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Topics - Serack

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DF Spoilers / The Nature of the Creator
« on: January 19, 2019, 11:30:18 AM »
Hi all, long time no see.  I've had a theory brewing in the back of my mind for so long that I'm not sure if it's seeds go back to when I first wrote my GUCMT theory, when Mother Winter seemed so resentful of Reality, when I read the scene with Hade's crown of Mordite, or later when I heard a WoJ from the 2014 DragonCon, but some recent topics on the DF reddit sub about TWG reminded me of it, and when I reviewed my GUCMT, I didn't see anything hinting at it, so I decided I have to write it out. 

First, the WoJ, which my WoJ website has a link to the time stamp in the youtube video, but I didn't transcribe until I decided to write this out.

The Theory up front:  The Creator of the DF Universe was originally a rebel Outsider Lord.  (C=ROL)
Derivative theory:  Some version of TWG (The White God) is the Creator, and thus was a ROL, and either he immediately created subordinates to populate/help create creation, or he brought subordinate outsiders along as fellow rebel outsiders to help. 

First a WoJ that establishes some critical DF cosmological canon:
Quote from: 2014 DragonCon Q&A
As far as the extra dimensional stuff goes, there’s /tons/ of extra dimensional stuff.  It just happens that some of them are a bit more extra dimensional.  Or in this case /non/ dimensional. 
The established canon of the Dresden Files is that the Universe has been created, and there are things that come from Outside of Creation and don’t like Creation and want it gone because it’s so disruptive, and sucks.  You know, from their point of view. 

So it's a small step from the above WoJ about the DF "canon" that if the DF Universe was "created" there was a "Creator" or "Creators."

Next to get to C=ROL, it is reasonable to think that if there are beings Outside the dimensions of/non dimensional to Creation, they exist outside of Time (which is probably a big part of why they would find creation disruptive, I mean what a horrible idea bounding things with this new time thing?).  So if Outsiders are non dimensional to time, and apparently want things back to before there was a time, it's reasonable that it was one of /them/ that is responsible for Creating it in the first place. 

As for considering the Creator a "Lord" of Outside, well first, we know there is a hierarchy among the outsiders from White Night chapter 41 when Lash helped Harry overcome the Outsider psychic whammy in the Deeps, we get:
Quote from: WK, Ch 41
"He who walks Behind is an outsider Harry.  A terrible creature, the most potent of the Walkers, a powerful knight among their ruling entities."

As for my derivative theory, we have the below WoJ about how Harry was able to enter Michael's house at the end of GS to see Maggie and Mouse:
Quote from: WoJ
The presence of an Archangel, essentially an executive VP of Creation, probably had something to do with it.

Now for some circumstantial evidence for these theories beyond the above WoJ and logic:
Chronicles of Amber Parallels
In my old GUCMT theory I went through the effort to show some connections between Zelazny's Chronicles of Amber, and the DF, and drew some parallels between my cosmology theories and the underlying principles of that series.  In this derivative theory, the parallels are more blatant, so I'll write a more detailed summary of those principles, and how they compare to the above WoJ about the DF canon.

In the Chronicles of Amber, there are many "mirror" worlds not unlike the Dresden Files "other earths that exist in the continuum of possibility" Jim has discussed a few times in WoJ I quoted in my GUCMT.  The thing is before these "mirror" worlds existed, there was only "Chaos" until a "Lord of Chaos" rebelled, and created a polar opposite of Chaos known as "Amber" (which was, as the name implies, stuck in a perty stasis).  The very act of creating Amber and having some progeny resulted in a continuum of "mirror" worlds that stretched from Amber all the way to Chaos.  And just as Jim describes about the DF canon, the remaining Lords and denizens of Chaos found this disruptive and wanted to destroy Amber and, thus the derivative continuum of mirror worlds. 

Some really powerful DF beings have hints of Outsider tendencies
Except maybe Ferrovax, the three most powerful beings we have seen on screen are Uriel, Mother Winter (And Summer), and Hades.  Of those, I say Mother Winter, and Hades are either former Outsiders who still have a level of affinity for the Outside vs being totally cool with our Creation. 

For Mother Winter, this thought became clear to me during Cold Days when I read the lines:
Quote from: Cold Days Ch. 32
Calculation and thought flickered through those green eyes, faster than I could follow.  "Ah, yes.  I see," Mother Summer said.  "So many new futures unwinding."
"Too many bright ones," Mother Winter said sullenly.
"Even you must think better that than empty night."
'Time, time!" Winter breathed.  "He is not your weapon."
"It is not your world."

This passage made me think that Mother Winter is /not/ fond of creation, or any fondness her power has is manifested through "Mother Summer" (MS) (which is how I interpreted MS's line that MW "cares in her own way." MS is the attribute of MW that cares, which is why I grouped the 2 entities as one above).  This lack fondness smacked of outsider nature to me, although that's conjecture.

For Hades, when I read the Skin Game passage that his Crown is Mordite, my beta comment was "Oh... My... God..."  This is because to me this implies that he can be blithe about mordite because he /is/ of outsider origins, or he his heritage is close enough to allow him to be. 

