Author Topic: Harry's murders of Non-humans! (Cold Days spoilers)  (Read 29165 times)

Offline blackstaff_

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Before the party, Harry mentions that he was going out to "first day in the prison yard". The #1 rule of the prison yard is "don't show fear". In fact, your best bet for that is to find the biggest, baddest prisoner and beat  the ever-loving hell out of him to establish your credentials.

In the Winter Court, no such credentials would be awarded to a Knight who showed any sort of mercy. To quote Vince McMahon here, "ruthless aggression" is the name of the game for them and the only thing they respond to. Harry understood this, and acted accordingly. His first "kill" was on Mab's orders and as such, did nothing for him. The second was his way of establishing his identity and establishing the ground rules for how he was going to deal with the Sidhe from then on out. It was pre-meditated, but was not outside the realm of "standard behavior" for ranking nobles of the Winter Court. He understood this, and its necessity, so no taint or corruption would apply to him afterward. He didn't want to do it, but he had to, and that's the crucial difference.
This
“You're in America now," I said. "Our idea of diplomacy is showing up with a gun in one hand and a sandwich in the other and asking which you'd prefer.”
― Harry Dresden , Turn Coat

Offline peregrine

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Before the party, Harry mentions that he was going out to "first day in the prison yard". The #1 rule of the prison yard is "don't show fear". In fact, your best bet for that is to find the biggest, baddest prisoner and beat  the ever-loving hell out of him to establish your credentials.

In the Winter Court, no such credentials would be awarded to a Knight who showed any sort of mercy. To quote Vince McMahon here, "ruthless aggression" is the name of the game for them and the only thing they respond to. Harry understood this, and acted accordingly. His first "kill" was on Mab's orders and as such, did nothing for him. The second was his way of establishing his identity and establishing the ground rules for how he was going to deal with the Sidhe from then on out. It was pre-meditated, but was not outside the realm of "standard behavior" for ranking nobles of the Winter Court. He understood this, and its necessity, so no taint or corruption would apply to him afterward. He didn't want to do it, but he had to, and that's the crucial difference.
But Harry is not a ranking noble of the Winter Court.  If there were to be any taint from killing a sidhe, just because Harry can justify it to himself (and you can justify it for him) doesn't mean he didn't actually kill someone.  Standard behavior or not, necessity or not, he killed someone with magic.

Now, he killed a sidhe, not a mortal, and as he is not a mortal, I don't think there is that same kind of taint, and he's in the clear for the Laws, but "I've got a really good reason" doesn't make you immune to the corrupting influences of dark magic.

I mean, Harry had as good, if not BETTER justification for killing Justin when he did, and it was still an issue for him with the Laws, and he even got a bit of that taint on him.

Offline blackstaff_

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But Harry is not a ranking noble of the Winter Court.  If there were to be any taint from killing a sidhe, just because Harry can justify it to himself (and you can justify it for him) doesn't mean he didn't actually kill someone.  Standard behavior or not, necessity or not, he killed someone with magic.

Now, he killed a sidhe, not a mortal, and as he is not a mortal, I don't think there is that same kind of taint, and he's in the clear for the Laws, but "I've got a really good reason" doesn't make you immune to the corrupting influences of dark magic.

I mean, Harry had as good, if not BETTER justification for killing Justin when he did, and it was still an issue for him with the Laws, and he even got a bit of that taint on him.

So you are saying since he didn't kill a mortal, but killed a sidhe he still got some kind of dark magic taint but not the same as if he would have killed a person,  right? 
(sorry for the wording I have been up for a while with out sleep)
“You're in America now," I said. "Our idea of diplomacy is showing up with a gun in one hand and a sandwich in the other and asking which you'd prefer.”
― Harry Dresden , Turn Coat

Offline SAZ

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http://www.jimbutcheronline.com/bb/index.php/topic,1879.msg37967.html#msg37967

The above is a WoJ about killing with magic. Human vs Faeries. Read down past the Kemmler stuff.

