Baron Vengeous is a fictional character in the fantasy novel Skulduggery Pleasant 2: Playing With Fire by Derek Landy.

He is the main antagonist, a dark sorcerer who seeks the armour of Lord Vile, another evil sorcerer whose armour will enable him to ressurect a monstrous creature called the Grotesquery which has the power to release the Faceless Ones, a pantheon of evil gods whom Vengeous worships.

Fictional character history[]


Baron Vengeous was one of the Three Generals of Mevolent, the most evil magician in the history of the world.[1] The other two generals were Nefarian Serpine (who killed the wife and child of Skulduggery Pleasant, the main character of the story and Vengeous's arch-enemy) and Lord Vile who could control darkness and shadow.[2] Mevolent and his minions sought to ressurect the Faceless Ones who were banished from the mortal plain by the Ancients centuries ago.[3] Mevolent however was defeated by Skulduggery Pleasant as was Baron Vengeous. Skulduggery hurled a stack of dynamite at Vengeous leaving him badly scarred both physically and emotionally. Vengeous also harmed Skulduggery in some way though it is never revealed how[pg.30]. Soon after Mevolent and Vengeous's defeat the war ended and a Truce was signed. Lord Vile was killed at some point during the war, Vengeous was imprisoned but Serpine was allowed to walk free although in the first book of the series he attempted to release the Faceless Ones but was defeated and killed by Skulduggery with the help of Stephanie Edgely. What became of Mevolent has not yet been revealed.

Skulduggery Pleasant 2: Playing With Fire[]

In the second book of the series Vengeous is introduced after being released from prison by hitman Billy-Ray Sanguine and immediately retrieves the Grotesquery, a creature made from the remnants of a Faceless One along with various other malignant creatures.[4] He then begins searching for the Armour of Lord Vile which will enable him to resurrect the Grotesquery.[5] He is assisted in this task by Sanguine along with a vampire named Dusk and his army of infectected humans who will turn into vampires in 2 days.[6][7] It is soon revealed that China Sorrows used to be a member of Mevolent's evil cult along with Vengous and Serpine. Vengous goes to China's apartment and demands that she assist him in his plan but she rejects and mocks him. Vengous attacks her in a rage and Valkyrie Cain subsequently joins in the battle. China and Valkyrie defeat Vengous and his forces with the help of Skulduggery and Tanith Low and escape.[8]

Vengous later finds the Armour of Lord Vile which appears to be made of pure darkness and shadow. He dons the Armour and sends Sanguine to bring him Valkyrie because the Grotesquery can only be ressurected by the power of Vile's Armour combined with the blood of an Ancient and Valkyrie is descended from the Ancients.[9] Sanguine captures her and takes to an old abandoned church to the Faceless Ones where Vengous awaits her. In front of an altar upon which lies the body of the Grotesquery, Vengous cuts Valkyrie's finger and lets the blood drip onto the monstrous husk. He then charges the body with his shadow power. Skulduggery subsequently arrives, saves Valkyrie and steals the Grotesquery. Vengous sends Dusk after them but they escape. Skulduggery turns the Grotesquery over to Kenspeckle, a brilliant scientist who works for the Sanctuary (the Magic Parliament) who determines to take the malevolent creature apart but the Grotesquery has already absorbed a lot of power and so awakens whilst in Kenspeckle's possession. Killing two of Kenspeckle's assistants it makes its escape.

Vengous takes the Grotesquery to Clearwater Hospital in Dublin which serves as their base of operations. The source of the Grotesquery's power comes from its heart. When putting it together Vengous gave it the heart of a Hound of the Black Moon, monstrous creatures which reach the peak of their power during the Lunar Eclipse. At the time of the eclipse the Grotesquery will have achieved maximum power and will be able to unleash the Faceless Ones. Vengous also kidnaps China Sorrows and sends Dusk to kill Valkyrie. Dusk has a vendetta against Valkyrie for scarring his face with Sanguine's knife. Nevertheless with the help of Springheeled Jack she destroys Dusk before joining Skulduggery to go after Vengous.

Skulduggery and Valkyrie along with Tanith Low, Mr Bliss and four Cleavers go to Clearwater Hospital to stop Vengous and the Grotesquery. The Grotesquery proves more than a match for Skulduggery, Valkyrie, Tanith and Bliss put together but the Cleavers almost defeat it. Vengous subsequently joins in the battle and the Cleavers are destroyed. Subsequently Valkyrie frees China who attacks Vengous. Skulduggery jumps on the Baron's back and tears off his helmet and his breastplate. Vengous throws Skulduggery to the ground and advances on him but the skeleton detective shoots the dark sorcerer in the stomach. Vengous falls to the ground in horror and disbelief at having been conquered by his mortal enemy, Skulduggery Pleasant. In a swoon he crawls toward the Grotesquery. His last words were "Tell them I'm sorry I'm sorry - I've failed them." The Grotesquery then reached down and callously broke Vengous's neck, killing him instantly.

Powers and abilities[]

Aside from his immense physical strength Vengous exhibits a power by looking intently at a person, that destroys them in an explosize way. When wearing Vile's Armour he exhibited the ability to teleport, manipulate shadow and darkness to create formidable attacks and energy projectiles and levitate heavy objects such as cars. Wearing Vile's armour also gave him the power of Necromancy which enabled him to ressurect the Grotesquery and granted him invulnerability as he could only be defeated once the armour had been removed.


Vengous is regarded as highly ruthless and fanatical by those around him, regarding all others as tools to be used or obstacles to be demolished, like Nefarian Serpine before him. When asked by Valkyrie how high Vengous ranks on the "Evil Villain Scale" Skulduggery tells her that the Baron "hits it on about 11" implying that he is even more dangerous than Serpine.

However China Sorrows explains that he is considerably less greedy and self-centered than Serpine who despite his devotion to the Faceless Ones appeared to only want to release them for his own glory. Vengous however has no motive but his blind devotion to his gods. In the words of Skulduggery "Nothing is more dangerous than a zealot."

Despite being quite intelligent however, Vengous is somewhat less imaginative than Serpine and Vile. China Sorrows tells him that Vile could have used his power to change the world but Vengous "wouldn't know where to start" angering the proud Baron. Serpine also seemed more intelligent than Vengeous as he remained in control through most of the story up until the very end while Vengeous is merely a pawn in someone else's evil scheme.

Vengous holds Skulduggery in contempt, frequently referring to him as an "abomination."


  1. Skulduggery Pleasant, Playing with Fire, 17.
  2. pg.27.
  3. pg.27.
  4. Skulduggery Pleasant 2: Playing With Fire, 27.
  5. Ibid., 27.
  6. Ibid., 58.
  7. Ibid., 147.
  8. Ibid., 70-82.
  9. Ibid., 152.