The Order of the Blackened Denarius, whose members are referred to as Denarians or Knights of the Coin, is an organization of fallen angels bound to thirty ancient silver coins, the denarii,[Footnote 1] and seeking to bond with human hosts. The coins are said to be the silver pieces given to Judas Iscariot[Footnote 2] in exchange for his betrayal of Jesus.[Footnote 3] Of the thirty coins, eleven are currently believed to be in the possession of the church.
Each coin carried by the Denarians contains the trapped spirit of a Fallen Angel. Whoever touches the coins is tainted by the Fallen within, tempted and given power; the Fallen leads the mortal deeper and deeper into its influence until eventually they have surrendered enough of themselves that the Fallen can take control..
The Knights of the Cross use a square of white blessed cloth bearing two pairs of crosses embroidered with silver thread to pick up and transport the coins to the Church for safekeeping. However, Dresden and others have safely carried one or more coins through more mundane means, such as gloves to prevent direct skin contact, or by storing them in a bag.
Coins with known hosts
- Anduriel: Its current host is Nicodemus Archleone, who's had it for close to two thousand years. It is the commander of all of the Fallen. It takes the form of Nicodemus's shadow and can change shape in a near limitless fashion, allows Nicodemus to fly as well as listen to conversations near shadows it pays attention to.
- Imariel: Its current host is Polonius Lartessa, who has been for a lengthy period of time as she is the second oldest of the Denarians, after Nicodemus. Tessa is the commander of a little more than half of the Fallen and is usually in competition with her husband, Nicodemus. The coin allows her to change into a large, praying mantis like creature and can break apart into thousands of smaller mantises.
- Rosanna's Coin: Its current host is Rosanna, presumably for a lengthy span of time. The coin allows Rosanna to transform into a red-skinned, goat-legged demoness with bat wings and curled horns. Rosanna is Tessa's second in command. She recruited Sanya and was his lover until he gave up his coin.
- Thorned Namshiel: The coin allows its host to assume the shape of a humanoid, skeletal grey-skinned figure with slightly curved and wickedly pointed spurs of bone jutting out from every joint. Nicodemus Archleone refers to it as Tessa's "sorcery teacher". A past host was defeated at the battle on Demonreach by Michael Carpenter, who collected the coin, but it went missing while Carpenter was helicoptered to safety. John Marcone took the coin, and revealed he is the current host during the fight with Ethniu.
- Two more are known to have hosts of uncertain identity: Magog and "Shaggy Feathers", photographed in Iran some time before Skin Game. Ursiel's most recent host is also reported alive, despite being believed dead in unrecoverable circumstances (within Hades' Vault), so it may also remain a hosted Denarian.
Coins stolen at Demonreach
During the events of Small Favor, the Knights of the Cross, Harry Dresden, and allies from the White Council collected a number of the coins during a confrontation at Shedd Aquarium. However, during a subsequent confrontation on Demonreach, eleven of these coins were stolen by Thorned Namshiel. These coins are believed to have been given to either Tessa or Rosanna. Most are not known to have new hosts.
- Urumviel: Its most recent host is unknown. They were defeated by Harry Dresden at Shedd Aquarium. The coin allows its host to turn into a creature described as having a lot of muscle and a ridge of leathery plates running down its spine.
- "Obsidian Statue": Its former, unknown host was shot and killed by Jared Kincaid with "Shaggy Feathers" in a two-for-one shot at Shedd Aquarium. The coin allows its host to turn into an androgynous, bald statue made of obsidian. The Denarian within is so far unnamed, but Dresden nicknames it "Obsidian Statue".
- "Shaggy Feathers": Its host was shot and killed by Jared Kincaid with "Obsidian Statue" in a two-for-one shot at Shedd Aquarium. The coin allows its host to shape-shift into a creature covered in a shaggy coat of grey, dusty-looking feathers with a face of fleshy, hanging tendrils. The creature's limbs are neither arms nor legs, but serve both purposes, like a spider's. Harry Dresden nicknames it "Shaggy Feathers". Sometime before Skin Game, it was given to a new host, identity unknown, and was photographed in Iran.
- McKullen's Coin: A practitioner named McKullen was host to this coin during the events of Small Favor. He was killed by Jared Kincaid at the aquarium.
- Varthiel: Its most recent host is unknown. It was killed by Jared Kincaid at the aquarium.
- Ordiel: Its most recent host is unknown. It was killed by Jared Kincaid at the aquarium.
- "Green Scales and Antlers": This Denarian and its unknown host fought with Thomas Raith in John Marcone's safe house, and may be the Denarian defeated by The Archive at Shedd Aquarium, which is described as "several hundred pounds of scales and fangs". It is known to be defeated, as its coin was in the possession of Dresden and allies at Demonreach, at which point it was among the eleven stolen.
- "Wooden woman carving": This Denarian is described as "a caricature of a woman carved from a dried tree root". It was killed by either Anastasia Luccio, Sanya or Michael Carpenter at the Aquarium.
- One to three unknown coins: Eleven coins were stolen at Demonreach, but only eight of them are accounted for with certainty as being among the captured collection. Tarsiel is likely to be a ninth, since it was present at the Aquarium, and Akariel, secured during a fight at John Marcone's safe house, may be a tenth. This leaves at least one and as many as three other coins whose hosts were killed at the aquarium and gathered in the collection that was subsequently stolen.
