Deltora Quest Wiki
Deltora Quest Wiki
Biographical information



Del (formerly)



Cause of death

Committed suicide via direct contact with the Belt of Deltora

Physical description




Hair colour


Personal information

Unknown (deceased)

Chronological and political information

Servant of the Shadow Lord
Assistant to the chief palace librarian (formerly)


Guardian of the Sister of the South (formerly)
Assistant to Josef

First appearance

Dragon's Nest

Last appearance

The Sister of the South

Paff was the guardian of the Sister of the South and Josef's assistant for a time, acting as a replacement for Ranesh.[1]


Early life[]

Little is known of Paff's early life. She grew up under the rule of the Shadow Lord and was sent to the Shadowlands at some point. Paff was the only member of her family that survived the experience, and she was freed from the Shadowlands by King Lief.[2]

Paff volunteered to work for Josef, who needed an assistant to replace Ranesh, and Paff was the only one to volunteer for the position.[1]

Dragon's Nest[]

Paff interrupted Josef, King Lief, and Barda's discussion of the seven dragon tribes. She reminded Lief that the monthly meeting with the people of Del was about to begin. Lief and Josef later spoke about Paff briefly. Josef admitted being frustrated with her because of her chattering and, despite her hard work, he felt that she paled in comparison to Ranesh. Lief pitied Paff, but admitted that she rather annoyed him as well.[1]

Isle of the Dead[]

When Josef guessed the location of the Sister of the West and attempted to warn King Lief of the dangers on Blood Lily Island, Paff intercepted the message. She destroyed the page of Josef's message that contained a coherent warning and tore off the numbered corners of the other pages to avoid suspicion.

Paff had been slowly poisoning Josef ever since Lief left the palace, making the old librarian forgetful and irritable, and so Lief was less inclined to heed his advice.[3]

The Sister of the South[]

Shortly after Sharn returned to Del, Paff poisoned her lip cream. She proceeded to poison the food supplies near the palace and began to spread rumours of a plague brought to Del from Tora. She distributed fliers with misinformation to stir up distrust of Torans, thus weakening the people’s faith in Marilen, the closest heir of Adin after King Lief.

Paff failed to notice that Josef wrote his next letter to Lief in code, and he managed to alert the king that something was amiss at the palace. Lief used Dreaming Water to check on Josef and he observed Doom dragging Paff back to the library. Josef had sent Paff to deliver a secret message to Sharn, but she was caught by Lindal and Doom. She indignantly described Lindal as treating her like a criminal.

Paff leaped to Josef's defence when Doom shamed Josef for sending her to do his work. Paff claimed that she voluntarily helped Josef to prove that she could be as useful as Ranesh. She left the library shortly afterward at Josef's insistence.

When Lief returned to Del and went to speak with Josef, he knocked on Paff's door frantically, concerned for Josef's health. When he received no answer, he kicked down her door, finding Paff in a trance that he mistook for some sort of seizure. Before Lief could do anything about her, Paff summoned a monster to attack Barda and Jasmine, and Lief immediately went to help them. The beast wounded Jasmine and Barda and very nearly killed Lief, despite the power of the Belt of Deltora, but it was driven back by the Dragon of the Topaz. Paff and Josef were tended too by Gla-Thon, as both were assumed to have caught the "Toran Plague".

Guardian of the sister

The guardian summoned by Paff

Paff poisoned the messenger birds in the palace to try and keep Lief from contacting Dread Mountain, though Kree was able to deliver the message instead. Lief had deduced that the plague was a lie and the poison could be cured with emeralds. However, Paff managed to trick the king once again, killing guards and poisoning Sharn and Zeean in ways that seemed only possible if the plague was real. Lief's confidence was shattered by the thought that he had been so wrong and he very nearly resigned himself to his fate. However, he managed to discover the location of the Sister of the South and summoned Fidelis to help him destroy it. Paff sent her monster to try and defend the Sister, and she nearly killed Lief, Jasmine, Gla-Thon, and Fidelis. Nevets attacked the creature, managing to drive it back, but the Shadow Lord suddenly removed a large portion of Paff's magical powers. Paff was unable to sustain her beast and it was slain by Nevets, allowing Lief and Fidelis to destroy the last of the Four Sisters.

Paff was devastated by her failure and the thought that the Shadow Lord had abandoned her. When Lief and Doom finally realised that she was the guardian of the Sister of the South, they confronted her in her room. Lief asked her why the Shadow Lord had abandoned her. Paff suggested that she had put in too much effort and perhaps disrupted one of the Shadow Lord's other plans. Before Lief could stop her, Paff grasped the Belt of Deltora, killing herself. Lief later revealed to his friends that Paff was the guardian. He eventually realised that the Shadow Lord had abandoned Paff because he was eager to spring his final trap; with the destruction of the Sister of the South, the grey tide was unleashed into Deltora.

