Seven bells are used by necromancers to summon and control the Dead. While most such bell-wielders will be Free Magic sorcerers, the most highly-accomplished wielders of the seven bells come from the Abhorsen family. They are always Charter Mages, and they use the bells to defeat the Dead and compel them to return into Death and pass beyond the Ninth Gate, from which there is no return.

The seven bells are kept on a leather bandolier, like an old brown belt, each in a leather pouch, starting with one the size of a small pill bottle and growing larger, till the seventh is almost the size of a jar.

The Abhorsen's bells are usually silver, with dark, deeply-polished mahogany handles and Charter marks appearing on both wood and metal. Other necromancer's bells may be bronze or silver, with handles of a darker wood, usually ebony. They do not have Charter marks upon them and will have the characteristic hot-metal reek of Free Magic.

The seven bells, in order of their size and power are:

Ranna, the first, the smallest bell. Ranna the sleepbringer, the sweet, low sound that brings silence in its wake.

Mosrael, the second, a harsh, rowdy bell, the waker. The bell whose sound is a seesaw, throwing the ringer further into Death, as it brings the listener into Life.

Kibeth, the walker, a bell of several sounds, a difficult and contrary bell. It can give freedom of movement to one of the Dead, or walk them through the next gate.

Dyrim, a musical bell, of clear and pretty tone. Dyrim can return the voice that the Dead have so often lost, but Dyrim can also still a tongue that moves too freely.

Belgaer, another tricksome bell that seeks to ring of its own accord. The thinking bell, the bell most necromancers scorn to use. It can restore independent thought, memory and all the patterns of a living person, or slipping in a careless hand, erase them.

Saraneth, the deepest, lowest bell. The sound of strength, the binder, the bell that shackles the Dead to the wielder's will.

Astarael, the Sorrowful. The banisher, the final bell. Properly rung, it casts everyone who hears it far into Death. Everyone, including the ringer.