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Blazzano
08-10-2011, 10:49 PM
Past versions of the Archive used "her vast knowledge of the past to build models to predict the most probable future," as the Pythia and a bunch of others. That by itself doesn't really say anything, because the Dresden canon never mentions how detailed the predictions were in its universe.

But any model that isn't extremely simplistic would be hard for a single person to make without a) a heck of a lot of time to put it together, or b) a supernatural ability to integrate humanity's documented history into an accurate assessment of the facts.

Garlak
08-10-2011, 11:22 PM
I don't think she's going to confuse things with, say, DND gods. Those tend to come with DND stat blocks. Or page numbers. Or otherwise be part of an obvious DND book. You were probably using that as some example, but still...


The interesting thing is that she has people's research notes and journals. She can cross-reference research somebody was doing and what they wrote about it, and cross-reference THAT to another account that described the situation. And these would be MAGICAL journals; I'm sure there were stupid equivalents of wizards thinking the earth was flat or something, but still.

She'll get the equivalent of myths and tales told throughout the ages which are nigh-useless superstition. But she'll also get examples of wizards teaching apprentices, who would be more in the know about the supernatural.


Still though... Dresden IS an imperfect narrator, and we don't necessarily know everything about the Archive or how it works.

Chances are, though, that it can probably find out DND gods by the fact they show up in the 20th century and are in DND books. I'm not sure if I understood this point correctly.

Chengar Qordath
08-11-2011, 01:14 AM
Of course, that's assuming that all the fictional deities that crop are actually fictional. If were an evil crazy cultist who wanted to screw over the Venatori and cause trouble with the Oblivion War, doing something like slapping one or two actual ancient demon gods into a fictional pantheon would seem like a good way to spread the knowledge around without getting noticed. Plus a lot of fictional deities are just drawn from older mythology and tweaked/repackaged for marketing. And then there's the possibility that, with the way faith works in the Dresdenverse, enough people believing in a fictional deity could actually make it real.

That matter aside, I'd also say that when it comes to Ivy's ability to assess her knowledge and make judgements about what is reliable and what isn't, it's not going to be a perfect thing. If nothing else, there will be the oddball cases where 99% of the documented evidence is wrong or skewed. Even if the Archive-magic is capable of making judgement calls about which records are reliable and which aren't, the most reliable sources are not always going right.

Then there will be cases like when weird magical stuff happens and gets blamed on mundane things. If Ivy has a couple hundred newspaper articles/official records about how there was a gas main explosion, up against one random psycho warlock's diary entry about how he blew up a bunch of people for the evulz, which one would the Archive believe?

One final thought; maybe one of the mods should split the Ivy discussion and Faerie discussions off from all the talk about Ghost Story, since they're pretty off-topic.

Moridin
08-11-2011, 02:15 AM
Of course, that's assuming that all the fictional deities that crop are actually fictional. If were an evil crazy cultist who wanted to screw over the Venatori and cause trouble with the Oblivion War, doing something like slapping one or two actual ancient demon gods into a fictional pantheon would seem like a good way to spread the knowledge around without getting noticed. Plus a lot of fictional deities are just drawn from older mythology and tweaked/repackaged for marketing. And then there's the possibility that, with the way faith works in the Dresdenverse, enough people believing in a fictional deity could actually make it real.

That matter aside, I'd also say that when it comes to Ivy's ability to assess her knowledge and make judgements about what is reliable and what isn't, it's not going to be a perfect thing. If nothing else, there will be the oddball cases where 99% of the documented evidence is wrong or skewed. Even if the Archive-magic is capable of making judgement calls about which records are reliable and which aren't, the most reliable sources are not always going right.

Then there will be cases like when weird magical stuff happens and gets blamed on mundane things. If Ivy has a couple hundred newspaper articles/official records about how there was a gas main explosion, up against one random psycho warlock's diary entry about how he blew up a bunch of people for the evulz, which one would the Archive believe?

One final thought; maybe one of the mods should split the Ivy discussion and Faerie discussions off from all the talk about Ghost Story, since they're pretty off-topic.

