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"You are not to look the master in the eye."
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Kenspeckle Grouse
Character Information
Taken Name Kenspeckle Grouse
Species Human
Gender Male
Birth Before 1482
Age Unknown
Death December 26, 2011
Magic Vitakineticism
Location Deceased

Kenspeckle Grouse was the Sanctuary's top scientist and a paranoid genius with a neurotic phobia of Vampires and Teleporters. His lab is within the old Hibernian Cinema, which has long been in disrepair (excluding his up to date medical facility). It is accessed through walking through the door projected on the only working screen.


Early life

Grouse created the Desolation Engine and various other destructive things. He didn't care what they were used for. He later regretted his past and vowed to use his powers for good. He was also born before 1482.

Working at the Hibernian

The Hibernian Cinema looks abandoned and derelict when first entered. Once one goes through the screen the compound is entirely different. The inner compound is clean, well kept, and very big.

The Grotesquery is revived

Kenspeckle is described as a cranky old man. He always fixes Skulduggery's and Valkyrie's injuries and continually lectures them both about how Skulduggery is always getting Valkyrie into trouble and will end up getting her killed. Alas, she continuously refuses to listen to his lectures. He also has a soft spot for her, one that he does not share with Skulduggery. In fact, he strongly dislikes him for all the trouble he causes Valkyrie. Kenspeckle always says at someone point Skulduggery is going to get her killed. He gains possession of the Grotesquery when it is taken by Skulduggery and Valkyrie and prepares to examine it when it returns to life and kills his assistants Stentor and Civet.

The Diablerie returns

During the return of the Diablerie, Kenspeckle agrees to hide Fletcher Renn from the Diablerie and the Sanctuary. After the Diablerie attacks the Hibernian in search of Fletcher, Kenspeckle had to use his power, which he swore to only use to heal, to attack Gruesome Krav (by causing him extreme agony). Kenspeckle is furious and interrupts planning, ordering everyone to leave the Hibernian. He then states that he is happy to heal Skulduggery and his friends but never use his cinema as their base of operations.

Kenspeckle has also found a new assistant, a young woman named Clarabelle. She is kind, but quite strange, to the point of being a downright danger to everyone around her with her inability to recognize life-threatening things (though she does when it is something that happens to others, yet not herself).

The Revengers' Club

In the fourth book, Kenspeckle is captured by the "The Revengers' Club" to repair the Desolation Engine. Although he refuses, Dreylan Scarab forces a Remnant into him to make him co-operate. The Remnant agrees and it uses Grouse's mind to create a new Desolation Engine. The Remnant also tortures Tanith Low by hammering long, rusty nails into her hands, collarbones, and legs to make her sit in a chair. Once the Remnant had left him, Kenspeckle was horrified and (extremely guilty, much to Valkyrie's dismay) at what he had done. A part of Tanith still hated him for it.

The Remnant Outbreak

Kenspeckle plays a larger role during the Remnant Outbreak role in Mortal Coil is more central to the story as, once again, the Hibernian is used as a base of operations. It is protected by many defenses, magical and non-magical, such as a dome of energy completely covering the building. It was damaged in most places. Unfortunately, while he was hiding with Clarabelle, a Remnant took control of her and it murdered him with a scalpel.

Last Stand Of Dead Men

Kenspeckle appears in one of Valkyrie's hallucinations at the hands of Mantis' sensitives.

The Dying Of The Light

Kenspeckle appears as a ghost in the Necropolis during the second test.



He's a rather grumpy man most of the time. Though he seems to be quite fond of Valkyrie, he shows no such fondness for Skulduggery, yet will agree to treat his wounds. He is very cynical and pessimistic. He worries about the situations Skulduggery brings her into. He finds Flecther Renn highly annoying.


Kenspeckle's power was an Adept - though he usually heals with plants and other mixtures with magical properties, it is shown that he can cause harm to others with his magic. In The Faceless Ones, Grouse fought briefly against Gruesome Krav and laid his glowing hands-on Krav's back, causing intense pain and temporarily disabling him. As Krav is such an immensely strong individual, at least physically, this was quite a feat. However, Kenspeckle later called this "unforgivable", as he had sworn to never use his powers violently again; the reason for this is being that he created the Desolation Engine when he was younger. Another rare occasion of when he used his power was in Playing With Fire when Tanith Low has been poisoned by the Grotesquery. He uses his power on a few leaves, turning them to dust so that he could sprinkle them on her skin. While this was happening, his hands were very bright, and Valkyrie noticed she could see through his bones. 

The Desolation Engine that could destroy any living thing in its radius silently. It was so powerful that the council later deemed it unstable and took steps to deactivate it, never to be used again. Because of this evil invention of his, he swore never to use his powers and an amazing mind to inflict harm ever again.


  • Kenspeckle was Derek Landy's mother's favorite character.[1]



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