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

Jalis is in need of more information! Jalis is lacking information about Glock from the Jalis tribe (The Shifting Sands, Dread Mountain, The Maze of the Beast). There is also more information in Return to Del about Glock and the Jalis tribe. After this, information about the Deltora Quest 2 needs to be added and organised.

"No Jalis will forgive an insult, or turn away from the chance to fight."
Doran in Secrets of Deltora

General information

Diamond territory



Notable members


Chronological information
First appearance

The Forests of Silence

The Jalis tribe is one of the seven primary tribes in Deltora. Their gem is the great Diamond and they reside primarily in Diamond territory.[1]


Long ago in the Land of Dragons, a Jalis woman named Tenna caught a blackbird in a net. She released the bird and, in return, it told her many wondrous, prophetic tales.[2] Tenna memorised the tales word for word and passed them on through her family and her people, becoming the originator of the "Jalis storyteller" role that is important to Jalis culture to this day. The Tenna Birdsong Tales, as they came to be known, were eventually recorded in The Deltora Annals and are cherished by the Jalis.[2]

When the seven "goblins" came to the Land of Dragons, the last three travelled west, eventually making their way into Diamond territory. One died of starvation and another was eaten by grippers. The last goblin, their leader, stumbled upon a seemingly abandoned hut and hid under the bed. That night, the hut's owner and the head of his clan, arrived home and lept into bed, crushing the rotten timbers with his weight. When the knight woke the next morning, he discovered that he had crushed the goblin. The Jalis took the goblin's pouch, containing the mouthpiece of the Pirran Pipe, which the knight mistook as a talisman. He then took the goblin's body to boast about his kill,[2] with the story eventually changing to him having literally fought the goblin.[3] In reality, the goblin was a Pirran, one of seven of a party that had left the the island of their tribe of Plume in the secret subterrenean sea underneath the Land of Dragons, to try and find people to tell their people's story to so that they could get help to lead their people back into the sun, a quest that they sorely failed at.[2][3]

Many years before Adin began his quest for the Belt of Deltora, three Jalis brothers, Gorl, Greddock, and Gudden, travelled into the Forests of Silence of Topaz territory in search of the Lilies of Life, seeking to use their nectar's immortality-granting powers to conquer the Land of Dragons. When they found them Gorl, jealous and unwilling to share them, killed his two brothers, but was unable to retrieve the nectar from the Lilies before they wilted. Gorl remained in the Forests to tend to the lilies, cultivating thick vines to protect them and slaying anyone and anything that came near them. This also made it unable for the Lilies to get sun and bloom, however. When Gorl died, his spirit, dark and powerful, stayed and kept his armour animated by pure will to protect the Lilies.[4][5][6]

Adin made the Jalis territory his first stop on his quest to create the Belt of Deltora, despite his immense fear of the Jalis' fierce reputation. Adin hoped to reach Jaliad without incident, as he hoped that the Jalis leaders would be more willing to hear his tale than country folk. Adin stumbled upon a small hut, but before he could enter the hut's owner, a Jalis knight clad in full armour, emerged and challenged him to a fight. Adin lost quickly, but put up enough of a fight to impress the Jalis. The knight, Greel, took Adin to Jaliad for a feast, where Adin realised that Greel was the tribe's leader.


Greel, a Jalis knight.

Greel gave Adin the chance to tell his story before they killed him, but Greel and the rest of the Jalis assembled in the feasting hall immediately recognised Adin's dream belt as the one spoken of in the Tenna Birdsong Tales. Greel humbly asked Tatti, Tenna's descendant and the Jalis storyteller, to tell the tale of Opal the Dreamer, an ancestor of Adin's. After the tale was finished, Greel presented Adin with the Diamond and the support of the Jalis without hesitation, making the Jalis the first tribe to support Adin. Greel taught Adin more about swordplay before he left to continue his journey.[2]

