Dresden Files

White Council headquarters

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Edinburgh castle illustration

Edinburgh castle illustration

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


Castle & Castle Rock 2

Castle & Castle Rock

Since the end of the Middle Ages, for about five hundred years, the White Council's headquarters have been the Hidden Halls of Edinburgh; the complex is located beneath the city, with its main part occupying the 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: it's been in Alexandria, Carthage, Rome, the Vatican, Constantinople, and Madrid, among others.[1]


Castle & Castle Rock 1

Castle & Castle Rock

The Headquarters is 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 threshhold. 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]


Entry tunnelEdit

Crystals set in the walls glowed in a rainbow of gentle colors, bathing the whole place in soft, ambient illumination. The tunnel was ancient, worn, chilly, and damp. Water always seemed ready to condense into a half-frozen dew the instant it was given the opportunity by an exhaled breath or a warm body. The tunnel was about as wide as my spread arms, and maybe eight feet high. The walls were lined with bas-relief carvings in the stone. Some of them were renditions of scenes of what I’d been told were the historical high points of the White Council. Since I didn’t recognize anyone in the images, I didn’t have much context for them, so they mostly just looked like the crudely drawn cast of thousands you see on the Bayeux Tapestry. The rest of the carvings were wards—seriously world-class heavyweight wards. I didn’t know what they did, but I could sense the deadly power behind them, and I tread carefully as I passed deeper into the complex. The entry tunnel from the Nevernever was more than a quarter of a mile long, sloping gently downward the whole way. There were metal gates every couple of hundred yards, each of them manned by a Warden backed up by a pair of Ancient Mai’s temple-dog statues.[1]>

War RoomEdit

The War Room is located between the central chambers of the Senior Council and the Warden's barracks. It is a spacious vault, about a hundred feet square, but the heavy arches and pillars that supports the ceiling take away a lot of the room. Illuminating crystals glows more brightly there, 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 clacke and dinge. Men and women of the administrative staff, wizards all, move back and forth through the room, speaking quietly, writing, typing, and filing. A row of counters on the front wall of the room supported coffeepots warmed by propane flames, and several well-worn couches and chairs rested nearby. Half a dozen veteran Wardens usually lay sprawled on couches napping, siting in chairs reading books, or playing chess with an old set upon a coffee table. Inside the war room lies a rough stone hewn fireplace,[1]

Worry RoomEdit

The Worry Room lies down through a tunnel in the deeps of the Hidden Halls of Edinburgh, one has to take a few turns in its darker hallways to come to the entrance door, and then the doors open up into a warm, fire lit room that almost looks like a den. There is a large fireplace that is usually lit along with several candles, and a lot of comfortable furniture is usually scattered around in solitary nooks and in groups, so that one could have as much or as little conversational company as one wished. There is also a very large and very well-stocked bar.

The "Ostentatiatory"Edit

Also called the Senior Council Residence Hall.[4] The stone hallway yielded to a hall the size of a ballroom that looked like something out of Versailles. A white marble floor with swirls of gold in it was matched in color to elegant white marble columns. A waterfall fell from the far wall, into a pool around which grew a plethora of plants, from grass to roses to small trees, forming a surprisingly complex little garden. The faint sound of wind chimes drifted through the air, and the golden light that poured down from crystals in the ceiling was indistinguishable from sunlight. Birds sang in the garden, and I saw the quick, darting black shape of a nightingale slalom between the pillars and settle in one of the trees.(reference needed)

A number of expensive, comfortable-looking sets of furniture were spaced in and near the garden, like the sets you sometimes see at the pricier hotels. A small table against one wall was covered with an eclectic buffet of foods, everything from cold cuts to what looked like the sautéed tentacles of an octopus, and a wet bar stood next to it, ready to protect the Senior Council members from the looming threat of dehydration.(reference needed)

A balcony ran around the entire chamber, ten feet up, and doors opened onto the Senior Council members’ private chambers. I paced through the enormous, grandiose space of the Ostentatiatory to a set of stairs that swept grandly up one wall.[5][6]

