissaries.
- The chosen emissary decides on a list of available weapons, such as magic or will.
- The challenged picks the weapons, and the challenger picks the time and location.
- The available weapons are not necessarily restricted to those usable by both parties. If the challenger can't use the weapon the challenged chose, they can force the challenged to take their second choice.
- Each party must have a second.
- The seconds collaborate with the emissary to work out the terms of the duel.
- Certain places can be signed on as Accorded Neutral Territory. This means that signatories of the Accords do not start any conflict on the premises, and are bound by their honor to take any fights outside[.
- An individual can sign onto the Accords as a freeholding lord:
- The signatory is entitled to rights under the Accords, such as right of challenge.
- The signatory must have three current members of the Accords vouch for them for them to be able to sign on.
- John Marcone was the first normal human to sign onto the Accords.
A wizard is a form of practitioner and a person with the full range of magical abilities known to mortals. They are considered to be in the upper levels of power in comparison to mortals. A governing council of human wizards exists, called the White Council. A wizard breaking the Laws of Magic and using black magic is termed a warlock. Breaking the Laws results in persecution and punishment by the White Council. Practitioners have two unusual physical characteristics. The first is great longevity: the lifespan of a White Council wizard is measured in centuries. The second is an extraordinary ability to recover from injury. Practitioners don't just heal faster than ordinary people, they heal better. A practitioner's body can recover from injuries that an ordinary mortal's body never could. Furthermore, the recovery is so complete that there sometimes is no evidence that the injury ever occurred. In much the same way that people have varying talents for art, science, or music, practitioners have varying aptitudes for different aspects of magic. What is easy for one may be difficult for another. Harry Dresden, for instance, is very adept at thaumaturgy (particularly at finding things), but less so at evocation. His apprentice Molly Carpenter, on the other hand, has a knack for veils and phsycomancy.
Types of Magic
The soulgaze is a form of supernatural perception. When a practicing wizard and a being with a soul (all mortals along with White Court vampires and others) look each other in the eyes, it begins what is known as a soulgaze. It gives the other a window into their soul, which can’t be faked. It doesn’t relay specific information (you can’t use it to interrogate someone), but it does give one a vague impression on whether they’re trustworthy or not, or if they’ve been psychically harmed, etc. Just like if one were to use their Sight, the memory of the gaze doesn’t fade with time, being as sharp years later as when it happened. One circumstance in which a Soulgaze doesn’t occur, is when a doctor looked into Harry’s eyes. He didn’t so much as look into his eyes, as examine them, which is professional intent.
Soulfire is the ability to use the soul to enhance magic, affiliated with heaven. It is the antithesis to Hellfire. Soulfire uses part of the human soul to enhance the user's magic. The soul regenerates over time and through acts which are "good for the soul", but will kill the user if it is completely drained. Soulfire gives structure to magic. For example, it could theoretically allow a path to be made into deeper Faerie by stabilising the gateway. While angels use this, it is unknown if they use it on its own or bound to a form of magic. Despite being similar to Hellfire in enhancing magic, there is a key difference: Hellfire gives power to the means; Soulfire gives power to the intention . If Dresden uses a spell meant to send a wave of force and knock someone down, Hellfire has made Dresden's wave of force stronger. On the other hand, Soulfire made a silvery hand that Dresden could control, with the same power of the original spell but given direction like a hand (rather than the simple 'push' that it gave before).
A veil is a magical form of concealment which renders the affected either invisible or otherwise unnoticed by most of the magically unaware. Veils can range from simple feelings of aversion to looking in a direction, to a lack of conscious recognition of someone's presence, to a complete state of invisibility and denial of the existence of the physical space in which the veil stands. Veils can be seen through with the Wizard's Sightand perhaps some varieties of sentient magical creatures. For the creation of good veils the creator has to have a good fine control of magic, and has to be calm and still. Being under a veil also always reduces the veiled person's ability to see or perceive the world outside the veil.
