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This is listing of Ardeth Kencyr in the series Chronicles of the Kencyrath.

For the main character index, go here.

the Ardeth

The Ardeth were an arrogant lot, proud of their subtle lord who in his one hundred and fifty odd years had brought his house through so many disasters that even the scrollsmen of Mount Alban had lost count.

The Ardeth are one of the most powerful of the nine major Kencyr houses. They, alone of the houses, retained an interest in Shanir, and have kept the old practice of inbreeding to produce powerful ones.

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They are traditional allies of the Knorth.

The Ardeth are known for their Shanir, and for being subtle and arrogant—and somewhat justified in that.

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    As a house 
  • Alliterative Family: A names—Adric, Adiraina, Aden… Names beginning with the same letter as their house's name—Alliterative Names—are very common among Kencyr Highborn.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: As Adric's mind fails, we're starting to see this—Dari wants to be lord, Distan wants Timmon to be lord, Timmon maybe wants to be lord, Aden is just really, really jealous…
  • Incest Is Relative: All Highborn used to inbreed to produce powerful Shanir. After the Fall, the others all stopped, but the Ardeth kept the old tradition.
    Timmon: I may have older half-brothers, you see, but my parents were half-siblings, which counts for a lot in our house.
  • Moral Myopia: The Ardeth Highborn are not generally on the side of ill, yet are very blind to the things they do to others.


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Highborn

    Adric 

Adric of Ardeth

Lord Ardeth of Omiroth

The lord of Omiroth seemed to have brought a great light into the hall, as if at the rising of the full moon that was the emblem of his house. It shone bone-deep through his clothes, through his very flesh. But no, thought Rue, also staring: it must only be that snow-white hair. And yet, and yet…
Rue
  • Diplomatic Impunity (Downplayed): Adric was a diplomat in his youth. The Lawful Lie is granted to singers… and some diplomats.
  • Functional Addict: Adric has a stash of exotic drugs from Poison Courts of the Central Lands that he's dependent on. He's still a pretty good lord through.
    Torisen: You and your damned drugs Have you ever tried to live without them?
    Adric: Why should I?
  • Interspecies Romance (Implied): Jame wonders if this might be going on with him and his Whinno-hir, Brithany.
    Jame: [The Whinno-hir ability to shapeshift] does make one wonder, though, about Lord Ardeth's long relationship with Brithany, Bel's sister.
  • The Mentor/The Svengali: To Torisen. Adric is The Mentor at his best and The Svengali at his worst, and most of the time he's somewhere realistically inbetween. He takes the 15-year-old boy in and raises and trains him to take his rightful place when he comes of age at 27. Of course, he expects favors in return. Torisen owes Adric so much, but he really resents him too, yet he still loves him…
  • Mystical White Hair: He's old enough now that his hair would be white no matter what, but he was born with the white hair of many Shanir.
    • Hide Your Otherness: He dyed his hair brown when he was younger, so he wouldn't be known as a Shanir.
    Adric: Mine was stained a fairly handsome shade of brown from the day it first grew until my ninetieth birthday.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: All of his sons but his youngest, Pereden, died in the White Hills.
    Adric: He is the child of my old age, my last son. All the others died in the White Hills, fighting for your father. Sometimes I wish I had died with them.
  • Parental Favoritism: To Pereden. Justified, since his other sons are dead.
  • Scatterbrained Senior: He suddenly turns this direction in Honor's Paradox.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: In Dark of the Moon, he gives Torisen a Disappointed in You moment after Torisen won't bind Kindrie.

    Adiraina 

Lady Adiraina of Ardeth

Ardeth Matriarch

  • Blind Seer (Varient): Adiraina doesn't need see the future, but she sees bloodlines. She lost her sight as a teenager when she developed the blood-sight. By obtaining blood samples, she determines that Jame and Torisen are full twins despite their different ages.
    Karidia: Worth your eyes, was it? All right, all right: we don't know if developing the blood-sight caused your blindness: they just happened at the same time.
  • Eyeless Face (Downplayed): Like all Highborn ladies, Adiraina wears a mask. Since she's blind, her mask has no eyeholes, and the "eyes" are just embroidered on. It makes her a bit more unnerving.
  • Grande Dame: Not the classicist version of this trope, since just being Kencyr changes the trope somewhat, but Adiraina falls somewhere on the spectrum.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: What she has to say about Brenwyr and Aerulan's banner—it's not what Jame thinks, but it's hard to argue she's wrong.
    Adiraina: Brenwyr will be stronger still when she finally lets Aerulan go. To remember the dead, to mourn them, yes, but not to embrace them. Let the living go with life.
  • The Matchmaker: The most obsessed of the matriarchs about arranging pairings for Jame and Torisen (with eligible Ardeth, naturally).
    • Slipping a Mickey: In To Ride a Rathorn, Adiraina gives Torisen wine with an aphrodisiac in it, hoping to make it easier to match him with an Ardeth girl. It doesn't work like that, and Torisen ends up with a Crashing Through the Harem scene, being chased through the Women's Halls by a horde of women. Kirien later Lampshades it:
      Kirien: I hear that Adiraina even tried to slip him an aphrodisiac.
      Kindrie: What?
      Kirien: [laughs] Oh, not for herself.
  • Parental Substitute: Brenwyr to Adiraina. They're in-laws… kind of (Adiraina's lover's granddaughter was Brenwyr's lover) and Brenwyr calls Adiraina "grandmother-kin". After the Knorth Massacre, Adiraina took Brenwyr under her wing. Adiraina calls Brenwyr her "fosterling", and Jame calls her her "adopted daughter".
  • Schoolgirl Lesbians: Though Adiraina is a very old woman now, she and Kinzi were this back in the day—their sister-kinship was forged as young girls in the Womens' Halls. Adiraina remembers this time in their lives very fondly.

