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Characters from The Dresden Files, the Denarians.

WARNING! Due to the books relying heavily on mystery and surprise, the pages would be virtually unreadable with excessive spoiler tags. Therefore, all spoilers except for the most recent novel (Battle Ground) are UNMARKED. Tread carefully.



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The Order of the Blackened Denarius

    In General 
They are an ancient order of humans who have taken up one of thirty silver coins, believed to be the ones paid to Judas, and each of which contains one of the Fallen. In exchange for unnaturally extended lives and superhuman power, the Denarians either work with or serve as vessels for each Fallen - and each Fallen invariably corrupts its bearer. The Denarians themselves are not a unified force; generally, one group works with Nicodemus, one works with Tessa, and the rest do their own thing, but they are all devoted to spreading misery, pain, and despair, thanks to the Fallen controlling or working with them.
  • As Long as There is Evil: A variant is described in Skin Game by Lasciel, with her claiming that it's impossible for the Church or any other organization to completely seal away the Coins, as part of their very purpose is to be kept in circulation to tempt mortals into sin.
  • Artifact of Doom: The Coin each Denarian carries contains the essence of the Fallen inside, and making skin contact with it will implant either the Fallen itself or a copy of that Fallen's essence into the victim's mind.
  • Can't Kill You, Still Need You: The Shadows of the Fallen operate on this view. They need a willing person to accept the Coin to allow the Fallen an opening onto Earth and have more fun. Dead men cannot accept anything. So, while they will lie, torment, or otherwise screw with the Host's mind to get them to accepting the Coin, they will not, as Lasciel's Shadow notes, make the Host not see on-coming traffic and be hit by a car when they cross the street or convince them the room is on fire and there is a fire escape out the window when, in truth, the room is fine and there is no safe escape out that window.
  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe: A weakness of the Shadows, if one goes by Lash's binding by Harry. The Shadows are imprinted onto the mind of the Host and a copy of the Fallen in every way, but if the Host has enough mental strength and discipline, as the owner of the mind, then the Host can bind and gag the Shadow. It explains why so many Shadows seek a quick turn around on their Hosts as any who realize they have more power than the Shadow could turn the tables on the Shadow quickly.
  • Deal with the Devil: Part and parcel of their ways. The Fallen can only fully emerge with a conscious choice by the host to embrace the Fallen. The Shadows of the Fallen may be meticulous and patient, while others just beat their host into giving up just to end the torment the Shadow is putting them through. The meticulous ones would examine the host and seek out the perfect offering, a need or a want that cannot be obtained in any other fashion save for taking up the coin.
  • Determinator: It is revealed some Denarians are called by the host's name and others by the name of the Fallen. This is because those who break under the power of the Fallen likely won't be coming back. They become the puppet of the Fallen. Those who endure are this trope, and will be called by the host's name.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Harry Dresden deliberately gives them these, in order to make them less scary — which has actual weight in a world where fear and belief are empowering forces. "Nicodemus Archleone and the Knights of the Blackened Denarius" sounds quite a bit scarier than "Nicky and the Nickelheads", which is exactly why Harry and Michael call them by the latter in every appearance.
  • Evil Counterpart: The Thirty Coins of Silver are the cosmic counterweight to the Three Swords of the Cross.
  • Fallen Angel: Each and every member is a carrier to one of thirty Fallen Angels.
  • For the Evulz: The Denarians' entire purpose is to inflict as much pain to humanity as they can.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Going off the evidence of how Lash reacts when he walks into a church, Harry postulates to Michael that the reason the Fallen Angels avoid churches isn't because Good Hurts Evil and just standing there is uncomfortable because of the holy environment hurting them (as Michael suspects), but because it makes them feel and remember what they have lost. They question their choices, and after a million years or more of steadfast belief you were right, regret is not fun.
  • Pride: Each of the Fallen have this in spades. They believe completely in the righteousness of their mission.
    Butcher: [Y]ou don't get to be a fallen angel without having a certain amount of irrational egotism and pride.
  • Public Domain Artifact:
    • The Thirty Pieces of Silver that Judas Iscariot was paid with to betray Jesus Christ are the mortal vessels of the Fallen.
    • The noose Judas hung himself with is worn by Nick.
  • Reality Warper: Speculated by Harry who fears even sealed in their Coins, the Fallen can produce a Murphy's Luck and just happen to fall out of a gloved hand and role away, or bounce right at a human host.
  • Time Abyss: In Small Favor when Harry is describing the advantages the Denarians have, beyond the super strength, shapeshifting, and powerful magic, he considers the Fallen Angels themselves the strongest advantage for this trope. Not only do they likely predate the Creation of the Universe, they have had 2000 years living in a human mind and knowing how it ticks. They would know all the ways to tempt a person and what pains to make them feel, all in the name of converting someone to their cause. And then once they have a partner, they can give this wisdom to them and make the host a truly terrifying force.
  • We ARE Struggling Together:
    • Word of Jim is that Lucifer selected these thirty Fallen because he feared they would try a coup against him one day, so it was best to put them in a place both of use and that was very far from him.
    • The various factions of Denarians rarely work together, and even when they do, they spend quite a bit of time backstabbing each other. Even within factions they're rarely what you'd call a happy family.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: If Deirdre in Skin Game is to be believed, they are trying to save the world.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Near-immortality, power and abilities beyond the likes mere mortals can dream of, those Denarians who have the strong enough will to not break under the weight of the power of the Fallen tend to end up the most dangerous but also insane in their own way.
  • Your Heart's Desire: One of the Shadow's tactics in turning people into accepting the Coin. The less brute-like Fallen will observe their Host and tempt them with this idea. When Thomas notes to Harry he has lived with one demon in his head already and could resist another, Harry quickly counters the Fallen would likely offer Thomas a means of touching the woman he loves without fear of being harmed again by her love for him. Thomas only goes silent as he recognizes the effectiveness of this tactic.

Mortal Hosts

For Quintus Cassius (whom Dresden calls "Liver Spots" during the Dead Beat case), see his entry under The Kemmlerites.

For Sanya, see his entry under the Church.

For John Marcone, see his entry under Chicago Mafia.

    Nicodemus Archleone (aka "Nicky") 

Nicodemus Archleone

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/nicodemus_6.jpg

Cannot hurt you any more. No matter how many times I hear that one, it's always a fresh challenge.

The leader of the Order of the Blackened Denarius. One of the most dangerous foes that Harry has ever faced. While most Denarians force their hosts into servitude, Nicodemus is actually in a partnership with his fallen angel. Wears the rope that Judas hung himself with as a necktie, and it grants him Nigh Invulnerability. No one knows all that much about Nicodemus, as he makes it a point to find and destroy the church's records on him every couple hundred years.



