Skulduggery pleasant characters

Skulduggery pleasant characters DEFAULT

This list comprises information on characters who exist in the Skulduggery Pleasant series written by Derek Landy.


The premise of the novel is that magic is real and those with the ability to wield it live among us. Magic is split into many "Schools" or disciplines, the two main groups being Elemental (which concentrate on magic involving the classical elements of fire, earth, air and water) and Adepts (which is split into many other disciplines, some more obscure than others, examples being Sensitives (similar to traditional psychics or mediums), Teleporters, Shape-shifters, Necromancers etc.). Many years ago an evil sorcerer named Mevolent (an Elemental) attempted to conquer the world and was opposed by a resistance movement led by a powerful magician named Skulduggery Pleasant who was later killed by Mevolent's right-hand man Nefarian Serpine, but came back to life as a living skeleton and then defeated Mevolent.

In the book Skulduggery meets a strong-willed girl named Stephanie Edgley whose uncle, an old friend of Skulduggery, has died under mysterious circumstances and together the two of them must defend the world from various evil beings who seek to destroy it. Stephanie subsequently adopts the name Valkyrie Cain which she retains for the rest of the series. She and Skulduggery have a good relationship.


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Recurring characters[edit]

Valkyrie Cain / Stephanie Edgley[edit]

The primary protagonist of the series. Stephanie Edgley is introduced at the start of the book when her wealthy uncle, Gordon Edgley, a writer of magical horror/gore fiction, dies under mysterious circumstances. He leaves Stephanie (of whom he was especially fond) his mansion and his fortune in his will (family is angry about that). Stephanie is depicted as an exceptionally mature and independent girl who possesses great confidence and self-esteem. Skulduggery says that she is much like her uncle of whom he says he is "strong-willed", "intelligent", "sharp-tongued", and "doesn't suffer fools gladly." Stephanie proves herself to possess all these qualities and she and Skulduggery frequently exchange witty banter. Although the two annoy each other considerably they do have a great respect and affection for one another.

Stephanie Edgley is extremely brave to the point of being fearless and also possesses a great desire for adventure and discovering the unknown. She does not have many friends her age and laments the boredom of her dull ordinary life in the village, Haggard, in which she lives. Stephanie appears to possess considerable physical strength for the twelve-year-old girl she was at the start of Book 1 and exhibits aptitude in swimming, running and fighting. At the end of Book 1 she also displays magical powers, confirming that she is part of the ancient race of mages called the Ancients, that banished the race of gods, The Faceless Ones.

During Book 1 Stephanie adopts the name Valkyrie Cain to protect herself from people using her former name to control her as China Sorrows did, and is known as Valkyrie throughout the rest of the series. Valkyrie is the last person to look inside the Book of Names before it was destroyed, and thus the only person who knows her own true name, which is Darquesse. Close to the end of the book, while her and Skulduggery are fighting Nefarian Serpine for the Sceptre of the Ancients her leg is broken by a table and while she can't fight, Serpine uses his power to effectively kill her {she survives}. In the second book of the series, Valkyrie's fighting skills have improved but she seems somewhat more insecure than before. She is also much more passive. Throughout the book numerous adults ignore and patronise her and various characters (including her cousins) refer to her as a child, something which Valkyrie was established in the first book as hating. She says nothing however and does not even complain. She kills the Grotesquery (a hybrid form made by Baron Vengeous from the remains of a Faceless One) with Tanith Low's sword, and when she's surprised she and Skulduggery haven't died, Skulduggery says, "Of course not. I'm too clever to die and you're too pretty."

In Book 3, she uses the Sceptre of the Ancients to kill a Faceless One and another Faceless One dies by destroying it. She is told by Solomon Wreath that she would have great potential as a necromancer at the end of the book, and in Book 4 he says that she may even surpass Lord Vile, once the most powerful of the Necromancers.

In Book 4, Valkyrie travels into what Skulduggery calls hell, the dimension in which the Faceless Ones weren't trapped, but tore through the walls of reality destroying countless civilizations of different realities until being trapped in "hell" for 300 years, in order to rescue Skulduggery. She kisses Fletcher Renn twice, once before going into the alternate universe to rescue Skulduggery and the second time was at Kenspeckles after she thought Fletcher was dead thinking about how she "didn't want to admit to herself how much he meant to her." It was in this book that the Necromancers start referring to her as 'The Death Bringer', and Sanguine decides not to kill her because 'It will be more fun to keep her alive' and she 'has a lifetime of dark days ahead of her'. At the end of the book a "Dream Whisperer" that Cassandra Pharos gave her is seen whispering a dream which reveals to her that her true name is Darquesse, a sorcerer who is said to destroy the world.

In the fifth book, Valkyrie is shown to have matured (ever so slightly). She has a romantic relationship with Fletcher and is worried about her future and possibility that she will be the one to destroy the world. She undertakes the problem alone, going to Doctor Nye to have her true name sealed, not alerting even Skulduggery at what she faces. This hints at a fear she didn't know she had: Skulduggery's reaction. However, after her name being sealed by Doctor Nye, she tells Skulduggery. She gets captured by the remnants, which bring out Darquesse, which is Valkyrie at her most powerful but with no morals on killing. Skulduggery and Tanith manage to persuade her to destroy the remnant inside her and return to normal.

In the sixth book Valkyrie has lost interest in Fletcher as a boyfriend and is struggling with how to tell him. She later breaks up with him by lying about having been "seeing Caelan behind your back", Caelan being a vampire obsessed with her. She also finds out that Darquesse comes out whenever her life is truly threatened, which helps in defeating the Jitter Girls. She is devastated when she finds out that Skulduggery was Lord Vile, but she manages to forgive him as she understands why he kept it from her. She becomes Darquesse in order to prevent Lord Vile killing Meloncholia, but calms down as Valkyrie and Skulduggery reassert themselves, though she is tempted by the power Darquesse has. She prevents Scorn killing China after learning of China's secret, and leaves her afterwards. She then reconciles with Fletcher after Caelan attempts to turn her through force. The two agree not to contact each other too much, and Fletcher leaves for Australia.

In the seventh book, Valkyrie is touched by a Shunter named Silas Nadir, who can shift through dimensions. Valkyrie therefore travels to a dimension where Mevolent and his generals have won the war while China Sorrows and the Dead Men have formed a resistance against Mevolent's forces. Valkyrie's reflection is kidnapped by Mevolent's men and is tortured for information on the resistance, though Valkyrie saves it. Valkyrie is forced to transform into Darquesse when Kitana tries ripping her heart out. Darquesse and Lord Vile defeat Kitana, Doran and Sean. Skulduggery returns Valkryie to her natural self however Valkyrie's reflection secretly kills Valkyrie's cousin Carol and replaces her with her reflection. Valkyrie's reflection states she will kill Valkryie and all her friends and take over Valkryie's life as the new Stephenie Edgley.

In the eighth book Valkyrie takes part in many battle with the Dead Men before witnessing Ghastly's death at the hands of Ravel. She is attacked by the reflection ( now calling itself Stephanie) and has to flee, leaving her family under the Reflections grasp. Later in the book, during a mission to rescue Fletcher, Darquesse speaks to Valkyrie, leading her into a trap. After sustaining serious injuries and experiencing incredible pain she willingly lets Darquesse take over permanently. For the rest of the book Valkyrie remains Darquesse. Near the end Darquesse states that Valkyrie's personality is gone and only Darquesse remains, though Skulduggery doubts this.

Skulduggery Pleasant[edit]

The titular character and secondary protagonist of the series, Skulduggery Pleasant is a powerful sorcerer who was killed in battle many years ago but came back to life as a skeleton. Many centuries ago, according to Skulduggery, an evil sorcerer named Mevolent gathered an army and tried to take over the world but he was opposed by a resistance movement. Skulduggery was one of the leaders of this resistance movement but he fell victim to Mevolent's second-in-command, Nefarian Serpine, who killed Skulduggery's wife and child and then tortured Skulduggery until he died. Mevolent's minions then stuck Skulduggery's body on a pike and burnt it for all to see.

One by one the other leaders of the resistance fell but strangely Skulduggery's spirit did not move on. His bones had been placed in a bag and thrown in a river but Skulduggery was somehow able to go into the bag, re-enter his bones and quite literally put himself back together. He then returned, and with his help the resistance, was able to defeat Mevolent, whose minions were either imprisoned or rehabilitated, Nefarian Serpine included. Another of Mevolent's henchmen, Baron Vengeous, was personally tracked down by Skulduggery, who threw a stick of lit dynamite at him[citation needed]. A truce was signed between the Sanctuaries and the former followers of Mevolent and an uneasy peace ensued. After Mevolent's defeat, Skulduggery (now a skeleton) became a detective, but he never lost his hatred for and desire for revenge on Serpine.

Skulduggery, despite his bizarre appearance, which he hides with a disguise in public, is a rather dapper gentleman. He has a polite, somewhat old-fashioned way of speech, and a velvety-smooth voice which enraptures Valkyrie when they first meet. As well as a powerful sorcerer, commanding the four elements, he is particularly enthusiastic about detecting, always sleuthing for clues, much to Valkyrie and Tanith's chagrin. He is also a flamboyant egotist, vocally exalting his own plans and showing off his magical abilities to Stephanie/Valkyrie, at one point walking on the ocean's surface after falling from a cliff.

Skulduggery is a clever strategist, usually forming the plan the team uses (when they indeed have a plan) and sharpening his wit on Stephanie's, taking pleasure in his own wisecracks; the two develop a close relationship throughout the books. He reveals in Playing With Fire that he used to be great at motivational speeches, although he has obviously lost this talent, as his attempt to psyche up the party before they confront the Grotesquery ends with "I seem to have lost track of this speech, I'm not sure where it is going, but I know where it started and that's what I want you to remember. Has anyone seen my hat?"

However, Skulduggery's suave demeanour hides a desire for revenge. Because he died hating Serpine and his hatred brought him back, it forms a part of his existence. At Valkyrie's questioning, he describes his true nature as a "dark, twisted thing." Several characters throughout the series have commented on his legendary rage, though he has never displayed it in the books. Conversely, witnessing the murder of his family makes him sensitive to the loss of others. Although he accepts sacrifice of individuals as part of war, he is highly reluctant to allow this to happen. He protects Stephanie diligently throughout the novels; originally only meaning to arrest Serpine, he is forced to kill him when he attempts to kill Valkyrie.

When the Faceless Ones returned to Earth, Skulduggery was sucked into the vortex along with them, and was trapped with them in a parallel universe, where they hunt and torture him for sport.

On an interesting note, the head he wore in Books 1-3 was not his own; he won it in a poker game. His real head was stolen from him by goblins while he was asleep. At the end of The Faceless OnesSolomon Wreath says his head is an Isthmus Anchor and says to Valkyrie: "But if you were to retrieve this missing head and give it to Mr. Renn, he would find the link between the skeleton and his 'real' skull that is keeping the gateway from closing over." In book four, "Dark Days," he replaces the head he is wearing with the original one, saying that "Its nice to have a spare."

In Book 4, he was rescued by Valkyrie, with the help of China, who had to intervene as he had first believed Valkyrie to be a figment of his imagination. He also learns to fly, and is now able to use his fire powers like a flamethrower. In this book he explains what happened to the Faceless Ones since their banishment many years ago.

In Book 5, he is much more ruthless and brutal, due to his apparent residual insanity, but isn't featured as much as in previous books. He takes a lot of damage in the book, but is also shown to be a competent swordsman when he duels Burgundy Dalrymple. Also, when the Remnants lay siege to the Hibernian, he is shown to have developed a new earth power, as he presses his hands to the ground and a cave collapses. Near the end he bumps into Tesseract in Torment's house and their fight leads to The Sanctuary with Tesseract (after being torn open by 'Lord Vile') guessing that Lord Vile had something to with Skulduggery not fully passing on.

In Book 6, entitled Death Bringer, it is revealed that High Priest Tenebrae is responsible for the resurrection of Skulduggery after he perished at the Red Hand of Serpine. Tenebrae did this because he thought Skulduggery had potential as a Necromancer, as Skulduggery is one of the few sorcerers with the ability to switch between schools of magic (a talent that Tenebrae himself discovered when Skulduggery used Tenebrae's own 'Necromancer object' (an amulet) to save his life). It is also revealed that Skulduggery was, in fact, Lord Vile, as his grief and anger over the loss of his family made him apathetic and unable to live with his original identity. Lord Vile's armour gains some consciousness, and attempts to kill the Death Bringer. During a fight in the secret tunnels beneath Gordon's house, Skulduggery again becomes Lord Vile in order to stop Melancholia becoming Death Bringer and killing people (half the world's population), and Valkyrie becomes Darquesse in order to stop him. He goes missing after finding out China's role in his family's tragic death.

In Book 7, he turns into Lord Vile again and, with the help of Darquesse, manages to take on Kitana, Doran and Sean.

In Book 8, Skulduggery fights in many battles, many with the newly reformed Dead Men against the other Sanctuaries, as well as investigating rumours of warlock activity. The video of Erskine Ravel murdering Ghastly Bespoke and Anton Shudder is broadcast worldwide, which Skulduggery inevitably sees. The next major event is when Valkyrie arrives, telling him that her reflection tried to kill her. However, they immediately have to put that aside to deal with the present problem of the warring Sanctuaries and go on a mission to infiltrate the Brides of Blood Tears' Pyramid to save Fletcher Renn. Once Fletcher has been reluctantly saved, Skulduggery attempts to infiltrate the now-fortress (thanks to shunter Silas Nadir) of Roarhaven with the help of the remaining Dead Men (Saracen Rue and Dexter Vex) and the reflection, now calling itself Stephanie. However, when Ravel's plan goes awry and the Warlocks attack Roarhaven, the two sides are forced to ally, which is in some ways a relief, since they would otherwise have been fighting and killing people whom they'd come to know and call friends. During the battle, Skulduggery converses with the reflection multiple times, even calling it Valkyrie once when telling it to go home to safety. After confronting Ravel, Skulduggery meets Darquesse, with whom Skulduggery tries to reason, after punishing Ravel and saving China Sorrows, to persuade her to come with him to run some tests, but his attempts are fruitless. Taking advantage of the now vacant position of Grand Mage, China Sorrows appoints herself as such. She orders Skulduggery to find and stop Darquesse at any cost. Later Skulduggery meets with Stephanie (the reflection) and agrees with her to become his new partner in the quest to stop Darquesse, the reason for this being that the Sceptre has bonded to Stephanie, so she has the best chance of killing Darquesse.

Tanith Low[edit]

Tanith Low is a master swordswoman who is first introduced while battling a troll on London Bridge in the first book. Tanith does not work for the Elders (who are the leaders of the magical population of Europe) because she has a natural distrust of all authority. Instead she merely, as Springheeled Jack says in 'Playing With Fire', "deals out what she calls justice". She is English and originally lived in London. Tanith Low's job is to apprehend or otherwise kill criminals and evil creatures who threaten national security.

She befriends Valkyrie in Book 1. During a conversation with Valkyrie, Tanith expresses a desire for a little sister and she and Valkyrie develop an affectionate sisterly relationship. Valkyrie refers to Tanith as being like a sister to her in the fourth book. Tanith is also known to have an elder brother whom she states she "loves to death." Despite her softer, warmer side, Tanith can be very ruthless, sending two Cleavers to their death in order to distract some Hollow Men to rescue Skulduggery from Serpine. She is also an excellent fighter. She takes on Serpine's White Cleaver in combat at the end of the book, and nearly wins, but the White Cleaver throws his scythe through her back and she nearly dies.

She assists Skulduggery in defeating the Torment in the second book. She is an Adept who can run on walls, strengthen doors and unlock locks by touching them. Her appearance is one of beauty as she is described as appearing in her early twenties with golden hair. Her actual age is eighty-three in Mortal Coil. In Playing With Fire Springheeled Jack thinks to himself And such a pretty face. Jack hadn't seen a pretty face in many a year. and Valkyrie has remarked that Tanith acts like a four-year-old despite her physical or actual age. In Book 2 she comments that Valkyrie should spend more time with people her age. While fighting the Grotesquery halfway through the book she was poisoned by it and the others had to go to the Sanctuary to get the antidote for her. In the final battle, she proves instrumental in the defeat and destruction of the Grotesquery.

In Book 3, she is asked to protect Peregrine, but fails and is injured in the hand by Murder Rose and Gruesome Krav in the process. In the end of the book, she loses in a fight against Murder Rose again, resulting in more injuries such as getting stabbed in the shoulder and leg.

In Book 4, Tanith assists Valkyrie in finding Skulduggery's skull. She is arrested by the Sanctuary when she tries to assist in stealing Skulduggery's skull from the Sanctuary. She is later freed, and is kidnapped by the Revengers Club and tortured by a possessed Grouse, who quite ruthlessly nails her hands, legs and collarbones to a chair. She is later treated by Grouse once he is rid of the Remnant. When confronted by Valkyrie, she admits that she is wary of him, saying that, although she knows it wasn't him who hurt her, a part of her still hates him for it.

In Book 5, Mortal Coil, Tanith develops some feelings towards Ghastly Bespoke after he asks her out on a date. Later on, Tanith is taken over, or possessed by a remnant, and loses her true self and control of her body. At the end of the book she and Billy-Ray Sanguine are together. As Valkyrie puts it "Tanith was gone now. She was lost." Though Valkyrie hopes that they will be able to track down Tanith and remove the remnant, she doubts it. It was rumored that Nye may come back in Death Bringer to cure her of the Remnant, but this does not happen.

This continues for many books t'ill the last one when Darquesse, the deity that the remnant inside her worships, removes the remnant and gives her back her life. Only for her to find out that the man the she loves, Ghastly, had only recently been murdered.

She is also a massive fan of Gordon Edgely's (Valkyries Uncle) books. She feels extremely excited and joyful when she finds out that one of Gordon's books is about her and is based on one of her great battles.

In every book, Tanith will be tortured either emotionally, physically or psychologically because, as Derek Landy commented, "she deserves it", as before she started fighting evil people, she and her family were part of the organization the hidden daggers, a group of assassins that she quit in the 70's. That's why in the first draft of the story, he wrote her being killed off by the White Cleaver. But his agent said it was too depressing so Landy said that he would let her live on the condition that he would get to torture her every single book.

Ghastly Bespoke[edit]

An immensely strong tailor who was born with hideous facial deformities (scars that are the result of a jinx cast on his mother while she was pregnant with him) but is nevertheless a perfectly pleasant and sociable individual who is an old friend of Skulduggery and expresses concern for Valkyrie's safety much to her chagrin. He is apt at boxing which he learned from his mother and sewing which he learned from his father. Reasoning that he was ugly enough already without having to get his face damaged in a boxing ring, Ghastly went into sewing and became a tailor. His considerable physical strength and boxing skills come in handy when he assists Valkyrie and Tanith in taking on Serpine. He is an Elemental.

He is not seen in the second book as he harnessed the power of earth in the first book to turn himself into stone, thus protecting himself from being killed by The White Cleaver.

Ghastly stayed in his stone form through the entirety of Playing with Fire, but became his human self again midway through The Faceless Ones. He then made Valkyrie a new suit (which was black with red sleeves), and progressed to help them in the battle later on.

In The Faceless Ones, he tells to Valkyrie his mother was a Sensitive (an Adept with powers similar to that of traditional psychics) who didn't want the power but sometimes the visions just came to her, and that she once told him of a vision where Valkryie died a very painful death while the world ended.

In book 5, Mortal Coil, Ghastly asks Tanith out on a 'date' and was not rejected. Unfortunately, Tanith gets taken over by a remnant and so gives him a reason to take up the post as an Elder of the Irish Sanctuary. Even though he knows very well he can't do anything to remove the remnant, he just chooses to believe it as Skulduggery says.

He is then killed, along with Anton Shudder, by his friend Erskine Ravel in Skulduggery Pleasant: Last Stand of Dead Men.

Fletcher Renn[edit]

Fletcher is the newest and only living Teleporter after the Diablerie killed the others. The Diablerie forced Fletcher to open the gate to the Faceless One's dimension. He has "spiky and carefully, meticulously untamed" hair that "defies both gravity and reason" and an English accent- as he is from London. He appears as a selfish, overconfident child when first introduced; however, he seems to grow as a person towards the end of the book. He appears to have grown a likening to Valkyrie and they become friends, but when he first laid eyes on Tanith Low, he developed a crush on her which lasted throughout the third book. He has a habit of being annoying.

In the year between Books 3 and 4, Fletcher's crush on Tanith dissipated and during Book 4 his affections move to Valkyrie which is displayed when he kisses her before she rescues Skulduggery, and is jealous when she cultivates a friendship with Caelan, an attractive vampire. At the end of the fourth book, they are officially a couple.

In Mortal Coil, Fletcher's ego grows rapidly when he learn the secret to teleportation, and that the universe revolves around him.

