Railing Ohmsford is a character in The Dark Legacy of Shannara trilogy. He and his twin brother Redden possess the power of the wishsong and are recruited by the Ard Rhys Khyber Elessedil for her quest to find the missing sets of Elfstones, which have been lost since the Age of Faerie.


Early Life

Railing and Redden are the children of Kierst Ohmsford and the Elf Sarys Starleigh. Sarys, who distrusted magic and those who used it, was distraught when it became clear her twin sons had inherited the Ohmsford legacy of the wishsong.

Railing and Redden grew up in Patch Run with their childhood friend Mirai Leah. When they were both very young their father died in an accident while flying with the Druids, which only increased the resentment their mother held toward magic users, particularly the Druid Order and the Ard Rhys.

Quest for the Missing Elfstones

Railing and Redden accompany Khyber Elessedil and other Druids to find the missing Elfstones. The quest goes horribly wrong when Redden and a group of Druids become trapped in the Forbidding, and Railing and Mirai are desperate to get him out.

Railing is told by the King of the Silver River that the key to Redden's return lies in bringing back Grianne Ohmsford, who had given herself to the tanequil over a century ago and become an aeriad, a spirit of the air. The Faerie King also gives Railing a ring consisting of a gemstone set in a ring made of multiple threads. He instructs Railing to pluck off a thread and use it when he gets lost and is in need of finding his way. Once all the threads have been used the stone itself can also be utilized by the owner.

The King of the Silver River also warns Railing that bringing back Grianne could have unintended consequences. However, after Pen Ohmsford had rescued Grianne from the Forbidding over a century earlier, the Straken Lord Tael Riverine had become obsessed with the idea of finding Grianne again and making her his wife, and Railing was hoping the Straken Lord's obsession meant that Grianne's return would prove to be key to saving his brother.

Railing eventually succeeds in reaching Stridegate and the tanequil, where Grianne's aeriad spirit greets him and tells him she cannot help. Unwilling to give up, Railing speaks to the tanequil instead, and although the tree initially warns him that he will not get exactly what he wants, Railing persists and the tree releases Grianne. However, she is not returned whole, but as the malevolent Ilse Witch.

The Ilse Witch, while resentful of what Railing has done to her, has no desire to return to the tanequil and her life as an aeriad. She forces Railing and the crew of Rovers piloting his airship to take her to where the Straken Lord's army, freed from the Forbidding by the dying of the Ellcrys, have begun their invasion of the Elven nation in the Westland. Along the way, she reveals to Railing that she intends to kill Tael Riverine and take his place as ruler of the Demons, horrifying him.

When the airship reaches the armies, the Ilse Witch confronts the Straken Lord and proceeds to do battle with him while Railing, Mirai Leah, the Demons, and the Elven army watch. She easily tricks the Straken Lord and traps him with his own conjure collar, and having rendered him helpless, she kills him with his own scepter. With her victory, the Demons acknowledge her as their new leader.

With the Straken Lord defeated, the Ilse Witch turns on Railing. However, Redden, who had managed to free himself from the Forbidding and reunite with Railing during the Ilse Witch's duel with the Straken Lord, uses a combination of the wishsong and the crimson Elfstones, which he had brought out of the Forbidding, in a desperate attempt to stop her. Although the magic of the wishsong and the Elfstones initially overpowers the witch, she recovers and begins to fight back.

The twin brothers are in imminent danger of being killed by the witch when Arlingfant Elessedil restores the Ellcrys and the Forbidding. Because the Ilse Witch had made herself one of the Demons, she disappears with all the other Demons when they are banished back into the Forbidding.

Redden is left catatonic and unresponsive due to his use of the crimson Elfstones, and Railing takes him back to Patch Run to recuperate. Months pass with Railing, Mirai, and the twins' mother Sarys taking care of Redden, but he does not recover.

Finally, Railing remembers the ring given to him by the King of the Silver River, and thinking to himself that he was in need of finding a way to get to Redden, he uses a thread. Nothing seems to happen, but over the course of months Railing persists in his efforts, plucking a thread off the ring from time to time to see if it will work.

Finally, when Railing is down to his last three threads, Redden comes out of his catatonia, and the brothers are reunited once more.


Railing marries Mirai after their adventures together. Their great-grandchildren are Paxon Leah, the Blade of the Ard Rhys, and Chrysallin Leah, who possesses the power of the wishsong.

Physical Appearance

Railing has red hair, like his twin brother Redden and grandfather Pen Ohmsford.