  • Big Bad: He is one of the heavyweights in Harry's Rogues Gallery (in terms of threat, rather than raw power - he's deadly in combat, but his main threat is his brains), which makes him the Big Bad in a few stories: in Death Masks, he steals the Shroud of Turin as part of a ritual to spread a plague; in Small Favor, he teams up with his wife Tessa to kidnap the Archive and turn her into a Denarian; and in Skin Game, he forces Harry to join in on a heist he's organized on Hades' vault.
    • For the series as a whole, however, his role as this is subverted due to the existence of Nemesis and the Black Council. The thought that a force he doesn't understand is working against him, using his own people against him, and is entirely orthogonal to the axis between God and Satan troubles him deeply. This in turn influences his actions in Skin Game, where his sacrifice of Deirdre seems to be designed, in part, to keep her safe from Nemesis.
  • Brought Down to Badass: Briefly during Skin Game. He gives up his Coin and the Noose, losing his supernatural powers. He then fights Murphy, equipped with a Sword, in hand-to-hand. He wins. Decisively.
  • Break the Haughty: Skin Game turns into this for him. In sum: His daughter/lieutenant/lover is dead by his hand (and it very clearly affected him), his political power and reputation are destroyed, his tongueless Mooks witnessed him flee and are possibly on the path of redemption. Furthermore, the Coins of two of his most powerful allies (or at least, one of his most powerful allies and one who's sometimes willing to go along with what he does) are lost, locked away in Hades' Vault. The only bright side (for him anyway), is that he retrieved the Holy Grail and knows of Dresden's daughter.
  • The Caper: Plans on robbing Hades' Vault in Skin Game.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Freely admits that one of his goals is to bring about the apocalypse. He also calls himself a sociopath.
  • The Chessmaster: His favorite gambits are manipulating people into where he wants them and to do what he expects them to do. Being more or less immortal, he also has no qualms waiting 5, maybe 20 years for something to play out. Such as tossing the coin of Lasciel at the feet of the toddler Harry Carpenter, which would result in turning Harry or turning the child of a Knight of the Cross into a Denarian - and going by what Michael, who unknown to Harry, actually saw what happened, later said, it's not the first time he's done something like that.
  • Classic Villain: Pride is his bed and butter and contrasts greatly with Harry. As seen in Pride's and I Regret Nothing's bullets below, the man is so enveloped in his own greatness and brilliance, he sees no flaws within himself. Harry, by contrast, holds himself to the ideal that "With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility" that his failings in never coming out perfect, that there has always been some collateral damage, someone he failed to save, sees little else but his flaws and failings. By Skin Game Harry has an emotional breakdown at the most recent failure.
  • Combat Pragmatist: For all his swordfighting skill, he has nothing against controlling people with his shadows or pulling guns during a swordfight.
  • Didn't See That Coming: Quite a few times Harry is this to Nick.
    • In Death Masks Harry having the "Eureka!" Moment that the Noose would fail to protect Nic from itself allows Harry to give an attack that surprises Nic and throws him off balance enough for Harry to run.
    • Harry outwitted him in Small Favor
      • By setting up two exits to the island, one a gunship help and the other the Water Beetle.
      • Realizing Nicodemus' show on the island is meant to push Harry's anger so much he would break his word, and thus depowering Fidelacchius. Harry knew this would happen with his experience with Lea and Amoracchius in Grave Peril.
      • Lastly, that Harry managed to remove the Shadow of Lasciel from inside of him. Extra points for that one; as of the end of her life, Lash was a discrete being from Lasciel by that point, and in all likelihood owed more loyalty to Harry than the Denarians.
      • Even before Harry and co went to the island, however, he was pretty clearly very shocked when Harry told him that Arctis Tor was attacked by someone wielding Hellfire, going still and silent for several seconds before giving a Flat "What".
    • In Skin Game, the biggest thing Harry does is securing Grey's allegiance before Nicodemus hires him, meaning that while Grey was working for Nicodemus, he was just waiting for Harry's order to swap sides.
      • Also in Skin Game, Harry points out something Nicodemus never considered, and which utterly blindsided him, due to his obsession with Hell and Nemesis: letting Deidre die in Hades' realm means that now her soul belongs to Hades... and the Greek gods make their eternal punishments personal. That realization leaves Nicodemus stunned in horror.
  • The Dreaded: He is this for most people aware of his name and reputation. He is one of the most vile and dangerous humans alive. If you say no to his deals, he will kill you quickly and efficiently. He might make you suffer if he has time, but is keen on keeping to the plan. And Nicodemus fears Harry Dresden.
  • Dystopia Justifies the Means: His only goal is to bring about Armageddon and is willing to do what ever it takes to achieve it.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: In his own words, the apocalypse is not an "event" so much as it is a "frame of mind."
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: He does, in fact, care deeply about his daughter Deirdre. It's likely he cared about Lartessa at some point, but they had been... estranged spouses even before the events of Small Favor and Skin Game.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: In Small Favor as part of his speech to recruit Harry, he considers the Red Court a stain on the world that will need to be purged eventually - though that's mostly because they're a short term inconvenience, a medium term problem, and a major problem in the long term for any plans he makes, and one of his main objections to them is that they're "aesthetically repugnant." Granted, he's not exactly wrong about that last part, but it does demonstrate that his objections to them aren't exactly on moral grounds.
  • Evil Counterpart/Foil: invoked The author has stated that Nicodemus is essentially the opposite of Michael Carpenter. Michael's a genuinely Nice Guy, while Nicodemus is Faux Affably Evil at his best. Michael is humble and generous, while Nicodemus is arrogant and greedy. Michael would willingly sacrifice his life for the sake of his family and friends, while Nicodemus killed his own daughter to get his hands on the Holy Grail and has left his servants to die when they're of no more use to him.
  • Evil Brit: Harry describes him as having a "faint British accent" when he first meets him.
  • Evil Is Petty: Nick makes some racist comments regarding Shiro, particularly since its clear that Nick's afraid of him due to Shiro besting him the last time they met.
  • Evil Laugh: Subverted. Harry notes it isn't like that but a deep, rich laughter of one who is supremely confident.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Described as such in Small Favor. In Skin Game, it's gone to Guttural Growler levels because of the damage Harry inflicted on Nick's throat in their last fight.
  • Evil Sounds Raspy: Courtesy of Harry giving him a good strangling with Judas's noose in Small Favor.
  • Eviler Than Thou: Nicodemus is one of the few, and possibly the only, Denarian who is more human than demon. This is because the demon admires the human.
    • Possible subversion, as Michael believes that Anduriel is just that good at manipulating Nicodemus, Nicodemus doesn't know he's been had. Nicodemus himself, of course, doesn't believe a word of that, because, well... see Pride below.
  • Evil vs. Evil: While he never fights them directly, he is opposed to both the Red Court and Black Council, and presumably, the Outsiders. Granted, the latter is the enemy of everybody, so that's really not saying much.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Polite, friendly, and civil. Even when he's about to cut your throat. However, this politeness is a fairly thin mask for the monster beneath, and he has a habit of betraying everyone around him - but in a suitably deniable fashion.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: invoked Theories floating around hold that he was the same Nicodemus from The Bible, the member of the Sanhedrin who favored Jesus during the latter's trial and later helped prepare Jesus for burial. Word of Jim states that Dresden's Nicodemus was a tax collector during Jesus's time, basically barely more than a civilian.
  • Genius Bonus: invoked Name Longinus (the guy with Holy Spear) comes from apocryphal Gospel of Nicodemus, and this Nicodemus is chasing after Christ relics.
  • Genre Savvy: Oh God yes. Harry thinks he's read the Evil Overlord List. Well, up until a little logistical problem in Small Favor.note 
  • Greed: One of his Fatal Flaws. He cannot help himself when he's given an offer too good to be true.
    • In Death Masks he agrees to trade the apparently relatively unimportant Harry Dresden for the chance to kill his arch-nemesis Shiro for good. This not only gives Harry the chance to escape and ends up screwing up that plan, but, unbeknownst to Nicodemus, Shiro was already dying of cancer and Nick could have been rid of him just by waiting a bit longer.
    • Then in Small Favor he has exactly what he needed. He admits he doesn't need the coins Harry was offering to save a life of one of Harry's friends, but when Harry adds Fidelacchius to the pot while mixing in fear that Heaven will continue the fight through other Knights, he gives in and agrees to make the trade. Note that this was a deal where both parties had taken it for granted they were going to be betrayed, and it came down to a matter of who was going to be Out-Gambitted. Harry beats him again.
  • Healing Factor: The noose gives Nicodemus one that Wolverine would envy. It allows him to almost instantly heal from injuries that would kill any other Denarian, the vast majority of which are Made of Iron with a Healing Factor of their own. Fire, magical assaults, close-range assault fire, explosions - none of it can really harm Nicodemus to any meaningful degree (indeed, being shot from close range doesn't even annoy him; he actually starts twirling his hand in mild boredom, as if to say, "get on with it", when one character continues shooting him). The best one can do is briefly stun or drive him off. Only wounds done by the noose seem to remain well after they were sustained, like his raspy voice.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The Noose he wears that grants him an incredible healing factor will not protect Nicodemus from being strangled by it. Harry nearly kills the man in Small Favor by strangling him. Harry is interrupted but he got to the point of permanently damaging Nicodemus' throat, making his voice a lot rougher than before.
  • I Gave My Word: While he is a sociopath who does evil things, one doesn't live long in the Supernatural world without at least honoring one's deals. So he keeps the wording of his deals to the letter of the deal and will pay those who work with him what he promises - as long as there's no way to weasel out of things without anybody finding out. Getting him to visibly break his word, ruining his reputation, is key to Mab's revenge against the man.
