Druids (Shannara)

Druids (Shannara)

The Druids are an order of historians, philosophers, magic-users, teachers and researchers in the Shannara series of epic fantasy[1] novels by Terry Brooks.


The Order of the Druids

Druid magic

Druid Magic, like most of the magic that originates in the Four Lands, is elemental. It draws from the earth, air, fire and water in various forms. Its power is enhanced or weakened by the strength of the user. Some users would find more success with talismans like the Sword or the Elfstones than others, as we've seen in the books. Sometimes the magic of a talisman or an external source links with the magic innate in a user, causing various results. Like science, magic is uncertain, and the results of its application are not alway predictable.[2]


Paranor is the fortress that has been used by the Druids since they first created the Druid Council. It is described as having a keep and a surrounding wall. Geothermal energy powers and heats the keep. It is riddled with secret passages that interconnect the entire fortress; these have been used by friend and foe alike. The fortress also contains the hidden library that houses the Druid Histories, in addition, it contains vaults that have held a variety of artifacts including the Sword of Shannara and the Stiehl. But the keep's most important feature is the Druid Well. It is the source of the Druids' potent magical powers, and a last defense against invaders. If the fortress is taken, it removes Paranor from the Four Lands, killing all inside despite any magic or lack thereof. This can only be undone using the power of the Black Elfstone, and even then at tremendous cost to the resurrector.[citation needed]

History of the Druids

Note: Brona was a man from the Southland and not a Gnome of the Eastland.[citation needed]

The First War of the Races

One hundred and fifty years later, a sector of the race of Men rose up and rebelled against the teachings of the Council, proclaiming that their leader's teachings would lead to a betterment of Mankind, furthering their pride and making them the dominant race of the Four Lands. They were led by the ex-Druid Brona. The rebellion soon widened into what became known as the First War of the Races. Eventually the combined power of the Druids and the other allied races crushed the revolt, and the surviving Men fled to the Southland to lick their wounds and rebuild their shattered lives.[citation needed]

The Fall of Paranor

Soon after Bremen left, a huge army of Trolls emerged from the Charnal Mountains and took control of the entire Northland, and Brona's creatures laid siege to Paranor. The Druids were betrayed from within by three of their number who were won over by Brona's promises of power. They opened one of the side doors to the keep and Brona's forces swarmed in, and set about slaying the Druids, despite the best efforts of Caerid Lock and his Druid Guard. The three traitors met with their master and were transformed into monsters that would stay at Paranor to await Bremen. Brona immediately began searching for the Druid Histories, the books that contained the knowledge of the Old World, that were hidden within the vault situated inside the library. However, Kahle Rese, the librarian and friend of Bremen, had used a magic powder to hide the Histories before being killed, and Brona was unable to find them. He had the Druids walled away alive, but abandoned the Keep because of the Druid Well's protective magic.[citation needed]

Surviving Druids of Brona's Attack

  • Bremen — Human, banished by Druid Council for practicing use of magic, returned several days before fall of Paranor, left before attack, helped forge the Sword of Shannara, chose Allanon as his successor, died three years after Second War of the Races[citation needed]
  • Tay TrefenwydElf, follower of Bremen, elementalist, went with Bremen before fall of Paranor, went to Arborlon to ask for help in finding the Black Elfstone, led the company along with Jerle Shannara to recover the stone, died after using the Black Elfstone to save surviving members of his company, and was buried somewhere in Arborlon[citation needed]
  • Mareth — Human, Druid Apprentice/Healer, empathic, daughter of a Skull Bearer, away from Paranor during its fall, traveled with Bremen, went with Kinson Ravenlock to search for Dwarves, married Kinson after the Battle of the Rhenn, vowed to never used powers again except to heal, lived at trading post that later became the city of Kern[citation needed]
  • Cogline — Human, outcast Druid, survivor of First War of the Races, lived in Darkin Reach, gave Bremen alloy mix for Sword of Shannara, survived for another 800 years.[citation needed]

The Second War of the Races

The surviving Druids, led by Bremen, began a war effort, helping the races fight the Warlock Lord and his army of Trolls and Gnomes. Bremen himself crept back into Paranor and recovered the Eilt Druin, the talisman that would become part of the Sword of Shannara. Later, passing through the destroyed city of Varfleet, he came across the twelve year old Allanon, and befriended him, believing he had found his successor. When the Sword was forged, Bremen took it to the newly-crowned Elven King Jerle Shannara. He and the other Druids joined with Jerle Shannara's army at the Valley of Rhenn to face the Warlock Lord's army. He and Allanon saved each others lives several times in the battle that followed. Bremen watched as Jerle Shannara destroyed the Warlock Lord's physical body, but failed to destroy his spirit, which fled to recover itself.

