Dresden Files
White Council

The current White Council headquarters, also called the Hidden Halls of Edinburgh, are located in Edinburgh.[1]


Castle & Castle Rock 1

Castle & Castle Rock

Harry Dresden
I seek entry to the Hidden Halls, O Warden. May I pass?
Be welcome to the seat of the White Council. Enter in peace and depart in peace.
Harry Dresden entering the Hidden Halls of Edinburgh[2]

The Headquarters are located in one of strongest fortresses known. Due to its proximity to a large number of ley lines, it is able to draw on a huge amount of energy. Even without a threshold. The tunnels walls have base-relief carved wards that world-class and heavyweight. There were metal gates every couple of hundred yards, each of them having a Warden and pair of Ancient Mai's Temple Dog statues.[2]

It has been stated that only a being with the power of a god could break through the defenses.[3]


Castle & Castle Rock 2

Castle & Castle Rock

For about five hundred years, since the end of the Middle Ages, the Hidden Halls of Edinburgh have been the White Council's headquarters; the complex is located beneath the city, with its main part occupying space within Castle Rock under Edinburgh Castle.[1] The location of the complex is one of the world's largest convergences of ley lines, even more so under Edinburgh Castle.[1] The Original Merlin supposedly won it from a sidhe lord in a bet.

The headquarters moves occasionally, and generally follows the most advanced civilization at the time: among other places, it has been located in Alexandria, Carthage, Rome, the Vatican, Constantinople, and Madrid.[1]


Entry tunnel[]

The structure is softly illuminated by crystals set in the walls; the tunnel is ancient, worn, chilly, and damp, with water vapor always seemingly ready to condense into a half-frozen dew any time it is exhaled with breath. Bas-relief carvings in the stone decorate it, some of which being renditions of the high points of the White Council's history, which Harry Dresden does not know much about and compares to the Bayeux Tapestry. Other carvings are seriously world-class heavyweight wards, whose nature is unknown but are extremely powerful. The tunnel from the Nevernever is more than a quarter of a mile long, sloping gently downward, with metal gates every couple of hundred yards, each of them manned by a Warden backed by a pair of Ancient Mai's Temple Dog statues.[1]

War Room[]

The War Room is located between the central chambers of the Senior Council and the Wardens barracks. It is a spacious vault, about a hundred feet square, whose heavy arches and pillars occupying a lot of space. Illuminating crystals glow more brightly than in the tunnel, to make reading easier. Bulletin boards on rolling frames take up spaces between pillars, and are covered in maps and pins and tiny notes. Most of them had one or more chalkboards next to them, which were covered in diagrams, cryptic, brief notation, and cruder maps. Completely ordinary office furniture occupies the back half of the vault, broken up into cubicles. Typewriters clack and ding. Administrative staff, all wizards, move back and forth through the room, speaking quietly, writing, typing, and filing. A row of counters on the front wall of the room support coffeepots warmed by propane flames, and several well-worn couches and chairs rest nearby. Half a dozen veteran Wardens usually lay sprawled on couches napping, sitting in chairs reading books, or playing chess with an old set on a coffee table. Inside the war room lies a rough stone hewn fireplace.[1]

Worry Room[]

The Worry Room lies down through a tunnel in the deeps of the Hidden Halls, so much so that a visitor must take a few turns in its darker hallways to reach the entrance door, which opens into a warm, fire lit room that almost looks like a den. There is a large fireplace usually lit along with several candles, comfortable furniture scattered around, to allow for any degree of company as one wished, and a very large and very well-stocked bar is available.[4]

The "Ostentatiatory"[]

Also called the Senior Council Residence Hall,[5] it is a hall which looks like a ballroom fit for Versailles. The white marble floor with gold swirls is matched by elegant white marble columns. A waterfall occupies the far wall, feeding into a pool at the center of a surprisingly complex little garden, rich in roses, bushes and tres. The faint sound of wind chimes drifts, while golden light pours from the ceiling crystals, giving the impression of daylight. Birds sing in the garden, and a nightingale settles on a tree.[6]

Expensive, comfortable-looking furniture is located in and near the garden, as it would be in the pricier hotels; a small table against one wall is covered with a rich buffet, from cold cuts to sautéed tentacles of octopus, and a wet bar next to it.[6]

A balcony runs around the entire chamber, ten feet up, and doors open onto the Senior Council members' private chambers.[6][7]

Aleron LaFortier's quarters[]

The first of Aleron LaFortier's chambers is a study, or office, or perhaps a curio shop, with a massive desk carved out of some kind of unstained wood, darkened through use and age at the front edge, the drawers handles, and the area immediately in front of the modern office chair. Precisely centered on the desk lay a blotter and a neat row of four matching pens. Shelves groan with books, drums, masks, pelts, old weaponry, and dozens of other tokens that appear to have come from exotic lands.[6]

