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

For the main character index, go here.

For Gerridon and Jamethiel Dream-Weaver, go here.

For Bane, go here.

the Knorth

"[A]nd welcome to our small but interestingly inbred family."
Torisen

The Knorth are the ruling house of the Kencyrath, and one of the nine major Kencyr houses. They, along with the Ardeth, are the only two houses that has not interbred with the others.

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Their traditional allies are the Ardeth and Jaran, and their cousins the Danior. The Knorth have feuds with the Caineron and Randir, which stem from the Caineron and Randir being powerful, ambitious houses that want to rule. In both cases there's some personal issues among their Highborn too.

The Knorth are known for being chosen by their God as the highlords… and being crazy.

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    As a house 
  • Alliterative Family: G names—Ganth, Greshan, Gerraint, Glendar, Gerridon… They've also got a lesser T thing going on—Torisen, Tieri, Telarien…
  • Ancestral Weapon: The Knorth heirloom sword, Kin-Slayer.
    • Draw Sword, Draw Blood: Kin-Slayer is portrayed as a weapon which doesn't want to be put in the scabbard without having killed someone first.
    • Named Weapon: Kin-Slayer. Yes, the family weapon is named Kin-Slayer. You've got to think What Did You Expect When You Named It ____?
    • Ring of Power: Ganth's ring, required to make the Knorth heirloom sword, Kin-Slayer, do its magic. If wielded by someone wearing the Knorth signet ring, it always strikes true in battle, and cuts through flesh and armor like butter. If the bearer isn't wearing the ring, it's just a large, somewhat unwieldy sword.
  • Animal Motif: The rathorn
    • Battlecry: Their rathorn battle cry, which is terrifying.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: The modern Knorth would easily qualify if they hadn't been so screwed up earlier that they near managed to destroy themselves a generation before (though they did have outside help).
  • Divine Right of Kings: The Knorth were made Highlord by their God, and while everyone hates their God, they do basically obey him.
  • Impoverished Patrician: They're the Highlords of the Kencyrath, and have been for thirty millennia… and by the beginning of Bound in Blood, Torisen is worried about feeding his people through the winter.
  • In the Blood: A predisposition to madness—and, as Keral points out, to incest.
    Keral: The taint is in the blood, and the attraction.
  • The Oathbreakers: After the White Hills, when Ganth went into exile, some of his Kendar stayed with the Host, refusing to follow him. At the time, the Kencyrath hated Ganth so much that other lords were willing to bend the ultra-strict honor rules to accommodate this. Other houses are basically ok with them, and even Tori is ok with them. But other Knorth Kendar—the ones who did follow Ganth into exile—resent them and see them as traitors.
  • Personal Seal: The Knorth ring
  • Royal Inbreeding: They keep the bloodlines pure partly because of some rather vague divine mandate. Twincest used to be a family tradition.
    Timmon: In the Knorth, don't twins often mate?
    Jame: Not since Gerridon and Jamethiel Dream-weaver.
    • Now they can't breed with other houses for a much more immediate reason: If anyone got their hands on a half-Knorth child, the house of child's other half would probably kill all the the remaining pure Knorth and take power themselves.
      Jame: If any house gets a half-Knorth heir out of either one of us, how long d'you think we'll last?
  • Royally Screwed Up: Madness runs in their family. It's said that it entered their bloodlines around the time Glendar adopted the rathorn as their sigil—and rathorns are associated with madness.
    Torisen: As for our reputation, everyone knows we Knorth are as mad as a gelded rathorn, to use Harn's elegant phrase.
  • Ruling Family Massacre: The Knorth Massacre. Only Ganth was intentionally not killed.
  • Uncanny Family Resemblance: Silver-gray eyes are a must. Dark hair too, unless it's Shanir white. Even modern family member, like Ganth and Aerulan, look just like those from three thousand years ago, like Jamethiel Dream-Weaver.
    All had the distinctive Knorth features—silver-gray eyes under arched brows; high, sharp cheekbones; obstinate chins—