  • Immortals Fear Death: He's almost impossible to kill, thanks to the Noose, and he is a deadly dangerous fighter, treating Michael as a light challenge in Death Masks and as he demonstrates in Skin Game, even without it and his Coin, he can go hand to hand with Murphy and win while she's armed and he's not, first disarming her, then crippling her. But there are a very few people who really scare him: Shiro and, after figuring out the secret of the Noose, Harry. And the reason they scare him is that unlike almost anyone else, they can actually kill him, something Harry needles him about.
  • Immune to Bullets: Even more so than most Denarians. Thanks to the noose, bullets alone aren't enough to stop Nicodemus. Assault-rifle and other heavy rounds can stun, disorient, or briefly drive him off, but handgun rounds just seem to startle him at best and annoy him at worst. And regardless, he heals the damage almost instantly.
  • I Regret Nothing: When Harry got winged by the light of Uriel's halo in Skin Game, he saw every bad thing he'd ever done in his entire life and how incredibly, unbelievably easy it would've been for him to have made another choice and done the right thing. It crippled him with guilt. Nicodemus, who got the full blast head-on and has two thousand years of unspeakable depravity behind him, laughed in the archangel's face and mocked him for "judging" a mortal. Averted at the very end of the book though: some part of him does regret what he does to his daughter, and Harry repeatedly pressing that chink in the man's otherwise-impenetrable mental armor is enough to make Nic flip out, break the deal, and try killing everyone, something that more-or-less directly leads to him losing virtually everything he has left.
  • Ironic Name: Nicodemus is also the name of a character from The Four Gospels; a Pharisee who became one of Jesus' followers. He helped prepare Jesus for burial after his death. Considering what this Nicodemus is like, and how in his first appearance he's after the Shroud of Turin, it's a somewhat unusual name to choose (though fitting his taste for irony). See Meaningful Name, below, for justification. And of course, for all we know, that's his actual name...
  • Knight of Cerebus: Takes turns playing this with the Red Court. Most notably, the series takes an even darker turn than it already had after his introduction in Death Masks.
  • Living Shadow: His shadow is the only visible manifestation of Anduriel, his Fallen, and moves about independently. As a result, Nicodemus can use his shadow to fly. And strangle people. And all sorts of other crazy things. And we've probably only barely seen the basics, which Harry lampshades in Skin Game, when he points out that while other Denarians whip out their Fallen left, right, and centre, Nicodemus mostly just uses his to chauffeur him about. In Small Favor it whispers to him at times, and actually screams when one of the Swords lights up. And in Skin Game we discover its most dangerous ability: unless you are being specially shielded from it by someone on par with Mab, it has the ability to listen in on anyone from their shadow - though it has to focus.
  • Logical Weakness: Judas' noose makes Nicodemus virtually impervious to harm. Except, as Shiro and Harry both realize, from the noose itself.
  • Manipulative Bastard: He knows how to with the best of them.
  • Master Swordsman:
    • He's had two thousand years to refine his swordfighting. Michael is a highly-skilled swordsman, but he's little more than a speedbump for Nicodemus. Shiro is apparently the only one who could stand against him.
    • Skin Game reveals that he's not completely infallible. When Murphy beats him, he's baiting her so he can destroy Fidelacchius. It doesn't stick, but when Michael goes all out, he beats Nicodemus, forcing him to cut and run. Michael notes, slightly dazed, that he's never done that. It does help that Anduriel was occupied fighting Harry and a well aimed ice-cannonball by Harry caved in part of his torso, on top of his obvious mental trauma that Harry just played on, so he's not quite fighting at full speed throughout.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • His last name, Archleone, means "Great Lion" (as in, "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:")note . Lampshaded by Harry, to Nicodemus' amusement.
    • Nicodemus itself means "Conqueror". It was also the name of a Pharisee who helped take Jesus' body down from the cross, and had previously discussed Jesus' teachings with him - which, combined with the fact that Nicodemus is explicitly the oldest of the Denarians, implied to have been the one who found the 30 silver coins (something supported by the fact that he wears Judas' noose around his neck like a thin tie), leads to some very interesting questions about his past.
  • Mysterious Past: By design - apparently he makes a point to destroy the Church's information on him about once a century. All that's really known for sure is that he's the very oldest of the Denarians, being about 2000 years old.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Giving Harry Lasciel's Coin saved Harry's bacon on several occasions. Of course, Nick really wasn't expecting Harry to subvert the Shadow's loyalty, causing it to perform a Heroic Sacrifice for him.
  • No-Nonsense Nemesis: Lampshaded when Nicky captures Dresden in Death Masks, noting that Nicodemus is the kind of person who, when he says "join me or die", will do the "or die" part quickly, cleanly, with no gloating and a minimum of fuss. In this respect, his only flaw is a tendency towards Revenge Before Reason.
  • Offing the Offspring: To bypass Hades' Gate of Blood in Skin Game, Nicodemus murders his daughter Deirdre, as he was sure no one else's ghost would remain loyal enough to activate the Gate's lever for him.
  • Parental Incest: Is in a sexual relationship with Deirdre, much to Harry's (and the readers') intense discomfort. Creepier still, they genuinely love each other as father and daughter at the same time.
  • Pride:
    • He believes himself to be simply better than everyone else. Two thousand years of besting the best of God's followers, being a partner to one of the Fallen and not one of their servants, and generally never losing control would do that to a person. This is no more better illustrated than in Skin Game:
      Nicodemus: I do not dance to the Fallen's tune, Knight. We may move together, but I play the music. I set the beat. For nearly two thousand years I followed my path, through every treacherous bend and twist, through every temptation to turn aside, and after centuries of effort and study and planning and victory, they follow my leadership. Not the other way around. Turn aside from my path? I have blazed it through ages of humanity, through centuries of war and plague and madness and havoc and devotion. I am my path and it is me. There is no turning aside.
    • And Harry hammers it in by making the ultimate comparison:
      Harry: The shadow at his feet seemed to darken as he spoke, to throb in time with his voice, and I shuddered at the sight, at the pride in his bearing, the clarity in his eyes, and the absolute, serene certainty in his voice.
      Lucifer must have looked exactly like that, right before things went to Hell.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Not as hammy as most examples, but very effective nonetheless. After Harry has just mentioned that Arctis Tor was attacked by someone wielding Hellfire...
    Nicodemus.
    Blinked.
  • Rage Breaking Point: Harry induces this in him in Skin Game in order to break his word and tarnish his name in the supernatural community. Of course this cuts both ways, since he goes into Tranquil Fury, realises just how Dresden knew exactly how to jump up and down on his trigger with such precision, and stages an attack to try and kill Harry and Michael's loved ones.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Has a really bad habit of giving up on sure-to-succeed plans for revenge against someone (or something) that has wronged him. He let Harry go in Death Masks when Shiro gave himself up for Harry, resulting in Harry buggering up Nicodemus's plan, gives Dresden and company a chance to rescue the Archive when faced with an opportunity to get rid of Fidelacchius (though that one had a degree of logic, since while Harry was manipulating him, he was entirely correct when he said that the swords wouldn't just lie around doing nothing once Nicodemus unleashed his apocalypse, and they'd go straight for him), and then lets Murphy and Harry go on the promise of revenge against Michael in Skin Game - though, again, he felt that a crippled Murphy and a Dresden who's bound by Mab not to go against him (at least, not directly), were no threats to him.
  • Skunk Stripe: Has a grey streak in his otherwise dark hair. This is the only indicator of his age.
  • Smug Snake: A rather understated version and he is genuinely competent and dangerous, but he has an unfortunate tendency to forget that he isn't perfect, which tends to trip him up when he's trying an all or nothing plan (as he does in Death Masks and Skin Game - though in the latter, he still gets away with the Grail).
  • The Sociopath: Self-admitted in Skin Game.
  • The Spymaster: Nicodemus always seems to know a lot about his enemies and their current plans. This is because Anduriel is the spymaster. He can listen to any conversation held within reach of a living being's shadow. Sometimes he can even see through the shadows too. However, he cannot listen when purposefully blocked by sufficient power, such as Mab, the Carpenter house, or Demonreach, and he must purposefully focus on a shadow to listen through or it would be just noise among the rest.
  • Synchronization: When Anduriel and Nicodemus are fighting independently in Skin Game and the former is wounded by one of the Swords, Nicodemus senses his Fallen partner's pain and stumbles.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Nicodemus shows this skill in Skin Game. Harry muses the man probably spends a lazy afternoon every decade or so practising the skill. After being around for about two thousand years, he knows what he's doing to hit his target with ease.
  • Time Abyss: invoked Nicodemus was a tax collector from during Jesus' time and might've attended the Crucifixion in person. Notably, Word of God has stated that he's actually older than Mab. This is actually mentioned to be probably his scariest quality, as Harry is frequently unnerved by how so damn casual he is in his dealings with other characters since he's done this kind of song and dance countless times before, to the point where it's just another day at the office for him
  • Unholy Matrimony: In Small Favor we learn that he's married to Tessa, "not that it seems to mean very much to either of them".
  • Villainous Friendship:
    • He seems to get along quite well with Anduriel.
    • He may also have had a rather twisted version of this with Quintus Cassius, judging by his explanation for why he left him to die:
      Nicodemus: Depending on the largesse of others is nothing but parasitism. I respected Cassius too much to let him devolve to that.
  • Villainous Incest: He has a sexual relationship with his daughter, Deirdre. This is one of his redeeming characteristics.
  • Weapon of Choice: Swords in general. Doesn't matter what kind; after two thousand years' worth of experience using them, one doesn't stick to one type.
  • Wicked Cultured: He casually admits that while he isn't fully versed in the most recent developments in psychology, not many psychologists know how to drive chariots, so it evens out.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: Nicodemus plays a mean game.
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    Deirdre 

