Not much is known of Gavilan's early life, except that as a Prince of the Elessedil family he would have been raised in Arborlon, and that as an Elessedil born after Ellenroh's generation he is also a member of the Ohmsford/Shannara bloodline.
Although it is not explicitly stated, it is assumed by his referral to the Queen as "Aunt Ell" that Gavilan is the son of Ellenroh's deceased younger brother, Asheron Elessedil. As a child he was a friend to Triss, who as an adult has become Captain of the Home Guard. Gavilan tells his cousin Wren Elessedil that he always thought of Ellenroh's daughter Alleyne, who was also Wren's mother, as being like a big sister to him.
Journey Out of MorrowindlEdit
Almost twenty years after Alleyne's death, Wren and Garth seek out and find Arborlon on the island of Morrowindl and are brought into the city by Aurin Striate, the Queen's eyes and ears outside the city who is also known as The Owl for his ability to see at night. Two of the first people the Owl brings her to meet are her grandmother Ellenroh, and Gavilan. Wren's first impression of Gavilan is that of a handsome, charming man who puts her at ease, and she is attracted to him immediately.
Ellenroh is overjoyed that her granddaughter has returned, and she tells Wren all about her mother, and the fact that the Elessedils are now also Ohmsfords. However, she refuses to tell Wren how the Elves' use of the magic brought demons to Morrowindl despite Wren's repeated questioning, and she forbids those around her, including Gavilan, from telling Wren as well.
Shortly after Wren arrives in Arborlon, the demons attack the city and a serious breach in the Keel, the magical wall protecting the city, is created. A battle begins and many soldiers start getting killed, including Phaeton, the second-in-command of the Elven army. Ellenroh arrives with the Loden and the Ruhk Staff and uses the magic to knit the Keel back together.
Together, Wren's arrival in 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.
Gavilan, Commander Barsimmon Oridio, and First Minister Eton Shart are initially skeptical of the Queen's plan. Gavilan in particular thinks that using the magic of the Loden or drawing more magic out of the earth to fight the demons is a better way to save the Elves than to enclose the entire Elven nation in the Elfstone and flee the island. Ellenroh is wholly opposed to the idea of subverting the magic of the Loden to other purposes, or the idea to draw more magic out of the earth, and reminds Gavilan of how those attempts had gone wrong before. Despite the initial disagreements and concerns Ellenroh manages to convince her High Council into supporting the plan, and Gavilan agrees to be one of the nine folks tasked with taking the Loden out of Morrowindl.
After Ellenroh encloses the Elves and Arborlon in the Loden for safekeeping, it is tasked to her, Wren, Gavilan, and six others to transport the Elves out of Morrowindl and back to the Westland. The company of nine is soon reduced to seven after the deaths of The Owl and Cort, a member of the Home Guard, and they are further demoralized when Ellenroh comes down with a vicious fever that quickly drains her energy. Ellenroh soon dies of the fever, handing the Loden and the Ruhk Staff to Wren and proclaiming her as the new Queen just before she dies.
Wren, who was raised all her life to believe she was just an independent Rover girl, is aghast at the prospect of being the Queen of an entire nation. She goes to Gavilan to vent, but is shocked when he proposes that she hand the Loden over to him and let him succeed Ellenroh instead. Wren realizes that Gavilan had been expecting to inherit the throne after Ellenroh passed away, and likely would have done so had Wren not returned to Arborlon. She also realizes that part of the reason Ellenroh gave the Loden and the Ruhk Staff to her and not to Gavilan was likely because they both had a healthy fear of the magic, while Gavilan was convinced that it could be used and controlled safely.
With Ellenroh's death, Eowen Cerise is left broken and devastated, in part because she had long ago had a vision that when Ellenroh died, she would die shortly afterward. However, her close friend's passing releases her from the obligation to be silent about the Elves' use of magic and the origins of Morrowindl's demons, and she explains to Wren that not only did the Elves create the demons that had turned Morrowindl into a hellish landscape, it was also Elves who were experimenting with magic who became the very first Shadowen back in the Four Lands.
As the company continues to find their way out of Morrowindl, Gavilan once again presses Wren to hand over the Loden and the Ruhk Staff, arguing that her reticence to use the magic available to her to defeat the dangers around them would only get them killed. She refuses, pointing out to Gavilan that Eowen Cerise had told her the secret behind Morrowindl's demons and the magic's dangers, but Gavilan insists that they would be able to use the magic more wisely than Elves from the past. They reach an impasse and realize that they cannot be friends or allies anymore.
However, when Eowen is captured by the Drakuls, Wren goes off alone to save her, as the only weapon that can hurt the Drakuls are her Elfstones. Before she goes she hands the Loden and the Ruhk Staff to Gavilan as a peace offering, asking him to look after it just until she returns.
Wren is caught by the mental whispers of the Drakuls and is close to being killed by them when Garth, the Home Guard's Captain Triss, and Stresa appear to snap her out of it and save her. When they head back to where they had left Gavilan and Dal, a member of the Home Guard, they are shocked to find Dal killed and Gavilan missing. Dal's weapons are stilled sheathed, and Stresa confirms by scent that it was Gavilan who did the killing. Wren is distraught by the fact that the handsome, easygoing man she met in Arborlon had become so warped by his own fear and a desire to possess power.
Wren and the surviving members of the party track Gavilan's trail into the In Ju swamp, only to find that he was caught in one of the Wisteron's traps and taken to its lair. When they get there, they find Gavilan's gutted carcass hanging in a web, with the Loden and the Ruhk Staff dropped onto a pile of bones underneath it. Attempts to recover the staff and stone without alerting the Wisteron are unsuccessful, and the party are forced to do battle with the monster. In the process, Garth is infected with the Wisteron's poison and Wren is forced to kill him in order to prevent him from turning into a Shadowen.
By the time Wren makes it to the shores of Morrowindl with the Loden and the Ruhk Staff, the only other surviving member of the original party of nine is Triss, and the many deaths and betrayals she's seen has left Wren traumatized, grieving, and at the point of collapse. With the help of Tiger Ty and his Roc, Spirit, Wren is carried off the island along with Triss, Stresa, and Faun. Had Gavilan not stolen the Loden and the Ruhk Staff, it is likely that the party would have made it to the shores of Morrowindl sooner and that Garth would still be alive.
Armed with the knowledge given to her by Eowen, Wren decides that the Elves must be given another chance, that they should be the ones to make things right and heal the Four Lands, and that if they are returned to their homeland they will be returned on her own terms. Back in the Westland, Wren restores Arborlon to its rightful place atop the Carolan, deliberately drains the Loden and the Ruhk Staff of all their remaining magic, and is proclaimed Queen of the Elves. As Queen, she renews the Elves' commitment to their traditional stewardship of the land and its well-being.
Gavilan is described as having dark hair, blue eyes, and a squarish face. He is handsome, with an easy smile and a charming, casual personality. Eowen Cerise remarked that "Gavilan makes us all feel like young girls again."