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Highborn

Current generation

    Jame 

Lady Jamethiel Priest's-bane of Knorth

Knorth Lordan

"Your friend Marc warned me that I would probably find the Riverland reduced to rubble and you in the midst of it, looking apologetic."
Torisen
The Heroine of the series.
  • Action Girl: Jame is seriously badass and has a bias towards action, toward doing things rather than holding back, to meeting challenges head-on.
  • A-Cup Angst: She's so flat that she got mistaken for a boy by her master in the Thieves' Guild, and he wasn't convinced otherwise by her stripping naked to the waist in front of him. He's an old man with very poor sight, but still. On the other hand, Melissand and Timmon (who have better eyesight, and both like her) both say no, she doesn't really look like a boy.
  • Anti-Hero: Of the type II "Disney Anti Hero" type, mostly. Jame has an intensely strong sense of right and honor. On the other hand, she can be shockingly cold and careless of others at times, and very self-centered; furthermore, she constantly knows how easy it would be to Fall, to give into the temptations of the Darkness that raised her, to do evil things without restraint.
  • Apocalypse Maiden: She is destruction.
    Adiraina: You are also a nemesis but not the Nemesis, for there is no third to balance you. I think, if you were to become your brother's mate, you would destroy him. I think you may anyway. Then will come chaos, far, far worse than anything that has ever happened before, worse even than the Fall, and everything will fall apart. Before that, better that you should die…
  • Author Avatar: In a way. Hodgell has described Jame as her "alter ego" several times, including in the 'About The Author' paragraph in God Stalk. However, Jame is quite different from Hodgell herself; in many ways, she is the dark mirror to her, the Hyde to her Jekyll, the Shadow Archetype. In fact, at first, Hodgell couldn't write from Jame's point-of-view at all, and had to create other viewpoint characters for the short stories "Child of Darkness" and "Stranger Blood," observing her from outside. In the hands of a lesser writer, Jame could have been such a Canon Sue, the cool, scary person the author wished she could be herself.
  • Badass Creed:
    If I want, I will learn.
    If I want, I will fight.
    If I want, I will live.
    And I want.
    And I will.
  • Berserk Button: Don't question Jame's honor or stand in its way, and don't threaten her friends and especially those she feels responsible for.
  • Bifauxnen: Always being mistaken for a boy, and Even the Girls Want Her
    • Even the Girls Want Her: Namely Kithra, Melissand, probably Prid, and maybe Ma and Da (though we think they were just teasing her). But to be fair, Melissand, Ma, and Da were all kinda gay to begin with.
      Melissand: In fact, come back no matter what you decide.
      Jame: M'lady, you'd only be disappointed. Contrary to popular opinion, I am not a boy.
      Melissand: My darling goose, whoever said you were?
  • Bifauxnen and Lad-ette: Jame and Brier. Both bifauxnens, both badasses, both androgynous… and still quite different from each other. They have a Red Oni, Blue Oni thing.
  • Blessed with Suck: Shanir (magical) abilities got her cast out of her home at age seven, she could accidentally reap others' souls, and she has to stop others from contact with her blood lest they be bound to her mind, body and soul until death and perhaps beyond.
  • Bond Creature: At least two, possibly three:
    • Jorin, the blind ounce; bond established in God Stalk
    • Death's-head, the rathorn colt; blood bond, established in To Ride A Rathorn
    • (possible): the Darkling wyrm. If (it's a big "if") there is a bond, it's a blood bond and is established in Bound In Blood
  • Cat Girl: Jame is very cat-like, although the only physical similarities are her clawed hands and her dangerous purring voice when aroused—as well as the good night vision of all Kencyr. She also has the balance and daring of a cat, making light of running across rooftops, standing on the backs of kitchen chairs, crossing tightropes, and much else. (The fact that she has a Non-Human Sidekick hunting cat also helps.)
  • Chosen Conception Partner: A strange variation of this trope. Because the Merikit adore Jame, half a dozen pregnant Merikit women claim that she is the father of their unborn children. (Most of them she doesn't even know, except one, who's her wyf's grandma. And she didn't sleep with any of them.) In their culture, this is totally allowed, and it's not The Baby Trap or anything, because they're not asking anything of Jame. But by Merikit custom, she be their legal father once they're born.
    Gran Cyd: We are all agreed: any child conceived on this Winter's Day or Night will also be credited to you, and worth a right-hand braid each.
  • Compelling Voice: Jame develops the ability to command even the powerful, if sufficiently angered.
  • Conspicuous Gloves: Jame has retractable claws instead of nails, and always wears slitted gloves to hide the claws while making them available without shredding the gloves again.
    Coman instructress: If those gloves make you so clumsy, why don't you take them off?
    Jame: I prefer not to.
    Coman instructress: Don't be silly. I insist.
    Jame: So do I.
  • Cute Bruiser: Small, slim, and frequently covered in debris from the fights.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Raised in exile by an Ax-Crazy father, Jame got kicked out at age seven after showing her Shanir nature by developing claws. She ran straight into minions of the Big Bad and was raised in his house.
  • Dark Is Not Evil
  • Easy Amnesia: Jame enters the first book at the approximate age of eighteen, not remembering a thing since the time, at age seven when her father cast her out of his keep to die. However, all of the skills she learned during that time remain. Over the course of the books so far, a fare deal of that time have floated to the surface, but parts of it still remains hidden to her. It's likely that magical/supernatural reasons are behind the amnesia, and it may or may not have been deliberately caused.
  • Ensign Newbie: In To Ride a Rathorn. Despite being the randon (officer) cadet with probably the least military knowledge in the whole school, she's appointed Master Ten of her house's cadets (approx 90 cadets) due to her social rank (she's the sister of the Highlord), and has absolutely no idea what to do.
  • Evil Twin (Discussed): Their father claims she's this to Torisen. Jame wants to Defy the trope, but she sometimes fears it's true.
    Ganth: And your Shanir twin, your darker half. Why do you think I drove her out, boy? Now she returns, to rival, to destroy you.
  • Fight Magnet: Jame. For some she is an easily underestimated target: a skinny, deceptively weak-looking girl. For some she is a freak: a female Highborn who goes with her face uncovered and isn't safely sequestered and controlled in the Women's World. For some more it's due to antipathy against her house and her brother. Jame's friend Darinby Lampshades it in God Stalk, and she recalls his words many times in the latter books.
    Darinby: That, admittedly, is a problem, but it's one I expect you'll have all your life. Very few men are ever going to give someone as fragile-looking as you her due in anything. That may be one reason why Bortis can't accept what happened to him: even if you didn't wield the knife that maimed him, you were there, you were the cause. For men like him, Talisman, you're a baited trap. They'll never be warned off because they can't admit to any danger.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Jame and Gorbel, although he hides it. Even though his father wants nothing more than for Jame to be killed or ruined, he refuses to kill Jame even when she begs for it.
  • Forceful Kiss: Receives them from both Dally and Bane in God Stalk, and more disturbingly there's a flashback in To Ride a Rathorn of her father kissing her like that when she was seven years old.
  • Forgets to Eat: Jame rarely remembers to eat or pack food, and is skinny as a rail with ribs showing. Justified in that the mutant vegetables she had to eat growing up would put anyone off food. Rue tries her best to keep Jame eating.
    Timmon: No one would mistake you for a boy, but I can count every one of your ribs. You really should eat more.
    Jame: So everyone tells me, but I think my sense of taste was permanently damaged in the Haunted Lands. How would you like to dine day after day on whimpering vegetables?
    Timmon: Not much. Did they really?
    Jame: When they weren't groaning or screaming, and the potatoes' eyes followed you reproachfully around the room. We won't even discuss the cabbage heads or what was in them.
  • Fully-Clothed Nudity: Jame refuses to wear the traditional mask of Highborn women. In her early days at Tentir, this makes her peers so uncomfortable they can barely look her in the face.