LaFortier's chambersEdit

The first room I came to was a study, or an office, or possibly a curio shop. There was a massive desk carved out of some kind of unstained wood, though use and age had darkened the front edge, the handles of the drawers, and the area immediately in front of the modern office chair. A blotter lay precisely centered on the desk, with a set of four matching pens laid in a neat row. Shelves groaned with books, drums, masks, pelts, old weaponry, and dozens of other tokens that looked as though they came from exotic lands. The wall spaces between the shelves were occupied by shields fronted with two crossed weapons—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. I knew museums that would declare Mardi Gras in the galleries if they could get their hands on a collection half that rich and varied. A door at the far end of the study led into what was evidently a bedroom. I could see a dresser and the foot of a covered bed approximately the size of a railroad car.[5]

Speaking roomEdit

The Speaking Room is an auditorium. Rows of stone benches rose in a full circle around a very small circular stone stage. It was sort of like an old Greek theater. This is the room that Morgan's trial takes place. The room was small. that was the reason the Council met at various location outside Headquarters, there wasn't enough room. — Harry ponders about the name of the room being the Speaking Room and not the "Listening Room" or the more common "Auditorium" might say something about the mindset of wizards.[7]

Other roomsEdit

  • Crystalline Hall[2]
  • Offices[2]

Other detailsEdit

The Security Protocol is more than five centuries old: "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."[2]

The Way between Headquarters and Chicago is behind an old meat-packing plant. [8]

In the seriesEdit

Turn CoatEdit

Main article: Turn Coat

In Turn Coat, Harry goes to Headquarters to see what he can find out about Donald Morgan's case and gets accosted by Winter Court spider thugs along the Way. He's let in by Warden Chandler in a Bowler hat who invokes "Steed" from the old Avengers TV show and has a sense of humor.[2] Walking along the entry corridor Harry recalls being brought there black bag over his head for his own trial, in his youth. Harry passes check points which are down to a skeleton crew and the barracks that are nearly empty due to The War and the search for Morgan. Harry 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; though he doesn't like it, the evidence is stacked. Samuel Peabody gets McCoy's signature. Ebenezar deduces what Harry is doing and directs Harry to Injun Joe with a warning to be more careful with his questions.[1] Harry 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. He says that LaFortier's supporters are certain of Morgan's guilt and want justice and there could be civil war if the Council doesn't take down Morgan, even if he's is innocent. Listens-to-Wind can't help Harry.[5] Alone, Harry takes pictures. While Listening, Harry learns that Arthur is the one pushing to find the real killer. Peabody takes Listens-to-Wind away for signatures. Harry offers help in exchange for copies of Morgan's file. Arthur's condition is to find the traitor not simply prove Morgan's innocence.[9] Harry follows Samuel Peabody to his office to get Morgan's file. Peabody gets near hysterical when Harry refuses to sign for it: plausible deniability.[8]

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 infused Mistfiend and runs to get to a Way with Harry giving chase. Peabody almost kills Harry, but Morgan uses his last strength to kill Peabody in itme to save Harry. [10]


Main article: Changes

In Changes, Harry goes to Headquarters so seek help in getting his daughter back. Harry finds Wizard 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. Arianna is there pretending to pursue peace and effectively cutting Harry off from any help the Council may have given him. Harry demands she give back the child to duel him. Gregori Cristos, the newest Senior Council member, is leading the peace effort and pandering to Arianna. Cristos accuses Harry of restarting The War and breaking the Safe Passage in the Accords. Just when Harry is about to hang himself, Anastasia Luccio pulls him out.[6] Ana takes him to the Worry Room where she learns about Harry's daughter. The Merlin, Arthur Langtry, enters the Worry Room. He says that they don't really buy the pretense for peace and are planning their own offensive. The Merlin demands that Harry stop seeking the child and threatens Molly. Harry leaves placing himself between Langtry and Molly[11]

Ebenezar McCoy told Harry that what's going on in Council Headquarters in could be the end of organized Wizardry and the end of the Laws of Magic. He orders Harry to be at the Grey Council meeting.[12] And later, McCoy told Harry 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. Changes, ch. 6
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Turn Coat, ch. 15
  6. 6.0 6.1 Changes, ch. 7
  7. Turn Coat, ch. 47
  8. 8.0 8.1 Turn Coat, ch. 17
  9. Turn Coat, ch. 16
  10. Changes, ch. 48-49
  11. Changes, ch. 8
  12. Changes, ch. 19
  13. Changes, ch. 40

See alsoEdit

External referencesEdit

General sites abut the Castle and it's history

What's Under the Castle and Myths


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