Black Council

Nemesis, also known as the Adversary or the Contagion, is a secretive mind-altering influence from Outsiders. It was first mentioned to Harry Dresden in Cold Days.

Description[edit | edit source]

Nemesis is a kind of contagion that infects a person—humans or Supernatural beings—and changes their nature, makes them to act in ways not natural to them and causes them to do things harmful to others. It shares the Outsiders' goals, which appear to be inimical to humanity and reality as we know it. Those affected (or infected) by its influence have their natural desires warped into serving sinister purposes.[1]

Nemesis keeps its existence secret by infecting or killing any who appears to know of it, so even speaking its name is risky.[1] Those who know of it call it "The Adversary" instead.[2] Infected creatures are able to act against their fundamental natures. For example, infected Sidhe become able to lie.[3] Some or all of the evidence of the Black Council's existence appears to be the work of Nemesis.[4]

It is also possible that Nicodemus Archleone mentioned it during the conversation with Harry Dresden in the Oceanarium. He said “Have you not seen the signs around you? Beings acting against their natures? Creatures behaving in ways that they should not? The old conventions and customs being cast aside?”.[5] which are the symptoms of Nemesis, as described in Cold Days.[3] Later in the same conversation with Dresden, Nicodemus refers to what's happening as a "contamination," which in turn is a synonym of the word "contagion."[5]

In the series[edit | edit source]

"Journal"[edit | edit source]

In "Journal", Donald Morgan wonders whether Justin DuMorne had succeeded in making Harry Dresden a creature of Nemesis.[6]

Cold Days[edit | edit source]

In Cold Days, in a meeting at the Botanical Gardens Lily touches Harry Dresden’s forehead supposedly testing for the presence of something. She is relieved to find that he is not infected and goes on to imply that there is a contagion which corrupted Dresden's first three big cases: Victor Sells, the Hexenwolves and the Nightmare. Lily also tells Dresden that her predecessor, Aurora was also infected by this contagion and become twisted by it.[1] Maeve arrives and tells Dresden that she is convinced that Mab is infected by the same contagion and intends to destroy the world. The Ladies imply that the Leanansidhe spread the contagion to Mab while she was bound in ice at Arctis Tor.[7]

Dresden summons Titania to ask her if she has noticed any change in Mab’s behavior which may indicate infection by the contagion. Whilst Titania refuses to help directly, she does tell him that the name of the contagion is "Nemesis" and to speak it carefully or it may hear him.[8]

When Dresden visits the Outer Gates with Mother Summer, he realizes that the adversary is an infiltrator who has sneaked past the Outer Gates and is attempting to open them so that the Outsiders may enter Faerie and the mortal world.[9]

During the assault on Demonreach, Dresden is attacked by Cat Sith and realizes the Malk has been infected. Dresden manages to get through to Cat Sith, who fights the contagion for a brief moment, but eventually Nemesis takes over completely. It speaks to Dresden directly, expressing regret that it could not remain as a covert asset before attacking him. Dresden blasts it with magic and hurls Cat Sith into Lake Michigan.[10]

After Maeve is defeated, Mab and Dresden discuss the events leading up to that night. Mab explains that spotting the adversary is not a simple task. Lily was not actually able to detect it’s presence. Even the Gatekeeper, at the focus of his power cannot be completely certain of its presence. Dresden concludes that during the period a few years ago, where Mab was so angry that she could not speak, it was because she found out that Maeve had been tainted. Mab explains that the Leanansidhe had become infected via the athame she received at Bianca St. Claire's ball. The infection was passed on to Maeve before it could be set right. Mab was able to remove Nemesis from the Leanansidhe, and remain unaffected herself, but she could not help Maeve.[11]

Skin Game[edit | edit source]

In Skin Game, Harry Dresden worries that the corruption Michael Carpenter fears within the Church is linked to Nemesis.[12]

Known infected[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Cold Days, ch. 24
  2. Cold Days, ch. 32
  3. 3.0 3.1 Cold Days, ch. 48
  4. Cold Days, ch. 28
  5. 5.0 5.1 Small Favor, ch. 29
  6. "Journal"
  7. Cold Days, ch. 25
  8. Cold Days, ch. 30
  9. Cold Days, ch. 33
  10. 10.0 10.1 Cold Days, ch. 44
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Cold Days, ch. 53
  12. Skin Game, ch. 51
  13. White Night, ch. 41

See also[edit | edit source]

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