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Deltora Quest Wiki
Belt of Deltora300
Adin knew that he was the one who must fill the medallions in the belt.

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The Masked Ones250
Ava, whose symbol was the eye, was blind!

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Barda (anime)
Biographical information
Alternative name(s)

Barda the Bear (by Jinks)
Bear (by Jinks)
Old bear (by Lindal)
Berry of Bushtown
Captain of the palace guards
Captain of the guards
Chief of the palace guards
Chief of the guards
Captain of the guard




Palace of Del


Late 40s or early 50s during Star of Deltora
Early 30s during Deltora Quest 1, Deltora Quest 2, Deltora Quest 3



Physical description




Hair colour


Personal information

Lindal (wife)
Min (mother)
Six unnamed children

Love interest(s)

Lindal (wife)


Lief, Jasmine, Endon, Doom,


The Shadow Lord

Weapon of choice


Chronological and political information



Captain of the palace guards[1]


Royal family
Palace guards

First appearance

The Forests of Silence

Last appearance

The Sister of the South

Voiced by

Tom Edwards (English dub)
Yūsaku Yara (屋良有作)(Japanese)

Barda is a man of the Del tribe and is the current captain of palace guards in the city of Del.[2] He is the son of the late Min[3] and the husband of Lindal of Broome, with whom he has six unnamed children who all look alike.[4]

Barda is a large and powerful man who has accompanied King Lief and Queen Jasmine through their many adventures to save Deltora from the grasp of the Shadow Lord, first on the quest to restore the seven gems to the Belt of Deltora,[5] the quest to find the three parts of the Pirran Pipe to save the Deltorans enslaved in the Shadowlands[6] and the quest to find and destroy the Four Sisters with help from Deltora's last dragons.[1] After the quest to restore the Belt of Deltora, Barda was reinstated as a palace guard in Del and was named chief of the guards.[2] Barda eventually married Lindal of Broome and had six children with her.[4]


The Forests of Silence

Barda is the son of Min, a nurse in the Palace of Del who looked after Prince Endon and his best friend Jarred. He lived with Min in the palace, and eventually became a palace guard. As a guard, he met Jinks, one of the palace acrobats, and was given the nickname Barda the Bear due to his size and strength

On the night the Shadow Lord invaded, Min claimed to have overheard whispers and believed that there was evil in the palace. She told this to Endon, but he did not listen and told her she had been dreaming. Within an hour, she was dead. Barda, realising that she had been killed for what she knew, fled the palace during the feast celebrating the anniversary of Endon's coronation and made his way instinctively to the forge. Some time later, he awoke to see four figures standing by the forge gate, two of which shortly left. Barda approached the two that remained but was treated with a blow to the head that knocked him unconscious for some time.

Hours later Barda awoke to find that the couple no longer feared him, as he had rambled on about his fear and the danger he was in. The couple, Jarred and Anna, claimed to have been hurrying the King and Queen away into hiding and asked his help in restoring the Belt of Deltora when the time came. Barda readily agreed.

At first it was decided that Barda and Jarred would go together on the quest when the time came, but this became impossible after Jarred was crippled by a falling tree when Lief was ten years old. After that Barda wanted to go on alone, but Jarred and Anna insisted on allowing Lief to accompany him, to fulfil his father's pledge. Although Barda did not like it, he agreed to it on the condition that Lief be allowed to take risks and explore the streets of Del. Barda also agreed to guard Lief on the streets and keep him from harm. Often Lief would get in trouble and Barda would have to save him in secret: often by dropping a rope for Lief to climb or distracting Grey Guards so Lief could sneak by them. Barda disguised himself as a beggar living outside the forge at this time and Lief never realised that Barda was anything but a ragged beggar and thought that all his escapes had simply been good fortune and skill.

Since the beginning of the Shadow Lord's rule Barda had disguised himself as a beggar who haunted the forge gates. This allowed him to hear information which was vital for the quest, for no one cared if a half-wit beggar heard them talking. It was Barda's information which alerted Jarred and Anna that the quest could finally begin.     

On Lief's sixteenth birthday, his parents sent him on a quest to find the gems of the Belt of Deltora. They also gave him a companion; to his surprise, Barda. Barda originally disliked the thought of going with Lief, as he thought of him as a reckless child that would undoubtedly get the two in trouble eventually. But he eventually warmed to him, and to the idea of having a third companion.

Barda was initially suspicious and skeptical of Jasmine, even after she rescued them from the Wennbar in First Wood, as he did not believe that she could truly speak to the animals and trees as she claimed and thought her to be mad. This diminishes after Jasmine saves both Lief and Barda from Gorl by convincing one of the trees to sacrifice a limb to kill Gorl. During the confrontation with Gorl Barda is seriously wounded in the chest by Gorl, but is brought back to life by Lief and the Lilies of Life.[3]

The Lake of Tears

Barda and Lief soon learned that adjusting to a new comrade would not be easy, as Jasmine proved belligerent in arguing against travelling through the sorceress Thaegan's territory on the way to the Lake of Tears. Refusing to take the longer route through the Os-Mine Hills, Barda informed Jasmine that she could take their route or she could return to the Forests, also denying her insistence that Kree and Filli had votes in any such decision. The group soon ran across the first challenge presented by the sorceress' territory, a giant bird trapped in the shape of a man by Thaegan's sorcery who forced the companions to answer riddles in order to cross a bridge he guarded. Lief nearly perished due to the challenge, but unwittingly discovered the means of breaking Thaegan's spell and freeing the bird, who later came to Lief's aid after the bridge began to collapse beneath him. Moving on, the group were forced to hide as a troop of Grey Guards appeared on their route, and Barda was stunned to recognise that their prisoner was a Ralad.

Unwilling to leave the prisoner in the Guards' clutches, the companions effected a rescue only to be pursued by the Guards, whom they seemingly eluded by making their way into a grove of sweetplum trees. Leaving their new friend to rest, the companions stumbled across what appeared to be a simple dwelling, only to find it surrounded by a ring of quicksand. Rescued by the elderly inhabitants of the cottage, they were taken into their home and soon found themselves comfortable. However, the power of the Topaz revealed the true nature of their hosts to Lief who soon used it to clear Barda and Jasmine's senses of the deceiving magic. Realising that they had been lured into a trap by Jin and Jod, two of Thaegan's children, Barda and the companions attempted to escape, with Barda struggling due to having taken some of the villains' sleeping potion.

Outside, the trio found themselves stymied by the quicksand trap and an arrangement of lilypads marking the only safe path, only for Jin and Jod to appear in pursuit of their friend the Ralad. His appearance enabled Lief to determine a means of crossing, and the group managed to escape while Jasmine was wounded after insuring that Jin and Jod would be caught in their own trap. Barda soon learned that their new companion's name was Manus, who like the other Ralads was mute due to Thaegan's curse, and that he had been Jin and Jod's prisoner for years after being captured on his way to Del. Manus willingly led his rescuers to Raladin only to find it apparently deserted, with all fearing that the other Ralads had been taken to the Shadowlands as slaves. However, the clever builders were revealed to be in hiding within a cavern they had built beneath their city after Manus began playing a flute.