DF Spoilers / MOVED: Mab/Murphy Ironies
« on: July 03, 2018, 12:21:09 AM »

I've long embraced the theory that the Winter Court's assumption of Outer Gate duty was concurrent with Mab's ascension.  However, I just spent 20 minutes looking through my old posts and couldn't come up with anything recent where I discussed it, and there's someone on Reddit commenting on some info from the new Dresden Files Accelerated RPG book preview (available only to kickstarter backers) and how it backs the theory up.

So I've decided to compose a topic that brings together the body of evidence and speculation that supports this theory.  It's not a certainty, or it wouldn't be worth going through the trouble pointing out the evidence, but I do believe it is a very strong theory.  So lets get this party started.

Fact:  Winter wasn't always in charge of the Outer Gates, and there were others previously guarding it.
(click to show/hide)

(Side theory)  The Aesir were likely a previous guardian force at the gates.  IMO, the passing of this torch is one of reasons why it was necessary for Odin to take on the Kringle mantle.  There was probably enmity earned in Mab's taking over, but also a need for some level of politically cordial relations between the former and current heads of the Gate Guardians during the transition.

Fact:  Mab and Titania aren't the original "Queens" Mab and Titania:
(click to show/hide)

What do we know about when Mab and Titania ascended?
Well, I think it happened around "Hastings."  That is, the 1066 "Battle of Hastings" but we don't flat out know.  First, here are the main bits of info we have implying as much.

How old is the current Mab anyways?
(click to show/hide)

There's also the Hastings references below:

What we know about Hastings being significant to Winter/the Fae:
Quote from: Titania, Cold Days Chapter 30
"I have not exchanged words with my sister since before Hastings."

Quote from: WoJ from a 2009 signing (unconfirmed)
How long has the White Council had the Blackstaff
Look for Celtic Lore around 1065 ad.
This is widely believed to be when Mother Winter "Lost her walking stick."  Jim doesn't flat out confirm this, but has acknowledged that plenty of people on the internet have figured out the origin of the Blackstaff correctly. Which sounds a lot like the kind of thing that could be associated with "The last time things got awful in the wizard world."

The Sidhe haven't always been as they are now  That is, the current state of Summer and Winter Fae doesn't necessarily reflect how they used to be.

(click to show/hide)

The Sidhe were created by outside agents for a purpose.  (My spin on the below WoJ is that they already existed in some form, and were... appropriated and reshaped to purpose)
(click to show/hide)

(click to show/hide)

Relevant mini-theory derived from the above 3 quotes:  Although the Summer and Winter Courts were probably already a dichotomy, taking up stewardship of the Guardianship of the Outer Gates and the associated terrible power and responsibility is probably the wedge that drove Mab and Titania apart such that Titania no longer can even speak with her sister, and probably instigating the creation of the two Knight mantles that were "meant to be divided." 

What ties the two events together? (Mab's ascension, and Winter's assuming stewardship over the Outer Gates)
What evidence do we have these two major events were concurrent?

We have a WoJ that adds up to our Mab being the one taking over at the Outer Gates.  I remember the older WoJ referenced here, but I've lost it unfortunately.  If you use contorted logic with respect to phrasing it is possible to suppose that the "she" and "her" pronouns refer to the mantles held by more than one Mab since we have WoJ that favors like this are to the mantle not the person holding it, but that's very convoluted and unlikely.
(click to show/hide)

Finally, there is this interesting analysis of a line from the new Dresden Files Accelerated RPG book provided by redditor Anubissama
(click to show/hide)

So in conclusion, the above evidence seems to support these positions that together mean the two events were contemporary to each other:
  • Our Mab is the one who took over at the gates
  • "Hastings" is when the White Council obtained the Blackstaff, which is probably Mother Winter's walking stick and is probably "The last time things got awful in the wizard world."  That is, when Mab and Titania's predecessors died and they ascended.
  • Mab's position as defender of the gates is what defines the purpose of Titania's power, and is the likely wedge responsible for Titania no longer speaking with her "since Hastings"

When I first read Cold Case, I made the following note

Further thoughts about the age thing. Pretty much all the fae have been
presented as immortal, although not necessarily ageless when considering
the progression of gruffs… That the Miksani appear to have elders,
children, and apparent adolescents implies a more mortal like life cycle.
Makes me wonder how this stuff works… Especially since according to Mother
Summer and [WoJ] in the past, they procreate using mortals
and changelings.