The Sight or Wizard's Sight is a form of supernatural vision or perception. Use of the Sight, sometimes also referred to as "third eye", allows a wizard to gaze upon the world and see its supernatural side, allowing the perception of things hidden to the normal eye. What has been seen through the use of the Sight will remain a lasting memory forever, and will neither fade nor be forgotten. Because of this, wizards don't use it often, for it could easily drive them insane. The Sight is similar to, but not the same as, a soulgaze. The Sight usually shows concepts physically, e.g. if a loved one had recently died, a person could have wounds similar to those of a sword, as thought by Harry Dresden. When Molly Carpenter forced her friends off drugs, Harry saw the damage done by her as if a laser scalpel had drilled 2 holes into the victim's head. In the case of Kincaid, a half mortal, half daemon, he appears as a giant, horned, winged demonic man. The Sight can break through illusions, and is generally the method used by wizards to pierce veils. The Sight can also be induced in mundane humans. One known example is the drug ThreeEye, which gave the user the Sight, but also severely strained their minds, as it was unable to be turned off until the drug wore off.
Ferromancy means, literally, the manipulation of iron; it may be a branch of magic which relates to the manipulation of various minerals.
A death curse is a powerful magic curse which can be spoken by a wizard. A death curse utilizes all the power a wizard can access, including the energy it takes to stay alive, and so it is called a death curse because the wizard casting it will die. The curse's target is often the wizard's killer, but it can apparently be directed at anyone, regardless of the target's involvement or nearby physical presence.
Shapeshifting is the act or power of metamorphosis, of transforming physical shape or form. The transformation can involve physical changes from a simple alteration of appearance to a full transformation into another bodily form.
Therianthropy is the act or power of shapeshifting into an animal or animal-like form. A person shapeshifting thus is called a therianthrope or theriomorph. The term is derived from Greek theríon (θηρίον, "animal") and anthrōpos (άνθρωπος, "human").
Most well known are the lupine theriomorphs: werewolves, hexenwolves, loup-garous, and lycanthropes. Other theriomorphs mentioned are werebears, weretigers, and werebuffaloes; the last were a form of therianthropy that was archieved by some Native American shamans. Most common are predator animals, with wolves again being one of the most common. Transforming somebody else into an animal is likely to destroy the person's personality and mind completely and irretrievably, leaving nothing but the animal in the end. Persons with strong minds and wills may manage to retain their human selves for a longer time, up to several years. Because of the harmful effects the transformation of unwilling persons is forbidden by the Second Law of Magic of the White Council. Wizards are also able to shapeshift. The only known shapeshifter is Senior Council member Listens-to-Wind. He is able to shift in various forms in the blink of an eye. His forms include a bear. He also doesn't have to remove his clothes when shapeshifting.
Homes are places of special magic qualities, which are surrounded by and separated from the outside by a threshold. Its most prominent effect is its barrier-like quality to magic, making crossing the threshold impossible or inconveniencing to magic and magical beings unless invited in. A threshold is a magical barrier around a home; it acts like an invisible and intangible field of energy surrounding it and keeps out unwanted magical forces. Crossing a threshold may be impossible or come with great effort or at a cost for some beings unless invited in. Every home is surrounded by a threshold, although there are great variations in strength, and not every living space qualifies as a home. The existence and strength of a threshold depends on the way it is inhabited. Places that feel like a home to its inhabitants, that are connected to emotions and have a history, are stronger than those that are simply a place to live, which are "just a house". Family homes are generally stronger than single households. Old and longtime dwellings, ancestral homes, places with a history of their own are usually very strong, whereas short-term or rented living spaces are weaker. Places that are not homes, like public buildings, hotel rooms, offices, and so forth, as a rule do not have a threshold, possibly barring some exceptions. The magic qualities of a home and its threshold exist only around homes of mortals (possibly only humans). Dwellings of other beings do not induce the existence of a threshold.
A bloodline curse is a powerful ritual used to kill an entire bloodline. The ritual itself involves killing a member of a family, which also brings death to the victim's siblings and parents, then their siblings and parents, etc. until no one is left. This is why killing the youngest member of a family is the best way to make sure the whole bloodline dies, as it doesn't seem to spread to the children. The bloodline curse also works on vampiric bloodlines, where the "parent" is the vampire who transformed a victim.
An entropy curse is a dark spell which alters the probability of death.