After spending some days with the Ralads, Barda and his companions-Manus included-set out for the Lake of Tears despite the fears of the Ralads. They soon found those fears justified, as the lake was a morass of disgusting creatures and a monstrous beast known as Soldeen, who later considered trading the gem they were seeking for Manus' staying as his companion. The group refused, and during the struggle the Topaz cleared Soldeen's mind and he agreed to help them, only for Thaegan to appear and attack. Barda's attack on her and those of his companions proved fruitless, and it fell to Kree to fatally wound the sorceress. The lake and its inhabitants were soon restored to their rightful states as the city and inhabitants of D'Or, who invited the companions to stay with them but were turned down in favour of returning to Raladin, whose inhabitants could now speak.[7]

City of the Rats

Barda and his companions eventually left Raladin and began their journey towards the City of the Rats, where the third gem of the Belt lay hidden, only to be pursued and trapped by the eleven surviving children of Thaegan. Fortunately, Lief and Barda stumbled upon a strategy to turn the siblings against each other, resulting in a battle that left Ichabod the only survivor while Filli chewed through the net holding the companions. After shoving Ichabod into the very fire which he and his siblings had planned to cook them on and passing out of Thaegan's former territory, they came across a shop owned by a man named Tom. Tom proved to have many curious mechanisms, including some unknown force that locked Barda's hand to a lamp and the lamp to its shelf to prevent theft, and he and Barda soon used much of their remaining money to purchase some needed supplies.

A scarred man then entered the shop and, upon selecting a rope, was charged a third of the amount that Tom had charged Lief and Barda; the two then saw that he had left the Ralad symbol used as the insignia of the Resistance. Realising that they had spotted this, Tom gave them two more items they had examined at no additional cost, leading Barda to believe that they had found another enemy of the Shadow Lord. After discovering that Tom had horses, the trio attempted to make a deal with Tom to purchase them but were refused; after Jasmine revealed that she had a large amount of coins scavenged from the Forests of Silence, however, Tom granted them a trio of strange mounts known as Muddlets. After instructing them in their use, he sent them off with a warning to take a certain direction at the next fork they encountered in the road; however, the companions ignored this warning due to the other direction being the direct route to the City of the Rats, and ended up thrown from their Muddlets.

When the trio awakened they found themselves in the strange city of Noradz, a community ruled over by the fierce Ra-Kacharz and governed by strict rules, though it was also supplied with plentiful and delicious food. Unfortunately, the citizens of Noradz believed Filli to be a creature of evil upon seeing him, and the companions were imprisoned; however, a girl they had befriended named Tira released them from their cell and led them to the Hole, a route out of the city supposedly fatal to any but the Ra-Kacharz. After learning that food deemed spoiled was dumped down the hole, the trio were confronted by Reece, leader of the Ra-Kacharz, who nearly drove them into the Hole before being knocked out by Tira after she returned from reluctantly retrieving the companions' weapons. Defeating several more Ra-Kacharz, the companions donned their red garments and entered the Hole with Reece in tow, only for him to perish due to the walls being coated in poisonous fungus. The companions then hid in one of several carts that the Ra-Kacharz had loaded with the "spoiled" food, and soon learned the truth: it was taken to Tom's shop and turned over to the Grey Guards, who in turn transported it to Del.

Realising the source of the food that had kept the rulers of Deltora ignorant of the land's poverty and that now fed the Shadow Lord's minions, the companions exited the carts after Tom made sure no one was around. He then explained his neutral viewpoint: he refused to take sides in the conflict against the Shadow Lord, finding it to be safer and more profitable to supply both. Though Jasmine understood this viewpoint, both Barda and Lief were disgusted by it; however, they moved on towards the City of the Rats, with Barda quashing Lief's reckless suggestion that they return to Noradz in an ill-conceived effort to reveal the truth to the people. The trio eventually reached the River Broad, where they were able to cross due to an item given to them by Tom during their first visit to his shop. As the companions rested that night in preparation to enter the city the following day, they were horrified by a surging tide of thousands upon thousands of rats that emerged from the city and came after them.

Barda and the others fled into the river, and were able to survive the onslaught of the rats after Lief employed Fire beads they had bought from Tom to create a wall that all but halted the tide of rats. The next morning the companions found the majority of their possession left behind destroyed, with the notable exception of the Ra-Kacharz outfits which they quickly donned. Entering the city, they eventually encountered the monstrous serpent Reeah, guardian of the Opal, during which clash Lief revealed his discovery that the people of Noradz had come from the City of the Rats previously. Reeah confirmed this and revealed that the Ra-Kacharz-formerly rat catchers-had bred the rats and prepared the way for its dominance of the city in service to the Shadow Lord. After Barda and Lief's failed attacks on the creature, Jasmine was able to slay it, and the companions left the city burning.[8]

The Shifting Sands

Having escaped the City of the Rats and discarded their Ra-Kacharz garments, the companions discover that the Plain of the Rats has been turned into an island by the digging of an artificial channel. While crossing they spot an Ak-Baba flying towards the city and realise that they are doomed if they are seen, and hide beneath Lief's cloak underwater. This disguise is enhanced by the efforts of a school of Wise Fish, and the companions are able to cross unseen. Finding themselves in an orchard, they sleep a day through and then discover apples on the trees, only to be confronted by their owner Queen Bee after she discovers their theft. After taking the last of their money and realising where they have come from, she tells them to leave, with a mutual understanding that they will not speak of their encounter to anyone.

Finding a nearby road, the companions learn that they are travelling towards Rithmere, where the Rithmere Games are being held; they quickly determine that it is a worthwhile trip as they might be able to earn or, as Barda suggests, beg for money for new supplies. Arriving in the city, they manage to obtain one silver coin through a deal with the con artist Ferdinand before travelling to the Champion Inn to register for the games. When asked for their names by Mother Brightly, Barda-who had agreed with his friends that they should use false identities without taking the time to create them-identifies himself as Berry, Jasmine as Birdie, and Lief as Twig, all of the fictitious Bushtown. After learning that the games are not athletic contests as they had believed but rather a brutal fighting tournament, the companions decide to leave only to find that they are unable.

The key to the companions' room in the inn is stolen during the night, and the trio are locked in the following day but are able to escape by getting Mother Brightly's attention. They soon find themselves in the games, competing against various comers including Doom of the Hills, the same scarred Resistance member that they encountered at Tom's shop. The three and Doom end up in the finals along with Joanna, Orwen, Neridah the Swift, and the hulking warrior Glock; Lief soon falls to Neridah while Barda is defeated after a long struggle with Doom. Jasmine goes on to win the final match with Doom after the other semifinalists, Neridah and Glock, are knocked out by drugged Queen Bee Cider served by an agent of Doom's named Dain. The companions are able to use their winnings to purchase new supplies from Mother Brightly, only to be captured by Grey Guards after taking Brightly's secret "escape route" to avoid being mugged on the road out of town.