A Norman kite shield with crossed broadswords, a Zulu buffalo-hide shield with crossed assegais, a Persian round shield with a long spike in its center with crossed scimitars, and many others, hang at the wall spaces between the shelves. According to Harry Dresden museums would declare Mardi Gras in the galleries if allowed to get their hands on a collection half that rich and varied.[6]

A door at the far end of the study presumably leads into a bedroom, with a dresser and a covered bed approximately the size of a railroad car.[6]

Speaking room[]

The Speaking Room is a small auditorium, in which rows of stone benches are classically disposed in a full circle around a very small circular stone stage, very much like an ancient Greek theater. Donald Morgan's trial takes place here. Its small size is the reason why the Senior Council meets at various location outside Headquarters. Harry Dresden wonders whether the room's name being Speaking Room instead of Listening Room or the more common Auditorium says something about the mindset of wizards.[8]

Other rooms[]

Other rooms include the Crystalline Hall and various offices.[2]

Other details[]

The Security Protocol is more than five centuries old,[2] and the Way between Headquarters and Chicago is behind an old meat-packing plant.[9]

In the series[]

Turn Coat[]

In Turn Coat, Harry Dresden visits Headquarters to find out informations about Donald Morgan's case and is accosted by Winter Court spider thugs along the Way. He's let in by Warden Chandler, whom Dresden nicknames "Steed" from the old Avengers TV show; he shows a sense of humor.[2] In the entry corridor, Dresden recalls being brought there in his youth, with a black bag over his head, for his own trial, and finds that check points are down to a skeleton crew and the barracks are nearly empty due to The War and the search for Morgan. He also finds Ebenezar McCoy in the War Room where he's stuck to his post with little option but to take down Morgan when he's found; the evidence against him being stacked. Samuel Peabody gets McCoy's signature, amd McCoy deduces what Dresden is doing and directs him to Joseph Listens-to-Wind with a warning to be more careful with his questions.[1] Dresden passes through the "Ostentatiatory", up to Aleron LaFortier's rooms where he encounters a young Asian Warden with two Temple Dog statues. Listens-to-Wind is preparing a spell to reconstruct the crime with little hope of success. Listens-to-Wind says that LaFortier's supporters are certain of Morgan's guilt and want justice; there could be civil war if the Council doesn't take him down, even if he's innocent, and Listens-to-Wind can't help Dresden.[6] Alone, Dresden takes pictures. While Listening, he learns that Arthur Langtry is the one pushing to find the real killer. Peabody takes Listens-to-Wind away for signatures. Dresden offers help in exchange for copies of Morgan's file. Langtry's condition is to find the traitor not simply prove Morgan's innocence.[10] Dresden follows Peabody to his office to get Morgan's file, and Peabody gets near hysterical when Dresden refuses to sign for it: plausible deniability.[9]

Morgan's trial is held in the Speaking Room. Harry exposes Samuel Peabody as the real murderer and the traitor. Peabody lets loose a Mordite-laced Mistfiend and runs to get to a Way with Dresden giving chase, almost getting killed. Morgan uses his last strength to kill Peabody in time.[11]


In Changes, Harry Dresden visits Headquarters so seek help in getting his daughter back. He finds MacFee at the switchboard who tells him Arianna Ortega is in the Senior Council Residence Hall, as the ambassador for peace from the Red Court. Ortega is there pretending to pursue peace and effectively cutting Dresden off from any help the Council may offer. He demands she give back the child to duel him. Gregori Cristos, the newest Senior Council member, is leading the peace effort and pandering to Ortega, accusing Dresden of restarting The War and breaking the safe passage clause in the Accords. Just when Dresden is about to hang himself, Anastasia Luccio pulls him out.[7] Luccio takes him to the Worry Room where she learns about his daughter. The Merlin, Arthur Langtry, enters the Worry Room, and states that they don't really buy the pretense for peace and are planning their own offensive. The Merlin demands that Dresden stop seeking the child and threatens Molly Carpenter. Dresden leaves placing himself between Langtry and his apprentice.[4]

Ebenezar McCoy informs Dresden that what's going on in Council Headquarters could be the end of organized Wizardry and the end of the Laws of Magic, ordering him to be at the Grey Council meeting.[12] And later, McCoy tells Dresden that Arianna Ortega laced Headquarters with some kind of disease. They're not only restarting The War, they're trying to decapitate the Council. With Headquarters out, they lose the Way nexus around Edinburgh making a counterstroke extremely difficult.[13]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Turn Coat, ch. 14
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Turn Coat, ch. 13
  3. Dead Beat, ch. 1
  4. 4.0 4.1 Changes, ch. 8
  5. Changes, ch. 6
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 Turn Coat, ch. 15
  7. 7.0 7.1 Changes, ch. 7
  8. Turn Coat, ch. 47
  9. 9.0 9.1 Turn Coat, ch. 17
  10. Turn Coat, ch. 16
  11. Changes, ch. 48-49
  12. Changes, ch. 19
  13. Changes, ch. 40

See also[]

External references[]

General sites abut the Castle and it's history

What's Under the Castle and Myths