Rituals are highly complicated spells. They are done when a wizard can't summon the required focus needed for a spell. Wizards use rituals because they are unable to focus on all the parts of a needed spell. It makes the spell easier to do. Rituals can be as basic as making a magic circle to a Sanctum Invocation. High level rituals are extremely complicated and difficult to get right. The variables in a ritual could include the direction a certain candle is pointing, materials that have certain meaning to the wizard, ties to certain spiritual concepts like the four elements or the mind body and spirit, any other magic tied to the wizard. Some examples of materials that could be used include: a crystal (representing earth), pictures of loved ones (representing heart), hair/blood/etc... (for when directing a spell towards a specific person or group of people), etc... Rituals have a variety of purposes, the most common being tracking people down, summoning, and trapping individuals.
A ward is a magical defense, which can be used for a variety of causes and effects. A ward is a defense set up by a magic user. There are a variety of different ones. From killing to detection to stopping hostile magic. Wards are weak without a threshold. It is possible though to make a strong ward if there is a strong enough power source like a ley line.
A Wardhound is a magically animated statue used for detection and protection. Wardhounds are made from a dark grey-green stone. They have the appearance of Chinese temple dogs, and are very tall. They are not intelligent, but react to and in previously defined stimuli and patters.
Anthropomancy is the magical art of attempting to divine the future or gain information by reading human entrails.
Circle magic creates a barrier to magical forces. A circle is drawn or inscribed on the floor or ground and then invested with a small amount of will. The circle forms a barrier that extends infinitely up and down. Magical energies cannot pass through this barrier in either direction, so a circle can be used to keep something out or to keep something in.
Potions are liquids and powders with magical properties. A potion consists of eight parts: a liquid base, five ingredients to engage five physical senses, one to engage the mind, and one to engage the spirit. These ingredients are different for each potion and for each person who makes them. The potion must also be infused with the wizard's will. Potions were used only early in the series, and fell out of use as the main characters gained proficiency in other areas of magic. Harry has stated that he is teaching his apprentice, Molly Carpenterhow to brew potions.
A focus (pl. foci) is an object through with magic is focused. Foci are mainly used for evocations. They assist wizards that are unable to summon enough will to control the magic. While it is possible to use magic without a focus, it is unadvised. Foci are items designed to help focus power. They are generally used when a wizard is unable to bring up the control needed for a spell. Foci are mainly used in evocations. Described as "quick and dirty" , they are akin to a punch compared with higher levels of martial arts. The wizard channels his power through the necessary focus when using one. Probably the most common type of focus that is used is the staff. The only wizard of any ability known not to use a staff is Elaine Mallory.
Kinetomancy is the magic of energy and movement. It gives the wielder the ability to move objects at will.
A Sanctum Invocation is a ritual spell that binds a wizard to an area of land that has some sort of sentient or sapient properties, known as a genius loci. Most commonly the bond gives power to the wizard but it is known to give other abilities like intellectus if the Genius Loci in question has great age or power. The abilities granted by the bond are unable to have an effect outside the area they control. It is theoretically possible to have such an effect but highly unlikely considering that one with intellectus confined to its territory is considered extremely unusual.
Thaumaturgy is the process of creating magical links between objects or people. Magic flows through one object and is attached to the other. Thaumaturgy is employed in various ways. The most well-known example is the voodoo doll, which is a doll magically connected to a person. Most thaumaturgy requires something to connect the object being used to the greater object, such as blood, hair or nail clippings, etc. It has been used to: keep a loup-garou from biting or slashing; trace items to other items ('finder spell'); and even track enemies (Little Chicago).
The Knights of the Cross, also known as the Knights of the Sword, are a group of people who wield one of three holy swords, each supposedly forged with one of the nails from the Crucifixion of Christ. The Swords of the Cross are three holy swords. The swords are protected by a holy power, a protection that can be broken by trying to use the sword in opposition to the principles it upholds. For instance, the sword of faith will become vulnerable when its wielder breaks a promise. Once that protection is broken, killing an innocent with one of the swords will destroy its powers.
- Amoracchius, The Sword of Love. It has the form of a heavy European broad sword.
