Nefarian Serpine was one of the Three Generals and the main antagonist of the first book in the Skulduggery Pleasant novel series. He was the right hand man of Mevolent and a fanatical follower of the Faceless Ones. An alternate version of him from dimension X appears as a supporting character in Kingdom of the Wicked, The Dying of the Light and Seasons of War. His main magical ability was the use of his Red Right Hand, which forced an agonizing death on whomever he pointed at. He also wielded the Sceptre of the Ancients for a short time.


During the "secret war" between sorcerers for the fate of humanity, Nefarian Serpine was one of the three generals under Mevolent's command. To kill Skulduggery Pleasant, Serpine kidnapped his wife and child, and murdered them both as Skulduggery watched. In rage, Skulduggery tried to retaliate with a dagger, which Serpine coated with a paralysing poison as he knew Skulduggery would attempt to use it. Taking advantage, he killed Skulduggery through his "agonising death" ability, which caused agonising pain to a victim before killing them. To strike a blow to the moral of the sanctuary's armies, he had Skulduggery's body hung on a pike and burned.  Because of  the machination of the priest named Auron Tenebrae, whom he prieviously blackmailed to give him Agonizing Death,his newfound powers hadn't truly killed Skulduggery, but rather reduced his enemy's body into his skeleton and his action created Lord Vile in the process as Skulduggery's split personality.

Scepter of the Ancients

As a strong believer in the dark godlike-entities known as the Faceless Ones, Serpine sought out to find the sceptre of the ancients, an ancient weapon which disintegrated the target into dust and was capable of killing a deity, to assassinate the elder council and use an artifact known as the book of names to locate anyone who would know how to summon the faceless ones to Earth. After learning the sceptre's location, Serpine killed Gordon Edgley for attempting to hide it from him, and sent an assassin to find a key which would grant him access to the cave system Gordon hidden it. However, his plans were delayed when the assassin was killed  while attempting to murder Stephanie Edgley, Gordon's niece.

To find out where the key was, Serpine abducted Skulduggery and tortured him until it was clear to him that even the skeleton detective didn't know where it was. Soon after, Skulduggery was rescued by Stephanie, now known as Valkyrie Cain, and a small group of allies. The rescue was a success, but Serpine managed to capture a cleaver, one of the sanctuary's elite soldiers. To test an experiment to make himself immortal Serpine killed the cleaver and returned him to live as an undead entity known as the white cleaver.

Knowing Skulduggery's main weakness was his loss of judgement when angered, Serpine dispatched the white cleaver to kill Valkyrie, who Skulduggery had formed an attachment to. The white cleaver failed to do so, but caused Ghastly Bespoke, an old friend of Skulduggery, to temporarily turn himself to stone. Soon afterwards, Sagacious Tome, a member of the elder council, revealed himself as an ally to Serpine and lured the other 2 members where Serpine could kill them, leaving the book of names vulnerable.

Knowing the whole world was at risk, Skulduggery and Valkyrie, along with their ally Tanith Low, went to the sanctuary to stop Serpine, but found he slaughtered everyone in the sanctuary headquarters and was already attempting to take the book of names. While Tanith fought the white cleaver, Skulduggery and Valkyrie confronted Serpine, after the latter killed Tome to completely remove the book's defences, and fought against him, eventually resulting in the book of names being destroyed in the fight. The white cleaver, now under the necromancers' control, witnessed Serpine's defeat and abandoned him. Skulduggery, having let go of his desire for vengeance, attempted to arrest Serpine for his crimes. However, Serpine refused to come quietly, and attempted to use the agonising death on Valkyrie, ignoring Skulduggery's warnings. As soon as Valkyrie's torture started, Skulduggery grabbed the sceptre of the ancients, and was forced to reduced Serpine to dust for good, avenging countless deaths, including his own, and saving his apprentice's life.

Seasons Of War

The Nefarian from another dimension helped Skulduggery and co. kill the Mevolent of that dimension by serving as a guide.


  • Mevolent - Master
  • Lord Vile - Ally and (unintentional) creation.
  • Skulduggery Pleasant - Enemy and torture toy.
  • Valkyrie Cain - Enemy.


        SkulduggeryPleasantLogo Villains

Church of the Faceless Ones
The Faceless Ones
Faceless Ones | The Grotesquery
Mevolent | Nefarian Serpine | Baron Vengeous | Lord Vile | Murder Rose | Sagacious Tome
Affiliated with other groups
The Man with the Golden Eyes | Melancholia St. Clair | General Mantis | The White Cleaver | Tesseract
Darquesse | Argeddion | Stephanie Edgley's Reflection | Caelan | Doctor Nye | Tanith Low

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