His relationship with Valkyrie grows deeper upon meeting her parents. They go on a date, which results in Valkyrie kissing Fletcher. Nearing the last part of the book, he is possessed by a remnant and turns against Valkyrie. At the last moment, Valkyrie is saved by the vampire Caelan before Fletcher could do her any more damage. At the end of the book, he teleports to Australia with Valkyrie, who tells him she loves him whilst they are there.

In Death Bringer, Fletcher and Valkyrie break up when Valkyrie claims to have cheated on him with Caelan, leaving him feeling hurt and betrayed. Fletcher realizes that the reason why Valkyrie grew bored of him was because of his complete devotion to her. He tells Valkyrie that he is less angry with her, however he is now bitter. He also says that he will be moving to Australia, another cradle of magic, so he can continue to learn magic and start living his life. At the end of the book, he returns just in time to save Valkyrie from Calean, who is trying to turn her into a vampire. After the battle, the two reconcile, but do not start a relationship. Instead, Fletcher tells Valkyrie to take him off her speed-dial, as he goes back to Australia.

In Kingdom of the Wicked he comes back to help Valkyrie and Skulduggery but it turns out he has a new girlfriend, Myra (a mortal) and he introduces her to Valkyrie; Myra subsequently attempts to murder him for profit in Last Stand of Dead Men.

China Sorrows[edit]

An enchantingly beautiful but dangerous sorceress who has a charm on her that makes anyone who sees her fall in love with her, regardless of age or gender, even affecting Valkyrie (the effect wears down slightly every time one meets her). China Sorrows owns a library of rare magical devices which she collects by ruthless and somewhat corrupt means. As mysterious as her brother, Mr. Bliss, she is a cunning and insidious character whom Skulduggery does not trust. The two of them know each other well and appear to have mutual respect.

In book 1, China is first introduced when, after being attacked at Gordon's house, Stephanie convinces Skulduggery to let her accompany him to see China. She later goes on to control Stephanie, using her name until she chooses her taken name of Valkyrie Cain and China loses power over her. Later in the book, China saves Skulduggery, Tanith and Valkyrie by helping them escape from Serpine after he recovers the Sceptre of the Ancients.

In Book 2, Skulduggery seems to still be in love with China. In Book 2 the Echo Stone Gordon Edgley says he also loved her, saying our love was stronger and true. It is also revealed that China, not only belonged to a cult with Baron Vengeous that worshipped the Faceless Ones, founded a group called the Diablerie who were "dangerous by a zealot's standards". Vengeous attempts to convince her to join him in Playing With Fire but when she rejects his offer, he vows to destroy her. She is also a formidable sorceress and quite a skilled fighter through the use of magical "Symbols" which appear in the form of tattoos on her body. These symbols also appear on most of her possessions, allowing her to magically manipulate them in various ways, e.g. sending all of the furniture flying at intruders to her home, or heating the kettle to boil the water inside.

In Book 3, Jaron Gallow also came to her to ask her to lead the Diablerie to victory when the Faceless Ones came through the portal saying that "Batu was a great leader but he wasn't her. He could never be her." She admitted that his offer was quite tempting but in the end refused to state that she was "a traitor to a race of sadistic gods who loathe humanity," and asked him why she would want them to return.

In Dark Days, she is shot in the chest by a new Sanctuary Detective named Pennant. She heals herself but is left injured in the rest of the book. During the Requiem ball Skulduggery and China dance together and have a whispered conversation. Dexter Vex claims to have taught Skulduggery all he knows about dancing and that before he helped him he was uncoordinated as a turnip. Disgraced sanctuary detective Remus Crux reveals that she was involved in Skulduggery's family's murder, stating that "Everyone knows what you did. They're all whispering. China Sorrows, China Sorrows, she's the one, they're saying. She's the one. Nefarian Serpine killed Skulduggery Pleasant, but China Sorrows led his family into the trap." China subsequently shoots him in the chest, point blank, killing him. China also becomes less passive at the end of Book 3 and throughout Book 4, actively assisting Skulduggery and Valkyrie instead of merely passing information to them. China's friendship towards Skulduggery and Valkyrie is broken when Eliza Scorn tells them of China's involvement in the killing of Skulduggery's wife and child.

She does appear in Book 7 but only in a parallel dimension after Valkyrie Cain "shunted" into the dimension. She is the Resistance's leader against Mevolent employing Anton Shudder as her bodyguard. When Skulduggery Pleasant and Valkyrie Cain request China's help in retrieving the Sceptre of the Ancients although she double-crosses them when the duo retrieve it and keeps it for herself. When Valkyrie/Darquesse "shunts" one more time she takes the Sceptre from China and prepares to leave but Nefarian Serpine kills China from behind with his red right hand and pushes the Sceptre out of Darquesse's hands just as she leaves. Strangely, in the normal dimension China has disappeared, possibly in fear of what Skulduggery Pleasant and the others would do to her after her secret was revealed.

In Skulduggery Pleasant: Last Stand of Dead Men she is hunted down by a group of mercenaries. She kills Madame Mist by setting off a symbol which turns her into a human furnace, boiling herself as well as Madame Mist. Darquesse heals her, saving her life. By the end of the book, she is made Grand Mage, after she took advantage of the confusion created by the War of the Sanctuaries and the violence and turmoil since.

On an amusing sidenote China also states that she has attempted to kill her brother several times and failed, most likely due to their shared tendency to double-cross people, or as she puts it '"he just won't stay down'".

China also tends to become more reliable in the last few books. She is more trustworthy and helps Skulduggery and his gang a lot more. In book 6 she apparently thinks of Skulduggery and Valkyrie as friends, and tries to protect her secret from them. Before she shoots Remus Crux, she says ' "You tried to kill Valkyrie Cain, and I actually like Valkyrie" '.

Mr. Bliss[edit]

The strongest man on Earth, Mr. Bliss is a sinister and enigmatic man who works for the Elders. He later betrays them in favour of Serpine who he believes is too powerful to defeat. He is later revealed to be a double-agent for the Elders and assists in defeating Serpine. And he became an elder in Book 2. He is China Sorrows' brother. In addition to his alarming strength, Mr. Bliss is also described as being very difficult to kill, with his sister admitting "I've tried to kill him several times already. He just won't stay down". He and China were brought up to worship the Faceless Ones but neither worships them anymore, although they continue to believe in their existence and so assist Skulduggery in preventing Serpine from resurrecting them in Book 1 and Baron Vengeous from doing so in Book 2 and Batu and the Diablerie in Book 3. Both he and China mistrust and apparently despise each other, However, in the third book after Gruesome Krav attempts to kill China, Bliss fights him yelling "My sister? You tried to kill my sister? My sister is the only family I have left!” Krav ran away from Bliss and was possessed by a Faceless One, which then twists Bliss into shreds of flesh

Kenspeckle Grouse[edit]

The Sanctuary's top scientist, Kenspeckle is a paranoid genius with a neurotic phobia of vampires. He appears to be a perfectionist and is entrusted with the task of dismembering the Grotesquery once Skulduggery and Valkyrie steal it; however the Grotesquery wakes up and kills two of Kenspeckle's assistants. Kenspeckle later bemoans their deaths saying "They were good lads they didn't deserve to die like that." In the book it says that he had always had a soft spot for Valkyrie. He vehemently refuses to take part in any violence (though he did use some kind of magic to defend himself in an attack), and constantly admonishes Skulduggery for putting Valkyrie in danger with such alarming regularity. He seems to have the ability to take away or to give pain. Grouse only appears in the second, third, fourth and fifth books, although a reference is made to a "cantankerous old man" that heals wounds in the end of the first book, presumably Grouse.

In Book 4 Grouse is kidnapped by the Revengers Club because he had the ability to repair the Desolation Engine, and was possessed by an evil spirit called a Remnant. Whilst in Grouse's body, the Remnant tortures Tanith by nailing her to a chair. Tanith later states that though it was not Grouse who hurt her, she cannot help but hate him for it. Grouse is also shown to blame himself, though he in fact has no recollection of torturing Tanith at all. He was the creator of the Desolation Engine; a bomb which destroyed the Irish Sanctuary in the end of the 4th book. In the fifth book, he was told to cure Vaurien Scapegrace and Thrasher (Gerald), but ended up not doing so. Kenspeckle dies at the last part of the book, he was killed by his remnant occupied assistant Clarabelle.

Billy-Ray Sanguine[edit]

William Raymond Sanguine or Billy-Ray in short is a Texan assassin (he calls himself a hitman deluxe) with the ability to melt into the ground and travel under it like a mole. He was introduced a little way through Book 2. Sanguine dresses like a stereotypical cowboy, giving him similarities to the Stephen King character, Randall Flagg. He has no eyes but is capable of sight and he can see very well in the dark. He covers his empty eye-sockets with a pair of sun-glasses. He is described as being rather attractive, though this was mentioned before it was revealed that he has no eyes. Skulduggery and Tanith Low speculate that he may be a clinical psychopath however he appears to be somewhat cowardly in contrast to the reckless fearlessness of most clinically diagnosed psychopaths (However, as demonstrated near the end of the climax, this could be simply an act). Nevertheless, Sanguine himself admits to being psychopathic and also exhibits misogynistic tendencies. He has an obsession with his razor (an enchanted blade, scars from which never heal) which he uses to commit his murders and becomes enraged when it is taken from him by Valkyrie Cain twice. Sanguine, like Dusk, has an obsession with killing people and, like Scapegrace, despises Valkyrie though for different reasons. Sanguine was the one who freed Baron Vengeous from prison with the help of a vampire called Dusk although he is actually working for Batu, the leader of the Diablerie.

In The Faceless Ones Sanguine says "I been workin' for you for over a year now. Ain't it time we met, face to face?" Sanguine only appears in the second, third fourth books and fifth, and near the end of the third book, he says to Valkyrie "Everybody bein' so eager to die...almost takes the fun outta killin' them!” Valkyrie then cuts his stomach and he shouts "What the hell have you done!" before disappearing into the ground.

Strangely enough, despite his reputation as a worldwide feared mercenary and murderer, Sanguine appears remarkably inept at his profession; apart from killing Vaurien Scapegrace and turning him into a zombie, he has never actually killed someone in the course of the books, and appears to only offer a physical threat to the surprised, the helpless and those without combat training, and is mainly used as a mode of transportation rather than a fighter by his employers.

In Book 4, he picks up his father after being released 2 days early from a high security prison in Arizona. His father is revealed to be Dreylan Scarab. With Scarab, he forms the Revengers Club, the main antagonists of Skulduggery Pleasant: Dark Days. The wound given him by Valkyrie Cain at the end of Book 3 is shown to seriously damage his magical powers in the book. He makes an appearance late in the fifth book, Mortal Coil, working for the Roarhaven sorcerers, and aids Valkyrie, Skulduggery and the others in their war with the Remnants. He has developed a perverse crush on Tanith, which Valkyrie (Stephanie) describes as "disgusting" after she is possessed by the final Remnant, they abscond together.

In book 7, Dr Nye treats him and he can use his magic freely again. He is hired, along with Tanith, to prevent Valkyrie's assassination.


An enigmatic and powerful vampire, introduced in Book 2. Dusk is a freelancer who works for Vengeous and Billy-Ray Sanguine. He is obviously highly treacherous as Vengeous was not surprised that he did not attempt to free him from prison and so did not take it upon himself to punish the vampire.

Like all vampires Dusk is eerily elegant and graceful. Valkyrie describes him as "oddly beautiful." He possesses immense physical strength and superhuman agility and speed(all vampires have that too). He curbs his vampire nature through the use of a syringe. (containing a mixture of Hemlock & Wolf's bane, which Kenspeckle Grouse says is rare) When Valkyrie knocks the syringe from his hand when he is about to inject himself with it he loses control and transforms into his monstrous form, earning a slash across the face from Billy-Ray Sanguine's razor, a wound which never healed. Dusk dedicated himself to punishing Valkyrie for this and later captured her and threatened to turn her into a vampire and set her loose on her parents while in her bloodlust. As he was transforming however Valkyrie stabbed him in the leg with his syringe that he had thrown away beforehand, wanting the monster within to have free rein, leaving him trapped between human and vampire. Springheeled Jack later defeated him and threw him into the sea which knocked him unconscious. He was later taken into custody by Mr Bliss.

He escapes the prison in Russia in Book 4 and joins Billy-Ray Sanguine's Revengers Club. He succeeds in biting Valkyrie Cain, but she is cured by Kenspeckle Grouse before she turns into a vampire. He then gets revenge on Springheeled Jack by leaving him to defend on his own against Anton Shudder and Ghastly Bespoke. In Book 8, he kills Moloch after Tanith Low reveals that he bit Dusk as a child. He also states he knows a secret about Valkyrie that even she does not know. Later, in Book 13, he divulges that Valkyrie is not a descendant of the Ancient Ones but of the Faceless Ones

Vaurien Scapegrace[edit]

Book 2 opens with a fight scene between Valkyrie and Scapegrace. An incompetent aspiring serial-killer, Scapegrace seeks to make a name for himself in the world by becoming the greatest murderer of all time, "The Killer Supreme" by the use of his to-be title; however he proves to be utterly inept at killing people. He claims to make murder into a form of art. He is easily apprehended by Valkyrie and Skulduggery at the start of Book Two and imprisoned in the Sanctuary. He is later called upon by Skulduggery and Valkyrie who force him to assist in their investigation, where he helps them find the Torment. Scapegrace appears to be emotionally immature. He is easily frightened and has a tendency to cry when he is hurt. He despises Skulduggery and Valkyrie for capturing him, the latter in particular but is more of a nuisance that a threat.

In "Dark Days" he is killed by Billy-Ray Sanguine, after Sanguine discovers that he hasn't actually killed anyone, and becomes a zombie. He then calls himself the Zombie King. In this state, he begins infecting people and builds up an army. However, all but one (Thrasher) are disobedient to him and he leaves defeated once again.

In "Mortal Coil" he seeks out a cure for being a zombie as bits of his body keep falling off(like his ear, while he tries to glue it back on). In this search, he finds out where Skulduggery lives, and is forced to give the information to Tesseract. Valkyrie and Skulduggery bring him and Thrasher to Kenspeckle to be cured, but are forgotten about during the Remnant invasion. After Kenspeckle's death, he, along with Thrasher are forgotten by everyone else so they stayed locked in the medical facility. Caelan discovers them and sets them free, still uncured.

In 'Death Bringer' Scapegrace and Thrasher are enlisted to help the Necromancer Order accomplish 'The Passage'. He makes another horde of Zombies and leads them into the secret passages underneath Gordon Edgley's house. However, all of his minions except Thrasher are eaten by the monsters that reside there and, while attempting to flee the tunnels from Valkyrie, he is beheaded by the White Cleaver and taken away by Thrasher.

In 'Kingdom of the Wicked' Scapegrace gives Doctor Nye the remains of the White Cleaver in exchange for a new body. However Nye gives Scapegrace a women's body.

Gordon Edgley[edit]

Valkyrie's uncle, Gordon was a wealthy author of magical fiction who based his bestselling novels on adventures he had with Skulduggery. Skulduggery describes Gordon as "sharp-tongued, strong-willed, intelligent, doesn't suffer fools gladly" traits Valkyrie herself possesses. Gordon was a cultured and sophisticated gentleman with a childish playful demeanor who had a great fondness for Valkyrie although he didn't have children of his own. He and Valkyrie's mother dated for a while until she met Gordon's brother who later became Valkyrie's father. Gordon chivalrously stepped aside and allowed his girlfriend to marry his brother although he later complained that he had never had anything more than a peck on the cheek. He did however go on to have numerous torrid affairs with many beautiful women.

Gordon died whilst putting the finishing touches to his novel And the Darkness Rained Upon Them before being killed by Nefarian Serpine. Secretly he had the Sceptre of the Ancients concealed in a maze of catacombs beneath his mansion and left the Key to it (disguised as a brooch) to his greedy brother Fergus and his grasping wife Beryl. He left his fortune and mansion to Valkyrie.

A living image or "ghost" of Gordon is seen in an Echo-Stone in Playing With Fire and "Dark Days". Valkyrie found the stone in a secret room in Gordon's mansion and later took it to the family reunion with her in a pocket. When taking refuge from her disagreeable cousins in an adjourning room, Valkyrie took the Echo-Stone out of her pocket and had a conversation with the living memory of Gordon. While being a separate entity from the real Gordon, the living memory in the Echo-Stone was essentially a perfect copy of the real Gordon. After learning that Gordon was dead, the "Echo-Gordon" had something of an existential crisis but did not lose his sense of humour, dryly remarking that being taken to the family reunion with Valkyrie reminded him that he didn't miss his family at all. Gordon was once genuinely in love with China Sorrows and liked to think that she reciprocated his feelings. In Mortal Coil when Valkyrie finally reveals the existence of the Echo Stone to the group China refers to him as "my darling dear." However this might not prove anything as China often uses terms of endearment.

Gordon played a very small role in The Faceless Ones, though he does assist Valkyrie in finding a new crystal to power the Sceptre of the Ancients, and points her in the direction of Anathem Mire's house in the tunnels underneath his house. It is also revealed that Tanith Low is a fan of his books.

In the fifth book, Mortal Coil, Gordon is finally revealed to the others in the group by Valkyrie Cain, only to find out that the skeleton detective, Skulduggery Pleasant, knew the whole time but didn't say anything because he figured that Gordon would be a little sensitive. Gordon then assists the group to capture the remnants.

In the ninth book, Gordon's Echo Stone is wiped by Darquesse, which puts an end to his existence. This causes Valkyrie no small degree of distress and she states that it's like losing him again.

Erskine Ravel[edit]

Erskine Ravel is an Elemental who was first introduced in the fifth book. During the War, Ravel was part of the group the Dead Men.

In the 5th book, at the Great Chamber, after Corrival Deuce is elected as Grand Mage, Ravel, along with Skulduggery, is nominated as an Elder by Corrival, despite not wanting to become one. He is present at the interrogation of Davina Marr where he, along with Skulduggery, Valkyrie Cain and Tanith Low, is defeated by Tesseract. He fights Tessaract, sustaining only some broken ribs. He leaves the medical bay early to report to Deuce, despite Kenspeckles orders. Ravel likes Tanith, but Skulduggery tells him to keep away from her as Ghastly is also interested in her. The three are attacked by Deuce, Shudder and Wreath who are all possessed by Remnants. He joins the possessed Remnants that attack the Hibernian and later has the Remnant ripped from him at MacGillycuddy's Reeks. Near the end of the book, he is elected as Grand Mage, and he accepts Madam Mist and Ghastly Bespoke as his Elders. In the 6th book, he begins his job as Grand Mage, attending the Requiem Ball. In the 7th book, Ravel is forced to deal with the attempted invasion of the Supreme Council, and the questioning of his ability as a leader. After the assassination of Strom, in Book 8, Ravel again has to contend with the Supreme Council, alongside the issues from within Ireland. He sets of to France with the Dead Men, rescuing the Engineer, before hearing of trouble in Ireland and returning with Ghastly and Shudder. Once there, Ravel stands by as the Black Cleaver kills Shudder, before killing Ghastly, although with regret, revealing himself as the traitorous man with the golden eyes. Video footage of the murder is broadcast to the other Sanctuaries, making Ravel the enemy. He is involved in the battle with the warlocks, before being cursed by Darquesse, so that for 23 hours of each day he is in crippling agony. At the end of the book he is imprisoned, with there currently being no cure for the curse. His pain is relieved when he is shunted to Mevolent's dimension in The Dying of the Light (Book 9). When he is shunted back, he is used as bait to lure in Darquesse, as Skulduggery knows that she will want to keep punishing Ravel out of anger. (It is said that she took Ghastly Bespoke's murder personally.) Ravel is later given the God-Killer spear (recovered in The Maleficent Seven and taken from Billy-Ray Sanguine by Skulduggery and Valkyrie) and sent to be part of the team that attempts to take down Darquesse. Upon being approached by her he drops the spear and runs off. Valkyrie encounters him in the Sanctuary afterwards and wants to take him back into custody, but he threatens her and she lets him go. Near the end, Ravel is seen again, this time in the Accelerator room on the floor in handcuffs. According to China and the Engineer, he had used it to bolster his power, but China was able to subdue and handcuff him. At the very end of The Dying of the Light, it is stated by Valkyrie that Skulduggery had picked him up and thrown him into the Accelerator for his soul to be used to shut it down.