The Last of the Druids

Three years later, Bremen died, leaving Allanon as his successor and last of the Druids. Risca and Tay Trefenwyd had both died during the War, and Mareth had sworn to never again use her powers. Allanon returned to Paranor and vanished from history.[citation needed]

The Third War of the Races

500 years later, Brona and his minions had finally regained their former power, and with them came Allanon once more. Seeking to finish what Bremen started, he sought out the aid of Shea Ohmsford, the only one who could wield the Sword of Shannara as he was the last descendant of Jerle Shannara. Allanon joined the quest for the Sword, conversing with the Shade of Bremen at the Hadeshorn. After numerous battles, including fighting a Skull Bearer at Paranor, Allanon aided Shea as he confronted Brona. After one last conversation with Shea, Allanon disappears to sleep.[citation needed]

The War of the Forbidding

When the Demons escaped the Forbidding, Allanon reappeared to aid in the battle against them. Offering his services to the Ellcrys, he set about organizing the defeat of the enemy. First, he recruited Wil Ohmsford and Amberle Elessedil to seek out the Bloodfire so the Ellcrys could be restored. Then, he gave his aid against the Demon forces, particularly by obtaining a staff of Ellcrys wood to weaken the Demons. Allanon battled the Demons throughout the conflict, and brought down the Dagda Mor. However, he gave more of himself than he intended, and aged rapidly from his use of magic. After saying his goodbyes to Wil Ohmsford and Ander Elessedil, he disappeared once more to recover.[citation needed]

The Passing of an Age

When Allanon once again returned, he came this time to Wil Ohmsford's daughter, Brin. He told her the Ildatch, the book of dark magic that had given the Warlock Lord his power, had been found, and that she must destroy it. He, Brin and Rone Leah travelled to the Hadeshorn where the spirit of Bremen revealed to Allanon several horrible truths, which he kept secret from his companions. Allanon then imbued the Sword of Leah with the powers of the Hadeshorn, to allow Rone to cut through or deflect any magic that would harm Brin. Almost immediately after doing so they were ambushed by a Mord Wraith, a servant of the Ildatch, and Allanon was saved only by his instincts and the new powers of the Sword of Leah. The Druid destroyed the Wraith. They then travelled to Paranor to drive the Mord Wraiths from the Druid's Keep. To do so, Allanon was forced to activate a magic placed on Paranor before it was even built, and he sent the Keep into the spiritual world where it and the Druid Histories would remain hidden and beyond reach until a future Druid could bring them back. When they reached the Chard Rush, they were stopped by a Jachyra, a fearsome creature from before the time of the Ellcrys. Allanon faced the monster and eventually destroyed it, but he himself was mortally wounded doing so. After naming Brin the bearer of his charge, he was carried into the waters by the shade of Bremen, telling her to return here when her task was done. When Brin returned, Allanon's shade told her that Bremen had foretold his death at the Hadeshorn, and although Allanon had tried to avoid it, when he saw the Jachyra he knew his time had indeed come. He told Brin that the magic would not be needed for many generations to come, but one day the magic would be needed once more, and that the Ohmsfords would have to be ready. With that, he disappeared and came to rest in the Hadeshorn.[citation needed]


300 years later, Allanon's shade summoned the scions of the Shannara family to him and charged them with different tasks to save the Four Lands from the Shadowen. One of the gathered individuals was Brin's descendant, Walker Boh. Allanon charged him with returning Paranor and the Druids. Walker, however, didn't want to become a Druid and initially refused his charge. But Walker happened to be a friend of Cogline, and Cogline's influence and his own curiosity eventually convinced Walker to go through with his charge. With help, Walker recovered the Black Elfstone and managed to find a way into Paranor. There, he used the elfstone to absorb the spirits, and powers, of all the previous Druids and return Paranor to the Four Lands. His charge complete, Walker became the first of the new Druids and fought in the Shadowen War.[citation needed]

