Kemet was a male Exekian aisling. Over four hundred years old, he is a former imperial soldier who briefly rose to prominence in the later years of the Old Exekian Empire, attaining the title of hunyadi before being disgraced and forced into exile.
After the collapse of the Empire in the First Exekian War, he went into hiding, living alone in a mountain cave for the next century and a half. During this time, he maintained numerous artifacts from the imperial days, including a copy of the Mandorlin written in Old Exekian. These documents formed the basis of Dagda Vormund's translation, which Kemet aided him in creating. After the dissolution of the Cult of Vormund, Kemet was forced to flee. His current whereabouts are unknown.
Appearance and Abilities
Kemet is described as having delicate, chiseled features, pale skin like marble, golden eyes which glow in the dark, and long pale blond hair in loose curls. He usually wears a black cloak with a large folded collar.
As an aisling, Kemet's powers include the ability to dreamwalk (experience and influence dreams) and read the minds of mortals. He was trained to make his presence undetectable by the humans he does this to, but he can also communicate directly with them using telepathy if he so chooses. His powers have a limited range and they do not work on his fellow Exekians, only on humans. More recently, he has attempted to curb his abilities, refraining from reading minds and only dreamwalking for the purpose of helping others.
Kemet was born in 245 BYZ in the city of Tyr. His earliest memory is of waking up in a makeshift nursery constructed to accommodate the influx of newborns during kluuda. He never knew who his parents were, as his mother abandoned him after his birth.
He spent much of his youth as an orphan on the streets. At around the age of fourteen, Kemet discovered he was an aisling, or dreamwalker. Word of his condition spread, and he was eventually adopted by Matta, a scholar and alchemist. Matta financed Kemet's military career, all the while reminding him that he had adopted him and raised him up for a specific purpose, though he would not say what.
Eventually, Matta approached Kemet with his plan to incite the slaves to rebellion. Kemet was reluctant to participate, despite Matta's attempts to emotionally manipulate him. He finally agreed to use his power and dreamwalked in the minds of the slaves, inspiring them to fight back against their master. As a way of saving himself, Kemet always portrayed Matta rather than himself in these visions; thus, if they were ever caught, they would believe Matta was the aisling who inspired them.Matta went on to lead an infamous slave uprising, Matta's Mutiny, in which they killed the Emperor's heir, Caspar, and attempted to assassinate Emperor Rokanan. Kemet was unaware of this aspect of Matta's plan, having believed the slaves would flee to Zantium after they killed their master. Interrogated under torture, several slaves who were involved in the uprising confessed that an aisling had influenced them. As Matta was not an aisling, suspicion fell on Kemet. To save his own skin, Kemet betrayed Matta. Upon his death Kemet came into possession of Matta's estate, Casca Dun, which included his library.
During the First Exekian War, the world Kemet knew crumbled around him. He lost everything - his wealth, property, position and influence - and was forced out of Tyr.
Heading south, Kemet eventually took shelter in a cave burrowed into Arza Kell, a mountain near the southern border. He stayed in hiding, but was occasionally attacked by humans while out foraging for food and other supplies. He encountered increasingly few members of his own kind, but heard rumors of feudal warfare among the Exekians who escaped to the southern wastes. He chose not to follow them in order to avoid becoming a soldier again. He buried the books and manuscripts he managed to save from Matta's library within the caverns.
The Cult of Vormund
In 162 AYZ, Kemet was badly injured during a scuffle with a group of human farmers. He was found and nursed back to health by the prophet Vormund and his followers. They gradually gained his trust and he allowed them to continue living in the caverns even after he had recovered.
Vormund convinced Kemet to dig up the buried Mandorlin manuscript and help Vormund translate it into Apicartan. Wanting to speed up the process, Kemet attempted to transfer his knowledge of Old Exekian directly to Vormund, but the experience proved disastrous. Burdened with information he would rather not have known, Kemet vowed to avoid using his powers to read minds ever again.
One of Vormund's followers, the ex-prostitute Clara Richter, was of particular interest to Kemet, who began using his power to soothe her recurring nightmares. The two began a romantic relationship and they eventually married in a double ceremony with Gavin and Melissa. After Melissa died in childbirth and Gavin was forced to return home, Kemet and Clara agreed to take care of Gavin's daughter Laura until he returned.
As Vormund began experiencing bouts of sleepwalking, Kemet became concerned and tried to use his power to stop him. On one such occasion, Kemet and Vormund both sleepwalked through the caverns. This led to him being discovered by the new cult member Rowan Renard, who had been seeking him out. To Rowan, Kemet revealed his past and regrets, as well as issuing a warning about the uncertain nature of Vormund's prophetic dreams.