  • Given Name Reveal: Her full name isn't revealed until two thirds for the way through the first book. In-story, she gets another one: for the first four books she spends amongst the Kencyrath, people constantly call her "Jameth," despite her attempts to correct them to "Jame." Although this annoys her, she doesn't tell them what her full name is for more than a year in-universe, because she thinks it would cause too much trouble. Only when she graduates from Tentir—and thus has a place among the Kencyrath that she can live with—does she use her full name.
    Jame: For the last time, my name is not Jameth. It's Jame, short for Jamethiel. Jamethiel Priest's-bane of Knorth.
  • Half-Identical Twins: Jame and Tori look really similar. Jame is quite androgynous, and Tori is a tad androgynous too—but they're ten years apart in age, and they're still frequently mistaken for each other.
  • Hard Head: Though she does suffer ill effects in God Stalk when she's hit with an iron-shod club, in general Jame gets whacked around the head and knocked unconscious multiple times per novel without lasting damage due to her race's Healing Factor and her thick head of hair. Lampshaded in Seeker's Mask:
    Ancestors be praised for long hair was her first dazed thought thereafter. Once again, the thick, coiled braid under her cap had saved her skull from fracture or worse.
  • I Have Many Names: Jame is given so many names. Her real name is Jamethiel, and Jame for short. But Jamethiel is an ill-fated name to give anyone because of the infamy of its last bearer, and so people try and back-form the nickname Jame to Jameth, since it's the only name in her culture with the nickname Jame that most people would chose to name their daughter. Jame is called Talisman in the Thieves' Guild, the B'tyrr (which also means talisman or luck-bringer) as a tavern dancer, and Jamie by her old tutor. Her epithets include Priest's-bane and Lordan of Ivory, and—the old one from her father—Child of Darkness.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Jame is very ashamed and shy about her claws—understandable since they (as incontrovertible evidence of her Shanir weirdness) were what got her thrown out by her father at age 7. In To Ride a Rathorn though, she starts to accept her claws at Tentir, thanks to a combination of Kendar practicality regarding weapons and her new teacher, Bear.
  • Impossible Theft: Of the Peacock Gloves
  • Last of Her Kind: The last pure-blooded female of the Knorth house.
  • Long-Lost Relative: Jame and Torisen to each other. They were separated when they were 7, and meet again when Jame is about 20 and Torisen is about 30.
  • Modest Royalty: In fact, she's quite frequently in little more than rags. The Knorth are very, very poor, for one thing, but also Jame is bad at taking care of herself. Rue spends a lot of time trying to get Jame to dress and look better, for the sake of the pride of the Knorth cadets.
  • Rapunzel Hair: She normally keeps it under a cap, but without that it's "well below her waist," heavy, and "like a rain of blue-shot silk." The hair partially Justifies the fact that a Tap on the Head rarely results in more than temporary unconsciousness. In the fourth and fifth books, at Tentir, Jame is pressured to cut it because someone could grab it in a fight. She knows they're right but she refuses because she considers it her "only good feature."
  • Rebellious Princess: Jame is the Highlord's sister, and fits poorly into the role expected. However, this is more of a side-effect of Rags to Royalty; the role chafes, even though she spends her first winter trying to make it work.
  • Roof Hopping: Her preferred method of travel in Tai-tastigon.
  • Royal Blood/Rags to Royalty: Jame's father, having renounced his titles, never told Jame that she was of the Kencyr "royal" house, the Knorth. Jame has no real idea, at first, of how highly born she is. She thinks she's the ragtag, outcast daughter of some minor lord. She realizes it in pieces during the first two books.
  • Scars Are Forever: Jame's left cheek is permanently scarred after Seeker's Mask.
  • Screaming Warrior: Jame uses the Knorth battle-cry, a rathorn's scream, frequently as she leaps into the fray.
  • Sexier Alter Ego: Jame's tavern dancer persona in God Stalk, "the B'tyrr". The Senetha costume she wears is quite revealing, for one thing, and the the dances incorporate seductive (and potentially soul-ripping) magic.
  • Shotgun Wedding: Jame and Prid, though not for the normal reasons; Prid isn't pregnant, but it is rumored she's not a virgin. The wedding is arranged by Prid's grandparents to save Prid from dishonor until Hatch finishes his year as the Earth Wife's Favorite and can marry her. Prid is an Unwanted Spouse to Jame, who suggests that they just get divorced, but Prid says no.
  • Slasher Smile: A sign of Jame's darkest side.
    P. C. Hodgell: In a way, everything about Jame grew out of that chilling smile.
  • There Was a Door: Jame has a preference for non-traditional ways of getting around, encouraged by her time in the Thieves' Guild in Tai-tastigon and her time with the Cloudies. Lampshaded by Sheth Sharp-Tongue, Commandant of Tentir: "Most people use the door."
    Jame: As for being trapped anywhere… [points over her shoulder]
    Graykin: [Blanches] Oh, no.
    Jame: Oh, but yes. Where there's a window, there's always a way.
  • Tomboy with a Girly Streak: Jame comes across as androgynous to readers, and downright masculine to many in-universe. But she adamantly refuses to cut her long hair, her one feminine feature.
  • Tranquil Fury: When she has a Berserker flare, Jame usually enters a state of Tranquil Fury that she nonetheless cannot entirely control and is often profoundly glad when someone snaps her out of.
  • Twincest: Jame and Torisen are shaping up to be twincestuous, through they're still in the UST phase right now. In their case, twincest is symbolic of self-acceptance. The story plays with the idea of twins as foils, mirrors, other halves of each other. One of the big things keeping them apart is that Jame is Shanir—and more importantly, so is Tori, but he denies it. She reminds him of this, and that's what really bothers him: Not even really that this trait is present in her, but how it's present in himself. To become your twin's lover, you must first learn to love—or at least accept—yourself.
  • Twin Desynch: When they were children Jame and Tori were very close, and physically they were almost indistinguishable as prepubescent Half-Identical Twins. They crossed easily and comfortably into each other's dreams. And then they were separated when they were 7. By the time of the books, they're a world apart—they've lived incredibly different lives, are 10 years apart in age, and torn apart by a huge amount of emotional baggage. But now, the trope is being Inverted: After being reunited, they're (very) slowly starting to synch up again, primarily in the dreamscape.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension:
    • All the way through God Stalk, Jame and Bane seen on the verge of Slap-Slap-Kiss. They never quite do. He's Jame's Shadow Archetype and her attraction to him is symbolic of the darker side of her own nature, which tugs at her, but which she is determined not to give in to.
    • She has UST with Tori, including various fantasies, an Erotic Dream or two, and The Big Damn Kiss in Mother Ragga's house. Tori is still in denial through, thanks to a ton of emotional baggage.
  • Waif-Fu: Jame is a slight girl who can go toe-to-toe against or best everyone she comes up against. Twelve years training under an undead, 3000-year old martial arts master might have something to do with that.
    • Deconstructed a little when she gets to Tentir. Tirandys was still her Senethari, and that's still worth a lot, but early in her training, she spars with Brier, and Brier beats the crap out of her, making Jame realize that she got by on just being Kencyr up until then, and that that isn't going to work here.
      Jame: Just out of curiosity, were you trying to kill me?
      Brier: Trinity, no. I'd never fought a Highborn before, much less a lady. I had no idea you were so fragile.
      Jame: [pause] I've been a fool. An arrogant one, at that. Thank you, Brier Iron-thorn. You've already taught me an invaluable lesson, and cheap at the price. Just the same, I've never had a tooth knocked out before. How long does it usually take to grow a new one?
  • Walking Disaster Area/Person of Mass Destruction: She breaks stuff. Big stuff, like buildings, sometimes. A deity, that one time. Without meaning to.
  • Weirdness Magnet
  • What Did You Expect When You Named It ____?: Seriously Ganth.
  • Willfully Weak: In God Stalk, she deliberately shifts her knife to her left hand when Scramp challenges her, wanting to give him a chance.
  • Year Outside, Hour Inside: Time passes more slowly in the Master's House, where Jame was raised between age 7 and 17ish. Ten years spent there has twenty passed in the outside world, and thus Jame is physically 20 or so by now while her twin brother is about 30.

