The Clue Hunt was the first phase of the Theatre of Shadows multi-media event, taking place eight weeks after the events of Kingdom of the Wicked. The correspondence between The Irish Sanctuary and the Operatives - and others - is compiled below.


Prisoner 270914 has escaped, and we need YOU to track him down.

Eight weeks ago, Tyren Lament and others freed the sorcerer Argeddion from his prison. As you are undoubtedly aware, Argeddion was stopped shortly afterwards, thanks to the sterling efforts of Detectives Pleasant and Cain.

What you will not be aware of is that the serial killer Silas Nadir, Prisoner 270914, was amongst those who escaped in the confusion.

Which is why we need you.

Our forces are stretched thin. With tensions mounting between the Sanctuaries, we can little afford to divert our seasoned sorcerers to this manhunt. We realise that none of you have completed your training, but in agreeing to help us stop Nadir, you will be granted temporary Operative status.

For those Operatives who are stationed elsewhere, and for those Operatives from other Sanctuaries who wish to help, your assistance will be invaluable. You will, of course, need access to the Internet from which you can solve puzzles and guide the Operatives on the ground. As Online Operatives, you will be an essential part of this operation, and we cannot succeed without you.


Nadir escaped in the confusion following Ageddion's meddling

At a cost of 60 euros, 200 Operatives who can make it to Dublin for September 27th, 2014, will receive elite training (and well-deserved souvenirs of battle) in order to take part in the physical investigation – a 2.5 hour adventure. A further 50 PLACES will be awarded through competitive initiatives so any Operative who is able to get themselves to Dublin is advised to lookout for details of how they can secure such a place.

Beware — this investigation will require you to traverse the streets of Dublin, spiritual home of the Irish Sanctuary, under the watchful eye of seasoned sorcerers, searching for clues and battling unknown enemies.

Once the investigation is over — and ALL Operatives emerge triumphant — they will be rewarded with a brand new story delivered on the day.

The recruiting office opens on Wednesday the 9th of July at 4PM:

One thing I feel I should mention. Tracking Silas Nadir will not be easy. We have already sent two of our best detectives to bring him in, and this forms our second objective.

Skulduggery Pleasant and Valkyrie Cain have gone missing.

We need you to find them.

Yours in magic,
Grand Mage Erskine Ravel

Second Epistle

My friends,

I know you have questions. I know you have concerns. At this early stage of the operation, questions and concerns are fully warranted. I have spoken with Elder Bespoke and Elder Mist, and we have agreed that the best thing for right now is to be completely honest with you.

Silas Nadir has killed again.

We were too late to stop him, and he has taken another innocent life. Our Prime Detectives, Pleasant and Cain, are still missing. We are starting to fear the worst.

Many of you have already pledged support on the ground in Dublin for 27th September. Your bravery has not gone unnoticed. We thank you for that.

Even more of you have been watching from the wings, awaiting further instruction, and I cannot stress enough how much this mission needs your URGENT help even if you cannot make it to Dublin on 27th September.

We have heard distressing reports of a global network of Nadir’s accomplices. I do not wish to worry you unduly, but right now Prisoner 270914 could be right next door to you — whether you live in Edinburgh or Washington, Adelaide or Stockholm. Be on your guard.

We need you to be our eyes and ears on the ground and online. I can assure you, the rewards will be prodigious. We have access to a man some call 'the Golden God', who is promising hand-written letters of appreciation and personal skype meetings with the most deserving of our Online Operatives. I will have more information to share on this very shortly…

But before we can set you your tasks - we need to know where our Operatives are spread via social media.

Tweet us your taken name, and use the hashtag #270914 so that we can identify you. Remember, Nadir’s accomplices are everywhere. If somebody tweets without this hashtag, they are not to be trusted.

Detectives Pleasant and Cain had something they said to each other frequently — three words that signified their loyalty and their determination. We need that loyalty from you. We need that determination. When you tweet us, along with the hashtag, we need you to repeat the following phrase:

"Until the end."

Thank you, my friends, and be ever watchful.

Yours in Magic,

Grand Mage Erskine Ravel


Dear Skulduggery Fans, It has come to our attention here at Harper Collins that we have had a potential security breach in our systems.

Thanks to an early warning from Operatives already registered for Derek Landy’s Theatre of Shadows, we have isolated the weak points and potential targets.

A known associate of the serial killer Silas Nadir has ridiculed suggestions that Nadir would waste his time 'with lowly publishers’, while chillingly, saying they were ‘aware of the network of dedicated ‘Operatives’ gathering around the author Derek Landy "Until the End #270914".'

