You Knorth. You come together like sparks in a holocaust and consume each other.
Keral, Blood and Ivory: A Tapestry,
"Among the Dead"

The Knorth (the K is pronounced; K-north[7][8]) are the primary of the Kencyr Houses, the house of the Highlords.

Reputation and archetypesEdit

The Knorth, thanks to their old, pure bloodlines, are frequently powerful Shanir — and also frequently mad.


All the way back, since the founding of the Kencyrath thirty millenia ago, the Lord Knorth has also been the Highlord of the Kencyrath,[9] and always a pure Knorth.[10] After Gerridon fell, the Arrin-ken renamed Glendar as Highlord, and the modern Knorth trace themselves back to him.[11]

There have been around hundred and fifty generations since then.[12] However, they never truly recovered from the Fall.[13][14] The seemingly final blows came with the Knorth Massacre — the assassinations of all the Knorth women — and following that, Ganth Gray Lord's horrific defeat in the White Hills, and then his exile.

Without a Lord Knorth, the Kencyrath did not select a new Highlord, out of fear of being beheaded by the Kenthiar,[15] and there was many years of chaos. When Torisen Black Lord claimed to be Ganth's son, many were inclined to believe him out of desperation and want for leadership. In the present day of the novels, and excluding any that might survive in Perimal Darkling after the Fall, there are only three full-blooded Knorth Highborn; Torisen Black Lord, his sister Jamethiel Priest's Bane, and their double cousin Kindrie Soul-Walker. The priest Ishtier also has pure or nearly-pure blood, as did his brother Anar.



The Knorth have always kept kept their bloodlines pure, by divine mandate.[16][10]


The Knorth lordan traditionally trains at Tentir to become a randon.[17] At Tentir, they are challenged at some point, before they get their randon collar, to see if they are fit to rule.[18]


Before the Fall, the Knorth crest used to be a black horse on a red background.[1][2] After the Fall, Glendar changed it, wanting to reinvent their house and shed Gerridon's dishonor. He chose the rathorn, a beautiful ferocious best from their new world. Some say this decision was unlucky, because rathorns are associated with madness, and that was around the time madness first enter the Knorth bloodline.[19]

The black horse crest is stilled used, as Gerridon's emblem.

Inter-house relationshipsEdit


They've traditionally been allies of the Ardeth[20], perhaps because both houses resisted interbreeding with other houses. In recent times, Torisen's relationship with Adric has both strengthened and stressed their bond.


They have been rivals of the Caineron since the White Hills, where the at-the-time Lord Caineron was killed in Ganth's folly. His son, Caldane, the next Lord Caineron, has carried anger over that ever since then.[21] This hatred was compacted by what happened with Genjar in the Southern Wastes.[21][22] The Knorth and Caineron had a brief alliance when Torisen took Kallystine as his consort,[23] but the alliance ended when the contract did, with the Knorth and Caineron on worse terms than ever.


Due to a lack of interbreeding, the Knorth are only related to the Danior. The Danior are firm allies of theirs, but because the Danior are the smallest and poorest house, they receive more support from the Knorth than they offer in return.


Jaran have also been traditional allies of theirs[20], perhaps because both houses are known for being "unconventional".[24] Recently, friendship between Kirien and Torisen and Jame has strengthened this bond.


Min-drear randon cadets at Tentir traditionally train with the Knorth cadets.[25] The Min-drear are likely a cadet branch of the Knorth.[26][27]


They've had bitter feuds with the Randir for many years. This came about through a series of secret conflicts and grudges among the Highborn of both houses, and as a result, though most people know of the conflicts, they don't know why.[28] Rawneth courted the Knorth lordan Greshan, with hopes of having a half-Randir, half-Knorth son, who would be the next Highlord, giving the Randir power. Greshan's grandmother Kinzi, seeing Rawneth's intentions, forbid the match. This began the feud between Rawneth and Kinzi. Rawneth introduced Greshan to her favorite cousin Roane, who became his friend. At Tentir, Greshan and Roane called upon Ganth one night, and it ended up Roane's death. Blood-prices cannot be demanded for deaths at Tentir, but the Randir were still angry. This is where the larger feud began.[29] After that, Gerraint tried to make a match between Ganth and Rawneth, to heal things between their houses,[30] though that didn't happen. After Greshan was killed, Rawneth got Gerraint to agree that if she would restore Greshan, he would recognize any child of theirs as the Knorth heir.[31] Gerraint died that night, so that did not happen, though Rawneth did conceive a son, with the changer who had assumed Greshan's form. Kinzi saw this, and after the child's birth, summoned them to Gothregor to have Adiraina read the boy's bloodlines. To prevent this, Rawneth took out a contract with the Bashtiri Shadow Guild against the Knorth women, resulting in the Knorth Massacre.[32]

