Chrysallin Leah is a character in The Defenders of Shannara trilogy who is repeatedly abducted by the sorcerer Arcannen. Although her last name is Leah, she is also the great-granddaughter of Railing Ohmsford, making her a member of the legendary House of Shannara.
Chrysallin's father died when she was five years old, and she grew up with her mother Zeatha and brother Paxon.
Although legend had it that Chrysallin was descended from the royals and warriors who once ruled the Highlands of Leah, Chrys is neither a princess or a warrior. She is an average teenager, though perhaps rowdier and more headstrong than most. When she was younger she found a black sword in the attic and claimed it was the legendary Sword of Leah, though none of them had witnessed any magic in the sword before. She hung it above the mantel of the fireplace inside the family home.
While her brother Paxon oversees the family's small business shipping goods via airship freighters, Chrys enjoys causing trouble however she can, mostly by drinking and mingling with the seedier elements who tend to frequent the bars and taverns of Leah. Her preferred tavern is the Two Roosters, where her friend Jayet works as a serving girl.
Chrys is only fifteen when she is abducted by a stranger on one of her evenings out at the Two Roosters. At the tavern, she had gotten into a dice game with a group of men, all locals apart from one stranger from the deep Southland. The stranger had cleaned her out, taking everything she had wagered and demanding more. He said that if Chrysallin couldn't pay up, she belonged to him and had to go with him.
Chrys is furious and refuses to go with the man, accusing him of cheating. The stranger and Chrysallin are at a stalemate when Jayet leaves the tavern to find Paxon and alert him to the trouble his sister his in. She tells him that Raffe, the tavern owner, may have done business with the stranger in the past, because he was just standing by and watching, allowing the confrontation to happen.
Paxon and Jayet rush to the Two Roosters only to find Chrys and the stranger both gone. Raffe initially refuses to give Paxon any information but tells Paxon that they headed to the airfield after Paxon breaks his wrist. Paxon rushes to the airfield unarmed, confronting the stranger with only an iron bar he picked up along the way. The stranger easily disarms him using only the power of his words, and has his men beat up Paxon.
Before leaving, the stranger tells Paxon that his name is Arcannen and that he lives at Dark House in the Southland city of Wayford. He warns Paxon that if he comes looking for Chrysallin in Wayford, he will be killed. Paxon learns that Arcannen is a powerful sorcerer.
Unintimidated, Paxon races to Chrys's rescue with the only weapon he can find, the antique sword that had always hung above the fireplace in the family home. With the help of Grehling Cara, the fourteen-year-old son of Wayford's airfield manager, Paxon is able to track the sorcerer to his compound and battles him to get Chrys back.
During the duel against Arcannen, Paxon is stunned to discover that his sword is in fact the Sword of Leah, the weapon imbued with magic by the Druid Allanon centuries ago. With the power of the sword Paxon is able to overpower the sorcerer and take Chrys back, but Arcannen manages to escape.
The use of magic in the battle between Paxon and sorcerer catches the attention of the Druid Order, and Paxon is summoned to Paranor by Aphenglow Elessedil, Ard Rhys of the Druids. Aphenglow, knowing that Paxon is a descendant of the Ohmsfords as well as the Leahs, urge Paxon to stay at Paranor and train with the Sword of Leah to become the High Druid's Blade, a warrior in service to the Ard Rhys and the Druid Order, one who has sworn to protect them from the evils that stalk the Four Lands. She promises Paxon that the Druid Order will take care of Chrysallin and Zeatha's needs while he is away and that others in service to the Order will be in Leah to watch over and protect them so that he doesn't have to worry about their safety while he is gone.
Paxon is taken aback by the offer but realizes that it could be the path to a different future, one of his own making. He decides to stay in Paranor to train and serve the Druids for three years.
However, Arcannen is still at large and he soon manages to abduct Chrysallin once more. Those who had been tasked by the Druids to watch over Chrysallin while Paxon was training at Paranor were later found to have been killed.
While imprisoned in Dark House, Chrysallin manages to get free of her bindings and escape from the room Arcannen is keeping her in. Slipping away from the room, she runs into a cleaning lady, whom she begs into helping her escape the compound. However, as Chrysallin flees, she is pursued and caught and captured again. When she awakes, she is tortured painfully, seemingly under the orders of a woman who looks like Aphenglow Elessedil. As the torture repeats itself over and over, Chrysallin begins to develop an intense hatred of the woman in charge.
