Threnody as a lamplighter.
Status Alive
Age 13
Origin Herbroulesse
Affiliations Right of the Pacific Dove
Lamplighters (former)
Title Lady
Occupations Wit
Lamplighter (former)
Relatives Syntychë (mother)
Unknown father
Weapons Fusil
Brace of hauncets
Series debut Lamplighter

Threnody (pronounced THREN-uh-dee[1]), also known as Threnody Vey and formally as Threnody of Herbroulesse, is a young calendar and the Marchess-in-waiting or heir apparent to Syntychë, the Lady Vey, august of the clave Right of the Pacific Dove. Although transmogrified into a wit, she was able to convince her mother to allow her to become a lamplighter and prenticed in the same quarto as Rossamünd Bookchild. Following a brief stint as a lamplighter, she was withdrawn from Imperial service by her mother and returned to her clave, functioning as a pathotine or wit alongside her sister calendars.


Although Threnody has long, curly black hair, this is actually a wig, as she has lost her hair as the result of becoming a wit. She is not yet reconciled to this, keeping her baldness a closely guarded secret. As a mark of her trade, Threnody has a spoor in the form of a thin arrow pointing up from her left eyebrow. Following the Battle of Wormstool she gained a cruorpunxis of unspecified design and location.[2]

Before becoming a prentice-lighter Threnody wore the same dress as the calendars of the Right of the Pacific Dove. This consists of artificial wings, bossocks, and high hats. While she was a prentice-lighter and afterwards as a junior lamplighter, she wore the standard uniform, but hers was tailoured instead of issued, making her appearance a great deal sharper and smarter than her fellow prentices. After she was withdrawn from the lamplighters, she returned to dressing as a calendar of the Right.


Threnody could be very stubborn and haughty, traits that she shares with her mother. She often bragged about her abilities, knowledge, or background, and would also complain about the reduced circumstances within which she had to live as a lamplighter, but nonetheless put up with her situation. Although she aspired to become a pistoleer and was reluctantly transmogrified, Threnody's abilities as a wit are a source of pride for her. It is suggested that her changeable personality is influenced in part by not yet having fully adjusted to being a wit and the resulting changes that her body has undergone, especially having to deal with a perpetual headache.

After returning to the Right, she appears to have matured, exercising leadership during the Battle of Winstermill.


The relationship between Threnody and her mother, the Lady Vey, is characterized by its fractiousness due to their opposite views on almost everything. The two frequently get into arguments and although the august has been able to prevail in major issues, this does not stop Threnody from attempting to go her own way. Nonetheless Threnody has adopted some her mother's views. Although she does not publicly show it, Threnody by contrast maintains a better relationship with Dolours, her guardian, although the latter has had to put up with her moods.

Following the theroscade against the Horn-ed Nickers, Threnody met Rossamünd Bookchild as he had been tasked to minister to the calendars, being the only member of the quarto to carry any restoratives. She initially treated him as a social inferior, giving him the nickname of "lamp boy", but tolerated him. Although Threnody quickly adapted and proved her own abilities, she continued to keep an eye on Rossamünd. While prenticing she deliberately stayed aloof and apart from her fellow prentices and did not develop any friendships except for him. She set the tone for this on her first day by forcing Noorderbreech to back down despite having taken his spot, a breech of etiquette among the prentices. She then shot down an attempt by Arimis Arabis, the oldest of the prentices, to make "friendly" with her. Following these two incidents, Arabis had the other prentices ostracised her and she was largely left alone or ignored. Nonetheless some, most notably Punthill Plod, who was in the same quarto, were attracted to Threnody, although none of them approached her.


Wit: When Threnody first appeared, her witting was still "green", as she was unable to control it and thus she targeted the lamplighters as opposed to the Horn-ed Nickers who were attacking the carriage. Her witting improved as she was much more effective during the Battle of Wormstool and the later Battle of Winstermill.

Marksmanship: When prenticing to become a lamplighter, Threnody displayed an aptitude as a quick learner and skilled shot with a fusil. While stopped in Hinkerseigh, she purchased a pair of fine doglocks which she began wearing after arriving at Wormstool, fulfilling in part her ambition of being a pistoleer. However she was not mentioned as having practiced with them and when she tried to use them against the monsters attacking Wormstool her aim was thrown off by their recoil and she missed. After returning to becoming a calendar, Threnody appears to have focused on becoming a more capable wit.


Threnody is the child of Syntychë and an unknown father, conceived for the sole purpose of producing an heir to succeed to the leadership of the Right of the Pacific Dove. Her mother has sought to dictate her life, which has been made difficult by Threnody's frequent opposition. She had been inspired by Europe's example to become a fulgar or even a pistoleer, but was forced by Syntychë to instead become a wit. Just before she turned 13, she was sent to Sinster be transmogrified by two of the best surgeons in the Half-Continent, Sculapias and Spedillo. This was against the advice of Dolours and some of the other columbines.



Eight months later, Threnody’s request to become a lamplighter was granted in order to give her fellow sisters a break from the conflict between mother and daughter. She was escorted to Winstermill by Dolours, Charllette, Idesloe, and Pannette, but their carriage was not allowed to spend the night at the Wellnigh House cothouse due to a lack of room. They were forced to push on to Winstermill, resulting in the carriage being attacked by a gang of Horn-ed Nickers. After the carriage crashed, Threnody leaped out and tried to take on the attackers. However her striving was still green and was not accurately directed against the nickers, affecting the lamplighters as well.

Deliberately distancing herself from the other prentices through her behavior and attitude, she was placed in Q Hesiod Gæta, Rossamünd's quarto. Despite beginning her training late, Threnody proved to be a fast learner, picking up marching quickly and proving to be an accurate shot with the fusil. This further showed up Arimis, who was proud of his accuracy.

When Billeting Day arrived, she was originally assigned to the cothouse of Dovecote Bolt. However she requested to be reassigned to Wormstool in order to serve alongside Rossamünd, her only friend among the prentices.



A threnody is a song, hymn or poem of mourning composed or performed as a memorial to a dead person.


  1. After Thingy...
  2. Lamplighter, Chapter 26