Torisen Black Lord, also known as Tori and Blackie, is Lord Knorth of Gothregor and more importantly Highlord of the Kencyrath. He is the son of Ganth Gray Lord and Jamethiel Dream-Weaver, the twin brother of Jame, the half-brother of Bane, and the cousin of Kindrie. He is a decade or so older than Jame, despite being her twin, because of the slower passage of time in Perimal Darkling that Jame experienced.
His soul-image is The Keep where he grew up, in the Haunted Lands. Kindrie thinks (correctly) that this is both unhealthy and part of the reason that Torisen can't get away from the memory of Ganth. At one point, Jame invaded Tori's soul image to save his sanity and locked the spectral Ganth behind a door. Ganth is not, however, merely a figment of Tori's imagination, as the Jaran Matriarch Trishien sees a shadow speaking in Tori's ear at one point, and even speaks to Ganth through Tori.
Torisen was born in North Kenshold in the Haunted Lands, the son of the exiled Ganth Gray Lord and his consort Jamethiel Dream-Weaver. Their match was arranged by Gerridon, who planned to breed a replacement for the Dream-Weaver. Their contract was not specific, however, and the Dream-Weaver bore twins: Torisen and Jamethiel, usually called Tori and Jame.
The Dream-Weaver had no milk, so the twins were nursed by a Kendar wet-nurse, Winter. The Dream-Weaver never spoke, and everyone thought her mute. However, at night, she would sing her children the ancient songs of the Shanir. She disappeared shorlty after twins were born. Tori felt her loss more so than his sister did.
Winter taught Tori the Senethar. Jame begged to be taught too, but Winter refused because Ganth had ordered her not to. Anar was their tutor and taught them the ancient history of the Kencyrath, though not its modern history because again as Ganth forbade it.
The twins were both Shanir, like their mother and father. Ganth always denied his own Shanir traits, as well as his son's, and so Tori, like his father, suppressed and denied it. By the time he was seven, Tori had already began to stay awake to ward off Shanir dreams. Soon after, Jame's clawed fingertips burst through her fingertips, and Ganth, furious and terrified by the knowledge she was Shanir, as well as heartbroken and half-mad by her likeness to her mother, threw her out into the Haunted Lands.
Tori remained at the keep many more years. When he was 15, Anar urged him to leave believing that if Tori stayed, his father would eventually kill him. Anar took upon himself the responsibility for Tori's honor, and so he fled, south and west, across the Ebonbane to the Riverland.
There, Tori told Adric who he was, and Adric had him join the Southern Host as an Ardeth. Most then believed him to be Adric's bastard son. Adric also assigned Burr to him as his servant. Burr spied on Tori for Adric, and reported to him.
With the host in Kothifir, Harn assigned Tori a small command to investigate the Gnasher, as Krothen had ordered. Genjar commanded the Host during this time, and under him, Tori, still only 15, served in the vanguard during the Battle of Urakarn, with the rest of his ten-command. They were captured and tortured. The Karnids burned his hands with gloves of burning wires. Tori escaped, with Harn, Burr, and Rose Iron-thorn. They fled into the Wastes, into the Great Salt Sea, there Rose died in sink-sand, and then saved them. After this, Tori came to consider Harn and Rowan his closest friends, among the few people he truly trusts. One of the others is Grimly, the wolver he met just after returning from the Wastes, told in "Songs of Waste and Wood".
Torisen worked his way up through ranks in the Host, eventually becoming Commander. Shortly after coming of age at 27, he was at a loss as to whether or not he should claim his father's place as Highlord. He then had a dream of Ganth's death at the Keep, and that pushed his claim using the Kenthiar. Though he had no proof of his claim, his willingness to put the Kenthiar on—along with how desperately the Kencyrath wanted at a Highlord after 31 years of chaos—was enough for the Kencyr lords.
As a lord, Torisen, binds his followers rather gingerly. Some like this, others do not.
On Adric's advice, Torisen took Kallystine her as a limited-term consort to get Caldane's support. Their contract did not include children, but the Caineron were sure Kallystine would seduce him, and he would extend the contract when it came up for review. While she did seduce him, he also came to bitterly hate her. By the time of the books, Torisen is avoiding her, and waiting for the contract to expire.
In Dark of the Moon, Tori rallies the Kencyr lords behind him, to stop the Waster Horde at the Cataracts. Here, Jame—now ten years younger than Torisen—catches up with him, delivering their father's sword and shield, and then takes her place in the Kencyrath.
Jame spends a disastrous winter in the Women's Halls, and finally runs away come spring.(Seeker's Mask). After learning about what happened to her there—namely, Kallystine slashing her with a poisoned ring, after she tries to do the same to him, he breaks their contract, and with Kirien's advice—makes Jame his lordan and sends her to Tentir.
During this time, they also learn of their cousin Kindrie, and bring him into the Knorth as well.
Torisen's instinctive revulsion of the Shanir is part of the reason why his relationship with Jame tends to be slightly strained. This had been the foundation of his training with Ganth, but in To Ride a Rathorn, during a nightmare shared by the twins, he begins to question it, at least in regards to Jame. Kindrie and Jame, however, have several vital peices of information that Torisen is incapable of dealing with, and have agreed to pace such revelations with his ability to accept them. This includes the identity of their mother, the fact that Kindrie is both legitimate and legitimately his cousin, and the fact that all lords, and Torisen in particular, are Shanir. They have not yet told him that he is almost certainly That-Which-Creates, the incarnation of the First Face of the Kencyr God, Torrigon, or that Jame and Kindrie are Destruction and Preservation, respectively.
In To Ride a Rathorn, the wolver pup Yce remained behind at Gothregor, appointing herself Torisen's shadow. She stays with him through Bound in Blood, Honor's Paradox, and much of The Sea of Time, at the end of which she finally returns to the Weald after killing the Gnasher to take his place.
Like all lords and matriarchs, Torisen is Shanir with the power to bind Kencyr to him. Torisen is a powerful binder at that, able to hold more Kendar alone than any other lord. Despite this, he begins to lose his grip on his Kendar after taking on too many new Kendar at the Cataracts. He is also a blood-binder.
Torisen has an intense dislike and irrational fear of Shanir, thanks to his father, and therefore is unable to admit to himself his own Shanir power. Torisen has elaborate nightmares that he will "feel coming" days or weeks before, and abstain from sleep in a usually pointless attempt to stave them off. He is eventually stripped of this foresight, but still has the dreams. The dreams often are often prophetic, and he sometimes shares dreams with his sister.
|the High Council|