Also I could not locate what I thought was another WoJ that says in another way that the black magic taint only happens if you kill mortals/humans…

So... Serack I summon thee! (with cookies and hot coco). Is there another WoJ telling us it is basically taint- free to kill non humans with magic?
Last night I had a vision. The World in flames. Terror and death spreading across the globe in an unstoppable wave, destroying anything resembling order or civilization. At the center of it – I saw Mister. Sitting there grooming himself, looking disinterested.

Offline peregrine

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I don't know if he got any taint or not, but if he did, it was probably of the psychological variety rather than the metaphysical variety.  Nothing magical about it, just that it's easy to get into the habit of solving your problems and making your points with violence.  Doing it and having it work just encourages you to do it again.

Offline blackstaff_

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I don't know if he got any taint or not, but if he did, it was probably of the psychological variety rather than the metaphysical variety.  Nothing magical about it, just that it's easy to get into the habit of solving your problems and making your points with violence.  Doing it and having it work just encourages you to do it again.

I agree with what you are saying,  but in that situation with all winter watching  he had to do what he had to do. When around dangerous people, if they think you're weak, your done
“You're in America now," I said. "Our idea of diplomacy is showing up with a gun in one hand and a sandwich in the other and asking which you'd prefer.”
― Harry Dresden , Turn Coat

Offline peregrine

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It's not a terrible argument, I'm just thinking that it's irrelevant to the issue of magical taint or not.

Again, Harry got a bit of a stain from killing Justin, and "A bunch of people might hypothetically think I'm an easy target" is a lot less of a justification than "He's trying to kill me right this second!"

Offline blackstaff_

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It's not a terrible argument, I'm just thinking that it's irrelevant to the issue of magical taint or not.

Again, Harry got a bit of a stain from killing Justin, and "A bunch of people might hypothetically think I'm an easy target" is a lot less of a justification than "He's trying to kill me right this second!"

Touche' :)
« Last Edit: November 19, 2013, 03:51:15 AM by blackstaff_ »
“You're in America now," I said. "Our idea of diplomacy is showing up with a gun in one hand and a sandwich in the other and asking which you'd prefer.”
― Harry Dresden , Turn Coat

Offline Xandarth

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I agree with what you are saying,  but in that situation with all winter watching  he had to do what he had to do. When around dangerous people, if they think you're weak, your done
Still no need to kill. There's plenty you can do to someone short of killing them that would demonstrate your power to them.
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Offline Serack

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http://www.jimbutcheronline.com/bb/index.php/topic,1879.msg37967.html#msg37967

The above is a WoJ about killing with magic. Human vs Faeries. Read down past the Kemmler stuff.

Also I could not locate what I thought was another WoJ that says in another way that the black magic taint only happens if you kill mortals/humans…

So... Serack I summon thee! (with cookies and hot coco). Is there another WoJ telling us it is basically taint- free to kill non humans with magic?

Here is what Jim said:
Quote
Note also the killing law only applies to Humans.
You can kill as many faeries as you want with magic.

Bingo.  It hardly seems fair, does it?

The Laws of Magic don't necessarily match up to the actual universal guidelines to how the universal power known as "magic" behaves.

The consequences for breaking the Laws of Magic don't all come from people wearing grey cloaks.

And none of it necessarily has anything to do with what is Right or Wrong.

Which exist.  It's finding where they start or stop existing that's the hard part.

Jim

If you read it carefully though, Jim appears to have said that Council's Law doesn't necessarily reflect the true nature of how [dark] Magic can effect your mind (my way of rephrasing his comments in this context). 

The below quoted post I made a couple weeks ago [edit, oh hey look, it's reply #26 of this very topic] goes through a lot of effort to outline how I think the books have explicitly shown how something like this (Harry killing non mortals) has effected him WRT the "actual universal guidelines to how the universal power known as "magic" behaves" Jim referred to in the above WoJ.