Third Druid Council

Walker took on the task of restoring the Druid order after the Shadowen were destroyed. To do so, he needed to build a new Druid Council that would aid the people of the Four Lands. Sadly, he died before this could be accomplished. But his successor, Grianne Ohmsford, succeeded in restoring the Druid order. With the Druids restored, Grianne took the title of High Druid and officially established the third Druid council.[citation needed]

Grianne's order was dedicated to preserving the Four Lands. Unfortunately, Grianne's past as the Ilse Witch resulted in her being seen as untrustworthy by many in the Four Lands. Meanwhile, there were a number of Druids who wanted to usurp Grianne. Following a destructive war in which the Druids were divided, Grianne dissolved the Druid Council and stepped down as High Druid. However, she left three Druids at Paranor to once again restore the Druids, but to wait until it was the right time to do so.[citation needed]

List of Druids

Ahren Elessedil

Ahren was a Prince of the Elves in the time that Walker Boh set out for Parkasia. At the insistence of his brother, Ahren was sent along on the expedition as a representative of the Elessedil family. However, he was really sent along to prevent him from taking the throne from his brother's children in the event of his brother's death. On the journey, Ahren trained with his longtime mentor, Ard Patrinell, and befriended Bek Ohmsford.[citation needed]

Upon arriving in Parkasia, Ahren was left with only the company of the seer Ryer Ord Star. Together, the two managed to free Walker from Antrax (A.I.) and recover the lost Elfstones belonging to Ahren's family. However, upon their escape from the catacombs of Antrax's lair, they were captured by Mwellrets under the Morgawr. Ahren, who had begun to feel close to Ryer, was shocked by her seeming alliance with the warlock. He was shocked further when Ryer helped him to escape, resulting in her death. During his time in Parkasia, Ahren changed from the boy he had been to the man he was at that point. He proved a valuable ally, even killing the Mwellret Cree Bega. Upon returning, he surrendered the Elfstones to his brother, then left for Paranor. He was later officially banished from Arborlon by his brother, after Kylen found out that he had lied to him about Walker's death to ensure the Elves would support the new Druid Council.[citation needed]

For some years after that, Ahren lived and studied at Paranor as a Druid, becoming a powerful ally to Grianne Ohmsford. However, after ending his relationship with a female Elf Druid, Iridia Eleri, he departed from Paranor's intrigues and lived as a hermit in a Westland village called Emberen. He was visited often by his niece Khyber, who wanted to become a Druid, and he trained her in the use of magic.[citation needed]



Athabasca was the High Druid during Bremen's time, and like most of the Druids felt that Bremen's claims that the Warlock Lord was coming to destroy the Druids were ridiculous. He was a staunch in the Druid policy of not interfering with the affairs of the other races of the Four Lands. When Brona attacked Paranor, he demanded that Athabasca kneel before him, and when the High Druid refused, Brona had one of his serving Skull Bearers burn his eyes out. When Athabasca finally called Brona master, the Skull Bearer tore his heart out from his still-living body.

Preceded by
High Druid of Shannara
??? - c. 1500
Succeeded by


Bremen was the man who had the Sword of Shannara forged for the use of Jerle Shannara in the Second War of the Races. He is also the Druid who adopted the young Allanon and taught him the ways of the Druids. Throughout the Sword of Shannara trilogy, he is the spirit that rises from the Hadeshorn to tell Allanon what must be done, and it is his spirit that takes Allanon away when it is his time to die.

Bremen was bound by his pledge to aid the races of the Four Lands, and as such could not find rest after his death until that oath had been fulfilled with the destruction of the Ildatch by Brin Ohmsford.



Shannara character
First appearance First King of Shannara
Last appearance Fatally wounded saving Walker from Death in The Talismans of Shannara
Species Man
Gender Male
Loyalty Himself, Walker Boh
Magic item or equipment Druid Magic, The old world sciences

Cogline is the longest-living Druid in the Shannara series, living from before the First War of the Races to The Talismans of Shannara. Cogline was once one of the Druids, but he had left the Order before Brona (as stated in the First King of Shannara). He still studied the old sciences vigorously though, and was a master of them. Cogline knew how to create "black powder", what is essentially gunpowder, and Cogline was the one who gave Bremen the recipe to create a metal stronger than iron, which was used for forging the Sword of Shannara. He later joined Brin Ohmsford and Rone Leah in the battle against the Mord Wraiths. He also instructed Walker Boh in the use of magic and his own science, and served as Allanon's messenger in the conflict with the Shadowen. He had lived in Hearthstone for the great majority of his life, although he spent the last months of his life in hidden Paranor as a wraith to escape Rimmer Dall until Walker Boh restored him along with the Druid Keep. Cogline was killed when he used his gunpowder at point-blank range to greatly weaken the Shadowen that was posing as Death, one of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse, saving Walker's life in the process. He was mortally wounded doing so, and after a few words to Walker, he died.[citation needed]


