Author Topic: Further proof that black magic is connected to Outsiders  (Read 8112 times)

Offline kbrizzle

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Further proof that black magic is connected to Outsiders
« on: May 19, 2019, 08:54:56 PM »
At the start of PG after the Council executes the Korean boy, the Merlin says something that intrigued me. When Harry questions the necessity of killing the young warlock, the Merlin answers that he personally examined the kid as well as 12 of his victims. Given that the WC just about scraped through the Ramp attacks in DB, it seemed odd to me that the Merlin would spend so much time on what seems like workaday Warden work.

Also why now? Why start staging public executions of warlocks guilty of breaking the Laws especially when it would be distasteful to almost everyone involved this far into the Ramp war?

Why go after Molly so ruthlessly for practicing black magic even though she was at a much earlier ‘warlock’ stage than the Korean kid? The Merlin took the time to soulgaze the Korean kid, but does not do so for Molly - he just wants to execute her. Eventually the Gatekeeper’s stalling tactic enables the rest of the SC to vote against Molly’s execution. The reason cited for this is KotC Michael being her dad & saving the day against Outsiders. The Merlin also seems to relent after these facts are introduced.

I think timing is key here. The first execution of this kind that we see is right after the events of DB where the presence of Outsiders ups the ante in the Ramp war. We also see from Eb’s words that the group in Oregon had a very tough time fighting the Outsider-allied Red Court & would likely have lost without Michael’s help. Given Mab’s seeming preoccupation in dealing with her own issues (Winter amassing troops at Summer border instead of fighting Ramps trespassing on their territory) & Outsiders openly allying themselves with the RCV, it would make sense that the WC would decide to deal very harshly with any practitioners following the left-hand path. These are the folks likely being co-opted by the Black Council/ Circle to summon Outsiders in the first place.

That the Merlin would take the time out of his very busy schedule to personally examine the victims of a teenage warlock shows that the SC is aware of the Adversary & is ready to take the ruthless steps to stamp out any violators of the Laws and send a stern warning to those who flirt with black magic (what Langtry thinks Harry does).

This is further proof that there is a relationship between black magic & allying with Outsiders. I’ve always liked the theory that the taint left on a practitioner’s soul from black magic foments a connection of sorts with the Outside. Interestingly we don’t really hear of further battles against the Ramps where Outsiders are involved in the following books. Instead the next few times the Outsiders attack are because of Cowl, Peabody & Maeve. So maybe the tactic sorta worked?





« Last Edit: May 19, 2019, 09:39:29 PM by kbrizzle »

Offline Hankthemoose

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Re: Further proof that black magic is connected to Outsiders
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2019, 03:46:43 PM »
I don't like that theory at all, because it contradicts several important plot elements.

Black magic practitioners who oppose outsiders - most notably Nicodemus and the nickleheads, as well as Wamps, and the infernal powers of hell in general. Huge portions of the Nevernever are understood to be "evil", with most commonly understood "demons" just being various creatures of the Nevernever.

All of the Outsider hints dropped early in the series - The whole point of Victor Sells, the wolf belts, and all later hints was that Harry is dealing with black magic that isn't behaving normally. They aren't normal bad guys, they are off somehow, and so is their magic. This strongly indicates that there is such a thing as a normal bad guy and normal black magic.

The traditional good/evil moral dimension represented by heaven/hell - The Outsider conflict is one being fought by "the world" headed by Mab against "the outside". The Dresden Files has another conflict between the forces of heaven and hell. This is NOT about protecting the world from outside, it's about the souls of mortals. Uriel and the swords basically treat outsiders as irrelevant to their mission. Instead, they fight evil, and the corruption of free will by the forces of said evil. If the source of this evil was "outside", then they would be set against outsiders, which they are not. Notice how the swords never show up in an outsider story?

Tying black magic to Outside in general kills a huge portion of the nuance of the entire story, and simply does not track with the story overall.





Offline Avernite

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Re: Further proof that black magic is connected to Outsiders
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2019, 04:22:40 PM »
Uhm, Michael did save the Council from the Ramp Outsiders, so the Swords do work on outsiders.

Even though otherwise I agree with you, Hank.

Offline Hankthemoose

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Re: Further proof that black magic is connected to Outsiders
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2019, 04:53:33 PM »
Good catch! though mainly I understood that Michael had been sent on that mission to put him in a position to save Molly. I suppose the swords do get sent into non-denarian missions pretty regularly, considering Butters' first mission. I'm still fairly confident that outsiders are at best a peripheral concern to them.

