Stephen Dene
Police Officer,
Leader of the Shades
Stephen coloured
Species: Human
Gender: Male
Age: 19
Family: Regina Dene (Sister)

Mr. and Mrs. Dene (Parents)

Skin color: White
Hair color: Dark Brown
Eye color: "Dark"
Significant Other: Aurora Deveaux (it's complicated)
Status: Alive (Restored)
Appearances: The Boy in the Smoke

The Name of the Star
The Madness Underneath
The Shadow Cabinet

Stephen Dorian Dene is the head of the Secret Police who is tasked with dealing with the ghosts in the London area. Aurora Deveaux first meets him after Wexford becomes the centre of police activity, following a murder on the school premises. As of The Madness UnderneathStephen is Rory's current love interest. 

Appearance Edit

Stephen is practically a teenager, and is therefore a very young-looking police officer. He has been described as having dark hair, a thin nose, long face, and defined hollows under his cheekbones. He also wears glasses. The words “tall” and “lanky” are often used when Rory describes him, though she has also noted that he appears, in fact, to be very physically competent.

Because he was restored, he may or may not possess extra supernatural strengths or abilities.

Biography Edit

Early Life Edit

Stephen was born in Canturbury, Kent. He was born into an affluent family who could afford a personal housekeeper and to send him to Eton school. Stephen's intelligence was recognised from an early age, and he commenced learning French, Latin, and some Italian. While at Eton school, he played rugby, and was captain of the 2nd rowing team. Stephen reveals to Rory that he got the Sight due to his suicide attempt by hanging in the boat shed, and not due to a boating accident as he had first said. As a child and young adult he had always wanted to be a Police Officer; a career path his father didn't approve of.

Personality Edit

As noted elsewhere on this wiki, Stephen is a very analytical thinker, tightly wound, and snappy. He is also reserved, very closed off, focused, intellectual, and somewhat of a control freak. These are likely natural character traits made worse in the first book by Stephen leading the only police division actually capable of catching the Ripper, so he's the one least able to lean on his colleagues for support and help, espically since he has to keep a few very important secrets from them. Callium says once that Stephen is paranoid people are keeping secrets from him. Despite this, Stephen warms up to Rory, going out of his way to comfort and protect her, smiling at her jokes, and even making a few dry ones of his own. (Albeit with a straight face- but hey! He’s trying.) He trusts her deeply, possibly even more then he trusts Callum and Boo, and does not want to see Rory rushing into things or getting hurt. Stephen is deeply compassionate, something neither his parents or Eton valued. His kindness gives him a tendency to disregard his safety and make reckless decisions, particularly when the women he loves are involved. And, according to his intake form for joining the Shades, he is generally reckless in dangerous situations, since he doesn't weight situations in terms of his own safety. This has almost killed him more than once, and even when he survives, his actions almost always end up dramatically changing his life.

Gaining the Sight

Stephen's Sight was triggered during events in The Boy in the Smoke. He was later initiated into the English government's Shades division, fulfilling his childhood desire to become a member of the police force.

In The Books

The Ripper Case Edit

When a Copy-Cat begins to replicate Jack the Ripper's attacks on the anniversaries of the victims' deaths, the people of England begin to panic. The murderer appears to be following one version of the Jack the Ripper legend, and so authorities scramble to anticipate his next move. One of the first murders is recorded on CCTV footage, but the police are baffled to discover that the victim appeared to fall at the hands of an invisible attacker. After this discovery, Stephen and the Shades under his authority (Callum and Boo) are tasked with aiding the investigation.

Word spreads to Stephen and the other Shades that a high school girl named Aurora Deveaux (Rory) may have the Sight. This is due to the fact that she witnessed an unknown man on the Wexford Sixth-Form College grounds: a man who her accompanying friend did not see. After Rory follows Boo to her rendezvous with Stephen, Rory happens to witness a person walk right through a ghost. This shocks her, and Boo persuades Stephen to take Rory back to the apartment to explain. As their leader, Stephen sits across from Rory and gives an explanation for her Sight, as well as the history of the Shades' police sector.

Shortly afterwards, Boo persuades Stephen to drive everyone to Charing Cross station to go ghost--spotting while Stephen gives a short lecture about Ghosts.