All we can advise at this point is that those committed to searching for Skulduggery Pleasant and Valkyrie Cain — who still remain missing — should monitor the most secure and uncompromised channels as a priority: namely Derek’s Twitter, his Blog and Theatre of Shadows. If you are yet to sign up for these direct communications, you’ll need to register as a Remote Operative in order to get the news before anybody else.

For those who can be in Dublin on 27th September, the search for Live Operatives continues.


Taunts From a Serial Killer

You idiots will never find me.

Here I am, on FACEBOOK, and you won't even be able to trace my location in time to catch me, will you?


But I like a good chase. I like to taunt. It makes the killing all the more fun, to know that there are people after me.

So I'm sending your Sanctuary 'specialists' some clues as to my whereabouts. You better work fast, though. I'm not going to be here for long.


We Need You!

My friends,

Many of you have spotted the Facebook incursion on Sunday from escaped fugitive Silas Nadir. He’s taunting us. We need your help now more than ever.

The first clue to Nadir's location arrived late last night and we set our three top code-breakers to solve the puzzle.

This morning, they were each found dead in their homes. On the wall beside each body was scrawled "Silas 3, Sanctuary 0."

And so we must call upon you.

Time is of the essence. Before they were killed, our code-breakers worked out that the clues seem to point to an unusual sequence of numbers. They managed to fill in not one space before Nadir found them: ? ? . ? ?, leaving us four spaces to fill for now.

Teamwork between Operatives is always encouraged, and we'll be monitoring the Facebook / blog and Twitter constantly so that the best Operatives receive just rewards.

Remember Nadir's promised us three clues: so to throw him and his accomplices off the scent, the next clue will be sent out to all those registered to Theatre of Shadows. If you haven't already – be sure to sign up for free as a matter of urgency. Operatives in the US, Norway and Sweden we know that registration is an impossibility for you right now: rest assured we will need you for the third clue. You are crucial too.

Here’s the first clue:

1. Take the number of letters in my magical discipline (here's a hint, idiots — it's a two-worded ability), then multiply that by the age of the Jitter Girls. Add to this the number of rooms in the Midnight Hotel and then subtract the age of a sorcerer named Petrichor. With me so far? Keeping up? Now put in a decimal point (do you know what that is?), then the amount of damns I give about any one of you, and follow this with the maximum number of Dead Men there is at any one time. Now subtract the number of babies stolen by the goblin brothers. Whatever their names are. Ugly little critters, the lot of them. Not as ugly as the babies, though.

And that's all he's given us to fill in ? ? . ? ?. The Sanctuary’s resources are stretched so terribly thin… please help us find Nadir before he can kill again.

And be wary. He found our first code-breakers. He could find any of you, too.

Yours in magic,

Grand Mage Erskine Ravel

This Just In...


Um, hi.

So... Silas is busy right now. He's just, like, got stuff to do. He told me to give you guys the next few questions. So, like, here I am, to...

Sorry. I'm sorry. I guess I'm kinda nervous. All you folks paying attention to what I've got to say. Heh. I've never been famous before. I've only killed, like, four people. My ultimate aim is to kill 85 people, because then my bodycount will be in the 80s, which is, like, my favourite year for movies.

Silas wanted me to give you these clues all relating to serial killer movies, but I don't like them. I know, technically, I am one, and obviously I'm one of Silas's followers, but... but those movies scare me. So I've changed it, a little, and now all these clues are from 80's movies. Yay! So, uh, I'll begin before Silas comes back and figures out what I'm doing.

First of all, I want you to figure out how many letters in the thing that Goonies never say. Then I want you to multiply that by the year Marty McFly travels back to.

Got that? Good.

Now divide that by the number of letters in the place E.T. assured Elliott he will be.

"Elliottttt..." man, that movie made me cry.

Anyway, once you've done that, subtract the number of candles that Molly Ringwald had to deal with. With me so far? Keep that total.

Now get the difference between the year that we watched Darth Vader tell Luke the truth about his lineage, and the year the Lost Boys slept all day and partied all night. Divide that difference into your total, which brings you to a new total.

Clear? Good.

Now you're gonna have to multiply something. First number is the amount of Ghostbusters there were before they started hiring. The second number... heh. The new Star Trek film has an actor playing Khan with a ridiculously long name. But how many letters in the name of the actor who ORIGINALLY played him? When you have it, multiply those two numbers, and subtract from your total.

