SETTING INFO (READ SECOND)   Posted by Three Ladies.Group: 0
Three Ladies
 GM, 2 posts
 Tell your tale...
 ... and spin your yarn
Mon 4 Nov 2019
at 00:32
This thread will be used for important topics related to the Dresdenverse, as well as this game in general. More may be added from time to time, if requested by players or if I decide more is needed.

Table of Contents
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Magic / The Art
1. General Description
- Magic as Energy
- Magic as a Skill
2. Practitioners
3. Different Forms
- Evocation
- Thaumaturgy
4. The Seven Laws of Magic
- First Law
- Second Law
- Third Law
- Fourth Law
- Fifth Law
- Sixth Law
- Seventh Law

Faith / Belief
1. Objects of Faith
2. Knights of the Cross
- Swords of the Cross
- The Order of the Blackened Denarius

1. New York City, New York
2. The Nevernever
- Faerie
- The Ways

The Unseelie Accords
1. Description
2. Contents
3. Signatories

1. Dresden-Specific Terms


Magic / The Art (required reading for magic users)

General Description
Wiki Link:

The term Magic has two related meanings. First, it refers to a supernatural force or energy described as "the essence of life and creation." Second, it refers to the practice of harnessing this force to produce changes in reality. This practice is sometimes also referred to as The Art. An act of magic is called a spell, and the act of performing such an act is called casting. Most supernatural beings are capable of performing magic, as are some mortals, who are referred to as practitioners.

------- Magic as an Energy -------

Magic is life's essence; generated by living things, and may be thought of as akin to the concepts of Odic force and prana. The human heart, soul and emotions are also powerful sources of magical energy. Black magic comes from negative emotions like lust, fear and anger, which are easy to harness. Some practitioners claim that their own magic is both more difficult to perform and more powerful because it comes from a deeper, truer, and purer source.

Magic exists as a sort of energy field which encompasses the entire Earth. The intensity of this field is the same at all points, because magical energy flows near instantaneously. When a spell is cast, it doesn't deplete the local supply of magic, but rather causes a decrease in the strength of the field worldwide. However, it is possible to isolate a limited area from the global field, which limits the amount of magic available in that area.

------- Magic as a Skill -------

Similar to using firearms, casting spells is a three-step process; gathering energy, shaping it with one's thoughts and feelings, releasing it in the intended direction. It can be very difficult for a single individual to handle all these tasks when performing a large spell, so it is common for three practitioners to work in concert to divide the effort.

Practitioners must be confident in their ability and in their motivation in casting a spell; believing that one is unable to do it, or that it's not right to do it, will preclude him from using that spell.

As a side-effect, magic interferes with the operation of electrical or electronic devices; its severity depending on the complexity of the device and the amount of ambient magic. Although the term "interference" suggests that the effect is temporary, exposure to magic can and often does produce permanent damage to affected devices. Some describe it as an intensification of Murphy's Law (anything that can go wrong will). In the past, this manifested in such ways as causing dairy products to spoil and warts and boils to appear on human skin.

According to some, this phenomenon is caused by the inner conflict of human beings and the resulting magical turbulence; Faerie magic does not harm machinery. Or, more simply, magic is interwoven in Faeries in a different way than mortals, so the side effects are different. Wizards are surrounded by a "murphyonic field", closely linked to their healing powers. As a consequence, Wizards often hex, knowingly or unknowingly, computers, electrical material, and other machinery.

In a spell, energy flows from the left, where energy is provided, to the right, where energy is released. Also, the left hand is the proper hand to carry a staff.

Practitioner is a generic term for an individual who can use magic, with no reference to the user's power or skill. There are a number of other terms, however, which do have such connotations. Most human beings cannot use magic at all, and the percentage of practitioners diminishes with the increase in the power they can command.

- Wizards are practitioners who show the full spectrum of magical abilities known to mortals, and are therefore usually members of the White Council. The Council grants membership only to the top two percent most powerful human practitioners. Yet, even the strongest wizards are insignificant with respect to supernatural heavyweights like the Faerie Queen; very few exceptions, such as The Original Merlin, exist.

- Sorcerers are practitioners whose skills lie primarily in destructive magic, someone who can do some serious violence with magic. While every Wizard is a Sorcerer, not every Sorcerer is a Wizard, so the term is sometimes used as a pejorative, with the connotation of a dangerous or destructive individual.