I just had an awesome idea for a Dresden/Elder Scrolls crossover. :awesome

Personally, though, I think that it's not about comparing accounts to decide which one is right, the Archive just knows which one is right and which isn't. If not, couldn't Nicodemus and his lot have tried to copy what Dresden did i.e. send Ivy a fake message, purportedly from Dresden and co., to screw with her mind in some way? There's no indication that they tried that. Maybe it was just something Butcher hadn't thought of, but still...

Also, yeah, this is getting pretty tangential.

Chengar Qordath
08-11-2011, 03:01 AM
Personally, though, I think that it's not about comparing accounts to decide which one is right, the Archive just knows which one is right and which isn't. If not, couldn't Nicodemus and his lot have tried to copy what Dresden did i.e. send Ivy a fake message, purportedly from Dresden and co., to screw with her mind in some way? There's no indication that they tried that. Maybe it was just something Butcher hadn't thought of, but still...
I'm pretty sure it's been established that Ivy knows who it is that actually wrote something down; when Harry wrote to her in Changes he got the call from her before he finished writing his name, so trying to fake her out like that wouldn't work.

Thing is, being a collective storing point of human knowledge and memory means she's still limited by human perspectives. If she had some kind of omniscient, godlike perspective then she wouldn't be a record of the human memory.

ILikeLurking
08-13-2011, 04:34 AM
It's likely a limited Intellectus. If it were the real thing, she certainly wouldn't be limited to human knowledge. Besides, Dresden is a very unreliable narrator, and he might very well be totally wrong about her ability.
The way I interpreted it, all intellectus is limited. Demonreach's intellectus is limited to things involving (if i remember correctly, anything physically touching) his island, though I would assume there is a bit more we've yet to see about him and his badassery. If intellectus had no limits, it would be, in effect, omnipotence... Provided the being involved had any power to act in and of itself.

Ivy's bailiwick would be recorded knowledge (though I haven't really speculated much on the "only written" vs. other forms of intended knowledge-passing issue), which naturally would include unimaginable amounts of opinion, misinformation, conflicting perspective, and general bullshit. She would, however, know that the page detailing facts about the history and powers of the Tanar'ri was written in a book that said Advanced Dungeons and Dragons Game Manual on the cover. Or, if she were to be looking at the entry in a book recalling someone's interaction with this Tanar'ri, she would probably be able to determine the approximate date the entry was made; If not by virtue of her Archival powers, then by the little blue lines printed horizontally across each page, and the cover saying "marble notebook," and "Fanfic by Jimmy." This would probably tell her that this is not a true historical accounting of these things, and give her a frame of reference by which to (instantly, mind you... yay intellectus) judge anything relating to the things written within.

Now for something only one person has written about, or two people with conflicting opinions, there would be a few things a being with her specific intellectus could do. She could call up anything that even remotely could tie into the subject at hand, like news records, journal entries of people in the area, even local myths that sprang around the locale in around the time of the entry, checking for someone elses observations, whether they understood what was going on or not... And make a judgement from that. Barring any firm knowledge her intellectus gives her on a subject, she could take everything and simply make a judgement call using her human reasoning.

I think that that is exactly what she does anyway, to be honest. I don't think the Archive part of her tells her what is true and what is false, I think she simply takes one giant google search of all relevant information and downloads it directly into her knowledge base the instant she calls it up. Otherwise, she would be simply a tool of the power that makes her, and not the other way around, as it has been implied she is. Now, that still leaves her vulnerable to human error on those things in which she has no frame of reference, but really... This is one VERY smart little girl. The smartest person in the world would have to take an amount of time to think about something, and then could only reference their knowledge base a bit at a time, while Ivy skips that part, and can act. Granted, the fact that she received the Archive as an infant, with no real life experience from which to judge things as a normal adult Archive would might hamper some of her decision making a bit. But I'd imagine that somewhere along the thousands-of-year long history of the Archive, one of them might have written an instruction manual of sorts, yeah? Anyway...

Tl-dr; Ivy's a smarty-pants. A lot of these limitations we're imagining for her might apply to one of us normal people, but it's a bit hard to imagine what our thought processes would be like when augmented by all that funky magic. Even just a set of encyclopedias that we didn't have to take time to think about to know the stuff inside would make someone a force to be reckoned with.