- Esperacchius, The Sword of Hope. It has the form of a cavalry sabre.
- Fidelacchius, The Sword of Faith. It has the form of a katana.
The exact prerequisite qualifications for being chosen are unknown. Harry Dresden's working theory is that Knights are descendents of old royalty - which were the subjects of power in the old world. This would fit all the recent Knights known to him: Shiro is descended from the last king of Okinawa, Sanya from Saladin, Michael from Charlemagne. So far, the swords have been temporarily used by at least two people of unknown descent, Karrin Murphy and Susan Rodriguez, which neither lends further proof nor unproof to Dresden's theory. Esperacchius was offered by Michael to the former Denarian Sanya, who accepted. In Death Masks, Shiro Yoshimo was killed; and at his wishes the sword Fidelacchius was given to Harry Dresden for safekeeping. In Small Favor, Michael Carpenter was gravely injured. Afterwards he chose to retire from active Knight duty, also giving his sword to Dresden. As of Changes, Sanya is the only active Knight left. In Changes, the two unoccupied swords were temporarily used, Fidelacchius by Karrin Murphy and Amoracchius by Susan Rodriguez.
The Grey Council is the unofficial name of the counter-Black Council organization created by Ebenezar McCoy. The creation of the Grey Council was proposed by Ebenezar McCoy during the events of Turn Coat. If discovered by the White Council it is likely that the members would either be found guilty of being the "Black Council" or, because of the nature of the organization, treated as a threat equal to the Black Council and its members executed under charges of sedition. It is for this reason that the existence of the Grey Council must be kept secret. At the end of Changes, Donar Vadderung is spotted by Harry with the strike team that went to fight the Red Court while opening a gate directly to Chicago.
The Alphas are a group of human werewolves. They started out as a group made up of university students, who were taught about shape-shift into and being in wolf-form by Tera West. They could theoretically learn new spells, but specialize in shape-shifting. Most of the remaining ones are members of the Chicago Alliance.
The Venatori are a group of people who fight to banish the Old Ones to Oblivion by erasing mortal awareness of them. This conflict is known as the Oblivion War. They fight against the Old Ones, their servants, and any groups that want the Old Ones to remain as a route to power. An example of one of these groups is the Stygian Sisterhood. They are organized into cells so no one of them knows too much information about the Old Ones. A Venator may only know one other Venator. After erasing all mortal awareness of an Old One, the Old One is sealed away in Oblivion and the Venatori themselves forget about the Old One. The Oblivion War is kept a secret, and if any human finds out about it, the Venatori might kill them or recruit them. The war has been going on for the duration of mankind.
The Winter Court or Unseelie Court is one of the Faerie Courts, ruling over part of Faerie in the Nevernever. It is ruled by the three Winter Queens. Faeries allied with the Winter Court are, among others, termed Winter Sidhe, or Winterfae. The Winter Court is ruled by the three Winter Queens: Mother Winter, Winter Queen, and Winter Lady. It also keeps a mortal champion, the Winter Knight.
· The Mother Winter is the oldest of the three Winter Queens. She was the previous holder of the title Winter Queen, and is mother of the current one. She is not referred to by name but by her position. The current holder of the title is Mab's mother, Mother Winter.
· The Winter King is a Wyldfae associated with the season of Winter. He is independent of the Queens, and has a nature that is sort of the opposite of his season's queen. The current Winter King is Santa Claus.