Galaphile was an Elf who founded the Druid Order after the Great Wars, calling learned men and women to Paranor to form the First Druid Council. At the outbreak of the Second War of the Races, the shade of Galaphile showed Bremen four visions of what was needed to defeat the Warlock Lord, as told in First King of Shannara. Galaphile recorded the history of the Old World Elves in the Druid Histories, including the secret of the Ellcrys. It is also believed that Galaphile created the Druid Well.[citation needed]

Grianne Ohmsford

Iridia Eleri

A female Elf Druid, Iridia was at one time romantically involved with Ahren Elessedil. However, he rejected her, and she set her sights on bringing down Grianne Ohmsford. She helped to banish Grianne to the Forbidding, knowing that the Moric would come in her place. However, the Moric tricked her into thinking it was Ahren, and assumed her identity for some time before assuming that of Sen Dunsidan.

Kahle Rese

Kahle was the librarian of Paranor and friend of Bremen during First King of Shannara. He believed his old friend's claims that the Warlock Lord would strike at the Druids, but he refused to abandon his duties as librarian. Bremen gave to him a pouch containing magic dust, and told him that when the Warlock Lord attacked, he should sprinkle the dust upon the walls of the Druid Histories chamber. This dust would make the Histories invisible, so that only one who knew the proper rituals would be able to access them. Kahle did as he was asked when Brona attacked, and shortly after one of the Warlock Lord's minions skewered him through the heart with a spear.

Khyber Elessedil

The niece of Ahren Elessedil, Khyber is, technically, an Elven Princess. However, she cared little for her dominating family, and tried to run away from home several times. Later, she took up Druid studies under her uncle (Ahren), who taught her the use of various magics. She joined him on his mission to aid Pen Ohmsford, wielding her family's Elfstones in their dangerous adventure. After the defeat of the renegade Druids, Khyber was one of the few remaining members of the Druid Order entrusted with guarding Paranor until the time was right for reestablishment.[citation needed]


Shannara character
First appearance First King of Shannara
Species Man
Gender Female
Loyalty the Druid Order
Magic item or equipment Druid Magic

A Druid apprentice in the time of the Second War of the Races, Mareth had an unusual history. Her mother had died giving birth to her, and she had never known her father. The people of her town said that he had been an evil sorcerer who had seduced her mother, and then wandered on. Their descriptions convinced Mareth that Bremen was her father.

Mareth was born with a dangerous ability; she had innate magic, not seen since the time of Faerie. Her magic was extremely powerful, and at times exploded out of control to destroy anything in its path. However, it also served to make Mareth an empath, allowing her to take the pain of others into herself and heal them.

Seeking to control her powers, Mareth asked to be accepted into the Stors. However, she was refused. With the help of former Druid Cogline, she got into Paranor. However, she was not allowed to study magic. She therefore jumped at the chance to go with Bremen and his companions as they prepared to battle the Warlock Lord.

Along the way, Mareth told Bremen of her story and suspicions. Much to her dismay, Bremen was not her father, and his theory indicated that she was the child of one of the Warlock Lord's servants. However, Bremen treated Mareth as though she were his daughter, giving her a staff with which she might channel her magic. In addition, Mareth became close with Bremen's friend Kinson Ravenlock, particularly when the two traveled in search of the Dwarves. Along the way, a Skull Bearer tried to convince Mareth that it was her father, but she destroyed it.

Mareth fought in the final battle against the Warlock Lord. However, after Jerle Shannara banished the evil creatures, she renounced her life as a Druid. She later married Kinson, and the two made a home on an island that would become the city of Kern. Years later, their descendant Shirl Ravenlock would help in the final war against the Warlock Lord.


Shannara character
First appearance The First King of Shannara
Last appearance the battle at the Valley of Rhenn
Species Dwarf
Gender Male
Loyalty the Druid Order
Magic item or equipment Druid Magic

A Dwarf who specialized in battle arts, Risca was the last of the warrior Druids. He left with Bremen before the fall of Paranor, and soon journeyed to the Eastland to warn his kin that the Warlock Lord would attack them first. He later convinced his people to go to the aid of the Elves in spite of the fact the Elves never came to their aid because most of the Elven royal family had been assassinated by Brona's forces. Risca fought at the Valley of Rhenn, and eventually succumbed to the multitude of wounds he had taken.