Now that the story is released, it's time for me to get to business with the actual theorizing...  (more to come)

Data points:  These are bits of information about various fae and their natures with respect to their reproduction, life cycle, and social structure
  • Eldest:
    Quote from: 2014 AMA
    The mantle of Eldest is an important one in Faerie, and yes, it would pass on should its bearer perish.
    • Eldest Gruff
    • Cat Sith
    • Eldest Fetch
    • (theoretically) Lea
  • Mother Summer quote from Cold Days about relationship between Fae and Mortals
    Quote from: Cold Days Chapter 33
    It is at times very difficult to be so closely interwoven with mortals," she said.
    "For you?"
    "For all of Faerie," she replied.
    "What do you mean?"
    She gestured at herself. "we appear much as humans, do we not?  Most of our folk do--or else they resemble another creature of the mortal world.  Hounds, birds, stags, and so forth."
    "Sure," I said.
    "You are endlessly fascinating.  We conceive our children with mortals.  We move and sway in time to the mortal seasons.  We dance to mortal music, make our homes like mortal dwellings, feast upon mortal foods.  We find parts of ourselves becoming more like them, and yet we are not like them.  Many of the things they think and feel, and a great many of their actions, are inexplicable to us."
  • Changelings don't necessarily have to be first generation.  It could be a from a Fae Grandparent or maybe even farther back
    Question among my @HarriedWizard RPG group for @longshotauthor : would changelings be sterile? and if not how would the genetics work?
    @DeusSolis @HarriedWizard No, not at all.  And cautiously.
    @DeusSolis @HarriedWizard :D Consider it a dormant gene group that could potentially be activated by environmental exposure.
    @longshotauthor @HarriedWizard So a half-elf changeling could have kids that when exposed 2 faerydom, child could exhibit faery qualities?
    @DeusSolis @HarriedWizard Yeah, though they'd need more exposure the wider the generation gap was. It would be impractical at some point.
  • Wealth of conflicting WoJ that Mab used to be a human, all Fae have some mortal nature, and conversely that she and all sidhe had origins like Toot Toot
    (click to show/hide)
  • List of known Changelings and their likely progenitors
    • Ace:  Redcap
    • Meryl:  Troll
    • Lilly:  Nymph?
    • Fix:  Gnome?
    • Sarissa/Maeve:  Mab
    • Molly?: ?? (see Twitter WoJ above)
  • Bestiary:  This list will have three sections.  Those that seem impossible to have mated and thus procreated with/from humans (Nonstandard).  Fuzzy middle
    • Standard Changelings:  Those that seem impossible to have mated and thus procreated with/from humans.  It's possible some of these use glamor to get it on...
      • Sidhe
        • Mab
        • Redcap
        • Leananshidhe
      • Gnomes
      • Jenny Greenteeth
      • Gruffs
        Quote from: 2009 signing
        Q:  The first gruffs seem to be different from the later sets in terms of looks, smell, and fighting approach.  Were they sent by someone different?
        A:  No, they’re part of the same family.  The first are just the newer gruffs, those most recent from being Changelings.
      • Trolls
      • Ogre
      • Fetches?
      • Dryads
    • Nonstandard: Those that seem impossible to have mated and thus procreated with/from humans.  It's possible some of these were shape shifted when encountered in the books, and can shift to a more Sidhe like form like Redcap's falcon buddies, or the Miksani
      • Malks
      • Otters
      • Giant Bees
      • Dew-Drop Fairies
      • Raw-Head
    • Fuzzy Middle:  Mostly quadrupeds that also have anthropomorphic tendencies.
      • Centaurs
  • The example of the Miksani:  Things of note for this reference are:
    • The Miksani are a "Hidden Peoples of the Winter Court." 
    • Community appears to reside wholly upon the Mortal Plane.
    • Apparent family/tribal structure with members at various points in a life cycle.  "Elders," "Children," apparent "adolescents"
    • Shape Shifters (cormorant)
    • Apparent Non European mythology background
    • Pay "Tribute" in the form of children to man the armies at the Outer Gates
  • Serack's Origins of the Sidhe reference topic
    The linked topic is my attempt to build a reference topic that does some very heavy lifting when it comes to collecting ideas from all kinds of mythological sources other than just the Dresden Files. 

DF Reference Collection / Reference: Character Foreshadowing
« on: October 31, 2016, 05:33:39 PM »
I've heard Jim say that he deliberately seeds his books with little lines relevant to potential paths his characters could take down the road.  (Potential, because sometimes they have more than one potential path).  I thought I'd start a Reference Topic dedicated to this subject, grouped by character.  I don't have a copy of the books that I can copy/paste from so if anyone else can help provide excerpts for this stuff I'd appreciate it.

Line from Ghost Story where Butters pledged to train with the Edinjar (msp?) immediately after getting a fully functional light saber

Per WoJ, he's the apprentice that was noticed by Harry in Summer Knight at the Council meeting

Fae Kings:
Line in Storm Front about Santa existing, and also about how nuts you'd have to be to try to trap him in a circle (a foreshadowing of capturing the Erlking in DB, as well as the eventual appearance of Santa in the series.)

Storm Front, Harry mentions he has a genuine Farie Godmother.

Lea attempts to bargain for Michael's first born in Grave Peril, hinting at her significance to the Fae Courts.
Quote from: Small Favor Ch. 1, Para 3
Molly Carpenter sputtered, spitting snow, and a round of hooting laughter went up from the children gathered around her.  Tall, blond, and athletic, dressed in jeans and a heavy winter coat, she looked natural in the snowy setting, her cheeks and nose turning red with the cold.

Line from Chauncy about Harry having surviving family.
Line from Nic about Harry being Maggies youngest.