    Aden 

Ran Aden Smooth-face of Ardeth

Senior Ardeth randon; Ardeth war-leader and Randon Council member

Adric's younger brother.
  • Muggle Born of Mages: The Ardeth are the one house where being Shanir is considered a good thing… and Aden isn't one.
    Timmon: He seems to think that we [Shanir] have an unfair advantage over him. In my house, that could be true.
  • Nepotism: Jame isn't the only person to have ever got perks from having a lord as a brother.
    Timmon: Aden owes his internal house rank largely to being Grandfather's younger brother.
  • Tyrant Takes the Helm/The Neidermeyer: Aden's brief reign as the temporary Commandant of Tentir.

    Pereden 

Pereden Proud-prance of Ardeth

Commander of the Southern Host

Pereden: [almost shrieking] You lied to him! You stole his love! Now you're his son, not me.
Timmon: Peri, that's not true…
Pereden: True! You want the truth? You never gave me a scrap of authority you didn't have to. You never trusted me, so neither did your officers. And when they became mine, when I finally got command, did they give me their loyalty? No! They still reported to you, still told me at every turn how the great Torisen would do this or that. Damn.
Adric's youngest son, and Commander of the Southern Host during the Battle of the Cataracts.
  • Abusive Parent: To Drie, his bastard son
    Timmon: Did you know that, in addition to being my half-brother, Drie used to be my whipping boy? Whenever I did anything wrong, he was punished for it. Father used to watch and laugh, but it annoyed him too, because Drie just seemed to drift away from the pain. He was poor sport, Father said, but it made me uncomfortable enough so that I would behave, at least for a while. What we didn’t know was that Drie had formed a bond with a huge, old carp in Omiroth’s pond. Whenever he was beaten on my behalf, that’s where he sent his mind, into the deep, murky water, out of touch, beyond pain. I don’t know how Father found out. The next time I misbehaved, though, he made Drie catch that fish and eat it, raw. Drie wasn’t the same after that. He wouldn’t swim, although he had loved to before, and he would cry when whipped. Father was delighted.
  • Brother–Sister Incest: He and his half-sister Distan were consorts. The Ardeth are the only house who still inbreed, because they're the only ones who still like Shanir.
    Timmon: I may have older half-brothers, you see, but my parents were half-siblings, which counts for a lot in our house. [grins] Are you shocked?
  • Charm Person: It's believed that he, like his son, has Shanir powers something like this.
  • Did Not Die That Way: Torisen lies to Adric about how his son died, to protect Adric's good opinion of both Torisen and Pereden
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: When he becomes commander of the Southern Host, nobody respects him—and it pisses him off.
  • Foil: To Genjar—they were the two favorite sons of other houses who were Commanders of the Southern Host in the absence of a Knorth lordan, and they both lead the Host to horrible defeats.
  • General Failure: He lead the Southern Host to a horrible defeat.
  • Nepotism: He was never qualified to lead the Southern Host; it was a political assignment to please Adric.
  • Never My Fault: He claims that the Host's defeat isn't his fault—it's the officers'.
    Pereden: But I knew I could turn it, I knew, and I would have, too, if those precious officers of yours—yes, and the troops too—hadn't failed me.
  • Really Gets Around: He's infamous among the randon for bedding Kendar.
    Coman sergeant: I just hope he doesn't have his father's taste for the Kendar. That damned Pereden could charm his way into any bed, for the sheer deviltry of it.
  • The Resenter: To Torisen.
  • The Un-Favourite: An interesting example. Torisen absolutely believes that Pereden is Adric's favorite son. Pereden absolutely believes that Torisen, in being Like a Son to Adric, has stolen his father's love and is now the favorite.
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    Distan 

