Name: Steerpike (but if you want to flatter him, call him Master Steerpike).

Gender: Male.

Age: 17

Fandom: Gormenghast

Journal: not_snake_bite

Typist: Wil

Quick Biography

Steerpike first appears as a youth of seventeen years with an unclear past, working in Gormenghast's Great Kitchen under the chef Abiatha Swelter, whom he hates. On the day that Titus, 77th Earl of Gormenghast, is born Steerpike meets the chief retainer of the castle, Flay, and persuades the man to help him flee from Swelter (whom Flay loathes). From there, he rises through the castle's rigid hierarchy by various duplicitous and amoral means (mostly murders of a creative nature) over a 17 year period, driven by a thirst for power.

What follows is here for reference, as the current version of Steerpike is in fact seventeen.
Eventually, Steerpike insinuates himself into Barquentine's work, acting as appprentice and doing his best to make himself indispensable. When he considers the time ripe, he attempts to kill Barquentine by fire, but botches the attempt, underestimating the seemingly frail and disabled old man. Although aflame and dying, Barquentine clings to Steerpike in an attempt to take his murderer with him. Steerpike jumps from the nearest window into the moat below and drowns Barquentine. The incident, however, leaves Steerpike permanently scarred; his face now red and blotched. The fire and injury also appears to cause changes in his personality, namely a distinct fear of fire and an increasing loss of rationality. Nonetheless, he is appointed Master of Rituals. His behaviour at this point shows evident signs of madness, in stark contrast to the cool and rational youth he once was, particularly in a scene where he visits two of his victims whom he starved to death. Unfortunately, he was followed, and is confronted on the spot by Titus Groan, Flay and Prunesquallor.
With his crimes exposed, Steerpike flees and for a short while terrorizes the castle, using his intimate knowledge of its layout and extensive passageways to evade capture. Eventually, though, Titus, who blamed Steerpike for his sister's death, eventually finds and kills him.

Physical Abilities

Steerpike can grill meet, lie expertly, climb and generally contort himself quite well. ^^

Superhuman Abilities

Steerpike has been in training with Muraki. Quoth his typist:
"I imagine SP is starting to feel the effects of his power-up: eyesight becoming keener, hearing sharpening, reflexes becoming a lot quicker and then there's the sixth sense that would allow him to sense changes in spirit energy and thus detect any supernatural critters creeping around. I have a feeling His Sneakiness would be good at subtle magic such as veiling and psychic shielding (and one other sort that is escaping me for the moment…)."

Unusual or Magical Possessions

Nothing of the sort!


Typist note: In the BBC Miniseries he was portrayed by Jonathan Rhys-Myers brilliantly. Let’s just say he looks like him.
His body gave the appearance of being malformed but it would be difficult to say exactly what gave it this gibbous quality. Limb by limb, it appeared that he was sound enough, but the sum of these several members accrued to an unexpectedly twisted total. His face was pale like clay and save for his eyes, mask-like. These eyes were set very close together, and were small, dark red, and of startling concentration. (Mervin Peake, Titus Groan)


A youthful outsider, beginning as a kitchen boy, who worms his way into the hierarchy of Gormenghast for his own personal gain. Ruthlessly murderous, with a Machiavellian, highly intelligent and methodical mind, and a talent for manipulation, he can appear charming and sometimes even noble. Steerpike could also be considered an archetypal Machiavellian schemer: a highly intelligent, ruthless character willing to justify any and all means to reach his end.
If ever he had harboured a conscience in his tough narrow breast he had by now dug out and flung away the awkward thing - flung it so far away that were he ever to need it again he could never find it. (…) He is climbing the spiral staircase of the soul of Gormenghast, bound for some pinnacle of the itching fancy - some wild, invulnerable eyrie best known to himself; where he can watch the world spread out below him, and shake exultantly his clotted wings. (Mervin Peake, Gormenghast)
At the Mansion, Steerpike has learned his lesson. Since he has no desire to be killed another time (he is very pleased to have escaped Death, though he's never met her), and although his mind is as sick as it ever was since the twin's death, he tries to conceal his own murderous, self-serving designs.
Steerpike's persona was deeply modified by the death of Fuschia Groan, whom admittedly, he had a strong attraction to, though in a very unhealthy, twisted way. All of his life was bent on attaining her - all he did was to have her attention, and he did get it for a while, but they never concluded the affair. Then fire, disfiguration, and turns out Fuschia is a superficial idiot who can't deal with the scars. Then she offs herself after Steerpike confesses to her. Plummet into madness and self-loathing ensues.


RP Canon

Since he's showed up, Steerpike has mostly been learning the dark arts from Muraki, despite his unwholesome interest in the youth. Thus, he acquired some magic abilities, still in development, obvs. In the words of Muraki's typist: "In game, he [Muraki] started training SP in the arts of magick initially as a way to keep the oddly pretty young fellow close to him, but he's since started to mellow out and there are times, when he's feeling less lustful, that he can't help viewing the youth as the son he never had."

