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Characters / The Dark Legacy Of Shannara

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Khyber Elessedil

A former Elven princess, and one-time wielder of the Blue Elfstones, Khyber Elessedil was one of the only survivors of the Third Druid Council, leading the others in the aftermath of Shadea a'Ru's failed coup. The founder and Ard Rhys (High Druid) of the Fourth Druid Council, Khyber wants to undo her predecessors' mistakes, and show that the Druids can be the force for good that Allanon, Walker Boh, and Grianne Ohmsford wanted them to be. Despite being over a hundred years old, she leads the search for the missing Elfstones in person.

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For tropes relating to her when she was an apprentice Druid, see High Druid of Shannara


  • The Archmage: Holds the title of High Druid by the time of Dark Legacy. This doesn't necessarily make her the most powerful Druid around, though in practise she likely is.
  • Big Good: As head of the Druid Order.
  • Lady of War: Has matured into a tough old lady who no longer needs the Elfstones.
  • The Leader: Of the Druids and the search for the Elfstones.
  • The Mentor: Acts as one to Aphenglow Elessedil and Redden Ohmsford.
  • Never Mess with Granny: She's an old lady by Dark Legacy, but has grown even more powerful. Of all the Demons only Tael Riverine stands a chance against her, and even he has to cheat.
  • The Remnant: Her Fourth Druid Council is a shadow of the Third.
  • Wizard Duel: Forced into one with Tael Riverine.

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Aphenglow Elessedil

A trainee Druid and granddaughter of the current King of the Elves, Aphenglow is the one who discovers the story of the missing Elfstones. She later aids her sister, Arling, on her quest to restore the Ellcrys.

For tropes relating to her as High Druid, see The Defenders of Shannara


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The Witch-Wraith

An undead witch that Railing Ohmsford frees from the Tanequil tree and seeks to use against Tael Riverine. She's actually Grianne Ohmsford, reverted to her Ilse Witch persona, and gunning for Tael's head.


  • An Ice Person: Though never depicted as especially ice-focused in life, the undead Wraith mostly employees ice magic in her duel with Tael Riverine. Presumably because revenge is Best Served Cold.
  • Archenemy: She and Tael Riverine have had it in for one another since High Druid.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: Demon society works this way, and she exploits this against Tael Riverine, forcing him into a challenge, and then stealing his army.
  • Came Back Wrong: Thanks to the Tanequil pulling a Jackass Genie. Railing demanded Grianne be restored to life. He got her... as the Ilse Witch. Oops.
  • Evil vs. Evil: As the reborn Ilse Witch in Dark Legacy, she's the world's only hope against the even worse Tael Riverine. Lampshaded by most of the cast.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: Introduced as a villain in Ilse Watch, then struggles to be a hero throughout the High Druid trilogy, and returns to the most wicked, Power Of Hate fueled incarnation ever seen in Witch Wraith. Centuries in the Forbidding erode her hate, and by The Fall of Shannara she serves as an Anti-Villain ally to Drisker Arc and finally manages to revert back to Anti-Hero to fulfill his dying wish.
  • It's Personal: With Tael Riverine, who she blames for her current condition.
  • Mad Oracle: Per her journal in The Last Druid, her prescience is at least partly to blame for her madness. Grianne's limited ability to sense the future was greatly enhanced after her time in the Forbidding, and she could see a future in which she'd eventually return. Working so hard to avoid that scenario and being dragged back to fight the Demons again fueled her madness and hatred.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Sealed in the Forbidding after her defeat of Tael Riverine.
  • The Undead: She more than half ghost.
  • Wizard Duel: With Tael Riverine, to see who will be leader of the Legions of Hell.
  • World's Strongest Woman: While little more than a decaying husk physically, the Wraith's single-handed defeat of Tael Riverine and subsequent takeover of his armies suggest she is very possibly the most powerful mortal in the entire history of the Four Lands.
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