Oriantha is a character in The Dark Legacy of Shannara trilogy. She is the product of a union between a shape-shifter and the Elven Druid Pleysia Ariana, and she accompanies her mother on the Ard Rhys Khyber Elessedil's quest for the missing Elfstones.
When Pleysia joined the Druid Order, she brought Oriantha with her but kept the secret of Oriantha's heritage to herself. Pleysia also hid the fact that she was dying of an incurable disease. Her hope was that once the Druids finally knew Oriantha's secret, they'd have no choice but to keep her and raise her after Pleysia had passed on.
Quest for the Missing ElfstonesEdit
When Khyber elected to undertake a quest to find and recover the missing Elfstones, Pleysia was one of the Druids who went. She insisted on bringing a young Oriantha with her, but refused to tell Khyber why.
Later, when part of the company led by the Ard Rhys became trapped in the Forbidding, Crace Coram fought against a dragon that attacked their party. He was assisted by Oriantha, who shape-shifted into a lupine creature and fought alongside him. However, Crace and Oriantha were both carried off by the dragon as it fled. They both survived the flight on the dragon's back and broke free when the monster dove into a lake.
It was only after Oriantha revealed her ability to shape-shift and was carried off along with Crace Coram that Pleysia was finally forced to reveal the truth to the Ard Rhys. Pleysia then went off on her own into the Forbidding to find her daughter, leaving the rest of the party behind, and she was later killed and beheaded by Demons.
Worn and wounded, Crace and Oriantha walked through the Forbidding for three full days, encountering and avoiding dangers. They hid from the Furies, were attacked by a huge lizard which Oriantha drove away, and when Oriantha was attacked by a poisonous plant Crace cut into her skin and sucked the poison out.
Eventually the pair were saved by Tesla Dart, who led them to a temporary opening within the Forbidding that led back out into the Four Lands. Tesla's motive for assisting the pair was so that they could tell the long-disappeared Grianne Ohmsford to come back to the Forbidding and avenge the death of Weka Dart, who had been killed by the Straken Lord Tael Riverine for assisting Grianne during her time imprisoned within the Forbidding.
However, at the last minute, Oriantha opted to stay in the Forbidding to avenge the death of her mother and to try and save Khyber Elessedil and Redden Ohmsford, both of whom had been captured by the Straken Lord. Crace left the Forbidding to tell Seersha and the remainder of the Druid company what had happened to those in their party who had gotten trapped within the Forbidding.
To prevent either Khyber or Redden from using their magic while imprisoned, the Straken Lord had conjure collars placed around their necks—collars which would send debilitating pain through their body if they even attempted to use their magic.
Days of imprisonment and the painful effects of the conjure collar left Khyber weak and drained, but Tael Riverine invited her to a public duel. She was given a potion that restored her strength to normal, and while she was under the effects of the potion she turned out to be more than a match for the Straken Lord. However, the potion was rigged to wear off mid-battle, and once it did so Khyber was returned to her weakened state and unable to call on her magic. Redden was forced to watch as she was killed quickly by Tael Riverine, and the Straken Lord placed her head on a spike on the walls of his fortress.
The killing of Khyber Elessedil and days of imprisonment began to wear on Redden's mind, and he started to withdraw into a shell. He was in danger of losing himself completely when he was rescued by Oriantha and Tesla Dart; Oriantha had used her shapeshifting abilities to get close to Redden's cage and free him.
Redden was thrilled to be finally free, but he was still weak and fragile from his time in imprisonment, and he wanted nothing more than to leave the Forbidding for good. However, when he and Oriantha realized that Tesla Dart knew where the missing Elfstones might be hidden, he decided to remain in the Forbidding and travel to the Kroat Abyss, where Tesla Dart said the Stones were located. While revolted by the idea of continuing to stay within the Forbidding, Redden realized that if he didn't take the opportunity given to him to attempt finding the Elfstones, all the deaths he witnessed inside the Forbidding would have been for nothing. Although Oriantha initially disagreed with Redden, she eventually agreed to stay and search with him.
