Aurin Striate, also known as The Owl, is a character in The Elf Queen of Shannara. He was Queen Ellenroh Elessedil's eyes and ears outside of Arborlon during the Elves' residency on Morrowindl, at a time when no one was allowed to leave Arborlon due to the threat of Shadowen.
Not much is known of Aurin Striate's early life. When he was young he witnessed the old King, Ellenroh's father, use the Loden to imbue the Keel, the stone wall around Arborlon, with protective magic.
Journey Out of MorrowindlEdit
Aurin Striate is a close friend and confidante of Ellenroh, and he is called the Owl for his ability to see at night. He spends most of his time outside of Arborlon, living undetected amongst the creatures of Morrowindl.
When Wren Elessedil and Garth arrive on Morrowindl to seek out Arborlon, they are found and brought into the city by the Owl. Wren's first impression of the Owl is that of a man who seems as creased and rumpled as his clothing, and she likes the Owl for how comfortable and easy his personality is.
Shortly after Wren arrives in Arborlon, the demons attack the city and a serious breach in the Keel is created. Ellenroh is forced to use the Loden and the Ruhk Staff to restore the Keel and keep the demons out.
Together, Wren's arrival in Arborlon accordance with the seer Eowen Cerise's prophecy and Ellenroh's use of the Loden for the first time since the magical fortification of the Keel by Ellenroh's father give the Queen the opportunity she has been waiting for to convince the High Council that the Elves must leave Morrowindl and return to the Westland by way of the Loden. The Queen asks the Owl to be part of the expedition out of Morrowindl, due in large part to his knowledge of how to survive on the island.
After Ellenroh encloses the Elves and Arborlon in the Loden for safekeeping, it is tasked to her, Wren, the Owl, and six others to transport the Elves out of Morrowindl and back to the Westland. However, while still in the early stages of their journey, within the swamp known as Eden's Murk, a loud noise caused by a geyser of water startles the company, causing them to jump. The party's sudden movement triggers the attack of a Darter, a poisonous plant that shoots needles with deadly venom when threatened.
The Owl, hearing the sound of a Darter about to fire, knocks Ellenroh to the ground, protecting her from the needles and taking the brunt of the Darter's attack. He dies quickly from the poison and ends up being one of the first people in the nine-member company to die.
Ellenroh is distraught at the death of her close friend, and the Owl is buried in a patch of quicksand in Eden's Murk to prevent his body from being defiled by demons. The party is demoralized by the Owl's death, knowing that despite the vaunted survival skills that had kept him alive for years on Morrowindl, a stroke of bad luck had done him in.
The loss of Aurin Striate's skills is felt keenly by the party as they try to make their way out of Eden's Murk and become hopelessly lost instead. Stuck in the miasma of the swamp, Ellenroh comes down with a vicious fever that quickly drains her of her energy. It is only when Wren remembers that the Elfstones have seeking powers that the party is able to find their way out of Eden's Murk, though not in enough time to save Ellenroh from her fever. Before she dies, Ellenroh says that the Owl waits for her, and that she goes to join him.
The Owl is described as being skinny and having a narrow, hawk-nosed face that is both wrinkled and clean-shaven. He has dark hair and gray eyes, and a perpetually creased, rumpled look that matches his clothes. He fights with long knives in both hands, relying on agility and stealth to gain the upper hand.