After passing the Shifting Sands, the trio are rescued by Doom, who invites them to travel to his stronghold with them; however, Barda and the others turn him down and refuse to tell him their reasoning, leaving him to rescue Neridah and Glock from the same fate that befell them. The trio make their way into the Shifting Sands, where Lief determines that the Sand Beasts and other horrors of the sands are not the true threat after their Grey Guard pursuers are destroyed. After a violent shift separates them, Barda and Jasmine save Lief using blisters recovered from the slain guards, Barda angrily berates Lief due to being concerned over his well-being. Lief soon identifies The Hive as the true guardian of the Sands, and is able to recover the Lapis Lazuli from it, allowing the companions to make their way out. Jasmine asserts that their remaining trials will certainly be easy, but Barda is less sure after looking upon Lief's exhausted and aged features."[9]

Dread Mountain

The companions made their way towards Dread Mountain, the next stop on their route, and came across the Dreaming Spring, where they made camp after finding its enchanted waters safe to drink. Despite Barda's insistence that they keep a watch, all three fell asleep due to the water's effects, with Barda dreaming of Manus and the other inhabitants of Raladin safely in hiding. After awaking, he watched as Lief attempted to save a young Kin named Prin from a pair of Grey Guards who had been pursuing Doom, Glock and Neridah only to be turned into trees by the Dreaming Spring's curse again those of evil will. He and his companions were then introduced to the rest of the Kin, who explained that they had taken up permanent residence at the spring, their former winter home, to escape the poisoned arrows of the Dread Gnomes. He was pleased to learn that his dream had been a vision of the truth, only to learn that Lief had dreamed of his home at the forge empty and with the Shadow Lord's brand upon the gate.

Barda quickly dissuaded Lief from his desire to return home in hopes that his mother and father would be freed, reminding him that his parents would want him to continue and that his own friendship with them dated to before Lief's birth. He then persuaded the Kin to allow three of their number to transport him and the others to Dread Mountain; before departing, they learned that the Shadow Lord's servant Fallow had learned of their group and believed that Barda might be Endon, which Barda found amusing. With the aid of Ailsa, Bruna, and Merin, the trio made their way to Kinrest, where they discovered a grave purported to belong to Doom of the Hills, leading them to question the identity of the Resistance leader they had previously encountered.

Making their way to the mountain, the companions and their Kin escorts narrowly avoided being shot down by Dread Gnomes, and soon found themselves in the Boolong tree overgrown lower section of the mountain. After the adult Kin departed, Prin arrived and was shot with an arrow but saved by the last of the nectar from the Lilies of Life. She proved a valuable asset to the companions, eating the Boolong trees and employing Purple moss against an attacking Vraal. The companions rested briefly in a cave during a storm, finding a message written in blood, before moving on with Prin's help. At the top of the mountain they nearly fell into a Dread Gnome booby trap, only to be caught in another after they entered the Gnomes' tunnels.

Using water from the Dreaming Spring, the group discovered that the Gnomes had been enslaved by the giant Ooze Toad Gellick, and that they had been observed by the Gnomes. Examining a mirror in the tunnel in which they had been trapped, Barda recalled a tale he had heard of a piece of glass that was a mirror on one side and a window on the other. Breaking it, the group wound up confronting the Dread Gnomes, who agreed to an alliance with them after the "miracle" of Lief curing Jasmine of Gnome poisoning using the Ruby's power. In the resulting confrontation, the companions and Gnomes learned that supplies of Gellick's poison the Gnomes had delivered to the mountain's base were used to fill the Grey Guards' blisters. Fortunately, Lief was able to defeat Gellick using the Dreaming Water, which enabled the companions to obtain the Emerald.[10]

The Maze of the Beast

After departing Dread Mountain, the companions made their way towards the Maze of the Beast only to find two young girls in danger of drowning. The trio rescued the pair only for one of them to be shot with an arrow, but the apparent assassin revealed the true nature of the children: they were Ols, shape-shifting minions of the Shadow Lord. The remaining Ol attempted to kill Barda but was destroyed by his companions, and their unexpected rescuer-Doom's ally Dain-helped nurse him back to health with Quality Brand Honey. Dain believed that the companions were travelling to Tora, which Barda did nothing to confirm or deny; the companions gratefully offered to escort Dain back to the Resistance stronghold he had been travelling to.

Dain fell unconscious along the way, and the companions found themselves at the stronghold entrance with the guard demanding a password and threatening their deaths if they could not provide it. Fortunately, Lief was able to work out the password hidden on a slip of paper near the entrance, having unconsciously guessed at a similar connection between "Quality Brand" and "Queen Bee" previously. Inside the stronghold, Barda was dealt an unexpected surprise when they met Jinks, a former palace acrobat who remember Barda from the old days and who accused him of fleeing the palace as a coward prior to the destruction of the rest of the guards. Well remembering Jinks' habits as a gossip and troublemaker, Barda knew that he would soon spread word of Barda's past throughout the stronghold, whose inhabitants included Neridah and Glock. Doom soon arrived as well and, after Lief revealed how he worked out the password, had the three imprisoned in the stronghold's "testing room" under the pretense of insuring that they were not Ols.

After spending several days in the room, the companions were unexpectedly freed by Dain, who asked to join them on their journey to Tora; Barda revealed that they were not actually travelling there, but that they would try to help him reach it so he could search for his parents. Jasmine then parted from the company due to her presence being what made the group so conspicuous, and Barda travelled with Lief and Dain without her for a number of days. Along the way they came across the ruined village of Where Waters Meet, which had been attacked by a crew of Pirates that sailed the River Tor, and encountered Resistance ally Steven. Eventually the trio booked passage on The River Queen, and found Jasmine among the boats' passengers. Unfortunately, the pirate crew attacked the ship during the night, and in the ensuing struggle Dain was kidnapped and Barda fell overboard into a river filled with flesh-eating worms.

Barda survived the experience and trailed Lief and Jasmine, along with a third companion he was unable to identify-it later proved to be an Ol that had assumed his form in an effort to get the others to abandon the quest. Killing his imposter, Barda was reunited with his friends only to learn that the Ol had played an unconvincing part due to not knowing his personality. The trio were then captured by the pirates and thrown into the Maze of the Beast, where Barda and Jasmine distracted the Glus while Lief recovered the Amethyst of the Belt of Deltora. They then escaped the maze and witnessed the deaths of Nak and Finn before setting their sights on the Valley of the Lost, their final goal.[11]

The Valley of the Lost

The companions made their way up the River Tor, avoiding enemies and narrowly escaping a confrontation with a large group of Ols before arriving at another burned out village, where they were stunned to find the pirates docked during a storm. Stealing a longboat, they approached the ship and were able to recover Dain and a Polypan the pirates had previously captured and took them aboard only for the Polypan to abandon them to the floodwaters. Miraculously, they survived, and the next morning found that the rains had filled an old lake bed on the shore of which sat Tora. Hoping that the heir to Deltora's throne might dwell inside, the companions and Dain entered the city only to find it abandoned, and soon discovered the reason: the Torans had refused help to Endon's family after the royal family had constantly ignored their requests and concerns over the centuries. Unfortunately, in doing so they broke the ancient vow made by their ancestors to Adin, which caused a magical wind to sweep them away to parts unknown.

Finding themselves strangely affected by the city's magic and Dain in apparent shock, the companions left the city only to encounter Doom and Neridah, whom they quickly confronted due to their previous experiences and fear that the pair might be Ols in disguise. At Lief's suggestion, the pair briefly entered the city to prove themselves; upon emerging, a drained Doom revealed that he had escaped the Shadowlands with no memory of his past except the knowledge that Deltora was his home. Lief then surprised his companions by revealing that they intended to travel to the valley, which he urged them against with no success. He then departed with Dain at the companions' urging, but Barda and the others soon found themselves dealing with a far less pleasant companion: Neridah. Though she won Barda over initially, he soon grew tired of her as well, and the group resolved to depart at night while she was sleeping.

