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Messages - dspringer1

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1
DF Spoilers / Re: The Red Court vs. The Fomor
« on: January 25, 2021, 04:59:01 PM »
The Formor were always a weak supernatural nation, protected mostly by the fact that they lived in water (a potent defense vs most supernatural) and because prime territory had humans in it - which the ocean did not.  So basically a supernatural power made up of supernatural refugees and renegades living in territory nobody wants and where attacking them delivers little value.   Additionally their leadership probably has little real understanding of what the modern world is really like or how things changed in the last few hundred years.  Yes they understand cell phones and cars -- but the "meaning" and "impact" of 7 billion people armed with modern weapons and information technology is beyond their leadership which has stayed beneath the seas. 

However, what made them legitimately dangerous was a combination of events
1) The White Council being weak and divided and unable to protect gifted humans.  Add to this that the other supernatural races are probably fine with gifted humans being culled.  So they are picking targets that nearly all supernatural nations do not care about -- and the only one that does is heavily weakened.  This allowed them to build up a significant army. 

2) Insane god with Balor's eye.   Hard to argue that any of the events in Chicago could have happened without the Eye. 

3) They ignored the rules.   In this case the rules of behavior that guide supernatural interaction from breaking guest rights to showing off in front of humans to picking fights that should be impossible to win.  It is often the case that individuals can achieve the impossible if they only refuse to believe it is impossible. This can lead to great goodness or horrible tragedy.  The classic example is Hitler's Germany.  Hitler's entire rise to power and much of their initial success had to do with Hitler's eagerness to make huge gambles by breaking the rules while using bluster, lies and legitimate grievances to stall or prevent the normal consequences.   A house of cards of course - but if he have enough momentum it can be quite successful for a long time.   

2
DF Spoilers / Dresden and Lara
« on: January 22, 2021, 12:07:35 AM »
This is an interesting plot twist that can go so many ways

Pluses
1) Dresden and Lara have a great deal of respect for each other.   
2) They are also clearly attracted to each other in a way that has nothing to do with magic or inner demon beings
3) This ties Lara even more tightly to Mab -- a very strong political alliance for Mab.  After all, the White Court has a great deal of power in the mortal world - where Mab is fairly weak (relatively speaking).
4) It demonstrates Mabs power over Dresden in a very public way right after he was just super scary
5) It provides another layer of protection for Dresden vis-a-vis the white council.  I am sure there are other allies of the White court that would not hesitate to target Dresden before but would hesitate after a marriage.
6) Does this give Dresden access to white court resources?  Aka - cash and favors? 


Negatives
1) Lara feeds on souls -- so hard to see how they can have a marriage without that being a pretty strong barrier
2) Dresden is going to resent the hell out of a political marriage and that will create a lot of issues.  And if it becomes a real marriage then either Mab loses a lot of control over Harry to Lara (aka - she feeds on him scenario) or it turns to love and this becomes very damaging to Lara. 
3) A lot of worry that Lara is infected by outsiders based on odd behavior.  That could have been Justine distorting things-- or it could be a real sign that Justine infected Lara (or visa-versa as her father was probably associated with outsiders as well.
4) A distraction for Dresden. Normally that would be a good thing for Mab, but things are very ugly right now and having her winter knight be off his game would be dangerous. 
5) A political marriage involves obligations on both sides.  What would Mab promise Lara to make this happen?  Or does Lara already owe Mab too much to say no. 
6) Kids - enough said
7) Lara is the responsible type -- and a soul eating vampire.   Relations with Maggie will be complicated.....  of course, this might explain why Maggie goes to boarding school.... 
8.) Dresden will have obligations to Lara that might conflict with his obligations to Mab.  And Mab cannot just override such obligations as winter law applies. 
9) Lara's family are mostly a bunch of monsters.   Her extended family/court even more so.   That cannot end well when Dresden walks into the room.  And they are unlikely to take a few random deaths as well as the winter court did. 

3
DF Spoilers / So what is next
« on: January 15, 2021, 05:07:56 PM »
is the next book Butcher writes going to be another Dresden, his alternate series (with the flying ships) or the strongly hinted YA series focused on Maggie. 

