[The Three-Faced God] chose three races from different threshold worlds to be his champions and forged them into the Kencyrath. […] [T]he Arrin-ken retained most of their independence. Not even a god would have cared to tamper much with these folk, who were themselves nearly immortal. Unlike the Highborn and Kendar, the third of the Three People resembled great cats. They served as the Kencyrath's judges, interpreting the laws that the Highborn priests pronounced when their god chose to speak through them.
God Stalk, "Appendix III: The Kencyrath"

The Arrin-ken are one of the Three People of the Kencyrath. They are beings who closely resemble great cats. They are fiercely independent, and originally acted as the judges of the Kencyrath. Said to be nearly immortal, there are Arrin-ken still living who remember the Fall.

Some two thousand years ago, the Arrin-ken withdrew from the rest of the Kencyrath out of aversion from the society shaped by the Highborn lords to consult among themselves.[1]

Two Arrin-ken have appeared in the novels. Immalai the Silent dwells on Mount Timor in the Ebonbane mountains, and assisted Jame and Marc through the mountain passes to Peshtar. The other, called the Dark Judge inhabits the Snowthorns on the western side of the Riverland. Blinded by the Changer Keral, the Dark Judge thirsts for vengeance rather than justice, judging Kencyrs whose ties to That Which Destroys whom he finds guilty.

Immalai the Silent said that at some unspecified future time, someone among the Kencyrath would call the Arrin-ken back to their people, suggesting that it might even be Jame herself who would do so.[2]


  1. God Stalk, Book II: Crown of Nights, "Chapter 7: The Feast of Fools" — " 'The first of the Three People, our judges. The priests give the laws, the scrollsmen record them, the Kendar enforce them, and the Arrin-ken temper them… or at least they used to. Two thousand years ago they got disgusted with the rest of us and withdrew to consult. As far as I know, they're still at it.' 'For two thousand years?' 'Time doesn't mean much to that lot: they're as close to immortal as makes no difference. I didn't say, you know, that they were human. In fact, they look rather like big cats—tiger size—can move things without touching them and, on occasion, have been known to walk through stone walls.' "
  2. Dark of the Moon, "Chapter 3: Old Friends, Old Enemies" — "In the depths of winter, I hear the distant thoughts of my own people ringing like crystal in my mind. There are so few of us left, so very few. Yes, I feel the pull, but our time has not yet come. Someday, someone will call us. His massive head swung back to Jame, eyes amber pools of light in the dusk. It might even be you."
the Three People
Highborn Kendar Arrin-ken