Emlis was among the Kerons who greeted Lief, Barda, and Jasmine when they arrived on Keras. He was present for the reforming of the Pirran Pipe, but was aghast when his mother asked for the Belt of Deltora in exchange for the companions taking the Pipe into the Shadowlands. When it was revealed that none of the companions could play the pipe, he offered to accompany them to the Shadowlands—both to play the Pipe and to explore the surface world. Tirral and the companions tried to dissuade him, but Emlis refuses to let anything deter him from fulfilling his dream of seeing the world above.
Shortly upon arriving in the Shadowlands, Wild Ones kidnapped Emlis and used him to lure out beetles for them. The companions rescued him from being eaten alive and then evaded the pursuing Wild Ones and a nearby Stinger before finding the Shadowlands' Resistance. With the help of Claw, Brianne, and Gers, the companions and Emlis arrived at the Factory, but were separated when a wild vraal attacked. The companions and Emlis hid inside the garbage mounds until the vraal was driven off by Grey Guards.
Inside the factory, the four of them witnessed the forming of new Grey Gurads, the Carrier Worms of the Conversion Project, and Pi-Ban, a Dread Gnome to be used in a public display of the Conversion Project in the Shadow Arena. The four hid ontop of Pi-Ban's cage, but when the Grey Guards reached for the tarp to cover the cage, they captured the companions and left Emlis for dead. He managed to cling to the bottom of the cage and enter the Shadow Arena. When the slaves were freed by Claw, Brianne, and Gers, Emlis played the Pirran Pipe after Lief, which held the Shadow Lord back long enough for the combined Pirran tribes to use their magic to bring the Deltoran slaves into the underground sea for rescue.
Before the companions left Keras, Emlis told them that he planned to become an explorer like Doran and explore the uncharted territories of the Pirran sea.
Emlis has an "eager face". He has the short stature, pale skin, pale eyes, dog-like face, and large pointed ears of all the descendants of Pirra. However, he also possesses a head of wiry golden hair, being a descendant of Alyss, the woman from the Tenna Birdsong TaleThe Girl with the Golden Hair.
Emlis is curious, eager, and impatient. He is enthralled with the tales Doran the Dragonlover told when he came to the Pirran Islands. This fueled a wish for adventure that eventually leads him to become an explorer. Like all Pirrans, he holds music and the ability to play instruments in high regard. Emlis believed Plumes were stupid and Aurons were savage, but his perspective changed when the three tribes united and overcame their differences.