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"You are not to look the master in the eye."
This article contains spoilers! Please, refrain yourself from reading its content if you haven't read Skulduggery Pleasant: Last Stand of Dead Men.
Erskine Ravel
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Character Information
Taken Name Erskine Ravel
Species Human
Gender Male
Birth February, 1606 [1]
Age 408
Death December 2013
Magic Elemental
Faction The Dead Men (formerly),
The Irish Sanctuary (formerly),
The Children of the Spider and Roarhaven mages
Titles Grand Mage, The Man with Golden Eyes
Location Deceased
Relations Zafira Kerias (ex)

Erskine Ravel was an Elemental and a prominent member of the Dead Men. He was the Grand Mage of Ireland, before China Sorrows replaced him, following the failed coup at Roarhaven. It was also revealed that he was the "Man with Golden Eyes", hiding Roarhaven's revolution behind a war so that mages could rule mortals.



Ravel was born during the Feburary of 1606.

During the War he was a member of the Dead Men. He also took orders from Corrival Deuce. He was once captured by Mevolent's soldiers and tortured. Whilst recovering, he spent time with the Children of the Spider and their living conditions caused him to believe that mages should no longer have to hide from mortals, and in fact that mortals should be ruled over by sorcerers. However, he kept this from his fellow Dead Men. He accompanied Deuce on many political negotiations both during and after the War and tracked down Serpine in the wild west. He visited Wolfsong over 150 years ago. He also was in a relationship with Zafira Kerias.

Across a Dark Plain

In 1861 he chased Nefarian Serpine across South Dakota along with the rest of the Dead Me, but Serpine got away with the help of Noche and Solomon Wreath.

Tormenting the Warlocks

Following Valkyrie and Skulduggery's escape from Roarhaven, The Torment and Ravel begin murdering Warlocks to fuel their plans to force Charivari to investigate Department X.

A Bliss-ful Encounter

Erskine in "Across a Dark Plain."

Ravel has a meeting with Bliss and a group of other sorcerers. Bliss agrees to stand up against Guild's new policies, after the current crisis was over. This plan failed when Bliss was killed while Krav was possessed by a Faceless One.

Dealing with Davina

After the defeat of the Revenger's Club in Dark Days, Ravel makes a deal with Detective Marr in order to destroy the Irish Sanctuary, as he felt that the Sanctuary could no longer advance since Bliss was dead. He said that they would "take over what was left".

The Remnant Outbreak

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. It is later discovered that it was his plan to be elected.

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, Anton Shudder and Solomon 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. Deuce was found dead, presumed killed in the confusion, but it was later revealed that he was killed by Ravel. The Torment was also killed by Tesseract which gave him more control over Roarhaven. Near the end of the book, he is elected as Grand Mage, and he accepts Madam Mist and Ghastly Bespoke as his Elders.

Death Bringer

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Ravel made his first appearance in the new Sanctuary along with his Elders, where they were told by Skulduggery and Valkyrie about Melancholia being the Death Bringer.

After Valkyrie was seriously injured by Melancholia, Ravel allowed Madame Mist to bring in Nye and make it the Sanctuary's new doctor, despite numerous objections.

Ravel later attended the the Requiem Ball, during which he had his life energy taken from him by Melancholia, along with the other guests. However it was later returned to him with Valkyrie's help.

The Summer of Light

He is seen when he breaks Sean Mackin out of Roarhaven, telling him all the people in the town support him and Kitana. He consults with Mist who then berates him for using such a risky move, but he retaliates by saying this plan was the easier of two. He states that with the plan, they wouldn't have to involve the Warlocks. This plan failed when Argeddion was defeated

Theatre of Shadows

Eight weeks after Argeddion was defeated, he sent a proclamation to Sanctuary agents around the world, detailing the escape of Silas Nadir from prison and the disappearance of Skulduggery and Valkyrie.

He then sent regular reports to the operatives on the status of the hunt for Nadir. He revealed that Nadir left his last known position twenty minutes when the agents got there and that they had tracked Nadir to a location near Dame Street.

Later, his Office acted as a hub of information for Operatives. It was maintained by Tipstaff while he was away. 

After the fighting was over, he congratulated the Operatives and rewarded them. 

The War of the Sanctuaries

Despite his apparent best efforts, Ireland suffered too many transgressions and slid into war with almost all of the world. He led some missions with the reformed Dead Men to France and in Ireland. He also had a shield raised around the country to prevent entrance to the belligerents.


As the war with the Supreme Council began to fall apart into bickering and petty attacks, Ravel returned to the Sanctuary to confront Mist, despite Skulduggery's warnings about experiencing intense agony within the Sanctuary in one of Cassandra Pharos' visions. Ghastly and Anton Shudder were sent to accompany him, along with two Australian mages.

The team split up, and Ghastly, Shudder and Ravel go to face Madame Mist. However, when they find her, she introduces the Black Cleaver, a modification to the rebuilt White Cleaver, 'donated' by Dr Nye, who is revealed to have killed the two mages sent to accompany Ravel, Ghastly and Shudder.

Before the trio can attack, the Black Cleaver advances, it's scythe slashing through Shudder, and even as his gist attempts to emerge, Shudder is unable to retaliate, and the Black Cleaver ends his life.

A moment later, Ghastly feels something cold and sharp penetrate his back, and despite thinking it to be the Cleaver, as he falls, he is rolled onto his back to face Erskine Ravel, holding the knife.

