It was first carried by the Druid Bremen. Bremen gave it to the Elven King Jerle Shannara, who used it in the Second War of the Races against the Warlock Lord. He was unable to wield the talisman properly and could not garner the Sword's full power. As a result, the Warlock Lord was defeated but not killed, only forced to flee. The Sword was placed in a block of Tre-Stone and taken to Paranor for safekeeping.
It was later stolen by the Warlock Lord's minions but recovered once more by Shea Ohmsford, who finally managed to defeat the Warlock Lord for good. Shea then gave it to the city of Tyrsis where it was kept in a vault for the next 300 years. After again disappearing, it was recovered by Par Ohmsford whose brother Coll used it to free Par from the power of the Shadowen. Par came to use it in battle with the Shadowen. The Sword was used next by Bek Ohmsford, who carried it during his journey to Parkasia.
The Sword of Shannara is an artifact originally of the elven line of Shannara. Unlike the Elfstones, which require a strong elven bloodline , it depends upon the specific ancestry of Shannara. In addition to this, the nature of the sword makes it possible to undermine the user's ability to wield it properly unless properly trained in the weapon. As a protection against this, it is actually important not to be told of the sword's power until after coming into possession of it.