After some Elven settlements started to come under attack by Demons, the Wing Riders began scouting missions to warn the outlying villages. Perk and Genewen, a Wing Rider/Roc pair from Olden Moor, were on one such scouting mission when they were attacked by Zora and Cormac, a pair of Elf Hunters.
Elf Hunters are Humans who hate Elves and target them in order to harvest their ears and sell them off to Gnomes, who believe that Elf ears have medicinal properties. Zora and Cormac attacked Perk and cut off one ear, but when they went for the other ear Genewen came to Perk's rescue. He managed to escape, but the Elf Hunters trapped Genewen and kept her in a cage.
While Perk was fleeing, he ran into Wil Ohmsford, who had just escaped from the Pykon and become separated from Amberle and Eretria. Delirious from pain and fear, Perk attacks Wil with a stone, but his attempts to fight are so pathetic that Wil is able to keep him at bay despite not being a fighter himself. Wil gets Perk to stop and calm down when he shows his ears to Perk and reveals that he himself is half-Elf.
Wil uses a drugged poultice on Perk's open wound to stop the bleeding and to make the Wing Rider feel good. He asks Perk if Eretria and Amberle might have been snatched by the Elf Hunters, and Perk says that if either one of them was an Elf, then Wil should definitely be worried. Perk says that Genewen might be trapped at the Elf Hunters' camp and that Wil's friends might be there as well.
Wil and Perk make their way to the Elf Hunters camp, where they overhear Zora talking about a royal Elf they must hunt next. Wil realizes that they must be talking about Amberle. When Zora and the other Hunters move out, leaving Cormac to guard the camp, Wil tells Perk to stay put. Wil says he needs to follow the hunters to find Amberle and Eretria but promises Perk that he'll come back to help him free Genewen.
Perk agrees to wait, but only because he owes Wil his life. However, when he spots Cormac holding his severed ear, Perk screams and begins attacking the Hunter, who quickly overpowers the Wing Rider. Wil is forced to help, holding a sword against Cormac's neck to stop him from cutting off Perk's other ear.
Wil asks the Hunter about Eretria and Amberle. When he refuses to answer, Wil implies that he'll turn Cormac over to Perk to let him have his revenge, which frightens Cormac into revealing the direction that the two women had disappeared to. Wil thanks the Hunter, telling him he did the right thing, but Perk slits Cormac's throat. Wil protests, saying that murder was unnecessary, but Perk says he isn't sorry, pointing out that taking out a serial Elf killer is top priority.
Together Wil and Perk make their way over to the cage where Genewen is being kept, and Wil finally realizes what Genewen actually is. Together, they manage to find Amberle and Eretria captured by Zora, and Wil manages to slide down a rope from Genewen's back and knock out Zora just before she shoots her arrows. As Wil, Amberle, and Eretria grab onto the rope and are lifted away by Genewen, Zora manages to gather enough strength to shoot at the trio, wounding Eretria in the stomach and causing her to lose her grip on the rope. Zora captures Eretria while Perk and Genewen manage to fly Wil and Amberle to safety.
As Wil and Amberle wait in a safe location, Perk and Genewen fly over the general area looking for Eretria and the Elf Hunters. However, he is unable to find any trace of them and tells the pair that the Hunters must be using the tres as cover. Wil and Amberle thank the Wing Rider for his help, and he thanks them back. Before leaving with Genewen, he gives Wil a whistle, telling him to use it if Wil ever needs the Wing Rider.
Changes made for the TV Adaptation
- Perk is just a boy in The Elfstones of Shannara, one that is probably only just starting puberty. By contrast, Perk is an adult in the TV series.
- Perk kills without hesitation in the TV series; in the novel, he is a mere child with no knowledge of combat or killing.
- In the TV series, Perk says he is from Olden Moor. In the novels Olden Moor lies deep in the Eastland, where no Elves live. Olden Moor also lies far, far away from Wing Hove, the community of Wing Riders located in the Westland.
- In Elfstones, Perk plays an integral role in bringing Wil, Amberle, and Eretria safely back to Arborlon after they found the Bloodfire. In the TV series, Perk plays no such role. However, he does give Wil a whistle to call him if they ever need help, just like Perk did in the novel.
Perk is a character in The Elfstones of Shannara. He is a young Elven boy who is in the second year of his training to become a Wing Rider. He is the son and grandson of Wing Riders, and he flies Genewen, a Roc that belongs to his grandfather Herrol.
