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Literature / Dechance Chronicles

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A Wizard Did It.

The Dechance Chronicles are a Urban Fantasy series by David Niall Wilson. They follow the advance of an occultist, wizard, and collector of ancient relics named Donovan Dechance. He investigates supernatural crimes and deals with threats that imperil his West Coast city San Valencez. He is joined in this by his long-time girlfriend Amethyst, cat Cleo, and a variety of strange as well as similarly gifted friends.

The origins of the Dechance Chronicles are tied to the World of Darkness by White Wolf. David Wilson used to write novels for them (The Grail Covenant Trilogy, Dark Age: Lasombra, Clan Novel: Malkavian) but grey frustrated with the restrictions on his world. The Dechance Chronicles are a more freeform interlocked universe by contrast. Also, a bit Lighter and Softer.

Works in the series include:


  • Heart of a Dragon
  • Vintage Soul
  • My Soul to Keep
  • Kali's Tale
  • The Not Quite Right Reverend Cletus J. Diggs & The Currently Accepted Habits of Nature (novella)
  • The Preacher's Marsh (novella)
  • A Midnight Dreary

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     Series wide tropes 
  • Animal Motifs: Despite owning a Egyptian cat, Dovanan is actually associated with ravens.
  • The Archmage: A Downplayed Trope example. Dovanan is the most powerful mage in San Vanlencez.
  • Awesome Mc Coolname: Donovan Dechance. Also serves as an Alliterative Name.
  • Battle Couple: Dovanan and Amethyst frequently work together on occult crimes.
  • Blue-Collar Warlock: Martinez. It causes him some issues with Dovanan, who is a Gentleman Wizard.
  • City of Adventure: The majority of the books take place around the fictional city of San Valencez.
  • Coolest Club Ever: Club Chaos is a place for all manner of supernaturals, mortals, and thrill-seekers to hang out.
  • Familiar: Cleo appears to act as this to Dovanan but she's just an ordinary cat.
  • Gentleman Wizard: Donovan Dechance acts like a man from several decades in the past. He is unfailingly polite, chivalrous to women, and almost never loses his temper. This sometimes gets him in trouble in dealing with rougher sorts.
  • Eldritch Location: Donovan has access to a long corridor that allows him to teleport around the world due to its doors leading all across San Valencez and beyond.
  • Hot Witch:
    • Amethyst herself.
    • Anya Cabrera also qualities.
  • Immortality Seeker: The villain of Vintage Soul is one of these, planning to sacrifice a vampire and other objects in a ritual to make himself truly immortal.
  • Kind Hearted Cat Lover: Donovan absolutely loves cats.
  • Occult Detective: Dovanan serves as this in his home city, though he's significantly more powerful than most.
  • Magical Library: Donovan has one of the most impressive ones in the world.
  • Renaissance Man: Donovan possesses multiple kinds of magic and is an expert in numerous fields, allowing him to help with numerous insurmountable problems of a variety of people.

     Heart of a Dragon 
  • Art Attacker: Salvatore's dragon portraits can provide powerful magic to anyone who wears one.
  • Art Initiates Life: Salvatore is capable of creating paintings of dragons so real they can lend their power to humans.
  • Artifact of Doom: The dragon jackets are too powerful for any mortal to wear and quickly overwhelm the humans who put them on. The Dragons get around this by fighting under a dragon STANDARD that empowers them but doesn't overwhelm them completely.
  • Big Bad: Anya Cabrera and her plot to make an army of possessed gangsters.
  • Came Back Wrong: A variant example happens when the Los Escorpiones are possessed by the fake loa. They are never quite the same and become an Empty Shell. Only the strongest can recover even with Anya's help.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: Amethyst's mirror shows a person what they most fear. She uses it to punish a would-be pick-pocket.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: Anya Cabrera summoned a bunch of primordial spirits (initially thought to be loa) into the body of gang members so they could fight better, while planning on permanently trapping them on this side of the material plane. Dovanan is stunned at the sheer stupidity of the plan.
  • Evil Plan: Anya Cabrera wants to take over the Barrio of San Valencez and is using a combination of sorcery as well as the local gangs to do so.
  • Gratuitous Spanish: Makes an appearance within the book a few times.
  • Mundane Utility: Using powerful sorcery to summon minor gods in order to win a gang war.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Martinez and Donovan were enemies for years because the former stole away a werewolf before he could be killed as a threat to others. Martinez later explains this is because the werewolf was his son and he sought a way to cure him. Which he did using a magical collar.
  • What Measure Is a Mook?: The casualties of the war are all between two pairs of gangs but Donovan wants to prevent more bloodshed. He's also worried about their magic potentially spreading.