4
DF Spoilers / Re: Why imprison Thomas in Demonreach
« on: January 15, 2021, 05:00:41 PM »
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He didn't try and take Justine to Demonreach and imprison her because between the battle itself and the effort required to bind Ethniu, he was running on fumes. He could barely stand, let alone throw his Will against a Walker.

This makes no sense because he was willing to confront the outsider on the boat where he had access to none of the resources of Demonreach.  If he was too weak, then he should have made up some excuse to stash Justine somewhere else.  Not confront her on the boat. 

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The shield bracelet and stuff made life easier..  The island has a lot of stuff but it isn't exactly the local
magical Ace Hardware store, Harry made due with what was at hand. 

This also makes no sense.  He had a number of visits from Thomas and Murphy while on the island.  He could easily have asked Thomas to acquire a set of tools and some raw materials.    Yet he scratched his staff out with a nail or something instead.     I get that after skin game he was highly distracted and seemed reluctant to get back in the game which may be a natural human reaction, but the time between cold days and skin game is inexcusable. 


5
DF Spoilers / Why imprison Thomas in Demonreach
« on: January 14, 2021, 11:27:56 PM »
I get why Harry hid Thomas on the island.   But I do not get why Dresden put him into the prison as opposed to just stranding him on the island.   Especially as that gave him the opportunity to question Thomas.   Even if he had to imprison him initially, why not release him as soon as he identified Justine as the culprit. 

I am also puzzled why Dresden confronted possessed Justine while on the waters.   He could easily have docked, stepped on the island while having Justine stay aboard.   He then consults with Demonreach and arranges mentally to have Justine imprisoned as soon as she steps on the island.    Probably not good for Justine's body or the body of the baby, but leaving he possessed by the outsider is probably equally bad for both. 

It just feels like the author is deliberately making demonreach less useful to Dresden.  For the same reason, Dresden's reasons for not having his normal foci by this point are also pretty weak.  While I can get it that the author does not want Dresden to be too overpowered to be challenged, peace talks and battleground seemed to be stories where overpowered was not a problem as the enemy was so greatly overpowered to begin with.   

6
DF Spoilers / Re: What happened to Carlos Ramirez?
« on: January 14, 2021, 11:18:36 PM »
I wonder why Dresden burned Carlos during the meeting.    Yes he had to create a distraction, but why target Ramirez (aka - a friend) rather than some warden or other attendee at the meet and greet. 


7
DF Spoilers / Re: Power Creep
« on: July 01, 2020, 05:05:18 PM »
Certainly since the events in Changes destroyed or lost so many of his foci, Harry's foci in later books have been clearly inferior in number and quality.  Many reasons - time, resources, being a ghost, etc -- have explained the gap.   But it feels like there is another reason as Harry could have gotten tools as they are not that expensive and he had plenty of time on the island before cold days. 

Part of me thinks the author has just been deliberately handicapping Harry, perhaps to make the contrast more dramatic when Harry is fully back on his game.    Part of me thinks the author has been shifting the focus away from foci and towards Harry's ability as a wizard.  Similar to how Harry's reliance on potions in book 1-2 mostly fell by the wayside in later books as his spells and foci became more effective.   There have been a lot of improvements in Harry's spellcasting after all in the last few books. 

8
DF Spoilers / Re: Power Creep
« on: June 25, 2020, 11:21:43 PM »
Other enhancements are just as powerful.  In no particular order as I cannot remember which book provides which.
*  After training molly, he can do veils a lot more easily
*  In ghost watching molly, he sees the power of illusion
*  As winter knight, he starts to effectively use cold magic -- first in Changes with mixed fire/cold attack, but I would argue more effectively in cold days
*  Reputation is power in the supernatural world - and Harry both builds reputation and leverages his reputation to get things done
*  His resistance to outsiders realized in cold days
*  His ability to block pain learned in Dead Beat from Lasciel
*  His summoning in book 1 that he used again a bit later in book 4 or 5, but not much since
*  Necromancy knowedge gained in Dead Beat.  he does not use much, but he did use
*  the ability to understand and speak multiple langues (and access to magical theory/history) gained from Lasciel and lost when he gave up the coin
*  He picked up mind magic in a much more effective way (defensively at least) after Turn Coat
*  Bear power belt showed up in book 2 and never came back* 




9
DF Spoilers / What changes with Battleground
« on: May 26, 2020, 04:38:05 PM »
Jim said in an interview that Peace talks was originally going to be a turning point book comparable to Changes.  It turned out to be too complex and the book was split into Peace Talks and Battleground with Battleground being the turning point. 