Dexter Vex[edit]

Dexter Vex is an Energy Thrower and a member of the Dead Men. He appears in Death Bringer, Kingdom of the Wicked, The Maleficent Seven (as a major character), Last Stand of Dead Men, and The Dying of the Light. He's described as having light brown hair and a 'chiselled look' by Valkyrie, who has a crush on him for a short period of time. Vex first appears in Death Bringer at the Requiem Ball, during which he meets Valkyrie and participates in the telling of the story known as "Shudder's Birthday" (a small and favourite tale of the Dead Men). He isn't seen again up until Kingdom of the Wicked, where an alternate version of himself meets Valkyrie in an alternate dimension ruled by Mevolent and aids in the effort to free her, her reflection Stephanie, and other prisoners from Mevolent's dungeon. This alternate-dimension Vex is last seen in the midst of battle directly before Valkyrie shunts back to her dimension, and does not reappear. He plays a major role in Last Stand of Dead Men, and Dexter is first seen being brought to prison in America due to his nationality (Irish). He is witness to the death of a colleague he was working with, Caius Caviler, by Grim, an American guard. (Caius protested their arrest and Grim was looking for a fight, resulting in a very short confrontation in which Grim choked Caius to death.) Vex is next seen in prison again, and is approached by American Elder Zafira Kerias. Elder Kerias asks him to appear in a message to the Irish asking them to end the conflict. Dexter refuses, and instead adds that he had been tracking down reports of Faceless Ones followers killing mortals before his arrest. Zafira leaves him to be taken to a high security prison; however, before this can be done Tanith Low (still possessed by a Remnant) frees him during his transport. She and Billy-Ray Sanguine takes him to a dock in Wexford, and after a short talk with Skulduggery Pleasant, Ghastly Bespoke, and Valkyrie Cain (who act as representatives for the Sanctuary) release Dexter to them. Afterwards he rejoins Skulduggery, Valkyrie, Ghastly, Saracen Rue, Anton Shudder and Erskine Ravel, and participates in the reunion of the Dead Men. As a member of the Dead Men Dexter goes on several missions, including one to find the town of Wolfsong and recover the Engineer from the French Sanctuary, and another to get a portion of the Engineer's prototype brain from the English Sanctuary. He is also present for the battle of the Keep, between the Irish Sanctuary and the Supreme Council's forces. Later on he is with Saracen, Skulduggery, the Monster Hunters Donegan Bane and Gracious O'Callahan, and Billy-Ray Sanguine as they watch the footage revealing Ravel's betrayal. His reaction is hurt and angry, and he is all for Ravel's death. (Incomplete.)

Saracen Rue[edit]

Saracen Rue is a character that appears in The Maleficent Seven (book 7.5), Last Stand of Dead Men (book 8), and The Dying of the Light (book 9). A member of the Dead Men and a seemingly amiable person, he appears to have a good sense of humour and a liking for designer suits. His ability is Adept and repeatedly stated as not Sensitive; however, other than that he refuses to say anything more about it other than "I know things." This vagueness irritates his fellow Dead Man, Dexter Vex, much to Rue's amusement.


Caelan is a vampire, who offers his services to Valkyrie when she tries to retrieve the skull from a dealer named Chabon. When questioned about his motives, Caelan says he holds a grudge against Dusk, and was a lot better off when he was imprisoned. He is described as relatively young and quite attractive, with sleek black hair. He died when he was 19. Caelan seems to be the only vampire who tries to control his condition- sealing himself in a cage which only unlocks at dawn. He is not well liked by many of the characters, aside from Valkyrie- most of the vampires hate him because he killed another vampire (the one forbidden rule among them) - when asked why he simply says that the other vampire had it coming. Skulduggery states upon meeting him that he neither likes nor trusts him. When Caelan leads Skulduggery and Valkyrie to Moloch's lair, he is exiled and targeted by the other vampires, who destroy his cage, forcing him to turn to Anton Shudder for new dwellings. Caelan appears in the final fight scene and fights with Dusk, but is easily outmatched. Many suspect that he has certain feelings for Valkyrie- much to Fletcher's jealousy.

In book 5, Caelan confesses to Valkyrie that he loves her, and kisses her. This causes Valkyrie to get confused with her feelings towards the vampire. She stays quiet about this to the others except Tanith Low. Meanwhile, Caelan watches over her in secret and becomes her 'guardian angel'. Towards the end of the book Valkyrie meets up with him and Caelan reveals to her that he has been taking Dusk's serum so that he will not turn into a monster every night, telling her that "For her, he could be human". In book 6, it is revealed that Valkyrie is cheating on Fletcher with Caelan, eventually leading to Fletcher getting dumped. Valkyrie then tries to dump Caelan but he goes all crazy and tries to turn her into a vampire too. Fletcher had not been removed as Val's emergency contact so he is forced to come to her aid where he and Valkyrie push Caelan into the sea. Due to the large amount of sea water (which is deadly to vampires) he ingests, his throat swells up and he dies. In book 6 he also reveals why he has a grudge against Dusk. When he was a young vampire he fell in love with a 'mortal' woman. However, Dusk and his friend Hrishi told him this was an unhealthy habit, and that he should be more careful. Later that night Caelan kills Hrishi causing him to become an outcast among vampires.

Thrasher (Gerald)[edit]

After Scapegrace was turned into a zombie he had orders to create a zombie army. Thrasher was his first infection, all the other zombies died after a while but because Thrasher was the first infected he had some magic in him and this is what kept him from decomposing.

Thrasher is the zombie servant of Vaurien Scapegrace (before he became a zombie his name was 'Gerald'). He was the only zombie to listen to his masters orders, although annoys him with his loyalty and nervous disposition (he begins to cry when the other zombies refuse to listen to him). At the end of Dark Days, he and Scapegrace escape capture/death.

Thrasher often tries to correct Scapegrace, such as his name for the Revengers Club (Vengeance Brigade), agreeing with Valkyrie's suggestion, Vengeance Squad. He also admits to Valkyrie that the reason he burns so well is probably the creams he uses. Thrasher is portrayed as being dim-witted and is known to disrupt conversations, much to the annoyance of his master Vaurien Scapecrage (also a zombie).

In Mortal Coil, Thrasher assists his master in his plan to be embalmed. This is unsuccessful and Thrasher and Scapegrace end up becoming test subjects for Kenspeckle (whom wanted to make them human again.) Eventually, they're set free by Caelan and escape.

The White Cleaver[edit]

A Cleaver that was abducted by Serpine and turned invincible through the use of Necromancy, he was the cause of Ghastly Bespoke turning himself into a statue. He was about to kill Tanith, but suddenly left. At the time it was presumed that he had actually formed his own mind, and betrayed Serpine on his own initiative. The White Cleaver reappears in The Faceless Ones, where it is revealed that the "Necromancer contingent" who "created" the White Cleaver dictated that, since he was created using their own Necromancy, he would obey any order from the Necromancers. Therefore, when Serpine commanded him to kill Skulduggery and Valkyrie, they ordered him to stop.

The White Cleaver aids the good guys along with the Necromancers in The Faceless Ones, The White Cleaver also attempts to kill a Faceless One but fails and the Faceless one punches him in the chest, that removes him from the battle. He appears briefly in Mortal Coil with the Necromancers during their meetings.

The White Cleaver is an extremely strong fighter, being able to heal any wounds immediately. He fights and defeats Tanith Low (nearly killing her by impaling her on his scythe), and even defeats Murder Rose in the third book. In the first book he proves more than a match for Skulduggery, Valkyrie, Tanith and Ghastly put together, and in the end they are forced to retreat from him, during this fight Ghastly is forced to use the power of earth and turn himself into a statue. The White Cleaver does not appear in the fourth book. In the sixth book he acts as a bodyguard to Craven and Melachonia and is torn apart fighting Lord Vile.

In Kingdom of the Wicked, Scapegrace ordered Thrasher to pick up all the pieces of the White Cleaver, and then used them to bargain with Doctor Nye for a new body. It is unknown by the end of the novel if he is resurrected.

In "Last Stand of Dead Men", he is resurrected by Doctor Nye and is renamed the Black Cleaver.

Auron Tenebrae[edit]

The High Priest of the Necromancer order in Ireland, Tenebrae spends most of his time searching for the Death Bringer, the most powerful Necromancer ever, who is supposed to stop the stream of life and death by creating a "massive influx of souls". He is killed by Melancholia St Clair later on in the series, in trying to initiate The Passage.

The Grotesquery[edit]

An immensely powerful hybrid creature made from the remains of a Faceless One by Baron Vengeous who gave it the name Grotesquery. Because It resembles a stereotypical Egyptian mummy and is similar to the Chimera of Greek mythology.

The Grotesquery was put together during the war against Mevolent with the purpose of bringing back the Faceless ones. It was made up of many different powerful magical creatures and also had the torso of a Faceless one. Which in turn makes it part-god and Baron Vengeous worships it as such.

The Grotesquery has powers of teleportation as well as unfathomable strength. A punch from Mr Bliss, the single strongest man on Earth, did not faze it in the slightest, yet it was able to incapacitate Bliss with a single blow. It does not seem particularly intelligent however. Given the fact that it was made from part of a Faceless One it is presumably immortal however it is not indestructible as it was overpowered and almost killed by a group of Cleavers.

It eventually meets its demise after Valkyrie Cain stabs it through the heart with Tanith Low's sword. While Valkyrie stabbed the Grotesquery's heart, it emitted a death scream which alerted the Faceless Ones to the weakest point in our reality. It is a necessity for the ritual to open the portal for the Faceless Ones. Also to open the gate for the Faceless Ones in Book 3, they had to use the Grotesquery's torso to open the gate to the realm of the Faceless Ones.

Springheeled Jack[edit]

A mage with an obsession with killing, he is named after the legendary London monster, Spring-heeled Jack, and acts in the same manner. Springheeled Jack is a hideous man who, like Sanguine, does not have traditional magic powers. Instead he is capable of leaping over great distances and haunts the roofs and streets of London at night looking for people to murder. He is apprehended by Tanith Low and imprisoned but is later freed by Billy-Ray Sanguine who asks him to kill a man working for the Sanctuary in London.

Jack later learns that Sanguine was working for Vengeous who wanted to bring back the Faceless Ones. Knowing how dangerous the Faceless Ones are, Jack does not want them free and is furious at having been tricked. He then defeats Dusk, unknowingly aiding Tanith meanwhile saving Valkyrie and running off to Italy.

Jack appears again in the fourth book, as a member of the Revengers Club. His aim is to kill Tanith Low. Dusk then gets revenge on Jack by leaving him to fight Ghastly and Anton Shudder. In The Maleficent Seven, Jack joins Tanith Low's team of villains and falls in love with Sabine, a member of Tanith's squad who can drain the powers of other sorcerers. Tanith decapitates Jack by the end of the novella to cause a distraction to the Cleavers while Tanith's group sneak into the English Sanctuary.

Finbar Wrong[edit]

Finbar Wrong is a tattoo artist that resides near Temple Bar in Dublin. He appears to be perpetually confused and there is no mention of his magical powers in the second book, when Valkyrie first meets him. In the third book, however, it is revealed he is a Sensitive. Using his magic, he helped Skulduggery and Valkyrie find the Gateway of Realities, although he temporarily becomes possessed by the Faceless Ones while doing so.

In the Book 4, Finbar talks to Valkyrie and Skulduggery about the visions that all Sensitives find disturbing: a vision of the end of the world, caused by the feared sorceress, Darquesse. He has a wife 'Sharon', who never appears, and later on a child too.

During Mortal Coil, Solomon Wreath possesses Wrong with a Remnant to find out whether Valkyrie will be the "Death Bringer." This plan was unsuccessful however as the Remnant saw the future which Darquesse created and came to the conclusion that she was their Messiah.

In The Death Bringer, Finbar is approached by a journalist called Kenny Dunne who finds out about the sorcerers and plans to blow their cover. Finbar then sets up a meeting between Dunne and Geoffrey Scrutinous who persuades him that the sorcerers are crazy.

The Torment[edit]

An ancient and enigmatic sorcerer as well as one of the Children of the Spider, the Torment is a misanthropic recluse who lives in an underground building beneath the sordid village of Roarhaven. The building itself was intended to be a new Sanctuary by a group of dissenters in Roarhaven who attempted to overthrow the Elders and create a Sanctuary of their own. The plan failed and the building itself sank in decay. The Torment believes that sorcerers should rule over those who do not wield magic, and believes that his kind are weak to hide from humans when they should be conquering them. He fought against Mevolent in the war however as he reasoned that if the Faceless Ones came back, no-one would be safe, even him.

He claims to despise the Ancients as much as the Faceless Ones however and because Valkyrie is a descendant of the Ancients he demands that Skulduggery destroy her in exchange for information on the whereabouts of the Grotesquery. Skulduggery pretends to kill her by shooting her reflection and when the Torment learns that Skulduggery tricked him he comes after the undead sorcerer for revenge but is defeated by Skulduggery and Tanith Low.

The Torment is a Shapeshifter with an affinity for spiders and is capable of transforming into a giant three-eyed spider himself. He fights the Grotesquery as a spider, but is defeated (by being scalped). The Torment later appears again in 'Mortal Coil', where he hires Tesseract to kill Marr. However, the Torment attempts to kill the mercenary after. He is also responsible for helping Madam Mist (another child of the spider) to become an Elder. Near the end of the book, Tesseract gets his revenge by splitting the Torment's skull with his bone breaking ability, killing him.

Remus Crux[edit]

He is the incompetent replacement for Skulduggery as the lead detective for the Sanctuary after Skulduggery was fired at the end of Book 2. He was appointed by Thurid Guild. He is portrayed as a fool, but apparently knows a secret concerning China Sorrows in regards to Skulduggery's rebirth, and uses it to frequently blackmail China Sorrows. Crux arrests Valkyrie right after her parents leave for Paris in Book 3, and tries to arrest her again during The Battle of Aranmore Farm, but ultimately fails. During the Battle, his sanity was shattered after looking upon one of the intangible Faceless Ones.

In the fourth book, he began to worship the Faceless Ones, and he ended up joining the Revengers Club. China eventually seeks him out and she reminds him that he tried to kill Valkyrie at her house late at night, but after he tries to convince her that he told everybody the secret saying that "Everyone knows what you did. They're all whispering. China Sorrows, China Sorrows, she's the one, they're saying. She's the one. Nefarian Serpine killed Skulduggery Pleasant, but China Sorrows led his family into the trap.", China shoots him and leaves him to die.

Solomon Wreath[edit]

Solomon is a Necromancer introduced in Book 3, who has some connection to Skulduggery's past, possibly an old partner like Valkyrie. He placed his power inside his cane, much like Lord Vile's armour, and is quite powerful. During the crisis in the third book, he forms a "Necromancer contingent", consisting of him, a Necromancer with his power forced into a flintlock pistol, a necromancer whose power has been channelled into her cape, and the White Cleaver, who they brought under their control. In the battle of Aranmore Farm, whilst trying to guide the final Faceless One through the gate, he throws his cane over to Valkyrie, who tries to use it to stop the Faceless One from killing Skulduggery. The cane breaks, but Solomon creates another cane "identical to the first one", upon which Valkyrie remarks "How original of you". The book ends with Wreath telling Valkyrie that to get Skulduggery back from the realm of the Faceless Ones they will need Skulduggery's true head, which was stolen from him while he was meditating and won a new one in a game of poker, as an Isthmus Anchor, and to gain the power needed Valkyrie would have to change her profession from Elemental to an Adept Necromancer.

During the year-long gap between books 3 and 4 Wreath teaches necromancy to Valkyrie Cain. It is during this book that the Necromancers start referring to Valkyrie as the "Death Bringer." Thinking that she is the one who has the power to break down the barriers between life and death.

In Book 5 Wreath is ordered by the High Priest Tenebrae to take the Remnant that was possessing Kenspeckle Grouse and was now trapped inside a soulcatcher and to release it upon Finbar Wrong, to see if Valkyrie really was the "Death Bringer." In book 6 Wreath captures Valkyrie after telling her what the Passage is, and the role of the "Death Bringer", which is to stop the cycle of life and death by killing 3 billion people at the same time, so the massive release of souls will stop the stream of life and death.

Solomon dies in book 9 after Darquesse kills him with the remains of the god-killer sword.

Thurid Guild[edit]

Introduced in Playing With Fire as the new Grand Mage of the Irish Council of Elders, he has yet to appoint any other Elders and so is by effect the dictator of the Sorcerer's Sanctuary of Ireland. He does not trust Skulduggery and holds Valkyrie in contempt. A somewhat grim and humourless character, Skulduggery speculates that he may be corrupt and thinks he was in league with the Diablerie in Book 2, but is proved wrong in Book 3, when "the Administrator", brought in by Guild, proves to be the traitor.

In Book 4, Guild seems to have forgiven Skulduggery and helps the team, although this may be because Skulduggery knows it was he who actually killed Vanguard. At the end of the fourth book, he is sentenced to 300 years in prison but isn't imprisoned due to the destruction of the Irish Sanctuary. His leg is disintegrated by the same explosion that destroyed the Sanctuary.


Evil souls who possess people as they do not have bodies of their own. For a long time they were trapped in room 24 in the Midnight Hotel- owned by Anton Shudder, until one of them was freed by Solomon Wreath when he was ordered to go to Finbar Wrong to find out about Valkyrie's future about her being the Death Bringer, he had to use the Remnant because Finbar would not help him. Wreath escaped out the window leaving the Remnant in Finbar. Later the Remnant went to the Midnight Hotel, possessed Anton Shudder, and opened the door to room 24, releasing all 2000+ Remnants trapped there. They attack and possess many people in Ireland and inflict terror on the entire country. In Mortal Coil they have one goal: to make Valkyrie Darquesse so that they can dwell in the dead world without bodies. They only manage to make Valkyrie Darquesse for a short while by possessing her, which they regret after Darquesse starts killing them all. They are then trapped in the Receptacle, a huge soulcatcher located in a mountain chain, with only the one in Tanith escaping.

Vandameer Craven[edit]

A power hungry Necromancer who detests Solomon and Valkyrie. He experiments on Meloncholia to make her the Death Bringer by looping her Surge, an event which locks sorcerers in the discipline most skilled in, so she is constantly gaining power. He is killed by Skulduggery in Death Bringer.

Melancholia St Clair[edit]

Valkyrie's rival in Necromancy. She is not particularly powerful in Mortal Coil, but after having symbols carved into her skin, her power continuously cycles making her powerful enough to be the Death Bringer. She uses her new power to slice Valkyrie within an inch of her life. Her powers drive her crazy when she attempts to kill the whole world, resorting Skulduggery to become Lord Vile to stop her. She brings out Darquesse by attempting to kill Valkyrie when Valkyrie asks her to. She is placed into a coma by Nye to prevent her from killing everyone.

Lord Vile[edit]

One of Mevolent's Three Generals, Vile was a powerful Necromancer who also possessed the ability to manipulate darkness so he could get stronger, shadows creating blasts from his hand or to teleport, and death to kill person or creating a bubble to kill multiple beings at one time. He had impregnable armour that rendered him invincible, which is the object of Baron Vengous's desires in Playing With Fire. Lord Vile allegedly died alone in a chamber, but it has not been revealed how. China Sorrows says that Vile was "remarkable" and "could have changed the world" while Baron Vengeous "wouldn't know where to begin". He was apparently extortionately powerful, probably one of the most powerful mages ever to have lived, and Baron Vengeous says "how could Vile ever have been beaten with power like this?” In The Faceless Ones, Ghastly says, "There was a rule we had back then. You don't go up against Vile alone. You wait until your army is gathered behind you, you all attack together and you pray someone gets in a lucky shot."

It is suggested that Lord Vile is much more powerful than either Nefarian Serpine or Baron Vengeous, as Ghastly's mother defeats both of these but is killed by Vile. He is considered an enemy by the Necromancers. Vile was originally believed to be the saviour of the Necromancers, whom they called the "Death-Bringer", but since his apparent death Solomon Wreath at least believes that this may actually be Valkyrie Cain. It is actually hinted though that Lord Vile may still be alive. The Necromancers seem to know more about this and it is likely that he is hiding.

Lord Vile seemingly makes an appearance near the end of Mortal Coil where he attacks Skulduggery and kills Tesseract with ease.

In Death Bringer, this Lord Vile is revealed to be part of Skulduggery Pleasant's subconscious that can operate his armor without Skulduggery that had previously been separated from Skulduggery with the "Murder Skull", Skulduggery himself having become the original Lord Vile following his initial resurrection before having a "moment of clarity". However, this manifestation of Lord Vile is not nearly as strong compared to its pure form, which is reborn when Skulduggery takes the armor into himself to once again become Lord Vile and easily defeat Melancholia, requiring Darquesse to fight him (per his request) a standoff; instead of continuing to fight, he regains control of his mind (uttering "Valkyrie") and casts off the armor, as well as convincing Darquesse to stop fighting, allowing Valkyrie to resume control. Unfortunately this was probably not the best move for Skulduggery, since every time Darquesse takes control over Valkyrie's body she becomes more powerful, thus leading to the idea that if Darquesse once again emerges, she will probably be too powerful for Skulduggery to stop, giving Darquesse the opportunity to destroy the world.

It is explained in Death Bringer that during Skulduggery's five years away during the war with Mevolent, his darker nature took ahold of him. He had the armour created, trained at the Irish Sanctuary, and reemerged as Lord Vile, to fight during the war on Mevolent's side. Eventually, however, his better side regained power and he buried the armour within a deep cavern, left, and rejoined the Dead Men.