Offline morriswalters

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Re: Further proof that black magic is connected to Outsiders
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2019, 07:40:19 PM »
Unless I missed something the SC is involved with every execution.  One might assume that they gaze all the victims of every instance. This particular instance was more political than perhaps the others.

Offline g33k

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Re: Further proof that black magic is connected to Outsiders
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2019, 10:45:50 PM »
Good catch! though mainly I understood that Michael had been sent on that mission to put him in a position to save Molly. I suppose the swords do get sent into non-denarian missions pretty regularly, considering Butters' first mission. I'm still fairly confident that outsiders are at best a peripheral concern to them.
The Swords (and the Knights) are specifically/primarily about opposing the Denarians, rescuing their hosts from servitude to the Fallen.

But they do a LOT of other stuff...  rescue the Council from Ramp-summoned Outsiders, rescue Charity from Siriothrax, fight an Accorded duel with a Jade-court vamp (Jamp?), rescue Harry (and a station full of civilians) from a horde of Hobs, etc...

Given all the ineffability that the Almighty seems to fling about, though, it's not clear that ANY of those other missions are not -- at some level indiscernable to you and I and Harry Dresden -- opposing the Denarians.

Offline kbrizzle

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Re: Further proof that black magic is connected to Outsiders
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2019, 07:50:56 PM »
@Hank
While I get your point about some Black magic users being against Outsiders, we have yet to see any evidence of that in the novels. Sure, there are users like the Korean kid in PG who donít overtly support or have any connections to Outsiders, but there is no evidence that they are opposed to them. Nicodemus is not a wizard, in fact the Denarians with abilities to wield magic are Thorned Namshiel (on Black Council) & Tessa (also likely Black Council or being used by them).

The point in the series is that most wizards will use a little black magic in their time... the world of the DF almost makes it inevitable - the ones who keep using it without caution almost always become corrupted by it. My WAG is simply about the ones who have become corrupted by it - I think that taint opens up a Ďgateí of sorts to the Outside (& may even be one of the requirements to open the Gates). If you think about the Laws of Magic, doesnít the 7th one about the Outside seem like a non-sequitur?

I donít think there is anything normal in most uses of black magic - they are all somewhat unique in manifestation, motivation & abuse (see Molly vs. beheaded Korean kid).

Regarding your point about the 2 concurrent conflicts - hmm thatís how most of Harryís casefiles end - a couple of seemingly disparate things going on that end up being intertwined in the end (Blood Rites included).

I believe others have already commented on how the Swords can do a lot of other things in addition to fighting the Denarians. The purpose of the Swords is to fight evil of any kind. The purpose of the KotC is the fight/ save the Denarians. The KotC do not need to dedicate themselves to fighting Outsiders because, as you point out, it is Mabís job (presumably given to her by TWG or his agents).

@morriswalters
That is likely true - my point in this post is just to conjecture that the reason the SC is looking at every kid (as opposed to just the Wardens) is because they are looking for signs of Outsider activity.

Surely every time a warlock is captured red-handed, the SC doesnít need to personally soulgaze the person. As long as a Warden, or someone on the Council gazes the warlock, I think the SC is satisfied. In PG, warden Harry has gazed Molly, so perhaps thatís the workaround?

Offline morriswalters

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Re: Further proof that black magic is connected to Outsiders
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2019, 01:10:13 AM »
I have no idea.  Or maybe since it was about messaging, since he might have wanted to make sure that he covered his arse.

Offline Bad Alias

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Re: Further proof that black magic is connected to Outsiders
« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2019, 05:47:25 PM »
@kbrizzle: Rosanna also uses magic. I don't know if we want to count Hannah in there, but we probably see her use more magic than any other Denarian.

Offline kbrizzle

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Re: Further proof that black magic is connected to Outsiders
« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2019, 06:55:17 AM »
@Bad Alias
True & Rosanna is Tessaís top lieutenant. I guess we could count Hannah Ascher but again, she is not overtly opposed to Outsiders

Offline Hankthemoose

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Re: Further proof that black magic is connected to Outsiders
« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2019, 11:58:33 AM »
@Hank
While I get your point about some Black magic users being against Outsiders, we have yet to see any evidence of that in the novels. Sure, there are users like the Korean kid in PG who donít overtly support or have any connections to Outsiders, but there is no evidence that they are opposed to them. Nicodemus is not a wizard, in fact the Denarians with abilities to wield magic are Thorned Namshiel (on Black Council) & Tessa (also likely Black Council or being used by them).