When Adin called on the seven tribes to fight the Shadow Army, the Jalis drafted the initial battle plan, which was then improved by Adin and accepted by the rest of the tribes. The Jalis joined fighters from throughout the Land of Dragons as foot soldiers in the battle. When an opal dragon joined the battle, several Jalis knights cursed in awe, remembering the tale of Opal the Dreamer that told of the battle. When Adin joined the fray, Greel fought at his side, while other Jalis knights felled at least four green beasts. The Battle for Deltora finally came to an end with the arrival of the Torans, who completed the Belt of Deltora with the Amethyst. While the rest of the fighters wept with joy and cried out in wonder as the Shadow Lord abandoned his forces, the Jalis roared in triumph and slaughtered the remaining green beasts. The Jalis then joined the rest of the army in a great feast in Hira, where the cooks were able to satisfy even their voracious appetites.[2]

Invasion by the Shadow Lord[]

When the Shadow Lord invaded the Jalis fought valiantly against him. Many were slaughtered or taken to the Shadowlands as slaves. The entire Jalis population was decimated, and the only surviving Jalis in Deltora was Glock, who was knocked unconscious during the battle and was wrongly presumed dead.[7]

The Forests of Silence[]

After the Topaz was taken from the Belt of Deltora, one of the Ak-Baba dropped it into the Forests of Silence, where Gorl found it and mounted it into the hilt of his sword.


Gorl, the guardian of the Topaz.

Lief, Barda, and Jasmine encountered Gorl in the Forests of Silence during their search for the Topaz. Gorl, whose body had wasted away long ago, had somehow gained powerful psychic abilities during his time in the Forests and quickly overpowered Barda and Lief. Gorl was finally defeated when Jasmine convinced one of the trees to drop one of its branches on him, which crushed the ancient knight's armour. The group retrieved the Topaz from Gorl's sword and the grove that had been the knight's home slowly began to shed the constricting vines Gorl had grown.[8]

The Shifting Sands[]

Lief, Barda and Jasmine encountered a Jalis man named Glock in Rithmere while looking for a way to earn money. He participated in the 11th Rithmere Games and made it to the finals. Before the finals, he was drugged by Dain who carried out Doom's plan to discover the truth about the Games. Initially Glock would not be drugged and fight Doom in the finals but Glock and Jasmine upset the plan. Doom had to save Lief, Barda and Jasmine because Jasmine won the games although Doom intentionally lost to Jasmine. It was Doom's plan to lose and figure out how the champion was captured. He had to save Glock anyway because Neridah and Glock were most likely to be captured together.[9]

Dread Mountain[]

After sleeping near the Dreaming Spring Lief woke up and encountered two Grey Guards who were talking about hunting Glock and Neridah. Later the companions met up with the Kin and Jasmine explained that she had a strange dream. She saw Doom in a cave with other people, Glock was also there.[10]

The Maze of the Beast[]

Return to Del[]

Cavern of the Fear[]

It was found that the Jalis were prisoners in the Shadowlands. Glock was determined to find and rescue them, and was annoyed at Lief for not trying to do so.[11]

The Shadowlands[]

Lief, Barda and Jasmine end up journeying to the Shadowlands to free the slaves using the magic of the fabled Pirran Pipe, and afterwards the freed Jalis prisoners returned to their main city of Jaliad to rebuild.[12]



Jalis are most well known for their skill in battle. They are the most ferocious fighters in Deltora and place great emphasis on strength. Jalis are known to slay beasts for glory, including Diamond dragons and kobbs. Any Jalis fighter appears to follow some sort of honour code; they do not allow concealed weapons within their arena (but any number of visible weapons are allowed) and will never attack an unarmed person during peacetime. Jalis appear to be reasonably well versed in the creation of medicinal salves and the use of herbs, but are not great craftspeople otherwise. The Jalis believe that bathing causes weakness, so a typical Jalis smells strongly. Rather than bathe, Jalis rub their bodies with a mixture of tusker fat and herbs. Jalis expect politeness and respect no matter what their social status or physical appearance.

Aside from their reputation as ferocious warriors, another defining trait of the Jalis is their reverence for the Tenna Birdsong Tales. The Jalis believe in the Birdsong Tales wholeheartedly and treat the position of storyteller with extreme respect. The Jalis storyteller is expected to memorise every Birdsong Tale, word-for-word, and the position appears to be held for life. The wording of the Birdsong Tales is never changed and many of the stories appear to be at least partially true. The dragons of Deltora have verified that the stories are at least based on true events.