Now I want you to find out how many Krptonian criminals turned up to face Christopher Reeve's Superman, how many rules you have to obey if you want to own a Mogwai, and how many times you must say Beetlejuice's name if you want him to appear. Then multiply all those together, and subtract from your total once more.

Oh this is FUN.

How many letters in the missing word: "Bueller? Bueller? ____?"

Subtract it from your total.

How much time has passed for Indiana Jones between Temple of Doom and the Last Crusade? Add this number to what Daryl Hannah was in Splash, and subtract from your total.

And what you get, is the next number.


My friends,

Some of you might already have seen what appears to be a hacking of Derek Landy's blog by one of Nadir's accomplices. For those of you who have not, we encourage you swiftly to visit the blog for the second clue.

Apparently, Nadir was unhappy with the tone of this second clue — he had wanted it to reference serial killer movies and horror films that would have left you disturbed and unnerved. So when his accomplice instead based it around his favourite movies from the 80's, Silas was... displeased.

To escape Nadir's wrath, this accomplice has since turned himself in and remains in our protective custody. The only useful piece of information we could glean from this man was the identity of the first Operative to solve both clues. I would like to personally congratulate Dionysus Pertinax for successfully calculating the first two parts of this mysterious sequence of numbers. As a reward for such hard work, Dionysus will receive a specially inscribed and signed copy of The Dying Of The Light.

Because of the work you've all been doing we now believe that the numbers may in fact be coordinates. Will it be Dionysus Pertinax who finishes the sequence, or will it be you?

There will be further rewards, as our captive has revealed that the final clue will be released at approximately 5pm tomorrow.

Your support remains invaluable as we continue the hunt for this deranged killer.

Yours in magic.

Grand Mage Erskine Ravel

Final Clue

My friends,

The final clue has arrived from Silas Nadir.

So far you have collaboratively solved the following parts of a code we’re almost certain is a set of coordinates:

39.04, - 115. _ _

All we need is the final two digits and we stand a chance of catching up with Nadir before he kills again.

The following image has come through — sent to us scrawled on the severed limb of a Sanctuary operative who went missing last night.


The severed arm of a Sanctuary Agent murdered by Nadir

Since these look like they have been collected from a variety of magical alphabets, we have asked China Sorrows for her assistance.

China Sorrows has declined.

Time is of the essence so we must crowd source your brainpower. Operatives are encouraged to collaborate online.

Using the hashtag #Theatreofshadows will help you identify each other, but final answers should be sent directly to in case Nadir sees and moves on.

This is the trickiest one yet, my friends. Good luck.

Yours in magic,

Grand Mage Erskine Ravel

A Note From Nadir

I'm watching.

I'm watching you scramble, all confused. "But this one is HARD!" "But where do we even START?"

You make me laugh. Call yourselves sorcerers when you can't even identify six of the most well-known magical alphabets in the world?

Time is a-ticking, and are awaiting your responses EVER so anxiously.

I've decided that if you can't figure out where I am in the next three days, I'm going to kill one of you. Because I know who you are.

And I'm watching.


Hunt for Silas

My friends,


In haste – we have the full set of coordinates.

Thanks to ALL OF YOU for your code breaking efforts. We have triumphed. You should be proud.

An elite group of Sanctuary Operatives are being scrambled as we speak. We hope to reach the coordinates’ location, the last known location of Silas Nadir, within the next 24 hours.

Hold tight, Operatives. Remain vigilant. This isn't over yet.

Yours in magic.

Grand Mage Erskine Ravel

Status Update on Hunt for Silas

My friends,

It is with a heavy heart —but great pride — that I must relate to you the events of the last 24 hours.

Having established that the coordinates 39.04, - 115.92 identified the range known as Moody Mountain, our operatives moved in. Despite recent disagreements with the American Sanctuary, we sent a combined team who arrived at the stated location only twenty minutes after Nadir's deadline.

There they found evidence of recent habitation in between the two peaks, a camp of perhaps 10 renegades. Unfortunately, the site was camp was empty.

The still-smoking embers of a camp fire told us just how close we had got… and so for your efforts we will be rewarding 8 of you with an exclusive Google Hangout with author Derek Landy. Those 8 will hear from us within the next 24 hours. If you are under the age of 18 then your elders will need to approve.

Yours in magic.

Grand Mage Erskine Ravel

Message from Nadir


The location of the coordinates of Nadir's last known position.

You imbeciles never stood a chance of finding me.

Some of you came close, however, and so I'm going to disappear for a few weeks. I'm going to allow you to continue with your sad little lives. I'm going to allow you to feel secure again.

And then I'm going to return.


See Live event and Remote event.