The point in the series is that most wizards will use a little black magic in their time... the world of the DF almost makes it inevitable - the ones who keep using it without caution almost always become corrupted by it. My WAG is simply about the ones who have become corrupted by it - I think that taint opens up a Ďgateí of sorts to the Outside (& may even be one of the requirements to open the Gates). If you think about the Laws of Magic, doesnít the 7th one about the Outside seem like a non-sequitur?

I donít think there is anything normal in most uses of black magic - they are all somewhat unique in manifestation, motivation & abuse (see Molly vs. beheaded Korean kid).

Regarding your point about the 2 concurrent conflicts - hmm thatís how most of Harryís casefiles end - a couple of seemingly disparate things going on that end up being intertwined in the end (Blood Rites included).

I believe others have already commented on how the Swords can do a lot of other things in addition to fighting the Denarians. The purpose of the Swords is to fight evil of any kind. The purpose of the KotC is the fight/ save the Denarians. The KotC do not need to dedicate themselves to fighting Outsiders because, as you point out, it is Mabís job (presumably given to her by TWG or his agents).

You're wrong on both counts.

1.) All the denarians use magic, though some are certainly more proficient than others. Nicodemus' shadow leaping off the wall to strangle people is definitely a use of magic to kill. The same goes for Quintus Cassius, who was one of Nic's liutenants and explicitly a magic user with his snake-intensive spells.

2.) In Cold Days, Harry tries to get Murphy to bring a Sword, who refuses, saying explicitly "This isn't their fight". Also, if you think the use of Swords against the Ramps has anything to do with the outsiders, I encourage you to re-read Changes. It's explicitly stated that they're being punished for being "false gods".

3.) I'll add another point. Outsiders cooperate, they do not fight. The direct quote is "Outsiders; they work together, all of them". This means that, in your black magic=outsider influence model, all properly corrupted black magic users should be working together. Cowl, who is clearly aligned with the outsiders, was competing against and fighting Grevane and Corpsetaker, who are very obviously fully corrupted by black magic. It's obvious that they are not working with outsiders, or they would be cooperating 100% with Cowl.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2019, 12:02:05 PM by Hankthemoose »

Offline nadia.skylark

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Re: Further proof that black magic is connected to Outsiders
« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2019, 12:09:46 PM »
Quote
Nicodemus' shadow leaping off the wall to strangle people is definitely a use of magic to kill.

No, actually this is a use of a fallen angel to kill. Nicodemus' shadow is explicitly Anduriel, who can operate semi-separately from him in lieu of Nicodemus having a battle form.

Offline Hankthemoose

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Re: Further proof that black magic is connected to Outsiders
« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2019, 12:49:11 PM »
And? Do you think all of the Fallen are outsider friendly? Because Anduriel reacted pretty strongly when Harry mentioned Hellfire at Arctis Tor.

Alternatively, do you think the Fallen aren't outsider friendly even when they use black magic? Why not?

Offline nadia.skylark

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Re: Further proof that black magic is connected to Outsiders
« Reply #13 on: May 31, 2019, 01:31:14 PM »
Quote
And? Do you think all of the Fallen are outsider friendly? Because Anduriel reacted pretty strongly when Harry mentioned Hellfire at Arctis Tor.

Alternatively, do you think the Fallen aren't outsider friendly even when they use black magic? Why not?

What I was saying was that Nicodemus wasn't using magic to kill--he wasn't using magic at all. And the Fallen can't use black magic, as I understand it, because the laws of magic only apply to mortals, and it is breaking them that constitutes black magic. (Actually, this is evidence for the black magic=Outsider thing, because only mortals can summon Outsiders as well.)

Offline Bad Alias

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Re: Further proof that black magic is connected to Outsiders
« Reply #14 on: May 31, 2019, 06:07:03 PM »
Under the theory, black magic taint is corruption by Outsiders, not absolute control, so it doesn't matter that they don't all work together. Additionally, I believe Jim stated that Nicodemus is more dangerous than Lucifer because Lucifer is definitely team Inside, while Nicodemus is capable of anything.