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Illvin dy Arbanos was a Chalionese nobleman who served as master of horse and spy for his half brother Arhys dy Lutez. He was the bastard son of Ser dy Arbanos, the late castle-warder of Porifors, who was half Roknari, and the Lady of Porifors who was the second wife of Arvol dy Lutez. Illvin's father acknowledged him after his mother's death. He was dedicated to the Bastard's Order in his youth but did not develop a calling. He did not inherit much from his father.

Prior to Paladin of Souls, a demon ridden by Cattilara, Arhys's wife, began to steal soul-stuff from Illvin to keep Arhys's soul in his body after Arhys is killed. This left Illvin in a coma-like state except for brief waking periods. Ista deduced the arrangement and forced Cattilara to share her soul-stuff as well so that Illvin could defend Porifors against the besieging Roknari. Ista and Illvin became lovers; Illvin became Ista's seneschal at the conclusion of Paladin of Souls.

Illvin had a high forehead, frosted dark long hair worn in the Roknari style, and dark eyes. He was about 39 years old during Paladin of Souls and was two years younger than Arhys. He spoke Roknari fluently.