Nicholas Sayre is a character from the Old Kingdom series. A native of Ancelstierre, he attended Somersby school with Prince Sameth of the Old Kingdom. A fairish haired, tall young man, he is described as being quite good looking. He appears in Lirael, Abhorsen and Creature in the Case.
Nicholas is the nephew of the Chief Minister of Ancelstierre. He is mistakenly chosen as the Avatar of Orannis, the main antagonist in both Lirael and Abhorsen. At the end of Abhorsen, Nicholas dies after months of posession, but is saved by the Disreputable Dog who baptises him to counter the Free Magic in his body, and returns him to life.
Once alive, he returns to Ancelstierre, but he wants to return to the Old Kingdom. His body is charged with the power of one of the Nine.
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WARNING: Spoiler Alert - Plot Revealed
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.