- Minor Talents are practitioners with a small magical ability.

- Warlocks are practitioners who have violated one of the laws of magic.

Different Forms
There are two main styles of magic- Evocation and Thaumaturgy.

------- Evocation -------

Evocation is a flashy form of magic that has fires, explosions, etc.

Evocation is the most direct, spectacular, and noisy form of magic, or sorcery, and it can only happen in direct line of sight. The practitioner would have to be in the same room as his victims.

This type of magic is what is mainly used in direct combat situations. The ability to use it without ritual allows more focus on combat than anything else. It usually works best with a focus depending on the skills of the wizard. While it takes a while to learn a new evocation, it has the advantage of being able to be used on the fly.

Evocation is referred to as quick and dirty magic. It draws directly from the wizard's will and is turned loose without benefit of a guide or limit. It is dangerous and difficult and is useful for throwing around a lot of energy.

Some do not consider themselves good at evocation because they not have a lot of finesse. There are few who can control it properly and reliably.

------- Thaumaturgy -------

Thaumaturgy is a kind of magic that operates on its target indirectly. Thaumaturgical spells create links between a symbolic representation of the target and the target itself.

Some have described Thaumaturgy in this way: "As above, so below. Make something happen on a small scale and feed it enough energy to happen on a large scale." Thaumaturgical spells can be cast from a greater distance than evocation spells, and the practitioner doesn't need to see the object to be affected, either.

Thaumaturgical spells operate by creating magical links to their subjects. In order to establish such a link, a practitioner of thaumaturgy needs to posses something with a connection to the object to be affected. A fragment of an object remains magically connected to the whole it was once part of, so the simplest way to get a magical connection to something is often to take a piece of it. A being's true name also has a magical connection to it.

Thaumaturgy is employed in various ways. The most well-known example is the voodoo doll, which is a doll magically connected to a person.

It has been used to: keep a loup-garou from biting or slashing; trace items to other items; and even track enemies.

Thaumaturgy originating on the earth doesn't cross into the Nevernever very effectively.

The Seven Laws of Magic
Wiki Link:

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 both practitioners and mortals from harmful magic. The White Council enforces the Laws not only on its own members, but on all human magical practitioners.

The use of magic in a way which causes harm can be a corrupting influence. Practitioners who regularly cause harm through magic become twisted by the experience, gradually growing more power-hungry and insane, until there is no spark of humanity left in them. Wizards who do so are termed Warlocks. Violating any of the Laws carries the death penalty, most often administered by a Warden of the White Council as decapitation by sword. Wardens are the enforcement arm of the Council, tasked with patrolling and protecting the wizard world.

In some instances a form of probation, the Doom of Damocles, is rendered instead. Under the Doom, a Wizard is openly under the suspicion and scrutiny of the White Council and any further infractions will automatically warrant execution. A wizard under the Doom may be assigned to the custody of another Wizard; in the case of another infraction, both Wizards are killed. The Doom of Damocles is rarely invoked, with most Warlocks being quickly executed after a brief trial and guilty verdict.

------- The First Law: Thou shalt not kill by use of magic -------

The often quoted First Law of Magic states that Thou Shalt Not Kill, forbidding the killing, specifically of humans, with magic.

Wizards of the White Council are forbidden to kill human beings through the use of their power. Self-defense is very occasionally allowed as a mitigating factor, though the taint of killing another with magic often remains. This Law is also a primary reason Wardens wield swords. Several times, 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.

If a person uses magic to kill another human the penalty is death. The trial, when one is held, lasts generally less than fifteen minutes and the execution is carried out immediately afterward by beheading.

------- The Second Law: Thou shalt not transform others -------

The Second Law of Magic states that Thou Shalt Not Transform Others, forbidding the shapeshifting of other beings.

This demonstrates why, despite common threats, it is unlikely that you will see someone turned 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: Thou shalt not invade the mind of another -------

The Third Law of Magic states that Thou Shalt Not Invade the Mind of Another, forbidding the use of psychomancy.

Forcible magical violation of someone's mind by extracting knowledge against their will is inherently destructive – it not black magic, but "dark, dark, dark grey". Mind magic is so dangerous that the Council has not even dared trying to explore how to build better defenses.

