Pe Ell is an assassin, the number one mercenary/assassin in service to Rimmer Dall. He originally lived with a drunkard claiming to be his uncle who beat him, and despised the man. He began his life of assassination at age 12 after obtaining a weapon known as the Stiehl, with which he killed his uncle. For years after that, he served as an assassin for hire. It was in this way that Pe Ell met Dall, for the two both came to kill the same man.

After that time, Pe Ell forged a partnership with Dall, serving him because he was intrigued. Pe Ell's opinion that death was more interesting than life clashed with Dall's, but the two worked together just the same. Dall constantly tried to convert Pe Ell to his cause, but the assassin did not care. He also knew the secret of what Rimmer Dall really was, but it did not matter to him either.  Pe Ell came into contact with the Ohmsford family when Dall sent him to kill Quickening, the daughter of the King of the Silver River. Since Pe Ell's magic was external, he could approach her and kill her after finding her purpose. Pe Ell became enchanted with her, becoming increasingly eager for the time when he would take her life. However, he became short-tempered as first Morgan Leah and then Walker Boh joined their company as they headed for Eldwist. Pe Ell remained cautious, however, leery of Walker and eager to possess the Black Elfstone.

Pe Ell's temper grew as Horner Dees and Carisman the tunesmith joined their group, but he kept his temper in check. Working together with Dees, he managed to dispose of the Rake. However, he revealed his true colors when he captured Quickening, and took the Black Elfstone. However, Pe Ell did not know that he was meant to kill Quickening, that she had manipulated him from the beginning, and the realization drove him mad.  Fleeing from the others in terror, Quickening's blood on his hands, Pe Ell ran into the Koden that guarded Eldwist. When the others came upon him, he did not have a mark on him. However, Walker speculated that Quickening's blood may have acted as a poison, as an act by the King of the Silver River to see that her killer did not escape. Walker reclaimed the Elfstone and took the Stiehl to Paranor, where it would remain hidden for over a century until it was given to the assassin Aphasia Wye.

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