After Changes, we had big dramatic changes including:
*  Molly on her own, damaged
*  Dresden working for Mab
*  Dresden dead, ghost and back
*  Red Court Destroyed
*  Major power imbalance rocking the supernatural world
*  Dresden comes into his own as Warden of Demonreach
*  Harry looses his job, his home, and his car

What will Battleground Bring in the sense of fundamental upsets in the "norm" comparable to what happened in changes?

Possibilities that have been hinted at or speculate on before
1) Ebeneezer dead -- and Dresden the new Blackstaff
2) The mortal world becomes "aware" of the supernatural and starts taking a very active role in the supernatural events
3) Open power struggle/splintering of the White Council
4) Public declaration of the existence of the Black Council - as an supernatural agency directly opposed to the White Council - and the White Council makes serious changes in response.
5) Thomas takes over the White Court as the White King.
6) Harry shows the world he can imprison beings in Demonreach - when they are NOT on the island
7) The Merlin dies
8) Paranet is established as a supernatural org under the accords and begins acting like a supernatural nation

What else am I missing?  Which of the above possibilities (including any new ones mentioned later) seem likely?


10
DF Spoilers / Re: WAG: Mirror! Mirror!
« on: December 10, 2019, 05:06:10 PM »
There are only two decisions at the end of the book that were "major".   

1) Did he say "I love you" to Susan when trapped in the room

2) Did he accept or refuse the vampire's offer at the end "to walk away" at the price of leaving Susan behind. 

Both would most likely have led to Susan's death (or becoming a blood thrall) and both would likely have delayed the war with the Red Court.  In the first Susan's death would have made it acceptable for Dresden to accept an adjudicated settlement and the chance for later revenge.   The 2nd required that same outcome. 

No war would have prevented the mass extermination of Wardens and delayed the actions of the Kemlerites quite a bit.  So the events in Dead Beat would not have happened and Harry would never become a warden.  As his warden status and relationship with Lucio went a long way to reconciling Harry with the White Council, it is easy to speculate that Harry's interactions with the council get worse rather than better, especially with the "negotiated settlement" likely to really piss Harry off.  Enough worse that when Molly exhibited power, he would not have trusted them to judge her correctly.   

And at some point the war with the Red Court will start up -- with Harry's help- but this time the White Council really will blame Harry. 

At that point, I suspect plots have diverged significantly and I will have to wait for Mirror Mirror to see what ended up.   

11
DF Spoilers / Re: Any news on Peace Talks
« on: December 10, 2019, 04:54:05 PM »
Quote
The swords, like Mouse, like pretty much any really significant power - are incredible and unstoppable in the right circumstances. Mouse powered up by the Carpenter house is much stronger than when powered up by Dresden's poor threshold ("from the Thing to the Hulk" WOJ). The Archangels and the Mothers and the Walkers are incredibly powerful, but only in very specific situations. Choice seems to unlock the power, but so does destiny (which one could argue is the result of a line of choices - no wonder you can't fight fate). Harry was never a Knight of the Cross, and so could never wield a blade like one. Although I do admit, Jim does seem to vary the powers of the Swords a lot. Early Michael was way less powerful than later Michael, despite the damaged leg. Karen makes them all look pitiful, and despite Shiro supposedly being a Sword-Saint we never saw him unleash the way Karen did. Sanya is as true KotC but has he ever been as strong as the others? A good argument might be that Jim needed to super-charge them for the writing later in the series as events demanded. Also perhaps one could argue as the stakes get higher, so does the power of the swords increase (we are getting close to the end of the world).

This was explained in one of the books.  The power of the knights (or the swords if you like) is not fixed.   Their purpose is to balance the scales so that human skill, will and morality will decide the battle, not supernatural power.  So if the knight needs to fight two vampires, you get power X.   If the knight needs to battle a frigging dragon, he gets power 5X. 

