The Nine Bright Shiners are incredibly powerful Free Magic beings who were the first to develop conscious thought. This rare sentience gave them dominion over other Free Magic beings. Seven of the Bright Shiners sought to use their strength to create life independently capable of existing. However, they were opposed by Orannis. When Lirael sees how the original binding was performed, it appears that the seven fought Orannis on many planets, finally defeating him on the planet of The Old Kingdom and Ancelstierre. The Eighth Bright Shiner, Yrael, hid from Orannis and the Seven, but was captured and made a servant of the Abhorsens. After the binding of Orannis, the Seven made the Charter magic; five lost themselves completely in the Wallmakers (Ranna and Belgaer), the Clayr (Mosrael), the Royal line (Dyrim), and the Abhorsen line (Saraneth). These Five are the Five Great Charters. The remaining two, Kibeth and Astarael, lost only some power to the Charter and lived on in the Disreputable Dog and the well beneath Abhorsen's House, respectively. Today, the Seven exist in the bells, whilst Yrael and Orannis remain bound: Yrael in the service of the Abhorsen, Orannis in two metal hemispheres buried beneath the earth.
"I’ll sing you a song of the long ago -
Seven shine the shiners, oh!
What did the Seven do way back when?
Why, they wove the Charter then!
Five for the warp, from beginning to end.
Two for the woof, to make and mend.
That’s the Seven, but what of the Nine-
What of the two who chose not to shine?
The Eighth did hide, hide all away,
But the Seven caught him and made him pay.
The Ninth was strong and fought with might,
But lone Orannis was put out of the light,
Broken in two and buried under hill,
Forever to lie there, wishing us ill."
-Lirael pp. 525-526.