Arriving at the valley, the friends found it filled with a strange mist and inhabited by ghostly figures, and were soon confronted by The Guardian, a wizard minion of the Shadow Lord whose powers bound the companions and Neridah, who had followed them. After bringing them to his palace and showing them his monstrous "pets," he challenged them to a game: if they could correctly guess his name they would receive the Diamond from the Belt of Deltora, but if they failed they would join his miserable subjects. Neridah refused to play, and Barda and Jasmine quickly turned to the idea of stealing the Diamond when the Guardian left them alone to decide; however, Lief remembered a warning from The Belt of Deltora, and finding a copy among the Guardian's books he showed them that the Diamond would curse anyone who gained it dishonestly. The trio eventually agreed to play the Guardian's game, seeking clues from the Guardian's riddles and various decorations around the palace to identify the letters. When it seemed they would be unable to guess it, Jasmine and Barda briefly returned to their old plan until Lief found the last needed clue; to their shock, it revealed the Guardian's name to be Endon.

Realising that even were this true, Queen Sharn and the heir had to be safe, the companions were confronted by the Guardian only for Lief to reveal that the Diamond they sought had been replaced. This allowed the Guardian to discern their identities, but the Lapis Lazuli drove his pets into a rage and revealed that they were parasites attached to him, which Barda and Lief quickly dispatched. They then followed the Guardian's directions to Neridah, who had stolen the Diamond only to be struck by its curse and die; once Lief added the gem to the Belt, the valley's mist dispersed and its ghostly inhabitants-or very many of them-were revealed to be the lost Torans. The Guardian was also revealed to be a man named Fardeep from Rithmere, now freed of the Shadow Lord's evil, who offered the companions rest and safety in the valley for the time being.[12]

Return to Del

Barda and his friends soon faced their next dilemma: how to find the long-hidden heir to the Belt of Deltora. Unexpectedly, Doom and Dain arrived in the valley, and at the suggestion of Zeean of Tora they shared the truth of their long quest with the pair in hopes of cementing an alliance against the Shadow Lord. When Lief used Dreaming Water and learned that a spy had revealed their true identities to the Shadow Lord, the trio attempted to flee the valley but were stopped when they found Steven waiting at the mouth. Realising that they could not afford to compromise themselves by revealing what they knew, they returned to the Torans and acted as though they trusted everyone. As they discussed what needed to be done to find the heir, Dain suggested the original alliance of the seven tribes behind Adin, and the idea was quickly seized upon to gather representatives of each tribe to renew their ancient oath to the royal family.

Citing himself and Lief as members of the Del tribe, Barda and the others quickly determined that they knew others: Manus of the Ralads, Steven of the Plains tribe, Fardeep of the Mere, Gla-Thon of the Dread Gnomes, numerous Torans, and the last free Jalis warrior Glock. At Doom's suggestion the group sent messages to their various allies to gather at the Resistance stronghold of Withick Mire, while the Torans Peel, Kris, and Lauran were disguised as Barda and his companions in order to decay the Shadow Lord's forces. Travelling inside Steven's caravan, Barda and his two friends were soon forced to travel across a Gripper field to escape detection by Grey Guards, unaware of the danger posed by the plants. Barda was the most grievously affected by the experience, and as he lay on the edge of death his companions discovered evidence indicating that Endon, Sharn, and their child had died and that their quest had been in vain. However, after being taken to Withick Mire and having his wounds treated with help from Glock, Barda revived enough to expose the forgery: the final message supposedly left by Endon was marked with the royal seal, which Endon would not have had due to it being kept by Prandine, which Barda had learned from his mother years ago.

Barda's condition began to deteriorate, and he was unconscious when the remaining representatives of the tribes arrived for the ceremony, which at Lief's insistence took place at his bedside. After Dain was seemingly revealed as the heir, the gathering was disrupted by Ichabod, and in the commotion the Belt landed on Barda's chest and he revived. The allies set out for Del in order to rescue Dain, with Barda recovering greatly along the way under Steven's care; the pair soon recruited Jasmine and Lief to embark on their own plan, having determined that a spy must be in their midst. Unfortunately, the spy was closer than they imagined, for after entering the city and attempting to rescue Dain they learned that he was a Grade 3 Ol and had disguised himself as his own dagger and ridden on Lief's belt, allowing him to hear all their plans. However, the crafty servant of the Shadow Lord was destroyed after Doom-the only one of the companions' true allies to escape Dain's snare-attacked, distracting Dain long enough for Lief to destroy him with the Belt.

Taking the injured Doom back to the forge, the companions were stunned when he apparently began regaining memories of his past that seemed to indicate that he was Endon and that Jasmine was his daughter, making her the heir. When she donned the Belt, however, it did not shine, and Lief took it and left the others briefly; Grey Guards then attacked the forge and captured Barda, Doom, and Jasmine, leaving Lief alone to come to their aid. After discovering that the gems had to be replaced in a certain order, Lief attempted to reach them and was forced to don the Belt, at which point it shown and revealed him as the true heir. All of the companions, including Barda, then learned that Doom was in fact Jarred, who with his wife Anna had given his home and very identity to Endon and Sharn before being forced to flee to the Forests of Silence. With the Shadow Lord's forces driven from Deltora, Endon passed away due to a poisoned wound; shortly thereafter, Barda joined Lief in appealing to Jasmine to remain in Del and provide their strength to the renewed kingdom, to which she agreed.[5]

Captain of the Del palace guards

At some point following the companions' successful quest to restore the Belt of Deltora and banish the Shadow Lord, the newly crowned King Lief Barda was named captain of the reformed palace guards of Del.[2][notes 1] He was given a new uniform of pale blue trimmed with gold, which was very different from the rough clothes he had been wearing throughout his, King Lief and Jasmine's previous two quests.[1]

Cavern of The Fear

After having been put in charge of the guards, Captain Barda led a force of guards to Noradz in an attempt liberate its citizens from the Ra-Kacharz only to find the city empty and its food destroyed, the Ra-Kacharz having taken their people to the Shadowlands. Returning to Del, where King Lief had become secretive and distant in recent months, Barda was present as Jasmine argued that he should lead an army to the Shadowlands to rescue the many slaves taken from Deltora. Lief refused based on the lack of a weapon to counter the Shadow Lord's magic and departed for Tora; upon returning, he learned of the existence of the Pirran Pipe, a magical instrument that the Shadow Lord had once feared. Barda then found Jinks stealing jam, and the acrobat accused Jasmine and Glock of desertion to cover his tracks. Having learned of Jasmine's intent to travel to the Shadowlands through a route recorded in the recently rediscovered Deltora Annals, Barda and Lief took Jinks and his fighting spider Fury in tow in order to track Jasmine and Glock.

