Crispin is ordered by Eventine Elessedil to lead Wil Ohmsford, Amberle Elessedil, Eretria, and a group of Elven soldiers on their quest to find the Bloodfire and restore the dying Ellcrys. The group's first task is to meet an old Elf at the Elven outpost in Drey Wood, because he has experience in traversing the Wilderun.
Although the Home Guard is beholden to the Elven royal family, Crispin is a rude and domineering captain, ignoring Amberle's suggestions about the safest places to stop overnight and dismissing Wil as a cowardly boy. The party is soon ambushed by Cephalo and his band of Rovers, who tie everyone up before taking the Elfstones and Amberle. Before leaving, Cephalo cuts Crispin's leg so that marsh wolves will smell the blood and hunt them down. Despite the fact that Eretria didn't know of the ambush, Crispin vows to get revenge on her.
After Eretria manages to free Amberle from the Rovers and capture Cephalo, they return to the group and save them just as the wolves begin to attack. The next morning, Amberle finds Crispin deliberately beating up Cephalo and orders him to stop.
Near Drey Wood, the party comes across barren land dotted with barrels of toxic waste and marked with "toxic gas" signs, and Crispin sends in a soldier to scout the area. The scout and his horse die almost immediately from whatever is in the air, causing Crispin to comment disparagingly about the humans who took part in the Great Wars.
At Drey Wood, the party finds only the remains of dead Elves and the Reaper appears. Crispin's soldiers engage the Demon, but the Reaper is too much for them, and Wil is unable to get the Elfstones to work. It is only when Cephalo lures the Reaper into the toxic site and lights the waste barrels on fire that they manage to escape the monster.
Wil suggests altering their route to the Wilderun in case the Reaper is still following them, and upon Cephalo's suggestion the group travels to the Pykon over Crispin's protests.
At the old Elven fortress, the company meets an Elf called Remo and his half-Human daughter Mag. Remo drugs the group and holds them captive, but the group manage to free themselves and kill Remo.
Almost immediately after the Reaper appears and the group flees, only to find that the sole escape route is a rope line spanning a deep gorge between the Pykon and safe ground. As the party are making their way across, the Reaper catches up to them and Crispin fights it ferociously. The Reaper is too strong, and Crispin dies almost immediately.
Changes made for the TV AdaptationEdit
- Crispin clearly despises Rovers and Humans in general, and he lets his feelings be known to both Eretria and Cephalo. In The Elfstones of Shannara, Crispin shows no such animosity to either Rovers or the Race of Man, though he is never shown interacting with anyone but Elves.
- Crispin is incredibly domineering and challenges Amberle's authority repeatedly; in contrast, the Crispin in Elfstones is respectful of the Elven princess, as members of the Home Guard should be.
- Crispin is killed at the hands of the Reaper in direct combat; in Elfstones, the Reaper throws him off the narrow catwalk that bridges a gorge between the Pykon and safe ground when Crispin is thrown off balance after the bridge buckles slightly. Crispin was battling the Reaper on the catwalk to give Wil and Amberle time to knock out the last two pins holding the bridge in place.
- Although it is never actually spoken or shown in the TV series, Crispin was given the last name of Edensong. In Elfstones Terry Brooks did not give Crispin a last name, but he revealed years later in Bloodfire Quest that the surname was Islanbor.
Crispin Islanbor is a minor character in The Elfstones of Shannara. He was Captain of the Home Guard, the personal corps of Elven Hunters beholden to the King or Queen of the Elves. Separate from the Elven Army, the Home Guard is specifically tasked with protecting the ruler and their family.
Crispin was sent by Eventine Elessedil to accompany Wil Ohmsford and Amberle Elessedil on their quest to find the Bloodfire and restore the dying Ellcrys. As nine is the Elven number for luck, he selected half a dozen Elven hunters to go along with them. He was the leader of the expedition and was the last of Wil and Amberle's seven defenders to survive the quest, dying during a battle against the Reaper in the Pykon:
Crispin attacked the Reaper on a narrow catwalk that bridged a gorge between the Pykon and safe ground in order to give Wil and Amberle time to knock out the last two pins holding the bridge in place. After using up all of his arrows against the Demon, he moved forward and attacked the Reaper with his sword. When Wil removed one of the two remaining pins, the bridge buckled slightly and threw Crispin off balance. He was seized by the Reaper and thrown from the catwalk. A moment later a chance gust of wind caught the bridge and snapped the last pin, causing the bridge to collapse under the Reaper and saving Wil and Amberle.
Crispin likely fought the Reaper with the understanding that he would die—he wasn't likely to kill the Reaper on his own, and if Wil had managed to remove the last pin in time, Crispin would have fallen to his death anyway.Crispin was not given a last name in Elfstones, but it was revealed years later in Bloodfire Quest that his surname was Islanbor.