The group left Kemet behind with Clara and Laura as they traveled to Hiberia. Approximately two weeks later, Kemet began to hear the thoughts of Selca Ducani, a warlock whose mind had become weakened by magic. From his thoughts Kemet learned that Vormund was dead and that their lives were in danger. He and Clara fled the caverns, taking Laura with them.
That night, Kemet dreamwalked with both Gavin and Rowan, learning that each had betrayed Vormund and his legacy. The dire situation convinced Gavin that it wasn't safe for Laura to return to his care, and he allowed Kemet and Clara to take her with them, promising he would reclaim her as soon as things improved.
After crossing the river Antoi, Kemet and Clara snuck across the Apicartan border into Exekian-controlled territory. The couple rebuilt an abandoned cottage they found, adding extra structures and repairing the house, and lived there for the next three years.
Dissolution and Unity
In search of other members of his kind, Kemet traversed the southern wastes, which had become known as the country of Exekia. He swiftly learned of the situation among his people in the south; two rival factions had formed, one led by an Empress that claimed to be a continuation of the Empire, and the other an alliance between the former hunyadi Zimreon and his lieutenant Nechtan, who called themselves the Clan.
Kemet recognized that the Clan would never seek peace with the humans, but the Empress might. He spoke to numerous Exekians, but failed to convince any of them that peaceful coexistence with Apicarta was possible.
Relocation to Norev
Until she was three and a half years old, Laura was raised by Kemet and Clara. This was done to ensure the child's safety during the period of Vormundist persecution in the early reign of King Tristan.
Unbeknownst to them, Gavin fled the country in 168 and gained citizenship in the country of Norev through his marriage to Duchess Naomi Cohilas. He then briefly returned to Apicarta just long enough to arrange for them to be reunited in the town of Telovet.
After learning about Gavin's experiences in Amarna, Kemet agreed to go with him and offer his aid to Princess Philomena, who was suffering from recurring nightmares. Kemet dreamwalked with her, and while he was unable to help her, he did shed some light on her condition, which was the result of magic. Philomena granted Kemet and Clara Norevi citizenship as a show of gratitude.
The couple lived in a cave outside the city, as Kemet found the arid climate uncomfortable. When Gavin became Lord of Tyr in 171, he moved his family back to Apicarta. The seven year old Laura was distraught over having to leave Kemet, whom she loved dearly. Kemet promised the child he would always be there for her when she needed him most.
In the year 183, the first Exekian kluuda since the fall of the Empire occurred. Kemet began experiencing symptoms of the fever, which only increased in their severity. As his condition worsened, Clara began to fear for his life. Against Kemet's wishes, she arranged for the two of them to return to Apicarta, where they snuck over the border into Exekia. The cool, wet climate improved Kemet's health considerably, but the region became highly dangerous as King Aldous mounted an invasion, beginning the Fifth Exekian War.
Forced to head deeper into the south, Kemet was vilified and Clara was harassed by the Exekians, who were angry that Kemet was refusing to help propagate their dying species by mating with a member of his own kind. News of his rejection reached the Empress herself, and she sent her agent, Rasvan, to make a deal with Kemet. Rasvan intimidated Kemet and Clara into agreeing to move to Heliobas, an ancient fortress which the New Empire was using to house and protect newborns and pregnant females from the invaders. In Heliobas, Kemet was made a commanding officer on the basis of his old imperial title (hunyadi) and placed in charge of managing the fortress, which was rapidly becoming a major target of Aldous' troops.
- Depending on who is addressing him, he may be referred to as "hunyadi Kemet" or "aisling Kemet". This is generally only a rule when he is conversing with other Exekians, as they tend to place titles in front of names.
"Vormund carried him in from the forest, where he had been beaten by vengeful villagers. He refused to speak for several days, watching them with sleepless suspicion, but eventually he gave them his name, Kemet, and admitted he had been attacked for stealing food. None of them asked what he was doing in Alucarsia, but it was generally believed that he was in a kind of exile."
—Gavin meets Kemet
The character's earliest known incarnation was as "Prince Caspar of Thun", and he shared many traits in common with Matta. "Caspar" appeared in a short story called Entropy, which was published on Wattpad as part of the anthology The Old World Lives Anew! In later drafts, he was named "Apollo", before his name was finally changed to "Kemet", from the ancient name for Egypt, meaning "black land".