List of Old Kingdom characters

List of Old Kingdom characters

This is a list of characters from The Old Kingdom Trilogy, a set of novels by Australian author Garth Nix. The series comprises three novels: Sabriel (1995), Lirael (2001) and Abhorsen (2003). In 2006, Across the Wall: A Tale of the Abhorsen and Other Stories was released, which contained the novella "The Creature in the Case", which was set after Abhorsen.


Chlorr of the Mask

She was once a powerful necromancer and Free Magic sorcerer. However, after being bound into Death by the Abhorsen Sabriel, she became one of the Greater Dead. At the beginning of Lirael, she approaches Hedge at the Red Lake, with the aim to command Hedge, as well as the power under the hill (Orannis). However, when she communes with Orannis, It binds Chlorr to Its will instead. For the rest of the series, she is a servant of Hedge. She wears a bronze mask over her face, giving her the name.

Towards the end of Abhorsen, Mogget speaks to Lirael about Chlorr saying "...even when she was an A--alive." foreshadowing a deeper past. Mogget's unfinished word is presumably "Abhorsen" (or "Abhorsen-in-waiting"), as Garth Nix later reveals more of Chlorr's mysterious past. After they first encounter Chlorr, Mogget and the Disreputable Dog also discuss seeing some sort of indicator around Chlorr which tells them what she is (or was), although they do not remark about what it is. The Dog also reminds Mogget of where his loyalties lie, which shows that she may have held dominion over him once, but may also hint toward the Dog's knowledge of Mogget's decision as the Eighth Bright Shiner to not pick a side in the original battle between the Seven and the Ninth Bright Shiner. Mogget also calls Chlorr "Chlorr No-Face", which may have significant meaning.

Chlorr was once named Clariel, and was once destined to be an Abhorsen. Her story will be further developed in Clariel: The Lost Abhorsen. [1] Since Chlorr survived the ending of Abhorsen, she could appear in future books, or it is possible that Clariel will also mention at least a bit of what happened to Chlorr after the end of Abhorsen, since she is now free of Orannis.


Though unseen throughout the series, many references are made to Corolini in Lirael and Abhorsen. A populist and a nationalist, Corolini is the leader of the extremist Our Country Party, which holds the balance of power in the Ancelstierran Moot. Corolini is also an ally of the necromancer Hedge. He accepts huge sums of Old Kingdom gold to use his party's influence to send the 200,000 Southerling refugees across the Wall, to death and certain enslavement by Hedge, who requires a large number of vessels to sacrifice so that he and the bound hemispheres containing Orannis may cross the Wall.

Corolini also orchestrates the assassination attempt on King Touchstone and Abhorsen Sabriel. After this, he launches a coup, with a large part of the Army behind him, but fails to gain control over Decision Palace in Corvere and the Hereditary Arbiter (the Ancelstierran head of state, the monarchical figurehead similar to the Queen of England). After Orannis is bound again, Corolini is presumably thwarted, as his short-lived government has ceased to exist by the time the events of Creature in the Case occur.

The Disreputable Dog

The Disreputable Dog (or the Disreputable Bitch as she once refers to herself) was the Third Bright Shiner Kibeth. In Lirael and Abhorsen the Disreputable Dog denies that she is a Bright Shiner, replying that she is "the Disreputable Dog". Lirael perceives her as a previously unheard of free combination of Charter Magic and Free Magic.

The Disreputable Dog has the ability to change her form, but she doesn't seem able to become anything other than a dog. She can, however, change size and relative shape. In Lirael and Abhorsen the Dog changes size depending on need in several instances; in Lirael she becomes longer, shorter, and thinner to fit through a small tunnel in the rock of the Clayr's Glacier. She can also grow wings as she demonstrates in Abhorsen to fly to Nick's tent.

Since the Disreputable Dog is Kibeth, she has the ability to cast Charter and Free Magic spells by barking. Naturally, as Kibeth, most of her seen abilities involve the involuntary movement of the subject. In Lirael, she demonstrates her abilities as Kibeth by barking to force an assassin to walk to his death in the River Ratterlin. She also makes Chlorr of the mask's spirit walk into Death, although she is unable to make Chlorr walk very far into Death. In Abhorsen she uses this power to make Lirael and Sameth run away from Astarael. During the second binding of Orannis at the end of Abhorsen, the Disreputable Dog stands as Kibeth and assists in the binding of Orannis as such.