By the way, I think this quote from "Backup" is quite pertinant to this conversation: (btw, Backup is from Thomas' perspective)

(click to show/hide)

Edit:  Some context for that quote from the White Night scene where that passion was born:

Quote from: WN ch 23
"Think they'll rat out their buddy?"
"If they think it'll save their lives?" I asked.  In a heartbeat.  Maybe less."
"Weasels," Ramirez muttered.
"They are what they are, man," I said.  "There's no use in hating them for it.  Just be glad we can use it to advantage.  Let's go."
[snip]scene where Harry finds that a ghoul killed 2 16 year old's eating parts of the little girl and gets rather upset about it (understatement)[/snip]
The quality of mercy was not Harry.
[/snip]
"Never," I told it.  "Never again."
Then I threw it down the shaft.
[/snip]
"Sixteen, Carlos," I said.  "Sixteen.  It had them for less than eight minutes."
[snip]An enraged Harry kicks one ghoul away to warn others not to pull these shenagans on his watch again and sets up a death trap for the other involving orange juce and desert ants[/snip]
moments later, Ramirez said, "What happened to not hating them?"
"Things change."

I think this is pertinant because it directly shows Harry's empathy for a class of magical beings getting destroyed in a fit of rage.  To these beings Harry's the monster.

Note how this flashback happens near the end of the ghoul attack in the harbor in WN, and when he returns to the main narrative, Harry is going psychotic trying to strangle a goul, ignoring his own survival.  He would have drown without Thomas rescuing him.  Seems like a strong argument for the paradigm that even though killing non mortals isn't breaking the "Law" it can constitute black magic that warps the mind.

Also, the DFRPG forum mod made a truely excellent post on how "lawbreaking" can effect a character here, that I always recommend when people are discussing the topic of how "dark magic" effects the caster.

Finally, holy cow those DFRPG guys talk about law breaking a lot.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2013, 12:15:32 PM by Serack »
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Online Mira

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I agree with what you are saying,  but in that situation with all winter watching  he had to do what he had to do. When around dangerous people, if they think you're weak, your done
  Prison yard mentality, call it the chicken yard mentality, pecking order etc...  I grew up on a chicken ranch, my father refused to cage them, so they had nests, roosts, houses, and a huge yard to run in.. Anyway, what one observed over and over again, if one of the hens was perceived to be weak or ill by the others, the pecking order kicked in.  The stronger chickens would peck the weaker one to death.  Not saying they did this at once, but if the weak chicken wasn't removed the outcome was always the same. 

What I am trying to say the Fae court has a pecking order, Harry had just recovered and perhaps perceived as weak by some of the Court members, it was either strike and prove his strength or be pecked at or undermined till he was killed.
Quote
Still no need to kill. There's plenty you can do to someone short of killing them that would demonstrate your power to them.
  Perhaps, if one is dealing with humans or humans with values.  The Fae are not human, they have laws, but their laws not ours.  Back to the real world for a moment, there are gangs very ruthless human gangs who demand of members a murder as right of passage.. I doubt that anything short of that would be considered a demonstration of power.  The perspective member would then be in turn killed by the group.

Offline SAZ

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Thanks Serack.

Does anyone think any of the rage and hate Harry is feeling in the above WK quote was just his own natural over developed “defend and avenge the children credo” happily enhanced by Lashiel’s shadow?

Knowing that I am bucking the trend, I am still unconvinced that killing non humans with magic results in a mystical black magic mind warping stain. As argued by others above, it seems that the normal psychological stress and strains of killing anything in a violent way is more than damaging in a normal real world way. Everyone is different and deals with violence and gruesome stuff differently, but the stuff Harry has seen in the books is more than enough to make him at least a candidate for any number of PTSD like issues… (Or at least I think so in my non professional mental health way of thinking).

So are Harry’s actions at his B-party a result of black magic warping? Sure in part, but let us not forget what he has gone though in life. It is not surprising Harry is getting darker and more violent. I suspect and hope that toward the end of the DF or the BAT Harry will begin to heal or find some balance.
Last night I had a vision. The World in flames. Terror and death spreading across the globe in an unstoppable wave, destroying anything resembling order or civilization. At the center of it – I saw Mister. Sitting there grooming himself, looking disinterested.

Offline peregrine

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Yeah, I imagine that the issue in WK wasn't dark magic, but Lash upping his temper and stuff.

Offline ebliss1

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Quote
Still no need to kill. There's plenty you can do to someone short of killing them that would demonstrate your power to them.

