- This page refers to the artificial intelligence known as Antrax. For the fantasy novel, see Antrax.
Antrax was an artificial intelligence created in the Old World to protect the science of the Old World. It survived the Great Wars, but remained unknown to the Four Lands until it used the thought-dead Kael Elessedil as bait to bring humans with magic so it could steal their energy, since its power cells were failing. It had already done so with Kael, imprisoning him in his own mind, creating images so Kael would use the Blue Elfstones to fight back. Antrax would then absorb the energy. When it could get no more from Kael, it used him to set its trap.
Antrax got lucky, attracting many with powerful magic - aboard the Jerle Shannara alone was the Druid Walker Boh; Elf prince Ahren Elessedil, whom Antrax intended to take Kael's place; Quentin Leah, wielder of the Sword of Leah; and, last but not least, Rowe, commander of the Wishsong and of the Sword of Shannara.
Also in the mix was Grianne Ohmsford, the Ilse Witch. Antrax took advantage of the chaos at the first attempt to penetrate its core. Walker Boh, who escaped the ribbons of fire and the Creepers, was soon lost in the maze. Antrax began leeching energy from him immediately. Ryer Ord Star and Ahren followed, unaware they were being led into a trap. Antrax knew nothing of Bek and Grianne, but he specially created a cyborg out of one of the Jerle Shannara's crew to trap Quentin.
Each attempt was foiled. Walker Boh, with help of Ryer and Ahren, escaped the Antrax. Quentin and the Elf tracker Tamis destroyed the cyborg, though the Elf died in the process.
The whole original purpose of the voyage was rendered for nothing, for when Walker destroyed Antrax, the wording of the manuscripts that were in its memory banks died - if it is proper to say it lived- with the sentient artificial intelligence.
Part of what makes the Antrax so intriguing is that its blind cruelty to the humans and Elves is totally ignored. Their lives are considered insignificant. Of the thirty-something who started the journey, only eleven returned.
Most horrifying of all is the way it took Ard Patrinell and made him a cyborg bent to the will of the Antrax, still living but unable to do anything but watch as its own body attacked his friends whom he had fought beside.
Antrax was at last destroyed when Walker Boh escaped and he destroyed it from the inside, though he lost his own life in the attempt.