Lady Distan of Ardeth

Adric's daughter, Pereden's consort, and Timmon's mother.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parent: She tells her son that he needs to try harder to bed Jame—in front of Jame. Timmon is mortified.
    Distan: Has she told you [who her mother was]?
    Timmon: [uncomfortable] No, Mother. We aren't on those terms.
    Distan: Then try harder. Adiraina swears that her bloodlines are pure, appearances notwithstanding. Someone has to bed her. It might as well be you.
    Timmon: [face burning] Yes, Mother.
  • Brother–Sister Incest: She and his half-brother Pereden were consorts. The Ardeth are the only house who still inbreed, because they're the only ones who still like Shanir.
    Timmon: I may have older half-brothers, you see, but my parents were half-siblings, which counts for a lot in our house. [grins] Are you shocked?
  • Meaningful Name: The name Distan is almost certainly based off the word disdain.
  • Mother Makes You King (Implied): Distan seems to be thinking like this—Timmon says being the next Lord Ardeth sounds like too much work, but his mother has ambitions for him.
    Adiraina: To my mind, the boy is a bit frivolous and his mother over-ambitious;
  • Pink Means Feminine
    Lady Distan wore a damask travel cloak trimmed with pink fur over a rippling peach gown. Head to foot, she seemed all the hues and fragrances of a walking rose garden, yet so proud and sleek as to put that lovely flower to shame.
  • Proper Lady: A proper Highborn lady
  • Single-Target Sexuality (Downplayed): It sounds like Pereden may have been this to her. The same definitely wasn't true in reverse, which clearly hurts her—and so she takes it out on Drie.
    Distan: Pereden was the perfect man, the perfect mate. I could never have given myself to any one else, and have to no one since.

    Timmon 

Timmon of Ardeth

Ardeth Lordan

Jame: You're shaping up into something interesting; and no, I don't mean sexually.
Timmon: Damn.
Adric's grandson, and Distan and Pereden's son. A randon cadet.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Timmon is fairly clever and talented, but very lazy, often Skipping School
  • Broken Pedestal: Timmon has one for his father, Pereden.
    Timmon: Would a truly great man do that? I don’t know. I’m confused. Tentir has made me question most of what I used to believe.
  • Charm Person: He has Shanir powers something like this.

  • Derailing Love Interest (Subverted): This trope is played in a couple different ways. All the way through To Ride a Rathorn, Timmon is hits on Jame very hard, and is clearly much more into her than she's into him. He's also very plainly flawed from the beginning. In Bound in Blood, he gets a little… weirder about it, and it all culminates in an Entitled to Have You Attempted Rape scene… or what appears to be one. It's actually something rather different, and its brilliantly subverted both in-universe and out, using the expectation of Derailing Love Interest to make it believable until the truth is revealed. As a love interest, Timmon was actually derailed a ways back, when Jame kisses Torisen. Over the course of the next few books, he and Jame stay friends and Timmon continues to develop as a character, and though he is flawed, he's never written off as a flat-out jerkass.
  • Handsome Lech (Zigzagged): He at first seems like this, although he character develops at least partly out of it, and how much he seems like this varies.
  • Noble Male, Roguish Male (Zigzagged): At first glance, friendly, fine-featured Timmon looks like the Noble Male, and surly, burly Gorbel looks like the Roguish Male. But the trope is slowly zigzagged. As you get to know them, Timmon turns out Brilliant, but Lazy, and Gorbel to be hardworking and driven, and quite honorable. Timmon's also kind of a slut, while Gorbel never shows interest in anyone. So in the end, even though Timmon is a good diplomat and Gorbel is a good hunter, they're both Rounded Character, and more complex and multifaceted than the simple Noble Male, Roguish Male dichotomy.
  • Operation: Jealousy: He gets with Narsa largely in an attempt to make Jame jealous. Much to Jame's annoyance, it actually kind of works and she is kind of jealous—though not jealous enough to do anything about it, and she's annoyed at Timmon for pulling it, too. And Narsa thoroughly Deconstructes the trope by the time they're done.
  • Pretty Boy: Timmon is the epitome of the slender, fine-featured build of Highborn. He also has Shanir powers that play into this.
    He waited, elegantly poised in a nimbus of light that illuminated his golden locks and finely drawn features. No question about it: Ardeth's young heir was handsome, verging on gorgeous.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: He looks enough like his father that Torisen think he's him when he first sees Timmon. As his grandpa drifts into senility, he begins calling Timmon "Pereden".
  • Unequal Pairing: He forms one with Narsa during their dalliance. He's Highborn and Shanir, and she's Kendar and… not Shanir.
    Jame: Look. If you don't like what he's doing to you, don't let him do it.
    Narsa: D'you think it's that easy to say "no"?