------- The Fourth Law: Thou shalt not enthrall another -------

The Fourth Law of Magic "forbids the binding of any being against its will", i.e. enthrallment.

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: Thou shalt not reach beyond the Borders of Life -------

The Fifth Law of Magic states that Thou Shalt Not Reach Beyond the Borders of Life, forbidding the use of necromancy.

This Law covers the research and practice of necromancy, described as the summoning, binding, and exploitation of the unwilling dead. Nobody is 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 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: Thou shalt not swim against the Currents of Time -------

The Sixth Law of Magic states that Thou Shalt Not Swim Against the Currents of Time, forbidding time travel, with the purpose of avoiding the paradoxes due to any attempt to change the past through temporal manipulation. Even divination of the future is frowned upon in all but the vaguest, most general instances.

------- The Seventh Law: Thou shalt not seek beyond the Outer Gates -------

The Seventh Law of Magic states that Thou Shalt Not Open the Outer Gates, forbidding the summoning or contacting of Outsiders.


Faith / Belief (required reading for religious types)

Objects of Faith
Wiki Link:

Objects of faith are tokens of a person's belief which can help repel certain creatures of the Nevernever. The Swords of the Cross, wielded by the Knights of the Cross, are good examples of such objects.

Red and Black Court vampires are susceptible to faith magic and can be harmed or possibly killed if they touch an object which embodies a person's faith.

That Includes the Knights of the Cross themselves. When empowered by their faith, their belief, a vampire touching a Knight of the Cross will be burned.

Harry Dresden states that his mother's pentacle represents the five forces of the universe—air, fire, water, earth, spirit energy—in a pattern of order contained within a circle of human thought and human will. He believes his magic is the force of life, of good, something meant to protect and preserve. That was belief enough to tap into the vast power of faith. If one believes in something strongly enough, 'faith magic' can be utilized, though it is not like casting a spell- it simply happens.

It is important to note that objects of faith do not necessarily have to be of Christian origin. Any symbol which represents an individual's spiritual beliefs or ideals has power. Dresden believes in the power of magic - the four elements controlled by the human spirit, represented by the pentacle - and thus his necklace is an object of faith.

Knights of the Cross
Wiki Link:

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 forged with one of the nails from the Crucifixion of Christ.

The knights are a force for Light that help keep the balance with the forces for darkness. When something truly evil happens, one of the Knights tends to show up.

The exact prerequisite qualifications for being chosen are unknown. One working theory is that Knights are descendants of old royalty - which were the subjects of power in the old world.

The main reason for the Knights to exist is to fight the Order of the Blackened Denarius. Whenever they are up to something, one or more of the knights tends to show up to combat them. Their main enemies are the Fallen, and their job is to save the humans who hold the coins and help them free themselves of the Fallen.

------- Swords of the Cross -------

The Swords of the Cross are three Holy Swords made from the three nails of Christ's crucifixion.

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.

While the swords seem to have a base appearance, they will shift their appearance to match whatever the wielder considers to be a 'holy' blade (lightsabers included).

Fidelacchius, The Sword of Faith, is also known as Kusanagi and has the form of a katana.

Amoracchius, The Sword of Love, is also known as Excalibur and has the form of a heavy European broad sword.

Esperacchius, The Sword of Hope, is also known as Durendal, and has the form of a cavalry saber.

------- Order of the Blackened Denarius -------

Wiki Link:

The Order of the Blackened Denarius, whose members are referred to as Denarians, is an organization of fallen angels bound to thirty ancient silver coins, the denarii, and seeking to bond with human hosts. The coins are said to be the silver pieces given to Judas Iscariot in exchange for his betrayal of Jesus. Of the thirty coins, fourteen are currently believed to be in the possession of the church.


Locations (not required but useful)

New York City, New York
The Big Apple, your home, is rich in magic and littered with evidence of supernatural influence. Countless practitioners and creatures call the city home. The city rests on a large confluence of disruptive ley lines, some of which are destructive while others are quite stable- meaning that there is a healthy mix of magic within the city limits.

New York's supernatural community is vast and largely unexplored by the humans that live there. There is a healthy amount of practitioners, and plenty of areas that are considered neutral territory- safe to practice The Art, but violent magic is forbidden within the walls of those havens.

