List of Shannara artifacts

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Many magical artifacts appear in Terry Brooks's epic fantasy[1] Shannara series.

Books[edit]

The Druid Histories[edit]

The Druid Histories
In-story information
Type Books

The Druid Histories, kept in Paranor, chronicle the complete history of the Old World (what was passed down through word of mouth and from what books survived the great war) and the New World, with particular focus on magical, supernatural and mystical phenomena. All Druids are historians, and one of the jobs of the Druid Order is to continuously update these histories. The Druid Histories are also protected against danger: when threatened, they immediately return to the vault where they are stored. Anyone in contact with one when this happens will also be transported, as illustrated by Cogline's escape from the Shadowen.

The Ildatch[edit]

The Ildatch
In-story information
Type Book

The Ildatch is a book of black magic in the novel The Wishsong of Shannara by Terry Brooks. This book is from the "Old World", before the Four Lands were shattered by war. Its story was told to Brin Ohmsford by the Druid Allanon. Allanon also told Brin that she was the only one who could destroy it.

The Ildatch was first used by the rebel Druid Brona to increase his knowledge of Old World magic. Brona was subverted by the book's dark magic and thus became the Warlock Lord. After the Warlock Lord's defeat at the hands of Shea Ohmsford, Allanon looked for the Ildatch but could not find it. Believing it destroyed when the Skull Kingdom fell, the Ildatch was left to be discovered by a band of Men. These men believed they could control the power of the Ildatch and began to learn its secrets. Like the Warlock Lord, they were unable to resist the book's dark magic and thus became the Mord Wraiths. After they succumbed to the book's subversion, they took it deep into the Eastland and hid it within the Maelmord.

When Brin came to destroy the Ildatch, she, too, was subverted by it and was transformed. Her brother, Jair Ohmsford, then found her in a tower in the middle of the Maelmord. There, after a confrontation between subverted sister and determined brother, Brin was able to destroy it with her wishsong.

The Ildatch (or rather, a page from it) appears in both the graphic novel Dark Wraith of Shannara and the short story Indomitable. Jair Ohmsford is tasked with destroying the single page that the siblings apparently failed to destroy a few years earlier. One page of the Ildatch, however, survived as described in the short story "Indomitable", published as a part of the Legends II compilation, leading to Cogline, Kimber Boh and Jair Ohmsford setting out to destroy the one page that had not been destroyed before.

Elfstones[edit]

Elfstones

Elfstones are powerful magical artifacts, usually found in groups of three, to symbolize the user's body, mind, and spirit. There were many of them during the time of Faerie. Most of the Elfstones were lost after the Faerie creatures were gone. Each color of Elfstone had a property that made it unique. The magic of the stones will only work for a person of Elven descent. However, if the user is not a full-blooded Elf, there can be side effects, as shown with Wil Ohmsford. Wil's Elven blood is very thin (he is one-eighth Elvish), and his use of Elfstones caused his children to be born with a magical ability, the Wishsong.

The Blue Elfstones[edit]

The Blue Elfstones, or seeking stones, were given to Shea Ohmsford by the Druid Allanon, for guidance and protection whenever all else failed. They were meant as a last resort, for when the magic activated, beings of magical power could sense their use and location. Shea used them several times, though he lost them temporarily twice: once to a patrol of Gnomes and the thief Panamon Creel, and next to the Northland while he fled Skull Mountain, but he recovered them again both times. The Elfstones were later given to Wil Ohmsford, who used them to aid the Chosen Amberle in the search for The Bloodfire. He succeeded, but the effect of his thin Elven blood resulted in part of the magic being transferred to his descendants. After several decades, almost all the Elven blood was bred out of the Ohmsfords, making it impossible to use the Elfstones. The current generation decided to return the stones to those who could use them, and they passed to the parents of Wren Elessedil. When Wren was to be left with the Ohmsfords, she was given the Elfstones, but they were disguised to look like painted rocks. She later discovered their nature while battling a Shadowen, and used the stones in the war against the evil magic. The stones were later taken on an expedition to the land of Parkasia, where they remained for years until their recovery by Ahren Elessedil. They later passed to his niece, Khyber Elessedil and used in the quest to find the missing Grianne Ohmsford.