Though not to the same degree as the Mere, the Jalis are a very superstitious people. They are known to pass on family talismans, which can consist of a variety of pieces and supposedly impart supernatural protection on the wearer. The talisman of Greel's clan, for example, included herbs, a river stone, stones from the belly of a diamond serpent, a gripper flower, and the talisman of a "goblin" and was said to protect the wearer from harm in battle.

Following the unification of Deltora, the Jalis became more open to travellers from other territories. They remained a highly suspicious people, but would warm quickly to strangers who were agreeable and enjoying themselves. Anyone is welcome in the Jaliad feasting hall, provided they offer a gold coin as payment—the coin will be refused, but offering it is display of respect. Offering a silver coin is considered an insult, as is showing disgust at any of the food in the hall. Jalis eat with knives and their bare hands, throw the bones of their meat on the floor after picking them clean, and often belch loudly at the end of a meal to show that they have eaten their full. The Jalis do not trust people that refuse to drink with them, despite the fact that Jalis ale can be too strong for non-Jalis to handle. Jalis cuisine is varied and has been known to include fruit, roast pumpkin, hard bread, chicken and dumpling soup, fish-based chowder, and large quantities of meat. Jalis roast whole animals on cooking spits, but prefer their meat bloody, which can be repulsive to non-Jalis. Jalis ale is served in large beakers and is incredibly strong.


Jalis favoured very simple, functional architecture. During the time of Adin, the leader of the tribe lived in a sparse, small hut far from Jaliad. The most significant building in Jaliad is the feasting hall, which is a low-ceilinged, vast building filled with roasting spits, long tables, and a huge fireplace. Excluding their extravagant feasts, Jalis seem to prefer relatively Spartan living conditions; they do not put great emphasis on cleanliness and pillows and bed sheets are scarce in Jaliad. Jaliad itself is a busy, noisy place filled with simple, seemingly disorganised buildings.


Traditional golden Jalis armour.

Physical appearance[]

The Jalis are enormous people, looming over most other Deltorans. However, In The Shifting Sands, Glock is described as a short man. This is possible evidence that though as a people they were large, some Jalis were also short. Jalis clothing, excluding their extravagant armour, is very rough and simple. They have brutish faces and thick, bushy hair. In Cavern of The Fear, Glock is described as having a savage figure and had hairy hands and arms and "huge" feet and hands. 

Jalis knights are famously identified by their golden armour. The armour is a combination of a large shirt of gold chain mail underneath a massive suit of segmented, golden plate mail, covering the knight from head to toe. The armour is usually adorned with intricate, spiraling embellishments and can apparently be customised to include spikes, skulls, or other additions. The characteristic helmet of a Jalis knight has a T-shaped visor and two or three curved horns. Though rarely seen, Jalis knights have also been known to sport large, circular shields that are as golden as the rest of their armour. Jalis swords are enormous when compared to those of other tribes and have been seen wielded with one or two hands. Like their armour, Jalis knights have been known to wield customised swords, but most appear to resemble claymores with wide blades and curved crossguards.

Notable members[]


  • Many people from Jalis appear to all have names beginning with the letter "g". For example, Glock, Gers, Greel and Gorl all begin with g.


  1. Rodda, Emily. Secrets of Deltora. Scholastic Australia. 2008.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Rodda, Emily. Tales of Deltora. Scholastic Australia. 2005.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Rodda, Emily. Cavern of The Fear. Scholastic Australia. February 1, 2002.
  4. Rodda, Emily. The Forests of Silence. Scholastic Australia. May 1, 2000.
  5. {{Cite|Secrets of Deltora}
  6. Rodda, Emily. The Deltora Book of Monsters. Scholastic Australia. 2001.
  7. Rodda, Emily. Return to Del. Scholastic Australia. November 1, 2001.
  8. Rodda, Emily. The Forests of Silence. Scholastic Australia. May 1, 2000.
  9. Rodda, Emily. The Shifting Sands. Scholastic Australia. July 1, 2000.
  10. Rodda, Emily. Dread Mountain. Scholastic Australia. August 1, 2000.
  11. Rodda, Emily. Cavern of The Fear. Scholastic Australia. February 1, 2002.
  12. Rodda, Emily. The Shadowlands. Scholastic Australia. May 1, 2002.

See also[]