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Messages - KurtinStGeorge

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1
DF Spoilers / Re: Dresden and Lara
« on: January 22, 2021, 07:45:42 AM »
Plus, at some point Thomas leaves the island.  Certainly he will have been changed by the experience.  He might even become a KotC.  Imagine what that would look like to other members of the White Court.  To the monsters it would look like Dresden did something to change Thomas, to alter his normal; to them, demonic side and make him into something they can't comprehend.  And it won't matter a bit that Harry didn't actually do anything to Thomas, other than save his life.  It would sure look like Harry did something.  None of this would be good for Lara.  To other members of the White Court it would look like a mortal; a powerful wizard true, but still a mortal human, is the more powerful individual in a relationship with a White Court vampire.  This is virtually unthinkable for any member of the White Court and would make Lara look weak.

This doesn't mean Lara couldn't recover from a situation of this type.  Maybe this would be when she demonstrates that she learned her father's kiss of death technique.  However, it would certainly complicate the situation.

I know there are other readers who think that when Thomas returns from the island he may become the next King of the White Court.  I'm not sure how this would happen.  The only thing I'm certain of is that when Thomas returns there will be unexpected and serious repercussions.

And here's a completely different issue which could complicate Harry and Lara's relationship.  In Peace Talks, Lara confirmed that her father is starving to death.  We don't know when it will happen but when it does the masquerade that Lara has been playing; that her father is still in charge and she is acting as his deputy, will be over.  Someone in the White Court is bound to make a move against her.  It might involve making a move against Harry first.

So lots of fun possibilities to make things complicated, make that more complicated, than they already are.   

 

2
Cristos has to fight Ethniu when not doing so would expose him, assuming he isn't just a dupe.

One of the reasons I think Cristos as a dupe is that; as far as we can tell, if Cristos is a bad guy he hasn't been a very effective one.  We might later find out he's been a mastermind working behind the scenes, but at the present he looks more like a buffoon than a Moriarty. 

3
DF Spoilers / Re: Mab and Lara
« on: January 20, 2021, 11:12:17 PM »
Let's remember that this is Mab sending Harry and Molly to ally with the White Court. So WAG time.

When some alliance with the Fomor and Svartalves was happening, Lea threw in Molly to up the 'entropy' of the situation, and see it blow up. What if Mab is really pushing Molly and Harry into the White Court's arms because she needs Lara down a few pegs? Harry will make the whole thing more voltaile, and with Lara only a power BEHIND the throne, maybe chaos will see the Court fall back into chaos, after she so neatly cleared it up in White Night.

I mean, Mab did also pay a debt to Nicodemus by sending Harry...

I would agree with this idea if Mab hadn't made it plain to Harry that she wanted the stability and appearance of unified strength the Winter Court / White Court alliance would project.  Now I'll have to reread that scene again to make certain there weren't any weasel words or weasel phrases in it that Mab might later use to justify her betrayal of Lara while she keeps up the letter of her deal.

4
DF Spoilers / Re: Mab and Lara
« on: January 19, 2021, 11:51:35 PM »
Mab can send any of many fae ladies to "prepare" Harry for the wedding. She could even do it herself. She could just send him to take Thomas' place with the swartalves for a weekend as part of a knightly duty. Or Lara could use Thomas' method . That protection is too flimsy to stand up to any effort to defeat it.

Harry has a really good reason to not want to relinquish that protection.  On the other side of the equation, should Harry retain his independence from Lara's control, and do so in a public manner, that would put pressure on Lara to show that she is in charge; like a White Court Vampire should be in charge when they deal with a mortal human.  The pressure Lara would feel wouldn't be much different than what her father faced when the porn director Arturo Genosa publicly defied the White King (Blood Rites), even though Arturo didn't know that was what he was doing by forming his own movie company.

Of course, there's a part of Harry that wants to ditch that protection, and it's not just the Winter Knight's mantel or Lara's succubae powers that attract Harry.  He wants her.  So it should be a really hard frustrating time for both Harry and Lara to endure.