I suspect there is a range of possible power.  A knight can probably easily kill any normal vampire 1-1, so there seems to be a minimum power level.   And the top end a knight can channel also appears to be limited.   Murphy was apparently a VERY powerful knight in Changes, while Sanya appears to be of more typical Knight power.  And even Murphy and Sanya together were insufficient to beat all the vampires in that last battle.  Not even close. 

12
DF Spoilers / Re: How do Wizards make a living?
« on: November 13, 2019, 06:59:01 PM »
Random comments

Traveling via never-never can be a good way to travel the globe, but it can be very dangerous so you are pretty limited to the paths and routes.   I can see the value for smuggling small high value items.  And I suspect the routes that are safe are also controlled by the White Council - which would probably become aware and seriously annoyed if you make their paths part of your weekly drug smuggling run.

It would be extremely dangerous to try to use the never-never to get into bank vaults.  Remember, the other side has to have an affinity.  To get to a never-never spot that opens into a bank vault means you need to break into a never-never bank vault just to walk into a mortal bank vault.  Not seeing how that is easier.

I suspect the White Council does help its members with identification issues.  They have the expertise and contacts to make this work pretty easily and their members would be pretty clueless for the most part. 

Robberies in general, especially robberies targeting illegal organizations like drug dealers or gangs require good intelligence and open you up to risk.  After all, you physically have to enter their premises and take stuff.   You have to collect intelligence - which might be noticed or wrong.  And if you hit the same place multiple times, they will adapt.   Small robberies minimize risk, but consume a lot of time per dollar gained.   Large robberies get you a lot more cash, but require a lot more research and/or connections to make happen and a lot more danger when selling the goods (if not taking cash).  And if your robberies are too spectacular, the wardens might get annoyed as they do like to keep mortals clueless about the presence of magic.  Not a law of magic, but they can still make trouble for you. 

I guess I am saying that crime is an approach that can work, but the wizard must be intelligent and skilled in how they go about it to manage the risk. 


13
DF Spoilers / Re: How do Wizards make a living?
« on: October 28, 2019, 03:48:33 PM »
Counterpoint

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A wizard would have major advantages in generating the initial wealth.

I agree that wizards can be wealthy, but there is nothing automatic about wealth generation.  Wizards must spend an enormous amount of time learning magic.  They need a lot of exotic and hard to get ingredients for potions and item creation.  They have severe problems with technology.   So unless they have some specialty of magic that is particularly useful for income generation, it is not likely they will become wealthy or even well off.   Their focus is on their magic, leaving little time or attention for wealth creation.   Serious wealth creation does take time and focus. 

And while magic item creation can be lucrative, that is a skill that only develops late in life.  Harry is exceptional in magic item creation (per WOJ) and is 40+ years old and he still cannot create items of power that last for any length of time (away from him) or that can easily be used by others.  I suspect most wizards cannot make such items until they are well over a hundred. 




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2) investments were typically limited to ... in land ownership.
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Which would probably have made most wizards extremely wealthy if they had invested in farmland outside of most major cities and didn't sell it off immediately as the population has exploded over the last two centuries.

Yes a wizard who waited until 2019 and sold his property in London would make a fortune if he bought it in 1700.  But if he had sold it in 1730 I doubt he would have done more than break even.  And wizards had to be careful about living too long in any one place, so few would have kept property in major cities for centuries.   The vast majority of individual wizards holdings were no doubt in the country and unlikely to gain great value.   Most wizards valued obscurity after all. 

The major land owners were nobility - and most of them were impoverished when the modern age came about.   




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I'm sure most wizards have connections to wealth management, mostly through the White Council.

Why would you assume that?  The company I work for does not give me insider investment advice nor carefully manage my investments.  I am sure the White Council manages its own investments and uses them to benefit all the wizards.  That it is the purpose of those investments.  They are not going to manage the personal investments of individual wizards -- nor would most wizards give the council that level of control over their personal investments.  The wizards are fiercely independent. 




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Add into this the fact that most wealth creation came from technology -- and wizards are horrible with technology.
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It's only post WWII that the "side effect" of magic was interference with technology.

The vulnerability to tech began much earlier than WW II.  It was certainly in place when trains were first created and that was early late 1700s/early 1800s. 