Faeries are a group of magical beings, residing in the Nevernever, specifically the land Faerie, and in our world. Most of the faeries belong to one of the two Faerie Courts of the Nevernever, the Summer Court and the Winter Court. Those that do not belong to either are the Wyldfae. Faeries are magical beings residing in the Nevernever. They are a very heterogeneous group, as there are many different kinds of faerie. Some of them are humanoid in their form, some like animals, and others like various monsters. For a list of Faerie kinds, see the list below. Sidhe cannot speak an outright lie. They are, however, very adept at word plays and the twisting of meaning and literal speech. Words, promises, and oaths are binding to the faeries. They have to make good on their own promises, but also make sure that an involved human does the same. Combined with their way around words, they can often snare an unsuspecting mortal with a bargain or even an accidental promise. Faeries are vulnerable to cold iron, which is deadly to them. Iron and also running water can disrupt faerie magic and glamour. It is possible for faeries and humans to produce offspring, who are called changelings. The faeries have are two great political entities, the Faerie Courts; one of them is called the Summer Court, the other the Winter Court. Both Courts have their territories in the land Faerie. Each Court is governed by three queens, the Mother, the Queen, and the Lady, with the Queen being the ruling sovereign. Most of the faeries belong one of the two Faerie Courts. Those faeries that do not belong to either are the Wyldfae. Types of Faeries include:
The Fellowship of Saint Giles is a group of people who have been infected by Red Court vampires, but have yet to drink the lifeblood of another human to complete their transformation. The Fellowship is named for Saint Giles, the patron saint of lepers and outcasts. The Fellowship helps its members control their urges, support each other, and fight the vampires who infected them. They are allied with the White Council in the war against the Red Court, but have little communication with them. Despite their recent emergence on the playing field, a member of the Blackened Denarius recognized Susan Rodriguezas a member because of her markings.They have mystic tattoos placed all over their bodies that both grant them more restraint and act as a warning when they expend too much strength and are in danger of losing control. Normally the tattoos are not visible, but as the person uses the abilities their partial transformation gives them they begin to change. They initially are black and seem to swirl on the skin. As the Fellowship member reaches the danger zone, the tattoos turn red. The Red Court was capable of transforming ordinary humans into vampires in a two-step process: the human was first infected with the vampiric thirst for blood (gaining supernatural speed, strength and endurance in the process) and then completed the change into the demonic form upon killing a human victim in their first feeding. Infected humans with sufficient strength of will had been known to refrain from feeding for an indefinite length of time (magical bonds, regular exposure to sunlight, and avoiding physical intimacy all helped), but no cure was found for the "half-vampire" infected state before the destruction of the Red Court. It was intimated that the Faerie Queens, or a being of similar power, could cure, or rather completely destroy, the vampiric infection with a magic known as an Unraveling (see Summer Knight). Their hunger for blood made controlling their emotions very difficult, and when in a situation where emotions ran high (such as during a fight or when engaged in physical intimacy), it was much easier for them to lose control.
The Za-Lord's Guard is a small group of minor fae, dedicated to the protection of Harry Dresden, whom they've deemed the "Pizza Lord", or "Za-Lord" for short. The Guard is a comprized of small fae under the leadership of Toot-toot, usually armed with bottlecaps as armour and cocktail swords, box knives and the like for weapons. As described by Toot-toot, "Who do you think keeps the Dread Beast Mister from killing the brownies when they come to clean your appartment? We do! Who lays low the mice and rats and ugly spiders who might crawl into your bed and nibble your toes? We do! Fear not, Za-Lord! Neither the foulest rats nor the cleverest insects shall disturb your home while we draw breath!" In Summer Knight, Harry had recruited Toot-toot and his fellow faeries to assist him in the battle between the Summer Court and the Winter Court. With their help he was able to defeat Aurora and stop her from defeating the Winter Court. The name Za-Lord is short for 'Pizza Lord'. The moniker stems from the fact that Harry would often give the fae pizza in exchange for their assistance. The Guard has also helped Harry to escape from the Gruffs and provide information on several occasions. In Turn Coat the Za-Lord's Militia is created, recruiting more fairies. Unlike the Guard, which is full-time, the Militia is only called upon sometimes. Harry also pronounces Toot-toot "Major-General Toot-toot Minimus commanding the Za-Lord's Elite".