Knorth Highborn family treeEdit

Familial appearanceEdit

Knorth are again and again described as having silvery gray eyes. They also share common facial features: Sharp cheekbones and chins, and arched eyebrows.[33]


  1. 1.0 1.1 God Stalk, Book II: Crown of Nights, "Chapter 8: Voices of the Past" — " 'We saw their banner as they rode away, a black horse on a red field.' Jame whistled softly. 'The device of Gerridon, Master of Knorth.' "
  2. 2.0 2.1 Bound in Blood, "Chapter IV: In the Moon Garden", II — "there was the rathorn crest, and another beneath it, red wax stamped with the head of a black horse. Gerridon's mark."
  3. Honor's Paradox, "Chapter XV: Wilden", I — "a large tent flying a black flag with white tracery on it, too distant to make out. 'Who is that?' he asked his escort. The priest laughed. 'The Highlord, come to settle our little border dispute, or so he thinks.' "
  4. Dark of the Moon, "Appendix I: The High Council"
  5. Dark of the Moon, "Chapter 6: The High Council" — "Torisen and his two thousand retainers rattled around in this huge fortress like dried peas in a helmet even when all of them were home. Now as usual, about five hundred were off serving with the Southern Host and elsewhere, a duty that they all took by rotation to earn Gothregor the money it needed to keep going."
  6. To Ride a Rathorn, "Chapter VIII: A Forgotten Name", II — "Now, two thousand-odd Knorth Kencyr, body and soul, laid claim to him,"
  7. Dark of the Moon, "Chapter 6: The High Council" — " 'Knorth!' one shouted, and the rest took up the chant: 'K-north! K-north! K-north…!' "
  8. The Sea of Time, "Prologue: A Knock on the Door" — "Voices sounded out in the road: 'K-north! K-north! K-north!' "
  9. Seeker's Mask, "Part I", II — "Ever since the Three-Faced God had created the Kencyrath over thirty millennia ago, its highlord had been Knorth."
  10. 10.0 10.1 Blood and Ivory: A Tapestry, "Hearts of Woven Shadow" — " 'You c-can't! She means a half-Randir heir to the Highlord's seat. In thirty millennia, only pure Knorth have held that honor!' "
  11. God Stalk, Book II: Crown of Nights, "Chapter 8: Voices of the Past" — " 'Why, Glendar's heir, Highlord of the Kencyrath.' "
  12. Blood and Ivory: A Tapestry, "Hearts of Woven Shadow" — "Three thousand years ago. One hundred and fifty generations. Now here they hung moldering in a dark hall, as long as thread clung to thread and their names were remembered."
  13. Blood and Ivory: A Tapestry, "Hearts of Woven Shadow" — " 'Look around you. […] We have been a dying, failed house ever since Gerridon betrayed us to the shadows.' "
  14. Seeker's Mask, "Part I", III — "Once the Knorth had occupied these mural apartments from the northern gate to the eastern, but they had been a dwindling house long before the massacre."
  15. The Sea of Time, "Chapter XIII: Dreams and Nightmares", I — "no one had dared to claim the Highlord’s seat—much less that potentially lethal collar, the Kenthiar—since Ganth’s exile,"
  16. Dark of the Moon, "Appendix II: The Master's Generation" — "cross-breeding between houses has become more and more the rule. Now all the lords of the High Council have mixed blood except Torisen and Adric. […] As for the Knorth, because of their divine mandate to provide Highlords, they have always chosen leaders from among the purest of their blood."
  17. Seeker's Mask, "Part VIII: Kithorn" — " 'Traditionally, the Knorth Lordan trains at Tentir to become a randon.' "
  18. Bound in Blood, "Chapter XVII: The Winter War", VII — " 'No Knorth Lordan passes through our hands without being judged whether he be worthy to lead our people. […] Who, after all, was fit to judge him, the Highlord's heir? We are. Only we.' "