He's had a long-standing thing with Iphigenia (before and after his re-set), and Titus has had a growing interest in her (but none of the puppets involved are aware of the relationships with the other two). No-one really knows where this bit is going, including the typists involved.

SP had a couple meetings with Titus (including one over on dear_mun) and has basically dismissed all accusations placed before him, because he thinks that since he's not in Gormenghast anymore, he can't do what Titus accuses him of doing. He also isn't sure that Titus is sane, obvs.

Through his mentor, Steerpike has also more or less been allied with Aramat. He is also aware of Aramat's attack on Eda and is playing a double game in this instance, just as Steerpike is playing a double game where Tsuzuki and Muraki are concerned. He also trolled Light Yagami once, and would be delighted to hear about what Aramat did to him.

He has yet to meet the newly arrived (and now much older than him) Fuschia Groan.

RP Canon prior to re-set.

Steerpike has been 100% reset. The below RP canon is kept here for posterity, but no longer applies.
Steerpike’s body was left to the flooding waters of Gormenghast, and it eventually sunk. What followed is unclear, but he found himself in the Mansion’s garden, under soaking rain. He remembers everything, and still wears the mask he used to conceal his horrible burn scars. He has yet to verify what lies under the mask.

Involved with Laurel

Upon his arrival at the mansion, he was rude to Admetus of Pherae and Lynette, and Melisande Shahrizai mesmerized him. Laurel however appealed to something new in him, and together they visited the Mansion's attic, where Steerpike attempted to seduce her after she respected his wish not to remove his mask. To his distress, she advised him that she still loves Agravain, but Steerpike being who he is, he promptly (and conveniently) endeavored to forget this detail. They went to bed together, and in the dark he removed his mask, intent on resuming it before the light came forth again. He, however, is unknowing that in the transfer to the Mansion, his burn scars have indeed been healed, though Laurel did notice it by touch. The following morning, he witnessed Agravaine's boorish behavior to Laurel. Words were exchanged.


Steerpike was extremely annoyed when the Plothole quit the mansion, as he has yet to understand this particular aspect of his new dwelling, though he did locate the Mansion's blue prints, or at least, something bearing the appearance of this. Fond of such a place, Steerpike has decided to establish his quarters in the Mansion's attic.When Sir Kay proceeded to organize the Mansion, he took to the kitchens once more in an effort to do well, per his own delusion. There, he worked with Elaine, saw Admetus once more, met Sagramore (who incidentally had an affair with Laurel much before) for the first time, as well as Miz Deliverance.

First death

Steerpike found the body of Henry Lascelles and buried him with John Childermass' help. He still has the watch… and the gun, though the watch was destroyed when he died at the hands of Lucivar Yaslana (see the infamous SLOATH post on the typist's journal).
Brought back later because his typist is evil, rather amnesiac - he remembers emotions and faces, but not facts, as far as the Mansion is concerned, and very little about his life in Gormenghast.


So. He's friends with Laurel now, and this bemuses him. A LOT. He's certain that's just wrong, but can't put a finger on it. He's not quite thinking of it right now, though. He also apologized to Lynette in case he'd done something bad to her.


He got kiddified back to his pre-teen years. As such:

  • met Kalush and was weirded out. Girls. Have. Cooties.
  • flailed at Adrian Singleton about it, and actually told him a great deal of things about his life in Gormenghast.
  • met Laurel again.
  • hung out with Rosalind whom he thinks is a boy.
  • became Felix Harrowgate's boy servant for a day.
  • he also kept introducing himself as Sylvio to people, which later causes him to be very confused.

Now dekiddified, he's still amnesiac and more confused, because as a kid he lied to people about his name, which leaves him with two sets of different memories - those of Laurel, Lynette, and Elaine who remember him before his death, and those of Adrian et al who only knew kid!SP.
He managed to get Celebrimbor pissed at him, though we're told that's not really hard to do.
Felix Harrowgate met him again, and they realized the crackplot's effect - he offered to restore his memory, inducing much panic in Steerpike.

Possible conversion

He's also greeting Dashti and Anne Neville, and is learning about Christianity with Prior Philip, Peredur and John Constantine. He took care of Snitter during the unnatural storm, proving yet again that he is less insane than we all think.
He's now asking Laurel if she would be his god-mother. This is going to be interesting, espescially since he now remembers snogging her. Oh dear.

Second death

Currently dead. He beat up Bastas with an iron poker due to hooves existing, got off'd in a horrible manner by Kvothe.

Third death

He's died so many times since we updated the wiki that we don't remember them all, but his last death was at the hands of Agravaine, after he semi-accidentally killed Laurel. He's currently living in an abandoned cottage with Melisande Shahrizai and snogging her very determinedly, despite their power struggle. His black list involves anyone Feanorian (save Curufin, go figure), Bast and Kvothe, Iphigenia and, of course, Agravaine.

Mischief and Iphigenia

Having set the Feanorian wing on fire and caused lots of problems to everyone, Steerpike abducted Iphigenia and developed a Lima's Syndrome. When he left a door open (possibly an acte manque,) she escaped. He found her again with Curufin's help and is trying to convince her to return in hiding with him for various purposes, some more nefarious than others.

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