Unbeknownst to Chrysallin, the cleaning lady who helped her escape Dark House is actually the witch Mischa working under Arcannen's orders. Mischa had tricked Chrysallin into thinking she had been captured and was being tortured by the Ard Rhys, when in reality Chrysallin is at Mischa's home being kept under an enchantment that keeps her in a dream state. While in this dream state Chrysallin imagines she is being tortured over and over, but in reality, her body has not come to any harm.
Arcannen goes to the airfield in Wayford and orders Grehling Cara to alert him if Paxon arrives in the city. Grehling, who had taken a liking to Paxon, realizes something is wrong and trails Arcannen. He sees the sorcerer talking to Mischa, and notices strange lights and sounds coming from Mischa's building. When Mischa leaves the building, Grehling enters and makes his way to the witch's apartment, where he finds Chrysallin trapped in a magical trance.
Grehling manages to wake Chrysallin, but as they are leaving Mischa returns, and Grehling knocks her out with a hard punch. He flees the area with Chrysallin, but because Chrys had been caught in a trance for days, her body is weak and she is unable to keep up. Desperate for help, Grehling knocks on the door of Leofur Rai, his former nanny, and she takes the two in. It soon becomes apparent from the way Chrysallin talks that she has somehow been convinced that she has been brutally tortured and disfigured, even though physically she looks just fine.
Paxon arrives in Wayford with the Druid Starks in search of Arcannen and Chrysallin. Mischa creates a creature of magic to pursue Chrysallin and Grehling and the monster tracks them to Leofur's house, forcing the three of them to flee into the streets of Wayford. Paxon manages to kill the creature, and but Mischa manages to find Chrysallin and her friends, and the witch taunts the girl with the image of Aphenglow Elessedil. Frightened and traumatized, Chrysallin screams, killing Mischa with the power of the wishsong. Arcannen gets away, but not before killing Starks by penetrating his magical defenses with the Stiehl.
Chrysallin is catatonic after using the wishsong and Paxon takes her back to Paranor to be cared for by the healers there. When Aphenglow Elessedil tries to visit Chrys, the girl screams once more, nearly injuring the Ard Rhys very severely. The Druids come to realize that Chrysallin has been tortured mentally, brainwashed into thinking that Aphenglow is responsible for her torture, all as part of an attempt by Arcannen to use Chrysallin as a pawn to kill the Ard Rhys. As an unintended side effect, the trauma also seemed to have awakened the magic of the wishsong.
Accompanied by Leofur, Paxon returns to Wayford, ostensibly to find some clues that might help bring Chrysallin out of her traumatized state, but also to avenge Starks' death by killing Arcannen. In Wayford Leofur gains easy access to Arcannen's home and Paxon and Arcannen battle. Arcannen, realizing he is about to be overpowered, offers to give Paxon a potion that will cure Chrysallin of the effects of her torture if Paxon will let him go. Although deeply conflicted, Paxon realizes that healing his sister is more important than gaining revenge, so he agrees to the exchange.
Paxon, who had been developing feelings for Leofur, is shocked and dismayed by her ability to gain access to Arcannen's heavily guarded home, and he assumes that she must have been his lover. She corrects him by saying that in fact, her ability to gain access is due to the fact that she is his daughter.
Back in Paranor, Paxon administers the potion to Chrysallin, who comes out of her catatonic state fully healed, not even able to remember what had been done to her. Although she has been returned to normal, she has forgotten all the recent traumatic events that had happened to her, and she does not know that she carries the power of the wishsong.
After Paxon has been serving as the Blade of the Ard Rhys for five years, time and age have caught up to Aphenglow and she prepares to die. Before she dies, Aphenglow urges Paxon to tell Chrysallin about the wishsong magic within her before she finds out on her own and perhaps loses control of the magic. Paxon agrees to think on it, but he does not reveal the knowledge to Chrysallin for a long time.
After the murder of the Druid Avelene and massacre of the Red Slash by Arcannen at the Horn of Honor in Sterne, Paxon takes a leave of absence from his duties at Paranor. Knowing that the remains of Lariana and Reyn Frosch were never found at the Horn of Honor, he searches for them and finds them alive and well in the Westland village of Backing Fell. He then goes to Wayford, where he sees Leofur Rai for the first time in years. He apologizes to her for avoiding her, confesses that he is lost without her, and declares that he loves her, convincing her to take him in.
It is only after Paxon recovers emotionally while living with Leofur and then returns to Paranor along with Leofur as his life partner that he is able to tell Chrysallin the truth about her abilities. Chrysallin is then able to begin studying the wishsong and training to gain control over the volatile magic. As Paxon is often away from Paranor due to his duties as the Blade, Chrysallin becomes good friends with Leofur, who teaches her meditation as one way to control her powers.
