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Pearl Skinner †
Biographical Information
Born c. 201/202 HE
Died 247 HE
Nationality Tortallan
Physical Description
Gender Female
Hair Straw blond
Eyes Dark
Family Information
Siblings Two older brothers †
Other Family
Rank Commoner
Rogue Position Queen of the Thieves
Residence Eagle Street Court
Darcy Street Court
Riverside Court
District Port Caynn
Affiliation Court of the Rogue
Lionel of Trebond
Hansevor Remy
Torcall Jupp
Bibliographical Information
Tortallan Universe character
First Mentioned '
Only Mentioned '
First Appeared '
Last Appeared '
Latest Appearance '
Only Appearance Bloodhound
Last Mentioned '
"People who try to hurt Pearl have been known to end their lives flayed, gutted, and hung on the gates at Guards House."
Okha Soyan to Rebakah Cooper, warning her not to cross Pearl[src]

Pearl Skinner was the Rogue of Port Caynn between 243 HE and 247 HE. Pearl had three courts: Eagle Street Court, Darcy Street Court and Riverside Court[1]. She wasn't very popular with her people as she didn't look after them properly but only cared for herself. Instead of storing grain for a bad winter-to-come, Pearl got herself pearl teeth.

She only appears in Bloodhound.


Early life

Pearl was born in the early third century of the Human Era, probably around 201 or 202 HE. Skinner was both her family's name and her father's profession. Her father was an alcoholic. Pearl had two older brothers. All of her family were found dead in the sewers in the 230s HE; although all at different times. Pearl probably had them killed herself.[2] She knew Hansevor Remy since childhood[3], so perhaps she grew up in or near barony Olau, as he did.

The Rogue

She became the Rogue in 243 HE. Her regular bodyguards were Jurji and Torcall Jupp. Zolaika was her assassin. At important deaths ordered or committed by her, Pearl always left pearls by or on the victim. She also sent pearls to threaten people and to warn them not to meddle in her affairs. That's what she did in 244 HE, leaving pearls on the pillows of Sir Lionel's children, when the Deputy Provost got too nosy, thus indicating that she could reach and harm his children.[4] She later also sent a pearl collar to Sir Lionel's wife which was called a "choker" and told him that his lady would die if he resigned his post. Through this she had gained free hand in Port Caynn without resistance or other interference from the Provost's Guard.[5] She didn't live in her courts, because they were too open, but kept personal rooms for other uses and had clothes there[6].


In 247 HE, she produced a great amount of false money and thus inflated the economy. Her real aim was to change the counterfeit silver coins to gold coins, so that she was sitting on a fortune to buy loyalty, then to gain more money with gambling. Pearl was often seen in the Waterlily, a gambling house in the Port, where she also played against Dale Rowan, Hansevor Remy, Fair Flory and their crowd. In August of 247 HE she and her guards were actually paying when they lost, turning out false silver and later winning real money back from the others. According to Flory Pearl used the money to buy her pearl teeth.[7]

When Rebakah Cooper and Clara Goodwin arrived in Port Caynn and began involving themselves in Pearl's affairs the Rogue had some of her people bring the two Dogs to her. After threats failed she tried to bribe both of them to keep out of her business, without success.[8] She had already succeeded in bribing other Dogs in Port Caynn to work for her, even some of those working directly in Sir Lionel's service[9], including Ives. Pearl even betrayed her own people, paying Jupp with purses full of false coins and backhanding him repeatedly[10].

When the Provost's Guard raided Pearl's Riverside Court she fled with Zolaika and Jurji, trying to get a ship away from Tortall. Pearl was eventually arrested by Rebakah Cooper and Clara Goodwin. Afterwards Lord Gershom sent her and her fellow conspirators straight to Outwalls Prison in Corus, where they awaited their trial, which was to begin as soon as Goodwin and Beka were recovered and returned to the capital to give evidence[11].

Physical Description

In her mid-forties she was still lean and fit, which she needed to be to remain the Rogue. She had her hair dyed yellow; causing it to be brittle and resembling straw. She had large dark eyes and a long, straight nose. Her upper lip seemed to be invisible while her lower lip was full. Pearl had strong cheekbones and dressed like a hillwoman in a sleeveless overrobe with embroideries; good clothes made of silk. She wore several knives and daggers on her person. As jewelry she wore dangling earrings and rings on her fingers, although no neclaces, because those would be too dangerous in a fight.[12] Pearl had a growing number of pearl teeth, which might actually be the reason for her name, and those teeth still being original didn't look that good.[13]

Personality and Traits

Pearl has a nasty character and a habit of letting others do her work. For example she sends out her people, preferably Zolaika, to commit murder for her. As a Rogue she isn't really looking after her people, but only trying to increase her wealth. Anyone speaking or acting against her is first threatened and, if he or she doesn't stop going after her, eventually killed. However, Serenity once described her as a person who didn't remember insult long and also as a person who only gets her power from people not standing up to her, which is probably true[14].

She "only drink[s] in [her] own court, from [her] own lass, and [her] own kegs." Even being the Rogue Pearl denies any business with child stealers, although she makes fun of the Dogs demanding a silver noble as bribe to go searching for Vorna's daughter.[15] Not only can't her people come to her for help, they are even afraid of bringing problems up, because that would get them in trouble.[16]

Pearl is greedy, not only in starting the counterfeiting, but also in everyday matters like only listening to her people when they bring her a gift first[17].

The only beings liked by Pearls seemed to be animals, at least dogs. Thus she spoke vehemtly against people harming "a creature who can't speak of it" and even asked permission to pet Achoo. Pearl obviously enjoyed the hound.[18] She also couldn't resist sticky sweets, even though the mages had repeatedly warned her that those were bad even for her false pearl teeth.[19]

Notes and References

  1. Bloodhound, September 15, 247 (p. 231; Random House hardcover)
  2. Bloodhound, September 16, 247 I (p. 259; Random House hardcover)
  3. Bloodhound, September 24, 247 I (p. 447; Random House hardcover)
  4. Bloodhound, September 16, 247 I (p. 260; Random House hardcover)
  5. Bloodhound, September 17, 247 II (p. 331; Random House hardcover)
  6. Bloodhound, September 19, 247 II (p. 423; Random House hardcover)
  7. Bloodhound, September 16, 247 I (p. 255; Random House hardcover)
  8. Bloodhound, September 15, 247 (p. 229; Random House hardcover)
  9. Bloodhound, September 15, 247 (p. 233; Random House hardcover)
  10. Bloodhound, September 24, 247 II (p. 429; Random House hardcover)
  11. Bloodhound, September 23, 247 II (p. 518; Random House hardcover)
  12. Bloodhound, September 15, 247 (p. 225; Random House hardcover)
  13. Bloodhound, September 15, 247 (p. 226; Random House hardcover)
  14. Bloodhound, September 16, 247 II (p. 278; Random House hardcover)
  15. Bloodhound, September 17, 247 I (p. 319; Random House hardcover)
  16. Bloodhound, September 17, 247 I (p. 323; Random House hardcover)
  17. Bloodhound, September 19, 247 I (p. 397; Random House hardcover)
  18. Bloodhound, September 19, 247 I (p. 399; Random House hardcover)
  19. Bloodhound, September 24, 247 II (p. 491; Random House hardcover)

See Also