P.S.  There is one aspect of the Winter Court / White Court alliance that I will be interested to learn about.  Will the alliance be publicly announced while the Winter Knight is seen in the company of the de facto ruler of the White Court or will it only be publicly announced by the engagement of of the Winter Knight to Lara.  You see I'm not sure what will bother Ebebezer, Carlos and the rest of the White Council more; Harry openly dating Lara Raith just because it looks like he wants to do so, and, or is under her control, or if his constant presence with Lara is understood as demonstrating the alliance.  Ebenezer will be P.O'd no matter what the interpretation, but the rest of the White Council may be more upset by the alliance.

One more thing.  One upside for Harry from the possible upcoming marriage is that not only would the White Council have to worry about drawing Mab's ire if they decided to move against Harry, it could be seen as a declaration of war against the White Court.  Harry won't really be protected by Lara from the Council, except when he's at the Raith Estate; which isn't really a safe place for Harry to be, but I think the Council will still hesitate to move against a powerful wizard who is both the Winter Knight and the consort of Lara Raith.       

5
DF Spoilers / Re: So what is next
« on: January 19, 2021, 11:21:50 PM »
I've seen one interview Jim did about two months ago where he specifically mentioned that he was working on the Olympian Affair.  I think he even went into the plot a tiny bit further than I had heard before.  Something about talking cats on Spire Olympia.  It wasn't anything major or very specific.  I just thought it was good that Jim was already making progress on the next book. 

In the old days Jim might Tweet the novel's expected word count and what percentage of that count he had completed, and do so on a fairly regular basis, but he doesn't do Twitter much anymore.  Of course, maybe that's a good thing.  Less time on social media and more time writing.

6
DF Spoilers / Re: Cowl
« on: January 19, 2021, 10:42:06 PM »
If I agreed with the OP; and I really don't, I would say the reason Cowl/Kemmler said, "I have nothing but disdain for the bad man Kemmler," is because he hates the reputation of being mad, when in his own mind he's sanist person on the planet. 

The OP isn't an unworkable hypothesis, it's just not where I think Jim is going with the story.  I certainly won't be surprised if we find out Kemmler did something; make that something else beside writing the Word of Kemmler, which produces fallout that Harry has to deal with in a later novel.  I just don't think Kemmler himself will be making an appearance.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

7
DF Spoilers / Re: When the smoke clears.
« on: January 19, 2021, 08:42:53 PM »
My guess about Harry pulling off the Dark Hallow was that it was never more than a fringe possibility.  Jim may have considered a way for Harry to do it; and the various repercussions that would resulted, but I doubt it was something that he pondered about for long.  I would have rated Harry picking Lasciel's at no better than 10%.  Jim probably put more time thinking about it than on the Dark Hallow, but I doubt it was even close to the choice of Harry going with Mab's offer.

So I don't think that Jim was lying.  He did think of other paths Harry might have gone down.  I just don't believe they were equal choices; such that Jim had great difficulty in deciding which was the better way to go.

8
DF Spoilers / Re: When the smoke clears.
« on: January 18, 2021, 10:24:31 PM »
It's difficult for me to picture Harry walking off into the sunset or settling down to a quite life.  This is especially difficult for me to picture as both of the mortal women he loved are now dead.  While I like the idea of Harry being forced into dating Lara Raith; and I think a forced marriage could be frustrating and scary for Harry, and therefore fun for us to read, there's no way this grows into a permanent relationship.  I don't see Lara falling in love with Harry.  She's too calculating, too in love with power and aware of her precarious position as the de facto leader of the White Court, for that to happen.  Plus, if it did happen, it might seem a little too much like Lash's redemption.  The only other way I see for her character to be redeemed is for Lara's demon to be killed off; oh, and she doesn't age away the way the half-turned Red Court did.  I suppose it could happen, but is very, very unlikely.  I think that despite Harry's attraction to Lara, by seeing her up close Harry will discover just how corrosive and pernicious the White Court are to the mortal world and will gain at least a modicum of understanding for Ebenezer's point of view.