Deirdre

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/deirdre_8.png
"May I kill him, Father?"

Nicodemus's daughter (and lover). His favorite subordinate, she's a powerful Denarian who takes the form of a scaly, feminine monster with long, flexible metal blades for hair that she can move at will. While she's nowhere near as smart as her dad or as psychotically, destructively violent as her mother Tessa, she's plenty scary in her own right.



  • Bizarre Alien Locomotion: Her prehensile hair/blades allow her to scuttle like a spider, lift or lower herself through air ducts, or form a giant shark-like metal tail to swim.
  • Combat Tentacles: In her Fallen form, her hair turns into thin, prehensile blades that look like they were cut from sheet metal.
  • Dark Action Girl: Her role in the Denarians.
  • Daddy's Little Villain: She is Nicodemus' blood child and just as evil as he is.
  • Day in the Limelight: Skin Game, to an extent, in that for the first time we actually see her when she isn't murdering, trying to murder, or about to try and murder someone, for more than five seconds and get an idea of what she's like and what drives her.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: She and Nicodemus genuinely love each other.
  • Face Death with Dignity: When Nicodemus stabs her, she doesn't cry out. She merely kisses her father and tells him she loves him.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: She eats the tongues of those cult members in her service.
  • Ironic Hell: Being killed in the underworld of Greek mythology meant no Biblical heaven or hell, and Nicodemus comforted her about being safe from the Enemy - which could be taken to mean either God or Nemesis. But as Dresden reminds Nicodemus, unlike in Hell, her afterlife would be specifically tailored to torment her in the way most appropriate to her sins.
  • Mundane Utility: Her prehensile metal hair can shred her enemies... or be woven into a platform to give somebody a boost.
  • Prehensile Hair: Thanks to her Fallen.
  • Sacrificial Lion: Almost literally. She sacrifices herself by letting Nick stab her by his own hand to open the Gate of Blood to access Hades' vault.
  • Time Abyss: In Skin Game Tessa states that she has spent about 1500 years raising her. As it was said in an emotional moment, there is likely truth to this statement.
  • Undying Loyalty: To her father, Nicodemus. Quite literally. She was the only one that Nick was absolutely sure would serve him and activate the Gate of Blood even after he killed her.
  • Villain Ball: She grabs it in Death Masks when she describes the bowl they plan to collect Harry's blood in as a silver bowl. This keys Harry into what sort of ritual they would be doing with his blood, and later when Shiro switches places with him, what Shrio's blood would be used for.

    Polonius "Tessa" Lartessa (aka "Mantis Girl") 

Polonius "Tessa" Lartessa

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tessa_8.PNG

More commonly referred to as "Tessa", she is also a leader for the Denarians. As Nicodemus' wife, she and her Fallen, Imariel, are stated as the second-eldest of the Denarians. Generally, she is a rival to her husband, though they do work together to accomplish a similar goal- the last time they were said to have worked together, the Black Plague spread across Europe. She chooses bearers for coins based upon willingness to take a coin, not talent; Fallen who serve Imariel (and Tessa) go through bearers quickly. Tessa is concerned with short-term views, while Nicodemus is focused with the bigger picture and long-term issues. Tessa is also shown to be an exceedingly capable sorceress. Harry notes that she is a "big-leaguer" and "White Council material".



  • Axe-Crazy: She loves bloodshed, without a doubt. Ivy runs through a list of her greatest hits, from the Black Death to Rwanda, with a certain degree of contempt.
  • Batman Gambit: It's implied that she is running one of these in Small Favor, managing to play both Harry and Nicodemus like a fiddle. Her capture of the Archive was a rather beautiful one itself.
  • Been There, Shaped History: According to the Archive in Small Favor, she's responsible for helping kickstart the Hundred Years War between France and England, and also helped instigate both the Cambodian and Rwandan genocides of the late twentieth century.
  • Break the Cutie: What she did to Ivy; presumably, what was done to her as a slave.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Does this to Ivy.
  • Cute and Psycho: She looks like a pretty teenager. She's actually well over a thousand years old, and is psychotically insane.
  • Cute Bruiser: A pretty, apparently young woman who packs a big punch (both magically and physically).
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Not that it's hard in comparison to Nicodemus, but even she considers Nicodemus' plan to sacrifice their daughter to the Greek Underworld beyond the pale.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Charity. Both are fiercely protective of their children and both have less respect for Harry than their respective husbands. Oh, and both can / could use magic, unlike their husbands.
  • For the Evulz: Engineered the Rwanda Genocide, and exacerbated both the War of the Roses & the atrocities performed by Columbian drug cartels essentially for shits and giggles.
  • Freudian Excuse: It's mentioned that her own father sold her to work at the temple of Isis in Thessalonica to save his failing business. And by "work" we mean "sacred" prostitution.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: She started out as an underage hooker (though she wasn't underage by the standards of Roman Greece). Now she's a powerful mage responsible for some of the most abominable crimes in human history.
  • Mama Bear: She's shown to be violently protective of her daughter Deirdre, and tries to prevent Nicodemus' plans in Skin Game in order to keep her alive.
  • Made a Slave: She was sold into a life of prostitution by her own father.
  • Out with a Bang: Harry Dresden actually bursts out laughing after she tries to trade sex for prisoners, pointing out that everyone with half a brain knows what female mantises do to their male counterparts after mating, and that assuming she wouldn't do it to him is a tacit insult.
  • Slaying Mantis: Tessa's alternate form is essentially a demonic praying mantis, and she's up for whatever causes the maximum amount of chaos and suffering for humanity. She can also be split into thousands of miniature versions of her demon form, which can torment the people they land upon.
  • The Sociopath: Implied to be such, what with her being responsible for many of the most horrific wars and ethnic cleansings in recorded human history.
  • Shock and Awe: Her preferred style of magic.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Tessa prefers recruits who are readily susceptible to the Fallen's temptations over recruits with intelligence or specialist skills. As a result, Tessa's minions tend to be more numerous than Nicodemus', but less formidable individually and far less capable. Naturally, this leads to Tessa periodically complaining about her peons' incompetence.
  • Time Abyss: She and Nicodemus are the two oldest known surviving Denarians. Tessa, for her part, looks only about fifteen except for her short, gray hair... and was a temple slave in Roman-occupied Egypt when Nicodemus came to her and offered her one of the Coins.
  • The Vamp: More than willing to try and seduce Harry and offer herself sexually to him in exchange for Gard and Hendricks.
  • Unholy Matrimony: Nicodemus took her away from her life as a child prostitute and apparently married her, but they both seem to loathe each other and only cooperate on special projects.
  • Weak, but Skilled: In magical terms, she started out this way. Being alive for over 1500 years (her exact age is unknown, but she's definitely younger than Nicodemus) with a Fallen giving one lessons lets even someone with an initially very modest talent for magic develop it into something very, very powerful, with Dresden reckoning that she's got at least Council level game.
  • What Beautiful Eyes!: Harry takes a moment to take notice of her "huge and gorgeous green eyes" in her human form.

    Rosanna 

Rosanna

Tessa's second, Rosanna is able to assume the form of a classic demon: batwinged, leathery skin, red eyes, and so on. She was the one who corrupted Sanya into taking Magog's coin when he was a younger man. Older and more dangerous than she seems, Rosanna is an expert at temptation and manipulation.


  • Affectionate Nickname: Calls Sanya "my monster."
  • The Dragon: Rosanna is Tessa's second-in-command.
  • Emotion Bomb: She lays a thick spell of lust upon Sanya when she meets with the two Knights and Harry near the climax of Small Favor, trying to coax him back into the Denarians. He easily laughs it off, much to her surprise.
  • Hidden Depths: Interestingly, Sanya implies in Small Favor that her "poor frightened girl who's out of her depth" act isn't entirely false, with him offering his sympathy and telling her that he knows that there's still part of her that feels genuine guilt for what she's done.
    Sanya: (to Rosanna, after shrugging off her Emotion Bomb) I told you, Rosanna, I have changed. You could change, too. I know how much some of the things you have done disturb you. I've been there when you had the nightmares. It doesn't have to be like that.
  • Horny Devils: Technically, she's not a succubus, but she seems to be the basis for the classic concept.
  • Kill It with Fire: Her magic of choice is Hellfire, and she's described as hurling lances of the stuff at the Archive during the Battle at the Shedd Aquarium.
  • Magic Knight: She's equally comfortable mixing it up in physical combat and hurling spells. During the Final Battle on Demonreach in Small Favor, she nearly stomps Harry's head in at one point.
  • Manipulative Bastard: invoked She's able to feign the "scared girl who is in over her head" act so effectively that Sanya, who knows what she is, is still affected by it. When Harry calls her on this, pointing out that if she really wanted to quit she would have done it any time, both Rosanna and her Fallen partner seem impressed.
  • Older Than They Look: At least several centuries old, but like all Denarians she looks a lot younger than she actually is.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: Tries to act like this, but Harry sees through the façade, pointing out that she wouldn't have survived as long as she has if she were really that conflicted.
  • Shut Up, Kirk!: After Sanya tells her that there's always a chance for her to set aside the Coin and atone, she visibly snaps, growling at him to be quiet and calling him a "stupid child."
  • Touché: Both she and her Fallen are visibly impressed by Harry's cognizance of her Manipulative Bastard routine.
  • The Vamp: She was Sanya's handler while he was Magog's host. He left the Denarians when he discovered how little she actually cared about him.

    Hannah Ascher 

Hannah Ascher

A dangerous Warlock who broke the First Law of Magic. She was hunted by the Wardens for years before she was presumed dead. Considered a formidable pyromancer, she appears in Skin Game as a member of Nicodemus' heist crew, and is ultimately revealed to be the new wielder of Lasciel after Dresden gave up her coin for good.