     Vintage Soul 

  • The Beautiful Elite: The vampires are all spectacularly beautiful with Vanessa DiCaprio being the most beautiful.
  • Beneath Suspicion: The alchemist's true identity is an apprentice that was almost always around our heroes throughout the start of the book.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Amethyst rescued Donovan from being killed by Vein when the archwizard underestimates his opponents in a street fight.
  • Bullying a Dragon:
    • The alchemist, Lance Ezzel, attempts to intimidate Donovan into surrendering the journal of Jean Claude Le Duc. Donovan wonders why he's even trying.
    • Vein and his minions attempt to intimidate Donovan. Being an archwizard, he reacts to it with mild amusement. It proves a mistake as their speed compensates for raw power.
  • The Butler Did It: The alchemist is Amethyst's apprentice, Lance Ezzel, who was privy to all of Donovan's plans by just being in the background.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: The alchemist Lance Ezzel a mad sorcerer that plays up every Evil Sorcerer stereotype there is. This is considered quite bizarre by other mages, including ones who are quite amoral.
  • Coolest Club Ever: A new one is visited by Donovan with "The Crossroads" being another place to do supernatural deals.
  • Council of Vampires: The council of elders is one of these.
  • Dark Lord: The alchemist envisions himself to be one of these and is considered to be a joke by most mages.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Donovan always has shades of this but it is particularly notable here when he's appalled by his opponents Large Ham and Obviously Evil tendencies.
  • Co-Dragons: Both Vein and Kline serve as the chief enforcers of Johndrow.
  • Fantastic Racism: Vein doesn't think very much of humans and finds the idea of hiring Dechance to find Vanessa demeaning.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Lance Ezzel is taken by a demon off to hell when he doesn't fill the obligations of his ritual.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Alistair Cornwell was a poseur wizard who apparently gained actual magical power sometime in his later life. Donovan barely remembers him and only does so because he was such a Large Ham. He's not the villain but the equally innocuous apprentice of Amethyst is.
  • Human Sacrifice: Or vampire sacrifice in the case of the ritual being planned.
  • Hot Consort: Vanessa is the consort of Johndrow and his most beloved creation.
  • I Have Your Wife: Johndrow assumes Vanessa has been kidnapped in order to leverage him as the leader of the vampires in San Valencez. Instead, Vanessa is being kept as a part of a ritual that will make her captor immortal. It will also kill her (again).
  • Immortality Seeker: The alchemist attempts to finish Jean Claude Le Duc's formula to grant himself immortality.
  • Large Ham: The alchemist acts like he's a villain in a high fantasy novel, which the Urban Fantasy crowd are utterly confused by.
  • Meaningful Name: Amethyst specializes in enchanting gemstones with magical spells.
  • Noodle Incident: Donovan training a kung fu wielding vampire hunter to hunt on behalf of the vampire council.
  • Skewed Priorities: Vein is more interested in getting revenge on Dovonan humiliating him than rescuing Vanessa.
  • Tome of Eldritch Lore: The Journal of Jean Claude Le Duc and its Perpetuum Vitae potion.
  • Treasure Hunt Episode: Donovan needs to find the secrets of the Perpetuum Vitae potion before the villain does. This includes a magical journal, an Elder vampire, a human exorcists bones, and a few other exotic ingredients.
  • Vampire Monarch: Johndrow is the ruler of the vampires of San Valencez.
  • We ARE Struggling Together: Vein and his crew are more interested in roughing up Donovan than finding Vanessa.


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