    Torisen 

Torisen Black Lord of Knorth

Lord Knorth of Gothregor; Highlord of the Kencyrath

Truly, he had the dark, Knorth glamour that made him a presence even in the room's growing dusk.
Sheth
Jame's twin brother, Highlord of the Kencyrath, and the Deuteragonist of the series.
  • Altar Diplomacy: Torisen agreed to take Kallystine as his consort before he ever met her—he just needed to do something to make Caldane not kill him.
  • Anti-Hero: Torisen is trying his damnedest to be a good lord and leader of his people... but he's so overwhelmed by fighting his own inner demons he's barely holding it together. He screws up, lashes out at his sister, doesn't sleep for a week, and listens to his late, mad father whispering in his ear.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Raised in exile by an Ax-Crazy father, Torisen ran away at age fifteen, in fear that his father would eventually kill him. He went to the Riverland, then Kothifir, and joined the Southern Host, where he ended up being captured and extensively tortured by savages during a war. The mysterious elements of the Dark and Troubled Past trope are played with. To Jame, the mysterious part is what happened to him as a young man at Urakarn, because she was with him for his childhood. To Torisen's friends, who were there with him at Urakarn, it's what happened to him as a child at that's mysterious.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Torisen Black Lord, called such because he wears black so often people barely recognized him wearing anything else. But not evil.
  • Destructive Romance (Implied): By the time we meet them, Torisen is actively avoiding Kallystine and waiting for their contract to expire, but from how Torisen mentions her, it's implied that their relationship was something like this a year or two back. Kallystine was trying her hardest to seduce Torisen for political reasons. Torisen knew this perfectly well, and he came to hate and resent her… but it seems she did managed to seduce him for short periods of time anyways. The relationship screwed Tori up, teaching him to loathe and mistrust his own attraction. It's implied Kallystine may have been using Love Potions on him, which gives the whole thing an extra creepy layer of magical rape to it.
    Torisen: Trinity knows, after a night with Kallystine I've often considered [cutting my own throat] on general principles.
    Adric: And yet I'm told that she is very beautiful.
    Torisen: So is a gilded sand viper.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Torisen, Harn, Rowan, Burr, and Rose Iron-thorn were all at Urakarn together. They were captured and tortured; they escaped and fled into the Wastes. Rose died, but Torisen now considers Harn, Rowan, and Burr his closest friends, and the few people he truly trusts.
  • Half-Identical Twins: Jame and Torisen look really similar. Jame is quite androgynous, and Torisen is a tad androgynous too—but they're ten years apart in age, and they're still frequently mistaken for each other. Eventually Torisen tries to defy the trope by growing a beard.
  • Hero Antagonist: Torisen is definitely one of the heroes. But he does spend a fair amount of time standing in opposition to Jame, who's the protagonist.
  • I Am Who?: Torisen is a Shanir, and one of the Tyr-ridan, the avatar of Torrigion. He doesn't know this—at least not consciously—and Jame and Kindrie agree he's not ready.
  • The Insomniac (Invoked): At his worst, he sometimes stays awake for days—even weeks—on end to avoid Bad Dreams.
  • In the Blood: Torisen is terrified of inheriting the infamous Knorth madness that his father succumbed to.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Everyone refuses to tell him what's going on with Brandan and Aerulan's death banner. It doesn't seem like he is so far... but then again, doing things like staying awake for weeks on end certainly doesn't help.
    Dealing with the Women's World set his teeth on edge. Always, there was that unnerving sense of important things left unsaid, of being kept in the dark, out of control.
  • Long-Lost Relative: Jame and Torisen to each other. They were separated when they were 7, and meet again when Jame is about 20 and Torisen is about 30.
  • Modest Royalty: Torisen eschews pomp and circumstance most of the time, and prefers to wear plain black clothes just like his sister does. The black, in fact, becomes something of a trademark to the degree that he's not recognized at one point when he wears a red shirt. Burr, his manservant, tries to get Torisen to dress the part more often and occasionally succeeds.
  • Nothing but Skin and Bones
    [O]nly his servant Burr saw him naked to remark on the growing shadows between his ribs.
  • Oedipus Complex: He is fighting so hard to escape his father's shadow, to almost zero avail.
  • Officer and a Gentleman: Back when he was Commander of the Southern Host.
  • Only the Worthy May Pass: the Kenthiar is a silver collar which, legend has it, only the true Highlord can wear. If it doesn't like you, it decapitates you. Torisen's willingness to put it on is a good part of why he's accepted as Highlord despite having little proof otherwise of his claim.
  • Paralyzing Fear of Sexuality (Downplayed and Implied): It subtle, but Torisen is a little afraid of his own attraction to Jame. Completely Justified by his relationship with Kallystine. Kallystine was trying her hardest to seduce Torisen for political reasons. Torisen knew this perfectly well, and he hated and resented her… but it seems she did managed to seduce him for short periods of time despite this. It's implied she managed this by using Love Potions. This was the only past relationship Torisen's had, and so his only real experience with his own attraction was the result of being drugged and manipulated by someone he hated. As a result, even when he experiences organic attraction to Jame, it's partially makes him fear her more. (And to top it all off, Tori saw what his father's obsessive attraction to his mother did to him, and that doesn't help matters either.)
    His former consort had been adept at intoxicating the senses, but with an after-taste that had made him both loathe and mistrust his own passion.
  • Prematurely Grey-Haired: He's about 30, and already has some white hairs. Since the rest of his hair is jet-black, it really shows. Keep in mind that Highborn are long lived, and that according to Adric, having fully white hair isn't realistic until you're about 90.
  • Rage Against the Mentor (Downplayed): Torisen resists raging at Adric several several times, saying something pissy or raging at him in his head instead. This because (a) Torisen—unlike most protégés in this trope—is a grown man, and better in control of himself; and (b) Adric is a very old man, and fragile, and Torisen fears that too much might break him. But in To Ride a Rathorn, it bursts over and he yells "NO!" with such Shanir power that Adric has a small heart attack.
  • Rightful King Returns: In Torisen's backstory; he's definitely a bit of an Aragorn figure. Over a decade after his father renounced his titles and went into exile, Torisen arrived among his people, but passed as a relative of Lord Ardeth until he reached his majority at age 27, when he declared himself and took up his hereditary position. He's been Highlord for about three years or so when we first meet him. Deconstructed a little—Torisen talks about how the lords all liked the idea him being Highlord at first, after 31 years without one, but quickly became disillusioned.
    Torisen: When they acknowledged my claim three years ago, they said they wanted a leader, an impartial judge, but every one of them—yes, even Ardeth—thought that justice meant having things his own way. Now Caineron will promise them everything, or seem to. What's the alternative? A mad lord from a mad line who has only kept the peace and satisfied no one.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: The Knorth are very few in number, both Highborn and Kendar, and being Lord Knorth involves leading in battle and helping with the harvest.
  • Scars Are Forever: Torisen's hands are covered with a fine tracery of scars left by Karnid torturers after he was captured at Urakarn. They placed his hands in gloves of red-hot wire. Jame and his Kendar both call his scarred hands "beautiful," making them clearly Good Scars.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man (Downplayed): It's rather subtle, but Kindrie and Torisen. It shows most strongly when Kindrie—as a healer—needs Torisen to work through his emotional issues, and Torisen won't.
  • Twincest: Jame and Torisen are shaping up to be twincestuous, through they're still in the UST phase right now. In their case, twincest is symbolic of self-acceptance. The story plays with the idea of twins as foils, mirrors, other halves of each other. One of the big things keeping them apart is that Jame is Shanir—and more importantly, so is Tori, but he denies it. She reminds him of this, and that's what really bothers him: Not even really that this trait is present in her, but how it's present in himself. To become the lover of someone as similar to you as your twin, you must first learn to love—or at least accept—yourself.
  • Twin Desynch: When they were children Jame and Tori were very close, and physically they were almost indistinguishable as prepubescent Half-Identical Twins. They crossed easily and comfortably into each other's dreams. And then they were separated when they were 7. By the time of the books, they're a world apart—they've lived incredibly different lives, are 10 years apart in age, and torn apart by a huge amount of emotional baggage. But now, the trope is being Inverted: After being reunited, they're (very) slowly starting to synch up again, primarily in the dreamscape.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: With Jame, including an Erotic Dream or two, and The Big Damn Kiss in Mother Ragga's house. Tori is still in denial through, thanks to a ton of emotional baggage (his fear of and jealousy of Jame, among others). His UST with her is symbolic of his struggles with self-acceptance. Jame is the embodiment of the part of himself Torisen most hates and represses: His past, and his Shanir powers. And as much as those aspects of Jame really bother him, he does love her... and so sometimes he thinks he could almost accept her, those aspects and all. But that's when he gets into really messy territory, mentally and emotionally: If he can accept those things in her, can he still abhor them in himself?
  • You Are What You Hate/I Just Want to Be Normal: Torisen's trying very, very hard not to have to admit to himself that he has most of the same hated Shanir abilities as Jame, a fear of which was placed in him by their father (who was also a Shanir who denied and hated it). Torisen wants to be normal so badly, but it's not going to happen.