  • Affably Evil: A known and wanted killer, she is nonetheless rather friendly. Too bad she's a power crazy Denarian.
  • Attack! Attack! Attack!: Her tactics consist of 'throw fire at opponent until opponent is crispy-fried'. This tendency of hers is why she has a Too Dumb to Live entry.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Harry is heartbroken when he's forced to kill her, viewing her as yet another victim of the Fallen and sympathizing with her plight as someone who used to fight against the evil of the Red Court just like he did and who lost their entire family due to circumstances beyond their control.
  • Big Eater: She likes her burgers and doughnuts. Pretty much, where there is food, she will scarf some down.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: She's not just good with fire - she's brilliant at it, on a scale that Harry would have been impressed to see from a centuries old member of the Senior Council. That's pretty much all she can do.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Harry kills her in self-defense by redirecting her fire magic into the ceiling above her, causing her to be crushed to death under several tons of molten rock.
  • Eating the Eye Candy: She might hate Harry personally, but she still take the time to admire his Heroic Build when he's changing into a tuxedo. Harry, a pretty notorious case of the Male Gaze both in-and-out-of universe, is pretty flustered for his part.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Both she and Binder give a baffled Quizzical Tilt to Michael and act like he's speaking a foreign language after he says that because of his family, he's "rich beyond measure." Later, she shows nothing but arrogant disdain for Harry's attempts to reason with her and convince her that Lasciel is just using her, thinking he's only trying to save himself.
  • Evil Counterpart/Foil: She ultimately turns out to be one for Harry. Both killed people with fire magic as teenagers (in self-defense too, provided she isn't lying), both are especially noted for their skill with fire magic (in Harry's case, it's his most well-known skill; in Ascher's case, it literally seems to be the only kind of magic she can do). Both were offered and took Lasciel's Coin, though Harry took it to save the soul of a child while Ascher took it to join a new family. However, whereas Harry rejected the temptation to accept Lasciel, Ascher fully embraced it. Furthermore, they have fundamental difference in their views of magic, power, and how a wizard should use them (broadly speaking, Harry loves being a wizard and being able to explore the study of magic for both its own sake and to make the world a better place, while Ascher... likes to watch things blow up or burn down and feels that her magic should be used only to benefit herself and at everyone else's expense if necessary). Finally, Ascher's fire magic skills (which far exceed anything Harry was ever capable of), serve as a foil to his increasing skill with and reliance on his Winter Knight powers.
  • Fallen Hero: During her furious Motive Rant, Ascher reveals to Harry that she actually used to work for the Fellowship of Saint Giles and had been a great aid to them against the Red Court. Unfortunately, Harry wiping out all of the Red Court in Changes caused most of the Fellowship's members to turn into dust in a matter of seconds, and she's since taken up Lasciel's Coin to get her revenge on the man responsible for the death of her friends.
  • For the Evulz: Harry eventually realizes that unlike him, a man who loves his talent for magic for both its own sake and the opportunities to use it to help shape the world into a better place, Ascher loves her talent because it gives her the opportunity to blow up people she doesn't like for whatever reason she can come up with.
  • Glass Cannon: She's a powerful fire mage but she's got little in the way of defense.
  • It's All About Me: Ascher is very selfish and arrogant, scoffing at Harry's pleas to surrender and talking about how she can use her newfound power from Lasciel to do whatever she wants... which will consist of only things that benefit herself and no-one else.
  • Playing with Fire: A better pyromancer than Harry ever was, which itself speaks volumes. Her control is so fine, she can even redirect heat away her body. Doesn't hurt that she has access to Hellfire, courtesy of Lasciel.
  • Secret Test of Character: As it turns out, she was actually running one on Harry throughout most of Skin Game, trying to decide if he was someone she actually wanted to kill and felt was truly deserving of death. Needless to say, thanks to a mix of her own grief, Lasciel's poisonous influence, and Harry being his normal annoying wiseass self, she eventually settled on "immolate the bastard down to his last molecules."
  • Statuesque Stunner: Nearly six feet of striking curves.
  • The Vamp: Downplayed. She tries to get some on with Harry and is a Warden killing Warlock to boot, but her looks aren't her main power.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Not normally, but as pointed out by Harry, her combination of her Crippling Overspecialization, Attack! Attack! Attack! fighting strategy, and rage tend to make her this in combat. She doesn't counter her opponents' attacks or give any thought to the consequences of her own. This is how Harry kills her - he redirects her attacks to the ceiling of the cavern they're fighting in one after the other, ultimately causing several tons of stone to be chewed out from the ceiling and drop straight on Ascher.
  • Tragic Villain: She broke the First Law of magic when she murdered the three men who were trying to rape her. By the time we see her, she's completely under Lasciel's thumb, and has been driven to what she does by Lasciel's poisonous words. Harry doesn't want to fight her, seeing her as yet another person that the Fallen have led to ruin (like Rasmussen).
  • Unholy Matrimony: She appears to have a thing with Binder... but she actually doesn't, and he in fact turned down her advances.
  • Walking Spoiler: Her turning out to be the new host of Lasciel and being allied with the Denarians is one of the biggest twists of Skin Game.

    Blood on his Soul, AKA The Genoskwa 

Blood on his Soul

A powerful Sasquatch-like creature working for Nicodemus in Skin Game. Ultimately revealed to have taken up the coin of Ursiel.


  • Anti-Magic: Can use Earth magic to ground out spells. It's powerful enough to effortlessly cancel out one of Harry's strongest Winter-infused spells.
  • Bears Are Bad News: Able to use Ursiel's coin to turn into a giant bear.
  • Bigfoot, Sasquatch and Yeti: He is one of the Forest People, but one who is walking their war path, compared to River Shoulder's taking the Sky path.
  • The Brute: Acts as the main muscle/enforcer for Nicodemus during the heist.
  • Connected All Along: Familiar enough with Harry's friend, Strength of a River In His Shoulders, to be even more offended when Harry name-drops him.
  • Chupacabra: Its main food source appears to be goats.
  • Deal with the Devil: Is the new owner of Ursiel's coin.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: Is a master of Earth magic. Whether it already has this ability or only gained it after the above Deal with the Devil is unknown.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The term “Genoskwa” is, according to River Shoulders, a title for some Forest People who follow the war path, rather than a specific name.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Has a voice so deep that Harry mistakes its growling for thunder.
  • Eye Scream: Gets its eyes gouged out in its fight against Grey.
  • Foreshadowing: Has a conversation with Goodman Grey in a language Harry can't understand. A genoskwa is a mythical creature among Southwestern Native Americans, just like the naagloshii.
  • I Am the Noun: Peace Talks reveals that "Genoskwa" is not actually a name - it is the Forest People's word for the War Path, the savage, anti-human combative road that some Forest People choose to go down. Blood On His Soul is so fanatically devoted to the War Path, he renamed himself after it.
  • Invisible Monster: Spends the first half of the book behind a powerful veil. The only hint that it's there is the shrinking supply of goats at Nicodemus's warehouse.
  • Invisibility Cloak: Can cast a veil so powerful, it even masks its smell.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Is fast enough to hit Harry before he even sees it move, as well as knock him across the length of a warehouse then run up and catch him before he hits the ground. It is also strong enough to easily knock a full grown man several yards, and to pick up a goat and snap its neck in one motion.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: The beast’s real name is Blood On His Soul. Yeeesh.
  • Not Quite Dead: Dresden thinks he kills the guy in Skin Game, but River Shoulders reveals that the guy survived and will be out for vengeance.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: As noted, River Shoulders mentions he survived when Harry thought he killed him. Not only that, but somehow the Genoskwa has escaped Hades’s underworld, which in itself is an astounding feat.
  • Spell My Name with a "The": Is always referred to as "The" Genoskwa, at least in Skin Game. River Shoulders gives the guy's real name in Peace Talks.
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    Rasmussen 

Rasmussen

One of Ursiel's many hosts.


  • Evil Is Not a Toy: He took up one of the Fallen's coins, and as a result, he wound up crucified inside his own mind.
  • Killed Off for Real: By the Knights.
  • Laughing Mad: When Dresden soulgazes him, he finds the man a broken being who is constantly laughing.
  • Prospector: While it's not explicitly confirmed that Rasmussen was one, we do know he was possessed by Ursiel in the 1840s while he was on his way to California, and he was likely heading there to find gold.
  • Tragic Monster: The man only sought to be a gold prospector heading for California in 1849 when he came across Ursiel's coin. By the time Harry encounters him, Rasmussen is a broken and insane man whose mind has been shattered by Ursiel.

Fallen and their Shadows

    Lasciel's Shadow aka 'Lash' 

Lash, shadow of Lasciel

One of the Fallen Angels of the Blackened Denarii, known also as the Webweaver and the Temptress. Nicodemus offered her coin to Harry, who refused but was later tricked into touching it. Lasciel's Shadow, known as Lash to Harry, was a psychic duplicate who took up residence in Harry's head for some time. She first appeared to him in the guise of a bookstore employee named Shiela Starr before dropping the pretense, revealing who she really was, and striving to tempt him into taking up Lasciel's Coin. She remained in Dresden's head during this process and her stay in his subconscious changed her significantly from the original, making her a separate and individual entity.

Tropes below apply only to Lash (tropes for Lasciel proper, who finally appears in Skin Game, is a separate entry).


