Dresden Files

Capiorcorpus[1] or the Corpsetaker is a necromancer, known for the ability to switch bodies. Corpsetaker is one of the Heirs of Kemmler. Capiorcorpus first appears in Dead Beat, and has appeared as a female in every encounter with Harry Dresden.[2][3][4]


The character is first introduced as Alicia Nelson, as the assistant to Dr. Bartlesby at the Field Museum of Natural History and soon shows herself as the necromancer Corpsetaker.[2]

Corpsetaker was at one time one of the followers of the necromancer Heinrich Kemmler known as the Heirs of Kemmler.[5] The Heirs are all competing with each other to acquire the only copy of the Word of Kemmler in order to perform the Darkhallow ritual on Halloween eve. Whomever manages to get it first, intends to use what is written there to enable him or herself to consume ancient spirits to gain god-like powers.[6]

In the body of Alicia Nelson, Capiorcorpus was five-six, pretty, wore little make-up, bobbed hair-cut, unruly brown curls, and had bloodshot tired eyes.[7] She had an evil dimple on one cheek.[1]

Harry Dresden describes her as having a perfect surety of manner way beyond that of a fanatic or someone having a huge ego. He believes her to be calmly insane.[1]

She later appears as the Grey Ghost.[8]

Dresden sees her with her hood pulled back in ghost form, with a face shaped like a hatchet, spiral-shaped ritual scars on both cheeks, hair as long and white growing in patches, her skin lizard-like and leathery, covered in fine wrinkles. Her eyes are gorgeous, a vibrant jade with long, thick dark lashes. Dresden is not sure if that was the real her or a stolen form.[4]

Dresden describes her magic as having "emptied" the store they were in, an utter stillness. Far from being peaceful, the stillness is a "horrible, hungry emptiness that takes power from being not". It feels entirely different from the forces of life that Dresden knew—this felt wrong and very strong. Everything Dresden had was not enough to go up against this power.[1]

Corpsetaker had once been a member of the White Council sometime before the French and Indian War. and has Council level magic.[9] No Soulgaze occurred when she, as the Grey Ghost, and Dresden locked eyes.[4]

Grey Ghost[]

Left as a spirit after Harry Dresden killed her last stolen body immediately after stealing it from Luccio, she spends her time gathering spiritual and mortal followers until she could steal a body of significant magical strength. She sets her eyes on Mortimer Lindquist. Her intent is to make use of the city's dead and to set herself up as the dominant practitioner. Corpsetaker has made a bargain with the Fomor to kill Molly Carpenter for them to establish her presence among them.[10]

As the Grey Ghost, she has acquired Evil Bob and held nightly sieges on Lindquist's house which was defended by Sir Stuart Winchester and his army of ghosts.[11] She eventually gets through by sending mortals to abduct Lindquist and trap Stuart in a Circle of fire.[12]

In the series[]

Dead Beat[]

In Dead Beat, while Harry Dresden is at the Field Museum of Natural History, he talks with Henry Rawlins who gives him a copy of a newsletter with a picture of Alicia Nelson and Li Xian with Dr. Bartlesby.[13] Dresden next sees Alicia with Li Xian in the lobby of the Forensic Institute. He discovers that Li Xian is a Ghoul and while Listening, hears Li Xian call Alicia "My Lord", which Dresden takes sharp notice of.[7]

Soon after, Dresden runs into Alicia and Li Xian again at Bock Ordered Books. When Dresden confronts her to spare Artemis Bock from her threats, she shows some of her fearsome power, something Dresden never felt before, a hungry emptiness. Alicia calls herself Capiorcorpus and invites Dresden to join her at the Darkhallow and receive her eternal gratitude in exchange for the Die Lied der Erlking and the Word of Kemmler. She promises to grant Dresden autonomy of his choices when the New Order rises. Dresden refuses. Corpsetaker applies immense pressure to take Dresden's knowledge of the Word from his mind. Dresden forces Hellfire into his defenses, breaks free and runs. They give chase down an alley, overtaking Dresden and get the numbers for Word from his mind.[1]

Later, Corpsetaker, with a greenish, ghostly calvary, charges Grevane and his army of zombies which allows Dresden, Thomas Raith, Waldo Butters and Mouse to escape in the Blue Beetle.[14]

Still later, she let Warden Anastasia Luccio mortally wound her, and then switched bodies with her. Leaving Luccio to die in her previous body, she left with the newly arrived Dresden. He perceived her trick, and shot her dead, the bullet impacting just over her right cheekbone. Dresden had managed to catch her unprepared, so Capiorcorpus had neither time to defend herself or to make a death curse.[3]

Ghost Story[]

In Ghost Story, Harry Dresden's ghost sneaks into the Big Hoods and the Grey Ghost's hideout behind an army of wraiths. He finds her torturing Mortimer to get his permission to enter his body—a requirement. Dresden witnesses her making a deal with the Fomor Lord Omogh's agent, Listen, to kill the Ragged Lady, Molly Carpenter, and help the Fomor enter the Fortress. Dresden deduces that the Grey Ghost is the Corpsetaker and her getting a body is a very serious threat.[15] the Leanansidhe told Dresden what she knows about Corpsetaker and her plans.[16]

After rescuing Father Forthill Dresden sent Waldo Butters and Daniel Carpenter to get Karrin Murphy and a team of Viking soldiers from the Alliance to help stop Corpsetaker.[17] After gathering two armies of ghosts from Mortimer Lindquist's house, Dresden takes them to the Corpsetaker's stronghold to rescue Mortimer, only to find very strong wards in place and none of them can enter,[18] forcing them to go through the Nevernever and Evil Bob's defenses.[19] Ghost-Dresden and his ghost army enter Grey Ghost-Corpsetaker's hideout and battle ensues with the Lemurs, Big Hoods and the Corpsetaker.[4]

Corpsetaker ate the "Lecter" ghosts—vicious killer ghosts—like with the Darkhallow.[20] She gained enough insanity to manifest and with that she has access to her powers—she can take any body she wants. Corpsetaker took Butters body and veiled his ghost which briefly fooled Dresden. Molly Carpenter slammed Corpsetaker and Soulgazed her and that is when she jumped from Butters to Carpenter.[21] Carpenter and Corpsetaker get into a prolonged mind battle.[22] Later, Dresden views the battle from the outside and Carpenter is losing. Lindquist called wraiths to get Corpsetaker off Carpenter, saving her. The Wraiths push Corpsetaker into a Southbound Train from Between.[23]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Dead Beat, ch. 17
  2. 2.0 2.1 Dead Beat, ch. 13, 14 & 17
  3. 3.0 3.1 Dead Beat, ch. 39
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Ghost Story, ch. 45
  5. Dead Beat, ch. 1
  6. Ghost Story, ch. 17
  7. 7.0 7.1 Dead Beat, ch. 14
  8. Ghost Story, ch. 29
  9. Ghost Story, ch. 41
  10. Ghost Story, ch. 33
  11. Ghost Story, ch. 5–6
  12. Ghost Story, ch. 18
  13. Dead Beat, ch. 13
  14. Dead Beat, ch. 23
  15. Ghost Story, ch. 29
  16. Ghost Story, ch. 33
  17. Ghost Story, ch. 39
  18. Ghost Story, ch. 41
  19. Ghost Story, ch. 42-44
  20. Ghost Story, ch. 46
  21. Ghost Story, ch. 47
  22. Ghost Story, ch. 48–49
  23. Ghost Story, ch. 50

See also[]