    Kindrie 

Kindrie Soul-Walker

"That's all right. I'll enjoy making a fair copy of this." He looked up through the fringe of his white hair with a quirky, almost shy smile. "It's good to be able to help."
Jame and Torisen's double-cousin, a Shanir healer.
  • Asexuality: Kindrie is completely asexual for the majority of the series. Subverted in The Gates of Tagmeth when he gets with Kirien.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Even with Torisen and Jame for contrast, Kindrie still takes the cake with the constant abuse he suffered at the Priests' College.
  • Healing Hands: Shanir healing is done by repairing damage in the person's soul image, which magically corresponds with their physical body and mind. This generally requires physical as well as psychic touch. Kindrie is phenomenally good at it; it's mentioned that at one point he nearly brought a sheepskin coat back to life.
  • Heroic Bastard: Everyone thinks he's an illegitimate child, which is a big deal in Highborn Kencyr society. Subverted when it's revealed that there was a contract for his birth.
  • Meaningful Name: P.C. Hodgell has said in interviews that she often comes up with names by thinking of a quality the character has and finding words to suit it, sometimes shifting them slightly to make a better name. Kindrie is based off the word kind.
  • The Medic: As a healing Shanir, this is generally the reason Kindrie is brought along.
  • Mind Rape: Kindrie suffers this at the hands of Rawneth. It is a large part of the training at the Priest's College at Wilden.
  • Mysterious Parent: Nobody knows who Kindrie's father was, although the astute reader can work it out way before Jame finds the proof in Bound in Blood. He takes the news remarkably well, considering.
  • Mysterious Waif (Gender Inverted): With his Mystical White Hair, strong Shanir powers, and mysterious origins, Kindrie is definitely this is Dark of the Moon and Seeker's Mask. He turns out to be a Chosen One, and an avatar of the second face of God—the only one of the three of them who was ever really unknown in that regard.
  • Mystical White Hair: Kindrie has the white hair of many powerful Shanir.
  • Nice Guy: Oh cinnamon roll Kindrie
    Kindrie: Yet there is good. Honor's Paradox can break us, or make us stronger while honor itself is our strength. And we are strong, despite everything.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man (Downplayed): It's rather subtle, but Kindrie and Torisen. It shows most strongly when Kindrie—as a healer—needs Torisen to work through his emotional issues, and Torisen won't.

    Trio tropes 
Tropes that Jame, Torisen, and Kindrie embody together.
  • Cain and Abel and Seth: Things with Jame and Torisen are messy as it is. And then it turns out they have a cousin they didn't know about.
  • The Chosen One (Variation): A Power Trio, the Chosen Three, the Tyr-ridan—three prophesied Shanir, each aligned with one of the three aspects of God, who are supposed to bring about the final battle with Perimal Darkling.
  • Freudian Trio:
    • Jame: The Id (instinct)
    • Torisen: The Ego (reasoning)
    • Kindrie: The Superego (who reconciles the other two)
  • Super Family Team: Jame and Tori are twins, and Kindrie is their double first cousin.note 
  • With a Friend and a Stranger: Jame and Tori knew each other when they were children, but now it's been a long time, and they have to get to know each other for who they are now. Meanwhile, neither has ever met Kindrie before, and they both meet him within a couple months of each other in Dark of the Moon and Seeker's Mask.
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Ancestors

    Ganth 

Ganth Gray Lord of Knorth

Lord Knorth of Gothregor; Highlord of the Kencyrath

"Destruction begins with love. So our father taught us. So our mother taught him. So he was doomed to dust and bitter death, all honor spent."
Torisen
Jame and Torisen's father, and Highlord before Torisen.
  • Abusive Parent: Take a look at Tori and Jame and remember the only reason Jame is as well-balanced as she seems is because she got away from him early—that's right, the twin that lived in Perimal Darkling, the heart of evil, is better adjusted.
    • Troubled Abuser: Ganth was abused himself, and he went on to abuse his own kids. He was beaten and broken again and again by his Trauma Conga Line life, and by the time his children were born, near the end of that life, he was a lost mess. Lampshaded by Trishien in The Sea of Time:
      Trishien: You always did hide behind your anger, Ganth. When you couldn't have what you wanted, you tried to tear down everything, at whatever cost to anyone else. You were hurt, by your brother, by your father, by life, so you hurt others.
    • Interestingly, he also partly Defied this trope. In "Among the Dead", he Forceful Kisses Jame because she's so like her mother—then he snaps out of it, is horrified by the Near-Rape Experience, and shouts "No. No! I am not my brother!" with a Punch a Wall. Shortly after, Keral taunts him, asking if he's raped his children like Greshan did him, and Ganth gets mad an throws down on that one, because Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil. And to his credit, that's one line he always stopped himself from crossing.
  • Catchphrase: "Destruction begins with love."
  • Dying Curse/I Have No Son!:
    The arrows wouldn't let Ganth fall. He was trapped with the agony that each breath cost him and the ever greater pain of a life finally and utterly come to ruin. They had all betrayed him, again and again and again: his people, his consort, even his son. Pain and light faded together, but into the long darkness of the unburnt dead he took his hatred and spent his last breath whispering it:
    "Damn you, boy, for deserting me. Faithless, honorless… I curse you and cast you out. Blood and bone, you are no child of mine…"
  • Love at First Sight: With Jamethiel.
    • Ganth definitely believes they were One True Love, although the story doesn't present them as such, and no one else really agrees with him.
      Ganth: You don't understand. What happened was fated.
      Trishien: Well, it was certainly fatal.
  • The Mourning After: He never gets over his consort mysteriously leaving.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Ganth is rather misogynistic. Jamethiel really did a number on him.
  • Posthumous Character: He died before the story starts, but he still plays a huge role in his children's lives.
  • Rape as Backstory: His elder brother used magic to rape him when they were young. Learning this goes a long way toward making his more sympathetic, both in the eyes of his children and the readers.
  • Stutter Stop: In "Hearts of Woven Shadow" set when Ganth is 18, we see he had a stutter. Later in his life he didn't, implying he got over it soon after his father and brother died and were no longer around to crush his confidence.
  • Shocking Defeat Legacy: In the White Hills, he lead the Northern Host against the Seven Kings. He wanted it to be a Roaring Rampage of Revenge because he believed they'd sent the assassins who massacred his family. In a horrific defeat. And it was all ultimately for nothing, because they hadn't send the assassins. It was so bad Ganth basically ran away after that.
  • Trauma Conga Line: His whole life was one. Let's see: His brother used his magic to rape him when he was young. He told his father, who called him a liar—and in Kencyr culture, the worst possible insult there is. His grandma—who loved him—knew, but didn't do anything. All of the women in his family—including that beloved grandma—were killed by assassins. He lead his people to war against who he thought sent the assassins, and suffered a shocking defeat. He became The Exile and ended up living in Mordor. For a little while it looked like he might have Earned His Happy Ending because Jamethiel—who he'd been in love with and haunted by for the past ten years—came to him and became his consort. But then he suffered Love Makes You Evil after his beloved consort left him without any explanation. His daughter turned out to Shanir, just like the rapist brother. His son left him. And the undead came, from beyond the Barrier, and kill him, and everyone left at the Keep
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Before his Trauma Conga Line life took its toll on him.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds
  • You Are What You Hate: Thanks to Greshan using his blood-binding abilities to rape Ganth when they were young, Ganth understandably abhors Shanir powers. Ganth himself is one—a blood-binder and berserker—but he never admitted it, even to himself. It was something of an Open Secret, in that plenty of others could see that Ganth was Shanir, and Ganth himself was the only one who persistently believed he wasn't.
  • You Remind Me of X: Jame reminds him of her mother. She always did, since birth, which he why he named her Jamethiel. After the Dream-weaver leaves, this resemblance drives him mad. (Well, he was already mad, but it drives him even further mad.)
    Ganth: You changeling, you impostor, how dare you be so much like her? How dare you! And yet, and yet, you are… so like.
  • 0% Approval Rating: Kind of Justified since his reign ended with him leading his people to horrible defeat the the White Hills, where the fathers and grandfathers of everyone who's alive to hate him now, were killed. However, 0% and 100% approval ratings are very thoroughly averted with the current lords, which kind of implies that Ganth might be a case of Historical Villain Upgrade.

