31st December 1583
Human | Dead | Sorcerer
Parents: deceased | Four siblings: deceased | Wife: deceased | Daughter: deceased
English, Irish, various others
Skeleton | Irish accent | Voice clip
Formerly Stephanie Edgley. The protagonist of the series, and Skulduggery's partner. She's twelve when we first meet her, and ages roughly a year in between each book. Skulduggery first took her under his wing when her uncle, Gordon Edgley, was murdered, and because Skulduggery and Gordon were good friends Skulduggery considers keeping her safe to be his responsibility. Valkyrie quickly took the place of the daughter Skulduggery lost, and she joins him on his adventures while he teaches her how to use magic and trains her to fight.
Skulduggery's best friend, a man who was cursed before birth and born with a series of permanent and ugly ridged scars covering his bald head. They've known each other since the early seventeenth century, when an incident involving pirates left Skulduggery injured and Ghastly short a rather large shipment of magical cloth. (They got it back.) They fought together during the war with Mevolent, and once they settled down permanently Ghastly became Skulduggery's magical tailor.
An English sorcerer specialising in anti-gravity magic. She can walk on walls and ceilings, break locks, and turn doors into impenetrable shields. She becomes one of Valkyrie's best friends almost from the beginning (despite being over seventy years old), and makes a trustworthy ally for Skulduggery because of it.
A dangerous woman capable of making people fall in love with her at first sight. She's actually a reformed villain, having renounced her family's worship of the Faceless Ones to be nothing more than a neutral collector of rare magical artifacts and books. She and Skulduggery enjoyed a brief romantic rendezvous back before the war started; it ended partly because Skulduggery learned China couldn't be trusted, and partly because he'd met his future wife - a slight China never really forgave.
China is currently in Tu Shanshu along with Skulduggery.
Skulduggery's murderer. A man who worships the Faceless Ones, and one of Mevolent's infamous Three Generals. He's cunning, cruel, and sadistic. Serpine fixated on Skulduggery very early on in the war; he orchestrated a trap using Skulduggery's wife and child, a trap which ended in their deaths and Skulduggery's capture. After weeks of torture, Serpine killed Skulduggery using a Necromancy technique widely referred to as 'agonising death.' To say Skulduggery's out for revenge would be something of an understatement.
A Necromancer Skulduggery first met back in 1600 - the first 'partner' Skulduggery took under his wing, in fact, though five years later their relationship soured and a magical accident resulted in Skulduggery completely forgetting who Wreath was. Towards the end of the war with Mevolent, Wreath sheltered Serpine from Skulduggery and prevented the skeleton from exacting his revenge. Their relationship since has been... strained, to say the least. (Skulduggery punches him. A lot.)
Wreath is currently in Tu Shanshu along with Skulduggery.
One of the Dead Men alongside Ghastly and Skulduggery, a powerful Elemental mage. The Dead Men were an elite group of sorcerers who fought together during the war, bound together by strong ties of friendship and brotherhood. Those ties faded once the war ended, but never vanished completely.
Ravel is currently in Tu Shanshu along with Skulduggery.
One of the Dead Men alongside Ghastly and Skulduggery. Shudder is an Adept and a gist-user. His magic is dangerous for him to use, but it's extremely powerful when he does; an intangible demon made up of all of Shudder's bad thoughts and feelings bursts out through his chest, and can slash to ribbons entire armies before Shudder recalls it.
Shudder is currently in Tu Shanshu along with Skulduggery.
Skulduggery's car. It's a 1954 Bentley R-Type Continental, one of only 208 ever made, black and sleek and absolutely beautiful. In Tu Shanshu, it's been retrofitted with a special engine which doesn't require petrol, and it lives in a special garage built onto the side of Anton Shudder's Hotel. [ ✖ ]
A Smith & Wesson six-shot revolver, lovingly maintained. It's not the only gun Skulduggery's ever had, but it suits his current purposes beautifully, and he usually carries it on his person. He has one of these in Tu Shanshu. [ ✖ ]
CUSTOM TAILORED SUIT
Skulduggery usually has an entire room dedicated to his suits (and an entirely separate room dedicated to his hats), each of which was custom made by his friend Ghastly Bespoke to be bulletproof and weatherproof. Unfortunately, in Tu Shanshu, Skulduggery only has one of these special suits; the rest of his wardrobe consists of clothes bought in the realm of Tu Shanshu.
You cannot forget the hat.