When used as a weapon, the stones create a blue flame, whose form and strength is controlled by the wielder, and can instantly destroy all but the largest magical creatures and spells. Like most forms of magic, they exert a great toll on the wielder and when using them, the wielder must always be on guard against their destructive powers. Furthermore, against non magical foes (like soldiers or airships), they are nothing but a distracting light show with no tangible damage inflicted, as Ahren Elessedil discovered when attempting to use them versus a flock of quite normal Shrikes. One way that this may be circumvented is if the wielder uses the stones to attack a large group of magic and normal foes at once, the sheer strength of the elfstones may destroy the normal opponents as well. Also, if shielding spells are placed on something, like the Druid Warship Galaphile, the stones can be used against the guarding magic, as well as the protected artifact.

The Black Elfstone[edit]

Black Elfstone

The Black Elfstone is a large black gem combining all the elements of three normal Elfstones into one talisman. The Black Elfstone is a powerful magic that nothing can stand against. It has the power to negate other magics, the price to pay being that the magics negated transfers to the holder of the Stone.

Alone it undid a massive force (including several Skull Bearers) sent to capture it in The First King of Shannara, killing them all, while unfortunately inflicting terrible damage its user Tay Trefenwyd when all their evil magic was transferred to him. He had to commit suicide to prevent himself from transforming into something terrible shortly afterwards.

Bremen recovered the elfstone and gave it to Allanon as a means to seal (and unseal) the Druid's Keep. At some point, Allanon hid it in the Hall of Kings. Uhl Belk later stole it to use against his son. Belk's use of the stone also transferred his son's magic into him, slowly turning him to stone.

After its recovery by Walker Boh, Morgan Leah, Quickening, Horner Dees and Pe Ell in The Druid of Shannara, the Black Elfstone was the means by which Paranor was returned to the Four Lands by Walker Boh. When the magic of the Druid Well that had sealed away the keep was absorbed into Walker, he was chosen to be the next Druid.

The Loden[edit]

The Loden

The Loden was the object of a search undertaken by a group of elves protected by a Knight of the Word in The Elves of Cintra. It was found by the end of the novel by Kirisin Belloruus and his sister Simralin. They narrowly escaped an ambush by a demon who had been disguised as the Elf Culph shortly after recovering the Loden. In The Gypsy Morph, Kirisin used the Loden to relocate the city of Arborlon into an area of protection created by Hawk in his final act of magic as the Gypsy Morph. It is currently unknown whether or not Arborlon was moved again prior to The Sword of Shannara, at which point it was situated in the Westland.

During their later efforts to recover the magics of the Old World, the Elven people rediscovered enough magic to wield the Loden. It had remained hidden away and kept secret until the Elves decided to migrate from the Westland to the island of Morrowindl. The Loden was also used in Morrowindl to ward off the horde of Shadowen monsters. It was then used to carry Arborlon back to the Four Lands, and after it released the city, its magic was expended, and it became a common rock.

Weapons[edit]

The Stiehl[edit]

Stiehl

One of the oldest and most feared weapons in the Four Lands, the Stiehl can kill anything and cut through any substance. It was forged in the time of the Old World, and has terrible magic infused within its blade. After years of dormancy, it was found by the young Pe Ell, who used its power to become an assassin for hire (The Druid of Shannara). He carried it until his death. It was not determined if Pe Ell died at the hands of the Koden, a giant bear mutated by Uhl Belk, the Stone King, or because of some after effect of Quickening's magic. The weapon was recovered from his body by Walker Boh, who locked it deep inside the Druid's Keep. It was later brought out by a treacherous Druid, who gave it to the assassin Aphasia Wye. He was later captured by the Tanequil tree, and it is unknown what happened to the Stiehl thereafter.