    Greshan 

Greshan Greed-heart of Knorth

Knorth Lordan

Greshan lounged in the doorway. He reeked of the hunt, of sweat, blood, and offal, a filthy, gorgeously embroidered coat draped over one shoulder.
Ganth's elder brother.
  • Big Brother Bully: He raped Ganth when they were young.
  • The Caligula: Downplayed, but the author said he was inspired by Caligula in I, Claudius, and it shows.
  • Depraved Bisexual: He raped Ganth, and "enjoyed playing 'little fishies' with the scullery lads," but he was also seduced by Rawneth and had a daughter with a Kendar woman. (That daughter grew up to be Vant's mother.) He also once was interested in raping a horse (who, admittedly, was in the form of a beautiful woman at the time).
  • The Evil Prince: The Highlord's favorite son, lordan, and so horrible that Hallik thought it was worth it to kill him, even thought it cost him his own life.
  • Evil Uncle (Downplayed): He's one of the most seriously and straight-forwardly evil characters in the whole series, and he's Jame and Torisen's uncle—though downplayed in that Greshan was never an uncle in his lifetime. He was well over a decade dead by the time his siblings had children.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: His old coat is drenched in his blood, and so his spirit is trapped in it. When Graykin wears it too much, he gets possessed.
  • Posthumous Character: He died before Jame and Tori were even born.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: That's how we know he's evil, not just a jerkass.
  • Unholy Matrimony (Defied): Greshan wished to marry Rawneth, but they were stopped by the then-Knorth Matriarch Kinzi, who disapproved of Rawneth's ambitions.
    Trishien: They would have suited each other, I think, but what a lethal pairing.
  • Wonder Child: Ganth says so in "Hearts of Woven Shadows." His mother Telarien had a hard time with fertility and pregnancy, and so Greshan—by virtue of being the Highlord's much-wanted and long-awaited son—got away with just about everything.

    Tieri 

Tieri of Knorth

Ganth's younger sister.
  • Death by Childbirth: Tieri's own mother, Telarien, died giving birth to her. Tieri herself died giving birth to her son Kindrie.
  • Last of Her Kind/Sole Survivor: For 12 years, between the Knorth Massacre and when Tieri died in childbirth, she was—as far as she knew—the last Knorth.
  • Maternal Death? Blame the Child (Zigzagged): Her mother Telarien died giving birth to Tieri, and in "Hearts of Woven Shadow," Ganth says it's hard to tell whom Gerraint blamed most: Ganth (whose pregnancy weakened Telarien), Tieri (whose birth killed her) or himself (who, given Kencyr contraception, presumably asked her to have another child).
  • Old Man Marrying a Child (Logical Extreme): Gerraint contracts Tieri to Gerridon (who is immoral, and 3,000 years old, but doesn't look it) when she is one year old. (Although to be fair, they wait to consummate it until Tieri's older. If you do the math, Kindrie was conceived when Tieri was about 22.)
    Gerraint: However, there is my daughter Tieri…
    Ganth: Who is only a year old!
    Keral: Her age doesn't matter. Only her bloodlines. There are rooms in the Master's House where time barely crawls. He will retreat into one of them and await his… pleasure.
  • Posthumous Character: She died when Kindrie was born, many years before the books start.
  • Slut-Shamed: Tieri's legacy is like this. All most people know about her is that she died giving birth to a bastard. Because Highborn women can control contraception, having a bastard means she willfully misbred—a huge dishonor, much more so than just being a slut. In fact, Tieri really wasn't a slut at all, and her son wasn't a bastard: She was contracted to Gerridon (the baby's father) and in their culture, Kencyr honor obliges women to grimly obey the terms of their contracts, which means having sex with, and either bearing or not bearing children as the contract specifies. In this case, it specified a child.

    Gerraint 

Gerraint of Knorth

Lord Knorth of Gothregor; Highlord of the Kencyrath

Greshan, Ganth, and Tieri's father, and Highlord before Ganth
  • Abusive Parent: To Ganth, and in a different way, Tieri.
    Harn: I meet Ganth Grayling once at Gothregor, before his brief career at Tentir. His lord father Gerraint treated him like shit. Called him a liar in front of us all, although we never knew why, while that damned Greshan stood by smirking. Ganth slunk off like a whipped puppy.
  • Deal with the Devil: He sold his daughter Tieri to Gerridon in exchange for life for Greshan.
  • Death by Despair (Subverted): Harn tells Jame this is what happened to him and among most of the Kencyrath, it's though to be his cause of death—that he died of grief after his beloved Greshan died. Actually, he crumbled to death thanks to Keral tricking him.
  • I Have No Son!: In regards to Ganth
    Gerraint: Greshan is my son. I have no other.
  • Mama Didn't Raise No Criminal: Ganth told Gerraint that Greshan raped him, but Gerraint refused to believe it.
  • Parental Favoritism: Greshan, at the expense of Ganth and Tieri.
    Gerraint: Your brother was worth a dozen of you! Why is he dead and you still alive?
  • Parental Marriage Veto: To Ganth and Trishien when they were young, because the Jaran are considered too eccentric to be good breeding stock.
    Trishien: [W]hen we were both young, I was fond of your father and he of me. Under other circumstances, you might have been our son.
    Torisen: What happened?
    Trishien: Your grandfather considered me to be of unsound breeding stock.
  • Posthumous Character: Gerraint died long before Jame and Tori were even born.

    Kinzi 

Lady Kinzi Keen-eyed of Knorth

Knorth Matriarch

They were circling each other now, gliding, the tall, elegant girl and the tiny, old woman. The boy, forgotten, backed into the corner, as far away as he could get. It seemed to him as if the room was tilting this way and that, twisted by the clash of their wills; but there was no question who was the stronger.
The last Knorth matriarch—sister-kin of Adiraina, mother of Telarien, grandmother of Greshan, Ganth, and Tieri, and great-grandmother of Jame, Torisen, and Kindrie.
  • Cool Old Lady
  • Get Out!: Kinzi delivers one to Rawneth, forcing her down when she's about to blood-bind Greshan. Rawneth gets her back for that, but in the moment it still shows Kinzi's power.
    "Not today. Not while I live. Go, snake-heart. Now."
    And Rawneth went, out of the room, out of the Knorth quarters, out of Gothregor.
  • Parental Marriage Veto: She's a grandparent, but she completely shuts down Greshan and Rawneth's relationship.
    Kinzi: And leave my grandson alone. He may be a fool, but he is not for the likes of you, nor do you want him for anything but his bloodlines. I smell your ambition, girl, rank as a whore's lust.
  • Posthumous Character: She was killed in the Knorth Massacre, before Jame and Tori were born.
  • Proper Lady/Silk Hiding Steel: Kinzi was everything a Highborn woman is supposed to be, and still awesome
  • Schoolgirl Lesbians: Kinzi and Adiraina were Little Old Lady Lesbians, but way back in the day they were Schoolgirl Lesbians—their sister-kinship was forged as young girls in the Womens' Halls. Adiraina remembers this time very fondly.

