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

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"The life they had known had been hard, but they had been happy. Now all this was ended. Fear and trouble were coming — long years of waiting while Deltora groaned under the yoke of the Shadow Lord."
The Forests of Silence.[1]

Shadowlands invasion
Chronological information

Invasion of Deltora


Liberation of the Shadowlands slaves

Historical information

Night of seventh anniversary of King Endon's coronation


Sixteen years after the disestablishment of Deltoran monarchy




Deltoran monarchy disestablished
Belt of Deltora destroyed


Deltoran citizens
Palace guards
Resistance groups

Shadow Lord servants
Shadow Army
Thaegan's Thirteen Monstrous Children
Gem Guardians
Deltoran pirates



Shadow Lord

First appearance

The Forests of Silence

Last appearance

Shadows of the Master (mentioned)

The Shadowlands invasion[2] was a period of sixteen years in which the Shadow Lord broke the Belt of Deltora, scattering its gems, disestablished the monarchy of Deltora, and took possession of Del.

During this time, the Shadow Lord exercised ultimate power and absolute control over Deltora, its citizens, and laws. The palace of Del became the headquarters for the Shadow Lord and his will was enforced by Grey Guards and other servants.[1]

The invasion ended after Lief discovered himself to be the heir to the kingdom of Deltora, and used the Belt to banish the Shadow Lord after its completion.[3]


After the Battle for Deltora, the Shadow Lord knew that it could not conquer Deltora through a direct assault thanks to the powers of the Belt of Deltora. It sent its spies into Deltora to learn all the strengths and weaknesses of the Belt, which eventually boiled down to one thing: the people's faith in their king.

With its end goal decided, the Shadow Lord created shape shifting beings called Ols to infiltrate the royal family of Deltora. Over many generations they became the chief advisors of the kings and queens. The Ols used their positions to sow dissent among the people of Deltora by installing a series of rules to limit the amount of time the kings and queens interacted with their people. The later generations never even left the grounds outside the palace. They also limited the number of times the monarchs wore the Belt of Deltora to the day they are crowned, as well as the number of children they were permitted to have.

As the power of the Belt began to weaken, the Shadow Lord began setting some of its other plans into motion. It created a magic fog around the palace to give off the illusion of a perfect world to anyone who looked outside it. It also instructed its servants to place the Four Sisters at the corners of Deltora and the grey tide in the city of Hira. After an Plains rat plague that was organized by the Nine Ra-Kacharz, they and The population evacuated to Noradz to be brainwashed. The Ak-Baba were sent to kill off dragons, the only creatures who could threaten the Shadow Lord's plans. Forming an alliance with sorceress Thaegan then places her and Tegan's thirteen monstrous children, in D'Or transforming it into Lake of Tears and residence into monsters.

Meanwhile, the Shadow Lord's servants began to slowly poison the kings and queens of Deltora. This meant their children would become king or queen at a young age, which further injured the people's faith in the monarchs. On two occasions, the chief advisors also drove off people who were good friends and consultants to the young monarchs. The first was Ballum, brother to King Elstred and the second was Jarred, friend of King Endon.

On the day before the invasion, during the reign of king Endon, the Shadow Lord contacted its servant at the time, Prandine, and told him of his role in the attack. This conversation was overheard by Min, the palace nursemaid, so Prandine pushed her down a flight of stairs. Because of her death, her son, the palace guard Barda, fled the palace, fearing his life would be next.[1]

Attack on the palace of Del[]

The day after Min's death, the seven Ak-Baba flew into Del and attacked the palace, causing mayhem and chaos. They destroyed the roof of the tower where the Belt of Deltora was stored and crushed it. Each Ak-Baba then took a gem from the belt and flew with it to a dangerous location within that gem's territory. They also systematically killed off the palace guards.

During the attack, Jarred was able to sneak inside the palace and reunited with Endon and his pregnant Toran wife, Queen Sharn. The three of them attempted to retrieve the belt, but were cornered by Prandine. As he was about to kill them, Sharn tricked Prandine into looking over the ledge of the tower so she could tip him over.

