Author Topic: Laws of Magic Convenant  (Read 893 times)

Offline Allen Waker

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Laws of Magic Convenant
« on: December 21, 2018, 06:13:33 PM »
Apologies if there is a thread around covering this topic.  A search of the forum revealed some chatter in the DFRPG, but nothing that I saw immediately caught my eye.
Anyways, I have a theory that the Laws of Magic are enforced by a powerful being such as a god and this is the actual reason mortals are corrupted by their lawbreaking.

As to my reasoning, there are a few oddities about how the Laws function.  Magic has been shown to have a great deal of leeway as to its execution.  Props can stand in for a mental action and can be influenced by your perceptions what elements make up the world (Fire/Earth/Air/Water/Spirit vs Wood/Fire/Earth/Metal/Water).  Harry has given other examples, but in essence magic is greatly determined by the views of the practioner.  It seems odd that a practioner can maim and murder without remorse using mundane methods, but the moment they do so with magic, only then does their aura gain the taint of black magic.  Furthermore there are multiple instances where the Laws are skirted by technicalities such as Gatekeeper telling Harry to be alert for black magic in Proven Guilty (6th Law), Harry and Molly using "grey magic" to put people to sleep (4th Law), Harry animating Sue (5th Law).  Another oddity is how certain creatures aren't defined as "human" for the purposes of the 1st Law, but are very similar to humans, ie White Court Vampires being able to soulgaze.
Probably the biggest reason I think the Laws are something artificial rather than a universal truth has to do with a conversation between Harry and McCoy in Blood Rites.  McCoy explains that at times the Council found itself bound by its own Laws and created the Blackstaff to circumvent them.  His phrasing made me think that the Council actually did create the Laws and if anyone one person would know the truth of that, it'd be the guy who's allowed to ignore them.
Now as to why they would create the Laws and then have them enforced, I've got no idea.  It would be one thing if doing black magic was lethal, but all it really seems to do is encourage recidivism. 

Offline Anubissama

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Re: Laws of Magic Convenant
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2019, 09:27:26 PM »
My personal thoughts on the matter are that it's not that there is some kind of being or guardian of the Laws. The Laws and the consequence of breaking them are natural phenomena like when you throw a stone, gravity will act upon it and it will eventually fall down. There is no Spirit of the  Higgs Boson sentiently acting to make it fall, it's a feature of the universe we live in.

For the Dresden Files, the Laws and what happens when you brake them is a consequence of two fundamental properties of the Universe being forced to work against each other. First off, magic is the energy of creation left over after the universe came into existence, this has been stated at least ones by Dresden directly if not multiple times. Second, mortal Free Will is special, while other creatures have more or less leeway in their actions humans are the only beings in the whole of existence that can say that they are truly of Free Will.

Now let's look at the Seven Laws of Magic through the lens of Free Will, shall we?

       
    "Thou Shalt Not Kill" - easiest, killing someone prevents them from executing their Free Will anymore
    "Thou Shalt Not Transform Others" - forcing someone out of their human body that holds Free Will, limits it in an obvious way (it might even suggest that Free Will is something biologically/metaphysical to the human body)
    "Thou Shalt Not Invade the Mind of Another" - directly influencing and breaking someones Free Will
    "Thou Shalt Not Enthrall Another" - indirectly influencing and breaking someone's Free Will
    "Thou Shalt Not Reach Beyond the Borders of Life" - bringing back human souls, capable of Free Will, and binding it to your will
    "Thou Shalt Not Swim Against the Currents of Time" - going back in time to unmake Free Will decisions
    "Thou Shalt Not Open the Outer Gates" - that one is just there so that no one brakes the Universe by accident (looking at you Dresden)

So my theory goes, that the Taint from practising black magic comes from the crash of two fundamental elements of the universe. You are using magic (the force of creation) to unmake/damage Free Will (a building block of creation) the negative feedback from that damages reality in the form of your psyche giving the black magic corruption effect.

So it's a natural phenomenon, no gods or convents necessary. Just a sideproduct of how the Dresdenverse is set up.
DV Anubissama V1.2 YR5 FR(M) 3 BK++++: RP++++: JB+: TH+++: WG: CL++: SW +(-): BC+: MC+++: SH(Molly)+++++:

Offline g33k

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Re: Laws of Magic Convenant
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2019, 07:56:25 PM »
I'm gonna go with Occam's razor here:  the simplest explanation.

It's a Judeo-Christian universe, kinda-sorta-mostly-but-lots-of-variance-and-extra-bits-and-ESPECIALLY-not-as-judgemental-as-many-would-have-it.  One (1) big ol' Big Guy, with lots of Angels working for Him, and Fallen Angels working as The Bad Guys.

We have met several Angels, both the Fallen and not, and they are pretty unified on reporting that they were there at the Very Beginning -- they witnessed Creation, as an event.  We could hypothesize that they collaborate on perpetuating a myth as a truth; but (Occam's razor) ... why hypothesize it?  We have several ancient beings of vast power, violently opposed to one another, who report the same facts; and no reports in the Dresden books to the contrary.

I admit the Beyond'ers &c don't fit at all (extra bits).

I think folks who are looking for a different metaphysic in the Dresdenverse are just embedded in their own atheist/agnostic POV's -- they love Dresden, they don't WANT it to be so close to a Judeo-Christian 'verse.
 

Offline DanceGeek5678

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Re: Laws of Magic Convenant
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2019, 07:19:04 AM »
I like Luccio's explanation in Proven Guilty. The Laws are the maximum limits of what the WC can enforce without involving and conflicting with other alligences or jurisdictions. And it's the minimum which can be done to police its own people. The lines are stark as consequences are dire. So, I assume the self-inflicted damage done through violation of those laws (in the normal course of events) leaves a sort of behavioral pathway scar which creates a spiral of decreasing morality and cognizance. Not all violations leave such a scar, perhaps, but that is simply a confusing detail which the WC just as soon ignores.

Offline g33k

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Re: Laws of Magic Convenant
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2019, 04:55:37 PM »
I think it's also worth noting that...
1.  The White Council has a suite of codified "Laws" -- in the legal/mortal sense of the word -- which they enforce as strictly as they can manage, but always limited by human fallibility, error, etc.
2.  The Dresdenverse seems to have a suite of "Laws" -- in the physical/metaphysical sense of 'how the universe operates' -- which the universe enforces with the strict and utter implacability of any other physical law.

These "Laws" kinda-sorta-mostly-but-not-exactly overlap, insofar as the WC "Laws" are mostly meant to prevent people from going down the paths that Dresdenverse metaphysics dictate will cause problems.