Erlien s'Taleyn is the High Earl of Alland, caithdein of Shand, and chieftain of the forest clansmen in Selkwood. He is described as bearded and tall, with immensely broad shoulders, black hair, and turquoise eyes. Erlien wears a black pearl strung on a braided cord around his neck.
As a clan chieftain, Erlien's authority is characterized by "keeping light guidance on disordered, freewheeling enterprise". He has five mistresses whose children are raised and cared for in even-handed affection.
Role in the Story
|Spoiler warning: Contains plot elements from multiple books in the series.|
Ships of Merior
Third Age 5646: Arithon requests permission to speak to the clans of Shand. Erlien meets him in Selkwood and baits him into combat. Arithon eventually disarms him and learns that the fight had two purposes: a test to see if Arithon would use his powers to save himself, and a response to the s'Brydion call for justice, related to their armory explosion.
Warhost of Vastmark
Third Age 5646: After Lysaer and the s'Brydion brothers agree to a winter assault on Merior, Erlien's clansmen begin rustling horses and cattle along the path from Alestron to Merior. Erlien orders the herds driven westward across the steppes for a rendezvous with Arithon in Vastmark.
Third Age 5647: With the help of Ath's Adepts, Jinesse and Tharrick evade Lysaer's forces and arrive under Erlien's protection. Although he doesn't like their mistrust of Arithon's character, he agrees to send them on with the rustled cattle. Erlien's clansmen play a major role in the Vastmark campaign, but it is unclear whether Erlien himself is involved.
Third Age 5671: Arithon returns to Selkwood to present his plan to defang Lysaer's plans in the south. Erlien initially mistakes Fionn Areth for the prince. After learning that Arithon was able to rob a caravan without bloodshed using iyats, he agrees to allow the prince to address the clan elders. After meeting Glendien, Arithon attempts to disentangle himself from Kyrialt's loyalty. The plan backfires and Erlien forces Arithon to accept Kyrialt's oath of fealty to the crown of Rathain. Alland's clansmen are also convinced to back Arithon without the formality of a hearing. Erlien is present at Kyrialt and Glendien's bridal feast and recognizes Arithon's talents as Masterbard.
Third Age 5671: After the purge of necromancy from Etarra, Arithon returns to Lord Erlien to pledge his support to defend Selkwood from the Alliance assault. Before a council of clan elders, Arithon suggests using his Masterbard's gifts to raise wards around Selkwood. Once Arithon is successful at awakening a Paravian marker, Erlien summons Kyrialt to his lodge tent in the presence of the extended family and the clan seeress. With Jeynsa's actions in Alestron known through augury, Kyrialt is ordered to maintain his role as Arithon's feal liegeman even if the prince tries to leave him behind.
- According to his men, Erlien adopts anyone who bests him at swords as a brother.