Much like Chicago, which has Undertown (the Sunken City), New York has its own underground network of lairs within the many abandoned subway and sewer tunnels, creatures hiding beneath the surface of the city. Much like Undertown, there are creatures lurking there that mortals don't yet have names for.

The Nevernever
Wiki Link:

The Nevernever is a magical realm of the supernatural separate from the normal world.

The Nevernever is the spirit world. It exists alongside our own as a sort of alternate dimension, but its shape is not the same as the Mortal world. The Nevernever is vast, much, much larger than the mortal world, perhaps infinite.

The Nevernever touches the Mortal world in places where they have something in common, a resonance of energies. If a point in the Nevernever is a dark and spooky place, then it touches a dark and spooky place in the mortal world. But, maybe five feet over, it's only sad, and that leads to a place in a cemetery on the other side of the country.

The Nevernever contains—somewhere—the afterlives realms known by various names: Heaven, Hell, Olympus, Elysium, Tartarus, Gehena and others.

------- Faerie -------

The Sidhe control the parts of the Nevernever that are closest to the Mortal world.  It is separated in two territories ruled by the Summer and Winter Court.

------- The Ways -------

The Nevernever is a scary place. It is wise to do a lot of planning and have back-up when exploring. However, knowing the Ways, the safe paths, can get a person to a far away location quick and easy with a minimum of beastial interference.


The Unseelie Accords (required reading for supernaturals)

The Unseelie Accords are a set of agreements, somewhat similar to the non-magical Geneva Conventions, that govern behavior between its signatories, who are the major powers of the magical world.

Instigated by Queen Mab, the Accords include protocols for etiquette, hospitality, formal duels, and neutral ground. They were last updated in 1994, when the entire city of Milwaukee allegedly disappeared for two hours.

The following are known portions of the Accords, in approximate order of appearance in the books:

There is no spirit of the law, only its letter.

Messengers have license to deliver and receive messages, and to have safe passage granted them as long as they do not instigate violence. Part of a pledge of safe passage or conduct is the promise not to drug any directly offered food or drink, though it is acceptable to do so if the target is a group, rather than an individual.

If a member of the Accords is killed by another member, a close relation to the deceased can demand a weregild in compensation for the death.

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 organisations that represent the duelers pick a neutral emissary from an agreed-upon list. The chosen emissary decides on a list of available weapons, such as magic or will, and the challenged picks one of them, while 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, who collaborate with the emissary to work out the terms of the duel.

Certain places can be signed on as Accorded Neutral Territory; signatories are required not to start any conflict on the premises, and are bound to take any fights outside.

An individual can sign onto the Accords as a Freeholding Lord. He is entitled to rights under the Accords, such as right of challenge, and requires three current members of the Accords to vouch for him.

Known Signatories
The Archive (both as an emissary and as a Freeholding Lord)

The Denarians as a group

Donar Vadderung, CEO of Monoc Securities

Both Faerie Courts

The Vampire Courts

The White Council

The Svartalves

The original Drakul

A semi-immortal shapshifter guru in Ukraine

Two Dragons

The Fomor



Dresden-Specific Terms
The Art- Refers to utilizing magic as a skill...casting spells, performing rituals, etc.

The Accords- The Unseelie Accords, a list of rules followed by the major supernatural factions when dealing with eachother.

The Nevernever- A magical realm of the supernatural separate from the normal world. It is the home of Demons, Fae and the like.

Soulgaze- When a wizard looks into someone's eyes, he sees more than just what color they are. Eyes are windows to the soul. When they make eye contact for too long, or too intently, he gets to peek in through the windows. You can't hide what you are from a wizard's soulgaze, and he can't hide from you.

Sight- This ability goes by many names. It is the ability to see representations of magic on the physical world. For example, if a wizard sees a man whose wife has just died, he might see the man with sword wounds all over his body. It is also able to pierce through various illusions. However, it has a major flaw that prevents it from being commonly used; what is seen is never forgotten. While there is a chance of seeing something positive, the chances are that the wizard would see enough negative sights to drive him into complete insanity.

Focus- A focus is a specially prepared object used by magical practitioners as a tool in performing acts of magic. A focus does not in itself perform magic, and a practitioner does not necessarily need a focus in order to work magic, but it makes it easier for a practitioner to perform a spell. Foci are commonly used to assist with evocation magic, because of its "quick and dirty" nature.