Minor Characters & Theories
Lacuna's nature
Fitz theory

Proven Guilty is possibly the most enigmatic book in the series, and as such, it has been the subject of many excellent discussions, many of which are archived in the DFRC, and indexed in elegast's theory index under Proven Guilty.  My direct contributions to the group discussion have mostly been confined to isolating particular details and picking them to bits.  This topic will be a thorough rehashing of the entire story. 

The first section will be laying out all the questions we have about the book and all the pieces of evidence we have from outside the books, as well as what we know happened before the curtain went up at the beginning of the book.  The second section will be my current thoughts on what may explain things best with the best evidence and fewest loose ends.

Required reading:
  • The Book itself.  Duh.
  • External Source Material:
    • (click to show/hide)
    • (click to show/hide)
    • (click to show/hide)

Things we can tease from required reading #1, the PG WoJ that I generally take as givens:
  • A battle did indeed occur before Harry and Company arrived.
  • Molly was “brought in” to Arctis Tor on Mab’s orders.

Things I think are strongly implied by reading #1, but admit are subject to some interpretation.  In order of least to most subject to different interpretation.
  • Mab won the battle that occured before Harry and Company arrived.
  • ”Captain Kudzu” was working under Mab’s orders.  Having been deemed “sufficient” and since she ordered someone to bring Molly in. (This tilts my theorizing away from the theories that he was a nemesis agent, since Mab was actively trying to recover from nemfection in her ranks when she assigned him.  But that's not a given.)
  • Mab’s fallibility was in not anticipating Harry blasting the Winter Well.  (shakiest, but it certainly reads that way)

Major Outstanding Mysteries from Proven Guilty:
  • Who fixed Little Chicago and Why?
  • Who assaulted the Arctis Tor gates and slaughtered so many of Mab’s troops?
  • What happened to those assaulters by the time Harry got there?
  • Who rammed Harry’s car at the beginning of the book?
  • What was the Gatekeeper’s angle?

Detail Mysteries from Proven Guilty:  These aren’t as huge as above, but insight on them might shed light on the others.
  • Who locked up Pell’s theater?
  • Who threw down the Ward(s?) that impeded Harry’s getting to the fetches?

The Pregame Setup
There were some things being set into motion before the curtains went up at the start of Proven Guilty, and this section will discuss those things.
  • Molly probably had distant changeling heritage that gave her potential to be one herself.  Separate discussion
  • Sandra Marling proportedly started setting up Splattercon!!! a year out from the event.
  • Darby Crane was booked a year out from the event, presumably by Sandra Marling through his Jin, Glau.
  • Molly was serving community service under Sandra Marling at a homeless shelter (potential connection to Mavra)
  • Sandra Marling keys Molly into fear as an agent to use to fight addiction, setting her black magic usage into motion.
  • Gatekeeper sends a letter to Harry about 10 days of Black Magic occurrence in Chicago before the curtain goes up.

Speculative Pregame Setup
  • Griff does a pretty good job of arguing the possibility that the assault on AT was concurrent with the events of Dead Beat here
link fixed 3/37/2019
  • Mab qued into Lea's having a problem before Harry summoned him in DB, but if her eyeball hemorrhaging rage was from finding out Maeve got Nemfected from her, she didn't know about it until after that, probably before the PGH raid on AT. 

Time Travel Harry did it.

(click to show/hide)

So here is how the puzzle pieces line up for me.

The 3 tropeish TTH goals
In a future book, TTH finds himself either stuck in the PG time, or having to travel to PG time to accomplish some task.  Either way, while in PG he has to accomplish a few things of three possible, but not exclusive natures. 
  • Accomplish whatever mission/goal was foisted on him by the situation that thrust him into the past (possibly for Mab)
  • Line up the Delorian to pass under the clock tower at just the right time to get back to his home time,
  • Make sure his mother and father kiss in Proven Guilty to preserve his temporal existence.  I.E. Perform certain necessary acts to preserve the temporal timeline necessary for PG to have happened the way he experienced it.  In Harry Potter terms, he has to summon a patronus.  (oh, and this also means he has to retain PGH's ignorance of TTH's presence)
I think it is likely that the possible issues he has to contend with end up being effectively the same thing, in that his primary reason for being there, or primary goals to accomplish in order to leave end up filling the holes in PG that are a result of temporal muckity muck. 

So the mysteries above possibly attributable to a TTH in order of least likely to most are:
  • Lock up Pell's theater (and other acts at Pell's)
  • Summon the Murk during the Phage attacks
  • Rear End PGH
  • Probably something big at AT before the PG dungeon crawl party showed up.
  • Fix Little Chicago the morning of the 2nd day, while Harry was out of the Appt. at the Hospital with Murphy, Bob, and Mouse.

So I'm going to give reasons why or why not each of the above was perpetrated by TTH, then conjure up a hypothetical scenario where all of this happened.

