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

The Second War of the Races was a war where the Warlock Lord and his forces of Trolls and Gnomes were seeking to destroy all of the Elves, Dwarves and the Race of Man who remained in the Four Lands.

This war caused the forging of the only weapon able to harm the Warlock Lord, the talisman known as the Sword of Shannara. With this weapon, the Warlock Lord was eventually "killed" by Jerle Shannara, though in reality, he was only banished until he could regain his physical form.

Death of the Druids

Remembering the Druids who brought about his defeat in the First War of the Races, the Warlock Lord decided to ensure that this would not happen twice. A banished Druid, Bremen, caught wind of these plans and attempted to warn his former colleagues prior to the massacre, but his efforts were doomed from the start as the Druids, led by the Ard Rhys Athabasca, refused to listen. As a result of their mistrust in all uses of magic, Paranor was easily opened by traitors to the forces of the Warlock Lord, and all of the Druids were slaughtered immediately or later walled away alive. The only surviving Druids were Bremen and the three Druids who heeded his warnings and left: Risca, Tay Trefenwyd, and Mareth.

Attack on the Eastland

With the Druids eliminated, the Warlock Lord's army marched out of the Northland upon the Dwarves and their capital, Culhaven. After being warned by Risca that the Warlock Lord would attack them first, a Dwarven army watched the progress of the Warlock Lord's forces for three days while planning a strike, attacking during the night of the third. Knowing that they couldn't match the Warlock Lord's army in a direct conflict, the Dwarf King Raybur had his soldiers retreat to a chokepoint named the Pass of Jade, where they allowed the Northland army to catch up to them slowly. Once the Warlock Lord's armies reached the pass, they attacked the Dwarves three times, but they could not overrun the Dwarves as the pass negated their advantage in numbers.

A day later, the Dwarves retreated out of the Pass of Jade, only to find that another part of the Northland army had gone around to the only other pass out of where they were, the Pass of Noose, and were advancing on the Dwarves' rear flanks from the other end of the Pass of Jade.

Trapped between the two halves, the Dwarves managed to retreat out through a long-forgotten third pass. After fleeing for days, the Dwarves made a stand at one of their strongholds, Stedden Keep, but they were routed and forced to retreat once more.

The Forging of a Talisman

In the Southland, Bremen, Mareth, and Kinson Ravenlock tried to persuade Urprox Screl, the best human blacksmith alive, to come out of his self-imposed retirement and forge a weapon that would be a combination of Druid magic and Old World science. After days of persuasion and a vision of his wife dying if he didn't do it, Screl decided to forge the sword. Using an Old World scientific formula (provided by the exiled Druid Cogline) for an alloy that was both strong and light, the Screl and Bremen forged the sword, testing the limits of both Screl's skill and Bremen's magic. They fused the Eilt Druin, the medallion of the Ard Rhys, into the sword's hilt as the source of its power to reveal all truths.

The Westward March

Thinking that the Dwarves no longer presented a threat, the Northland army turned and sacked Varfleet, a city in the Callahorn, burning it to the ground. A survivor of this attack was a twelve-year-old boy who was found by Bremen. After a time, the boy tells Bremen that his name is Allanon

The Elves, with Jerle Shannara serving as their new King after almost the entire royal family had been assassinated, mobilized their army and marched upon the Northland army. Jerle planned and executed a midnight strike. The war continued to rage for days, with the Northland army attacking the Elves several times, but they were not able to break them. Bremen then bestowed the the newly forged sword upon Jerle. When the Northlanders brought up siege machines, Bremen and Allanon combined their magic and destroyed all of the machines; this combined with a large-scale evening strike upon the Northlanders by the entire Elven army and a small-scale Dwarven assault led by Risca sent the Northlanders in full retreat. A day later, the forces of the Warlock Lord were stopped by the main body of the Dwarven army at the Streleheim. They had gone behind the Elven army and fortified their positions in this location, which was a major chokepoint. When the Elves caught up on the other side, the Northlanders were surrounded.

The Final Battle

The Elves and the Dwarves conducted a coordinated attack upon the Northland army at dusk. As the already decimated Northlanders were being routed, Jerle faced down the Warlock Lord. The magic of truth within the sword worked and almost killed the Warlock Lord, but Jerle broke down after seeing images of his wife being attacked by a Skull Bearer and being forced by the sword to confront his own inadequacies. He became angry, and resorted to all of his years of weapons training, wielding the talisman as a common sword instead of as a weapon of magic. Although Jerle managed to make the Warlock Lord disappear, the way in which he had wielded the talisman meant that he had not killed the villain but had merely banished him for a time, until he regained his physical form.

Bremen didn't tell Jerle that he did not succeed in truly killing the Warlock Lord. The Druid returned to Paranor, with Allanon as his student and son. Years later, when he sensed his death approaching, he was carried off into the depths of the Hadeshorn by the shade of Galaphile. From there Bremen continued to watch over and guide Allanon as they waited for the Warlock Lord to return.


After the events of the Second War of the Races, the talisman forged by Urprox Screl and Bremen became known as the Sword of Shannara. Because the sword's magic could only be unlocked by true belief and because legends grew that only descendants of Jerle Shannara could use the sword, the power of the sword can only ever be unlocked by Jerle's descendants.

When the Warlock Lord returned to the Four Lands, he attempted to eliminate all of Jerle's descendants to prevent the Sword of Shannara being used against him in the impending Third War of the Races. He was successful in killing all of them but Shea Ohmsford, a half-Elf who was adopted out to his distant cousins in the Southland hamlet of Shady Vale. Allanon sought out Shea in Shady Vale and gathered a company of men around them to seek out the Sword of Shannara once more and defeat the Warlock Lord for good. Shea succeeded in completing Jerle Shannara's task, killing the Warlock Lord and ending the Third War of the Races.