Lord Vile is suggested to be the most powerful Necromancer to ever live, and possesses the ability to fly and manipulate his armor as well as manipulate shadows. Like Melancholia, he is capable of generating a 'death bubble.' His armor is where he houses his extraordinary power that has obliterated entire armies at a time. He is also shown to be incredibly strong and capable of clubbing the virtually invincible Darquesse's brain out through her skull. He is also invulnerable to the latent energy that Darquesse wields. Though, Lord Vile seems a little overconfident in his own abilities as he seems to think that he could take on the entire race of Faceless Ones who have torn apart worlds.


Darquesse is a supposedly evil sorcerer who is believed to destroy the world. In Dark Days, Valkyrie sees a vision of Darquesse killing her parents, and an older image of herself doing nothing to stop it. At the end of the book, Valkyrie uses a Dream Whisperer to see a nightmare of hers. It was in the Repository while Skulduggery and Serpine fought. As the Book of Names fell, Valkyrie sees her true name, Darquesse, therefore Darquesse is actually Valkyrie. In Mortal Coil, as an effort to prevent the future of Darquesse killing the world, she goes to Doctor Nye to seal her name. This does not prevent her future as we see later on in Mortal Coil. She becomes Darquesse while she is possessed by a Remnant (although the Remnant is not in control while she was possessed; Darquesse is. The Remnant just 'opened a door' to Darquesse.).

When the Remnants are trapped in the Receptacle (a giant soul catcher) apart from the one possessing Tanith, Valkyrie feels that her future isn't exactly something she can avoid. Sensitives can still sense Darquesse, and Valkyrie apparently must decide to destroy the world of her own accord. In Death Bringer, her mind is touched by a Jitter Girls - it puts its hand inside her brain - and she turns into Darquesse and they get the Girls back in the box. Later, Valkyrie is surprised that Darquesse doesn't come out when she is being attacked by Melancholia and left sliced up. She discovers that Darquesse only comes out when her life is in true danger. She comes out again after Valkyrie gets Melancholia to attempt to kill her so she can fight Lord Vile. She later comes out when Kitana puts her hand through Valkyrie's chest, however this time Darquesse and Lord Vile fight side by side.

In Last Stand of Dead Men, after luring Valkyrie into a trap where she sustains major injuries, Darquesse convinces Valkyrie to let her take over. Valkyrie accepts and Darquesse takes control and flees. She is later seen at the end of the book, aiding the sorcerers against the Warlocks and saving China's life. She also causes Ravel to be in extreme pain 23 hours every day for killing Ghastly. Darquesse says to Skulduggery that she only wants to live and not harm anyone as well as stating that Valkyrie is gone. She tells him to stay out of her way and as she departs states that it will be fun to see him try to defeat her.

In The Dying of the Light, a group of sensitives pulls Darquesse out of Valkyrie's body, so Darquesse kills the reflection for having killed Carol Edgely and takes over that body.

Darquesse can wield a unique type of magic (possibly Ancient magic) which grants her huge strength, the ability to fly, to sharpen her senses, to wield latent energy which can turn rock to dust, to see and manipulate someone's consciousness, to dull pain, to heal, to survive situations that would kill a normal mage, physically "see" magic, and create portals. She is also the reason Valkyrie Cain had to kill her baby sister, Alice, so she could defeat Darquesse and help her parents.

Although her power is greater than Lord Vile's, she is less skilled. Her power also rivals that of Mevolent, but she was beaten by him by getting her head ripped off her body. She managed to survive however and fixed herself in 5 seconds. One of few people that could be sure of killing her is the only other person alive who has learnt their True Name; Argeddion. Lord Vile and Darquesse end up beating him, and Darquesse lives on. She finally leaves in book 9 when she creates a portal to the realm of the Faceless Ones.

Skulduggery Pleasant[edit]

Characters who have only appeared in the first book so far:

Nefarian Serpine[edit]

An insane, power-crazed sorcerer intent on finding the Sceptre of the Ancients to gain access to the Book of Names and take over the world. He used necromanctic magic to first create the White Cleaver, and then used it to make himself invincible. However, he is destroyed by the Sceptre of the Ancients, even though it was deadlocked to him. Because of the procedures Serpine used on himself, he could not truly be 'alive', which allowed Skulduggery to blast him the Sceptre. Skulduggery was able to use the Sceptre because while he was dead, he did not die after gaining possession of the Sceptre, allowing him to keep possession of it. It is revealed in the sixth book that Serpine got his red hand from the High Priest Tenebrae with the unknown added extra that his hand would not truly kill Skulduggery, allowing Skulduggery to come back and exact revenge to Nefarian Serpine.

The Elders[edit]

The Elders are the three democratic leaders of the Sanctuary, the Sorcerer's Parliament. Every different country has a different Sanctuary which is hidden in an inconspicuous location. Sanctuaries usually have three elders. The main Elders seen in the series are based in Dublin and the representatives of Ireland where the majority of the story takes place. Other known Sanctuaries exist in London, Russia, New York City, Berlin and Tokyo, respectively.

Eachan Meritorious[edit]

Once Grand Mage and leader of the Elders, Meritorious was one of the most powerful and wisest magicians in Europe. He was killed along with Morwenna by Serpine with the Sceptre of the Ancients in Skulduggery Pleasant.

Morwenna Crow[edit]

A very beautiful sorceress, Morwenna was killed along with Meritorious by Serpine in Book 1. There is speculation as to Morwenna having been a Necromancer due to her method of appearance in Book 1- forming out of a black shadow[citation needed], much likes the ones described in connotation to other Necromancers in later books. It is confirmed in Death Bringer that she was the first and only Sanctuary Elder to be a Necromancer. She is mentioned by Tenebrae in book 6.

Sagacious Tome[edit]

Although a wise and powerful Elder himself, Sagacious Tome appears to have something of an inferiority complex and is somewhat paranoid believing that all the Magical Community believe him to be insignificant compared to Meritorious and Morwenna. Bitter at this, the very ambitious Sagacious joins forces with Serpine and tricks the other Elders enabling Serpine to destroy them in order to get the Great Book of Names. When the spell that Sagacious, Meritorious and Morwenna placed over the Book to protect it still doesn't disappear, Serpine kills Sagacious with the Sceptre of the Ancients as well, thereby enabling him to take the Book.

Sagacious is a very haughty individual and is notable for being even more melodramatic than Serpine saying about the people who he believed were mocking him "The streets will run red with their blood" causing Serpine to wryly comment "How very dramatic". Also, in The Faceless Ones, he is mentioned to have been a Teleporter, as evidenced when he appeared and disappeared from the Christ Church in Book 1.

Playing With Fire[edit]

Characters who have only appeared in the second book so far:

Baron Vengeous[edit]

Baron Vengeous was one of Mevolent's three infamous generals, along with Nefarian Serpine and Lord Vile. He has a nickname of The Baron. Along with Nefarian Serpine he has the objective to bring back the Faceless Ones. He works with Billy-Ray Sanguine and Dusk. He also tries to bring back the Grotesquery with Lord Vile's armor. Vengeous is an Adept with the ability to make whole bodies explode as shown when he blows up Argus- one of Mevolent's men. He is described by China as "an unusual man, he likes to think of himself as straightforward. He is anything but." He tried to make China "come back into the fold." When she refused he became unreasonably angry and told her that she would be the first traitor they destroy. He was killed at the end of Book 2 by the Grotesquery. An alternate reality version of Vengeous additionally appeared in Kingdom of the Wicked.

The Faceless Ones[edit]

Characters who have only appeared in the third book so far:

The Faceless Ones[edit]

Faceless Ones have many powers. They are impossibly powerful and have greater power than any alive mage. They seem to have powers along the lines of Darquesse's. These include killing by looking at the victim or driving them insane, resistance to any magical or non-magical attack (to the point where there is only one weapon capable of destroying them), and looking at one hits like a physical force. Also they can kill people in various different ways with a wave of their arm and turn things to dust and have some form of mental power to move objects with their mind. They are drawn to hosts by invitations that Batu inscribed on the Diablerie's arms. The only member of the Diablerie able to get away from being hosted by the invitations Batu inscribed on them was Jaron Gallow, who cut his own arm tattooed off. At the very end of The Faceless Ones, Skulduggery Pleasant is sucked through a portal into the world the Faceless Ones were inhabiting.


A man called Paddy Hanratty who was from a family of sorcerers with no magical powers who brings back the Diablerie after their destruction. He uses them to bring back the Faceless Ones by tattooing symbols onto their arms. He explains that these are for their protection, to mark them out as believers when the Faceless Ones come, but in fact they are invitations; when the Faceless Ones return they will inhabit their bodies and become invincible beings. Batu does this as not to waste the Faceless Ones' time searching for good hosts. He also offers himself as a host, so then he would finally have magic. He didn't know that it would completely wipe his personality. At first Batu appears as an old man who doesn't know about magic. Batu reappears in the fourth book briefly as the body that the Faceless Ones use to torture Skulduggery.

The Diablerie[edit]

A mysterious secret society, akin to a terrorist organisation, the Diablerie were the ones responsible for the manipulation of Baron Vengeous in Playing With Fire. Sanguine was working for them and he meets their leader in secret in the penultimate chapter of the book. They seek the return of the Faceless Ones, a "race of sadistic gods who loathe humanity". As revealed in Skulduggery Pleasant: the Faceless Ones, China Sorrows started the Diablerie, and Baron Vengeous later took over.

Their leader's plan was for the Grotesquery to die so that its dying scream would alert the Faceless Ones to the whereabouts of the Earth, meaning that all the Diablerie have to do now is let them in. In The Faceless Ones, the Diablerie are the main antagonists of the book, including a "huge man with silver hair" called Gruesome Krav and a mad swordswoman called Murder Rose, as well as a dark-haired man called Jaron Gallow. Jaron Gallow is believed by Solomon Wreath, a Necromancer, to be the Diablerie's leader, but this is later revealed to be Paddy Hanratty, who nicknames himself "Batu". Batu isn't a sorcerer and he wants the "Faceless Ones" to return so one of them can possess him and give him magic, although this would wipe out his personality.

Gruesome Krav and Murder Rose are possessed by Faceless Ones and killed, although aforementioned Jaron Gallow escapes this. Batu is also possessed by a Faceless One, but that Faceless One is pushed through the "portal between realities", away from "our reality". The word "Diablerie" is an apparent derivation of the Latin "diabolos", meaning "devil".

Murder Rose[edit]

An adept magician with powers similar to that of Tanith Low. A member of the Diablerie under Batu. Murder Rose defeats and nearly kills Tanith, after Batu kills the teleporter Emmette Peregrine. She has amazing sword and knife skills.

Gruesome Krav[edit]

Gruesome Krav is an adept mage that has incredibly enhanced strength, like the character Mr Bliss. However, he is not his equal, having been easily defeated by Bliss in The Faceless Ones He attacks Tanith with the help of Murder Rose.

Skulduggery Pleasant: Dark Days[edit]

Characters who have only appeared in the fourth book so far:

Dreylan Scarab[edit]

Dreylan is a great sorcerer who returns to the earth from 200 years in jail for a crime he didn't commit. Scarab was freed from prison, thirsty for revenge against the Sanctuary and Thurid Guild, who framed him, having served his full sentence. Once freed Scarab is joined first by his son, Billy-Ray Sanguine, and later by the other members of the Revenger's Club, who join him on his quest for revenge. Now aged after two centuries in a bound prison, unable to touch his magic, Scarab is an old man who is willing to commit suicide in his attempts to disgrace Thurid Guild. Scarab's Adept ability is with symbols, and he also displays knowledge of magic-science, e.g., resurrecting Scapegrace as a zombie. Scarab's plan is foiled and he is put in jail by Skulduggery.


Moloch was the only vampire that would talk to Caelan. When Caelan, Skulduggery and Valkyrie(Stephanie)goes to Moloch for help to find Dusk, he attacks Caelan and then throws Valkyrie(Stephanie)down his "Infected Hole" because one of his infected was not infected by him, but by one of Dusk's Vampires. Dusk hauls her out and then throws her over the railing. Skulduggery saves her by flying and catching her. Later Skulduggery asks why Dusk was there. Moloch says he requested some infected but Moloch did not give him any.

Skulduggery Pleasant: Mortal Coil[edit]

Characters who have only appeared in the fifth book so far:


An immensely strong and mysterious headless coach driver who picks up those who are subjected to the banshee's scream. Valkyrie is required to die to seal her name, and allows herself to be taken by the Dullahan (but not before she tries to fight it off after it takes another woman). The Dullahan is invulnerable and according to Valkyrie is like 'punching a brick wall'. This is elaborated, the Dullahan being unable to get hurt due to just "being". After delivering Valkyrie to Nye, it isn't featured again, although he does check up on Nye in mid-operation. They seem to have some way of communicating, despite the Dullahan apparently not being able to talk.

Burgundy Dalrymple[edit]

Burgundy Dalrymple was one of Mevolent's most competent soldiers, and was a master swordsman. He is obsessed with Remnants, as he misses the feeling of closeness and belonging to something greater than himself, and owns one half of the key that can operate the Receptacle. He engages Skulduggery and China in an energetic sword duel, but is subsequently beaten, and hands over the key. Later on in the book, he is featured in a small cameo when he shoots Billy-Ray Sanguine when he sprays bullets at Skulduggery, Tanith, Valkyrie and Sanguine. He is eventually killed by a possessed Valkyrie after begging to be possessed as well.


Tesseract is a lethally skilled Russian assassin, with the ability to break and shatter bones with a touch. In Mortal Coil, he is hired by The Torment to kill Davina Marr. Eventually, after a failed assassination attempt on Marr thanks to Skulduggery Pleasant, Tesseract is led to an old pub where a now zombified Scapegrace is giving out info on Skulduggery Pleasant's living quarters. After a brutal fight in the bar, Tesseract kills everyone besides Scapegrace and his sidekick, Thrasher.

Scapegrace tells him where Pleasant lives while being aware that Tesseract could kill him. Tesseract arrives at Skulduggery's house only to find that Tanith, Valkyrie and Ravel are also there. Tesseract confronts them and his superior strength and abilities overwhelm the team so much that they eventually resort to back up, with Fletcher Renn teleporting the team away just in time. Later, The Torment buries Tesseract alive. But, Tesseract escapes and sets out to gain revenge. After failing to kill The Torment, he and the Torment's gang are possessed by Remnants.

Toward the end of the book, Tesseract now free of the remnant inside him, attempts to kill The Torment again only to bump into Pleasant while at Torments house. He manages to kill the Torment and then battles with Skulduggery. Their fight leads them to the Sanctuary, where eventually what appears to be Lord Vile attacks the two.

Tesseract is mortally wounded and Skulduggery manages to get rid of Vile in an explosion of shadow by merely punching him. Tesseract eventually takes off his mask and reveals his face but at a cost of his body now rotting and killing him. Tesseract then requests Skulduggery to let the sun hit Tesseract's face as it is warm. While Pleasant carries Tesseract to a bench outside the Sanctuary, Tesseract explains how he will miss his cat. Tesseract is laid out on the bench outside the Sanctuary. He asks Skulduggery questions about Vile and Skulduggery's resurrection. Skulduggery does not answer and Tesseract dies.

Skulduggery Pleasant: Death Bringer[edit]

Characters who have only appeared in the sixth book so far:


They look identical to cleavers but they wear black and have twin sickles (instead of scythes) on their backs. Rippers are personal bodyguards or mercenaries. Rippers are usually older than cleavers because they have retired from the cleaver force.

Kenny Dunne[edit]

A journalist whose career as a freelance journalist is starting to deteriorate at the start of Death Bringer, where he plans to meet the sensitive Paul Lynch, who is a homeless man living on the streets, in a park. He finds Lynch dead, he is then interrogated by Skulduggery and Valkyrie, posing as a Police Inspector and a school girl on work experience. After realising they were not who they said they were, he plans a meeting with Finbar Wrong, who tells him to go to Geoffrey Scrutinous, where he gets brainwashed into disregarding all stories as hoaxes. He later realises he was brainwashed, reinvigorating his interest, but we don't see him until the very end of the book, where he is planning to unearth the entire magical subculture.

Erskine Ravel hired Dunne to film the war against the warlocks, where he realized that blowing the cap off the magical community would lead to disastrous consequences.

He delivers a package containing a thumbstick (thumb drive) to Desmond Edgley, Valkyrie/Stephanie's father, where Valkyrie (actually her reflection) appears to die. Valkyrie, along with an at first disguised Skulduggery, have to confront her parents and tell them the truth about magic. Skulduggery points out a few frames in which Fletcher are visible, then teleporting away with Valkyrie's reflection.

Ian Moore[edit]

A mugger who tried to attack Valkyrie's mother. Unfortunately, he was thrown into a pharmacy window by Valkyrie's father. While in prison, Valkyrie pays him a visit. As she was in an unstable state, she beats him, until an inch of death, but suddenly stops realizing what she was about to do. While abusing Moore, Valkyrie's mind goes into a state similar to Darquesse's. The next day the guards find Moore, and release him to avoid a lawsuit. Before he's released, he catches the Edgley's address and goes there to beat up Valkyrie as revenge. However, she and her reflection over-power him, and he gets arrested once again. He is a mortal, and simply serves as a device to help characterize Valkyrie's anger. This was also one of the subtle reasons Fletcher Renn broke up with her.

Skulduggery Pleasant: Kingdom of The Wicked[edit]

Characters who have only appeared in the seventh book so far:


Argeddion (also known as Walden D'Essai) is a Mage who had discovered his True Name. A mage who discovered his true name becoming Argeddion develops unlimited powers. He has the ability to control people, even whilst in a coma. He also had shown the ability to give a portion of his magic to anyone, able to retrieve it when he wished. He even had enough power to destroy a machine channeling dozens of powerful sorcerers' energy, and quickly recover. After awakening from his coma, Argeddion discovered that he could manipulate any form of magic after experiencing it once. This is true, as he copied Fletcher's Teleportation ability and Silas' Dimensional Shunting after experiencing each technique once. However, Argeddion did not use his amplified magic abilities for combat, as he was a pacifist. He also showed that he can use his magic to heal himself rapidly, as well as revive the deceased Kitana, Doran and Sean.

Like Darquesse, he has the ability to see magic, and 'other things too' he noted, due to knowing his True Name for a longer period and studying magic more.

After he re-absorbed his own magic from Kitana and her allies even Darquesse admitted that she was no match for someone with his power.

He believed in peace and attempted to use his powers to make everyone in the world magical - his vision of a peaceful world. After retrieving his alternate self from the parallel dimension, "Walden" attempts to convince Argeddion that his plan would only end in chaos and death.


An immensely powerful and evil elemental who was the cause of the great war before the start of the series. He was determined to bring back the Faceless Ones but was defeated before he could succeed. In Kingdom of the Wicked, Valkyrie is transported to another dimension where Mevolent had won the war and conquered the entire world, with the help of his Three Generals and his armies. Despite not knowing his true name, Mevolent could face the likes of Darquesse in one-on-one battle, and even managed to temporarily defeat her by tearing off her head. He allows his soldiers to kill him every day so he can "master death." This ability is proven very useful as Mevolent survives and continues fighting after Darquesse breaks every bone in his body.

Sean Mackin[edit]

A teenager that discovers magical powers at the beginning of the book, taking the name "Sean The King". It is shown that Sean follows Kitana everywhere and almost dies while saving her. Sean is taken prisoner by the sanctuary and is questioned on the whereabouts of his friends. He later ends up fighting with Argeddion but soon switches sides to battle Lord Vile and Darquesse. In the end Sean's powers are taken away by Argeddion along with Doran's and Kitana's. He is shown crying when he almost kills Valkyrie.

Kitana Kellaway[edit]

A normal teenage girl who is given powers by Argeddion and uses them to her own ruthless ends, taking the name "Kitana Killherway". She uses her physical attractiveness to manipulate Sean and Doran. She takes Valkyrie's armoured jacket, which causes Valkyrie a lot of both grief and injuries. In the end Kitana's powers are taken away, Valkyrie takes back her stolen jacket and beats Kitana unconscious (without using magic, to show Kitana that she could beat her on even ground). At first Kitana thinks that she will return to her normal life but Valkyrie rather gleefully explains that she is a murderer and that she must face justice for the crimes she committed. In the end, Kitana gets locked up in the Gaol, the Sanctuary's prison for sorcerers.

Doran Purcell[edit]

Doran Purcell is a character in the seventh book. He, along with his high-school friends Kitana, Sean and Elsie, are given incredibly powerful magic from Argeddion, as a test to begin giving all mortals in the world magic, taking the name "Doran Kickass". Doran likes video games. Doran is seen to rip his own brother apart and enjoy doing it.

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Characters / Skulduggery Pleasant

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    Stephanie Edgley / Valkyrie Cain

Stephanie Edgley, who later takes the name "Valkyrie Cain", is the protagonist of the series, who is unintentionally thrown into the hidden world of magic after her uncle Gordon's death. She learns the ways of sorcery from Skulduggery Pleasant, eventually becoming a powerful sorcerer in her own right.