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There is just too much competition who can play the same game [using magic to aid in wealth management].
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I disagree. There isn't too much competition in the real world markets for people who simply want to protect their wealth, i.e., at least maintain their net worth relative to inflation.

Ok I agree with this comment.   My point from the beginning was that investments aided by magic were not going to be an easy source of wealth generation.  But once that wealth was created, a wizard focused on managing investments could probably keep from loosing that wealth in the market. 

14
DF Spoilers / Re: How do Wizards make a living?
« on: October 25, 2019, 08:34:55 PM »
I think the benefit of compound interest can be seriously oversold - at least as soemthing that provides real benefit to most wizards.   

It requires several elements to be successful and all are problematic for wizards.

1)  The person must first have wealth before they can invest wealth.  Few people have the personality to sock away substantial resources today, so I cannot imagine the wizard population is filled with a hoard of atypical savers.   So a poor or even middle class wizard is not going to be able to save enough money to create a small fortune through compound interest.

2) You must have something to invest "in".  Stock or bond markets really did not exist before the 1600s and before that investments were typically limited to business you were actively enraged in or in land ownership.  Hands on ownership was the norm really until the mid-late 1800s. So opportunities for absentee investments were pretty limited and few wizards would get rich on hands on small businesses.

3) Investing wisely requires real skill.   You are most successful when you understand the business and change your business strategy as the world changes.   Few wizards would spend the significant amount of time required to understand the market -- and spend even more time each year to keep that understanding current.  Add into this the fact that most wealth creation came from technology -- and wizards are horrible with technology.  They are also unlikely to spot new trends in technology or recognize when a previously successful technology is no longer the wise investment. 

Keep in mind we had multiple very serious recessions, major technology shifts, and other disruptions that could easily have destroyed all a wizard's investments if not managed correctly.  And while it is true the wizard could have invested in very safe government bonds, the reality is that few government bonds were really safe prior to the 20th century (exception - Bank of England) and I am sure WWII also contributed to a lot of bad debt.  Even if your bonds paid off, the safe ones rarely earned much after accounting for inflation.  Such investments protected your fortune, they rarely "made" your fortune. 

4) The wizard is not alone in using magic or investing in the long term.   There are many supernatural races who are both long lived, have access to magic, perhaps have some ability to see the future, and would choose to invest.  The White Council's own investments are a perfect example.   What this means is that the wizard cannot rely upon magic to provide a major advantage, at least once investments become substantial.  There is just too much competition who can play the same game. 

15
My own two cents.

1) The White Council represents both their own members and human wizards in general.   That is why they can hunt down warlocks as they are policing their own.  This is also why Harry could challenge the white court dudes based on their targeting of talented mortals. 

2) If the Paranet established themselves as Accord members (aka their own nation), they would be specifically exempting themselves from White Council oversight.  How that plays with the hunting of warlocks would be a highly political question.

3) There is NO WAY the paraneters today have the the power to establish themselves as an accord nation.  Their power is just way too weak.  I do not care how powerful Elaine is, you would need a hundred Elaines to begin to have enough power to establish the paraneters as a true supernatural nation under the accords. 

3) The Paranet might be able to establish themselves as a 2nd tier organization like that human society that is an ally of the White Council.  Clearly much weaker than the White Council or any other full accord member, but they have some formal status/place within the larger supernatural community and could formally ally with one of the supernatural nations like the White Council.  That status would give them more protection/status than they have today and I think that is one of the two possible outcomes Harry planned for when establishing the Paranet to begin with.    The other (preferred) being that the White Council expands itself to include the lesser talents. 

4) I do not think the paranetters can establish themselves as Free Holding Lords.  That status belongs to an individual, not an organization.  Elaine lacks the enough power to make that stick on her own and the paranet lacks the huge financial resources/muscle that Marcone has to effectively back her up.  Freestanding lord would only apply to Elaine in any case.  The other members of the paranet would only get indirect protection as her vassals and I doubt that would be worth anything more than the indirect protection they already get today from the White Council. 

5) I have no idea how the Accords would handle organizations like the United Sates of America trying to join if the magical world becomes public knowledge.   Although i do agree that this problem will not come up in Peace Talks. 

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