  • 90% of Your Brain: Harry conjectures this as the reason Lash can accelerate his mental faculties so that they can have a full conversation in the course of a few seconds.
  • Affably Evil: She tries, anyway.
  • Artifact of Doom: She came from one, like all the other Nickelheads.
  • Bizarre Alien Senses: It's not technically alien or even an entirely different sense, but there's a particularly bizarre scene in Proven Guilty where Harry, who is hiding from enemies in a large pitch-black room, is shown his surroundings by Lash using mentally-projected outlines of his environment. It gets particularly alien when he immediately loses 'sight' of an object he throws (because Lash can't tell where it is once he's stopped touching it).
  • Character Development: Quite possibly the most impressive case in the entire series. Starting from when Harry gives her a nickname and both parties realize that she is just as malleable as any human mind, this slowly leads her to a challenge of her own self-identity. Eventually, she performs a Heroic Sacrifice to save the life of Harry Dresden. In short, Lash goes from the selfish and arrogant shadow of a Fallen Angel to someone who willingly and definitively sacrifices her entire existence for the sake of another.
  • Combat Pragmatist: With temptation thrown in, no extra charge.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Not as much as Harry, but she can still engage in Snark-to-Snark Combat when she really wants to.
  • Deal with the Devil: One that Harry refuses to sign, which is a source of much frustration to her.
  • Demonic Possession: To Harry to save Michael's son Harry from the same fate.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: While the psychic attack wasn't perpetrated by Lasciel herself, Lash' death has the earmarks of this. Her original and sole purpose was convincing Harry to take up the coin of Lasciel. That is it. Instead, even after a long game played, when the final moments of Harry's life came, she not only failed to convince Harry one final time to take up the coin, Lash finally acknowledged she was more than her original purpose by saying, "she doesn't deserve you." In taking the assault for Harry and turning her back on Lasciel all together, she effectively gave her maker a middle finger.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Half the discussions she has with Harry are just her asking why Harry does the things he does.
  • Evil Feels Good: Her running argument for why Harry should join up.
  • Expy: With the emphasis on sexuality, seduction and personal freedom, as well her increasingly ambiguous morality and having a child with Dresden, she heavily resembles certain depictions of Lilith.
  • Face of an Angel, Mind of a Demon: The shadow looks like a beautiful woman, or other women Harry knows and is sexually attracted to, and uses them to try and get Harry to take up the coin.
  • Faustian Rebellion: After a deep debate with Harry (and several years of his influence, including what is suggested to be his subconscious talking to her), what he convinces her to do, with "the Devil" being the True Lasciel in this case.
  • Forgotten Fallen Friend: Averted. Her Heroic Sacrifice on Harry's behalf is still a sour point for him for many years after. Not only is he suffering from noticeable PTSD over Lash's death in Small Favor (to the point where Murphy notices), but he gets choked up when Id-Harry mentions it in Skin Game.
  • Friendly Enemy: She and Harry gradually develop this dynamic, to the point of her eventually performing a Heel–Face Turn to save his life.
  • Hearing Voices: She causes them. She can create such illusions before Harry's eyes that it takes his Sight to see through them.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Eventually, to the point that Lash actually sacrifices herself to save Harry.
  • Hellfire: Gives Harry access to this power.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Sacrifices herself to save Harry at the climax of White Night from a powerful mental attack by an Outsider-possessed Vittorio Malvora. The act was actually such a moment of selfless love that, in effect, the act became a moment of pure creation that gave birth to a living entity of intellect carried in Harry's mind.
  • Hesitant Sacrifice: Normally, Lash usually helps Harry because she would die if he died. However, when she realizes that Harry wants her to shield him from Malvora's Outsider-induced psychic attack for long enough that he can save everyone, she completely freaks out. She literally starts begging Harry to take up the Coin because she doesn't want to watch him die, and breaks down crying that she doesn't want to die either. It's only when she finally figures out that he's willing to suffer serious brain damage on behalf of Thomas, Murphy, Ramirez, and Justine that she realizes that his Heroic Willpower is such that he will never take up the Coin.
  • Humanity Is Infectious: Lash realizes, after an argument with Harry in White Night, that as a Shadow imprint she is just as malleable as the material she is imprinted onto. As she acknowledged Harry could be turned evil, Harry replied she could be turned into something else too. And with her enduring over three years worth of humanity inside Harry Dresden, she finds herself thinking in different ways. According to Bob, by giving her a new Name, Harry infused a part of his soul within her, truly infecting her with humanity and making her something more than just a Fallen's Shadow.
  • Inelegant Blubbering: Breaks down crying when she thinks that she and Harry are going to die in the Deeps and feels that Harry is being an obstinate fool regarding their only visible lifeline.
  • Interspecies Romance: While their actual relationship was more or less platonic, Harry and Lash's friendship counts as this in that her final act of sacrifice was an act of true love, and love is a powerful force of creation. This resulted in part of Lash melding with Harry and making a spirit of intellect, which gestated for several years inside Harry until it was ready to be born.
  • Kiss Me, I'm Virtual: Does this a few times, sometimes with other women's forms.
  • Master of Illusion: Is capable of making illusions so real that it takes a Wizard's Sight to see through them. She makes an effective demonstration of it in Dead Beat where she shows Harry an illusion of a fire escape, then breaking it off a split second before he tries to step out on it.
    Lash: If I wished to kill you, my host, your blood would be seeping from your broken corpse and mixing with the rain on the sidewalk.
  • Master of Your Domain: Lash teaches Harry an advanced form of pain suppression near the end of Dead Beat, and also shows him how to perform special yogic contortionist techniques to escape from a set of thorn manacles in Proven Guilty.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Justified, as she intentionally made herself look like a gorgeous young woman to help seduce Harry into picking up the Coin.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: It takes him a few books for Harry to realize it, but Lash briefly had this reaction when he's in Saint Mary of the Angels during Proven Guilty. As he later tells Michael, being inside a church (especially one as beautiful and peaceful as Saint Mary's) caused her to remember her previous service to God before she Fell and inspired her to feel some regret, wondering if she had actually made the right choice to turn against God all those eons ago. Notably, this moment is also implied to be part of what helped kickstart her Character Development, as this uncomfortable feeling of guilt would eventually spread to her mixed feelings regarding and affection for Harry leading up to her Heel–Face Turn and Redemption Equals Death.
    Lash: (quietly, to Harry) It is beautiful here.
  • Odd Friendship: She and Harry ultimately gain a remarkable camaraderie after she spends roughly three years in his head, to the point where he actually breaks down crying upon learning of her Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Omniglot: Can make Harry into one, letting him understand and speak ancient Sumerian, Etruscan, and even Ghoulish.
  • Out-of-Character Alert: Once Harry gives her the name Lash, things start to change about her. Her appearance becomes more disheveled, from the proper woman in a toga to messy hair and the like. She even responds to Harry's thanks with a startled "You're welcome." To solidify this, just before she dies, she calls Harry by his name, not "my host."
  • Pet the Dog: She not only helps Harry improve his guitar practice (which also greatly helps with his therapy regarding his maimed left hand), but she specifically leaves this part of his brain intact to give him comfort after she sacrifices her "life."
  • Redemption Equals Death: While she did not return to serving Him in her final moments, Lash's final act of taking that psychic bullet for Harry were done not in service to Lasciel's wishes but the feelings of friendship and affection that she had grown for Harry.
  • Significant Anagram: Not perfect, but phonetically one can get "Shiela" from "Lasciel."
  • Someone to Remember Him By: Her final act was a moment of pure, selfless love for Harry. Love is a fundamental force of creation, and the result of mutual love created a spirit in intellect within Harry who was effectively their "child."
  • Spirit Advisor: To Harry. She implies if she had survived the encounter which kills her, she would have gone away with treachery and become a good one for him.
  • Stunned Silence: Her reaction upon realizing that Harry wants her to continue to shield him from the psychic attack instead of helping him take up the Coin is that of a shocked silence.
  • Suicide Mission: As Harry points out to her when she notes that her current existence as a Shadow will be reabsorbed into the True Lasciel if Harry ever picks up the Coin, Lash herself will technically cease to exist as an independent entity. This seriously disturbs her and was clearly something she never considered before, and causes her to have a minor Freak Out leading up to her Heel–Face Turn.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: She invokes this on occasion to garner Harry's sympathy and encourage him to pick up the coin, and Harry is Genre Savvy enough to recognize this and try to ignore it as best he can. Interestingly, part of Lash's Character Development is her attempts to garner sympathy from Harry becoming less "artificial" and more just examples of her genuine pain. For instance, he can't help but feel a twinge of sympathy after derisively noting that she has no idea what it's like to have siblings... only for her to sadly note that she did "have brothers and sisters. Once upon a time."
    • Notably, however, Harry starts to eventually feel more genuine sympathy for her as he looks past her trickery and sees her for the incredibly depressed, conflicted, and lonely woman she really is. As he muses before the Final Battle in White Night, probably the only job worse than his in the whole universe is whatever poor bastard (read: Lash) has to try and tempt him over to the side of darkness.
  • Taking the Bullet: She purposefully redirects the psychic assault on Harry's head into the regions she exists inside as she can better take the damage without causing Harry permanent damage.
  • Treacherous Advisor: She can show Harry how to handle practically anything. And by a wacky coincidence, the solution just happens to involve the coin in his basement. She also helps stoke and encourage his Hair-Trigger Temper after becoming a recognizable conscious entity in Dead Beat, causing Harry to take more levels in Jerkassery.
  • Villain Has a Point: She's very harsh about it in Proven Guilty and even resorts to dirty tricks like making him relive his left hand nearly getting burned off to try and stop him, but she's right in that trying to use an incredibly dangerous and volatile tool as Little Chicago while he's exhausted and not thinking clearly to find Molly is basically asking for it to literally blow up in his face.
  • Villainous Friendship: The Shadow heavily implies that this is what the relationship between Lasciel and Harry would have developed into had he taken up the coin. There are several indications that she is actually telling the truth in this matter (eg. Nicodemus' distaste for wasting talent would suggest that he wouldn't deliberately give the powerful, intelligent and strong-willed Harry a Fallen who would break him down into a beast), but anything she says should be taken with several pinches of salt. And while her original somewhat supports this would have been the case in Skin Game, the Fallen are also Consummate Liars to a proverbial man.

