What's Out There

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Here’s a quick and dirty breakdown of the mortals, “semi-mortals,” and monsters running around out in the Dresdenverse. Keep your eyes peeled, and you might recognize them.


Mortals are best described by their knowledge and participation in the supernatural world. First, you have pure mortals, ordinary people who don’t have supernatural abilities. They might be completely in the dark, or they might be clued in to the supernatural world around them – and frequently, forewarned is forearmed.

Next are minor talents, focused practitioners, and those with some measure of true faith. These are folks who have a (usually limited) supernatural talent of their own. Maybe they can cast a spell or two, know some effective rituals, speak to the dead, see the future, that sort of thing.

Sorcerers are more powerful magic-workers, often tapping the power of cults surrounding them to empower spells or rituals or to summon demons. Sorcerers often don’t have much in the way training, power, knowledge, or ethics — and what they do have is entirely self-won.

White Council wizards are the most powerful mortal magic users. They have the tools and the talent, and have organized into a formidable supernatural faction. They also enforce the seven Laws of Magic, drawing clear lines between what is acceptable use of magical power and what is not.

Breaking the Laws makes one a warlock, and carries a death sentence from the White Council Wardens. Current events have left the Council with limited numbers of trained Wardens in the field, and so there are more warlocks slipping through the cracks in the White Council’s enforcement.


“Semi-mortals” are people who are part mortal, and part something else. They retain some aspects of choice, balanced against their nature.

These include werewolves and other shapechangers, half-fae changelings, and white court virgins, and various other scions of power.


The world is full of monsters. There are other types of werewolves than those mentioned above (four or five in total), and at least four types of vampire (White Court, Red Court (recently extinct), Black Court, and Jade Court), all with different powers, hungers, and weaknesses. Then there are ghouls, the hard-to-dispatch killer thugs of the supernatural set.

Add to this the inhabitants of the Nevernever who can by various means cross from there into the mortal realm; these include a multitude of faerie species, spirits, ghosts, and demons.

A couple dragons and gods are still kicking around, but we don’t know much about them other than they usually don’t seem to get involved in stuff and are extremely powerful.

Then there are Outsiders and Old Ones. They want to consume reality. We don’t have much information on them because knowing anything about them is against the White Council’s Laws of Magic.

Text edited from What’s Out There?, Evil Hat Productions.

“The Dresden Files” is copyright Jim Butcher. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License, in accord with Jim Butcher’s Fanfiction Policy.

What's Out There

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