The White Court is one of the Vampire Courts. White Court vampires are the most human-like of the Vampire Courts. They feed off the emotions and life force of their prey. As of Changes, the White Court is possibly the largest and most powerful of the three remaining vampire courts, with the Red Court destroyed, the Black Court having been nearly wiped out and the Jade Court's power and influence unknown. Unlike the other Courts, the White Court prefers to avoid direct confrontation. They are a court of schemers who prefer to stab each other in the back in exquisitely detailed plots to impress the others in the Court, to the extent that direct confrontation is looked down upon and socially damaging. There are different Houses within the White Court, each comprising a close-knit family. There is much in-fighting between the Houses, but House Raith is considered to be the most powerful, with Lord Raith acting as King of the White Court. The Houses are mainly distinguished by their choice of emotion to feed upon, but this has been represented as a strong preference rather than a restriction. Those of House Raith are sexual predators, using their supernatural good looks and psychic aura to attract both men and women. During intercourse, or any direct physical contact where emotions like lust are heightened, they feed off their prey - specifically the energy generated by lust. Victims of the feedings of House Raith grow to enjoy the experience and become bonded to their predator, not unlike a drug addiction. Like the vampires of the other houses, the vampires of House Raith have a weakness to the opposite emotion of the emotion they feed on. Members of this house cannot touch someone who truly loves another, and is truly loved in return. Theoretically, it is possible for the members of House Raith to kill their Hunger if its done at a certain point. To do so, it is believed that they must feed off of someone they love who loves them back, as long as it is their first feeding. House Malvora is a House of White Court vampires. Most of them are phobophages, meaning they feed on fear. Most prefer very strong fear, such as that of being in a potentially deadly situation, but some (such as Thomas's cousin Madrigal) satisfy themselves with smaller scares like those created by horror and slasher movies, of which Madrigal was a writer and director. Like the vampires of the other houses, the vampires of House Malvora have a weakness to the opposite of the emotion they feed on. Members of this house will, as stated by Jim Butcher, "get bad effects from real courage." The vampires of House Skavis feed on despair, preferring to drive a victim into the depths of depression and in many cases driving them to suicide. Like the vampires of the other houses, the vampires of House Skavis have a weakness to the opposite of the emotion they feed on. Members of this house will, as stated by Jim Butcher, "choke on hope." At the moment, Thomas's father is the King of the White Court in name only. In reality, Thomas's older sister Lara is in charge, pulling the strings from the background to keep up appearances.
White Court vampires are one kind of the various unrelated creatures called "vampires". White Court vampires appear human; they prey on human emotion and energies. Their corresponding organisation is the White Court, after which they are named. White Court vampires are born to their vampiric state, rather than being created (as is the case with Black and Red Court vampires). They are for all intents and purposes human until their vampirism manifests, which occurs sometime around the age of their maturity. As with the Red Court, their first feeding, with its subsequent and almost inevitable kill, usually marks their full transformation. However, under specific circumstances, individuals descended from White Court vampires may curtail their transformation into vampires. White Court vampires are not endowed with as much physical strength as Red or Black Court vampires, under normal circumstances. Their physical performance levels (standing jump heights, endurance, and so on) are slightly better than those of an ordinary human of equivalent size and health, but they can channel unused emotional energy as fuel for performance boosts of limited duration. This energy is gained by feeding from their victims through acts of lust. Unlike the Black or Red Courts, White Court vampires do not drink blood. However, similar to the Red Court, the feeding is addictive, and victims usually come back for more. They make up for this lack of physical prowess by having far fewer vulnerabilities than other kinds of vampires. Sunlight and symbols of faith do not harm them at all. (Thomas feels "uneasy" at the thought of entering a church, but this is possibly due more to his own guilt than to any objective vulnerability, as he was physically able to enter the church.) Their power derives from an internal demonic essence they call the "Hunger", which acts as a kind of a battery. If they refrain from feeding for too long, this "Hunger" drives them into a frenzy where they must feed (almost always killing their victims), and can drive them permanently insane. When needed, they can tap into this store of energy to augment their strength, speed, resilience, and healing ability far beyond normal; while doing this, they radiate waves of cold (possibly an illusory reaction of normal humans to their energy sink), their skin whitens, and their eyes turn an unnatural silver. White Court vampire blood is pinkish instead of red. The blood of White Court vampires is described as "a few shades too pale to be human". Their largest weakness is true love. People who are (or who have recently been) in real, affectionate, sacrificial love are highly resistant to White Court control, and can even physically burn and blister vampire skin. Also, White Court vampires are born, not turned like Red and Black Court vampires; if the offspring of a White Court vampire falls in love with someone who feels the same way before feeding for the first time, the love can destroy the demonic side before it can manifest. This allows the person to live a normal, mortal life.