1)  Lock up Pell's theater
By itself, this is the least likely thing Harry did because there isn't really any evidence or evidence of motivation.  However, if he did #2, he probably did this too.  But going out on a limb, it seems to me that the Phages had no trouble fading back to their home realm on their own, but to carry Molly off, they apparently needed this real-estate, and they probably needed a cooperative, winter affinity, mortal practitioner to open the Way to drag her through.  Which would probably describe TTH pretty well.

2)  Summon the Murk during the Phage attacks
A, the cold nature of the Murk wards in these attacks screams Winter
B, Harry does briefly sense something familiar about the magic involved when he reaches out towards it

Negative:  It's hard to imagine Harry submitting to casting a spell that would facilitate the carnage the phages were wreaking, and also the blowby damage that was done by the confused people.

3)  Rear End PGH at the beginning.
I'm not sure what this accomplished.  The scene describes multiple impacts.  Possible results I can identify are:
  • Murph getting called in on the case early
  • Delay's Harry's being able to get onto the case
  • Makes Harry miserable early.

This seemed like an act of opportunity and desperation.  It was violent and not very precise.  The main reason why I pin TTH for this is because if he was indeed around he would probably have the opportunity, and maybe need the above 2 things accomplished, and also because I remember being lead to believe that we would get resolution to this mystery and seeing the scene from TTH's perspective ramming PGH would certainly give us closure. (the last is red because I'm not happy that I don't know where that memory comes from)

4)  Probably something big at AT before the PG dungeon crawl party showed up.
To be honest, the main reason why think TTH was involved in the battle PGH saw the aftermath of is because I really want some closure on what happened here, and this is the ideal way to get it.  I WANT I WANT I WANT.  There maybe if I say it loud enough I'll get it.  (Griff has pointed out to me that Jim has promised us more story about what happened at AT)

5)  Fix Little Chicago the morning of the 2nd day, while Harry was out of the Appt. at the Hospital with Murphy, Bob, and Mouse.
Evidence for TTH kinda stacks up, not that there aren't alternate possibilities.
  • See my LC fix timing topic linked in the background post above for the evidence as to the timing
  • TTH was intimately familiar with LC.  And had the chops.  And knew it was there.  And could get in (not as big a deal).  All those things listed at the end of PG.
  • I have felt deep down for a long time that if TTH did it, he did it because a functional LC was absolutely vital for him to do something HE needed to cast a spell for.  This binds LC's fixing tightly to the "tropish TTH goals"
  • The Mystery of who fixed LC becomes necessary to preserve the space time continuum!

Break:  I wrote all the above (both sections) months ago and got back to this theory only recently.  Next I'll provide some more thoughts that can serve as building blocks for a complex and flimsy projection of what could have happened in PG/what will happen in a future book.

Projecting forward to project back:
Ok, as of writing this, the most recent book published is Skin Game, book 15.  We know that book 16 is Peace Talks, about an accords peace summit in Chicago.  Book 17 is supposed to be Mirror Mirror, where Harry is drawn to an alternate reality by an alternate Harry.  Book 18 hasn't had a name provided but it's supposed to involve professional wrestling.  For numerology reasons, Book 20 is likely to involve Denarians.

The presumptive TTH book is going to be pretty involved.  I kinda worry that Jim is going to have to work extra hard stressing that he tiptoes through the plot of PG making sure he doesn't accidentally crush things.  Thus I think it's unlikely that he can squeeze in those intricacies into the MM book on top of the alternate universe theme (not that it's impossible).  The same goes for the other books 16 and 18, so that only leaves books 19 and 20 (and the possible extension to the files, book 21) as possible case files for the presumptive "TTH book."

What mechanism/motivation sends Harry back?
Likely causes for TTH to end up in PG would be: (not mutually exclusive)
  • Malevolent actor boots him back in time
  • A Winter Queen tasks him with the job
  • Harry follows a Malevolent actor to the past
  • Harry follows a victim of a Malevolent actor into the past to save them*

*Doylist thought:  From a writing perspective, GS showed it would be a very difficult 1st person story to write and draw the reader into if TTH is all alone on his mission in PG time.  This generates another really important question that I want to address:

Who Could TTH interact with in PG time?
  • TTH could bring a side kick.  This has its own hazards because it's now 2 elephants in the temporal china shop, but may be doylisticly necessary. 
  • Some analog of "Doctor Emmett Brown" might be able to be recruited for help.  There's more than one variation of "Doc" though:
    • BTTF1 Doc:  PG time "Doc" whoever he is has to be convinced somehow that TTH is lagit, and convinced to help.
    • BTTF2 Doc:  Someone else recruits Harry to come with them to PG time.
    • Some character that's already temporally experienced like Doc in BTTF3 and is already in PG time and needs help getting out.  (woah, that actually could really work)
  • Powerful Temporally cognizant beings like Vadderung or maybe the Gatekeeper.  This is tricky because these beings tend to be so circumspect in dealing with Harry anyways, and they would probably take this to the nth degree with a TTH.

Ok so if TTH did it, then how and why?
First, it should be understood that this is Conjecture, and very likely to be WRONG, but it is a swing for the fence, an attempt to line up all the balls and hit them with the que just right that they all sink in in one shot.  Or go down in flames.

Hows that for mixed metaphors. 