Vowing to one day find the gems, Endon, Jarred, and Sharn escaped the palace. They met up with Jarred's wife, Anna, and the four came up with a plan to restore the Belt and hide heir to Deltora. Endon and Sharn switched places with Jarred and Anna, who left the city under the guise of the king and queen while they remained in Del. Eventually, the Shadow Lord placed a guardian over each gem.[1]


The Shadow Lord converted the palace of Del as its headquarters in Deltora. Its chief servants ruled the land from the palace while the Shadow Lord remained in the Shadowlands. Many new and brutal laws were enforced during this time, including all fruit-bearing trees in Del belonging to the Shadow Lord and a curfew during night time. Any resistance by citizens were killed immediately by Grey Guards.[1]

Several resistance movements were also founded during this time. The first was located in Del, but it was quickly stamped out by the Shadow Lord. The second one was founded by Jarred, now going by the name Doom and having lost his memories in the Shadowlands. It was founded under the belief that magic was not the way to defeat the Shadow Lord, and was more spread out and secretive than the Del resistance.

The Shadow Lord was well aware of the resistance and created a special Grade 3 Ol to infiltrate their ranks. Its primary concern was using Deltora's natural resources to construct a war fleet to allow it to invade the islands off Deltora's coast. It is possible that it also intended to return to Dorne with this fleet.[citation needed]

Recovering the gems[]

During this time, Endon and Sharn continued to live their lives in the forge, saying and doing little to attract attention. Sharn gave birth to a son, who they named Lief. They also took Barda into their care, who disguised himself as a beggar who lived on their property.

In secrecy, Endon re-forged the Belt of Deltora and began planning to recover the gems. Those plans ended abruptly when a tree branch fell on his leg, crippling Endon's ability to walk without the aid of a cane. Sixteen years into the Shadow Lord's rule, Endon decided to impart his quest onto Lief. Choosing Barda as his guide, Endon devised a plan to travel to each of the gem's locations, which he had discovered while listening to rumours in Del.[1]

Shortly after Lief and Barda set off on their quest, the Shadow Lord had Endon and Sharn arrested. Its new servant, Fallow, interrogated Jarred since he believed Lief was one of the three people who had been undoing the Shadow Lord's grip on Deltora and recovering the gems. Despite his best efforts, Endon and Sharn refused to give any information.


The Grade 3 Ol Dain, the Resistance infiltrator, successfully posed as the heir to the Belt of Deltora when Lief and his companions came to them with the completed Belt, as was the Shadow Lord's plan. He then staged his own kidnapping in order to draw the Resistance into a trap in the city of Del, where all members of the mission except Lief were captured and slated for execution.

Lief, who was then under the belief that Jasmine was the true heir due to Endon and Jarred's plan to swap places, snuck to the palace, hoping to get the Belt around Jasmine's waist before anyone was executed. However, upon donning the Belt with the gems in their proper arrangement, he himself, as the true closest heir, activated the Belt's power, forcing the Shadow Lord to flee Deltora immediately and rendering his servants undirected and reduced in power.[3]


With the Shadow Lord banished, the Deltoran monarchy was reinstated, with Lief becoming king. Doom took up the role of Chief Advisor to the king, and Barda reformed the palace guards and was instated as their captain.

However, the Shadow Lord was able to capture thousands of Deltorans before its banishment and had them brought back to the Shadowlands. This event would lead to Lief, Barda and Jasmine's adventures in the Pirran Sea and the reconstruction of the Pirran Pipe.

The Shadow Lord also activated its contingency plan, the Four Sisters, to starve Deltora of food.

The palace was used to house victims of the invasion.[2]



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Rodda, Emily. The Forests of Silence. Scholastic Australia. May 1, 2000.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Rodda, Emily. Shadows of the Master. Omnibus Books, an imprint of Scholastic Australia. 2015.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Rodda, Emily. Return to Del. Scholastic Australia. November 1, 2001.