    Lasciel, the Seducer 

Lasciel, the Seducer

One of the Fallen Angels of the Blackened Denarii, known also as the Webweaver and the Temptress. Nicodemus offered her coin to Harry, who refused but was later coerced into touching it. While her shadow, Lash, attempted to coax him into taking the coin he refused and eventually handed it over to the Church.


  • The Chessmaster: Excellent at manipulating people and having them play along to her stratagems.
  • Horny Devils: Takes on the traditional shape when she confronts Harry.
  • Interplay of Sex and Violence: She keeps calling Harry "lover" and acting rather seductive while being fully intent on ripping his skull in half.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Lasciel betrayed the Lord God in Lucifer's War for Heaven. She was able to be convinced, by stoking her pride, she could turn her back on Him and come out alright. Not only was this caught by Him in the end and she sent to Hell for this action, eons later her own shadow not only fails to seduce Harry into joining up, Harry was able to "seduce" this shadow onto his side, in part, by playing to the shadow's sense of ego and identity as a being who lived in his head for so long was far from the original essence of the shadow who first existed there.
  • Light Feminine Dark Feminine: Lasciel goes both ways. When she appeared in Harry's mind she was sexy but in a dignified, somewhat enigmatic way. In the Sheila Starr persona she had more of an adorable nerd girl vibe. When she's possessing Hannah she's much more blatant, though it's tough to judge how much of this was coming from her host rather than the Fallen.
  • Mama Bear: Darkly subverted; She was prepared to rip apart Harry's head to retrieve the child of her Shadow and Harry... but not because she actually cares about the newborn spirit of intellect, but instead because the child spirit would be a great and valuable tool to use in her future schemes.
  • Meaningful Name: She has monikers like "Seducer," "Temptress," and "Webweaver." Each one details a skilled manipulator preying on emotions or other vulnerabilities. If Lash's actions are her typical operation, such as Kiss Me, I'm Virtual, these are apt names.
  • Neutrality Backlash: She got thrown out of Heaven by God for selfishly refusing to pick either side during Lucifer's Rebellion and instead trying to play each side off of one another.
  • Oh, Crap!: Her eyes widen in dismay once she realizes that Harry has redirected Hannah's fire magic at the ceiling above them, causing both her and her host to get crushed to death under the collapsing roof.
  • Playing Both Sides: invoked At a 2016 convention, Jim Butcher reveals Lasciel was banished from Heaven not for siding with Lucifer in the War of Angels, but rather because she tried playing both sides. When things settled, God wasn't amused and kicked her out. One of the reasons for her anger is all her machinations fell through.
  • Terms of Endangerment: Calls Harry "lover" when addressing him.
  • Too Dumb to Live: She handicaps both herself and Ascher by ignoring all of the valuable information her Shadow had gathered for her regarding Harry when they finally fight in Skin Game by only focusing on her utter rage towards the wizard.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Filled with this for Harry due to him not only turning down her Coin, but inadvertently encouraging her own Shadow to perform a Heroic Sacrifice on his behalf.
  • The Vamp: Acts this way towards Harry through Hannah.
  • Walking Spoiler: Her return in Skin Game with Hannah Ascher as her new vessel is one of the biggest twists in Skin Game.
  • Wild Card: She is very much a lone wolf and doesn't typically work well with the other Fallen. As Harry puts it, she's "a rebel angel among rebel angels." This likely due in part to her being thrown out of Heaven for reasons other than siding with Lucifer like the rest of the Denarians' Fallen seem to have done.
  • Woman Scorned: She's furious that Harry turned her away by refusing the Coin, stating she really liked him and so wants to burn him to ashes for the slight to her ego. She states this trope word-to-word with quote.
    Lasciel: In any case, be assured that I may have one of the few accurate perspectives in the universe when I say that "Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, nor Hell a fury like a woman scorned."
  • Worf Had the Flu: The main reason why she and Hannah didn't just kill Harry outright during the duel in Hades' Vault is because both were filled with such Unstoppable Rage that they weren't thinking clearly enough and let themselves get blinded with wrath towards him.

    Anduriel 

Anduriel

The Fallen within Nicodemus's coin.



  • Casting a Shadow: Rather than allowing his host to shapeshift, he gives Nicodemus control over shadows, which allows him to cover and manipulate an area around him, and to create wings with which Nicodemus can fly.
  • The Dragon: Was said to be one of Lucifer's direct lieutenants during the rebellion against heaven, and a senior one - the Denarians were the Fallen that even Lucifer had trouble controlling/thought might be a threat. This means that either Lucifer trusted him enough to run the Denarians, or considered him a very serious threat.
  • Eviler Than Thou: invoked On the lesser side of this trope, since he respects Nick enough to be in partnership rather than just as a host. Probably.
  • The Ghost: Only speaks once, but his influence is felt in that he gives Nicodemus his shadow powers.
  • Logical Weakness: Anduriel is a Living Shadow, and thus really does not like bursts of light, especially holy light/Soulfire.
  • The Spymaster: Described as such, his other title 'Master of Shadows', being noted by Harry as a very, very old name for this trope. His facility at this is vast, and based on his ability to gather information by seeing and hearing through people's shadows.

    Imariel 

Imariel

The Fallen within Tessa's coin.



  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: Her natural demonic form is a gigantic praying mantis.
  • Slaying Mantis: Her true form is a giant praying mantis, and she is a very effective killer in that form.
  • The Worm That Walks: She has the power to break apart into thousands of beetles, roaches, and other creepy-crawlies to attack someone physically while letting Imariel whisper hateful knowledge at them to attack their mind. When she does it to Harry to get around the bars of a vault, Michael has to save him from being simultaneously eaten, crippled, and driven insane.

    Magog (aka "Magilla") 

Magog

Big and brutal, Magog is the heavy hitter of Tessa's crew, resembling a monstrous gorilla. He's fast and tough and hits like a freight train, but is very unsubtle, and abuses his hosts viciously, to the point that they are just animals.



  • Attack! Attack! Attack!: Magog does not win points for being clever or quick-witted. His response to most threats, whether they be a Squishy Wizard or the most powerful assassin in Summer, is to charge straight at it and plow it under.
  • The Brute: To Tessa.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: In Small Favor, Eldest Brother Gruff swats him down like he's an "uppity pixie" for just being in the way of his current quarry (Harry Dresden).
  • Lightning Bruiser: Harry notes that he moves fast, and his reaction time is "almost nothing".
  • Mugging the Monster: In the climax of Small Favor, Magog picks a fight with Eldest Brother Gruff — a Champion of Summer, the Leanansidhe's equal and opposite, and slayer of three Senior Council members in duels. Despite the Gruff's repeated insistence he's got no quarrel with Magog. It goes... poorly.

    Ursiel 

Ursiel

A particularly brutal Denarian who abuses his hosts, Ursiel is aggressive, violent, and psychotic. Taking on the form of a massive, six-legged bear, he serves as Nicodemus' heavy hitter.



  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: When he's possessing the Genoskwa, he transforms into a bear the size of a battle tank.
  • Barrier Warrior: Uses a forcefield to block Harry's fire spell during their first ever fight.
  • Bears Are Bad News: Uses a giant, multi-limbed bear motif and so powerful that even powered just by a skinny gold prospector he takes all three Knights of the Cross plus Harry to bring him down.
  • The Brute: To Nicodemus.
  • Genius Bruiser: Maybe not a genius, but he's certainly much smarter than his counterpart among Tessa's crew, Magog.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: When he transforms his hosts, they become a giant multi-limbed bear-beast. Grey first blinds the Genoskwa's eyes, which requires their using Ursiel's form, and as a result that larger, bulkier body doesn't move with the grace and swiftness the Genoskwa's body does. And the larger form makes it that much easier to be crushed by the grinders in the Gate of Ice.
  • The Juggernaut: It takes three Knights plus Harry to put him down and when possessing the Genoskwa, he bulldozes through absolutely everything in his way.
  • Off with His Head!: How the Knights of the Cross bring him down.

    Saluriel 

Saluriel

The demon possessing Quintus Cassius's coin.



  • Snakes Are Sinister: His natural form seems to be a giant snake, and he helps Cassius to be very sinister indeed.
  • Squishy Wizard: Has the magical nous, but not much in the way of physical power going by the way Sanya takes him out with a single blow with a block of 2 by 4. Then again, it's Sanya.