    Aerulan 

Lady Aerulan of Knorth

On first seeing that bright face with its whimsical smile, no one thought, "This is a death banner," but rather "This is someone I would like to meet." It came as a shock a moment later to realize what that thin red line across Aerulan's neck represented. She was so plainly someone meant to love and be loved, not to bleed to death with a slit throat in the arms of the girl who would later become the Brandan Matriarch.
A Knorth cousin, and sister-kin of Brenwyr.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: Aerulan to Brenwyr… even when Aerulan's not living anymore.
    Brenwyr: But I am a Shanir maledight, a monster. What can I do but harm? Adiraina, grandmother-kin, you tell me to be strong and so I have been. The Iron Matriarch they call me, but they don't know. They don't know. Aerulan, sister-kin, you gave me strength, and love, and then you died. Oh, I cursed your murderer and doom fell on him, but you are still dead. And now must I lose your banner too?
  • The Lost Lenore: To Brenwyr
  • Heroic Sacrifice: She died to save her little cousin Tieri.
  • Nice Girl: She was bizarrely happy and mentally healthy for a Knorth. Lampshaded by Adiraina:
    Adiraina: Dear Aerulan had none of the family curses. All in all, she was the most atypical Knorth I've ever met.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: Some of her blood is woven into her death banner, and still unburnt, and so her soul's still around.
  • Posthumous Character: She was killed in the Knorth Massacre, before Jame and Tori were born.
  • Proper Lady/Silk Hiding Steel

    Glendar 

Glendar of Knorth

Lord Knorth; Highlord of the Kencyrath

"Rise up, Highlord of the Kencyrath," said the Arrin-ken to Glendar. "Your brother has forfeited all. Flee, man, flee, and we will follow." And so he fled, Cloak, Knife and Book abandoning, into the new world.
Gerridon and Jamethiel's paternal half-brother. Glendar was Highlord after Gerridon, and lead the Kencyrath to Rathillien.
  • Famous Ancestor: The modern Knorth are descended from him.
  • Field Promotion/Time to Step Up, Commander: The Arrin-kin (who you could say had more authority than the Highlord, or who you could argue were "the people") suddenly named him Highlord when Gerridon fell.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: When all of his siblings were falling with Gerridon, he alone didn't. Instead, he saved his people by leading them Outta Here—all the way to a new world.
  • Unexpected Successor: In "Hearts of Woven Shadow," Ganth says how, as the younger son, his family though of Glendar as worthless, until suddenly the entire Kencyrath were depending him to save them.

In the Eastern Lands

    Anar 

Anar

"Anar taught us the old stories."
Torisen
A scrollman, who was Jame and Torisen's tutor when they were children.

    Ishtier 

Ishtier

Ishtier, Highborn priest of the Kencyrath, stood in the shadow of his god, watching her with hooded eyes. His nearly fleshless lips were raised in a faint smile, and tongues of power from the outer corridors licked eagerly past her, spiraling into the center.
Anar's elder brother, and Kencyr priest in Tai-tastigon.
  • High Priest: In Tai-tastigon. (In the time of God Stalk he's the only Kencyr priest in Tai-tastigon, making it mean less, but he was high priest back when he had acolytes too)
  • The Oath-Breaker: Kencyr honor is so important that—while plenty break it a little here, or bend it a little there—they keep a semblance of honor in some way. Not Ishtier.
    Jame: But Ganth Gray Lord was alive when you deserted him, wasn't he? You've betrayed not only Bane and Anar, your younger brother, but your liege-lord as well. I brand you coward and lack-faith for what you did then, and renegade now for trying to pull down the Kencyrath so that you might hide your shame in its ruins!
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: He left the Exiles in the Haunted Lands and ran away to Tai-tastigon.
  • Sinister Minister


Bound Kendar

    Harn 

Ran Harn Grip-hard

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

An old friend of Torisen, and the Knorth senior randon.
  • The Berserker: Harn is a classic Berserker (as in both Berserker as a trope, and Berserker as a Shanir trait).
  • The Big Guy
  • Childhood Friends: With Sheth
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Torisen, Harn, Rowan, Burr, and Rose Iron-thorn were all at Urakarn together. They were captured and tortured; they escaped and fled into the Wastes. Rose died, but Torisen now considers Harn, Rowan, and Burr his closest friends, and the few people he truly trusts.
  • Old Friend: Ashe and Harn, who were randon together back in the day.
    Ashe: I'm glad to see you finally remember who I am. After that blank stare you gave me in the fire-timber hall, I thought your wits had finally gone missing.
    Harn: No, just on a long hike. [to Torisen] Ashe and I were cadets and one-hundred captains together with the Southern Host long before you were born.

    Burr 

Sar Burr

Torisen's personal servant, and an old friend.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Torisen, Harn, Rowan, Burr, and Rose Iron-thorn were all at Urakarn together. They were captured and tortured; they escaped and fled into the Wastes. Rose died, but Torisen now considers Harn, Rowan, and Burr his closest friends, and the few people he truly trusts.
  • The Jeeves: He's Tori's servant, and constantly reminds him that yes, eating and sleeping are vitally important. And he really should dress as befits his station.
    Burr: First, my lord, your breakfast.
    Torisen: Burr, I haven't time…
    Burr: Sit. Eat.
  • Meaningful Name: Burr—Torisen can't shake him off.
  • The Mole: Burr was assigned to Torisen as his manservant by Lord Ardeth, but his secret mission is to report on Torisen to his master. Stops when Torisen declares himself and Burr swears to him.
  • Turncoat: Breaks with his former master, Lord Ardeth, when Torisen announces his identity and birthright, and is the first to swear to Torisen.

    Rowan 

Ran Rowan

Steward of Gothregor

An old friend of Torisen, Steward of Gothregor, and a randon.
  • Bi the Way: She is thrilled when her husband grows breasts.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Torisen, Harn, Rowan, Burr, and Rose Iron-thorn were all at Urakarn together. They were captured and tortured; they escaped and fled into the Wastes. Rose died, but Torisen now considers Harn, Rowan, and Burr his closest friends, and the few people he truly trusts.
  • Frozen Face: She can make facial expressions, but it hurts, and so she she's trained herself not to.
    Ever since Urakarn, when the name rune of the Karnid god had been burned into her forehead, Rowan had learned to equate facial expression with pain.
  • Honest Advisor: Harn, Burr, Rowan, and maybe Grimley are the only people who even could talk frankly with Torisen. Harn has his own problems; Burr deals with the smaller details and sometimes Torisen still doesn't even trust him thanks to the Ardeth; Grimley isn't always around, and he doesn't understand the Kencyrath. So the job often falls to Rowan, like in To Ride a Rathorn when she points the relatively obvious solution to Torisen: That he take Jame as his consort.

    Vant 

Vant

A Knorth randon cadet.

    Winter 

Winter

Jame and Torisen's nurse and teacher as children.
  • Affectionate Nickname: In the novels, where she's talked about in a more formal way, she's called Winter. In "Among the Dead," in the narration she's called Winter, but the twins call her Winnie.
  • Mercy Kill: Her son Tob was born in the Haunted Lands. After the twins were born, when Jame, Tori, and Tob were babies together, Tob ran to the Dream-weaver and she without meaning to took his soul. After that, he was a Soulless Shell, so she killed him.
    Winter: Tob ran to her, and I let her hold him. In her arms, his soul left him. I… dealt with what was left.
  • Parental Substitute: She was Jame and Tori's nurse after their own mother left. In "Among the Dead," Jame says she doesn't exactly miss her mother because she never really knew her, and besides, she has Winter.
    • Mammy (Variation): Definitely not played straight, but as a woman from a servant race who's the nurse of children from a ruling race, it seems like a variation of some sort.
  • Posthumous Character: Ganth killed her when Tori and Jame were seven.
  • Staking the Loved One: She killed her mate Sere in the White Hills because he was caught in Ganth's madness, and attacked her. She was pregnant, and a Pregnant Badass at that, and so she killed him for their unborn son's sake.
  • Stay in the Kitchen: She taught Torisen the Senethar, but refused to teach Jame—not because she was a girl but because she was a Highborn lady. And not because Winter thought so, but because Ganth was her boss and he said so.