On November 2nd, Boo calls Stephen saying that she lost and found Rory before she (Boo) is hit by a car. Stephen hurries over, takes Boo's terminus and Rory, and drives to Goodwin's Court to ring someone, and get an unofficial statement from Rory. They're interrupted by breaking news about Newman scrawling the message "The Name of the Star is What You Fear." Stephen gives Rory some of his old clothes to change into, and makes them tea to make her more comfortable, and tells her how the Shades were founded and a little about himself, when Callum runs in. He and Stephen argue, and they accidentally let slip Newman is after Rory, and she's their only lead. A few hours later, Stephen drops Rory off at Wexford and says they'll keep an eye on her. True to his word, Stephen sits on a bench and pretends to read, while accidentally eavesdropping on a conversation between Rory and Jerome about the Ripper. Rory spots Stephen, and asks him to take her to see Jo, since no one told her about Boo's accident. He does.

On November 7th, Stephen sees Callum and Rory go the station and that she looks sick when they come back up. He realises what happened, and later gives Rory a terminus while explaining how they work.

On the night of November 8th, the Ripper sent Rory a series of texts which quickly go from innocuous to threatening, while telling her to go to King William Street station. Of course, all the Shades are guarding Rory, so Boo calls Stephen and he comes quickly to try and trace the messages to find The Ripper's location, not that it does any good. Stephen gives Rory Callum's uniform to sneak her out of Wexford. Stephen checks the police database to find the one officer who can tell them about the King William Street Incident, Sargent Maybrick, and learns from him how The Ripper died.

The Shades decide to surround The Ripper. While Callum makes his way through the tunnels, Stephen and Rory wait in the police car, where Stephen decides to tell Rory the real story of how he nearly died.

Once underground, Stephen stays by the doorway at first, then dashes to Rory's side. He and Callum flank the Ripper, and Stephen tries to convince him to stand down. When the lights go out, Stephen passes Rory his terminus and turns them back on, but is injected by the Ripper with a large dose of insulin in the process. In exchange for the antidote, The Ripper demands all three termini. Despite Stephen's protests, both Rory and Callum give theirs up, but The Ripper believes there's still one more Shade with terminus waiting for him. To keep Stephen alive, Rory volunteers to take The Ripper to Boo at Wexford. Satisfied, The Ripper tells Rory where the antidote is and how to inject it into Stephen.

Stephen next appears at Rory's room in the the hospital, and barely manages to give Rory a heads-up before Thorpe comes in and tells Rory, in a Men in Black kind of way, that what she was involved in has to be kept secret. Stephen answers a few questions to try to cut things short, and after Thorpe leaves, Stephen at least says why the case should be kept a secret. Stephen then tells Rory the cover-up story. At the news the terminus stones are lost, he reaffirms there's still a squad.

The Quaint Case Edit

In The Madness Underneath, Stephen, uncomfortable with leaving Rory completely alone after everything that happened to her, keeps an eye on Rory without her knowledge, and witnesses her accidentally terminate the ghost of a man just by touching him. Knowing that the Shades would likely be shut down without any terminus devices, Stephen reluctantly sets up a situation where Rory terminates a ghost in front of Thorpe to solve both problems. Rory is upset about the situation, but after Stephen explains everything, she calms down. Stephen takes Rory to see Boo and Callum at their new headquarters, where Rory explains how she got her new ability. Afterwards, Stephen drives Rory back to Wexford and watches her to make sure she enters safely.

Rory calls Stephen about her theory that a web of cracks mysteriously appearing all over London may be connected to ghostly appearances, which catches his interest. To confirm her theory, Rory pesters Stephen until he agrees to take her along to interview Sam, a convicted murderer, about his crime, which may have ghostly underpinnings. Fortunately for them, Rory's presence gets Sam to open up about what he saw before he goes into permanent denial over it. Stephen and Rory immediately go to The Royal Gunpowder Pub to investigate, where they find the ghost that was responsible for the murder, which Rory quickly terminates. Afterwards, Stephen repeatedly asks Rory if she's alright. To take the attention off her, Rory talks a lot, and almost lets slip part of a conversation she had earlier with Callum about Stephen, but manages to redirect it at the last moment. Stephen and Rory give Callum and Boo an update on the situation, and Stephen orders both of them to look for mysterious cracks around London. Once they're alone in the car again, Stephen brings the conversation back to what Callum said. Rory admits he said that Stephen always tried to do everything himself, which led to them talking about secrets for a bit before he dropped Rory off at Wexford again.

Stephen and the other Shades are called to investigate the death of a woman named Dawn Somner, so Boo calls Rory to help. Rory quickly finds out that a tarot card which mirrors Dawn's death is missing. Just as they're about to leave, Stephen gets a call that Rory's parents have reported her missing, and in the ensuring argument about Rory returning to Wexford, she lets slip she and Callum both want her to join the Shades. The argument escalates from there until Rory storms out, ready to go with Jane to the country, even though she hesitated to take that step before.