In the aftermath of the breaking of the Destroyer Orannis, the Dog saves Lirael's life from the concentrated power released by biting off her hand; the effort involved ages and nearly kills the Dog, although, since she reappears afterwards, it may be possible that her time as Lirael's guide was finished, so she voluntarily disappeared to let Lirael find her own path. This is also supported when she says that '[her] time with [Lirael] was over', although she did not say that it was because she was injured. Also, when she reappears to Nicholas in Death, she is back to normal and does not seem aged or injured. Abhorsen ends with her sending the recently-dead Nicholas back to Life, while the Dog trots away along the border of Life and Death.


Hedge is a necromancer of great power who is in service of Orannis. He is roughly 100 years old. Motivated by an all consuming desire for immortality, he believes that if he frees Orannis, he will be able to live as his Vizier over the Dead. He often wears a suit of armour of red plates, and is bald. It is he who places a sliver of the sphere that contained Orannis into Nicholas; he attacked a bus containing Sameth and his schoolmates in order to plant the sliver in Sameth. However, his plan went awry and he placed the sliver in Nicholas before he realized that he was not Sameth.

At the end of Abhorsen, he fights Lirael before the Ninth Gate. He is very afraid of Death; he fights with his head down so that he does not inadvertently look up and see the stars, therefore passing irreparably past the Ninth Gate. However, he trips over the Dog, looks up, and goes beyond the Ninth Gate forever.

It is possible that Hedge was once a member of the crossing point scouts and somehow became involved in Free Magic. In Nicholas Sayre and the Creature in the Case, Nick states that Hedge was originally Ancelstierran, and Hedge himself acknowledges Ancelstierre as his birthplace in the prologue of Lirael.


In Life named Rogir or Rogirek, the son of the previous Queen of the Old Kingdom, half-brother of Touchstone/Torrigan. During his youth, he tried to make use of Free Magic, but was consumed by it and turned into the Greater Dead Kerrigor, a nickname Touchstone gave to him in his youth ("Kerrigor" is "Rogirek" backwards). He returned to Life, and in order to remain there, he needed to destroy the Great Stones, which were one of the Five Great Charters. He needed either Royal, Clayr or Abhorsen Blood to do this; he broke two of the six Stones with his two sisters' blood and was unable to break a third with his mother's blood as the then-Abhorsen intervened and banished Kerrigor deep into death.

At the beginning of Sabriel, Kerrigor has imprisoned Sabriel's father within the Fourth Gate after luring him to the Great Stones, hoping to use his blood to break one of the Stones; Terciel protected himself, so Kerrigor imprisoned him. After Sabriel finds his body in the reservoir housing the Stones and returns him to life, he uses Astarael to send himself, Kerrigor and his Dead servants into Death. Kerrigor escapes, but Terciel does not.

Sabriel and Touchstone seek to destroy Kerrigor's body in Ancelstierre, so that he may finally be destroyed. However, when Sabriel and Touchstone are attempting to destroy his body with the help of the young Charter Mages of Sabriel's old school, Kerrigor invades Ancelsteirre and rampages towards the school. Sabriel is not able to destroy the body before Kerrigor arrives and inhabits it. At the same time, Mogget arrives in his unbound form and fights with Kerrigor over who will be able to kill Sabriel. Kerrigor consumes Mogget, but Sabriel, using the ring that can bind Mogget if his collar is removed, and the first bell Ranna, binds Kerrigor. Kerrigor and Mogget are separated into a black cat and a white cat. Kerrigor remained deep within the Abhorsen's House, sleeping due to the effect of the bell on its collar as of the end of Abhorsen.


Lirael is Abhorsen-in-Waiting, a Daughter of the Clayr, and the first Remembrancer in several hundred years. She, alone in the entire history of the Clayr, has not received the Sight. At fourteen, she is several years older than most of those who are without the Sight. This sends her into a deep depression, once leading her to a suicide attempt. When she is on the cliff she was about to throw herself off, she is found by many high-ranking Clayr. In order to assuage this sorrow, she is given a job as an Assistant Librarian in the Great Library of the Clayr. While exploring in the Library, she discovers a soapstone carving of a dog. Unfortunately this results in setting free a very powerful free magic creature called a Stilken, which she later defeats using the chief librarian's sword. She tries to make a sending using the carving as the inspiration, but the stone is consumed in the making, and a real dog, the Disreputable Dog, is created in place of a sending. She refers to the Dog as her best friend and greatest companion.

Several years later, Lirael goes exploring and discovers a cave that a long-ago Clayr created for her. Within the chamber, she discovers the Book of Remembrance and Forgetting, which is similar to the Abhorsens' Book of the Dead, as well as the accompanying Dark Mirror and pipes, the tools of a Remembrancer. She is again found by many important Clayr, who have finally been able to See a specific area of the Old Kingdom they have been trying to See for years. In addition, this is the first time in recorded history that Lirael has ever been Seen. They Saw Lirael on a boat on the Red Lake in midsummer with a boy (Nicholas Sayre). She goes south, so that she may get to the Red Lake and make this prophecy true. The Dog joins her.

