The Shadowhunters' Wiki
The Shadowhunters' Wiki

Steles are the tools used by Shadowhunters to draw runes onto their skin, weapons, and other materials. They are made of adamas and crafted by the Iron Sisters.


Steles look like long, slender twigs, though the length and style vary and may depend on the owner's preferences. There are many different models of steles, the appearance evolving depending on the times. Steles have a sort of aura to them, a ghostly imprint of their owner's personality.[1] When not in use, steles are inert but they warm and glow while drawing runes.

Since steles are not designed to be used in direct battle against demons, steles do not harm them, though demons tend to recoil when exposed to a stele due to the material—the heavenly metal adamas.

Only Shadowhunters can use steles to create Marks; steles will not even produce a line when used by mundanes or Downworlders, but it will cause no harm to them.[2]


The first stele is believed to have been a rough oblong of adamas used by Jonathan Shadowhunter to inscribe the first Marks on his own skin.[2]

In 2007, Luke gave Clary Fray her mother's stele while the latter was still in a magically-induced coma,[3] but Clary ultimately lost it when she accidentally Portaled into Lake Lyn in Idris.[4]

After the Dark War, Jace Herondale gave his first stele — the one he learned to draw runes with — to Emma Carstairs.[5] Emma treasured it and kept it as a symbol of the events that marked her life after the Dark War and as a reminder of the purpose Jace had given her. Five years later, Emma had to give up the stele to the Guardian of Lir's Gate so she could enter Faerie.[6]


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  • Stele is pronounced in English 'steh•lay.[2]

Shown below are the steles used by different characters in The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones:

See the TV counterpart of this page on the Shadowhunters on Freeform wiki.