Jane intimidates Rory by listing the addresses of her loved ones, with the implicit threat that she and her followers can bring harm to Rory's relatives if Rory does not obey. In response, Rory obliges out of fear and gets inside Jane's car. While on they're on the move, Stephen drives his police car and rams into the side of Jane's vehicle. The impact of the crash leaves a bleeding gash on Stephen's forehead and he (unknowingly) receives a significant trauma to his head (subdural hematoma) . Stephen merely brushes off his injuries, either unaware that he had sustained a serious brain trauma or unwilling to be distracted from Rory's situation.


Back at his flat, Stephen vaguely remarks on having a headache. Early the next morning, Boo goes to wake up Stephen but finds him unresponsive. When she still cannot force him awake, she alerts Callum and Rory and they call for an ambulance. Paramedics arrive at Stephen's flat, assess his condition, and immediately transport him to the ICU. A doctor later explains to Rory, Callum, and Boo that Stephen's has suffered an subdural hematoma (or hemorrhage). The hit to Stephen's head during their collision with Jane's car the previous evening was left untreated, and eventually resulted in Stephen's comatose state. Medical staff drain the blood from Stephen's brain and place him on life support while the other Shades wait for news. The doctor hesitantly tells them all that they've made him comfortable, but that "decisions need to be made by the family" (as in, whether or not they will turn off Stephen's life support). Ultimately, Rory, Boo, Callum and Thorpe come to the collective decision that Stephen would not want to live by having a machine force breath into his body.

Rory remembers Newman's theory that a person who dies while holding an activated terminus might have a greater chance of lingering as a ghost. Callum is vehemently and violently opposed to testing this idea on Stephen, but Thorpe threatens to have him removed from the room. Later, when Stephen dies, he does not immediately reappear by his body's side. Boo tells Rory that ghosts don't always appear where they died, and that Stephen's ghost could be anywhere.

Search for Stephen

In The Shadow Cabinet, Rory and The Shades set out to look for Stephen. They search anywhere that they believe he could manifest . With no luck, The Shades try and focus on the chaos going on around them in London. After a skirmish of sorts, Rory is told by Jane that if she retrieves the broken stones from the Eye of Isis, she will be able to bring Stephen back. 

Rory obliges to help Jane, if only to revive Stephen. After she completes a preparatory ritual (a sort of Eleusinian Mystery copy-cat) and has her arm cut over the Oswulf Stone, she is sent to a dream-like dimension in order to retrieve the three "dead."

Retrieving Stephen Edit

Rory appears in a dream-like London. (Or a Purgatory of sorts?) She eventually stumbles upon a diner, and inside finds Stephen. He is confused and believes his sister is waiting for him. Rory kisses Stephen to snap him out of his stupor, and the two somehow find a car and drive along until Rory’s home in Louisiana appears out of the mist.

Inside, Rory succumbs to the weird fog of the dimension. She tries to discuss their romantic standing but is cut off by Stephen, who senses something off. She snaps out of the funk and they proceed onward. Sid and Sadie’s house appears next, and the two of them enter to find the home the same as it was when the twins had “died.” Sid and Sadie call to them from upstairs, and the four of them have a short yet enlightening chat. Sadie deduces that Stephen is a part of the Shadow Cabinet, and after he and Rory run out of the house, she makes him explain the Cabinet and his involvement in it.

They both return to the real world, but Rory has no memory of their time elsewhere. It is alluded that Stephen does in fact remember.

As of the end of The Shadow Cabinet, he and the rest of the Shades are fine.

Etymology Edit

Stephen comes from the Greek Stephanos, or Stephanos meaning "Crown, wreath, garland, chaplet; crown of victory." And by extension "Victory and glory. To reward, honor, prize, and honor." Properly, "To encircle, crown, wreath, tie around."

From the root words "Stepho." Meaning "To support, to stomp, to curse, to be amazed." And "Stebh-" meaning "Post, stem; place firmly on, fasten."

Dorain is a Greek name meaning "From the sea, from Doria." The Dorians were ancient Hellenic settlers of Ancient Greece.

Dene (pronounced like "Dean"), is a Middle English or Middle German word from 1820-1850 which is derived from the word "denu", meaning "Den." or "Dune." In the South English dialect, it means "A sandy tract or dune by the seashore." Or "A vale or valley, especially a deep, narrow, or wooded valley of a small river."

Trivia Edit

  • Stephen likes to read space opera novels and watch police procedurals.


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