Jame's ten-command

    Mint 

Mint

  • Bit Character: There are 10 people in a ten-command (actually more because of replacements) and not all of them get fleshed out.

    Dar 

Dar

  • Bit Character: There are 10 people in a ten-command (actually more because of replacements) and not all of them get fleshed out.
  • Bully Hunter: He's very protective of the other members of the ten-command—even ones he doesn't like that much.
    • Damson isn't popular in the ten-command, but when a caravan driver ties to rape her, he gets furious on Damson's behalf.
      Damson: He's got a broken leg, when he has time to notice.
      Dar: You should have broken his neck.
    • Their cold, ex-Caineron five-commander isn't particularly popular either, but after Amberley pummels Brier, he leads the ten-command on a revenge mission against Amberley's ten-command.
      Jame: Just what was this brilliant plan anyway?
      Dar: To get 'em alone, one on one, and give 'em a taste of what they gave Five.

    Quill 

Quill

  • Bit Character: There are 10 people in a ten-command (actually more because of replacements) and not all of them get fleshed out.
  • His Name Really Is "Barkeep" (Varient): His mother, who wanted him to be a scrollsman, tried to invoke it, but he ended up training to be a randon instead.

    Erim 

Erim

    Killy 

Killy

  • Bit Character: There are 10 people in a ten-command (actually more because of replacements) and not all of them get fleshed out. Deconstructed in The Gates of Tagmeth when he calls out Jame for barely remembering his name and never giving him a second thought, and eventually seeks revenge.

    Niall 

Niall

  • Bit Character: There are 10 people in a ten-command (actually more because of replacements) and not all of them get fleshed out.
  • Morality Chain (Downplayed): To Damson, of all people. This is an interesting example because Morality Chains are so commonly female characters who brings out the better side of a male character, but this is the other way around. Niall is kind of the ten-command's woobie, and even Damson is fond of him.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Others tease him for it, but his command is very supportive and protective of him.
    • Bad Dreams: He suffers nightmares because of that, and wakes up screaming—waking up the whole barrack.

    Anise 

Anise

  • Bit Character: There are 10 people in a ten-command (actually more because of replacements) and not all of them get fleshed out.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: She was presumably there for most of To Ride a Rathorn, after Kest and Yel left, but she's not mentioned until Bound in Blood, where she's killed.

    Brier 

Brier Iron-thorn

Teak brown from the southern sun, short cropped hair the smoldering red of mahogany, Brier Iron-thorn had come to Tentir by a long, hard road. She was older than most cadets, more experienced, and mistrusted by them for her sudden change of houses at the Cataracts. Before that, no one had believed that such a thing was possible. Not from the Caineron. Not against the will of its lord. But here she was, even more an outsider than Rue. If anyone could show these smug Riverlanders a thing or two, it was Rose Iron-thorn's hard, handsome daughter.
Rue
Jame's Five in her ten-command.
  • Action Girl: She's the second biggest action girl in the series after Jame. If they got equal screen time, she could probably even give Jame a run for her money.
  • Bifauxnen: Jame, Rue, and Caldane—a fairly varied range of people—all call Brier handsome. And with her cropped hair and neat dress, she absolutely fulfills the aesthetic.
  • Bifauxnen and Lad-ette: Brier and Jame. Both bifauxnens, both badasses, both androgynous… and still quite different from each other. They have a Red Oni, Blue Oni thing.
  • The Big Girl: She's as big as many male Kendar.
  • Boyish Short Hair: Plenty of randon women cut their hair short so no one can grab it in a fight. Still, the aesthetic of Brier's short hair—especially in contrast with Jame's long hair—is used to say something about her.
  • Butch Lesbian (Downplayed, or perhaps Zigzagged): Brier is definitely masculine, but in no way The Lad-ette of a classic Butch Lesbian. Neat and solemn, she is much more a Bifauxnen, both in dress and personality. But either way, yes, she does like girls—we meet her ex, Amberley, in The Sea of Time.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Results are what matters, and—while the rules of honor must be obeyed—she won't feel bound by the merely traditional. She bests Jame in single combat in To Ride a Rathorn, but is disqualified for using Kothifir street-fighting techniques to do so.
  • The Conscience: For Jame. She gives the splash of cold water to take the edge off Jame's rashness, and is unsympathetic enough to Jame's moments of Wangst to make her snap out of them.
  • Dark-Skinned Redhead: Born in Kothifir and raised among the Southern Host by her randon officer mother, Brier is shockingly dark "like polished wood". She's also a redhead.
  • Defector from Decadence: Brier isn't always down with the way the Knorth lead. But she definitely wasn't down with the way the Caineron lead, so it was still the better choice.
  • Everyone Is Related: Brier is Marc's great-granddaughter.
  • The Lancer: She's Jame's Five, the second-in-command in her ten-command.
    • Hyper-Competent Sidekick: She's also much more competent that Jame, having grown up in the Southern Host. Jame often thinks Brier really should be Ten, and Brier often functions as such.
  • Meaningful Name: The name Brier Iron-thorn is appropriate given her solid strength and prickly exterior.
  • Opposites Attract (Implied): They're exes by the time we meet them, but presumably Amberley and Brier were a case of this back when they were together. Brier is reserved and responsible, and Amberley... really isn't, making them a Red Oni, Blue Oni situation.
  • The Stoic: Solemn, reserved, and military.
    • In The Sea of Time, she has a Not So Stoic breakdown over her mother, her ex, and the baby she couldn't save, saying "It's All My Fault."
      Jame: Stop it, Brier. It wasn't your fault. None of it was.
  • The Teetotaler: Brier doesn't drink, which serves to make her breakdown in The Sea of Time when she's drunk (thought not by choice) a case of O.O.C. Is Serious Business.
  • Turncoat: The Caineron think of her as such. She turned to Knorth, after her family had been Caineron yondri for generations.

    Damson 

Damson

Damson: I asked myself what you would do, Ten, if you could do what I can. […]
Jame: Trinity, Damson, you'd do better to take someone else as a model. Why not Brier?
Damson: I can see that Five is a good randon. Someday she may even become a great one. But she isn't like me. Not a bit. You are.
A Knorth cadet who gets moved to Jame's ten-command later on.
  • Beware the Quiet Ones: She's quiet and shy most of the time.
  • Fat Girl: Damson is a little fat, and she struggles with some of the physical training at Tentir. Her old ten-commander Vant teased her about it.
  • Lack of Empathy
    Damson: I know I don't think or feel the way that other people do. Something is… missing. But I can imitate you.
  • Little Brother Is Watching: In The Sea of Time, when Damson tells Jame she looks to her as a model, it scares Jame. Lampshaded:
    Jame: Do as I say. Not as I do.
    Damson: No chance of that, Ten. You teach me my limits.
  • Who's Laughing Now?: Vant bullied and teased her. She killed him.


Others

    Graykin 

Graykin/Gricki

A Southron-Kencyr Highborn half-breed, who Jame accidentally bound
  • Human Mom Nonhuman Dad/Half-Human Hybrid: A native Rathillien human mother and a Kencyr Highborn father. Jame said she didn't know that type of combo was even possible—Caldane is slutty enough it defies logic!!
  • Never Given a Name: Graykin and Gricki are both just nicknames; his mother died before she could actually name him.
    Graykin: Unfortunately, my Southron mother didn't live long enough to give me [a name]. All my life, I've answered to whatever people chose to call me.
  • The Sneaky Guy: He's Jame's sneak. He becomes Master Intelligencer of the Spy Guild in Kothifir.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: He's said to look just like his elder half-brother Genjar.


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