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

Paranor as illustrated in The World of Shannara

Paranor is a fictional mountain fortress in Terry Brooks' Shannara series. It is also known as the Druids' Keep.

Paranor was first constructed by builders from all the Races to house the First Druid Council, under the leadership of the Elf Druid Galaphile. At the summit of Paranor is the Druid's Keep, the castle that serves as home and central hub for all Druids since the First Council. The Druid's Keep is sometimes referred to as Paranor because it sits atop the mountain. Paranor is also set in the middle of the Four Lands, implying that it has no formal allegiance to any of the Races.

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.


The Fall of Paranor

Main article: First King of Shannara

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. At the end of First King of Shannara, the newly created Sword of Shannara is placed here in a block of Tre-Stone by Jerle Shannara.

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
  • Tay Trefenwyd — Elf, 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
  • Risca — Dwarf, follower of Bremen, last warrior Druid, away from Paranor during attack, helped lead Dwarf defense of the Eastland along with Geften and Raybur, led surviving Dwarves to help the Elves at the Battle of the Rhenn, died during end of battle because of wounds, buried in Meade Gardens in Culhaven[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
  • 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 then died at Paranor.

After the fall of Paranor to evil forces, Allanon returns to the location on more than one occasion in order to obtain certain knowledges. At one point, Allanon and a party led by himself traveled there to get the Sword of Shannara, only to fall into a trap which was set by the Warlock Lord.

After the foray into the castle with Shea Ohmsford , Allanon came back during the events of The Elfstones of Shannara, in order to find information about the Ellcrys, a magically created tree that was used by the Elves and other magical creatures to banish the evil Demons from the Four Lands.

Fifty years after The Elfstones of Shannara, Allanon once again visited Paranor with the child of a new generation of Ohmsfords, Brin Ohmsford, and Rone Leah. While not directly related to the quest at hand, Allanon consults the Druid Histories and makes the entire castle disappear, not to be seen again until many years later when Walker Boh {Brin's descendant} brought it back.