Harry ends up with Elaine or Molly.  Elaine is hiding something.  Whether she's Kumori or not doesn't matter, it's something that's going to be major.  Plus, Harry and Elaine didn't have a real adult relationship to begin with, and they were both manipulated into it Justin DuMorne.  Harry has already figured that out so there's no reason not to believe Elaine hasn't done the same.  My guess is that Molly is going to become the next Mab.       

So, how else could Harry survive and walk away?  I suppose Harry could become the new leader of the White Council, or whatever that organization morphs into after Harry and outside events tear it apart to be rebuilt it into something new.  Harry has to become a politician or administrator?  It does open the way for Goodman Grey and, or Harry's daughter to become prime players facing whatever new threats emerge, but it seems a rather boring place for Harry to end up.

Harry becomes an immortal.  That might be an interesting way for Harry to depart.  It might even open up the possibility of a relationship with Molly.  Harry as the new Oberon, sort of.  I think immortal Harry is a good a way for Harry to finish the series.  Certainly better than Harry dying at the end or permanently sealing himself and the Outsiders from ever reentering our universe,

   

9
DF Spoilers / Re: Ulsharavas comments on Harry's prophecy.
« on: January 15, 2021, 01:19:09 AM »
I'm trying to remember what novel that was in.  Death Masks?  Oh yes.  Adversary was capitalized, so that is interesting.  Ulsharavs said, "Their Adversary concealed part of the prophesy.  For that to be referring to Nemesis, that would mean that Nemesis is the KotC's ultimate adversary, as opposed to their everyday adversaries, the Knights of the Blackened Denarius.

We haven't seen the KotC become directly involved with anyone who has been nemfected or when HWWBf showed up in Cold Days.  So at this point, I am somewhat skeptical of this idea. 

10
DF Spoilers / Re: 2 Things ..Maggie and Catsith
« on: January 15, 2021, 12:42:11 AM »
I'm wondering what kind of side effects or Red Court tendencies Maggie might have been born with.  She obviously doesn't have the blood thirst, but that doesn't mean she couldn't have inherited some other interesting or even disturbing Red Court traits. 

Just to think about fringe possibilities, I don't think it's impossible that when Maggie reaches puberty, the first time she kisses someone she finds out her kiss; saliva actually, acts as a mild narcotic on the person she kisses.  Not as strong as the Red Court; and probably not as strong as her mother, but strong enough to be both useful but at times annoying; like when she doesn't want the other party to get stoned, so to speak.

Another possibility is sudden super-strength; when in danger.  It would be useful those times when Mouse isn't present or is present but has his paws full.  In a half-turned vampire like Susan, that kind of activity would increase her blood thirst and could potentially lead to a loss of control.  Seeing as Maggie isn't a half-turned vampire, use of super-strength might have other downsides.  It might make her ability to control her emotions; meaning control her magic, more unstable.  Assuming the White Council exists when Maggie becomes an adult, there will have to be a reason for them to be afraid of her, besides her family history.  Another possibility is that use of super-strength temporarily diminishes Maggie's ability to use magic, or at least use complex magic.

I'm somewhat stuck after that.  I don't remember what other traits that Red Court vampires had that might transfer to a human hybrid.  Wait, there is one.  If I really want to go outside the box, when her magic comes in I could see Maggie becoming able to form a kind of flesh mask, making her into a pseudo shape shifter, but possibly only good for mimicking other humans or those beings who look human.  One problem Maggie would have is that her flesh mask recreation of another person would only be as good as her memory would allow it to be.  She couldn't do something down to retinas like Goodman Grey.  Plus, I don't think a flesh mask would necessarily allow her to copy someone else's voice.

Anyone have any different ideas?     