Summary of the Conjective WAG on PG: 
TTH Did it.  When did TTH travel back?  Book 20, to follow/travel with a Denarian or group of Denarians.  Why?  To save PG (and possibly DB timeline) AT from a Nemesis/outsider (possibly hell backed) coup/attack, presumably that was also temporal in nature.

The theoretical details:
In book 20 a nemfected agent of Hell time hops back to Arctis Tor (using the nemfected Lea as an anchor to gain entry) to subvert Mab's attempt to remove nemesis' influence over Lea, temporarily holding the fortress while trying to free her from her bonds.  Nick and or the new wielder of Thorned Namshiel convince TTH to time hop with them to help Mab retake AT with the assistance of a legion of the Erlking's goblins.  Thus it is actually Mab with Denarian backup that assaults AT before the PGH dungeon crawl shows up. 

While there, TTH finds that he is responsible for the vehicle accident against PGH and thus completes the circle and perpetrates the accident.  This sets off a chain of events where he also has to lock up Pell's Theater, fix LC (possibly to use it to track down an agent of Hell), and throw down the wards to impede Harry at the convention.  I think it is likely this ward also held the fetch in stasis minimizing the havoc it wreaks until PGH could deal with it. 

Edit:  A response below reminded me that required reading #2 above when applied to this theory practically requires that PG Tomas interacted with TTH during the fixing of LC.  Thus it is possible that he helped out TTH significantly.

It's at the bottom of Pat's latest blog post

This is a doubly big deal since I know first hand that since Shecky took the leap and went private with his copy editing services, he's been incredibly busy and has a really hard time keeping up with his schedule of work he has to do.

If it didn't mean that a) my wife would probably kill me for the expenditure, and b) some other deserving author would lose out, I'd want to buy it to see the original Twenty Palaces novel copyedited.  Plus I know Shecky is a huge fan of the book.

DFRPG / "Rent" a discussion on Goodman Grey
« on: November 13, 2015, 02:22:11 PM »
I don't play the DFRPG, but I own and have read the books (long ago) and sometimes consider aspects of the canon Dresden Files from a perspective of the DFRPG game mechanics.

One of the things that I found insightful is the mechanism I remember for a PC who gains more and more power becoming less and less dynamic in what choices they can freely make.  Their power constrains their free will, to the point that if they get too powerful, they become an NPC.

I interpreted this as a free willed being becoming a static monster/benevolent being.

I'd like some of the DFRPG wonks opinions on this interpretation of what Goodman Grey's "Rent" could be, and if it could potentially help a PC modeled after Goodman Grey or Vadderung remain a PC.

I don't think he [Goodman Grey] is an agent for Odin, only that Odin is one of the people who knows how to arrange to hire him.

Their payment's are similar.  Perhaps they both pay rent.

Wow, that's actually rather deep. 

  • We know from WoJ that Odin as Vadderung has embraced a measure of mortality (able to be killed) as a price for being able to effect things more on the mortal plane.
  • According to Bob, the Naagloshii were immortal messengers that were supposed to leave the mortal plane with the Holy People, and selfishly stayed behind and were corrupted by their power into the evil beings they are now.
  • Perhaps Odin has to do some kind of selfless, but mercenary acts to pay "Rent" and avoid his power corrupting him into a static (non free willed) malignancy of evil
  • Perhaps he explained to Goodman Grey how to do the same to avoid his progenitor's decent into evil

In this model, by performing mercenary tasks assigned and paid for by free willed mortals, the powerful being that would otherwise become a "soul-less monster" retains a right to continue on the mortal plane as a free willed individual (Pays rent).

DF Reference Collection / Molly's heritage.
« on: November 03, 2015, 04:36:21 PM »
I remember discussing this when the WoJ came out, but I can't find any of my posts on the topic so I'm starting a new topic to use as a reference in another theory topic I'm generating.

Jim said about a year and a half ago on twitter:

Quote from: twitter
Quote from: Zachary Ready ‏@DeusSolis
Question among my @HarriedWizard RPG group for @longshotauthor : would changelings be sterile? and if not how would the genetics work?
Quote from: Jim Butcher @longshotauthor
@DeusSolis @HarriedWizard No, not at all.  And cautiously.
@DeusSolis @HarriedWizard :D Consider it a dormant gene group that could potentially be activated by environmental exposure.
Quote from: Zachary Ready ‏@DeusSolis
@longshotauthor @HarriedWizard So a half-elf changeling could have kids that when exposed 2 faerydom, child could exhibit faery qualities?
Quote from: Jim Butcher @longshotauthor
@DeusSolis @HarriedWizard Yeah, though they'd need more exposure the wider the generation gap was. It would be impractical at some point.

Many of us crack theorizers seized on this to explain how Molly was eligible to be the Winter Lady.  Probably through her mother she had changeling blood, and her exposure in Arctis Tor and later training from Lea served as the catalyzing "environmental exposure."