Following the trail of Glock's spider Flash, who had defeated Fury in their previous battle, the unlikely trio tracked Jasmine and Glock to the Os-Mine Hills only to be captured by a pack of Granous, who forced them to compete in a game of twenty questions with their fingers and toes on the line. After Lief succeeded in answering several questions, the Granous left to pursue Jinks, who escaped only to abandon his companions; fortunately, a Vine-weaver bird arrived to free them from the Granous' bonds. Finding Fury, the pair were able to track Jasmine and Glock into a series of hidden forests that had grown on top of each other before making their way into the den of a Topaz dragon, which they found in an enchanted slumber. When one of the creature's eyes opened in sleep, Lief panicked and ran, resulting in both him and Barda landing in a massive underground sea where they were eventually picked up by two creatures they took for Goblins, Clef and Azan. Taken aboard their boat, the pair were taken to Plume, where they found Jasmine and Glock imprisoned and soon joined them as prospective offerings to a monstrous creature known as The Fear.

Barda and his companions convinced their captors to allow them to confront the creature in hopes of slaying it, to which they agreed; the ensuing argument revealed to Lief and Barda that the underground dwellers were the Pirrans, the people who had fled the Shadowlands with the separate pieces of the Pirran Pipe after the Shadow Lord seized control of their land. Unfortunately, they were soon forced to confront The Fear, which proved much more monstrous than they had imagined and suffered only slight wounds from their best efforts. It eventually fell to a wounded Glock to finish the beast, resulting in his own mortal wounding; bidding farewell to his friends, he gave Jasmine a Jalis talisman that had been passed down through his family for generations. Returning to Plume, the companions requested the use of the mouthpiece of the Pirran Pipe, only to learn that it had been stolen long ago by the Seven Traitors.

Fate smiled upon the trio, for the contents of Glock's talisman included a "Goblin charm" that one of his ancestors had taken from the last surviving member of the traitors ages ago. With the first piece of the pipe secured, Barda was eager to return to Del for more help in seeking out the remaining pair, only for Jasmine to reveal that she had learned the prisoners in the Shadowlands were to be executed. More surprising, Lief refused to leave the pair to their search, feeling bound to seek out the pieces of the pipe so that it could be used to save the prisoners. As such, Barda and his companions found themselves on another quest; however, this time they were joined by the unlikely-and unwanted-Fighting Spiders Fury and Flash, whom they were forced to evict from a Plume dwelling that had become their battleground.[2]

The Isle of Illusion

After receiving a boat and supplies from the Plumes, the companions travelled into the area of the Pirran Caverns where they could find the island of Auron, though the Plumes warned them that the Aurons were villains who bred monsters in their seas. The companions found a small island inhabited by strange Grubs, who paralysed the group with a paralysing gas and began to seal them in mud cones in order to keep them as a food supply. Fortunately, Kree was able to free Flash to serve as a distraction while he freed Jasmine; the two then freed King Lief, and together they were able to rescue Captain Barda and escape back to the boat. Shortly thereafter, the companions encountered Aurons riding on Giant eels, and were taken to their home: the massive Auron rafts.

Penn the historian soon explained that their ancestors had been banished from the island by other Aurons due to their dedication to truth, as the other Aurons had erected a magical dome inside which they created an illusion of their lost home of Pirra. After seeing the dome for themselves and narrowly escaping death in an encounter with monstrous Arach, the companions stumbled upon a means of reaching the dome safely using Jasmine's abilities as a climber. She helped Barda swing over to the dome before returning to grab Lief, whose possession of the mouthpiece allowed the trio to penetrate the dome. Inside, they found the illusory Pirra with the stem of the Pipe inside a giant statue of Auron the Fair and encountered the current Piper Auris.

However, they then learned that the illusion required the absolute belief of those present to be maintained, and Jasmine's refusal to accept this resulted in the magical dome cracking and the illusion breaking to reveal Auris as the island's only surviving inhabitant. The companions were forced to hide beneath Lief's cloak as the Arach entered the dome, and left powerless as they killed Auris, bringing the dome down for good. The companions soon confronted the Piper of the rafts, whom they knew had used them; however, Barda proved more understanding of the Piper's tactical thinking on behalf of his suffering people. With the magic of his people restored and their island reclaimed, the Piper allowed the companions to add the stem of the Pipe to their collection, which left the companions to set their sights on the island of Keras.[13]

The Shadowlands

The companions made their way to Keras and were overwhelmed in the darkened tunnel of the Forbidden Way by giant leeches, but fortunately survived to reach the island. There they encountered the Kerons and their Piper Tirral, who were revealed to have some Deltoran blood through the line of Alyss and Rosnan, whose tale had led Jasmine into her journey to the underworld in the first place. Tirral agreed to let the companions take the end piece of the Pirran Pipe in exchange for the Belt of Deltora, which King Lief stunned Jasmine and Captain Barda by agreeing to, having already determined that he would go to the Shadowlands. Despite Tirral's later complaint that the Belt was powerless, she was forced to honour her agreement and delivered the end piece, which Lief joined to the rest of the Pipe. He then asked Tirral to play, and the wondrous music of the Pipe filled the caverns, being heard even on Auron and Plume.

Tirral later attempted to renege on their bargain to let the companions take the Pipe to the Shadowlands when she learned that none of the companions had musical training, only for her son Emlis to volunteer to join the group. The offer was quickly accepted, though Barda bemoaned finding himself in the company of "three young hotheads" as opposed to the previous two. The group then found themselves in the Shadowlands, where they were forced to flee from monstrous Wild Ones and other monsters while also dealing with the oppressive despair of the place, which they were fortunately able to counter by touching the Pirran Pipe. They then encountered a group of Resistance fighters-Claw, Brianne, and Gers-and were able to win them over after discovering that Gers was Glock's brother and Jasmine proved that they had received the family talisman from his brother. The group then travelled through a tunnel to reach another Resistance group's hideout only to find that it had been attacked and its inhabitants carried off.

The group made their way towards the Shadow Arena, which they learned the thousands of Deltora prisoners had been taken to, only to run across a Vraal and heaps of decaying Grey Guards, who recognised Jasmine and spread word of her arrival. After entering the Factory, the companions learned of the monstrous Conversion Project, a means of transforming Deltorans into the Shadow Lords slaves. Eventually captured and taken to the Shadow Arena, the friends called upon Claw and his allies to warn the prisoners to flee at a given signal, at which point Lief played a note on the Pipe due to Emlis having become separated from them. Trapped in the Shadow Arena, the companions and those they had come to rescue were saved after Emlis reappeared and played the Pipe, which not only weakened the Shadow Lord but signalled the Pirrans of their danger. As such, the three tribes-who had reunited after the companions' departure-transported the Deltorans and Emlis back to the caverns and fished them from the seas.

