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"You are not to look the master in the eye."
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"He put on his armor to hide his previous self. He choose a new name to kill his former self. Skullduggery Pleasant left the battlefield and Lord Vile entered through the door of my temple""

"Auron Tenebrae explaining lord Vile to Valkyrie Cain"

Lord Vile
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Character Information
Taken Name Lord vile
Species Human, human subconscious.
Gender Male
Birth Unknown
Age Unknown
Magic Necromancy
Faction The Three Generals (formerly)
Weapons Lord Vile's armour
Titles Death Bringer
Location Unknown

Lord Vile is an immensely powerful Necromancer and was one of The Three Generals for Mevolent. Lord Vile was also said to be the Death Bringer, the Messiah for the Necromancers, but was stripped of that title after he betrayed the Necromancers to serve under Mevolent. In Death Bringer, it is revealed by Auron Tenebrae that Vile is actually Skulduggery Pleasant, consumed by anger and grief during the war. Vile is the evil part of him, similar to what Darquesse is to Valkyrie Cain.


After being brought back to life, thanks to the trick played on Nefarian Serpine by High Priest Auron Tenebrae, Skulduggery Pleasant, consumed by rage and partly influenced by Abyssinia, donned black armor, and started training to become a Necromancer, creating the alias Lord Vile. Skulduggery is "magically ambidextrous", meaning he was able to learn a second discipline of magic. Having shown a natural aptitude for Necromancy before, it took mere months of training until Vile was immensely powerful, thus leading the Necromancers to believe that Lord Vile was their Death Bringer. However, during his training, Vile's deep venturing allowed him to make contact with the Viddu De, dead gods from a death universe who turned him into their herald and gave him to power of seeing possible futures. Under this visions and his new masters's orders, Vile betrayed the Necromancers before he could even learn about The Passage and joined Mevolent's forces as one of The Three Generals. During this period, he killed Ghastly Bespoke's Mother.

According to Skulduggery, he finally came to his senses after murdering millions, and, deep inside a mountain, he took off the armor of Lord Vile. Afterwards, he vowed to redeem himself for his "unspeakably evil" deeds. He also abandoned his family crest until he felt he had earned the right to use it again. On the other hand, Cadaver Cain, a future version of Skulduggery and Vile, claimed that leaving Vile's identity and blocking some of his memories alongside his future vision was all part of a centuries long plan to bring de Viddu De to the world.

Whatever the truth is, it left Lord Vile trapped in Skulduggery's subconscious. Tenebrae states that because Skulduggery was trapped in a dimension with the Faceless Ones, he became unhinged, which consequently allowed Lord Vile to surface once more. In The Faceless Ones Ghastly says that he faced Vile in the war, after his mother's death, but Vile didn't kill him, the conversation is interrupted but it can be presumed that this was when Skulduggery came to his senses and Vile "disappeared".


Playing with Fire

In Playing with Fire, Baron Vengeous is broken out of prison to finish his work to bring back the Faceless Ones, using the Grotesquery. One "ingredient", as China Sorrows puts it, to revive the Grotesquery was to use a Necromancer's powers. Since Vengeous was not a Necromancer, he made to search the caves where Lord Vile was said to have disappeared, and his armor had vanished with it. In order to wear the armor, he has special protective clothing made for him, since touching a Necromancer's Inhibited Object without permission would kill him. Upon finding Vile's armor, he uses it to revive the Grotesquery. He continues to wear it, however, since it makes him immensely powerful. The darkness can soak up bullets, wipe away fireballs and other magic waves, and even break Mr. Bliss's knuckles later on. However, when Skulduggery later battles Vengeous and rips the chest plate off, Valkyrie ignites the protective clothing underneath and Vengeous is defeated. After fighting him, the armor was hidden by Thurid Guild, who was Grand Mage at the time, "so nobody could use it again". However, Skulduggery is suspicious of Guild and believes he has his own plans for the armor.

"I believe he will hide it away until he has a use for it." Skulduggery Pleasant

Mortal Coil

When Tesseract flees from Skulduggery after he successfully assassinated the Torment, Vile's armor appears and strikes down Tesseract with relative ease. Skulduggery then also attempts to fight the armor but he too is then defeated. The armor appears to speak to Skulduggery, though the dying Tesseract can only hear Skulduggery's voice. Skulduggery begins to utter in disbelief; "You're dead. You're not real. You're dead." The armor then disappears with a burst of shadows, leaving Tesseract and Skulduggery stunned.

Tesseract, mortally wounded, then has a conversation with Skulduggery where Skulduggery reveals that the man announced himself as Lord Vile and that he has come back to kill the Death Bringer and all Necromancers. Tesseract then questions Skulduggery, asking why Lord Vile would tell Skulduggery about his plans. When Skulduggery doesn't answer, Tesseract goes on and explains how he makes files on anyone he is likely to go up against, implying he has made one on Skulduggery. He says that there is no known account of Skulduggery ever facing Lord Vile, in fact that when Lord Vile came into the War Skulduggery left. Tesseract also said Skulduggery was scared of Lord Vile and he implied that Lord Vile had something to do with the resurrection of Skulduggery.