  • Action Survivor: In the first book.
  • Action Girl: Slowly becomes one Book 2 onwards, by taking training lessons from Tanith and Skulduggery. It's fully cemented in Dark Days when she starts going on missions on her own, after Skulduggery is sucked into the Faceless Ones' dimension.
  • Addictive Magic: Les calls her out at the end of Midnight for putting her family in danger, saying Valkyrie should stop doing magic. Valkyrie, obviously, is too addicted to magic and to Skulduggery to stop.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: She grew discontented with her safe, normal relationship with Fletcher, whose genuine concern kept reminding her of the realistic consequences of being a sorceror which Val didn't like to think about, and cheated on him with the decidedly unsafe and inhuman Caelan. Predictably, the thrill wears off and Valkyrie much regrets starting the relationship in the first place.
  • Amazonian Beauty: By Phase 2, being six foot tall and both notably beautiful and muscular, though there are elements in Phase 1 - cue Fletcher's dribbling.
  • The Anti-Christ: Valkyrie was hoping to be an Anti Anti Christ. In the end, she and Darquesse become separate entities.
    • In Bedlam she's revealed to be a Child of the Faceless rather than of the Ancients, so the jury is still out. After being Activated in Dead or Alive to protect Alice and the world, and apparently letting out millions of Faceless Ones, she seems to be stuck in the Anti-Christ role.
  • Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better: How her Power Copying seems to work. At least with healing, she can quickly regenerate things the original healer wouldn't be able to do.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Has shades of this in earlier books when her internal monologue shows her being distracted by stuff or pointing out irrelevant details. This becomes more sinister in later books when you realize that the voice is Darquesse pointing things out to her.
  • The Atoner: In Phase Two after killing her own sister and giving in to Darquesse.
  • Apocalypse Maiden: The destiny of Darquesse, but semi-sort of subverted - on the one hand, she doesn't follow that destiny. On the other hand, Darquesse is/was part of her and, on being separated, becomes a suitably apocalyptic threat. Later, it turns out that she's still this as a Child of the Faceless Ones, especially after being Activated in Dead or Alive.
  • Aura Vision: One of her new powers after going through the Surge.
  • Barrier Warrior: She can use her lightning to block fireballs.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Possibly at the end of Dead or Alive, when she's been Activated as a Child of the Faceless Ones.
  • Breaking the Bonds: When she lets herself be captured by actors who want to sacrifice her, she uses her lightning to burn through the ropes.
  • Break the Haughty: Last Stand of Dead Men. First she finds out about Ghastly. Then Stephanie tries to kill her and drives her out of the house. Then she kills someone in a fight. Then Darquesse takes over, seemingly for good.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: When cornered by two members of The Wild Hunt, she offers them a million euros each. When the master of the hunt turns her down, the other kills him and asks for two million before helping Valkyrie escape.
  • Broken Bird: Has become this as of the end of The Dying of the Light, and it's taken even further in Resurrection when it's made clear that she's experiencing PTSD.
  • Broken Pedestal: When she finds out that Skulduggery is Lord Vile.
  • Brought Down to Normal: Happens to her briefly in The Dying of the Light, to the point that she considers leaving the world of magic behind. Then she has her surge.
  • Casting a Shadow: She could do this as part of her necromancy training.
  • The Chosen One: The necromancers think she is their savior, the Death Bringer. They later find a new one. The Remnants also see her, or at least Darquesse, as theirs.
  • Clothing Damage: Flying for more than a few seconds burns her clothes.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Even without any combat experience, she instinctively knows to attack her opponents weak spot. She puts it to good use when stuck alone in a cell with Scapegrace.
  • Cool Big Sis:
    • Despite being two years younger she ends up briefly taking this role for Carol.
    • Later to her sister Alison.
    • To Omen.
  • Cool Loser: Valkyrie, who is funny, confident (if a little arrogant) and clever, has no real friends until meeting Skulduggery.

    Valkyrie: Tell [Mum] I'm spending the night at a friends.

    The Reflection: What friend?

    Valkyrie: I don't know. Pick one.

    The Reflection: But you don't have any friends.

    Valkyrie: Tell her I'm sleeping over at HannahFoley's.

    The Reflection: Hannah Foley doesn't like you.

    Valkyrie: Just do it!

  • Deadpan Snarker: Most of her dialogue, especially around Skulduggery.
  • Defence Mechanism Super Power/Death Activated Super Power: Her Superpowered Evil Side automatically comes to fore when she's on the very edge of death.
  • Dissonant Serenity: She was totally fine after being tortured by Melancholia. It was implied that Darquesse was the one calming her down.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Frequently. Dexter Vex is a common culprit, although Valkyrie greatly appreciates muscles in general.
  • Elemental Powers: Skulduggery teaches her elemental magic, though she's only good at using wind and fire. Skulduggery often ends up reminding her that studying water manipulation is just as important.
    • Picks up Necromancy in Dark Days.
    • She loses her magic when Darquesse is forced out of her body, but when she gets her Surge, she gains "White Lighting".
  • Enemy Within: Darquesse
  • Enemy Without: The Reflection. Which has started calling itself Stephanie Edgley. Seriously.
    • And even Darquesse gets upgraded to this in The Dying of the Light, turning into a ghost- sorry, an "untethered entity"- and possessing the body of Stephanie.
  • Evil Feels Good:

    Skulduggery: Power is intoxicating.
    Valkyrie: That's a good word for it.

  • Eye Beams: Shoots two beams of energy at Abyssinia in Bedlam. She's drained of all power afterwards, it isn't specified if this ability drains her or if it was the whole fight beforehand.
  • Foil: Is increasingly becoming one to Skulduggery. Whereas Skulduggery is working hard, partially thanks to her influence, to redeem himself and become a better person (and it seems to be working—contrast his actions in the first war to the one in The Last Stand of Dead Men), Valkyrie is taking several levels of jerkass, and seems to be attempting to emulate the person he was, rather than the man he's trying to be, as Fletcher points out. They're also foils in how they deal with their Superpowered Evil Side. Whereas Skulduggery appears to be more or less in control of Lord Vile as of The Last Stand of Dead Men, in which he uses powerful Necromancy without his armour, and even before that took steps to lessen its influence, Valkyrie's alter-ego has taken complete control of her and refuses to change.
  • Future Me Scares Me;
    • Has visions of herself as Darquesse.
    • Gets attacked by her future harpy self in the Bad Future in Dead Or Alive.
  • Giving The Necromancer Cane To An Elemental: Turns out that she had a natural talent.
  • Harping on About Harpies: In the Bad Future in Dead Or Aliveresisting the activation to make her the Child of the Faceless Ones, causes her to turn into an insane harpy that terrorises Roarhaven.
  • Healing Factor: One of the first magical disciplines she learns to copy. Notably she was also able to heal herself by reading Nye's mind for his medical knowledge even though he has no magic.
  • Healing Hands: At the end of Seasons Of War she copies a healer's power and attempts to regrow Serpine's hand.
  • Hearing Voices: Probably not a good sign. They continue after Darquesse is gone.
    • One of them turns out to be a fragment of Darquesse's ghost that calls itself Kes.
  • Heroic BSoD: Has a minor breakdown in Last Stand of Dead Men after Stephanie tries to kill her and drives her out of the house, but she goes practically catatonic after killing a woman in a fight. Darquesse takes full advantage.
    • Suffers another after the end of The Dying of the Light due to having had to kill her own sister. Even once the story is over, she leaves her home and lives in America for five years in an attempt to recover. She's still showing signs of this by Resurrection.
    • Happens again at the end of Midnight once she discovers that, even after reviving her dead sister, she grew up without a soul because of Valkyrie's actions.
    • And again at end of Bedlamwhen she discovers that she's a Child of The Faceless Ones.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: In Phase Two. The citizens of Roarhaven (and pretty much everyone else in the magic community) blames her for Darquesse's actions in Dying of the Light.
  • Heroic Lineage: Zig-Zagged. She's a descendant of the Ancients, but it's implied they became power hungry and wiped each other out after defeating the Faceless Ones.
    • In Bedlam it's revealed she's actually a descendant of The Faceless Ones.
  • Holding Back the Phlebotinum: China wants to study her discipline but Valkyrie thinks there are enough powerful mages around without teaching people her magic.
  • Hormone-Addled Teenager: Davina Marr accuses her of this and being smitten with Skulduggery in Dark Days, but it's more prominent from Death Bringer onward.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Caelan. Caelan. Caelan. Usually, she's pretty good, but that example bears noting.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: Her primary motivation for joining Skulduggery. Deconstructed, because...well... Darquesse. She gets called out on it, hard.
  • Immortal Breaker: Her lightning can kill ghosts which is implied to be otherwise impossible.
  • I'm Mr. [Future Pop Culture Reference]: Not time travel but when she was interrogated on an alternate Earth with No Such Thing as Alien Pop Culture, she pretended her name was Marilyn Monroe and that she lived in Graceland with Elvis Presley.
  • In a Single Bound: She used to use wind magic to jump in and out of her bedroom window when sneaking out at night. Her later power set proves similarly helpful, until she learns how to fly.
  • I Never Said It Was Poison: She tricks one of Cadaverous' duplicates in the Midnight Hotel by saying he used to live in Missouri. He says he never lived in St Louis and she points out she said Missouri.
  • Instant Armor: Her necronaut suit can instantly collapse into and unfold from a brooch.
  • It Sucks to Be the Chosen One: Specifically, it leads to nearly dying a lot, seeing the ones you love suffer, and a whole boatload of PTSD.
  • Just a Kid: Gets this a lot in the first couple of books. Sometimes it's justified.
  • Kill the Ones You Love: When the Scepter of the Ancients bonds with Alice, Valkyrie is forced to kill her in order to use it. She later revives her with a sunburst, but is left traumatized by her actions.
  • Kid Detective: With Skulduggery through most of Phase 1. By Phase 2, she's in her mid-twenties.
  • Kid Sidekick: Was Skulduggery's in the first few books. Sebastian complains about this in Dead Or Alive, asking why Skulduggery put a 12 year old in so much danger and why nobody tried to stop him.
  • Little Miss Badass: By the time she's 14, she's capable of fighting adults (though not exactly with ease).
  • Lineage Comes from the Father: Her father's family are descendants of Ancients, the first sorcerers. In Phase Two it's revealed they are actually Children of the Faceless Ones.
  • Meaningful Name: See Name of Cain.
  • Morality Chain: She and Skulduggery are mutual ones for each other. He's talked her out of becomes Darquesse three times now and it was the thought of her that stopped him from becoming Lord Vile.
  • Morality Pet: For Skulduggery and, strangely, China. Unfortunately, association with both has the opposite effect on her.
  • Mouthy Kid: At first, before she grows up.
  • My Future Self and Me: Persuades her future self to cause a diversion so she can get in to see China Sorrows, promising to change the future in exchange.
  • Name of Cain: She chose it after Skulduggery mentioned she shared his penchant for "raising cain". Not to mention that she ended up killing her own sister.
  • The Needless: She doesn't need to eat, drink or breathe when wearing her necronaut suit.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Her discipline drifts into this with seemingly teleporting out of the Necropolis and commandeering another Mage's power to heal herself much better than he could.
  • New Superpower: After her Surge, she has never before seen Shock and Awe powers among other things.
  • Pet the Dog: She starts being a little nicer to her reflection in Kingdom of the Wicked.
  • Play-Along Prisoner: Seasons Of War starts with a Batman Cold Open where she allowed herself to be drugged in a bar and kidnapped by some Hollywood actors who intended to sacrifice her in order to be successful.
  • Power Copying: Her new discipline lets her copy other mages' powers temporarily.
  • The Power of Love: She temporarily turned Cadaverous Gant good by telepathically placing her memories of her parents' love for her into his head.
  • Power of the Void: Removing Darquesse from Valkyrie leaves her with no True Name; and direct access to the Source of Magic in the form of white lightning.
  • Precocious Crush: Davina Marr accused her of having one of these on Skulduggery in Dark Days. Valkyrie's response is to try and hit her.
  • Rage Against the Mentor: In book six. More sulking than actual rage.
  • Recruitment by Rescue: Skulduggery stopped one of Serpine's men from killing her, and the rest is history.
  • The Red Mage: Up until her Surge, she has Elemental and Necromancy magic.
  • Rude Hero, Nice Sidekick: Well, nice partner to be more accurate. Valkyrie is noticeably nicer than Skulduggery, at least early on.

    Skulduggery: I don't like you.

    Caelan: Ok.

    Skulduggery:I don't like vampires as a rule. I don't trust them. I don't trust you.

    Valkyrie (sighs): I told you to be nice.

    Skulduggery: Well, I haven't shot him yet.

  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Sealing her name pretty much gave Darquesse free reign when a Remnant tried to possess Valkyrie. Thankfully, it didn't last.
  • Sanity Slippage: In Bedlamafter she's gassed with a magical hallucinogen and starts seeing things. She more or less manages to get over it by the end of the book. It happens again in Dead or Alive, when she's activated as a Child of the Faceless - though that could be more a case of Brainwashed and Crazy.
  • Split-Personality Takeover: In Last Stand of Dead Men.
  • Statuesque Stunner: Grows up to be both stunningly attractive and six feet tall - plus, her muscles shift her into Amazonian Beauty territory.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: Darquesse,oh so much.
  • Tagalong Kid: At first. By the end of the first series, she's not a kid anymore, and definitely no tagalong.
  • Tall, Dark, and Snarky: According to Fletcher, she's become this. As she admits herself, it sort of rings true.
  • Thanatos Gambit: When cornered by Lord Vile, she gets Melancholia to kill her on purpose. Darquesse comes to play instead.
  • Took a Level in Badass: While she was always competent even as a normal 12 year old, once she discovers her magic and gets trained up by an Action Girl, a Guile Hero and a Necromancer she becomes quite formidable. Then she becomes Darquesse for two minutes and becomes terrifying.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: While she isn't intentionally cruel, she's had an increasing number of Kick the Dog moments from "Death Bringer" onwards. Later, after realising this and undergoing a brutal case of Break the Haughty (several, in fact), she becomes a kinder person.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: Copies Tannith's ability to walk along ceilings but can't manage her acrobatic skills.
  • Wall Run: She can temporarily copy Tannith's ability to walk up walls and ceilings.
  • The Watson: One of the features of being raised as a mortal. She's usually the one to ask who someone is, how magic works, what a magical artifact does, what the vague backstory that everyone's alluding to is, and, in general what the hell is going on, so the audience doesn't have to.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Fletcher giver her a pretty epic calling out in "Death Bringer", pointing her similarities to Skulduggery - and not the good ones.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Kills her baby sister to give her control of the Sceptre of the Ancients. She brings her back to life instantly, though she still feels terrible about it. This act, while Necessarily Evil, leaves her traumatised for most of the second phase and when she does get back in the game, she's desperately trying to make up for it.

    Skulduggery Pleasant

I'm sophisticated, charming, suave, and debonair, Professor. But I have never claimed to be civilized.

The titular Skeleton Detective, a centuries-old sorcerer with endless charm and wit. When his old friend Gordon Edgley dies under mysterious circumstances, Skulduggery's investigation leads to him taking Stephanie under his wing, eventually becoming her mentor and partner.

  • Action Dad: Though his child is long dead.
    • Though his possible child by Abyssinnia lives on...
      • Until Bedlam, where it's revealed that Cassion was actually the son of Mevolent.
  • Alliterative Name: In the Bad Future in Dead Or Alive, he goes by the name Cadaver Cain.
  • Amnesiac Hero: He doesn't remember everything he did as Lord Vile. This later turns out to be a good thing, as remembering those things in a Bad Future turned him into Cadaver Cain.
  • Annoying Patient: Skulduggery's response to being treated by Nye.
  • Anti-Hero: As Valkyrie soon learns, Skulduggery isn't exactly an Ideal Hero and often commits immoral acts for the greater good.
    • He starts out as a Pragmatic Hero but slides down the scale later on. After being tortured by the Faceless Ones for almost a year he briefly slips into Unscrupulous Hero-territory and almost shoots a Sanctuary spy for tailing him in Dark Days. He calms down considerably in the Darquesse Trilogy, which is best demonstrated when he decides against killing a rabid Werewolf at the beginning of Kingdom of the Wicked, going to great pains to non-lethally restrain him. He generally acts more stable from that point forward.
  • Aroused by Their Voice: Valkyrie "could listen to that voice all day."
  • The Anti-Nihilist: Shows shades of this in Bedlam.

    Skulduggery: [...] And I believe that life is arbitrary and when time moves on it will be as if we never existed. Do you want any pie?

  • Atonement Detective: His entire thing, not that anyone knows it. In Death Bringer we find out what he was atoning for. He was Lord Vile.
  • Awesome Ego: In-Universe. Valkyrie notes his "warm arrogance".

    Skulduggery: Don't be jealous of my genius.

  • Ax-Crazy: While he seems perfectly normal (aside from the obvious lack of flesh and organs) a few people, including Skulduggery himself, have alluded to him becoming a bit of psycho after his family died. It started to show after Dark Days.
    • Lord Vile definitely fits this.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: He's very particular about his nice suits, and he's appalled that at some point, Cadaver Cain stopped wearing them.
  • Badass in Distress: Every now and then. Being in a torture dungeon with Serpine stans out.
  • Black Comedy: He doesn't spare himself, either; twice he's made jokes about his dead family.
  • Blood Knight: Suggested to be one. Pretty much confirmed by Death Bringer.
  • Byronic Hero: He's essentially this. He's cultured, moody, Tall, Dark, and Snarky, and if you're lucky you might catch him brooding. Though the latter only happens when Valkyrie is missing/hurt/kidnapped.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: A jovial, friendly man. If you piss him off (usually by hurting his friends or God forbid, his partner) however, he will snap. Hard. And when he does that, he cuts loose with everything he has.Pray to whatever religion you followthat you weren't the one who smashed his Berserk Button.
  • Celeb Crush: On Grace Kelly.
  • Coat HatScarf of Asskicking: His disguise. Until China makes him the façade.
  • Combat Pragmatist

    Baron Vengeous: Only a heathen brings a gun to a sword fight.

    Skulduggery: Only a moron brings a sword to a gun fight.

  • Cowboy Cop: Despite being the Sanctuary's Prime Detective, Skulduggery has a tendency to go rogue. This gets him fired when he accuses Grandmage Guild of treason in Playing with Fire. He gets rehired later on. He quits in Phase Two and joins the Arbiter Corps, who work without having to follow the laws of The Sanctuary.

    Skulduggery: You're under arrest for multiple counts of murder. You have the right to not much at all, really. Do you have anything to say in your defense?

  • Cultured Badass: Wears exquisitely-tailored suits, drives a Bentley, knows how to ballroom dance and whistles 'The Girl from Ipanema' while waiting to be rescued from a torture dungeon.
  • The Dead Can Dance: Being a suave, four hundred year old badass and all.
  • Deadpan Snarker: He has his moments.

    Wreath: Billy-Ray Sanguine? What would he want with a Soul Catcher?

    Skulduggery: This is just a guess but maybe he wants to use it to catch a soul.