    Dari 

Dari of Ardeth

Timmon's cousin, Adric's grandson, who wants to be the next Lord Ardeth.
  • Leader Wannabe: He really wants to be the next Lord Ardeth. Timmon is Adric's favorite, and Dari knows he's not getting in that way, so in Honor's Paradox and The Sea of Time, he tries to get Torisen to make him lordan regent—effectively a lord.
    Timmon: Anyway, now he’s applied to the Highlord to be made lordan regent.
    Jame: He can override you and dethrone his lord that easily?
    Timmon: Only if the entire house and the Highlord agree. So far, Dari doesn’t have enough support.
  • You Need a Breath Mint: Dari is infamous for a gum condition of his. He suffers from horrible breath, like a rotten eel, and his teeth keep falling out and growing back.
    Adric: Dari, please. Your breath would stun a horse.


Kendar

    Drie 

Drie

Timmon's vacant-eyed Ardeth Drie, who was smiling to himself. If the Falconer hadn't been so distracted, he would have boxed the latter's ears for letting himself drift, as he often had before.
Pereden's bastard son, and Timmon's half-brother—an Ardeth randon cadet, and a member of his brother's ten-command.
  • Break the Cutie: Invoked by Pereden when Drie was younger—they figured out he was bound to a fish, and Pereden made him catch and eat that fish. Drie is deeply traumatized… until he meets a new fish.
    Timmon: What we didn't know was that Drie had formed a bond with a huge, old carp in Omiroth's pond. Whenever he was beaten on my behalf, that's where he sent his mind, into the deep, murky water, out of touch, beyond pain. I don't know how Father found out. The next time I misbehaved, though, he made Drie catch that fish and eat it, raw. Drie wasn't the same after that. He wouldn't swim, although he had loved to before, and he would cry when whipped.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: He seems off in his own world most of the time. Timmon calls him a "happy, half-awake boy".
  • Charm Person: He seems to have a little of these Shanir powers, like his father and brother—after an incident in Senethar class, Jame realizes he only ever does water flowing, and no one ever calls him on it.
    Who but Drie, she thought, could do things his own way and get away with it? Come to think of it, whatever the lesson, she had never seen him do anything except water flowing, and no one had ever called him on it. After his own fashion, he was as much a charmer as his master Timmon.
  • Divine Date/Did You Just Romance Cthulhu?: He becomes the Eaten One's lover.
  • A Taste of the Lash: Drie was treated as a literal whipping boy during Timmon's childhood. When Timmon's mother Distan wished to punish him, she would have Drie beaten in front of him. Aden, the Ardeth war-leader, attempts to do this again when he shows up at Tentir, and Timmon breaks his whip.
    Timmon: Did you know that, in addition to being my half-brother, Drie used to be my whipping boy? Whenever I did anything wrong, he was punished for it. Father used to watch and laugh, but it annoyed him too, because Drie just seemed to drift away from the pain. He was poor sport, Father said, but it made me uncomfortable enough so that I would behave, at least for a while.

    Narsa 

Narsa

She knew that Timmon had taken Narsa as a lover that summer in an attempt to make her, Jame, jealous and so she had been, a little; but Kendar females were so vulnerable to Highborn wiles that it was hard not to feel sorry for the girl.
Jame
An Ardeth randon cadet
  • Afraid of Doctors
    Timmon: Narsa didn't like healers.
  • Armor-Piercing Response: It was always clear the Narsa situation was never good, but the last time Jame talks to her, Narsa really highlights the truth of the matter.
    Jame: Does Timmon know?
    Narsa: Would it matter to him if he did? What have I ever been but a pastime to him until he could bed you?
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: To Timmon all the way
  • Driven to Suicide: After Timmon got her pregnant.
  • Hysterical Woman: Every time Jame talks to Narsa, Narsa is furious and crying.
    Jame: Please, Narsa. Put away that knife and let's talk sensibly.
    Narsa: I don't need sense. I have this. [Holds up Jame's scarf] You have to do what I say. [Tosses Jame the knife] And I say, "Kill me."
  • It Meant Something to Me: She's in love with Timmon; he thinks hooking up with her is fun.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: Narsa thinks there's a Betty and Veronica love triangle going on, with Jame as the exotic, mysterious, unattainable Veronica, who distracts Timmon from her, the unexceptional Betty who actually loves him. That's really not what's going on, but Narsa believes it is, and in her desperation she tries to kill Jame. Twice.
  • Unequal Pairing: She forms one with Timmon during their dalliance. He's Highborn, she's Kendar, he's Shanir, and she's… not.
    Jame: Look. If you don't like what he's doing to you, don't let him do it.
    Narsa: D'you think it's that easy to say "no"?
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