11
DF Spoilers / Re: Harry is about to learn new tricks!
« on: January 13, 2021, 08:10:17 AM »
Mwahahaha! I can see great potential in combining a teleportation spell with the knowledge of the ways Harry got from his mother. Imagine the terror his enemies would have when suddenly he can appear at will all across the globe and throughout the NN! And it would open up the wider world in the DF too.

I was thinking the exact same thing.  We've only seen Harry use his mother's amulet that one time in Changes.  And even though Harry's use of the amulet was vital to gain clues and get to the Red Court's party in time to save his daughter, you could also say that Harry used the amulet in a rather straightforward or pedestrian way.  Combining the knowledge of the ways with something like the teleportation spell; even if it took a lot of energy to do so; meaning it would tax Harry to some degree, could be a real game changer in the right situation. 

12
DF Spoilers / Re: The Red Court vs. The Fomor
« on: January 09, 2021, 09:08:13 PM »
There's also the whole thing where they're pretty much off-screen until BG comes along (and promptly breaks things by revealing they had a god in their back pocket, why even sign the accords with that kind of power?) and even then don't live up to the description that Lea gave in GS.

Lea's description of the Fomor in Ghost Story:
“Once, they were the enemies of my people, Winter and Summer alike,” she said, lifting her chin as her emerald eyes grew distant. “We banished them to the sea. Now they are the exiles of myth and legend, the outcasts of the gods and demons of every land bordering the sea. Defeated giants, fallen gods, dark reflections of beings of light. They are many races and none, joined together beneath the banner of the Fomor in a common cause.”

Yes, from this statement it sounds like the Fomor should have had more than one old god (Ethniu) and a number of clearly identifiable demons on their side.  I understand it would be difficult for any writer to fashion an army with specific characteristics from such a vague description as "the exiles of myths and legend," but then the problem is with the original description. 

Idk, king corb might have his day..  especially when you consider the prophecy of what will happen before he dies...

I'm not looking at the prophecy as I write this, but as I remember it King Korb living until the sun burns out could easily be fulfilled by having him locked up under Demonreach until the end of time.

The real threat from them is what they represent. Natural entropy. Besides the discourse on water magic and what not in the books. Norse mythology. Fire and ice are the two competing forces of reality and when the immovable object hits the unstoppable force the third power that wins out is water. Fire... Ice.. water.. see the themes here? I think they'll be part of the fall of the courts themselves. Especially when you consider how weak the fae look from taking them on. Without Mab and Harry the day was already lost. They even needed plain mortals to help, needed it.
Think it came up on FB not here iirc, but BG made the supernatural world look a lot smaller, and not just because of the few representatives who showed up, but by how little muscle they had to flex.

That is an interesting take on the Fomor and you may be on to something.  On the other hand, the Fomor were held in check by ordinary mortals with shotguns, and their champion; the last Titan, was defeated by the first vanilla mortal free holding Lord of the supernatural world, with the help of one mortal wizard.  The Battle of Chicago didn't do the Fomor's reputation much good either.

More important from a reading perspective, your perception that the Fomor represent natural entropy of the supernatural world; or at least the fae's place in the supernatural world, doesn't make the Fomor more viscerally entertaining as bad guys.
     
I agree; the Fomor are the chump villains.

There's a REASON they only became relevant when Harry wiped the Reds, and Harry's probably ended them by imprisoning Ethniu (along with the losses in Chicago). There will be more henchmen of the Fomor kind, same as Ghouls keep occuring, but they're done and dusted. The chump villain to replace the big ones, who fall quickly as we move on into the final stretch where Harry faces off with the REAL nasty powers of the world (who previously manipulated him) - Hell/Marcone, Dragons, White Council, Odin and Winter.

edit to add: we see this especially in Skin Game. The villain of the story is Nicodemus but the Fomor manage to be the warm-up enemy, and they are a threat according to that level. Or Ghost Story, where Leah abuses some Fomor goons to teach Molly/Harry, who are way beyond being actually threatened by them on a normal day, while Corpsetaker is the real menace.