The Sword of Leah[edit]

Sword of Leah

The Sword of Leah is an ancient weapon carried by the family line it is named for. It first appeared in the books as being carried by Menion Leah, who used it during the search for the Sword of Shannara. Even then it was referred to as an ancestral heirloom. It did not actually qualify as a magic sword until the quest for the Ildatch, during which it was carried by Rone Leah. After repeated arguments between Rone and the Druid Allanon, Allanon decided to grant the Highlander's wish, which was to stand as his equal in protecting Brin. He had Rone dip the blade of the Sword into the waters of the Hadeshorn, changing its color to a deep black and infusing it with the magic of death. He then infused his own magic, that of life, into the blade, creating a weapon that could cut through magic. However, the Sword drew power from its user, who would became more dependent on it with every use. After the Ildatch was destroyed, the Sword was passed down in the family, its magic becoming dormant. It was reactivated when Morgan Leah used it against a shadowen beast which had attacked him and the Ohmsford brothers (Par and Coll). It was temporarily shattered when Morgan Leah used it to escape from "the Pit", a Shadowen cesspit. It was restored later by the King of the Silver River's elemental daughter, Quickening, and was used in the final battle with the Shadowen. The Sword's magic lay dormant for another 150 years until Walker Boh came in search of Quentin Leah, the new heir to the Sword. He carried it to the land of Parkasia, and later back to the Four Lands, there to be handed down to the next son of Leah.

The Sword of Shannara[edit]

This article is about the fictional sword. For the novel by Terry Brooks, see The Sword of Shannara.
Sword of Shannara

The Sword of Shannara is a well-known weapon in the Shannara universe with a long history. During the Second War of the Races, the sword was forged by Urprox Screl at the behest of Bremen. Rumored to be the finest smith in all the Southland, Screl put that to the test during the forging, and with aid from an Old World formula provided by the outcast Cogline and the magic of the Druid Bremen he managed to forge it. The Eilt Druin medallion was fused into the hilt, and the truth of Druids past was infused within the weapon. The sword's power confronts any who touch it with the absolute truth about themselves; this power has been derided as weak because "it does nothing but compel truth-telling".[2] This power destroys the Warlock Lord since he is only alive because of the depth of his belief that he is immortal. This is however not possible, the Sword forcing him to see and acknowledge this truth thus killing him.

Role in the series[edit]

It was first carried by the Druid Bremen. Bremen gave it to the Elven King Jerle Shannara, who used it in the Second War of the Races against the Warlock Lord. He was unable to wield the talisman properly and could not garner the Sword's full power. As a result, the Warlock Lord was defeated but not killed, only forced to flee. The Sword was placed in a block of Tre-Stone and taken to Paranor for safekeeping. It was later stolen by the Warlock Lord's minions but recovered once more by Shea Ohmsford, who finally managed to defeat the Warlock Lord for good. Shea then gave it to the city of Tyrsis where it was kept in a vault for the next 300 years. After again disappearing, it was recovered by Par Ohmsford whose brother Coll used it to free Par from the power of the Shadowen. Par came to use it in battle with the Shadowen. The Sword was used next by Bek Ohmsford, who carried it during his journey to Parkasia.

Conditions of Use[edit]

The Sword of Shannara is an artifact originally of the elven line of Shannara. Unlike the Elfstones, which require a strong elven bloodline,[3] it depends upon the specific ancestry of Shannara. In addition to this, the nature of the sword makes it possible to undermine the user's ability to wield it properly[4] unless properly trained in the weapon.[5] As a protection against this, it is actually important not to be told of the sword's power until after coming into possession of it.[6]

Miscellaneous[edit]

The Elit Druin[edit]

The Elit Druin is a medallion cast in the Druid insignia, that of a fist holding forth a burning torch. It is the symbol of office for the High Druid, or Ard Rhys, of Paranor. The Elit Druin was worn first by Galaphile, founder of the order, and last by Athabasca, High Druid in the early stages of the Second War of the Races. After Athabasca was killed, Bremen returned and recovered it, and it was set into the hilt of the Sword of Shannara at its forging. It was the Elit Druin that allowed the Druid shades, gathering at the Hadeshorn, to transfer the truth they had found in life to the Sword, giving it its awesome power. The words Elit Druin are Elven and have two meanings: either "Through Knowledge, Power" or "Through Truth, Power".

Since the original was placed into the Sword of Shannara, upon founding the Third Druid Council, Ard Rhys Grianne Ohmsford made it her business to create a new medallion, which she carried as a sign of her high office; she carried it into her final battle with Shadea and her allies. It is unknown what happened to the new medallion after Grianne dispersed the council and gave herself over to the Tanequil.