Edit 3/5/2016:  Below is a newer WoJ relevant to the topic that I find thoroughly confusing in it's content but relevant and worth archiving here -Serack

So in regards to Molly and the process that she’s been going through and growing up and such and now she’s the winter lady… I’m kind of interested in… it’s kind of two fold.  How long has it been since a mortal has become that level of a faerie and what kinds of repercussions or changes do you think that we are going to see.
Well it’s been a while since there was a pure mortal… I mean technically Maeve and Sarissa are pure mortals and are only influenced by the mantle so… they were first generation Half Fae, but… As far as Molly being pure mortal… is she really any more is sort of the question and sort of what we are dealing with.  I don’t know if you’ve read your short story [audience:  It’s not out yet] It’s not out yet?  Oh, Oh, ok, Well you should read that! Definitely.  It’s called Cold Case. 

Edit:  May 2019

So I just posted the info in the OP (not the 2016 edit) to reddit and got a collective shrug.  So all the below will be full post on the reasons why it makes sense to me that the above tweet applies to Molly.

First lets look at the sampling we have of Winter Ladies and their heritage:
  • Maeve:  Biological daughter of Mab, ergo sidhe (not just fae) changeling of the first degree (Source 2014 AMA)
  • Aurora:  Unknown heritiage, Claimed by Titania to be her daughter, but that could be the mantle subsuming her identity thing, as Mab refers to Molly as her daughter now too. 
  • Lilly:  Fae "Nixie" changeling (Meryl says she is half "nixie" in SK)
  • Sarissa:  Biological twin to Maeve and biological daughter to Mab.
  • Mab:  Jim said at the 2015 DragonCon, "Mab was originally Winter Lady" so she counts.  We don't know if she was a changeling but we do know that she was Titania's biological twin.  The symmetry between her and Titania being twins and Maeve, the last WL and Sarissa the current SL being biological twins is interesting and points towards Mab and Titania having been changelings, but that's hardly evidence at all, just interesting potential parallels
  • Titania:  In the same WoJ where Jim said Mab had been Winter Lady, he also said "And the same thing with Titania."
  • Molly:  Her heritage is what this post is all about.

So of the seven known winter ladies, we positively know three (Maeve, Sarissa, and Lily) were first generation changelings, and we have varying degrees of reasons to believe the rest were as well, but no confirmation either way.  I'll add that we also have strong reason to believe that 4 (Maeve {See 2016 Myths and Legends Convention WoJ}, Sarissa, Lily, and Molly) were still "pure mortal" which I interpret to mean not fae when they took on the mantle. 

Environmental Exposure:
So the Tweet says that individuals with Fae heritiage beyond the first generation can have a dormant gene group that can activate with "environmental exposure" (Which I interpret to mean could develop into changelings themselves and therefor chose/be recruited to become fae), but that the further the generation gap the more "exposure" necessary to a point where eventually it's "impractical."

So when I read this, I thought, "what has Molly gone through that constitutes 'environmental exposure.'"  The obvious answer is that she has been training under "Auntie Lea" for quite a while.  It is possible that her magical training also fits in this category, especially since the bulk of her talents, and therefore the skills she developed lie in what I'd call "fae like glamour." 

And if you look at the most interesting WoJ on Proven Guilty (partially quoted below)
See above regarding "the question is *why*?" 

Ask yourself why Mab had Molly brought in.  What chain of events did that set in motion?  What secondary effects came about because of it? 

Those "environmental exposures" were the result of a chain of events that came into motion because of Mab having Molly brought in.  But even more in your face is something that priscellie pointed out to me when we first discussed this the tweeted WoJ.

Quote from: Priscellie
Harry exposed her to a faceful of aerosolized Heart-of-Winter's-Wellspring when he threw Summer Fire around Arctis Tor.

So with all the above, I'll address a question articulated by redditor Teh_Swimmly when I quoted my OP on Molly's heritage to reddit today:
Quote from: Teh_Swimmly
Does it matter? Even if Molly has some Far blood, and that seems like a stretch, it's still Harry's acceptance of the Knighthood and the subsequent training by Lea that provide the additional factors making her eligible for the mantle. This theory just adds an additional step that we have no support (for in Molly's case).

As Winter Lady, Molly is a full time immortal ruler of the lords of Fae, and bound by Fae law on a level so strong it abrogates her free will in certain circumstances.  She is now fae.  Given how many of the previous ladies were changelings before they became fae ladies, I think it is more of a stretch that Molly became a fae without first being a changeling via heritage and environmental exposure as detailed above than that she jumped from being a non-changeling fae-associated mortal to becoming an immortal fae lady via mantle assumption. 

Full disclosure, I /do/ suspect it is possible to "become" fae to some degree via mantle assumption without having first been a changeling.  See the below WoJ:
Quote from: 2013 KC signing
Is Kringle Fae?
His mantle, yes, is part of the Winter Court. Which does not necessarily mean that he himself is Fae as much as the fact that his mantle is. While he’s there, he’s got to pay deference to Mab. If Mab gives him a command, he has to obey it.
I also suspect the Erlking wasn't fae before he assumed his mantle. 

Cinder Spires Books / Wow, Priscellie's Cinder Spires maps are gorgeous!
« on: October 04, 2015, 01:09:50 PM »
Check them out on Jim's store!

