Shannara Wiki - Exploring the Magical World of Shannara
Shannara Wiki - Exploring the Magical World of Shannara

Par Ohmsford is a character in The Heritage of Shannara tetralogy. He is a descendant of Jair Ohmsford who possesses the magic of the wishsong. The Druid Allanon charges Par to retrieve the Sword of Shannara to defeat the Shadowen.


Early Life

Par and his brother Coll were born and raised in Shady Vale. They were born into a time when the majority of the Four Lands was under the control of the Federation, which outlawed the use of magic.

When Par was still a small child he began dealing with the fact that he had the use of the wishsong's magic. The only person who understood what he went through was his cousin Walker Boh, who also possessed innate magic and had moved to Shady Vale with his father Kenner Ohmsford after his mother died. Because of Par's relationship with Walker, people in the Vale started referring to Walker as "Dark Uncle." Walker left the Vale after Kenner died, returning to Hearthstone, his home in the Eastland.

Allanon's Charge

Par has a fierce dedication to the history of his family, and he uses the wishsong to help tell their stories in inns and taverns, using the magic to create images of other times and places while Coll narrates.

Par wants to spread the stories beyond Shady Vale, and with Coll he travels to the Borderland city of Varfleet. The brothers had been there only a few weeks, using making money by retelling the legends of the Ohmsford family, when they are sought out one night by Rimmer Dall and the Federation. They manage to escape the city with the assistance of a man allied with the Free-born resistance movement.

Par tells Coll of the dreams he has been having, dreams of the Four Lands' demise apparently sent by the shade of the Druid Allanon. Coll tells him the dreams are probably a side effect of Par's use of the magic to retell the old stories of the Ohmsfords, but when they are threatened by a Shadowen one night near Rainbow Lake, Cogline appears. He scares the Shadowen away and tells Par that his dreams were indeed sent by Allanon. Cogline urges Par to go to the Hadeshorn and speak to the shade.

Unlike Par, who is rash and impulsive, Coll is cautious and skeptical by nature, and he tries to dissuade Par from going to the Hadeshorn. Coll was not even supportive of his brother's decision to tell the tales of the Ohmsfords outside Shady Vale, but had accompanied Par to Varfleet anyway in order to keep Par safe.

However, when their friend Morgan Leah takes a trip to Shady Vale and comes back with the news that the Federation has put Par and Coll's parents Jaralan and Mirianna under house arrest, the brothers realize that nowhere is truly safe for them anymore. They decide to go find Walker Boh at Hearthstone.

Walker initially refuses to go to the Hadeshorn with Par and the others to speak to the Druid's shade. However, when Par is attacked and captured by a tribe of Spider Gnomes under the control of a Shadowen, Walker rescues him and changes his mind. They travel to the Hadeshorn, meeting their cousin Wren Ohmsford there.

During this journey, Par's magic begins to evolve into something more real, different from the illusory magic of Jair Ohmsford and harder to control. Upon reaching the Hadeshorn, Wren is charged by Allanon's shade with returning the Elves to the Four Lands and Walker with restoring Paranor and the Druid Order. Par is given the task to recover the lost Sword of Shannara with which to defeat the Shadowen. In order to accomplish this task, Par, Coll, and Morgan set out to obtain the aid of the man who saved the Ohmsfords in Varfleet. He turns out to be Padishar Creel, the descendant of Panamon Creel and leader of the Free-born rebellion.

Sneaking into the city of Tyrsis, Par and his compant meet Damson Rhee, a member of the resistance and Padishar's daughter. After a failed attempt to retrieve the Sword from the Pit in Tyrsis, Par and Coll lose Morgan and Padishar and are left with Damson Rhee. On the second attempt, Par gets to the Sword, only to be confronted by Rimmer Dall. Dall reveals himself to be a Shadowen, and claims that Par is one as well. Rimmer Dall lets Par take the Sword of Shannara, and its magic does not work when Par tests it against him, causing Par to doubt from that point on that the Sword was real.

While Par is engaged with Rimmer Dall, Coll is captured by the Shadowen and replaced with a dopplegänger that Par destroys with his increasingly uncontrollable magic. Par is left devastated and broken, believing that he's killed his own brother.

For a long period of time after that, Par hides out in Tyrsis with Damson Rhee and the Mole, a small man who lived in the tunnels beneath the city. Padishar later finds Par but loses Damson to the Federation, only for them to retrieve her but lose Padishar instead. Remembering a promise he had made to Padishar and knowing that Padishar can't be saved without help, Par takes Damson and flees Tyrsis. Along the way to the Free-born headquarters, they discover the return of Paranor, indicating that Walker Boh is alive and had succeeded in his quest. While attempting to find Walker, they run into Coll, alive but driven mad by a cloak imbued with Shadowen magic.

Seeking to pursue his brother, Par separates from Damson, but not before obtaining from her one half of a small metal disk that would allow them to track each other. He pursues Coll all the way to Southwatch, the Shadowen stronghold. There, the magic of the Sword of Shannara frees his brother from the cloak, but Rimmer Dall and his Shadowen appears to capture the brothers. The King of the Silver River appears to help the brothers but in the struggle Par again loses control of the wishsong, forcing the King of the Silver River away from him. The King is only able to save Coll, leaving Par in Rimmer Dall's hands.

While imprisoned in Southwatch, Par's magic becomes more and more volatile, no longer the illusory magic of Jair, but the reality magic of Brin Ohmsford. Coll returns to Southwatch to rescue Par, bringing with him Walker Boh, Damson Rhee, Morgan Leah, Rumor moor cat, and a Free-born fighter named Matty Roh.

Par uses his magic to escape his cell, but in doing so he loses control of the wishsong and this time cannot break free of it. It is only the love that had grown between him and Damson that makes him pause long enough for Coll to get to him and use the Sword of Shannara on him.

The Sword reveals that because of his Elven origin and magic, Par was much the same as a Shadowen, meaning that Rimmer Dall's claims were true. However, Par also realized that that truth did not mean that he was bound to the same cause. Joining the rescue party, Par battles into the depths of Southwatch where a powerful magic is hidden, and enters a final confrontation with Rimmer Dall. With his magic now under control, Par fights the Shadowen leader, but he is no match for him and is quickly overpowered. He only escapes being possessed by Rimmer Dall with the help of Walker.

Using the Sword of Shannara on the magical chains binding the magic imprisoned in Southwatch, Par discovers the truth: the Shadowen had been using Southwatch to drain the Four Lands of all its elemental magic, sickening all of the land just so that they could feed on its magic. Par uses the wishsong to shatter the bonds about the magic, setting it free. The magic travels across the Four Lands and destroys all the Shadowen by pulling their magic back out of them.

After their quest Par and Coll returned to Shady Vale. Par's wishsong returned to what it once was, able to create only illusions. Later, Coll joins Par and Damson Rhee in opening an inn, where the stories of the Ohmsfords can continue being told.


130 years after his time, Par's bloodline would produce two more wielders of the wishsong: the siblings Bek and Grianne Ohmsford.

Physical Appearance

Although the Elven blood had essentially been bred out of the Ohmsfords after generations in Shady Vale, Par and Coll's great-great-grandfather and his son, their great-grandfather, had both married Elven women, reinfusing Elven blood back into the Ohmsford line. As a result Par looks decidedly Elven, with the narrow eyes, slanted eyebrows, and pointed ears that are markers of Elven blood. Coll on the other hand has not inherited any of the physical features that give away their ancestry.

Par is blond and smaller and more slender than Coll. This coupled with the fact that Coll's demeanor is calmer and more even than Par's leads many to think that Coll is the older brother, even though he is the younger by two years.