You're not wrong; in fact, IMO you've pretty much nailed it.  However from my perspective, even the ghouls have been more entertaining, and that's really what I'm getting at.  in this discussion, I'm not greatly interested in where the Fomor fit in, in the greater scheme of things.  I am concerned with how they (How can I put this?  I got it), how they play their role within the overall story.  The Red Court turned out to be the warm up act within the larger arc of the story, but they never came off that way on the written page.  They were always dangerous, scary and it was just plain fun to read Harry's battles with them, both big and small.  Even Morgan's description of the Red Court in a battle that Harry wasn't at, was entertaining.
   

  I think the nasties that Harry really has to worry about is the Black Court.  So far against them, Harry has come out on the short end of the stick, more or less.  As LTW said, fighting them and Drakul and surviving is considered a win..  So stay tuned.

Maybe, but mostly Mavra has been an impressive and challenging villain for Harry to fight, negotiate or just banter with.  The other Elders in BG didn't come across any stronger than Mavra's flunkies in BR.  They were something of a letdown.  You are right about Drakul.  We will have to wait and see what his role is and how well the character fulfills it.   

13
DF Spoilers / The Red Court vs. The Fomor
« on: January 09, 2021, 01:28:52 AM »
This isn't a who would win in a fight scenario.  I've been thinking about the Fomor; as one of the major powers in the story, and also looking at the few individuals we have seen of them, and I've come to a sad conclusion.  They are second rate villains, at least compared to the Red Court.  This is true if we look at the Fomor both as individuals and as a major power.  This makes the Fomor something less than compelling for me to read about.  There's an old saying that your story is only as good as your villain and the Red Court were pretty good at being villains.  That's true even if there is a greater power or powers that manipulated the vampires for their own ends.  To me the Red Court seemed to be scarier, more formidable and more compelling to read about, both as individuals and as a major supernatural power. 

Look at the major Fomor players we have seen so far.  (I don't remember their names, which IMO is a bad sign.)  There was the one that Marcone killed with a magic bullet in the short story Even Hand.  This Fomor managed to fight his way through Marcone's goons and get past Ms. Gard, but you would expect a supernatural heavy hitter to be able to do that or at least get close to doing that.  However, he was rather stupid; and with Gard's help Marcone suckered the Fomor Lord into a death trap. 

Then there was the one who set a bomb to go off at the Swaralf's party, whose plan was foiled by Molly.  OK, while Molly gained some experience working with Harry she was really taught how to think and fight by Lea, so Molly had at least one really good and ruthless teacher and an example of a mentor who never gives up.  However, Molly was still something of a newbie in the kind of covert mission Lea gave her, but despite the risks, setbacks and close calls she underwent, Molly thoroughly defeated the Fomor Lord's plan and publicly exposed his treachery.  Plus, he was something of a sniveling coward when he faced Mr. Etri's wrath.

Then there's King Korb.  I don't have to the exact quote, but Mab told Harry that Korb was more powerful, dangerous and treacherous than Harry, or words to that effect.  (If anyone wants to find the quote and post it here, I'd appreciate it.)  Personally, I found King Korb to be something of a joke.  Openly making himself Ethniu's slave wasn't much of a power move.  I'm surprised that Mab, or any of the major players at the peace talks didn't call him out for that, or Harry make some snarky comment on the subject.  Korb was cruel and vicious, but his henchman Listen is clearly smarter than he is.  Korb just wasn't impressive or really all that scary.  When the action was at it's hottest, King Korb was mostly overconfident, petulant or both.

The Fomor henchman Listen has been good at his job, but he's not really in Harry's league yet.  Listen would need a major power upgrade or have access to supernatural assets we have yet to see in order to make him into a truly dangerous and interesting foe.