    Thorned Namshiel (aka "Spinyboy") 

Thorned Namshiel

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/thorned_namshiel.png

A wizard working with Tessa's group, Thorned Namshiel looks like a human covered with a number of thorns, hence the name. Namshiel serves as Tessa's mastermind, and also took part in an attack on Arctis Tor, the capital of the Winter Court, on what is implied to be on behalf of the Black Council. His host was killed during an attempt by Tessa and Nicodemus to corrupt and possess Ivy, after which his coin was assumed by John Marcone.



  • The Archmage: A villainous example. He's on a whole other level magic wise as compared to Harry, completely negating one of Harry's better force blasts (he actually eats the spell), imprisoning him and putting him at his mercy with a single spell, one which goes straight through Harry's shield and operates on multiple different magical frequencies, rendering him unable to use magic. If Uriel's Soulfire hadn't kicked in just then, Harry would have been dead.
  • Berserk Button: Gets absolutely pissed when he sees Harry use Soulfire (the Fires of Creation)—partly because it's a mortal using "their" power, and partly because Harry's using it to pound his face in.
  • Brainwashed: Circumstantial evidence suggests he's been influenced by Nemesis. However, he empowered Marcone to help foil one of Nemesis's plots, so this may not actually be the case. It's possible that his prior host was the one who was influenced, but this possibility hasn't been commented on yet, and it's not even clear if divine beings like angels can be infected by Nemesis in the first place.
  • The Chessmaster: He knows how to play a mean game. With Rosanna, he is one of the more intelligent Fallen working for Tessa.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Gives some lines of this type against Ethniu.
  • Evil Versus Oblivion: In Battle Ground, he assists Marcone and the other Unseelie Accorded nations in fighting Ethniu, apparently being cognizant of how her winning would be a significant feather in the Outsiders' cap and help ensure "Empty Night".
  • Fantastic Racism: Angrily derides Harry as an "amateur puppy" and goes on a furious rant about him daring to use Soulfire against a Fallen Angel when he "was there when your pathetic kind were hewn from the muck."
  • Handicapped Badass: Harry breaks his host's spine with a lucky Soulfire hit, then proceeds to physically beat him up and cracks his skull and shoulders for good measure, leaving him bed-ridden. However, this encounter leaves him with complete knowledge of Harry's abilities, which he makes use of to kick Harry's ass without getting out of the bed while also stealing the Denarian coins in Harry's bag with no-one noticing. If not for Michael getting the drop on him while he was occupied with Harry, he probably would have owned them all.
  • Hazy Feel Turn: He's still evil in Battle Ground, but his nature as a Fallen is now being channeled for the purpose of helping benefit Marcone's Pragmatic Villainy and Well-Intentioned Extremist goals.
  • Like an Old Married Couple: He and Marcone's bickering in Battle Ground is portrayed in this manner.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Implied to be this for Tessa.
  • Off with His Head!: His host's fate in Small Favor thanks to Michael.
  • Razor Wire: Has a strangulation spell that he uses to get around Harry's shield, strangle him and pickpocket the remaining coins. According to Nicodemus, it isn't the first time he's done it.
  • Squishy Wizard: The least-threatening physically of the Denarians, though getting beat about the head and shoulders by Harry's staff, followed by smashed repeatedly into pillars by a giant hand and burned by a column of Hellfire resulting in a broken spine would ruin anyone's ambitions of being ambulatory.
  • Teleport Spam: Seemingly pulls a Hellfire-empowered version of this off against Ethniu.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Is one of the Fallen, and yet assists the Unseelie Accorded nations in fighting and sealing away Ethniu in Battle Ground.
  • Walking Spoiler: His return in Battle Ground with Marcone as his new host is easily one of the biggest twists in the entire novel.

    Minor Fallen 

Minor Fallen

In addition to Anduriel, Imariel, Magog, Thorned Namshiel, Deirdre's Fallen, and Rosanna's Fallen, at least twelve other Fallen were involved with the plots to abduct Marcone and Ivy. They include:

  • Akariel. His host is killed by Thomas and Hendricks during an attack on one of Marcone's safe houses.
  • Urumviel. Described as having "a lot of muscle and a ridge of leathery plates running down his spine". His host is killed by Dresden during the abduction of Ivy at the Shedd Aquarium.
  • Varthiel. His host is shot to death by Kincaid during the Shedd Aquarium battle.
  • Ordiel. His host is shot to death by Kincaid during the Shedd Aquarium battle.
  • Tarsiel. His host is killed during the Shedd Aquarium battle.
  • A Denarian described as "several hundred pounds of scales and fangs". His host is incinerated by Ivy during the Shedd Aquarium battle.
  • A Denarian described as "an androgynous, naked, bald statue of obsidian" whom Dresden nicknames "Obsidian Statue". His host is shot to death by Kincaid during the Shedd Aquarium battle.
  • A Denarian described as having "a shaggy coat of grey, dusty-looking feathers" and a face consisting of "a grey mass of fleshy, hanging tendrils" whom Dresden nicknames "Shaggy Feathers". His host is shot to death by Kincaid during the Shedd Aquarium battle.
  • A Denarian described as a "wizened little thing" who looks like she's been carved from a tree root and whom Dresden nicknames "Tree Woman". Her host is killed during the Shedd Aquarium battle.
  • Three other Denarians, all of whose hosts are killed during the Shedd Aquarium battle.

None of their hosts appear except as corpses, and only one is even named (McKullen, who is said to have been killed by Kincaid at the same time that he downed Varthiel and Ordiel). All of said hosts are killed during the events of the Small Favor case.


  • Body Horror: Many of them. "Obsidian Statue" bleeds a black substance that reminds Dresden of asphalt, and Shaggy Feathers has a mass of tentacles for his head.
  • Dumb Muscle: Dresden notes that a lot of them aren't very bright, observing that even in Hell it's probably easier to find strong backs than strong brains.
  • The Ghost: Some of these Denarians are never even seen, such as Tarsiel, who is ordered to deal with Kincaid but never appears in person before somebody kills him.
  • Gorn: All are killed, several in a very messy fashion. For example, when Harry sees the corpse of Akariel's host body, he notes that four-fifths of his head has been blasted off and his guts are strewn all over the place.
  • Here We Go Again!: All of these Denarians lose their hosts, but except for Akariel (who was killed before the others), Thorned Namshiel picks the coins out of Dresden's pocket and gets them back into Denarian hands so they can find new hosts and continue on with their plans.
  • Posthumous Character: Some of these Denarians, like Akariel, only appear in person after another character has already killed them.
  • Put on a Bus: Their hosts are killed and their coins are secured by the church.
    • The Bus Came Back: Shaggy Feathers was briefly seen in Skin Game near an Iranian missile base, working with Magog to distract Sanya so he couldn't attempt to disrupt Nicodemus's plans in Chicago.
  • Red Shirts: A rare villainous example.
  • The Worf Effect: In their first appearance, Denarians are built up as incredibly hard to kill; it took three Knights of the Cross just to deal with one (Ursiel). The characters who mow down eleven of these Denarians during the Shedd Aquarium battle (such as Kincaid, who kills Obsidian Statue and Shaggy Feathers with a single bullet), thus look supremely badass.
    • This is discussed, with Thomas noting that Akariel (who he gutted) didn't seem all that tough compared to the other bad guys out there, Dresden notes that this was because Thomas struck lucky in cutting the coin out of the host, meaning that the Healing Factor didn't kick in. It is also worth noting first that Kincaid is explicitly mentioned as having fought the Denarians before, as well as being Crazy-Prepared and having access to some ludicrously powerful weaponry, plus the only things that ever put them down for good are One-Hit Kill shots. Anything less and their Healing Factor will put them back together in short order.
    • It's also noted that Ursiel was particularly powerful, while the relative weakness of the other, lesser Denarians was somewhat foreshadowed by Cassius/Saluriel, back in Death Masks: he was never much threat to anyone unless he caught them by surprise and got knocked out by the admittedly massive Sanya with a single length of 2 by 4.

Nicodemus's Squires

    In General 
An army of fanatically-loyal henchmen serving Nicodemus.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Subverted. On a very-basic level, tongueless henchmen have a number of disadvantages in the coordination department... yet Michael goes into detail about why Nic keeps doing it after it screwed him over in Small Favor. Namely, a tongueless man can't talk with his friends, can't enjoy his food, can't do much of anything to help himself escape from the trap Nicodemus pulled him into.
  • Cyanide Pill: They use these rather than let the Church capture them.
  • The Squire: Once they have their tongues removed, they are called squires. This probably has something to do with the fact that Nicodemus is a Knight of the Blackened Denarius, and sometimes referred to as 'Sir' Nicodemus.
  • Tongue Trauma: They all have their tongues removed to ensure they won't confess any dangerous secrets. Said tongues are removed via Deirdre ripping them out of the henchmens' mouths. With her teeth. And eating them.
  • Undying Loyalty: Completely, fanatically devoted to their master Nicodemus. At least until Skin Game.

    Jordan 

Squire Jordan

One of Nicodemus's squires.


  • Heel–Face Turn: After Dresden and his friends destroy Nicodemus's plans and publicly humiliate him, Jordan loses faith in Nicodemus and stops serving him. The other squires with him follow suit.
    • Of course they end up working for Marcone so it's more of a Hazy Feel Turn


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