Shadea a'Ru

Shadea was a soldier for the Federation forces along the Prekkendorran, until she was raped and beaten by several soldiers and left to drown in a river. She was saved by an old man who taught her magic in exchange for her love, and when he died she left to join the newly-reformed Druid Order. After spending some time in Paranor, she staged a coup against Grianne Ohmsford, the Ard Rhys (High Druid). Using "liquid night" she received from Sen Dunsidan (but actually obtained by Iridia Eleri), she sent Grianne into the Forbidding one night, and took her place as "acting Ard Rhys".

She then ordered Grianne's brother Bek and his family be found and brought to Paranor where he could be convinced that Grianne had indeed vanished, or failing that, disposed of. Things never went quite as planned though. When Shadea sent Terek Molt to look for the Ohmsfords, Bek's young son Pen Ohmsford escaped along with Grianne's assistant Tagwen, who joined forces with Ahren Ellessedil, a former Druid friendly to the Ard Rhys, and Ahren's young niece Khyber, a Druid-in-training. Shadea then sent her deadly assassin comrade Aphasia Wye to hunt down and kill Pen and his companions.

Shadea was later killed by Grianne Ohmsford (with the help of the Troll, Kermadec) when Grianne had returned from the forbidding.

Tay Trefenwyd

Tay Trefendwyd
Shannara character
First appearance First King of Shannara
Last appearance Destroyed himself after using the Black Elfstone during First King of Shannara
Species Elf
Gender Male
Loyalty the Druid Order
Magic item or equipment Druid Magic

An Elf who studied the elements. He was the best friend of Jerle Shannara, and one of the few Druids to heed Bremen’s warning, leaving with him before the fall of Paranor. He travelled home to the Westland to persuade the Elves to send their army to the Eastland and aid the Dwarves against the Warlock Lord. He also asked for aid in seeking out the Black Elfstone. However, after King Ballindarroch had granted him permission to search for the Black Elfstone, and said he would consider sending relief for the Dwarves, agents of the Warlock Lord assassinated almost the entire royal family. Tay could only save two of the King's grandchildren. While most of the Elves were reeling from the shock of their royal family being decimated, Tay left for the Breakline with Jerle Shannara and a party of Hunters, eventually discovering the Chew Magna, an ancient fortress where the Black Elfstone was located. He had to disguise himself as one of the subverted using ancient druid magic to enter the garden in which the Elfstone was hidden, and when he took the Elfstone the fortress began collapsing around them. On the way out they encountered a party of Gnomes led by two Skull Bearers. Tay was too weak to call upon his own magic, and had to resort to using the Black Elfstone, which Bremen had strictly warned him not to do. Using the elfstone subverted Tay Trefendwyd, as the evil of those that he destroyed merged with his soul, subverting him in the process. After saving the lives of his companions, he chose to destroy himself as a sacrifice rather than allow the evil to manifest in him.

Terek Molt

Terek Molt
Shannara character
First appearance Jarka Ruus
Last appearance Killed by Khyber Elessedil during Jarka Ruus
Species Dwarf
Gender Male
Loyalty Himself, Shadea a'Ru
Magic item or equipment Druid Magic

A Dwarf who conspired with Shadea a'Ru to overthrow Grianne Ohmsford. He was sent to bring Bek Ohmsford and his family to Paranor, but allowed Bek's son Pen to escape. He was then sent along with Aphasia Wye to hunt down and kill Pen and his companions. Terek was killed when Ahren Elessedil tricked him into joining his own magic with the defensive magic protecting his airship. Ahren's niece Khyber Elessedil focused the power of the Elfstones on the magic of the airship, causing both it and Terek Molt to be destroyed in the process.

Walker Boh


  1. ^ Speakman, Shawn (2008). "Terry Brooks' official website". Archived from the original on 2008-04-23. http://web.archive.org/web/20080423001005/http://www.terrybrooks.net/novels/index.html. Retrieved 2008-05-02. 
  2. ^ Brooks, Terry (2008). "July 2008 Ask Terry Questions & Answers". terrybrooks.net. http://www.terrybrooks.net/askterry/2008.html. Retrieved 2008-08-30. 

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