Penn soon informed the companions that the tribes intended to share the restored Pipe form now on, with each tribe keeping it for a year before passing it on to the next in a grand festival. She also informed them that the other Deltorans would lose their memories of the underground ocean when they reached the surface, but gave them Soul-stones to insure that they would remember it always. The companions then arrived on the surface and were greeted by Marilen, a girl from Tora who many suspected to be Lief's bride-to-be. However, she was instead revealed to be his heir and to have worn the true Belt while Lief was wearing a copy he and Doom had made, which was why Tirral had not sensed any magic in it. Barda then spotted Tira wandering lost in the crowd and moved to see to her while Jasmine and Lief followed, hand-in-hand.[6]

Dragon's Nest

Sadly, the companions' troubles and those of Deltora had not ended with the liberation of the Deltoran slaves from the Shadowlands, as the land was plagued by famine while King Lief and his companions were tormented by the Shadow Lord through his crystal, a fiendish magical device located on the third floor of the palace of Del, used by the chief advisors of old to communicate with him in the Shadowlands. Lief suffered more greatly than Captain Barda or Jasmine, with Barda describing his own experience as merely "a bad feeling," and his concern for his king and friend prompted Barda to suggest that Lief temporarily halt the monthly public Full Moon Meetings at the palace, of which one was supposed to take place that night, during the full moon. Lief refused, knowing that it would go towards the Shadow Lord's goal of breaking the people's trust in him as king and leaving the land vulnerable; the pair were then surprised when their discussion of the famine was interrupted by Josef, the palace librarian. Barda demurred at Josef's suggestion that the land was cursed, and further when Josef suggested that this centuries old decline seemed to parallel the fall of Deltora's dragons. Josef would be proven right, however, after Lief finally stumbled upon a means to destroy the Crystal at the forge, where it began to repeat conversations between the Shadow Lord and his servants and revealed the existence of an evil known as the Four Sisters.

Having determined that their land was being poisoned and learning from the writings of the ancient explorer Doran the Dragonlover that the Belt and Deltora's last dragons were the land's only hope, Barda joined Lief and Jasmine in travelling to Dragon's Nest where the first Sister lay. They diverted their course and their escort of palace guards led by Brid to the Os-Mine Hills so that Lief could awaken the dragon there, only to come across a Capricon named Rolf at the mercy of the same pack of Granous that had previously captured Lief and Barda. Having separated from their escort, Barda and Jasmine-despite the latter's indifference-lured several Granous away while Lief tried to rescue the Capricon; Rolf later came under Barda's care when the dragon awoke and saved Lief from the Granous before conversing with him. Learning that the last dragons had been persuaded to sleep by Doran and had sworn not to enter each other's territories, the companions found themselves faced with the task of finding the Ruby dragon. Returning to their escort with Rolf in tow, they travelled for some distance and through several towns before parting ways with Rolf and the guards after it became clear they were being followed and targeted.

Barda and his two trusted companions travelled into the Forests of Silence, where they ran afoul of an Orchard Keeper but were rescued by the timely arrival of Lindal of Broome, an old ally who had heard of the Topaz dragon's activities and been going to investigate. To Barda's horror, she reported that their escort had been slaughtered, with a final note by Brid and other evidence pointing to a dragon as the culprit. Barda's suspicions quickly turned to the Topaz dragon, but Lief reasoned instead that their travel into the Ruby territory had awakened the Ruby dragon instead, the Ruby dragons being infamous for having destroyed the ancient Capricon city of Capra. Barda and Lindal nearly battled after he commented on the coincidence of her presence near the town where the guards met their end and she countered by commenting on his leaving them behind, but Jasmine and Lief helped the two realise that they needed to work together. This proved beneficial, as Lindal was well acquainted with the route to Dragon's Nest.

After passing an ominous warning stone that seemed to radiate evil, the companions arrived at Dragon's Nest, where Barda identified the Sister of the East's song as a sound he had heard "all my life" and mistaken for "the sound of silence." Finding the nest untouched and Rolf unconscious at its heart, Barda quickly deduced that the Ruby dragon, its body and mind warped by its centuries of enchanted slumber, had allied itself with the Shadow Lord. The companions soon rescued Rolf only for him to express abhorrence at Lindal's presence and roll in his escape, which enraged Barda and led him to berate the Capricon and demand his departure in Lindal's defence. Rolf would prove to be their suspected pursuer, and used sorcery to take the form of a Ruby dragon and attack them only to be defeated by the true Ruby dragon, which then helped Lief to destroy the Sister. Among his possessions Jasmine found a map to the next Sister, and Barda opened one lock on a puzzle box they had obtained from the scattered Granous only to find that it would not open; despite the annoyance, he became determined to discover its secret.[1]


Captain Barda and his friends travelled to Broome with Lindal, and the city was the site of much rejoicing as Deltora's east came back to life in the wake of the Sister's destruction. However, all too soon the companions were forced to leave, having received a coded message from Doom warning them of a danger to their quest. Adopting the false identities of Berry and his nephews Lewin and Jay, the companions bid farewell to Lindal as they departed in secret only to be surprised by the Dragon of the Ruby, who gave them a ride to the edge of her territory. There the companions came across the Masked Ones, a troop of performers whose members wore masks, and after some tension resulting from the death of their strongman Otto at the hands of a phantom that appeared shortly after the companions arrived, the Masked Ones agreed to let Barda and his friends travel with them. Barda was soon put into weightlifting training, but fell into danger due to Masked One leader Bess' obsession with King Lief, who resembled her lost son Bede; she attempted to poison Barda after he announced their intention to leave the troop, only to be killed herself thanks to Kree's intervention.

After Lief nearly became a permanent member of the Masked Ones due to an enchanted mask he had been tricked into wearing, Barda and Jasmine discovered that the Belt of Deltora had been taken from him; Barda left in pursuit of the fleeing Masked Ones while Jasmine attended to the injured Lief. He was overcome by them and left at the side of the road, where Steven found him after encountering the Masked Ones and then running into Kree. Barda remained unconscious as Steven and his companions tracked the Belt to The Funnel, where it and its thief Zerry, a former Masked One in training, were nearly dumped into the massive hole by Laughing Jack. The minion of the Shadow Lord escaped prior to Barda's revival, and the companions then learned that the Lapis Lazuli dragon had hidden inside The Funnel when it was reawakened by Lief donning the Belt once more. It surprisingly proved willing to fly them into the Emerald territory in their quest to destroy the Sister of the North, with Barda resolving firmly that he would not let his friends down again.

The trio were forced to press on alone after the awakened Emerald dragon attacked their dragon ally in a rage and pursued her, leaving them at the edge of the ominous Shadowgate. Having recognised music that he had been hearing for some time, Lief deduced that the guardian of the Sister was none other than Bede, who had left the Masked Ones in the area of Shadowgate. Making their way to a fearsome castle, the companions were surprised to find Kirsten, a former devotee of Bede's, present and apparently waiting on him in the absence of her sister Mariette, whom Bede had left the Masked Ones out of love for. Lief soon realised that Kirsten was the true guardian and holding Bede prisoner; the companions then worked to free him before seeking out the Sister. Barda, Bede, and Jasmine all ended up trapped by Kirsten's sorcery, but were later freed after the Dragon of the Emerald returned to aid Lief in destroying the Sister; the group's next destination was then revealed as the Isle of the Dead.[14]

Isle of the Dead

Captain Barda and his companions received unexpected aid from their old friends the Kin, who transported them to Dread Mountain before flying them towards the Isle of the Dead only to be intercepted and forced to land by the Emerald dragon. Fortunately, King Lief was able to persuade it to allow them to continue, and the companions then took their bearings and discovered that they had landed near Bone Point Lighthouse, which had been abandoned at roughly the time the Shadow Lord took power. Barda then spotted a young girl nearby only for her to vanish, prompting Lief to reveal that the missing inhabitants of Bone Point included Verity, daughter of the lighthouse keeper Red Han. The companions and their Kin allies entered the lighthouse, where the Belt and the ancient Toran magic within the structure showed them visions of events from the past, which revealed that Verity had been abducted and held hostage by Laughing Jack, who even then was a minion of the Shadow Lord. Unfortunately, Lief stirred the protective magic of the lighthouse which forced the group to flee, only to be caught in a storm conjured by the Shadow Lord which drove them out to sea.

