The Kencyrath

(Condensed from U.K. paperback edition)

Some thirty millenia ago, the entity known a Perimal Darkling first breached the barrier between the outer void and the series of parallel universes called the Chain of Creation. It began to devour universe after universe, entering each one in turn through a threshold world. These special worlds existed in different dimensions but overlapped each other so that parts of each extended into the two adjacent universes.

The Three-Faced God stood in opposition to the dark invader and chose three races to be his champions and forged them into the Kencyrath. The original Kencyr, who renamed themselves Highborn and were blessed or cursed with an unusually close relationship with their god, became the leaders. The Kendar provided the warriors and craftsmen and the cat-like Arrin-ken served as judges.

These were the defenders of the chain, whether they wanted to be or not. When the first clash with the servants of Perimal Darkling came, the Three-Faced God left his people to fend for themselves and the long retreat began. On threshold world after threshold world the Three People fought until one man rebelled. Gerridon, Master of Knorth, Highlord of the Kencyrath, offered his soul and that of his followers in exchange for immortality. He induced his sister and consort, Jamethiel Dream-weaver, to pervert the great dance so that it would suck out the souls of all who witnessed it. Two-thirds of the Kencyr host fell. The rest fled into the next threshold world, Rathillien.

As they struggled to re-establish themselves on Rathillien the Three People became obsessed with honour. The Shanir, Highborn with special powers, were regarded with suspicion, and Highborn women were stripped of all civil power and confined into special halls. The Arrin-ken withdrew into the wilds to consider what should be done.

By the time 3000 years had passed without a significant clash with Perimal Darkling the Highborn had turned their attention from the barrier and to local politics. As a result the barrier had weakened and large areas of Rathilien were claimed for Perimal Darkling by the Master.

When assassins wiped out his family the Highlord, Ganth of Knorth, went mad and led the Kencyr Host against his enemies on Rathilien. He was betrayed, defeated and disappeared into exile. After a period of near anarchy as the remaining lords vied for power, a young man appeared claiming to be Ganth's son. Despite his lack of proof of identity Torisen was accepted as Highlord by the war-weary Highborn. His most feared rival was his twin sister, Jamethiel - cursed with the name of a traitor, driven out into the Haunted Lands as a child by Ganth, their father.

Now Jame the Kencyr has come out of the haunted lands, chill home now only of the Undead. At her back: the hungry cries of the unclean, undead creatures who tracked her. Before her lay the city of Tai-Tastigon.

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Last Updated 12th December 1996