After meeting Sameth and Mogget on the way, the four arrive at the House of the Abhorsen on the river Ratterlin. She discovers, when the Sendings of the House give her a surcoat emblazoned with the Star of the Clayr and the key of the Abhorsen, that she, not Sameth, is the Abhorsen-in-Waiting.

When the foursome finally reaches the Lightning Farm and the bound Orannis in Abhorsen, she travels to the Ninth Precinct of Death in order to use the Dark Mirror to see back to the Beginning to discover how Orannis was bound. While here, she battles Hedge who is defeated and passes the Ninth Gate. When the new Seven, with the help of Yrael (Mogget), bind Orannis again, she wields Astarael. Part of the Binding is that whomever splits the hemisphere binding Orannis must be sacrificed; however, the Dog bites her hand off when she uses Nehima (which was imbued with the blood of the Seven "stand-ins" and the metal from her Remembrancer panpipes) on the sphere. Sameth later crafts Lirael a new, golden hand, which Kibeth (the Disreputable Dog) foresaw, possibly because she is the Third Bright Shiner.


Mogget, truly named Yrael, was the Eighth Bright Shiner. When Orannis was originally bound and the Charter created, Mogget sided with neither the Seven nor the Destroyer. In response to this, the Seven bound him in service to the Abhorsens forever. He is deeply resentful of this, and whenever his collar comes off (the physical bond) he attempts to kill the Abhorsen because as long as an Abhorsen lives they have the power to re-bind him. After he stands against Orannis at the end of Abhorsen, he is released by Sameth with Belgaer, the Thinker.

He takes the form of a white cat throughout most of the three novels he appears in. He is often cynical and bitter when speaking with others. Because he was re-bound with Ranna at the end of Sabriel, he sleeps most of the time, or at least pretends to.

When it is apparent that the new Seven will not be strong enough to bind Orannis, Sameth removes Mogget's collar and tells him to "Choose well!" He too stands against Orannis, for the first time naming himself as Yrael, because he enjoys life too much and cannot stand to see it destroyed. With his power, the Eight are able to bind Orannis once again. As this binding occurs Orannis asks him 'why?', showing that they might have been companions before the two were originally bound.

Nicholas Sayre

Nicholas is the nephew of the Chief Minister of Ancelstierre. Several months after being unknowingly invaded by a sliver of Orannis, Nicholas goes to visit Sameth in the Old Kingdom. He hires Hedge, believing him to be an innocent Old Kingdom expatriate, to guide him. But Hedge diverts Nicholas from visiting Sameth to looking at a phenomenon near the Red Lake: a hill that is struck by lightning rather often. In truth, this is the hill under which the hemispheres of Orannis have been buried. Hedge convinces Nicholas to help him dig the hemispheres up, and transport it back to Ancelstierre, so that the lightning may be harnessed for power.

Nicholas is an unwitting participant in the scheme to release Orannis, having been possessed by Orannis himself. When Lirael and the Dog attempt to rescue him from Hedge, and he and Lirael end up on a boat in the middle of the Red Lake (thus fulfilling the Clayr's prophecy), his mind is cleared by Lirael's magic, and he promises to try to fight the Destroyer.

He dies toward the end of Abhorsen after he is rescued by Mogget while the hemispheres were being joined. He is, however, restored to Life by the Disreputable Dog in the epilogue. The dog baptizes Nicholas in the Charter to balance the free magic that is now part of Nick after his hosting part of Orannis.

In the novella, Nicholas Sayre and the Creature in the Case, he has acquired an appreciation for Old Kingdom magic, and battles Department 13 in their efforts to resurrect an ancient and vicious Free Magic creature from the Old Kingdom, a Nightmare creature that Lirael reveals to be a rare creature called 'Hrule.' From this creature Nicholas learns that his blood is filled with the power of the Nine Bright Shiners, highest of the high. He is even almost tempted to shed his flesh and fly with the creature back over the wall, but ultimately he chooses to trick the monster which gives Lirael enough time to make her entrance and seal the creature back into the earth for the time being. It's speculated that because the Disreputable Dog bathed him in the Charter magic and gave him the charter mark on his forehead that he would be Kibeth's successor and gained a lot of power from the dog, as even the strongest binding spells from Charter mages heal him instead of stopping him dead in his tracks. However, this seems unlikely because the Dog is still alive (and not in an incapacitated state like Astarael, who barely exists anymore and only appears under certain conditions), and so would not need to chose a descendant. However, this does not prevent the possibility that the Dog gave him some power anyway.