Barda soon threw himself into the sea after Lief, who had jumped out of Prin's pouch after the Belt began to grow hot in fulfillment of an ancient prohibition against taking the gems beyond Deltora's borders. As Barda dragged Lief to shore, Lief reflected on the many times that Barda had saved his life and, remembering a drawn-out farewell between Barda and Lindal at the gates of Broome, tried to apologise to his friend for the life of his own he felt Barda deserved but would now never have. Unexpectedly, the pair encountered a drifting ship that proved to be The Lady Luck, Laughing Jack's old vessel which its captain had deserted years ago. Through additional visions they learned that Jack had attempted to force Red Han to put out the Bone Point Light by holding Verity hostage, and discovered that the ship's oars were manned by the decaying remains of its former crew. Entering a gaming parlor, they found themselves trapped by Jack's sorcery, which prevented them from leaving until they played a game and repaid the loan required to participate.

Lief succeeded in winning a game and two coins, one of which he returned in payment of their loan; he and Barda then discovered an enchanted painting left by Verity. Through its visions they learned that Jack's bid had failed only for the Belt of Deltora to be broken and its gems scattered, with the crew foolishly agreeing to take to the oars of The Lady Luck until replacements could be found for them. They additionally discovered that Jack's parlor was deceptive, demanding three coins in return for every one borrowed, but that Verity had left a means for seekers of truth to escape. With Jack's undead crew in pursuit, the pair managed to find the escape route and left the ship, washing ashore at the Dreaming Dunes where they discovered the Amethyst dragon awakened from its sleep beneath the sands. Jasmine and others soon arrived from Tora, and the pair learned that their short experience aboard The Lady Luck had lasted over a week from the perspective of their friends.

The companions unexpectedly received a message from Tom letting them know that they would encounter his sister Ava on their route; upon meeting her, Lief deduced that Laughing Jack was also part of the family. Ava soon agreed to let the companions take her boat to Blood Lily Island, which was connected to the Isle of the Dead by a land bridge, only for it to sink part of the way there. After encountering the Blood Lilies and Fleshbanes, Barda and Jasmine became convinced that Ava and Tom had joined their brother Jack as minions of the Shadow Lord. Almost as ominously, Barda and Lief had both noticed The Lady Luck offshore, apparently following them by tracking the coin Lief had taken; Jasmine then took it from them and added it to a bag of gold they had been given by the Dread Gnomes. The companions then discovered the skeleton of the Diamond dragon, which had been devoured by Fleshbanes while it slept, as well as an egg that soon hatched into a baby dragon.

Reaching the Isle of the Dead, the companions were forced to face the monstrous Kobb, but were aided as the Amethyst dragon Veritas arrived in answer to a summons sent by Lief. Entering the cave where the Sister of the West lay, the companions found it inhabited by Doran the Dragonlover, cursed to hold the very evil he had set out to destroy. After he breathed his last, Veritas destroyed the Sister with Lief's aid, and the companions then rode him back to the mainland to confront Ava, only to discover that Laughing Jack had impersonated his sister. Fortunately, Jack was transported to The Lady Luck in fulfillment of a rash oath he had made to his crew long ago when he took Jasmine's bag of gold containing the coin from the ship, which sank as he took his place at the oars. The companions soon learned that the final Sister was located in Del, while Barda unlocked the third lock of his puzzle box, finding to his frustration that it continued to remain sealed.[15]

The Sister of the South

After learning that Sharn had fallen ill on her return to Del from Tora, the companions set out at night to reach the city only to find it in the grip of the so-called Toran Plague. Captain Barda was gravely disappointed by the performance of the guards he had left behind, who admitted them without even checking a paper that Jasmine claimed was a request for them to come sent by Doom. He and his companions were further troubled to discover mass-produced notices accusing the Torans of plotting against the people of Del; Barda and Jasmine were then surprised when King Lief insisted on leaving them outside the palace while he went inside alone. They were then attacked by a monstrous beast of black ooze, and only saved by the timely arrival of the Topaz dragon. Barda himself was badly wounded and nearly choked to death by the creature when he was forced to fight it alone after it wounded Jasmine.

After awakening following the battle, Barda learned that Josef had apparently perished as a result of the plague, and then stormed to the room where Sharn and Lindal both lay sick after he heard of the latter's illness. There he learned of Lief's belief that that their was no plague, but rather poison, and also that the Sister of the South was hidden somewhere in the palace. When Lief called for all their closest allies to be gathered, Barda agreed to gather them, and was stunned when Lindal recovered enough to insist that they hold the meeting in her and Sharn's room. After gathering all but Ranesh, Josef's adopted son who refused to leave his body, Barda was in attendance as the council of their allies discussed what needed to be done to find the Sister of the South and deal with the so-called plague. Among the steps agreed upon was instructing the guards not to harm the dragon, which Gers warned would be difficult given their belief that the dragon had been attacking Lief; Barda was determined that they would follow orders, and learned to his dismay that his former second-in-command Corris had died of poisoning and been replaced by Dunn.

Barda and the others continued their efforts, with Barda soon determining that Dunn would have to be replaced due to his concern about being popular with his fellow guards making him an inept commander. He also discouraged belief in the Toran Plague, only for evidence to come out that suggested that a plague did indeed exist. Despite this, and knowing that their lack of caution would presumably lead to their demise, Barda and Jasmine insisted on going to Lief's side after he found the Sister of the South hidden beneath the Castle Chapel. Together he and Lief broke open the altar that concealed the place, and Barda then smashed the stone marker on top of it only to be blinded by a magical flash. This left him helpless in the ensuing battle against the creature, during which he heard Lindal hurt after she mistook the Topaz dragon's arrival for an attack and was injured by it.

Inexplicably, the Sister and its guardian lost power in the confrontation, allowing Lief and the dragon to finish it; Barda was then healed by the power of the Opal, while the companions learned that poison had indeed been responsible for the illnesses and deaths in the city not caused by the monster. In the ensuing celebration, Barda finally solved his puzzle box, only for a trick clown to emerge from it that enraged Barda, who could not believe he had spent such time on a mere trick. Unfortunately, the puzzle had a dark foreboding, as the Shadow Lord had laid a final trap for Deltora: the destruction of the final Sister would unleash a Grey tide from the City of the Rats that would wash over and consume the land. Determined to save their land if possible, Barda joined Lief and Jasmine in flying to the site of the tide's emergence atop the Topaz dragon, only to be confronted by the Opal dragon when they arrived. When the Ak-Baba appeared to attack the two dragons and stop their interference, Barda and the others were determined to help, and Barda in particular urged the Topaz dragon to go to the aid of the Opal dragon rather than wait for the Ak-Baba to come after him when they finished with it.