She has some on her own website that are signed (by both her and Jim) for $15 more.

I mean it, they are gorgeous, "Lush copper foil print on navy blue felt paper."

Cinder Spires Spoilers / Does anyone else picture Folly as...
« on: September 30, 2015, 07:25:39 PM »
Does any one else have Luna Lovegood meandering through their imagination playing the role of Folly?  Here's a reaction to a particular line about her I wrote down when I read it.

(click to show/hide)

Site Suggestions & Support / Starting a topic causes errors in my browser
« on: September 23, 2015, 08:47:57 PM »
Ok, I'm pretty sure that this has been happening to me for a while now, but since I don't do start topics very often, I didn't exactly realize there was a problem.

Starting a topic causes my browser to have some kind of error where the parent forum doesn't reload afterwords.  There have been occasions where I refreshed a minute or two later and somehow this caused a double post of the topic.  At least one of these was when I used the admin power to move a topic and ended up with two move announcement topics being generated. 

One of the places I browse from generates the following error (with some additional info that I don't think applies)

Network Error   



Exception:   A communication error occurred: ""
Cause:    The Web Server may be down, too busy, or experiencing other problems preventing it from responding to requests. You may wish to try again at a later time.   
HTTP Error Code:   503   
Primary Contact:     Click here for additional guidance and procedures for requesting access to blocked content.   

I did some tests in the curator section to see if this repeats, and to capture the above message since I had closed the tab it had happened to me on earlier.  One of the tests showed that when I generate a topic from my iPhone, I don't get the above message, I just get a blank page.

This is a Mac theory topic.

I was pretty pleased at the way my "Doylist analysis of LC fix timing" went, and came across a question about Cold Days that I think will benefit from a similar treatment.  F.Y.I. a Doylist (TVTropes warning) analysis essentially means, "theorizing from a writing perspective rather than from an in story perspective"

So here is the list of people that Harry lugged up the side of the hill (the "Scooby Gang") for the final climatic scene in Cold Days, along with my projected reasons why they were there from a perspective of what their presence accomplished for the story.
  • Molly:  Pretty easy, her sole purpose on that hill was to be the victim of the Lady Mantle transfer
  • Murphy:  She was the one to actually pull the trigger.  Because, youknow, Harry can't actually hurt a girl and all. ???
  • Thomas & Mouse:  I lump these two together because IMO they served the same purpose of general muscle and a reconnection to his old loyal backup, pre GS and all that.
  • Justine:  Her presence enabled Maeve to inform the reader that Lara is clean of Nemfection.-Second Aristh
  • Sarissa:  See Molly above.
  • Mac:  Huh... Um why WAS he there?

So why was Mac on that hill?  This is the central question of this theory topic, and it assumes that Jim wouldn't have spent the ink necessary to include him without there being a significant reason for him to be there.

So what did Mac do and or what happened to Mac during that sequence?
  • Firstly, Mac's general mode during this was "Passive" and "Victim."  Meaning he didn't appear to be an actor, but was instead acted upon.
  • Harry dragged him up there, and generally grouped him with Sarissa as someone he didn't trust to let out of his sight, but may be good, bad or benign.
  • Along with everyone else, he passed into the circle by covering himself in muck
  • He was shot in the abdomen by Maeve with that little gun.
  • Mab removed the bullet by hand.  This may be significant since she doesn't do "favors" without them being an exchange. (Although she may have been obligated to undo Maeve's damage to him-peregrine)
  • His healing from the wound probably falls under the heading, "supernatural"

Additional data that may be significant:  Both Vadderung and Mab have had verbal exchanges with him where it was demonstrated that one understood the other well enough to compliment or greatly amuse.  (Vadderung getting the extremely non-verbal Mac to laugh with his joke told off screen and seemingly proud to have done so, and Mab getting more than monosyllables that she considers high flattery.)

Potential answers to the central question:  These aren't necessarily exclusive.
  • Mac's presence and grouping with Sarissa might have just been to prop up the need to bring Sarissa to be available for eventual Lady Mantle Victimhood.  Her slightly odd inclusion is less odd if they are both dragged along.
  • Jim might have wanted a flashing neon sign pointing out to the readers that Mac ain't human, while maintaining Mac's passivity.
  • Jim might have wanted to establish that Mab is concerned for Mac's wellbeing enough to remove the bullet so he can begin healing.
  • Mac might be a token "male victim" to balance out Sarissa, Molly and Justine-knnn
  • Something we had hints about, but that I haven't been able to piece together
  • Something off screen that we don't really have much to clue us in to

Final conclusions:  Reasons 1-4 combined might be enough to explain his presence on that hill, but Justine, Molly, and Sarissa were the other passive players on that hill and their Doylist reasons for being there were so significant that Mac's enigmatic presence makes me think there is something I am missing here.

Any suggestions?  (additions to the above due to replies below will generally be cited with the name of the contributor)

Edit:  Original post missed Justine's presence, and has been edited to account for her as well.  Thanks Tami and 2πr for the outstanding contributions.

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