Paff was unique among the Shadow Lord's servants in that she did not follow her master out of a desire for power or greed, but rather out of loneliness and desperation. Doom sympathised with her deeply, to the point that he was unable to bring himself to kill her. Lief pitied her, though he knew that Paff did not have to take the path she had chosen.[2]

Physical appearance[]

Paff was a mousy young woman with a head of fluffy, golden hair. She had a pink-tipped nose that twitched nervously as she spoke. She wore a long-sleeved pink nightgown to bed and occasionally styled her hair into two long braids.

Paff's monster was formed from a body of viscous, black slime that resembled blood. It could grow to a massive size and had two heads; one head was that of a snarling dog with unnaturally smooth skin, while the other head was that of an eagle with a hooked beak and burning, red eyes. The heads were attached back-to-back, leaving the beast with few blind spots. The monster could produce hundreds of razor-sharp stingers from its body. It could change its shape, reducing itself to a purely liquid state to escape or attack more stealthily.[2]


Paff typically appeared to be a twitchy, easily startled young woman. Though she was a hard worker, she rarely ever met Josef's high standards, often behaving clumsily out of nervousness. She often behaved like a small animal, generally seeming startled by everything around her. Several characters admitted to finding Paff's chattering, nervous disposition irritating. She only once found the courage to stand up to Doom directly, and was terrified of him under normal circumstances. Paff's real personality was that of a practised, intelligent schemer. She coldly poisoned most of Del. She kept Josef alive for quite a while, poisoning him enough to disrupt his mind and make him seem less trustworthy while simultaneously pumping the old man for information, finally killing him when he was of no further use.

Paff was not genuinely an evil person, but rather followed the Shadow Lord because his power and leadership gave her a purpose in life. Paff was plagued by self-loathing, loneliness, and despair, as everyone she loved or cared for had died. Even in the palace, Paff was not treated particularly well. She was tormented by her inadequacies and frequent failures. She was ambitious under the Shadow Lord, desperately seeking to please her master, but she was left emotionally and physically broken after the Shadow Lord abandoned her. Though Paff recognised that her master had many plans, she saw no further purpose in life after he abandoned her. She was brought to tears as she spoke to King Lief and Doom and ultimately committed suicide by throwing herself onto the Belt of Deltora, sighing in relief as she was finally freed from her sorrows.[2]


Paff could read and write, which was not common among the people of Del a time after the Shadow Lord's rule. She was very clever and a quick thinker, able to think on her feet and adapt rapidly to new information to improve her plans. She was talented at manipulating people, managing to sweep the entirety of Del, including King Lief, into hysteria over the "Toran Plague". She nearly managed to destabilise the unity of Deltora by pitting the Del and Toran tribes against each other through lies, half-truths, and carefully-chosen historical facts. Her methods of poisoning were so discreet that Lief and Doom, normally quite perceptive, were both fooled into thinking that the plague was real.

Paff was apparently skilled in the use of drugs and poisons, able to discreetly poison Josef and most of Del without suspicion for some time. She knew enough about drugs to keep Josef confused, but alive for several months, only killing him when he was no longer of any use.

The Shadow Lord granted Paff considerable magical powers. She could summon a monstrous creature to fight for her. Paff could only summon her creature by entering a deep trance. In the trance, her limbs became rigid and her eyes rolled back in her head, making it seem to observers that she was suffering some kind of seizure or fit. The creature's amorphous body could suffocate its victims and could slip away quite stealthily if necessary, allowing Paff to kill her targets even if they were wary of poison. The monster could also fight Paff's enemies directly, and it was a ferocious foe, capable of fending off countless guards, trained warriors, and an adult Topaz Dragon. She could regenerate any damage done to her beast, but only for as long as the Shadow Lord allowed her to, and she was quickly defeated when the Shadow Lord withdrew his powers from her.

Paff, like all of the Shadow Lord's servants, could not touch the Belt of Deltora without being badly harmed or, in Paff's case, killed. Despite this, Paff was able to shrug off the pain of touching the Belt for quite a while when her powers were at their strongest; her monster nearly suffocated Lief despite being in direct contact with the Belt for several moments, a feat that very few of the Shadow Lord's servants were capable of.[2]


  • Paff is one of only two characters in the entire collective Deltora Quest series as well as the rest of the Roddaverse books to be shown committing suicide, the other character being Amarantz. However, unlike Paff, Amarantz killed herself under the mind-controlling influence of the Shadow Lord, through the use of a Carrier Worm, so that he could assert his power to the people inside the palace of Del witnessing her death, and possibly so that he could protect secrets of his plans that Amarantz might have known. Other Carrier Worm-infested people, mostly assassins out to get King Lief, was implied or mentioned as having died the same way, including a babbling woman who had once tried to kill Lief in the hall of the palace. However these instances were never shown directly in any book. Others were simply killed by other servants of the Shadow Lord, possibly ones also infested, as soon as they failed in their mission to kill the king.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Rodda, Emily. Dragon's Nest. Scholastic Australia. November 1, 2003.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Rodda, Emily. The Sister of the South. Scholastic Australia. October 1, 2004.
  3. Rodda, Emily. Isle of the Dead. Scholastic Australia. May 31, 2004.

See also[]