During an event in Tu Shanshu, Skulduggery found a blue echo stone similar to the ones from his home world. A person's memory and personality can be imprinted onto an echo stone, and talking to that personality is just as good as talking to the real thing. The echo stone Skulduggery found works a little differently; it has imprinted memories, but no personality, and functions a bit like watching a movie of someone's life. The stone contains the memories of Skulduggery's wife. [ ✖ ]
Skulduggery Pleasant is a skeleton detective and a sorcerer. He hails from a canon where sorcerers enjoy thousand-year-long lifespans and live in secret within a modern world otherwise very similar to the one we know.
[Further character summary goes here.]
[Setting summary goes here.]
Read more about the world of Skulduggery Pleasant.
[Personality summary goes here.]
[Further personality summary goes here.]
Read more about Skulduggery's personality here.
Skulduggery is an Elemental mage, which means he has power over earth, air, fire, and water. Most Elementals in his world stick with air and fire; Skulduggery is proficient in all four, and one of the only Elementals in existence to be able to wield the earth power as more than a purely defensive element. [More to be added here.]
These symbols form the 'language' of magic, and can induce a variety of effects when carved or painted into surfaces depending upon how they're used. Like any sorcerer, Skulduggery can use these sigils to cast spells, but he's deliberately not very knowledgeable in them and tries to avoid using them; he sees sigils as an easy answer.
All sorcerers in Skulduggery's world are capable of influencing/controlling others using their given names. This ability is nullified if the target takes a new name or goes by a name other than the one they were given at birth. Skulduggery doesn't use this power very often, and never without an incredibly good reason.
- BEING A SKELETON
Skulduggery's completely immune to mind-readers and psychics, and tends to be a bit of a blind spot where visions of the future and/or crystal ball reading are concerned, though there have been some notable exceptions. His soul can still be read, but any magic dependant on the target having a brain and/or being alive simply do not work. In addition to this, he can lose limbs and reattach them without ill effect, and can even attach bones that aren't his.
More information - including spoilers for Book 6, Death Bringer - can be found here.
Skulduggery is renowned in his world for his general rage and more specific desire for revenge. While he's become very good at hiding it, the nature of his existence means that if Skulduggery stops feeling angry, he ceases to exist. Anger is the instinctive reaction he has to consciously fight in order to get anything done. This means that while he's usually objective enough to be incredibly good at his job, the moment anything becomes personal Skulduggery's better judgement is completely clouded. His reputation is so strong that anyone who might even remotely be under his protection is usually left alone, lest their death bring the skeleton detective to the killer's doorstep.
- TRUE NAME
Everyone, no matter who they are, has a true name hidden somewhere in their subconscious. For sorcerers, discovering their true name can give them godlike power - unless someone else discovers and uses it first. A true name can be used to control literally everything about its owner - their loyalties, their thoughts, their love, their actions, their attitudes and beliefs. Skulduggery has never discovered his true name, and it's canonically hidden from even the most powerful of psychics; it would take certain very specific and rare events to uncover it.
- BEING A SKELETON
Skulduggery can feel pain. Yes, he can lose limbs and reattach them at will, but it hurts like hell. Broken and/or sliced bones will affect him in much the same way they would affect someone with flesh and blood.
Even before Skulduggery died, he would have been classified as an observational genius. With his death, that's only become more obvious. The lack of a physical brain means his memory has no physical limits, and mental exhaustion doesn't affect him. Having said that, the vague rules which hold Skulduggery's consciousness in place around his skeleton are a bit more stringent than they seem; he is still essentially him, just an optimised version of him. (The optimised version of him is capable of glancing at a room and solving a mystery, however, not unlike Sherlock Holmes.)
Skulduggery has mastered several forms of fighting, including the more traditional - krav maga, karate, and other forms of martial arts - as well as some of the less traditional, like bare-knuckle boxing. He's combined and refined these forms over four hundred years to create a unique personal style that can be changed depending on the situation, though he defaults pretty regularly to disabling the target as efficiently as possible (less classical elegance, more down-and-dirty tricks). Skulduggery also doesn't experience muscle fatigue, which means, among other things, that he hits hard.
Because Skulduggery can't sleep, and because his mind still needs to recharge every once in a while in order to maintain some semblance of sanity, Skulduggery's learned an intensive form of part-magical meditation which functions the same way sleep does. He isn't aware of anything while he's meditating, and only 'wakes up' when a condition he's previously specified has been met. (He has, for example, slept right through a group of goblins taking his skull right off his spinal column.)
There are a number of random skills Skulduggery has picked up over the centuries. These include driving, fencing, horse-back riding, ballroom dancing, archery, marksmanship, and probably a whole range of others he barely ever uses anymore.
More information on Skulduggery's abilities can be found here.