The companions had some success against the Ak-Baba, but it was only when Lief summoned all seven dragons through names he had learned from Doran's Soul-stone that the beasts were driven off and the Grey tide destroyed. These events would be commemorated as part of the Dragon Night festival, but were far from the only celebrations Barda and his companions would take part in. The spring after their final battle, Barda served as Lief's best man in his wedding to Jasmine, and then enjoy his own wedding to Lindal in the summer. Barda and Lindal went on to have six children, all of them virtually identical and taller than either of their parents.[4]

Physical appearance

Barda is tall, with dark hair and a dark wild and bushy beard. Due to his training as a palace guard, he is very strong and fit, and continues to hone his skills while 'guarding' the young Lief when he stays out after sunset in Del when the Grey Guards are prowling about. He is a tower of strength, and never gives up on the quest to find the gems for the Belt of Deltora.

While disguised as a beggar, Barda wore ragged clothes.[3] While journeying with Lief and Jasmine to restore the Belt of Deltora he wore neater but still rough clothes.[3][1] As the captain of the palace guards Barda wears a pale blue uniform trimmed with gold.[1]


Barda is typically a stern, no nonsense individual who takes whatever duties or responsibilities he assumes very seriously. He is very brave, but not to the point of foolishness, and though he has faced many great threats he is wise enough to flee those things he cannot hope to defeat.[3] Barda is markedly selfless, caring more for the safety of his country and companions than his own well-being; however, he also has a strong sense of pride that can quickly lead him to anger if his honour or integrity is questioned. He also has no patience for self-centered behaviour in others, and held a particular dislike for Jinks.[11] More than anything, however, he despises the notion of being useless or unable to aid others when they need him. This was for example the case when Lief, Jasmine and Steven faced Laughing Jack. Barda had been drugged and was still unconscious and therefore unable to help them, greatly displeasing him afterwards.[14]

Barda is incredibly disciplined, having maintained fighting form while posing as a beggar in Del during the reign of the Shadow Lord. At his own insistence Lief was allowed to roam free under his unseen supervision in preparation for their quest to restore the Belt of Deltora, though initially Barda wished to travel alone and felt Lief would be a burden to him. However, his attitude changed after Lief and Jasmine together managed to overcome Gorl and save his life in the process, making him realise the value of companions.[3] This did not, however, prevent him from getting impatient with both of his companions, particularly given their own natural tendencies towards stubbornness and recklessness. He also bemoaned those cases where others, such as Prin and Emlis, joined their party, though notably not to the point of actually suggesting that they not be allowed to do so.[10][6]

Due to being the most mature of the three companions and usually the most level-headed, Barda often helps to settle quarrels between Lief and Jasmine and get things back on track. He has a considerable level of sympathy, often showing patience with those that Lief or Jasmine express dislike for due to ignorance; however, Barda does have his limits, as shown when he became frustrated with Neridah's refusal to go her own way as agreed.[12] He is also quite free with his opinions, particularly when he thinks that either Lief or Jasmine has suggested something rash. Despite this, he has true affection for his companions and hates to be left out of any aspect of their adventures. When someone earns his respect or affection he is also quick to defend or comfort them, demonstrating a gentle side to his gruff nature.


Due to his great stature and years of training and physical activity, Barda possesses incredible strength and endurance, enabling him to endure the various trials of his journeys. As a palace guard he gained knowledge of how to direct an organisation and employ various tactics, and also learned the value of leadership and the need to do what must be done even when it is unpopular.[1] He also gained much of his fighting skill from his training, with the palace guards being considered the finest fighters in all of Deltora. While posing as a beggar Barda maintained his skill and physique, and successfully protected Lief for some years while eluding Grey Guards. Barda has also demonstrated some skill as an actor, having fooled various individuals in different situations.[3] Improvisation however, is not one of his strong points, as shown by the poorly conceived false identities he created for himself, Lief, and Jasmine in the Rithmere Games.[9]

Barda's temper often leads him to rash action, and his tendency towards brute force has at times left him at the mercy of foes who could either overpower him, out-think him, or utilise magic against which he had no defence. His concern for his companions has at times been exploited against him, or led him to take actions which could have proved fatal. However, this compassion and his sense of duty have also led him to accomplish feats that might otherwise have been impossible. Though his emphasis is on physical strength, he has also demonstrated cunning and cleverness and remarkable powers of retention, recalling facts that he had learned of in passing years after hearing them.


Main article: Barda's relationships





Barda's role and personality in the anime was primarily the same as the book, with one major change. Barda remained in the palace even after his mother's death, and fought the Ak-Baba with the rest of the guards. One knocked him over the palace walls, thus allowing him to survive.


  • Emily Rodda confirmed at the Varuna & Sydney Writers' Festival on April 29, 2018 that Barda was in his early 30s during the first series of Deltora Quest. This would put him somewhere between late 40s to early 50s during the Star of Deltora series, as it takes place about one decade after the first series of Deltora Quest, approximately 15 years.
  • Barda's name is an Irish Gaelic noun that means "guard", "warden", "garrison", "guardsmanship" and "ward". Fitting, as Barda starts out as a former Del palace guard and winds up the captain of the palace guard later on. Throughout the series, he also often protects and fights alongside Lief and Jasmine. An alternative obsolete version of the word is "bárda." The Irish word barda is itself etymologically derived by being borrowed from the Middle English ward (with the /w/ sound interpreted as lenited bh, and radical b derived from that by back-formation), from Old English weard (“guard, keeper”), from Proto-Germanic *warduz ("guard, keeper"), from Proto-Indo-European *wer- ("to heed, defend"). In Irish Gaelic it is pronounced as /ˈbˠɑːɾˠdˠə/. The genitive singular is Barda while the nominative plural is bardaí.[16]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Rodda, Emily. Dragon's Nest. Scholastic Australia. November 1, 2003.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Rodda, Emily. Cavern of The Fear. Scholastic Australia. February 1, 2002.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Rodda, Emily. The Forests of Silence. Scholastic Australia. May 1, 2000.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Rodda, Emily. The Sister of the South. Scholastic Australia. October 1, 2004.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Rodda, Emily. Return to Del. Scholastic Australia. November 1, 2001.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Rodda, Emily. The Shadowlands. Scholastic Australia. May 1, 2002.
  7. Rodda, Emily. The Lake of Tears. Scholastic Australia. May 29, 2000.
  8. Rodda, Emily. City of the Rats. Scholastic Australia. June 1, 2000.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Rodda, Emily. The Shifting Sands. Scholastic Australia. July 1, 2000.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Rodda, Emily. Dread Mountain. Scholastic Australia. August 1, 2000.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Rodda, Emily. The Maze of the Beast. Scholastic Australia. September 1, 2001.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Rodda, Emily. The Valley of the Lost. Scholastic Australia. October 1, 2001.
  13. Rodda, Emily. The Isle of Illusion. Scholastic Australia. March 1, 2002.
  14. 14.0 14.1 Rodda, Emily. Shadowgate. Scholastic Australia. February 1, 2004.
  15. Rodda, Emily. Isle of the Dead. Scholastic Australia. May 31, 2004.
  16. barda on Wiktionary, Irish.


  1. In Cavern of The Fear, Chapter 1: Secrets, an elderly man (Josef) is hiding in the basement of Del Pottery, writing new a entry for The Deltora Annals, and in the text he calls Barda the "chief of the palace guards."

See also