Courtann was thoroughly ordinary, being of average height and build and comfortably middle-aged. Possessing no special skills or speaking ability, he was liked by his people for being a thoughtful, avuncular man who neither sought power nor shied away from it.
When inform by Tay Trefenwyd of the Druid Bremen's charge, Courtann supports Tay's request to the Elven High Council to undertake a search for the Black Elfstone. The same night that the Elven Council was spoken to, a raiding party of Gnome assassins and a Skull Bearer entered the palace and managed to slay almost all of the royal family. Tay only just managed to reach Courtann's quarters as the Skull Bearer was killing the king and queen. Courtann managed to survive the night, only to die within the next few weeks.
Courtann was succeeded by his son Alyten, who only avoided the massacre because he was away from Arborlon at the time. However, the Warlock Lord manages to kill him as well and Jerle Shannara becomes King of the Elves.