The Fomor priest that Murphy fought in the short story Aftermath was a pretty dangerous opponent, but Murphy was just a vanilla mortal, so that bad guy was only a compelling enemy in that situation.  In a larger situation like we saw in Battle Ground, he would have been nothing more than another Fomor grunt.

The creatures that the Fomor can create are disgusting and have some sick and scary qualities, but by themselves they're just cannon fodder.

Now I don't want to look at everyone we met from the Red Court.  Mostly because I've written a lot already, but also because I don't think there are any really weak or boring Red Court characters.  So I'll focus on just one character, Bianca.  Bianca was the first sentient and dangerous nonhuman supernatural enemy we saw Harry match wits with.  For some time we have been able to discern that Bianca was manipulated by beings and powers smarter and far more powerful than herself, but that doesn't really matter.  At the time she went up against Harry, Bianca was scary, her motivations seemed fairly logical and her plan to take Harry down was a pretty smart one, overall. 

The beautiful person who is really giant blood sucking bat like creature underneath its pretty exterior camouflage was a really well developed idea that Jim came up with.  Add in that its saliva was addictive, so Red Court victims were often not just drained out, but made into willing vassals and slaves, made Bianca and her type both disgusting and frightening at the same time.

Bianca had been humiliated by Harry in her own home, at the very seat of her power.  Even if she hadn't been haunted by the ghost of her assistant and lover that she killed, Bianca still would have had good reason to want to get even with Harry.  And the thing is, Bianca's plan was a pretty good one.  Her chosen allies were properly distracting in the case of the Nightmare and powerful in the case of Mavra.  She also couldn't have known just how stubborn Harry could be.  A lot of other wizards would taken her deal to escape with their lives at the cost of someone else, especially if that someone else had already been half turned into one of the Red Court.  In their final confrontation, there was almost no way that Bianca could have figured out that Harry would make an inspired decision to call up the ghosts of her past victims to use against her, or that it would work, and no way she could have countered it.  Bianca just had really, really bad luck that day.  One more minor point.  Even her henchman and henchwomen, Kyle and Kellie Hamilton were pretty freaking creepy in their own right.

Finally, as a major power, the Fomor are somewhat nebulous.  They don't have a solid feel to them.  On the other hand, a nation of blood thirsty vampires is something truly nightmarish.  I don't think I need to say more than that.   

Mostly, I wrote this because I want to see if others agree with me, or if anyone thinks the opposite; sees things that I've missed that make the Fomor more compelling as villains than I do.  Also, I guess I'm hoping Drakul will be more interesting than what we've seen so far.  Drakul was in just a few brief scenes in BG so there's no way for us to know where Jim is going with this character, I just want something better than what we've had (so far) as a replacement for the creepiness', terror and fun that the Red Court brought to the table.     

14
DF Spoilers / Re: Updated Road Map (BG spoilers and 12M speculation)
« on: January 08, 2021, 02:16:09 AM »
I don't think so, unless he is dug in very deep.. He was the one at the road block who was tipping Harry off that he wasn't really "among friends" in Peace Talks.

If Chandler is part of the Black Council; which I suspect he is, tipping off Harry could just be Chandler playing the long game.  He didn't want to get in the middle of a firefight with Dresden.  Better to make Harry think he is on his side.  Better to try to convince Harry to go to Edinburgh and get him off the playing field.  At the same time, a good way to convince the other Wardens he is doing his job to get Harry to come in peacefully.  It's a win-win for Chandler whether Harry comes in or leaves on his own. 

If Chandler doesn't pop up in Mirror Mirror, I'll take that as confirmation that he's gone to the dark side.

15
DF Spoilers / Re: New microfiction on the site
« on: January 07, 2021, 01:58:35 AM »
For further reference, Interstate 10 runs from the Pacific Ocean in Santa Monica, California (near Los Angeles) all the way to the Atlantic in Jacksonville, Florida.  So, very much a route through the Southwest U.S. through much of the South.  I used to drive a few miles of it every morning to get to my job in downtown Los Angeles and never thought how far that freeway went.

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