Death Bringer

After being captured in the necromancer temple, Auron Tenebrae reveals to Skulduggery that it was by his doing that Skulduggery had survived Serpine's red right-hand, and much to Valkyrie's horror, Tenebrae tells her about Lord Vile really being Skulduggery. Later on, they confront the Necromancer Melancholia St Clair who is the supposed Death Bringer in the caves under Gordon Edgley's house. To defeat her, Skulduggery calls upon Lord Vile but after wounding her, he is consumed by his old persona. Valkyrie and Melancholia escape the caves but are swiftly pursued. Valkyrie calls upon Darquesse, and an epic battle ensues in which they both sustain massive injuries before resuming their true personalities.

Kingdom of the Wicked

In the alternate dimension it is revealed that Skulduggery is still in his angered state and is still Lord Vile. When the resistance tries to break Valkyrie out, Lord Vile attacks, however, they escape. Vile then sends a full on attack and he captures all the escaping prisoners. Later, back in our dimension, Skulduggery turns into Vile to fight Doran, Kitana and Sean, despite them being stronger, he is more skillful and manages to kill them with Darquesse's help. Vile is able to turn Darquesse back into Valkyrie by tapping a tune he had driven into his subconscious, so as to remember it as Vile, triggering a series of flashes which knocks Darquesse out. He then pulls himself out of Vile's state of mind and being.

Last Stand of Dead Men

Lord Vile is mentioned multiple times during Last Stand of Dead Men. Notably, when the Dead Men tell Valkyrie the story of their battle with Vile and an army of Undead, Skulduggery does not wish the story to be told, though the other members of the Dead Men think this is because Skulduggery isn't in it - although he is, in a form. Lord Vile only makes one brief appearance, when Skulduggery's arm is ripped off by the Black Cleaver, Vile briefly takes over (without donning the armor) and blasts the Black Cleaver, with enough force to break every bone in his body.

The Dying of the Light

Lord Vile fights Darquesse alongside Melancholia St Clair. Skulduggery takes charge again after an explosion took place in Roarhaven.

In the alternate dimension, Lord Vile goes face to face with Skulduggery, and flings him away after Skulduggery claims to be a better man than Vile. Vile later aids in the attack against Darquesse when she visits Mevolent's dimension, severely injuring her. Vile tries to retrieve Mevolent's gun that can briefly drain a user of their magic, but the gun is destroyed and Vile leaves, injured.

Seasons of War

In the alternate dimension, Lord Vile, who is now The Death Bringer, started an infection that caused Draugar to overwhelm sorcerers. After Mevolent opened the portals to Roarhaven, Lord Vile swept into Tahil na Kurge and killed Mevolent. He is later killed himself when Valkyrie Cain uses The Sceptre of the Ancients, turning him into dust.

Dead or Alive

Lord Vile doesn't appear though he is mentioned during the time Valkyrie and Skulduggery meet Cadaver Cain, an alternate future version of Skulduggery who opposes the Faceless Ones after they returned to their world 72 years ago.


Vile is cold and cruel, with an obsession with murder and destruction. He apparently has no sense of remorse, as he "killed whole battlefields" without a second thought. Skulduggery says in the sixth book that Lord Vile doesn't care who his enemy is, as long as he has an enemy.


When Skulduggery is inside Vile's armor, he is an extremely powerful Necromancer (on the same level as someone who has utilised their True Name a few times), possessing the ability to manipulate darkness and shadows to suit his will, and almost unconsciously. However, without Skulduggery inside, Lord Vile's armor is simply a powerful Necromancer, as he is superior to Skulduggery and Tesseract, but not Melancholia as shown when Melancholia easily beat the armor without Skulduggery inside.

With him inside, she had no choice but to flee. Lord Vile was undoubtedly the most powerful of Mevolent's three generals. Another testament to his strength was how easily he is able to beat even the most powerful of mages, including Tesseract, Ghastly's mother and thousands more. When Vengeous was wearing the armor, he easily knocked out Tanith, Bliss and a contingent of Cleavers. Skulduggery also stated that when he was Lord Vile, he somewhat hoped the Faceless Ones would break through so he would have a chance to kill an entire race of gods after he'd finished on humans.

In Death Bringer, with Skulduggery in Vile's armor, he is able to fight and almost kill Darquesse in battle (though it was stated that he would not be able to again, as Darquesse gets stronger the longer she is out). Argeddion states that Lord Vile may have been able to kill him, due to his ferocity and "natural[ly] given darkness". Vile also managed to take on Kitana and her friends with Darquesse's help despite them having powers from Argeddion himself, though it was said that Kitana alone was superior to Vile in terms of power, Vile's superior skill allowed him to fight the three.

In Kingdom of the Wicked, when Darquesse mentions the top three most powerful sorcerors (Argeddion, Darquesse, and Mevolent), she does not include Vile, meaning that Darquesse believed she had surpassed him. It is worth mentioning, however, that Darquesse always had the tendency to over-estimate herself, as seen in the ninth book when she believed she could take on all of the faceless ones just by herself.

Dead or Alive reveals that Lord Vile was in contact with the Viddu De who tasked him to make the world inhabitable for them. They gave him the power to see all possible futures which explains how Lord Vile seemed so unstoppable. When Skulduggery took off his armour, these memories and the ability to see all futures was lost, though Cadaver regained them some time between the Faceless One's return and the future created when Damocles Creed succeeded in his plan.


  • "Lord Vile" was originally the name of Derek Landy's avatar in a Matrix online game.[1][2]
  • Lord Vile is the first evil state that Skulduggery Pleasant became and so far his most powerful; however as Dead or Alive has shown, Cadaver Cain is also another path Skulduggery could take if he ever went evil again.


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