  • Dead Guy on Display: Serpine used his dead body as an example after he murdered him. He got better. Then he got angry.
  • The Dreaded: Everyone seems to either respect him or be terrefied of him.
  • Defective Detective: Skulduggery is considered to be the greatest detective around in-universe. He's also an absolute cesspool of mental issues.
  • Dem Bones: He's an animated skeleton.
  • Foil: Is increasingly becoming one to Valkyrie. Whereas Skulduggery is working hard, partially thanks to her influence, to redeem himself and become a better person (and it seems to be working—contrast his actions in the first war to the one in The Last Stand of Dead Men), Valkyrie is taking several levels of jerkass, and seems to be attempting to emulate the person he was, rather than the man he's trying to be, as Fletcher points out. They're also foils in how they deal with their Superpowered Evil Side. Whereas Skulduggery appears to be more or less in control of Lord Vile as of The Last Stand of Dead Men, in which he uses powerful Necromancy without his armour, and even before that took steps to lessen its influence, Valkyrie's alter-ego has taken complete control of her and refuses to change.
  • Good Is Not Soft: He's nice enough as long as you stay on his good side. If not...
  • Hero's Classic Car: Drives a 1950s Bentley. It's been magically repaired so many times it is said that if it takes so much as a scratch, it will implode. But he won't adopt any other for his daily driver; only ever using other cars when he needs to avoid Metallicar Syndrome.
  • Horrifying Hero: Most people are utterly terrified of him, at least before getting to know him. (And even then...) Even Val fainted the first time she saw him, sans disguise.
  • I Hate Past Me: He's really not proud of a lot of the things he did pre-series. Don't even get us started on Vile.
  • Innate Night Vision: He doesn't need light to see.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Sacrificing someone else's soul to turn off the Accelerator would have been a real dick move if it wasn't Ravel.
  • Magnetic Hero: Before he "died". China comments on how he "inspires loyalty."
  • Meaningful Name: "Skulduggery" means "underhanded or unscrupulous behaviour", and he's certainly known for besting his foes through trickery rather than fighting fair. However, he rarely fails to be impolite or "pleasant" at the same time.
    • Meaningful Rename: After the deaths of his family and his resurrection, he was so broken and so full of hate, he just wanted to kill things. He didn't care who had to suffer, or what, even he was killing. He just wanted to slaughter everything he could. And what did he call himself during this phase? Vile.
  • Morality Chain: Valkyrie is this for him but it turns out that he's one for her too.
    • His family was his Morality Chain before he "died". Taking them away ended... badly.
      • It went so badly that he switched sides with the sole motivation of being able to kill things. Mevolent's other generals believed that bring back the faceless ones was the correct thing to do. Vile wanted them back so he could try and kill a God
  • Mysterious Past: We don't know a lot about Skulduggery's past, apart from the fact that his wife and child were murdered during the War. We occasionally get bits and pieces like the fact he had numeros siblings, including an older brother who's revealed to still be alive.
  • Names to Run Away From: Skulduggery Pleasant might not sound so bad but "The Skeleton Detective" is a little more ominous. Most sorcerers have heard of his reputation and would rather surrender than face him.
  • Nice Hat: Part of his stylish look.
  • Non-P.O.V. Protagonist: He's the only main character to never have his own narrative. The story goes through great lengths to avoid showing us his thought process, even when he's at the forefront of what's currently happening. In Bedlam there's even a chapter narrated from the perspective of someone he's about to Mercy Kill.
  • Occult Detective: He's a sorcerer detective that chases magical criminals.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: Normally, he never shuts up. If he's not making snarky remarks, the situation is pretty serious. But if he stops talking altogether? Run for your fucking life.
  • Our Liches Are Different: They wear suits, drive nice cars, solve cases and snark.
  • Parental Issues: In Bedlamhe tells Omen that he had "disagreements" with his father. Later he flat out admits that he never loved him.
  • The Power of Hate: He managed to come back to life through sheer will and hatred. Best demonstrated when he's Lord Vile.
  • Quizzical Tilt: A habit of his.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Four hundred and fifty-ish.
  • Redemption Demotion: Lord Vile can (and has) beaten the crap out Skulduggery.
    • Justified in that Lord Vile's armour acts as a vessel for Skulduggery's necromancy. Without it he can't use necromancy anywhere near as well
  • The Red Mage: Was capable of using Necromancy even before he died and can use it even without Lord Vile's armour.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: His weapon if choice is a .38 Smith and Wesson revolver. It's revealed he has two in Playing With Fire.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: At first it seems like this was Skulduggery for a period of a few weeks after his family's death and according to China he disappeared for five years, doing whatever he had to do in order to calm down. In Death Bringer it's revealed he spent the entire time as Lord Vile, with the whole world as his target.
  • Rousing Speech: Used to be quite good at these apparently. Not so much anymore, though he still has his moments.

    Skulduggery: I used to be so good at these...

    Skulduggery: I don't know where this speech is going but I know where it started and that's what I want you all to take from it. Has anyone seen my hat?

  • Sad Clown: Skulduggery does love his wisecracks, but is also one of the most screwed up characters in the series. Some of his jokes tend to be rather dark. His "fun for the whole family" remark after Serpine decides to torture him comes to mind.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: He likes wearing suits.
  • Skeletal Musician: He sings "Me and Mrs Jones" to Valkyrie and is apparently a very good whistler.
  • The Sleepless: He doesn't sleep but does meditate.
  • Split Personality: Lord Vile is this to him.
  • Split-Personality Merge: Unlike Valkyrie with Darquesse, Skulduggery is more or less in control of Lord Vile in The Last Stand of Dead Men and employs him as a sort of Godzilla Threshold when fighting Darquesse in The Dying of the Light.
  • Summon to Hand: Valkyrie once took his hat off him and threw it out the window. She wasn't surprised when he used wind magic to bring it back to his head.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: See Lord Vile for details. No. Really.
  • That Face Is Dead: Why his façade tattoo generates a new face each time.
  • Theseus' Ship Paradox: It's not clear how much of the original Skulduggery is actually left. His skull at the start of the series isn't his original one and he has a room full of spare bones he can add to himself to replace damaged or lost ones.
  • Tranquil Fury: When he's feeling homicidal.

    Skulduggery: You're waiting to see if I'm angry.

    Ghastly: I already know you're angry. You're sitting very still and you're talking very quietly. You're getting ready to kill someone.

    Skulduggery: I just need a name.

    • Everyone has heard of Skulduggery's temper and the fact that he stops talking after pretending to kill Valkyrie really scares Scapegrace.
    • The fact that he has only ever said a single word as Lord Vile indicates just how angry he was after his family's death
  • Unstoppable Rage: Famous for this. They weren't kidding.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Kenspeckle has given him a few verbal lashings for putting Valkyrie in danger.
    • He got this from Valkyrie in Death Bringer after she finds out about Lord Vile.
    • Dexter Vex tears into him after finding out about Darquesse.
    • Melissa Edgley calls him out for putting her daughter in danger. She later apologises and admits that, while she was right, the good outweighed the bad.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: The deaths of his wife and child lead to him snapping and becoming Lord Vile.
  • Would Hurt a Child: He attempts to shoot Kitana out of necessity more than anything else in Kingdom of the Wicked. He is, however, unwilling to use lethal force on the young recruits that the American Sancturary has blocking their path in Last Stand of Dead Men.

    Ghastly Bespoke

"Fashion—it's life or death."

A kindly tailor and former boxer, and longtime ally to Skulduggery. He has born gruesome scars all over his head since birth.

  • Badass Adorable: He may be scary to look at, but he's a big softie. Particularly when trying to ask Tanith out on a date.
  • Best Friend: To Skulduggery. Word of God says they've known each other since they were teenagers.
  • Big Brother Mentor: For Fletcher, particularly after a nasty breakup.
  • The Big Guy: Which is why Skulduggery always drags him along when he needs back up during a case.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Badass boxer and tailor. And later Elder to his chagrin. He hates the outfit
  • Elemental Powers: Is an Elemental Sorcerer but prefers fighting with his fists.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: How his alternate meets his end at the hands of Lord Vile.
  • Heartbroken Badass: Becomes this after Tanith is taken over by a Remnant.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Doesn't have the highest opinion of magic and would rather live a normal life.
  • In the Back: At the hands of Ravel.
  • Killed Off for Real: In Book 8
  • Meaningful Name: "Ghastly" could be used to describe his scarred, intimidating face, while "bespoke" refers to his profession as a tailor.
  • Morality Chain: It's implied that Skulduggery came back to his senses when Vile tried to kill Ghastly after killing Ghastly's mother.
  • Nice Guy: He is shown to be somewhat stubborn but is nonetheless one of the nicest character in the series.

    China Sorrows

"War is a delicate thing."

A librarian and magical researcher who always seems to have her own agenda. Fluent in the language of magic, and so ethereally beautiful that anyone who lays eyes on her can't help but fall in love immediately. She becomes the new Grand Mage at the end of Last Stand of the Dead Men.

  • Action Girl: When it suits her, she can kick your ass in a second.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: Ironically, she loves the one person who doesn't love her back. Skulduggery.
  • Ambiguously Evil: She's on Valkyrie and Skulduggery's side. Allegedly. Maybe? "Please don't tell me you're trusting her these days."
  • The Arch Mage: She becomes Supreme Mage of the High Sanctuary.
  • Cool Big Sis: Replaces Tanith as this for Valkyrie after Tanith is possessed by a remnant. It doesn't last.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Her magic is based on sigils which she has carved into her apartment, her furniture, her library, tattooed all over her body (and even on her horse) which range from creating energy beams to making her stronger or even throwing all the furniture at her attacker. When Skulduggery came back, Mevolent had her carve one onto her torso that would ensure that he would really stay dead.
  • Dark Secret: One she's willing to kill for.

    Crux: China Sorrows, China Sorrows. She's the one, she's the one. Nefarian Serpine killed Skulduggery Pleasant, but China Sorrows led his family into the trap.

    • As of Death Bringer, the secret is out.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Well, maybe 'defrosting' is too strong a word, but she's definitely becoming warmer towards Skulduggery and Valkyrie... until Death Bringer, that is.
  • Even Morally Ambiguous Pragmatists Have Loved Ones: Despite attempting to murder him several times, she does love Mr Bliss. She's also fond of Valkyrie and in love with Skulduggery.
  • Even the Girls Want Her: Gender has no impact on having every character fall madly in love with her.
  • Femme Fatale: She's drop-dead gorgeous, and extremely dangerous. Even her closest friends don't trust her as far as they can throw her. She can, however, be a Heroic Seductress when it suits her.
  • Good Thing You Can Heal!: She gets shot in Dark Days and uses her symbols to heal herself. She spends the rest of the book recovering though.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Subverted in Last Stand of Dead Men. China uses a particular spell devised by Mevolent, of all people, to burn herself alive in an attempt to take down Madame Mist, which succeeds. However, even after a Dying Declaration of Love to Skulduggery, she survives thanks to Darquesse's intervention.
  • Hot Witch: Her entire discipline revolves around making people fall in love with her and her looks back it up.
  • Icy Blue Eyes: "Blue as ice and twice as cold."
  • If I Can't Have You…: Implied to be the reason she stayed a disciple of the Faceless Ones and went after Skulduggery's family.
  • I Love You Because I Can't Control You: She likes her horse for this reason. It could possibly be the reason she's so fond Valkyrie and Skulduggery.
  • Impractically Fancy Outfit: Falls victim to this occasionally. She briefly considers wearing leather like Tanith Low but comes to her senses. "Class is a gift that gives eternally."
  • It's All About Me: She is ridiculously self-centered. She knows it, too.
  • Keeping the Handicap: Grows to find her facial scars beautiful in the Bad Future and decides to keep them.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: China is neutral to use her own word. But when she fights... she really fights.
  • Magic Librarian;
    • She owns and runs a Magical library until it gets destroyed.
    • Gets a new one that hovers over Roarhaven in the Bad Future.
  • Manipulative Bitch: Isn't above using her magic to make people fall hopelessly in love with her just so she gets what she wants.
  • Meaningful Name: "China" refers to her beautiful facade (which has been known to shatter and reveal the cruel woman beneath), while "sorrows" hints at the pain she feels at being unable to be with the man she loves.
  • Not So Stoic: She has a Heroic BSoD when Skulduggery is dragged into the alternate dimension and is decidedly less than stoic when apologising to Skulduggery in Last Stand of Dead Men..
  • Off with Her Head!: Malice yanks it off as Valkyrie escapes the Bad Future.
  • Pet the Dog: Acts this way towards Valkyrie every now and then. She even hesitates in killing Darquesse.
  • Put on a Bus: In Kingdom of the Wicked. But her Alternate Universe counterpart plays a prominent role.
  • Really 700 Years Old: She's somewhere around Skulduggery's age.

    Skulduggery: I have to admit, she wears it better! [laughs]
    Skulduggery:Because I'm a skeleton.

  • Ship Tease: There was loads of it between her an Skulduggery in Death Bringer. In Last Stand of Dead Menit turns out her feelings for him are (mostly) unrequited.
  • Shipper on Deck: Seems to ship Skulduggery and Valkyrie. Or at least be resigned to the fact.
  • We Used to Be Friends: As of Death Bringer, Skulduggery is seriously pissed off with her to say the least. Valkyrie's not too thrilled with her either. She's amicable with Valkyrie by Last Stand of Dead Men and seems to have reached some kind of understanding with Skulduggery, even if he can't forgive her.
  • What Measure Is a Mook?: Has no issues with using lethal forced against possessed people.
  • Woman Scorned: Implied to be the reason behind going after Skulduggery's family.
  • World's Most Beautiful Woman: Stated to be so numerous times.
  • Wound That Will Not Heal: Has three scars on her face left by Harpy Valkyrie in the Bad Future that can't be healed by magic.
  • Yandere: Towards Skulduggery in the back story. If her attitude towards Valkyrie is any indication, she's mellowed considerably since.

    Tanith Low

"Come and have a go if you think you're hard enough."

An English woman who is a skilled sword-wielder. Forms a close friendship with Stephanie after they meet in China's library.

  • Abhorrent Admirer: remnant Tanith knows that Valkyrie is Darquesse and like all Remnants sees her as a messiah. Valkyrie is understandably freaked out
  • Action Girl: Oh, yes! She's an extremely capable fighter, even by the standards of this series.
  • Bookends: Combined with Mythology Gag. She was supposed to have been killed by the White Cleaver in the first book. Derek Landy was told that too many people were dying; so she was given a different fate instead. Finally, in the last book; she faces what it turned into, the Black Cleaver; and comments that she may have originally been destined to die during their first fight.
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: In Bedlam she's described as being as silent as a ghost, agile as a cat and as deadly as a cat ghost.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Frequently the victim of this because the author wasn't allowed to kill her off in the first book.
  • Cool Big Sis: A surrogate sister for Valkyrie.
  • Creator's Pest: Landy intended to kill her off in the first book but was forced to let her live due to his publisher's Executive Meddling. Because of this, she tends to take a severe beating in any book she appears in.
  • Demonic Possession: Of all the people who could have gotten permanently possessed by a remnant.
  • Face–Monster Turn: Spends half the series as a bad guy because of that remnant.
  • Fangirl: Really, really loved Gordon's work.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: Dresses up in all leather outfits.
  • Iron Butt-Monkey: She gets abused a lot, but she (usually) bounces back.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Swords are her usual weapon of choice.
  • Light Is Not Good: Zig-zagged. After her Face–Monster Turn she mostly still looks like a prettyblonde woman, but every so often she lets the inner darkness show through by turning her lips and veins black.

    Tagline of The Maleficent Seven:And she's the bad guy

  • Magic Knight: Where most of the mages in the series use their powers as direct offense, Tanith tends to get in close and chop things up with her sword.
  • Meaningful Name: While training to be an assassin, her fellow trainees made fun of her for being "highborn" - Tanith chose the name "Low" as a rejection on their insults. Meanwhile, "Tanith" was the name of the first person she ever killed.
  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: "Come and have a go, if you think you're hard enough".
  • Psycho for Hire: Becomes a mercenary along with Sanguine, after being possessed.
  • Put on a Bus: Is mysteriously absent in Resurrection.
  • Really Gets Around: Both Davina Marr and Sanguine have commented on it.

    Sanguine: You seem to have dated everyone else...

  • Slut-Shaming: From characters like Mar and Sanguine. No one else seems to really care all that much.
  • Tyke Bomb: Revealed to be trained as an assassin since the age of eight.
  • Unholy Matrimony: With Sanguine.
  • Villain Protagonist: In her spinoff book The Maleficent Seven.
  • Wall Run: Her main magic power.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Has shades of this in the first book. She feels really guilty about sending Cleavers to their deaths to save Skulduggery, something that Skulduggery and Ghastly have come to accept.

    Fletcher Renn

An English boy who becomes the Last of His Kind in The Faceless Ones when all the other Teleporters are hunted down and killed. He is brought under the protection of Skulduggery and Valkyrie, later joining their team as a fully-fledged member.

  • Anime Hair: It defies both logic and reason.
  • Batter Up!: When fighting Nero, he disappears and comes back with a baseball bat. He also employs this tactic in Death Bringer.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Puts it to great use with fighting Pennant and Caelan.
  • Dating Catwoman: So far his love interests include Darquesse (the harbinger of the apocalypse), Myra (an Australian assassin who is trying to kill him), and Stephanie (a murderous Ambiguously Evil reflection). Dude cannot catch a break.
  • Doppelgänger Replacement Love Interest: With Stephanie. Although he's not thrilled when he finds out about Carol. He discusses this with Valkyrie, wondering if he likes Stephanie for her or just because she's a version of Valkyrie that likes him back.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: Deconstructed, as he ends up not having much of a life outside of being Valkyrie's boyfriend, and it's one of the reasons why they split up.
  • Distressed Dude: He gets thrown into danger a lot, and he's not as equipped to handle it as Valkyrie.
  • Informed Attribute: At least, according to all of his official illustrations, which depict his hair as fairly normal.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's not really a bad person, once you get past the parts that make you want to punch him. By the time of Death Bringer he's much more of a Nice Guy, his annoyance at Valkyrie being because he's concerned for her dangerous lifestyle.
  • Last of His Kind: He's the only surviving Teleporter as of The Faceless Ones but ends up teaching a class on it at Cortical Academy.
  • Living MacGuffin: In The Faceless Ones, the Diablerie need him in order to open a gateway to the Faceless ones dimension.
  • Mars Needs Women: He gets kidnapped by the Brides of Blood Tears coven because they want to breed more teleporters.
  • Meaningful Name: "Fletcher" is the word for someone who makes arrows, while "Renn" comes from the German verb for "to run" - both refer to his speed as a teleporter.
  • Non-Action Guy: He begrudgingly acknowledges he's the gang's mode of transport rather than a true member.
  • Not That Kind of Mage: Does this to himself when he tries to imitate Nero by teleporting Skulduggery and Valkyrie without touching them. Skulduggery points out that Nero's a neoteric with an unknown discipline.
  • Only Friend: He's Valkyrie's only friend around her age range (he's about 3 years older than her). After they break up she realises how much she misses him.
  • Reed Richards Is Useless: He wants The Masquerade broken so mages can teleport people everywhere instead of vehicle emissions damaging the environment.
  • Supernatural Sensitivity: Can detect when Nero is using his powers nearby and was able to tell he was straining himself teleporting large numbers of people.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Becomes increasingly more competent and independant as the series goes on, eventually choosing to leave Valkyrie and Skulduggery's inner circle and find his own. Best demonstrated at the end of Death Bringer when he effectively fights a vampire.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Valkyrie briefly wonders if it's problems with his father that causes Fletcher to try and get Skulduggery's approval.

    The Reflection / Stephanie Edgley 

Skulduggery brings Stephanie's reflection to life by casting a spell on her mirror. The reflection takes her real self's place at home and at school when she's out with Skulduggery.

  • Crueland Unusual Death: While she may not be that well liked her slow painful death at the hands of Darquesse is most definitely cruel and hard to read and you can't help but feel sorry for her afterwards.
  • Face–Heel Turn: When she decides she'd be safer without Valkyrie
    • Heel–Face Turn: In Last Stand of Dead Men, where she essentially replaces Valkyrie as the protagonist once the latter goes full Darquesse
  • Gas Lighting: Tries to convince Valkyrie that she let her out of the mirror in Mortal Coil when clearly she got out of the mirror herself.
  • Meaningful Rename: After Stephanie's declaration at the end of Kingdom of the Wicked, even the narration switches from 'it' and 'the reflection' to 'Stephanie' and 'she'.
  • Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: Part of the reason she went evil is because Valkyrie and Skulduggery don't treat her very well. Ironically, Valkyrie started being nice to her reflection around the time Stephanie decided to kill her.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: Its suggestion for dealing with Moore, and its plan to protect its family from Darquesse.
  • Not So Above It All: For someone who insists she wants a normal life, her attempted use of a one liner suggests she's enjoying Valkyrie's life of adventure.
  • Other Me Annoys Me: She really hates Valkyie.
  • Treacherous Advisor: It seems to be trying very hard to prevent Valkyrie from confiding in Skulduggery.
  • Walking Spoiler: As you've probably guessed from the spoilers. Even knowing they're a spoiler probably qualifies as a spoiler.
  • What Is This Feeling?: The reflection's reaction to suddenly feeling terrible about having killed Carol and to freaking out after watching Darquesse decimate an entire army.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Skulduggery and Valkyrie kind of treat it like crap, which has... consequences, later on. Valkyrie starts treating it a lot better in Kingdom of the Wicked out of loneliness. She's outright stated that she considers it a person now. Unfortunately, she agrees.

    Reflection: I'm not a thing. I'm not an it. I'm a person. I'm a her. I have a family who loves me. I have parents and a little sister who I'm going to take care of. I have friends in school, and I want to go to college. I want a normal life. A happy life. A life. And I'm going to take it.

    Omen Darkly

"I'm not really the Darkly you want."

