The Heirs of Kemmler are the apprentices of the necromancer Heinrich Kemmler vying for power. They first appear in Dead Beat.


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[1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

In the seriesEdit

Dead BeatEdit

Main article: Dead Beat

During Dead Beat, in his lab, Harry was given information, history and background on the Heirs of Kemmler. This includes Heinrich Kemmler, his publications and especially the Word of Kemmler and how dangerous it would be for the Heirs to get it.[1] At the Forensic Institute, Grevane and Quintus Cassius tried to kidnap Waldo Butters[6] seeking the Word.[7] Harry told Butters about necromancy, the Heirs, zombies and magic to prepare him.[2] Because Grevane had the book Die Lied der Erlking, Harry went to Bock Ordered Books to buy a copy.[8] There, he encountered Cowl and Kumori who demanded the Erlking book—they fight.[9] Mortimer Lindquist gets his ghosts to mark a map with red spots in places where necromancy has occurred, aiding Harry to locate the Heirs.[3] Harry follows the spots and one of them is the Field Museum of Natural History where Dr. Bartlesby was murdered which leads him to Alicia Nelson, a.k.a Corpsetaker and Li Xian with Henry Rawlins help.[10] Harry returns to the morgue with Butters to find Bony Tony Mendoza has a jump drive hidden down in his body.[11] Back at Bock's Books, Harry encounters Corpsetaker and Li Xian the ghouls where he barely got out alive rescued by Gard and Marcone.

Mab informed Harry that the Heirs seek to summon the Erlking to raise powerful Specters. They need them to empower their to consume them during the Darkhallow spell on Halloween in order to gain god-like powers.[12] The Heirs were preparing the way by creating chaos, fear and helplessness by blacking out the entire city of Chicago.[13]

Harry takes on each of the heirs. In the fight with Anastasia Luccio, Corpsetaker allowed the warden to run her though then jumped bodies with Anastasia in an attempt to trick the other Wardens. Harry guessed that this had happened and shot the Corpsetaker point blank with his revolver.[4] Next Harry fought Grevane, who was shot by Carlos Ramirez, and has not returned.[5]

Harry then took on Cowl, but is overpowered. Kumori holds Dresden at knife point but does not kill him fearing his death curse. Harry talks to Evil Bob reminding him that he gave him a name, and giveing him permission to leave his skull, Bob then possesses Sue the zombie T-rex and distracts Kumori, and Harry smashes Cowl with his staff interumpting the Darkhallow. Harry assumes that Cowl is dead.[5]

White NightEdit

Main article: White Night

In White Night, Harry becomes convinced that Cowl survived when Harry followed Grey Cloak to a meeting with him in Undertown with the aid of Little Chicago.[14]

Ghost StoryEdit

Main article: Ghost Story

In Ghost Story the Corpsetaker returns as a spirit and attempts to posess a new corporeal form.[15]

Surviving HeirsEdit


  1. 1.0 1.1 Dead Beat, ch. 3
  2. 2.0 2.1 Dead Beat, ch. 6
  3. 3.0 3.1 Dead Beat, ch. 10
  4. 4.0 4.1 Dead Beat, ch. 39
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Dead Beat, ch. 42
  6. Dead Beat, ch. 4-5
  7. Dead Beat, ch. 14
  8. Dead Beat, ch. 7
  9. Dead Beat, ch. 8
  10. Dead Beat, ch. 13
  11. Dead Beat, ch. 14-15
  12. Dead Beat, ch. 21
  13. Dead Beat, ch. 23
  14. White Night, ch. 15
  15. Ghost Story, ch. 29