Perk was sent out on a solo seven-day training exercise with Genewen into the Rock Spur Mountains. For this week-long mission, he was only given a small ration of bread and cheese and a container of water. He was to find additional food and drink on his own, and to explore and be able to accurately describe the mountainous country surrounding the Wilderun upon his return to the Wing Hove. The Wilderun itself and its inhabitants were forbidden to him for safety reasons.
However, on the morning of his second day out, Perk finds Wil Ohmsford and Amberle Elessedil sleeping at the foot of the Rock Spur within a grove of pine trees. Seeing two fellow Elves so poorly provisioned out in the harsh terrain struck his curiosity, and he chose to investigate.
When Wil and Amberle awoke they immediately warmed to the boy, and Wil asks for any assistance the boy might be able to give in crossing the mountains. However, neither of them were sure what to make of Perk's repeated claim that he was able to fly. Perk eventually realizes that the pair thought he was talking about himself, and he calls for Genewen to show them what he meant.
Wil and Amberle are shocked when the giant Roc flies down from out of the Rock Spur before landing nearby. They had never heard of Rocs, let alone seen one, and Perk has to explain to them what Rocs and Wing Riders were. He tells the pair that he is a Wing Rider from Wing Hove, a community of Roc-riding Elves located below the Irrybis Mountains.
For Wil and Amberle, who were looking for some way to cross the Rock Spur and get to the Wilderun on the other side, their meeting with Perk is nothing short of serendipitous: Besides not knowing how to cross the mountains, the pair were lacking supplies and were worn out after being chased by the Reaper through the Westland and losing their entire Home Guard escort while making their way through the Pykon.
Perk is able to share his food with the pair and to fly them over the Rock Spur and into the Wilderun, saving Wil and Amberle days of harrowing travel. Indeed, Perk insists on going with them into the Wilderun, but Wil and Amberle forbid the boy from doing so, reminding him that the Wilderun was forbidden to him.
However, when Perk learns that Wil and Amberle have to return to Arborlon as quickly as possible after their business inside the Wilderun is finished, he hands Wil the whistle he uses to called Genewen. Perk points out that he has five more days left before he has to return to Wing Hove, so if Wil blew the whistle at noon on any of the five days, Perk would be flying across the valley with Genewen listening for them so that they could find them and take them back to Arborlon.
Although Amberle has misgivings about putting Perk in danger, she agrees to the plan once Wil promises not to call for Perk if it would put him in danger, and once Wil makes Perk promise to leave and go home if he does not hear from Wil and Amberle within the five days.
On sunset of the fifth day, Wil, Amberle, and Eretria reemerge from the tunnels of Safehold after having found the Bloodfire. Wil, delirious from a painkilling root he had eaten, has Eretria blow on Perk's whistle.
Thankfully for the trio, Perk had seen Mallenroh's tower in the Hollows burning, and he lingered on the final day as he had taken the smoking tower as a sign that Wil and his friends were still alive. He and Genewen fly in and rescue the trio, leaving behind Hebel and his dog Drifter, as the old man opted to stay home in the Wilderun.
Perk and Genewen carry Wil, Amberle, and Eretria to Arborlon, again saving Wil and Amberle days worth of arduous travel, time they could not afford. Indeed, when Perk lands Genewen inside the Gardens of Life, the Demons are teeming at the gates, trying to get in and ravage the ground upon which the dead Ellcrys is standing.
As Amberle dismounts and makes her way to the tree, some Demons break through and begin coming for her. Wil dismounts as well and uses the Elfstones to kill the monsters. He yells at Perk, telling him to fly away, but Perk and Genewen instead fly directly at the closest attackers, helping Wil to drive them back. Together, they give Amberle enough time to reach the dead tree and restore the Ellcrys.
After the Demons are locked in the Forbidding once more, Perk is reunited with his uncle Dayn, who along with four other Wing Riders had been sent by Herrol to assist the Elves of Arborlon. Because Genewen was with Perk, Herrol had been unable to come to Arborlon himself.
Perk has time to visit a recuperating Wil and to speak to him about Amberle before leaving and returning to Wing Hove. Before he leaves, Wil promises to Perk that he will visit him one day.
Without Perk's assistance, it is certain that Wil and Amberle would not have returned in time to restore the Ellcrys and the Forbidding. Had the Demons been able to uproot and destroy the dead tree and ravage the earth in which it had stood, the tree would not have been able to have been reborn.