Mercy in the Winter Court is for the weak. And Mab will not stand for a weak Knight, since a Knight's weakness reflects on her. Mab expects her rules to be obeyed without question, and the penalty for breaking them is death. For her Knight, the "Fist of Mab" so to speak, those rules must be the same.

If Harry does anything less than what they have come to expect from their Queen, he is perceived as weak. If so, they will look to bring him down. If he were to, instead, horribly maim or cripple the Sidhe who challenged him, that Sidhe would spend an inordinate amount of time plotting vengeance. For Harry, dealing with predatory nobles who try to take advantage of his weakness, or fending off plots from his still-living victim would take time away from his duties, another thing Mab is less than thrilled about.

Also remember, as Harry observed in White Night among the Whampires, these Sidhe are effectively immortal. Death as a concept to them has a whole different meaning than it does to mortals. For them to risk death, and the millenia they would be throwing away as a result of coming out on the wrong side of the risk-reward ration, would represent a HUGE downside for them. With Harry's swift action, every Sidhe now has to weigh "torture a mortal for a few hours of fun and risk oblivion, or forgoe a few hours of fun and ensure thousands of years of existence".

Additionally, since these Sidhe are effectively immortal, the at-best couple centuries Harry would be around as Winter Knight will pass in the virtual blink of an eye.

So, no. In my opinion, anything short of what Harry did would have been a long-term disaster for him. Either he'd have doomed himself to non-stop attacks from the Winter Sidhe who would constantly test him for weakness, or Mab would have killed him outright for showing weakness in front of her entire Court.

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Offline Tami Seven

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Here is what Jim said:
Bingo.  It hardly seems fair, does it?

The Laws of Magic don't necessarily match up to the actual universal guidelines to how the universal power known as "magic" behaves.

The consequences for breaking the Laws of Magic don't all come from people wearing grey cloaks.

And none of it necessarily has anything to do with what is Right or Wrong.

Which exist.  It's finding where they start or stop existing that's the hard part.

Jim

If you read it carefully though, Jim appears to have said that Council's Law doesn't necessarily reflect the true nature of how [dark] Magic can effect your mind (my way of rephrasing his comments in this context). 

The below quoted post I made a couple weeks ago [edit, oh hey look, it's reply #26 of this very topic] goes through a lot of effort to outline how I think the books have explicitly shown how something like this (Harry killing non mortals) has effected him WRT the "actual universal guidelines to how the universal power known as "magic" behaves" Jim referred to in the above WoJ.
[/spoiler]

Edit:  Some context for that quote from the White Night scene where that passion was born:

I think this is pertinant because it directly shows Harry's empathy for a class of magical beings getting destroyed in a fit of rage.  To these beings Harry's the monster.

Note how this flashback happens near the end of the ghoul attack in the harbor in WN, and when he returns to the main narrative, Harry is going psychotic trying to strangle a goul, ignoring his own survival.  He would have drown without Thomas rescuing him.  Seems like a strong argument for the paradigm that even though killing non mortals isn't breaking the "Law" it can constitute black magic that warps the mind.

Also, the DFRPG forum mod made a truely excellent post on how "lawbreaking" can effect a character here, that I always recommend when people are discussing the topic of how "dark magic" effects the caster.

Finally, holy cow those DFRPG guys talk about law breaking a lot.

I know the talk is about Fae/Sidhe but it applies to this conundrum that always bothered me.

If Harry killed Ebenezar with Magic, he'd be a lawbreaker, a black magic Warlock destined for the chopping block. It would also affect him in other ways since Eb is not only mortal but Family.

If Harry killed Thomas with Magic, no laws would be broken. He would not be considered a warlock and no retribution would be sought. Yet, in theory, it should also have an effect on him because Thomas is Family as well.

Thing is, Thomas has free will, has a soul, and has the potential to 'theoretically' become human. Despite that, he is fair game even to his own brother.

I can see why Margaret LeFay had issues with the Laws of Magic.
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"Thomas doesn't fight back, not even for an instant. In the end, it's not common sense that pulls me back from the brink, or even fear of being devoured by the Shoggoth....It's the look of unshakeable trust in my Brother's eyes, even as my hands tighten around his throat."