A Kencyr house consists of a Highborn family, ruled by a lord (and a matriarch, who runs the Women's World of the Highborn women) and their bound Kendar retainers. Each house has its own keep; for the major houses, this is in the more hospitable Riverland, while minor houses have keeps near the Barrier.
In addition to the bound Kendar, most lords keep additional yondri, Kendar given a temporary place but no promise of a permanent home.
There are nine major houses, and their lords each hold a seat on the High Council.
In general Danior, Edirr, Coman, and Jaran, are all lesser houses, while Knorth, Ardeth, Caineron, Brandan, and Randir, are more powerful. Lord Danior leads a particularly small house, and is noted as barely able to continue to support his place on the council. Caineron is the largest house. Knorth is quite small, but by law and tradition is the leading house, with its lords serving as Highlords of the Kencyrath.
Instead of presenting a united front against their putative enemy, Perimal Darkling, the houses are prone to feuds and enmities amongst themselves, particularly since setting in the Riverland some thousand years ago.
|Caineron||Caldane||Cattila||Gorbel||Sheth||Restormir||Serpent devouring its young||12,000|
|Randir||Kenan||Rawneth||none||Wilden||Fist grasping the sun||8,500|
|Danior||Hollens||Dianthe||Holly's son||Shadow Rock||Wolf's mask, snarling||1,000|
In addition to the major houses, there are some minor Houses, often affiliated or allied with a major house. Minor houses reside in older fortifications near the Barrier, and help maintain it, a task neglected by the major houses. Only two minor houses have been introduced; the Min-drear and the Harth. We know of two other keeps of minor houses that have been abandoned; Kithorn and North Kenshold.