As Ghastly's body shuts down, he begs Ravel to stop. Ravel apologizes, and as Ghastly dies, he thinks of Erskine Ravel's golden eyes, revealing that Ravel was always the traitor.

He later later announces to the people of Roarhaven that in another dimension a giant city was built that will be shunted onto the current village. After Skulduggery and his allies fail to assassinate Ravel (after learning he was a traitor), he is alerted by an aide that the Warlocks, led by Charivari, are marching on Roarhaven. He doesn't understand why they didn't attack Dublin, like in his plan. Skulduggery mentions that the Warlocks saw through the whole ruse of Department X.

The Battle of Roarhaven

While preparing for another battle, Ravel is asked why he betrayed Ghastly, Shudder and Corrival Deuce. He claims that he fell in with The Children of the Spider while on sick leave from The Dead Men during The War. He used terrible events all along, such as The Remnant Outbreak, The Death Bringer and The Summer of Light, as a means for the magical community to reveal themselves to the world and rule the mortals. Skulduggery is even more disgusted with Ravel.

During the Battle, Ravel sends mages supercharged by The Accelerator to kill Skulduggery and his allies. They fail to defeat them. Skulduggery and China Sorrows go to the Sanctuary where Ravel is waiting with The Black Cleaver and the Children of the Spider. After battling through the group, China and Skulduggery confront Ravel and Mist. Ravel cockily mocks Skulduggery for his failure to properly protect Valkyrie, but Skulduggery ignores him. Seeing no further way to try and deter the detective, Ravel challenges him. The two men fight, whilst China kills Mist. However, contrary to Ravel's expectations, Skulduggery easily beats him and restrains him.

Before he can finish him, Darquesse arrives and tortures Ravel after he asks her to join him. She says death is too good for him and places on him twenty-three hours of pure pain that can't be sedated for eternity. When he gets used to the pain, it will increase. The one hour without pain would be spend in terror, waiting for it to come back. The vision came through when he was seen writing in agony. Late on, it it mentioned that nothing can be done to reduce the pain.

The Dying of the Light

He is seen in extreme pain when visited. He is then shunted by Creyfon Signate to Mevolent's dimension to break the link and to draw Darquesse in. When they shunt, his Cleaver guards are surrounded by Redhoods and killed, but Ravel manages to escape. He then goes to the city and visits The Temple of the Spider he is then caught by The Terror. Later he breaks free and runs into Skulduggery and Valkyrie, who have come over to recapture him, as they need him to be bait for Darquesse, who they believe will seek him out in order to punish him again. They tell him to surrender but then Vile, Mevolent and Vengeous appear and Ravel is chocked by Vile and blacks out. Nefarian Serpine, now leader of the Resistance, breaks the three of them out and takes them to a village. When Vile attacks, he, Skulduggery and Valkyrie get away and travel to Roarhaven and are shunted back. He is held in a protective circle to shield him from Darquesse. When he steps out of the circle he alerts Darquesse to where he is. He then fights Darquesse along with others using the God-Killer weapons. He drops the God Killer Spear and flees. Later, Valkyrie attempts to stop him in the Sanctuary, but she lets him go to deal with more important matters. He uses the Accelerator to super charge himself but is defeated by China. He refuses the chance to redeem himself by sacrificing his soul to save the world, stating that he has sacrificed enough. He's later pushed into The Accelerator by Skulduggery to shut it down, killing him in the process. The Engineer stated earlier that the energy of his soul would be burned up, and wouldn't rejoin the Great Stream of life and death.


Corrival Deuce says that Ravel "likes spending money too much" and he describes himself as a rogue. He shows a clear attraction to Tanith Low but is told by Skulduggery to leave her alone after Ghastly is attracted to her. It is implied that he is a bit of a ladies man. He was also against becoming an Elder as he considered the job too peaceful although he was content to badger Deuce into taking the job. He seems to be trustworthy and caring towards his friends. Although he kills Ghastly and Anton, and plans to help the mages take over the mortal world, he regrets what he had to do for his views constantly. 

He is disgusted by himself for his actions, even though he believes them to be necessary. With these traits, he is fair to be labelled as a megalomaniac - he has a narcissistic delusion of grandeur in that he believes that everything he does, no matter how horrible, was necessary. Ravel was extremely intelligent, capable of forming incredibly elaborate and complicated schemes to achieve his goals whilst keeping his identity unknown. He was quite confident in his abilities, calmly facing on Skulduggery Pleasant in their final fight in Last Stand of the Dead Men.


Ravel was shown to be an experienced Elemental when he was fighting the hired killer Tesseract. His skills in Elemental magic are also shown when Corrival Deuce, Anton Shudder and Solomon Wreath attack Bespoke's Tailors while possessed by Remnants. However, he is shown to be inferior to Skulduggery in their fight.

Ravel makes use of an enchanted stone to wipe himself from the minds of those he speaks to. He uses this stone on Davina Marr and Sean Mackin to protect his identity. When using the stone, Erskine is known in the narrative as "The Man with the Golden Eyes". (His eye colour, however, was not an effect of the magic - as evidenced by Ghastly Bespoke's last thoughts, and Valkyrie Cain's references to Erskine as having "beautiful eyes" on more than one occasion.)


  • Derek Landy was not completely sure if Erskine should be the "Man with the Golden Eyes" while writing Mortal Coil. However, while working on Death Bringer, he had made up his mind.[2]


The name Erskine is of Scottish origin. Legends say that King Malcolm II of Scotland gave it to a man who killed the Danish General Enrique at the Battle of Murthill.


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