In the seriesEdit
In Grave Peril, Red Court vampires Kyle and Kelly Hamilton bring Harry Dresden an invitation to attend, as the local representative of the White Council. While Kyle is under the aegis of the Unseelie Accords, she is not and shows her craving for Dresden's blood. Susan Rodriguez, who is present, understands what it might mean to her career.
Dresden brought Michael Carpenter to the ball with him and hopes to find whoever is behind the Nightmare. Outside they met Thomas Raith, a White Court Vampire, and Justine. Raith calmed Bianca St. Claire and the Reds who were all set to attack over Dresden's cheesy vampire costume. Kyle and Kelly Hamilton handed Dresden and Carpenter goblets, and Kelly's hand burned when she touched Carpenter, forcing Dresden to invoke the laws of hospitality to get them to back off. Dresden drained his goblet, just before Raith warned that the wine is poisoned. The wine had vampire venom within it, causing all of the guests to fall into a stupor.
Dresden talked to a dragon named Ferrovax. Mr. Ferro crushed Dresden with his power. It comes out that Carpenter killed another dragon, Siriothrax. Susan showed up having used a fake invitation to get in, so she's not protected under the laws of hospitality. the Leanansidhe tried to get Dresden to give in to her demands. Some gag spell comes over Dresden supposedly for breaking his bargain with Lea three times. Susan bargained one year of her memory to free Dresden from the spell. Lea offered to give Carpenter the Sword, Amoracchius, for his eldest daughter.
Under Lea's spell, Susan forgot everything about Dresden or Carpenter. Dresden finally convinced Susan to leave. On the stairs out, Dresden used his Sight. He Sees Mavra, a Black Court vampire, through her powerful veil. Mavra states only two can leave because one invitation was faked. Marvra started a black spell that Dresden recognized as the one behind the Nightmare. Carpenter and Susan's crosses blaze with white light. The lights in the room go out. The hour of socialization is up. The doors close with a boom. Dresden, Carpenter and Susan were locked inside.
Court started and gift time began. Dresden figured out that the whole thing was a set up to trap him there. Bianca made a speech about how with the strength of the Lords of Outer Night, and her kind will overcome their foes. Two hooded figures (identified later as Cowl and Kumori in Dead Beat) handed Ferrovax a cask containing something that gleams. Justine asked for Dresden's aid in escaping. Raith was given a condo in Hawaii and one airline ticket if he left tonight. Dresden climbed the dais. Bianca mentions Paula who she blames Dresden for killing. Dresden is given a gravestone: "He Died Doing the Right Thing". the Leanansidhe was given a small black case. Lea then gave Amoracchius to Bianca in exchange and in turn Bianca gave it to Mavra. Lydia (Dresden's client) was brought up to the dais and it's clear that Mavra intended to unmake the sword by killing an innocent.
Dresden, Carpenter and Raith charge up to save Lydia with Susan and Justine behind them. They get Lydia but Bianca gets Justine. Then, Raith betrayed them in a failed attempt to get her back by pushing Susan at a group vampires who descended upon her. Bianca ordered Raith killed. Dresden became so enraged that he throws fire everywhere, burning vampires, walls and people. Carpenter got Dresden and Lydia out through a tunnel of air in the smoke. Lea is there and helped them escape.
Dresden returned later to save Susan and ran straight into a trap where he is overtaken by a horde of vampires. He's locked in a room with Justine who's a little crazed. Dresden had poison in him so the vampires didn't kill him. Rachel's ghost appears wanting to be freed of Bianca. Leonid Kravos inhabits Justine and speaks to Dresden. Susan was found hiding behind some machines infected with the vampire toxin and hungry—and she still doesn't remember Dresden.
. . . (missing part)
The Red King had sent Paolo Ortega as his observer and representative to Bianca's Ball. As a witness, he planned to carry the word of Dresden's treacherous attack and his breaking of the laws of hospitality back to the Red King and that will mean War.