Orannis (also known as the Destroyer) was the Ninth Bright Shiner, and the most powerful. Its nature is to destroy, hence the name Destroyer. When It was going to destroy yet another world in the Beginning, the Seven finally banded together against It, and bound It. It was the strongest of the Nine, and only barely defeated by the Seven. It was cast into two hemispheres, buried under a hill within seven wards of various materials; silver, gold, and lead; rowan, ash and oak; and the seventh ward of bone.


Sabriel is the protagonist of the first novel. Sabriel and her mother died shortly after birth, but her father, the Abhorsen Terciel, retrieved Sabriel from the hands of the Greater Dead Kerrigor in Death. By her father's wishes, Sabriel grew up in Ancelstierre after living a few years in the Old Kingdom with her father. Shortly before she was to graduate from her school, Wyverley College in Ancelstierre, a Dead servant of her father's gave her his bells and his sword. She interprets this to mean that her father is trapped deep in Death. She returns to the Old Kingdom to save her father. She soon finds that she is not nearly skillful enough with magic or knowledgeable enough about her homeland. At the Abhorsen's house, she meets Mogget, and it is only then that she learns that there has been no king in two hundred years.

The house is besieged by dead. Sabriel escapes by calling a flood and flying away with Mogget on a kind of magical airplane, a paperwing. The paperwing crashes, and Sabriel finds herself in the graveyard of the royal house, where she frees Touchstone from imprisonment as a figurehead of a ship. They continue to the former royal city, where they find Sabriel's father's body. She brings him back to life, but he says that he will not be able to stay long and she must be Abhorsen.

Nineteen years after the events of Sabriel, she has married Touchstone, and after he was restored as the King of the Old Kingdom, she became his Queen of the Old Kingdom. During Lirael, she is rarely in the palace or with her children Ellimere and Sameth; her duties as an Abhorsen correcting the two hundred years of the interregnum keep her busy. She is very rarely seen during most of Lirael and Abhorsen.

At the end of Abhorsen, she is one of the Eight who bind Orannis; she wields the bell Saraneth the Binder (the preferred bell of Abhorsens).


Sameth is the son and younger child of Sabriel and Touchstone. It is believed in the Kingdom that since Ellimere will become Queen, he must fulfill the other Bloodline and become the Abhorsen. However, after encountering Hedge in Death, he is extremely afraid of becoming the Abhorsen. He is too afraid even to open the Book of the Dead. He is extremely relieved when he finds out that Lirael is to be the Abhorsen.

The one thing that Sameth has always truly enjoyed is making things. When Lirael finds out that she is the Abhorsen-in-waiting, Sameth, in the same way, is informed that he is the heir of the Wallmakers. Therefore, he is able to craft the sword needed to split the sphere in the binding of Orannis out of the pipes, Nehima, and the blood of the new Seven. In the binding, he wielded Belgaer.


Touchstone (formerly Torrigan) is the illegitimate son of the previous Queen of the Old Kingdom and an unnamed nobleman. He served as a member of the Royal Guard when Kerrigor betrayed the family and murdered them. After the betrayal, Touchstone entered a state of berserker-like rage and the then-Abhorsen bound Touchstone in a figurehead of a ship in Holehallow, the Royal Tombs. When Sabriel entered the tomb, she released him from this bond. He claimed amnesia of the past, because he felt guilty about not protecting the Queen and princesses. While on the Sea, however, he tells Sabriel what happened when the Royal Family was murdered. During the years between Sabriel and Lirael, he restored many of the Charter Stones that had been broken, including the Great Stones. He too is mostly absent from Lirael and Abhorsen. When he participates in the Binding at the end of Abhorsen, he revealed that his true name was Torrigan; he wielded Ranna.

The name Touchstone might have come from Shakespeare's play As You Like It where the character Touchstone is described as "a wise fool who acts as a kind of guide or point of reference throughout the play, putting everyone, including himself, to the comic test". Sabriel says to Touchstone upon hearing his decided name, "You know, there is a tradition of a wise fool..." indicating the connection.


The older sister of Sameth, and oldest child of King Touchstone and Abhorsen. She is destined to be the next ruler of the old kingdom. She is thought to be rather bossy by Sameth, though he admires her actions at the end of Abhorsen. She wields Dyrim in the second binding of the destroyer.


  1. ^ Garth Nix's Blog Retrieved April 18, 2008

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