Chrysallin and Leofur are walking in the forests outside Paranor, with Leofur helping Chrysallin train in the use of the wishsong, when they are both knocked out and Chrysallin is abducted. She is kept gagged and later forced to eat a root that paralyzes her vocal cords, all with the intention of preventing her from using her voice and the wishsong. She is taken to the Murk Sink, an area of swamps and wetlands below Grimpen Ward. There she is kept prisoner at the home of Melis, the Murk Witch.
Each day a young girl comes to the crate in which Chrysallin is kept to let her out, feed her, groom her, and force her to eat the root that keeps her vocal cords from working. She tries to play with Chrys by forcing her to watch Mr. Teeth, one of the large predators outside in the swamp, feed on hapless prey. Although the young girl professes to be very afraid of Melis, Chrysallin knows that such claims are part of the girl's game, and that the girl is in fact Melis herself.
Chrysallin continues to languish as a prisoner in the Murk Witch's house without much change in routine until Imric Cort blunders too close to the house and Melis has Mr. Teeth dispatch him. Soon after, Olin, one of Melis's former playthings, arrives on the witch's doorstep, begging to be taken back in and claiming that he was accompanied by a man and a woman. By their descriptions, Chrys realizes that the man is the one dispatched by Mr. Teeth and that the woman is Leofur.
When Melis and Olin leave to hunt for Leofur, Chrysallin regurgitates the voice-numbing root she had been given for that day, and which she had only pretended to chew before swallowing whole. Melis returns alone, claiming that Olin was eaten by swamp creatures and that Leofur had been eaten as well, which leaves Chrysallin distraught.
The next day, Imric, who had used his shape-shifting abilities to save himself from Mr. Teeth and who had torn and bloodied Leofur's clothing to trick the witch into thinking she had been eaten, takes the form of a moor cat to break down the door to Melis's house. At the same time he manages to break open Chrysallin's crate, though the impact also knocks her unconscious.
Imric, with Leofur in tow, attacks the witch, trying to give Leofur an opportunity to take back her flash-rips, which Olin had given to Melis the day before. However, the witch uses her magic to fend off the shape-shifter easily. She paralyzes him by forcing him to shape-shift over and over in rapid succession, and she flings him away from her house. Leofur tries to grab her weapons but the witch immobilizes her on the spot. After moving the weapons out of reach the witch releases Leofur, threatening to immobilize her again if she makes a wrong move, and she offers to spare Leofur if she agrees to become a plaything like Chrysallin.
Chrysallin, who by this point had regained consciousness, launches herself at the witch from behind. Infuriated, the witch changes to her true form, which causes Chrysallin to scream in horror, her voice finally freed and working again. The witch quickly grabs Chrysallin by the throat to cut off her magic, but Leofur is freed to grab her weapons, and in the effort to subdue Leofur the witch loosens her grip on Chrysallin's throat. Leofur shoots the witch with her flash rip and Chrysallin brings the full force of the wishsong to bear on the witch, turning her into indistinct matter.
As Chrysallin and Leofur make their way out of the swamp, Imric calls to Leofur in her mind. Because of their link, he was able to overcome the witch's magic and revert to his true form. Chrys and Leofur find Imric and give him time to rest overnight before the three return to Paranor.
Back in Paranor, Chrys and Leofur learn that Paxon and the warrior Druid Miriya only just returned the day before after having killed Arcannen in the ruins of Kern. Arcannen had been masquerading as Isaturin, whom he had killed, and had unleashed a monster called a Sleath on a Federation peace delegation the same day that Chrysallin was abducted.
Although Paxon is eager to see Leofur, she refuses almost all visitors for the next few days, only receiving Chrysallin once. She eventually calls Paxon to her, confessing that she and Imric are in love with each other and that she is leaving both Paxon and Paranor. She had already told Chrysallin, who, while sad about the turn of events, had seen Leofur and Imric together after being saved from Melis and understood their decision.
It can be assumed after these events that Chrysallin returns to her studies, training to further master the wishsong and become a valued member of the Druid Order.
Chrysallin is described as having long, black hair, large blue eyes, and classic, beautiful features. When she is first abducted she is a gawky, teenaged girl, but after living in Paranor for well over five years she has become a graceful, poised woman. Although her great-grandfather Railing Ohmsford was the son of an Elf, Chrysallin apparently has no outward signs of her Elven heritage in her appearance.