With Tesla Dart leading, Oriantha and Redden went down into the Kroat Abyss, into an underground building containing all sorts of treasures from the Age of Faerie, long before the Forbidding had been created. With Tesla's guidance the trio were able to easily avoid the multiple traps laid within the treasure house and Redden soon gained possession of a box containing the crimson, emerald, saffron, and white Elfstones.
However, a large contingent of Demons that had been tracking Redden also arrived at the Kroat Abyss, and Oriantha and her allies were trapped. Not knowing what else to do, Redden grabbed the crimson Elfstones and unlocked their power using the wishsong.
Use of the Elfstones destroyed the Demons utterly, disintegrating them into nothingness, but Redden was affected by their use, feeling the death of the Demons through the magic of the Elfstones and feeling a part of himself draining away along with the Demons' lives.
Redden, Oriantha, and Tesla Dart made their way out of the Kroat Abyss, and eventually out of the Forbidding itself. They emerge from the Forbidding in the Westland, at the place where the Straken Lord's army, freed from the Forbidding by the dying of the Ellcrys, had begun their invasion of the Elven nation.
Railing Ohmsford and Mirai Leah were there as well. Railing had been successful in finding and releasing Grianne Ohmsford from the Tanequil, but she had been returned as the malevolent Ilse Witch, and she had voiced her intentions to kill Tael Riverine and take his place as ruler of the Demons to Railing himself.
The Ilse Witch confronted the Straken Lord and proceeded to do battle with him while Oriantha, Tesla Dart, the Ohmsford brothers, Mirai Leah, the Demons, and the Elven army all watched. She easily tricked the Straken Lord and trapped him with his own conjure collar, and having rendered him helpless, she killed him with his own scepter. With her victory, the Demons acknowledged her as their new leader.
With the Straken Lord defeated, the Ilse Witch turned on Railing. However, Redden again used a combination of his wishsong and the crimson Elfstones in a desperate attempt to stop her from harming Railing and Mirai. Although the magic of the wishsong and the Elfstones initially overpowered the witch, she recovered and begins to fight back.
The twin brothers were in imminent danger of being killed by the witch when Arlingfant Elessedil restored the Ellcrys and the Forbidding. Because the Ilse Witch had made herself one of the Demons, she disappeared with all the other Demons when they are banished back into the Forbidding.
Fourth Druid OrderEdit
After the Druid Order was decimated by the dangerous quest for the lost Elfstones and the Forbidding was restored, it was left to Aphenglow Elessedil, Seersha, and Oriantha to rebuild the remains of the Fourth Druid Order.
Some years later, while the Ard Rhys Aphenglow was suspended in the Druid sleep, Seersha passed away in her sleep, forcing Oriantha to take up the mantle of leadership as acting Ard Rhys. While Oriantha held the position, she managed to achieve something even Aphenglow had never been able to do: She managed to open lines of communication with the Federation and arrange for an exchange of ambassadors.
Whether it was because Oriantha was a new face representing the Druid Order or because the Federation itself was growing tired of its isolation, this breakthrough signaled the beginning of a more open relationship between the Druids and the Southland, although the two parties still disagreed about the need for magic in the Four Lands. The other lands quickly took advantage and joined in, with even the scattered Gnome tribes participating as best they could despite having trouble agreeing on who their collective representatives were. It was the first time in history that had ever happened.
By the time the Ard Rhys awoke from her Druid sleep, Oriantha was old and worn out, and she left the order shortly after, never to be seen again. By that time the entire Druid Order was new, and Aphenglow found that much was different from when she had gone into the Druid sleep.
Aphenglow's awakening and Oriantha's subsequent departure from Paranor occurred only eight years before the events of The Defenders of Shannara trilogy, which means that it is possible that Oriantha was still alive during the time of those events, although she would have been over a century old by then, just like Aphenglow.
Besides her crucial role in freeing Redden Ohmsford from the clutches of Tael Riverine and in helping him recover the missing Elfstones from the Kroat Abyss, Oriantha's time as acting Ard Rhys had far-reaching, positive consequences for the Four Lands.