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Dilaf Shuravf.jpg
Spouse Seala
Died Killed by Hrathen[1]
Abilities Dakhor
Profession Derethi Gragdet
Nationality Fjordell
World Sel
Universe Cosmere
Featured In Elantris

Dilaf is the gragdet of the Dakhor monastery leading up to the invasion of Arelon.

Some time during his life as a Dakhor monk, he was assigned to act as a spy in Arelon, and had his physical characteristics altered to appear like a young Arelene.[2] Some time after this transformation, he met and fell in love with a woman from Arelon. When she died in spite of Elantrian aid, his hatred of Elantris congealed into something that drove him to the point of madness. After leading the assaults on both Kae and Teod, he was killed by Hrathen, who could not tolerate his genocidal tendencies.

Appearance and Personality[edit]

Dilaf, once a tall Derethi man,[2] now bears the appearance of a short Arelene[3] with blond hair,[4] looking no older than twenty-five,[5] though his real age is nearly seventy.[2] His eyes often burn with passion and he rarely cares to conceal his emotions, ranging from religious fervor to deep hatred. He is incapable of getting along with people.[6] He usually wears the red robes of a Derethi priest.[7]

Much like other Dakhor monks, Dilaf's body has been twisted by the magic of their order. His arms are akin to knotted tree branches, skin pulled tight over strange ridges and symbols formed of bone.[8] Bulging intricate patterns of lines and curves twist like veins beneath the skin.[9][1]

He wields a "wicked-looking sword" during the Battle of Teoras.


Early Life[edit]

Very little is known about Dilaf's early life. He had an early ardor for Shu Dereth, as evidenced by his early acceptance into Dakhor monastery. By the time he was ten, Dilaf had entered the monastery. Rather than pursue the priesthood, Dilaf elected to continue in the monastery, becoming one of the dedicated Dakhor monks.

By the time he reached middle age, Dilaf had risen to the rank of Gragdet. Dilaf's intensity was only amplified by his elevation, and he began putting plans in place for the destruction of Elantris. An essential part of his plans involved his insertion in a long running undercover operation. It was also during this period that Dilaf gained the bone structure that allowed him to cancel out the Elantrian use of AonDor, a transformation that cost the lives of many Dakhor monks.

Just before his insertion was to take place, Dilaf began training a young Hrathen. Three months after Hrathen entered the monastery, Dilaf required one of the monks under his command to sacrifice himself to transport Dilaf to Wulfden the Fourth's chambers, a distance easily walked. Although Dilaf did not assign particular importance to this event, it would lay the groundwork of his eventual death.

Infiltration of Arelon[edit]

Shortly after Hrathen left Dakhor monastery, Dilaf underwent a painful physical change to appear to be of Arelene descent. It appears that this transformation also changed the aging process, as the rest of his life (he would live to be nearly 70 years old), Dilaf appeared physically quite young. Immediately after arriving in Arelon, Dilaf set about integrating himself into Arelene culture. At first, it seemed that everything was going according to his plans. Then, quite contrary to his plans, Dilaf fell in love.

Very little is known about Dilaf's wife. The confusion behind her origin is further compounded by the fact that our only source of information regarding her is Dilaf himself, long after he was driven mad by hatred of the Elantrians. It is safe to assume, however, that she was Fjordell, given Dilaf's intense animosity towards outsiders. Dilaf was over 50 when they met, and no one was as surprised as he was when he fell in love. He was left even more surprised when she returned his love, despite his physical 'deformity'.

Unfortunately, Dilaf's happiness was not to last. His wife became sick with a debilitating and terminal disease. The power that Dilaf had trusted for so long, the power of a monk of Dakhor, had no ability to heal. In desperation, Dilaf turned to his enemies, the Elantrians, in a reckless bid to save the life of the woman he loved. Unfortunately, through an innocent mistake, the glyph that should have healed her instead performed a partial transformation, not unlike the Reod, leaving her in pain and unable to die. Dilaf, however, believed that this tragic accident was a malicious attack, and began nursing a hatred that would ultimately drive him insane. He retreated to the outlying city of Rain, and began his infiltration in earnest, taking the role of an Arelene who had converted to Shu Dereth.

Invasion of Kae[edit]

Wyrn had two agents operating in Kae in preparation for Fjorden's invasion of Arelon. Hrathen he sent three months prior to the invasion with orders to warn Arelon of their impending doom, an instruction Hrathen misunderstood as a commission to convert the nation. Dilaf on the other hand, worked secretly for years towards Wyrn's true goal: The genocide of all Arelenes, and eventually all people of Aonic descent. This was a goal Dilaf strongly supported, as the extinction of the Aonic bloodline would bring with it the end of the Elantrians.

Shortly after Hrathen's arrival in Kae he swore Dilaf, who was masquerading as an Arelene arteth, as his odiv. Dilaf kept up the barest pretense of serving Hrathen, never speaking against him but frequently undermining him and prioritizing Dilaf's own goals over the tasks set to him by Hrathen. When the last of Hrathen's plans fell to shambles and an Elantrian Raoden was crowned king, Dilaf stalked to the docks to begin the invasion. Hrathen followed him there and Dilaf revealed himself as the gragdet of Dakhor Monastery, and the twisted warrior-monks of Dakhor poured into Kae to begin the slaughter. When Hrathen realized Dilaf's superior rank, he acquiesced to Dilaf's control.

Dilaf captured Raoden, used him as bait to capture Sarene, then stabbed him, and took Hrathen and Sarene along with several of the Dakhor monks to Teod via human-sacrifice-fueled teleportation. The remaining Derethi warriors in Arelon rounded up all surviving Elantrians and Arelenes into Elantris to kill them. In Teod, Dilaf prepared to kill Sarene in front of her unsuspecting father, King Eventeo, when Hrathen, his basic beliefs overpowering his strict training, leapt to defend her and attacked Dilaf. Hrathen broke Dilaf's nose, and Hrathen and Sarene fled. Dilaf ordered the Dakhor monks to search for Hrathen and Sarene. Hrathen was stabbed by Fjon, who had been sent by Wyrn, and Sarene was cornered by monks on Teod's docks.

Raoden, followed by a host of newly-healed Elantrians, appeared on the docks using AonDor-powered teleportation, and the Elantrians engaged the monks as Raoden and Sarene ducked down an alley. Dilaf followed them and prepared gleefully to kill them when an adrenaline-fueled, dying Hrathen appeared and revealed his Dakhor heritage as he overpowered and killed Dilaf.

With Dilaf dead, the battle soon turned in the Elantrians' favor and Raoden and Sarene returned to Arelon to rule from the restored Elantris.


  • In the original edition of Elantris a speech by Dilaf was incorrectly attributed to a Dakhor monk named Mal.[9]


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