A teenager attending Corrival Academy, and the newest member of the team in Resurrection. He is the brother of the famous Chosen One, Auger Darkly, who is prophesied to save the world from a great evil.
  • Ambiguously Bi: Mostly feels attraction to women, but his genderfluid friend Never makes him question this.
  • Book Dumb: He often forgets his timetable and annoys his teachers.
  • Chew Toy: Born several minutes too late to be the Chosen One, instead his life becomes a never-ending spiral of poor luck.
  • Crisis Makes Perfect: He can never manage his Twin Telepathy with Auger until he's trying to escape from the American naval base.
  • Distressed Dude: Abyssinia has his former classmates kidnap him in Bedlam.
  • Kid Hero: By the time he enters the narrative in Phase Two, even Valkyrie has reached adulthood, making him the youngest of the main cast.
  • Groin Attack: Avoids fighting Lapse by threatening to do this to him and ends up punching Lilt in the balls.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: Owing to the lack of respect shown to him by most everyone who meets him, Omen tends to put himself down a lot. One of his friends points out to him in Midnight that he doesn't think of himself as "someone worth worrying about".
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Gets one with Crepuscular Vies.
  • Morality Pet: To Crepuscular, of all people.
  • Nice Guy: Omen is nice to everyone. Which is why everyone likes him.
  • Non-Action Guy
  • They Would Cut You Up: When Jenan explains Abyssinia's plan to attack an American military base and leave Omen behind to take the blame, he says he hopes they experiment on him before they kill him.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Finding himself in trouble forces him to become reasonably formidable - though mentorship from Crepuscular Vies helps.
  • Twin Telepathy: Miss Wicked pushes him and Auger into working together in her Sensitive class because telepathy is usually easier between twins.
  • The Unchosen One: His brother, Auger, is The Chosen One, while Omen grew up largely ignored. In this way, the heroics he eventually accomplishes in Resurrection are entirely due to his own merit.
  • The Un Favourite: His parents love his brother and mostly see Omen as a disappointment.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: His parents care little for him, showering all their affection on Auger instead (though as it turns out, they mostly just care about being the parents of The Chosen One and how they can exploit it). It's implied that his desire to have adventures of his own stems from wanting attention from them.


    Auger Darkly 

The Chosen One, destined to fight the King of the Darklands.
  • Black Swords Are Better: His Obsidian Blade is black.
  • Bring My Brown Pants: Mentions that he wet the bed while recovering in hospital from Jacen's attack.
  • Broken Ace: He's notably embittered and traumatised after killing The King of the Darklands, calling out his parents for not only shaping him into a Laser Guided Tyke Bomb, but profiting off it and trying to get him to repeat the trick as a career adventurer so they can live off that, too. He also tears into them for how they've treated Omen.
  • Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: When he killed The King Of The Darklands, he swallowed a shard if the Obsidian Blade which is slowly killing him.
  • Captain Ersatz: Being a Chosen One in a Wizarding School makes him a jock parody of Harry Potter.
  • Cessation of Existence: If the Obsidian Blade succeeds in killing him, even his soul will fade to nothing.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: He berates his parents in Dead Or Alive for using him as a means to advance their social status and ignoring Omen.
  • The Corruption: A shard of the Obsidian Blade is slowly killing him but is transforming him into a superpowered Humanoid Abomination.
  • Cursed With Awesome: The Obsidian Blade shard that's killing him makes him immune to Cadaver's clairvoyance.
  • Chosen One: Obviously.
  • Deconstructed Character Archetype: Of The Chosen One, especially when it comes to what happens next.
  • Distressed Dude: Gets kidnapped in Seasons Of War and held ransom for the Obsidian Blade.
  • Fireball: Shoots some at Abyssinia to lead her away from Valkyrie when she can't see him.
  • Hero of Another Story/Noodle Incident: Gets up to various shenanigans off-page.
  • Humanoid Abomination: At the end of Dead Or Alive, he becomes "Obsidian" where his entire body is jet black, including his eyes and the inside of his mouth.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Looks forward to having a normal life when his fight against The King of The Darklands is over.
  • Man of Kryptonite: He is one for The King of The Darklands when he wields the Obsidian Blade.
  • No Indoor Voice: Tends to shout and run everything into one long word when communicating telepathically.
  • Immune to Fate: Having a shard of the Obsidian Blade inside him makes him a lacuna. Meaning that Cadaver Cain can't see him in his future premonitions.
  • Plot Armour: In-universe. He is basically immortal until he fights the King of the Darklands. Then all bets are off.
  • Super Speed/Super Strength: Gets these alongside his Plot Armour as part of being the Chosen One.
  • Thinking Up Portals: When he becomes Obsidian he tears a hole in the air and goes off somewhere else.
  • Twin Telepathy: Eventually develops this with Omen.
  • Victory Is Boring: A PTSD-riddled variant. He gets depressed in the months after the King of The Darklands is defeated, not knowing what to do with himself, and because he's haunted by how he had to do it.


He is Omen's best friend, and is a genderfluid teleporter. She uses male and female pronouns interchangeably.


    Militsa Gnosis 

A Scottish Necromancer. Ginger. Teaches Magical Theory.

    Uther Peccant 

A teacher at Corrival Academy, who dislikes Omen. Skulduggery Pleasant's brother.

    Miss Wicked 

    Mr. Chicane 

    Dexter Vex

    Erskine Ravel (SPOILERS) 

One of Skulduggery's best friends, and the secret mastermind behind the Roarhaven plot.
  • Asshole Victim: Neither his extensive torture by Darquesse or being thrown into Accelerator by Skulduggery get him much sympathy after he killed Ghastly and Shudder.
  • Big Bad: After building up to his plan throughout the entire series, he starts a civil war in Last Stand of Dead Men.
  • Big Bad Friend: Orchestrated everything bad that happens in Last Stand of Dead Men, except for the attack on Roarhaven and Darquesse's arrival (which were both still his fault, but less intentionally).
  • Big Good: Once he becomes the Grand Mage. Or so we thought.
  • Cessation of Existence: After Skulduggery uses him to turn off the Accelerator, he doesn't rejoin the stream.
  • The Chessmaster: Behind everything the Faceless Ones are not. Not great at thinking short term though.
  • Cruel Mercy: How Darquesse deals with him. She doesn't kill him... she just makes him wish very, very much that he was dead.
  • Enemy Mine: He teams up with Skulduggery and the gang to fend off the invading Warlocks at the end of Last Stand of Dead Men.
  • Evil All Along: As it turns out.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: He seems to genuinely regret having to kill Anton Shudder and Ghastly.
  • Karmic Death: Used to switch of the Accelerator mere moments after using it himself.
  • Killed Off for Real: When Skulduggery gives him up to the Accelerator.
  • Man Behind the Man: Particularly in Dark Days and Last Stand of Dead Men, but his presence is still felt throughout the series.
  • Meaningful Name: "Ravel" undoubtedly refers to his numerous, tangled schemes throughout the series.
  • Memory-Wiping Crew: To a different extent than Geoffrey Scrutinous. Anyone who he hires or talks to will forget almost everything about him, hiding his identity as the Grand Mage of Ireland.
  • Mole in Charge: When someone unknown is trying to push the Sanctuary into war, you'd have thought the Grand Mage would be above suspicion, but no.
  • Mysterious Employer: For Davina Marr, Tesseract, Tanith and many more.
  • No Place for Me There: Says that once his plan is complete, he will either hand himself into the authorities for his crimes, or go into exile.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Absolutely no mention before the fifth book, yet apparently Valkyrie's known him for years.
  • The Reveal: The main characters know that Ravel has golden eyes, but the reader doesn't. Ravel's eye color is never specified until he murders Ghastly.

    Anton Shudder 

  • Meaningful Name: It's only reasonable that a man named "Shudder" would have a rather terrifying and frightful form of magic.
  • One-Man Army: Not Anton himself, but the gist inside him.

    Saracen Rue 

  • Author Avatar: Derek Landy has confirmed via Q&A at a book signing that Saracen Rue would be his taken name. His power of "knowing things" is him simply knowing what's coming up next in the book at convenient times seeing as he's the author.
  • The Casanova
  • Drama Queen: Downplayed, but it is considered notable when he's not the first one to complain about something.
  • Killed Off for Real: In Seasons of War, after becoming a Zombie Infectee and being given a Mercy Kill by Skulduggery and Dexter.
  • Power Perversion Potential: He chose the discipline of X-ray vision so he could see through peoples' clothes. As he observes somewhat sourly, it was much less fun in practice as everyone's bodies are weirdly compressed by clothing.
  • Psychic Powers: Apparently not, but he "knows things". Only Ravel knows what exactly his power is.
    • Subverted when it's eventually revealed that his real power is X-Ray Vision.
  • Really Gets Around:

    Saracen: Remember the psycho sisters? What were their names? [...]
    Shudder: Did you seduce them too?
    Saracen: No! Well, not at the same time...

  • Whatevermancy: His magical discipline is X-Ray Vision. A mage who can do this is called a Lynceus.
  • X-Ray Vision: What his discipline is revealed to be.
  • Zombie Infectee: He is bitten by draugar in Seasons of War and his only hope of recovery - Valkyrie - doesn't catch up with him in time to save him.



  • Man Hug: Attempt to give one to Shudder. Which turned into a wrestling match.
  • Posthumous Character: Murdered by Serpine in Wales, months before the end of the war.
  • Taking the Bullet: Died saving Dexter Vex from Serpine's Red Right Hand.
  • Sixth Ranger: Was an occasional fill in (notably when Ravel was injured and Skulduggery went "walkabout") but officially joined the group after Hopeless dies.

    Luke Skywalker 

An American mage who joins the Dead Men on their expedition to the Leibniz Universe to assassinate Mevolent.
  • Awesome McCoolname: He simply named himself after his favourite Star Wars character instead of making up his own.
  • Dimensional Traveller: Has the Dimensional Shunter discipline which why he was hired for the mission.
  • Fan Boy: In case you haven't guessed, he loves Star Wars.
  • Malicious Misnaming: At first, nobody wants to call him Luke Skywalker and Tanith calls him SpongeBob.
  • Non-Action Guy: Is ashamed of the fact that his reaction to a draugar attack is to run away when everyone else is fighting.
  • Prone to Vomiting: Spends a lot of the boat trip to Germany vomiting over the side.
  • Red Shirt: Gets killed in one of the earlier fights on their mission, leaving the Dead Men stranded in the Leibniz Universe.
  • You Wanna Get Sued?: The other Dead Men ask if he's worried about getting sued for using his name.

    Leibniz Universe Nefarian Serpine
Nefarian Serpine's counterpart from the Leibniz Universe who snuck over to Skulduggery's one hidden amongst mortal refugees. He accompanies the Dead Men back to his own universe to lead them to Mevolent.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Skduggery sacrifices his Red Right Hand to some necromancers in exchange for their lives. The book ends with Valkyrie trying to grow him a new one.
  • Deadpan Snarker: At the expense of everyone around him, mostly because he's not remotely bothered with pretending that he isn't evil.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Is annoyed at having to be in hiding after it was him who closed the portals to the Leibniz Universe.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: After spending almost a year together stuck in the Leibniz dimension, Serpine and the Dead Men (particularily Valkyrie) become friends... sort of. He's still Serpine, but Tanith expresses concern when they have to cut his hand off, and Valkyrie tries to grow him a new one.
  • Hand Blast: With his Restraining Bolt he's stuck to using his original Energy Thrower discipline.
  • Laughably Evil: While his counterpart was a sadistic Knight of Cerebus, this Serpine is a bit more snarky, comical, and prone to humiliation.
  • Power Limiter: His allies force him to wear a metal glove preventing him from using his Red Right Hand.
  • Punch-Clock Hero: Is only helping the others take down Mevolent so he can get amnesty and a house.
  • Red Right Hand: Like his counterpart, he has a literal red right hand that causes death to anyone he points at. Since no one trusts him he's forced to cover it up most of the time, and eventually loses it to some Necromancers.
  • The Resistance: Took over the resistance against Mevolent in his own universe. After killing their previous leader, of course.
  • Restraining Bolt: As none of the Dead Men trust him, and rightfully so, Skulduggery has a magic stone that makes Serpine lose control of his nervous system when he presses it against a rune.
  • The Starscream: He's introduced as a "guest" of the resistance, having gone on the run after trying to overthrow Mevolent. He later successfully kills his world's China and takes over the resistance.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: The other Dead Men despise him and want to kill him, to an almost laughable degree. They eventually warm up to him (as much as one can) after spending almost a year together.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: China ordered Skulduggery to kill him after their mission was done, though fortunately for him Skulduggery didn't comply.

    Nefarian Serpine
A former general of the sorcerer Mevolent, responsible for the deaths of Skulduggery Pleasant's wife and child, as well as Skulduggery himself. The Big Badof the first book in the series, who tries to bring back the Faceless Onesby obtaining the Book of Names.
  • And Your Little Dog, Too!: His go-to operandi when dealing with Skulduggery is to kill someone he loves so that his rage will prevent him from thinking. He managed to kill him in the first place by murdering his family, and tries to do it again with Valkyrie.
  • Arch-Enemy: While he dies in the first book, he easily remains Skulduggery's most hated foe for killing both him and his family.
  • Axe-Crazy: He has a disturbing knack for torture and murder, and can switch moods at a frightening pace.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: A Victorian suit. They don't get much nicer than that!
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Initially, anyway. He not only managed to kill Skulduggery's wife and child, but Skulduggery himself. Too bad for him, Skulduggery's death had been rigged.
  • Bad Powers, Bad People: See Red Right Hand below. Not even the most extreme Anti-Hero could pull that off...
  • Big Bad: The main antagonist of the first book, and Skulduggery's Arch-Enemy.
  • Card-Carrying Villain
  • Co-Dragons: Was one of Mevolent's Three Generals alongside Lord Vile and Vengeous.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: One of his personal favorite pastimes, apparently.
  • Complexity Addiction: He has "too many plans" according to Skulduggery. This is Lampshaded by Eliza Scorn in Death Bringer when she points out that the way he killed Skulduggery and his family was needlessly complicated.
  • The Dragon: While he technically shared the role with Vengeous and Vile, Nefarian was unquestionably considered as Mevolent's second-in-command.
  • Dragon Ascendant: With Mevolent dead, Vengeous imprisoned, and Vile missing, Serpine is effectively the face of the worshipers of the Faceless Ones at the start of the story.
  • Evil Gloating: You can totally tell that his conversations with Skulduggery are the most fun he's had in years.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Lampshaded.

    Nefarian: So here we are again, detective. You, at my mercy, me, merciless.

    Skulduggery: You, talking. I thought you'd have grown out of the whole villainy thing by now, Nefarian.

  • Hero Killer: Responisble for the death of Larrikan of the Dead Men during the war.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Doubles with Exact Words: By turning himself undead, the Sceptre of the Ancients (which cannot be used unless the last owner is dead) will respond to him, and anyone else who uses it, and Skulduggery is able to use it to kill him permanently.
  • Killed Off for Real: By Skulduggery, using the Sceptre of the Ancients.
  • Meaningful Name: "Nefarian" comes from "nefarious" (ie. "evil"), while "serpine" comes from "serpent" - suitable for a snakelike villain.
  • Our Liches Are Different: While making himself undead doesn't seem to affect his magic he becomes impervious to harm and immune to pain. Aside from that he's no different than a usual necromancer.
  • Red Right Hand: Literally, his right hand is bloody and skinless. It's apparently a Necromancy technique, and allows him to inflect "agonizing death" on any he points at.
  • Would Hurt a Child: He was perfectly willing to kill Valkyrie to get to Skulduggery, even though she was twelve when they met. Not to mention what he did to Skulduggery's child in the backstory...
  • Wound That Will Not Heal: The scars from his straight-razor never fade.

    Baron Vengeous

"Only a heathen would bring a gun to a sword fight."

Another former general of Mevolent's, a zealot and devout follower of the Faceless Ones. He plans to call them back to this reality by using the Grotesquery in Playing With Fire.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: As he begs for forgiveness to the Grotesquery after being fatally injured by Skulduggery, Valkyrie regards the moment as almost tender. Then it snaps his neck.
  • The Fundamentalist: What sets him apart from his fellow Co-Dragons. Whereas Serpine is cunning and ruthless, and Vile is immensely powerful, Vengeous holds a devout and undying faith in the Faceless Ones. He apparently sees Skulduggery's existence as a crime against nature, and frequently calls him an "abomination."
  • Henpecked Husband: His alternate universe counterpart. With Eliza Scorn.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Played With. He was already dying when the Grotesquery snapped his neck.
  • Honour Before Reason: The aforementioned "sword to a gun fight" conversation.
  • Meaningful Name: "Vengeous" is clearly derived from "vengeance", and the Baron wishes to take revenge on the heathens who banished their rightful masters - the Faceless Ones.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Of the Diablerie, who arranged for him to be broken out of prison and complete his Grotesquery.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Especially if said child was the key to bringing back the Grotesquery.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: The Diablerie instruct Sanguine to abandon him after he's finished resurrecting the Grotesquery, and the Grotesquery itself finishes him off once he's been mortally wounded.

    Billy-Ray Sanguine
A hired killer from America, who wears sunglasses at all times in order to hide his empty eye sockets. His powers include being able to tunnel through the earth, and he also owns a straight razor that inflicts scars that cannot heal.
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Skulduggery Pleasant is a detective and one of two main characters from the book Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy. He is an Elemental sorcerer (who has a little influence over water, earth, fire and wind or air) who help his partner (a now 24-year-old girl called Valkyrie) save the world. What makes him cool, is that he is a skeleton who has lived for roughly 450 years. He lives in a world of fighting, dying and violence between different mages. Despite that, it is still set in the very same world we live in.


In the books, Skulduggery is known for of course, being a skeleton but also for dressing up in exquisite 3-piece suits – a shirt, a tie

and a pair of chinos all made by the Taylor (also one of his best friends) Ghastly Bespoke. In book ten (Resurrection) the author describes him: ‘Tall and slim, wearing a three- piece suit, black shirt and black tie. He didn’t feelthe cold so didn’t bother with a coat.' However, he can’t go around showing mortals (people that don’t know about magic) that he’s a skeleton, so he often

wears a façade. A façade is a pair of tattoos that are carved into your collarbones that give you a false face. To complete his usual appearance though, he must have a Smith and Wesson revolver with six bullets in the chamber. What makes look the way he is, is his top hat.





Skulduggery Pleasant is a detective, and it is not obvious, but

he is kind and has saved everyone’s life at some point in their life. However, many people do not like him: ‘Everyone, it seemed, knew Skulduggery, but not all of them liked him. For every smile he got, there was at least one scowl.’ Most people do not like Skulduggery because of his reputation, which is being extremely big headed and always right. Therefore, his few friends (Ghastly, Valkyrie, Shudder) like him a lot. Obviously, the bad evil people (Serpine, Cadverous,

Scarab) hate him for arresting them.



The reason Skulduggery changes is because of his young

partner, Valkyrie Cain. Originally, Skulduggery was a dangerous, angry and murderous skeleton who everyone on his bad side feared. As the series goes on, he isn’t as murderous and no less dangerous but protective to Valkyrie.



Skulduggery is an amazing character in my opinion. He is

brave, a skeleton and has sick powers. He also inspires me because his personality is cool, and he has a habit of arriving in the nick of time.


skulduggery pleasant vines that really desolate my engine

Skulduggery Pleasant: Dark Days

Skulduggery Pleasant: Dark Days is young adult and fantasy novel written by Irish playwright Derek Landy, published in April 2010. It is the fourth of the Skulduggery Pleasant series and sequel to Skulduggery Pleasant: The Faceless Ones.

The story follows the sorcerer and detective Valkyrie Cain as she attempts to track down the original head of her mentor Skulduggery Pleasant to rescue him from the world of the Faceless Ones, as team of previously significant villains return and join forces to get their revenge upon the pair. The book would not see release in the US and Canada until 2018.[1] HarperCollins Audio also publishes the unabridged CD sets of the books read by Rupert Degas.

Plot summary[edit]

Valkyrie, Tanith, Ghastly and Fletcher have been searching for Skulduggery's skull for the past eleven months. While doing so, Valkyrie has been learning Necromancy with Solomon Wreath. While in her room one morning, Remus Crux attempts to kill her. Just when Crux is about to kill her, Solomon arrives and he retreats. Later, Valkrie manages to track the skull thanks to a Vampire called Caelan, who has set up a meeting with the trader, Thames Chabon.

Meanwhile, an old prisoner, Dreylan Scarab, has been released from prison and forms the Revengers' Club with his son, Billy-Ray Sanguine. They recruit Springheeled Jack, Dusk, Remus Crux and Vaurien Scapegrace. However, Sanguine and Scarab realize Scapegrace is a fraud, so they kill him and revive him as a Zombie. He is given the job of recruiting more Zombies. However, the Zombies are not allowed to eat living flesh.

At the trade, it is revealed that Valkyrie has been given a fake skull. After capturing Chabon, he tells her that Davina Marr, the Irish Sanctuary's new detective, had bought the skull for triple the price. The four create a plan to steal the skull. However, it goes wrong and they are all arrested. After being interrogated by Marr, Valkyrie uses her Necromancy to defeat Marr. While Tanith and Ghastly keep the Cleavers distracted, and with Fletcher they steal the skull. They teleport to China Sorrows and the three teleport to Aranmore Farm. The portal to the Faceless Ones is opened and they manage to retrieve Skulduggery Pleasant. Valkyrie and Skulduggery visit the Temple since Skulduggery disapproves Valkyrie learning Necromancy. After telling Valkyrie of the Death Bringer, he tells Skulduggery that their Soul Catcher is stolen by Sanguine. Skulduggery and Valkyrie then visit Finbar Wrong, who takes them to another Sensitive, Cassandra Pharos. She shows them a vision of the future, in which a woman called Darquesse destroys the world. Darquesse also kills Valkyrie's parents, which greatly affects Valkyrie. Before they leave, Valkyrie is given a Dream Whisperer. Valkyrie heads home, and her parents tell her that Melissa is pregnant.

