A glossary of people, places & objects in Earthsea

Now showing glossary items relating to magical objects


See Talismans


See Talismans

Elfarran's ring

See Ring of Erreth-Akbe


See Potions

Erreth-Akbe, Ring of

See Ring of Erreth-Akbe


Fireworks are mentioned on the islands of Havnor, Way & Sattins, often as entertainment at outdoor parties. Though they seem to be usually produced by a sorcerer or wizard, it's unclear whether they work by magic or gunpowder

Sources: The Rule of Names, W12Q; Darkrose and Diamond, TfE; Dragonfly, TfE

Ged's staff

Ged bears a wizard's staff of black yew-wood, originally shod with bronze; in The Farthest Shore, the Bond Rune is set into it in silver. His first staff was given to him by Gensher of Way and lost on Osskil; his second was crafted by Ogion and left on the shore of Selidor

Sources: The Loosing of the Shadow, WoE; Hunted, WoE; The Hawk's Flight, WoE; The Rowan Tree, FS; The Stone of Pain, FS

'the staff of yew that bore near the grip, in silver set in the black wood, the Lost Rune of the Kings.'

[The Rowan Tree, FS]

Grey Mage, Staff of the

See Staff of the Grey Mage


Also known as: Elixirs

Potions are commonly made by village witches; they include love-potions and 'other, uglier brews ... made to serve men's jealousy and hate.'a The production of elixirs of unknown purpose is mentioned in 'The Rule of Names' as part of the skills of wizards; their distinction (if any) from potions is unclear, though Ged dismisses potion-making as an inferior discipline. A High Priestess on Atuan is said to keep phials of poison, which could be potions or elixirs

Sources: The Rule of Names, W12Q; Warriors in the Mist, WoE(a); The Great Treasure, ToA; Lorbanery, FS

Ring of Erreth-Akbe

Also known as: Erreth-Akbe, Ring of, Elfarran's ring, Morred's ring, Bond Ring, Ring of the Runes, Ring of the King's Rune, Ring of Peace, Rune Ring

Silver woman's bracelet or arm ring, pierced with nine holes and decorated with a wave-like pattern on the outside and nine True Runes on the inside, including Pirr, Ges and the Bond Rune. Its origins are lost in the mists of time: it was given by Morred to Elfarran and was said to be old at that time. It passed to her son Serriadh and thus down through the house of Morred to Aiman, who gave it to his wife, Queen Heru. Heru, then Queen Mother, gave it to Erreth-Akbe to take to the Kargad Lands as a sign of peace. It was broken in two by High Priest Intathin of the House of Tarb, in Awabath on Karego-At, destroying the Bond Rune, the sign of peace. Half the Ring was given to Tiarath, daughter of Thoreg of Hupun, and found its way into Ged's hands after Ensar and Anthil, the last descendants of the House of Hupun, were stranded on an islet by the father of the Godking ruling in The Tombs of Atuan. The other half was placed in the treasury of the Tombs on Atuan, and stolen by Ged to remake the Ring, restoring the Lost Rune. Used as betrothal ring between Lebannen, King of All the Isles, & Seserakh, High Princess of the Kargad Lands in around 1066

Sources: The Ring of Erreth-Akbe, ToA; A Description of Earthsea, TfE; Rejoining, OW

Shelieth, Stone of

See Stone of Shelieth


See Wizard's staff

Staff of the Grey Mage

Also known as: Grey Mage, Staff of the

Long steel rod or blade, enchanted and engraved with runes; born by Cob, who uses it to impale and kill the dragon Orm Embar

Sources: Selidor, FS

Stone of Shelieth

Also known as: Shelieth, Stone of

Ancient stone from the island of Way, in which a mage could see visions of truth. Brought to Roke School of Wizardry by Gensher of Way, and kept in the magicians' workroom

'…a great stone like a diamond uncarved. It was rock-crystal, coloured faintly deep within with amethyst and rose, but clear as water. Yet as the eye looked into that clarity it found unclarity, and neither reflection nor image of what was real round about, but only planes and depths ever deeper, until it was led quite into dream and found no way out. … in the hands of a mage it held truth.'

[Orm Embar, FS]

Stone of Terrenon

Also known as: Terrenon, the

Stone in a locked underground room in the Court of the Terrenon, the founding stone of the tower, with an ancient evil spirit imprisoned within, said to have been made before Segoy raised the islands. Serret tells Ged that 'It has a voice, if you know how to listen. It will speak of things that were, and are, and will be. … he who can make the Terrenon answer what he asks and do what he wills, has power over his own destiny: strength to crush any enemy, mortal or of the other world: foresight, knowledge, wealth, dominion, and a wizardry at his command that could humble the Archmage himself!'a, though it is unclear whether this is true or a ruse to trap Ged into touching it. The same stone appears to be described in the Matter of the Dragons

Sources: The Loosing of the Shadow, WoE; The Hawk's Flight, WoE (a)

'It was rough and dank as the rest, a heavy unshapen paving-stone: yet he felt the power of it as if it spoke to him aloud. … This was a very ancient thing: an old and terrible spirt was prisoned in that block of stone.'

[The Hawk's Flight, WoE]


Also known as: Charms, Amulets, Fetishes

Talismans or charms (also occasionally referred to as amulets or fetishes) are used to guard against illness, and perhaps other mischance. Specific examples mentioned include emmel-stone charms against rheums, sprains and stiff necks; a sailors' talisman of petrel breastbone twined round with dried seaweed, used to avert seasickness; and a charm-bundle wrapped in goatskin and tied with coloured cord, placed with Ogion's corpse before burial. A small amulet bag affixed to a chain is mentioned for wearing talismans. In the Kargad Lands, amulets/talismans appear to be exclusively associated with wizardry, suggesting they are not used there.

Charm is also commonly used as a synonym for spell, especially a minor one

Sources: Hort Town, FS; Ogion, T; Dolphin, OW; Rejoining, OW

Related entries: Healing; Death-related customs

Terrenon, the

See Stone of Terrenon

Wizard's staff

Also known as: Staff

A (usually) wooden staff carried by wizards of the Roke tradition, which seems to act as both a badge of office and a focus for their power; the staff is often described as burning with white magelight when powerful magic is performed. Staffs of oak (Ogion, Vetch) or yew (Ged) appear to be the most common, shod with copper, bronze or iron and the height of their owner, but pine (Aspen), willow (Azver), olive (Deyala) and even rosemary (Ivory) are also mentioned. Archmage Nemmerle's staff is white. Ged's in The Farthest Shore is set with the Bond Rune in silver. Other materials than wood are also mentioned: the staff of the Grey Mage of Paln is a long steel rod, engraved with runes; the white staff of the mage Early is made from the horn of a northern sea beast. The Pelnish wizard Seppel carries no staff, and the earliest mages, of the time of Erreth-Akbe and before, are said not have had staffs; it's not clear how the practice originated

Sources: The Rowan Tree, FS; Magelight, FS; Selidor, FS; Ogion, T; The Finder, TfE; Dragonfly, TfE; A Description of Earthsea, TfE; Mending the Green Pitcher, OW; Dolphin, OW



WoEA Wizard of Earthsea
ToAThe Tombs of Atuan
FSThe Farthest Shore
OWThe Other Wind
W12QThe Wind's Twelve Quarters
TfETales from Earthsea

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