The Phoenix Stone[edit]

The Phoenix Stone is a magical stone that was given to Bek Ohmsford by the King of the Silver River in Ilse Witch. The King of the Silver River told Bek to throw it to the ground when he was in danger, however, it would shatter on impact, thus it could only be used once. On the journey to Parkasia, Bek gave the Phoenix Stone to Ahren Elessedil because at the time Ahren had no magic of his own to rely on. Walker Boh warned Bek that he should not have done this and to try to get the stone back as soon as possible. However, Bek forgot about it and soon he and Ahren were separated. But in the end Ahren used the Phoenix Stone to save himself and the seer Ryer Ord Star from the maniacal computer entity Antrax. After Ahren used the Phoenix Stone a cloud of mist surrounded himself and Ryer, making them invisible and intangible as the stone ceased to exist. Instead of escaping, Ahren and Ryer chose to look for Walker Boh and save him and as a result, Walker was able to destroy Antrax.

The Ruhk Staff[edit]

The Ruhk Staff is a talisman that consists of a wooden staff with the Loden Elfstone fixed to its tip. It was used to carry the city of Arborlon to Morrowindl, and was passed down through the Elessedil family. The last to carry it was Wren Elessedil, and after the Loden became an ordinary stone, its magic expended, she broke the staff over her knee (The Elf Queen of Shannara).

The Staff of Power[edit]

The Staff of Power was wielded by the Demon, the Dagda Mor, in The Elfstones of Shannara. He always had it with him, and with it rivalled Allanon in magical force. It could burst flames from its tip, and also allowed the Dagda Mor to see what his minions, the Changeling and the Reaper, were seeing. Because the Dagda Mor had the Staff of Power, he could sense whenever Wil Ohmsford used the Blue Elfstones. The Staff of Power was destroyed at the final battle of the Demon Wars by Allanon. Using the Staff as a conduit, Allanon unleashed Druid fire in it that worked its way to the Dagda Mor, killing the demon. Allanon then broke the Staff of Power in half.

Also, in "The Elves of Cintra", the staff held by a knight of the word was referred to as a staff of power, though because it was not unique, may have just been a term to describe the nature of the weapon, as more than just a symbol of office.

The Darkwand[edit]

The Darkwand was created from the magical tree called the Tanequil. To make the wand, Pen Ohmsford had to give up two of his fingers and the person he loved most, Cinnaminson, who had to become an aeriad. It was used by Pen to rescue his aunt Grianne, from the Forbidding. The Darkwand responds to Pen's needs and helped him on his quest into the Forbidding, leading him his way and keeping a fascinated dragon at bay. He was later able to use it to find an escaped demon in the Four lands and ultimately transport that demon back to the Forbidding. The staff was transported at the same time and appears to have become lifeless.

The Mirrorshroud[edit]

The Mirrorshroud was made by Rimmer Dall for use by the Shadowen. It is believed to have been woven from pure darkness although little is known of its history. Its original use was to allow a shadowen to get close to a target without detection by giving the victim the impression that the wearer was a friend. The negative aspect of its use is to corrupt the wearer so that they are unable to remove the cloak and they will become a Shadowen. Coll Ohmsford used the Mirrorshroud to escape Southwatch after his imprisonment and it is believed that it was later destroyed by the Sword of Shannara, although this was not confirmed. During the period he wore the cloak he was described as "enslaved" and had been allowed to wear it by Rimmer Dall with the intention that Coll would kill Par Ohmsford. (The Heritage of Shannara series).

References[edit]

  1. ^ Speakman, Shawn (2008). "Terry Brooks' official website". Archived from the original on 2008-04-23. Retrieved 2008-05-02. 
  2. ^ Langford, David (2007). The End of Harry Potter?. Macmillan. p. 187. 
  3. ^ By the time of the Heritage of Shannara tetralogy, the Ohmsford family's blood has become too human to use the Elfstones properly, and they have been returned to the elves.
  4. ^ As Par Ohmsford experienced in Heritage of Shannara, when he was talked out of its use by Rimmer Dall.
  5. ^ As Bek Ohmsford was instructed by Walker Boh.
  6. ^ As explained by Allanon in the original book, The Sword of Shannara.