Coins unaccounted for
- Magog: It was formerly hosted by Sanya, until he gave up the coin and became a Knight of the Cross. Its next host was an unknown young kid who was defeated by Eldest Gruff at Demonreach. The coin was retrieved and given to the Church, where it remained until some time prior to Skin Game, where having been given a new host, it was photographed in Iran. The coin allows its host to transform into a large, leathery, gorilla-like creature with goat's horns and heavy claws. Nicodemus Archleone refers to Magog as Tessa's "heaviest bruiser."
- Tarsiel: Tarsiel was present at the Aquarium, but undescribed. It is assumed to be defeated there, either by drowning or being killed by Anastasia Luccio, Sanya or Michael Carpenter. If this is true, it was presumably among the eleven coins subsequently stolen by Thorned Namshiel at Demonreach.
- Deirdre's Coin: It is currently in the possession of Nicodemus Archleone, who collected it from the corpse of his daughter, Deirdre Archleone, whom he killed at the Blood Gate to Hades' Vault. The coin allows its host to take the form of a medusa-like creature with very long, titanium-like bladed metallic hair that can be independently controlled and easily stab through people and objects.
- Ursiel: Since 1849, its host was Rasmussen until he was defeated by all three of the Knights of the Cross. The coin was held by the Church until sometime before Skin Game, when Nicodemus Archleone gave it to Blood on His Soul. The coin was last seen inside Hades' Vault where it remained after Dresden defeated it at the Gate of Ice; however, Strength of a River in His Shoulders claimed to have seen Blood on His Soul since that event. It allows the host to assume the form of a huge six-legged bear with curling ram's horns.
- Lasciel: It was believed by the Church to be in secure storage in a Chilean Monastery, until Nicodemus Archleone gave it to Harry Dresden. After years of avoiding the temptation to actually take up the coin, Dresden gave it back to the Church. Sometime before the events of Skin Game the coin was again recovered by Archleone who gave to Hannah Ascher. The coin is currently inside Hades' Vault where it remained after Dresden defeated it. It creates a kind of purple smoke around the body of its host, but its real power is the knowledge it provides the host and its skill at manipulation. Father Forthill calls Lasciel The Seducer, the Webweaver and the Temptress and she typically does not follow Archleone's lead. The coin's sigil is reminiscent of an hourglass.
Coins believed to be secured
Nicodemus and Anduriel have been proven extremely capable of extracting the denarii from Church custody, such as Ursiel and Lasciel, both of which were stolen between the events of Small Favor and those of Skin Game. Some of the coins are nonetheless believed to remain secure for the moment; prior to the confrontation at the aquarium, thirteen coins were in Church custody.
- Saluriel: Its host for several centuries was Quintus Cassius, until he surrendered the coin to the Knights of the Cross. The coin allows its host to transform into a half-snake, half-human creature.
- Akariel: It was defeated by Thomas Raith at John Marcone's safe house and given to Michael Carpenter to secure. The coin allows its host to transform in a "black and furry and big" creature. It is possible that this was among the eleven stolen on Demonreach.
- Other nine unknown coins: According to Father Forthill, nine coins are accounted for prior to the collection of Ursiel.
That’s the problem with you nearly immortal types. You couldn’t spot a pop culture reference if it skittered up and implanted an embryo down your esophagus.— Harry Dresden, referencing the Alien franchise.[Footnote 4]
The possessor of a coin can draw on the Fallen's power to shapeshift, heal wounds and more, becoming more powerful when inflicting pain and suffering on others. Many have been alive for a long time and some have developed talent for magic. Harry Dresden calls them certifiable nightmares. They are very hard to kill.
Their ability to shift into a form more suitable for fighting usually arms them with such weaponry as claws, fangs, horns, poisonous bites, hair that is razor-blade sharp, etc. Molly calls that ability "Battleshifting". Each Fallen has their own preferences that seem to adapt to the holder of the coin.
They have a cult of human goons with their tongues cut out. In addition, they have guard dog-like creatures that are ugly, fast, and have big teeth. What makes them the most dangerous is the Fallen themselves. They are older than time and have spent thousands of years learning the mortal world and the mortal mind. They understand things humans can't grasp. They know every trick and move. They are riding shotgun with each holder or in the driver's seat. They have a perfect memory and a vast library of information.
They were signatories to the Unseelie Accords until Small Favor when the Accords were violated by Nicodemus; he later mentions to Dresden that he's not a member of the Accords anymore. It is unknown whether this just applies to him or the entire order.
- Skin Game ch. 22
- Small Favor, ch. 14
- Small Favor, ch. 34
- Death Masks, ch. 7
- Death Masks, ch. 6
- Skin Game ch. 23
- Death Masks, ch. 27
- Skin Game ch. 44
- Small Favor, ch. 20
- Small Favor, ch. 13
- Small Favor, ch. 33
- Small Favor, ch. 14 and 15
- Small Favor, ch. 30
- Small Favor, ch. 45
- Small Favor, ch. 43
- Battle Ground, ch. 33
- Small Favor, ch. 31
- Small Favor, ch. 32
- Skin Game ch. 24
- Small Favor, ch. 15
- Small Favor, ch. 44
- Small Favor, ch. 46
- Skin Game ch. 39
- Death Masks, ch. 13
- Skin Game, ch. 43
- Skin Game, ch. 47
- Peace Talks, ch. 21
- Death Masks, ch. 5
- Death Masks, ch. 33
- White Night, ch. 43
- Dead Beat, ch. 9
- Death Masks, ch. 28
- Small Favor, ch. 41
- Small Favor, ch. 18