  19. Dark of the Moon, "Chapter 5: Under Green Leaves" — " 'Trinity. Imagine riding one into battle.' Marc chuckled. […] 'I wonder if that was in Glendar's mind when he adopted the beast as the Knorth emblem to replace the Master's dishonored black horse crest. Some say that it was an unlucky choice, since about at that time madness first entered the Knorth bloodline.' "
  20. 20.0 20.1 Dark of the Moon, "Chapter 6: The High Council" — "On the western wall, catching the last of the day's light, was his own rathorn crest, flanked by Ardeth's full moon and Jaran's stricken tree. They were the two oldest supporters of his house, in more ways than one."
  21. 21.0 21.1 Dark of the Moon, "Chapter 4: First Blood" — " 'My father was his father's dupe and paid for it with his life in the White Hills. For that, I destroyed Ganth Gray Lord. My son, my Genjar, died after Urakarn, his name fouled by Knorth lies. For that, I will destroy Ganth's son.' "
  22. Seeker's Mask, "Part IV: Restormir", V — "Hadn't there been some mystery about Genjar's death afterward? […] Caldane had never forgiven Tori, although for what, exactly, no one seemed to know."
  23. Seeker's Mask, "Part I", II — " 'there's already an alliance between the Houses of Knorth and Caineron in that Torisen has taken one of Caldane's daughters as a limited term consort.' "
  24. Dark of the Moon, "Chapter 10: The Lurking Past" — " 'Unconventional.' Kirien glanced back into the shadows toward the bed. When she looked back at Torisen, a tear glinted in her eye. 'Jedrak always said that was what he liked best about you, too.' "
  25. To Ride a Rathorn, "Chapter I: An Unfortunate Arrival", II — " 'I have my lord's permission to train with the Highlord's folk. Min-drear randon always do.' "
  26. To Ride a Rathorn, "Chapter VII: In the Bear's Den", I — "some like Caldane added the Kendar bound to their established sons. In the old days, these new lords would have gone off to set up their own minor houses as the Min-drear had, often near the Barrier."
  27. Bound in Blood, "Chapter VIII: Glass of a Different Color", I — " 'By the time we knew we needed aid, […] it was too late. Besides, we were a cadet branch of the Caineron, the last to survive the Fall. Caldane's father would have loved to snap us up, but we fancied our freedom, the same as the Min-drear do from the Knorth.' "
  28. To Ride a Rathorn, "Chapter IV: Testing", II — "The other randon stirred uneasily. They knew there was bad blood between the Randir and the Knorth, although not all knew why."
  29. Blood and Ivory: A Tapestry, "Hearts of Woven Shadow" — "Gerraint ignored her. 'It goes back to last autumn and the death of that wretched Randir, doesn't it? Doesn't it?' "
  30. Blood and Ivory: A Tapestry, "Hearts of Woven Shadow" — " 'You s-sent me to Wilden to make a contract with "that woman," Lord Randir's daughter, to heal the breach between our houses.' "
  31. Blood and Ivory: A Tapestry, "Hearts of Woven Shadow" — "He turned to Rawneth with bitter courtesy. 'Restore him, and I bless your union. No doubt Lord Randir will do likewise. Beget whatever offspring you will, or can.' "
  32. Honor's Paradox, "Chapter XV: Wilden", III — " 'Kinzi saw Rawneth and Greshan together in the Moon Garden several days after the latter’s death. They made love, in the midst of which Greshan’s face changed, […] She assumes, therefore, that Keral was Rawneth’s lover and the father of Kenan. When Kinzi summoned Randir mother and son to Gothregor for Adiraina to test the bloodlines of the latter, Rawneth forestalled her by taking out a contract with the shadow assassins on all the Knorth women. Hence the Massacre.' "
  33. Seeker's Mask, "Part I", VI — "All had the distinctive Knorth features—silver-gray eyes under arched brows; high, sharp cheekbones; obstinate chins—to which were often added the hard lines of arrogance and cruelty,"
Kencyr houses
Knorth Caineron Ardeth Randir Brandan Jaran Coman Edirr Danior
Min-drear Harth