The Revengers’ Club infiltrates the Sanctuary with Vampires and steals the Desolation Engine, a dangerous bomb. Thurid Guild orders the gang to look for the members. Valkyrie and Skulduggery visit the Midnight Hotel, which is run by an old friend of Skulduggery, Anton Shudder. They believe that the Club will steal a Remnant, spirits which can possess people. Sanguine checks in the Hotel as a guest, but because of the Hotel's rules, Skulduggery cannot arrest him. But Shudder finds out that Sanguine is here to steal a Remnant using the Soul Catcher. Sanguine tells the three that there is a Zombie Horde outside the Hotel, and unless they allow him to take a Remnant, they will die. However, the Zombies had eaten living flesh, and are on a rampage to eat more humans. The four manage to defeat the Zombies, but still Sanguine manages to take a Remnant.

At the Hiberniain, Kenspeckle Grouse is kidnapped by the Revengers’ Club. They also manage to kidnap Tanith. The Remnant is freed and possesses Kenspeckle, who fixes the Desolation Engine, and makes a copy. The Remnant is then given Tanith, which the Remnant could possess. Skulduggery and Valkyrie visit another information broker, Myron Stray, who has had his career ruined when his True Name was revealed. The two find out that the Club are operating at Serpine's castle. Skulduggery, Shudder, Ghastly, Fletcher and Valkyrie go to the castle and manage to rescue Kenspeckle and Tanith and retrieve one of the Desolation Engines, but the Revengers’ Club escape. China Sorrows then uses her Symbol Magic to force the Remnant out of Kenspeckle. The High Priest of the Temple orders Wreath to take the Soul Catcher with the Remnant still in it. Later on, China shoots Crux after she learns that he has told her secret that she killed Skulduggery's family. The shot kills Crux.

At the Hibernian, the gang, including Shudder and Guild, figure out that the Revengers’ Club had made a second Engine, and that they are planning to use it at The All Ireland-Championships, which is at Croke Park Stadium, to blow up the Stadium, killing 80,000 people live on air. They all teleport to the stadium, and they find the rest of the Club. Dusk manages to bite Valkyrie, but lets go early as he tasted something strange in her blood. Because of this, he stops his revenge. Guild manages to get the second Desolation Engine from Scarab, but Scarab tells him that he will blow up the stadium. When Guild refuses, he tells him that unless he blows up the stadium, his family would be killed by Sanguine. Guild reluctantly accepts this, but before he drops the bomb, Fletcher teleports him to the sea, where the bomb is set off there, but the bomb was modified to spare Guild's life. Valkyrie takes a taxi to Guild's home. She and Sanguine have a fight, and Sanguine wins. But instead of killing her, he keeps her alive, telling her that keeping her alive would be more fun. Sanguine leaves and Valkyrie returns to Croke Park. She finds out that both Guild and Fletcher are both alive. They teleport to the Hibernian, where Valkyrie kisses him. It had been revealed in the book that Guild had ordered the assassination of Esryn Vanguard after he attempted to bring the war to a truce. Guild accepts responsibility for his actions, and allows himself to be taken to prison. After the incident, the Sanctuary arrests Scarab and Springheeled Jack.

Marr, who was jealous of Skulduggery, takes the first Desolation Engine. She tricks Valkyrie and Skulduggery by telling them that Guild wants them to escort him to his cell. She uses Myron Stray's True Name and forces him to pop his eardrums. Using the Engine, Myron is forced to blow up the Sanctuary, killing Myron, Pennant and many other sorcerers. Skulduggery manages to fly away with Valkyrie and Guild. At Valkyrie's home, Valkyrie is woken up by a dream. The dream was about the time when she fought Serpine at the Repository. She had looked at her name in the Book of Names, and saw all three of her names. She realizes her True Name; Darquesse.


Main article: Skulduggery Pleasant (novel) § Characters

Valkyrie Cain[edit]

Main article: Skulduggery Pleasant (novel) § Stephanie Edgley (Valkyrie Cain)

Skulduggery Pleasant[edit]

Main article: Skulduggery Pleasant (novel) § Skulduggery Pleasant

Fletcher Renn[edit]

Fletcher Renn is the last teleporter and Valkyrie's boyfriend.

Dreylan Scarab[edit]

Dreylan Scarab, who is the father of Billy-Ray Sanguine, is a powerful sorcerer and assassin seeking revenge for being framed for the murder of an peacemonger Esryn Vanguar during the war with Mevolent, which lead to his spending 200 years in prison, to which he formed the Revengers' Club to get revenge on the Sanctuary and the one who framed him, Thurid Guild

The Revengers' Club[edit]

The Revengers' Club is a group of past villains in the series, led by Dreylan Scarab; while all having different objectives, their main goal is to destroy the Irish Sanctuary. They consist of Scarab, Billy-ray Sanguine, Dusk, Remus Crux, and the recently zombified Vaurien Scapegrace and his army.

Thurid Guild[edit]

Thurid Guild is the Grand Mage of the Irish Sanctuary and former Exigency Programme Leader of the War against Mevolent.

Davina Marr[edit]

Davina Marr is a cruel and destructive agent of the American Sanctuary hired by Thurid Guild to take the place of Remus Crux as Prime Detective.


Callan is a vampire who assists Valkyrie in tracking down Skulduggery's original head, known as the "Murder Skull".


Skulduggery Pleasant: Dark Days has opened to largely positive reviews by critics.

  • Alys Tandle (

Landy has a talent for balancing his stories with just the right amount of light and dark, but as the title suggests, things are heading down the path of darkness. Dark Days indeed.[2]

This series has always been a lot of fun. Pleasant’s dry humor is spot-on and unlike the Harry Potter series (which also famously involves a child who learns about the magical world and his place in it), this is a little more grim from the get-go.[3]
  • Joseph Melda (The Book Zone):
It contains all of the Derek Landy trademarks that we have come to love so much - great characters, both good and evil; tense action scenes that will have your heart beating so fast you will think it is about to explode; great dialogue laced with the scintillating banter that we have to come love so much; and, of course, many many moments of spine-tingling horror.[4]
  • Rhys Wolfgang (ThirstForFiction):
Dark Days moves towards a grittier, darker, perhaps more character driven story that will be enjoyed by teens and preteens alike. Derek Landy’s magical world continues to widen its boarders, and nearly every book seems to improve on the last.[5]
  • Leanne Hall (
This is smart, funny, contemporary fantasy that’s up there with the best, easily as good as the books of Cassandra Clare or Eoin Colfer.[6]


External links[edit]


Pleasant characters skulduggery

Skulduggery Pleasant (novel)

Novel by Derek Landy

Skulduggery Pleasant (also known as Skulduggery Pleasant: Scepter of the Ancients, or simply The Scepter of the Ancients) is the debut novel of Irish playwright Derek Landy, published in April 2007. It is the first of the Skulduggery Pleasant novels. The novel crosses the horror, comedy, mystery, and fantasy genres.

The story follows the characters Skulduggery Pleasant, a skeleton, sorcerer and detective, with his partner Stephanie Edgley who goes by the name Valkyrie Cain, and numerous magic-wielding allies as they try to prevent Nefarian Serpine, a necromancer, from unleashing a weapon of terrible power on the world- the sceptre of ancients. The book was retitled Sceptre Of The Ancients for the 2009 paperback release in the US and Canada. HarperCollins Audio also publishes the unabridged CD sets of the books read by Rupert Degas.

It won the coveted Red House Children's Book Award and the Hampshire Book Award in 2007.[1]

Warner Bros. was at one point considering to create a live action film based on the book.

Plot summary[edit]

When Stephanie Edgley's horror novelist uncle, Gordon Edgley, passes away unexpectedly she is called out on his will and present at the reading are herself, her parents Desmond and Melissa, Stephanie's none-too-well-liked uncle and aunt Fergus and Beryl, and a mysterious man in a tan overcoat, hat, frizzy wig, sunglasses, and scarf named Skulduggery Pleasant. Stephanie's aunt and uncle are given an ugly brooch, a boat, and a car, (none of which they wanted), while Stephanie's parents are left a magnificent villa in France. Stephanie herself is left with the entirety of Gordon's remaining estate, including the impressive royalties on his best-selling books, and a mansion filled with his possessions. Skulduggery Pleasant is left with a seemingly useless piece of advice.

After visiting the mansion, Melissa and Stephanie are stranded by car issues and a heavy rainstorm. Calling a tow-truck, Melissa opts to return while letting Stephanie spend time in her new property. After reading some of her uncle's latest manuscripts (to be published posthumously) and fixing herself a snack, Stephanie receives a threatening phone call. The caller demands she hand over a "key". When she refuses, the man breaks in and tries to attack and kill her. But she is saved by the mysterious Mr. Pleasant, who throws a fireball (produced from clicking his fingers) at the man. Upon discovering his imperviousness to flames, Pleasant shoots the attacker with a gun, forcing him to flee the scene. During the fight, Skulduggery's disguise is knocked off, revealing him to be an actual walking-and-talking skeleton held together by nothing but magic.

Upon realizing that her uncle was murdered and learning about the extensive nature of the secret world of mages and sorcerers in this secret world, Stephanie decides to escape her previously boring and tedious life and join this new one as well. She begins by helping Skulduggery investigate Gordon's death. Over the course of their search, Skulduggery and Stephanie gradually uncover a greater plot for world domination by a previous general in the magical war again in attempt to bring back the Faceless Ones. Stephanie's uncle had unearthed an ancient weapon used by the first sorcerers, the Ancients, to defeat their tyrannical gods. He recently sealed this deadly weapon, the Sceptre of the Ancients, in a maze beneath the house of Gordon Edgelys. The "key" is later discovered by Skullduggery that it is in fact the old, insignificant-looking brooch left by her uncle to his brother Fergus' wife, Beryl. The advice was a clue for Skulduggery to notice this.

Because of the power that can be held over people by sorcerers who know that person's real name, Stephanie starts going by Valkyrie Cain. Aided by a boxer/tailor named Ghastly Bespoke and the librarian/informant China Sorrows, Skulduggery and Stephanie meet with the enigmatic and incredibly strong Mr. Bliss and the English professional swords-woman Tanith Low in the hopes that they will be able to help them keep the Sceptre out of Nefarian Serpine's hands for good and attempt to prevent him from bringing back their retired evil gods. Serpine, the originator of the plot and murder of Stephanie's uncle, once served under the evil wizard Mevolent and worshiped the Faceless Ones. In an attempt to spread the evil religion and possibly bring back the Faceless Ones from their extra-dimensional banishment, Mevolent waged a secret war on the wizard community. Skulduggery opposed Mevolent in this war four hundred years ago, when he was still alive. He became ensnared in a trap Serpine set by murdering Skulduggery's wife and child, then suffered several days of torture until he was finally killed by Serpine. Due to his extreme desire for revenge, rage and ties with unfinished business, Skulduggery resurrected himself. As nothing more than a bag of bones, Skulduggery put himself back together, got up, and finished the war.

After a race against Serpine to find the Sceptre in the caves, Mr. Bliss betrays them, handing Serpine the Sceptre. Sagacious Tome, one of the Elders of the Magical Sanctuary that heads Ireland's wizard government, also reveals himself to be a traitor, and allows the two other Elders, Eachan Meritorious and Morwenna Crow, to be murdered by Serpine. Serpine invades the Sanctuary and enters the Repository, a storage of magical objects and artifacts. Serpine's original plan was to use the Book of Names housed there to control the world, thus being able to simultaneously enforce Faceless One worship while searching unhindered for one who could show him how to bring them back. However the spell protecting the book is too strong, and only all three Elders' consent - or their deaths - would allow anyone to approach or use it using people's will power. In response to this, Serpine murders Tome. Mr. Bliss has been playing against Serpine all along, but is repelled when he tries to stop Serpine at this point. Skulduggery and Stephanie, having snuck into the Sanctuary, witness the unfolding double and triple-crossing. Skuldggery attacks Serpine, with the Book of Names being destroyed in the ensuing struggle. Angered at his loss, Serpine tortures Stephanie with his Red Hand, but Skulduggery destroys him with the Sceptre, breaking its power in the process.

At the conclusion of the novel, Skulduggery offers to take Stephanie on as his assistant, partner, and student in sorcery. Stephanie has discovered through the course of the novel's events that her family are descendants of the Ancients and she herself has unknown magical abilities.


Skulduggery Pleasant[edit]

Skulduggery Pleasant is a detective, magician, and warrior. He fought against Mevolent under Grand Mage Meritorious during the secret war as one of the leaders, and is in a group called The Dead Men but was caught in a deadly trap by Nefarian Serpine under Mevolent's command. He killed Skulduggery's wife and child in front of him. Furious, Skulduggery grabbed a dagger to kill Serpine with, but Serpine had planned this, and the handle of the dagger was poisoned. Serpine tortured Skulduggery for a few days then killed him. After Skulduggery's death, his body was impaled on a spike and burned as an example to Mevolent's other enemies. Though as a result of a necromancer's experiment, Skulduggery did not move on after his death, but stayed and watched the war progress; to his horror, the tide turned and Mevolent gained advantage. In the books, Skulduggery's past life name (given name) has not been revealed, though author Derek Landy says his taken name was "Skulduggery Pleasant" before he died. Skulduggery accepts the sacrifice of individuals as a necessary part of war, but he is highly reluctant to allow this to happen to Stephanie (aka Valkyrie Cain). He protects her diligently throughout the novel. He is very smart and witty.

Stephanie Edgley (Valkyrie Cain)[edit]

Stephanie is a twelve-year-old girl living in the quiet Irish seaside town of Haggard. With the events of the books she is forced into maturing at a much faster pace. She is also the niece of Gordon Edgley, a recently deceased horror novelist, whose novels, she discovers, were not completely fictional. She first meets Skulduggery at Gordon's funeral; Gordon was a friend of Skulduggery. Skulduggery tells Stephanie how Gordon once described her as "strong-willed, intelligent, sharp-tongued, doesn't suffer fools gladly",[2] traits Gordon himself possessed. Stephanie proves herself to have all these qualities in spades, clashing wits with Skulduggery and annoying him to no end. She refuses to be left behind by Skulduggery after he saves her, despite his advice that she keep out of danger. He later comes to respect her abilities, recognizing them when she herself does not. Stephanie despised her boring, ordinary life; she did not have anything in common with her peers, and though not disruptive at school, has a healthy disregard for authority. She takes great enjoyment in Skulduggery's more criminal escapades, such as breaking into a museum vault. She constantly proves herself to be every bit the equal of the adults, though some people underestimate her – her pet peeve is being called "child".

Though possessing no immediately obvious special abilities, other than fundamental running, swimming, and fighting instincts which help her out of trouble at the outset of the novel, Stephanie later learns she is a descendant of the Last of the Ancients, who was one of the first to discover magic. She begins to develop her magic skills, manipulating air in a climactic battle scene, and managing to create fire at the end of the novel. Skulduggery offers to help her master her magical abilities, so that she can assist him in adventures to come. Her main strengths, however, are her intelligence, her will and determination.

According to the novel's magical premise, knowing someone's given name gives you a limited amount of power over them. China Sorrows knows Stephanie's name, and uses this knowledge to prevent Stephanie from rescuing Skulduggery. Stephanie is thus forced to take on the name Valkyrie Cain. Taking this name seals her given name, keeping others from controlling her, and breaks China's hold on her, allowing her to save Skulduggery. Although known as Valkyrie by other characters from this point onwards, Landy continues to refer to her in the third-person as Stephanie in the first book, and Skulduggery chooses to call her Valkyrie. However, for the rest of the series, she is known as Valkyrie.

She got her name from the Norse warrior women who guard Valhalla (she is familiar with the term, and even recognizes the "Ride of the Valkyries", when she is woken by it at her house), and she got her last name from the word Cain. Skulduggery Pleasant introduced the word to her, claiming that she had a "penchant for raising Cain", meaning that she makes trouble.

Tanith Low[edit]

Tanith Low is a master swords-woman who is first introduced while battling a troll on Westminster Bridge in the first book. Tanith does not work for the Elders (who are the leaders of the magical communities which are mainly divided by country), because she has a natural distrust of authority. Instead she merely, as Springheeled Jack says in 'Playing With Fire', "deals out what she calls justice". She is English and originally lived in London. Tanith Low's job is to apprehend or otherwise kill criminals and evil creatures who threaten national security.

Originally Derek Landy planned to kill off Tanith Low in the first book, but when he brought it to his editors they said it would be "too sad for the readers." So Derek Landy agreed that he would keep her alive as long as he can torture her in some way in every book she is in. Despite common belief, he does not hate Tanith Low, as he stated in his Down Under tour in Perth on 20 August 2012.

She befriends Valkyrie/Stephanie in Book 1. During a conversation with Valkyrie, Tanith expresses a desire for a little sister and she and Valkyrie develop an affectionate sisterly relationship. Valkyrie refers to Tanith as being like a sister to her in the fourth book. Tanith is also known to have an elder brother whom she states she 'loves to death'. Despite her softer, warmer side, Tanith can be ruthless, sending two Cleavers to their death in order to distract some Hollow Men to rescue Skulduggery from Serpine. She is also an excellent fighter. She takes on Serpine's White Cleaver in combat at the end of the first book, and almost wins, but the White Cleaver throws his scythe through her back and she nearly dies.

Tanith also features in her own book 'The Maleficent Seven'. Where she gets a group together to go hunt down and destroy objects called the God Killers.

Nefarian Serpine[edit]

The villain Serpine is an evil sorcerer who once served under Mevolent as one of his Infamous Three Generals. He dabbles in necromancy. He accidentally destroys the Book of Names with the Sceptre, foiling his own scheme for the return of the Faceless Ones, and then attempts to kill Stephanie, but Skulduggery stops him and avenges the death of his family by turning Serpine to dust with the Sceptre.

Serpine is highly intelligent and a skilled manipulator who managed to persuade Sagacious Tome to join him. He is a fanatic who is believed by many (Skulduggery included) to be insane, although the Faceless Ones (as proved in Book 2 Playing with Fire and Book 3 The Faceless Ones) are actually real.

The greatest weapon in Serpine's arsenal is his Red Right Hand which has the dark power to cause individuals great pain, eventually killing them, when pointed at. He was taught this by High Priest Tenebrae after Serpine surrounded the necromancer's temple.

China Sorrows[edit]

China is magically beautiful, making anyone fall in love with her at first sight. She is fluent in the language of magic and has hidden symbols all over her body and the library that she owns. She is quite secretive, but as time goes on Valkyrie gets to know her and eventually they become friends in the fifth book. China used to worship the Dark Gods (The Faceless Ones), as her whole family did (including Mr Bliss, her Brother). China helps Skulduggery and Valkyrie out many times, and has fought alongside them, though she calls herself neutral, stating '"I am loyal to one person only. That person is me.'" She is also perceived by Skulduggery as "not to be trusted". In a later book she got in a fight with the character Eliza Scorn, who blows up China's library and also all of her cars.

Ghastly Bespoke[edit]

Ghastly Bespoke is a tailor and close friend of Skulduggery Pleasant. He, before passing away at the hands of Erskine Ravel in Last Stand of Dead Men, made clothes that were very hard to destroy and were of use to Valkyrie Cain and many other central characters.


Skulduggery Pleasant has opened to largely positive reviews by critics.

  • April Spisak (Project MUSE)
The result is a rich fantasy that is as engaging in its creative protagonists and villains as it is in the lightning-paced plot and sharp humor.[3]
It's exciting, pacy, nicely handled and it's fun. There's nothing worthy about it, and it's all the better for that. And, I might add, it's self-contained. Landy may well revisit these characters – I sincerely hope he does – but it's a pleasingly rounded tale, which is refreshing in these days of endless open-ended books of never-ending series.[4]
There is no expense spared by Landy in this book and I would have to say that everyone who could be bothered to read it, would definitely be drawn into it and certainly enjoy it. ... Something for everyone and everything for someone, Skulduggery Pleasant is easily my book of the year so far. Read it![5]
Landy is an established writer, and the combats between Skulduggery, Serpine and his legions of Hollow Men rival the climaxes of the Potter films for hair-raising effects; it isn't often that writing makes you feel as if you are watching a film.[6]
Derek Landy's debut, Skulduggery Pleasant ... has a distinctly Horowitzian humour and verve to it, being a detective story featuring a sorcerer skeleton as hero.[7]


Skulduggery Pleasant has received the following accolades:


External links[edit]

Skulduggery Pleasant Character Themes - LSoDM Style


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