Kemet is a male Exekian. 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.
Kemet is described as having delicate, chiseled features, pale skin like marble, golden eyes which glow in the dark, and long white hair in loose curls. He usually wears a black cloak with a large folded collar.
Kemet was born in 245 BYZ at Casca Dun, the private residence of his father Matta, a famous scholar. Kemet's unnamed mother abandoned him shortly after his birth, but he has one memory of her before she left - a tired, naked woman with white hair, she spoke in a whisper to his father, who pressed a bag of coins into her hands. She then got dressed and walked out of the house, never to be seen by him again.
As the son of a renowned scholar, Kemet was given the finest education money could buy. Matta financed Kemet's schooling and military career, but he remained distant from his son, preferring his books and his experiments to spending time with the boy.
Kemet eventually ascended to the rank of hunyadi. Around 72 BYZ, Matta discovered the earliest known copy of the Mandorlin in Pygar, and translated it from Old Exekian into new. Shocked by what he found, he summoned Kemet home to show it to him. The manuscript revealed that the Fellinar had extensively altered the original text, reducing the role of humans in the Histories and implying that they were created to be subservient slaves to the Exekians. Matta, who already hated slavery, was enraged at this deception and vowed to put a stop to the institutionalized slavery of the Empire.
While Kemet shared his father's views, he was reluctant to participate in accelerationist or terrorist activities, as it would jeopardize his position as hunyadi. He tried to convince Matta to be patient and subtle, but Matta, never politically-minded, was determined to put an immediate stop to slavery. He tried to coax Kemet into helping him free the slaves on a plantation owned by Caspar, the heir of Emperor Rokanan. Kemet was initially led to believe that the scheme would simply allow the slaves being held at Caspar's plantation to escape to Dardanos, but he refused to participate as his involvement would cause him to be scapegoated.
Without Kemet's help, Matta slew the guards at the plantation and armed the slaves, who proceeded to murder Caspar in his sleep and then attempted to assassinate Emperor Rokanan. When the assassination attempted failed, they were forced to retreat, and a few of the slaves were captured. Interrogated under torture, the slaves confessed to everything, including revealing Matta's involvement and the proposed plan involving Kemet.
Kemet was charged for his failure to report Matta, now a fugitive on the run. To save his own skin, Kemet offered to betray Matta, tracking him down to the ruins of an old fort. He killed Matta and brought back his body. Despite a full pardon by the Emperor, Kemet had no desire to remain a hunyadi and retired from his position.While he lost his princely holdings, Matta's estate, Casca Dun, including his vast library, fell into Kemet's hands. Kemet abandoned public life completely and became increasingly reclusive. He spent much of his time reading through the endless tomes in Matta's library. That was how he came to truly appreciate the copy of the Mandorlin which his father had based his fatal decision upon.
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, including the mysterious copy of the Mandorlin.
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 translate it into Apicartan. One of Vormund's followers, the ex-prostitute Clara Richter, befriended Kemet. 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.
The new cult member Leonard Gorrister sought Kemet out, but the Exekian was reluctant to show himself. He eventually agreed to meet after Leonard accidentally saw him during a strange incident. The two spoke of the Mandorlin, with Leonard becoming convinced the book was the most important thing the cult had to offer.
The group left Kemet behind with Clara and Laura as they traveled to Hiberia. Approximately two weeks later, Clara heard about the death of Vormund while visiting a nearby village for supplies. Fearing that their lives were in danger, Kemet and Clara fled the caverns and hid in the woods, taking Laura with them.
Gavin and Leonard arrived not long after, accompanied by a disguised Selca Ducani. Selca revealed his true identity and forced them to give up the Mandorlin, which he then destroyed. Though Selca discovered Kemet and Clara hiding amid the rocks and threatened to kill them, Gavin managed to save their lives by convincing Selca to honor his half of their bargain.
That night, Kemet returned Laura to Gavin, and the friends split up for the last time.
After crossing the river Antoi, Kemet and Clara snuck across the Apicartan border into the free territory of the Lowlands. The couple rebuilt an abandoned cottage they found, adding extra structures and repairing the house. They lived there in secret as husband and wife for the next seventeen 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 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. His attempts to gain an audience with her were rebuffed, however, and while he spoke to numerous Exekians, he failed to convince any of them that peaceful coexistence with Apicarta was possible.
At some point he began a correspondence with Gavin, who kept him up to date on the situation for the Vormundists in Apicarta. It was in these letters that Kemet promised to help Gavin's family if anything ever happened to him.
Kluuda and Fifth Exekian War
In the year 183, the first Exekian kluuda since the fall of the Empire occurred. Prior to the manifestation of symptoms, Kemet was staying in the coastal town of Telovet. There, he was approached by an Exekian named Rasvan who was an agent of the Empress. Her Majesty had heard his pleas for peace with the humans, he claimed, and had sent him to speak on her behalf in these negotiations.
As the "peace talks" progressed, it became clear to Kemet that Rasvan was attempting to manipulate him. The agent went out of his way to befriend Kemet, and as Kemet's kluuda began, he tried to prevent him from leaving and offered him access to the most beautiful females. Kemet's refusal to forsake his marriage vows roused Rasvan's ire; the agent locked the ailing, feverish Kemet in a room with an Exekian female to give him an incentive to mate with a member of his own kind.
Kemet succumbed to kluuda and coupled with the female (whom he would later identify as Arsinoe). He was then released and fled home, where he eventually confessed to Clara what had occurred.
Isolated in their cottage by a blizzard, Kemet and Clara were unaware that the region was about to be invaded by King Aldous until Leonard arrived with a contingent of men hoping to fight for the Exekians. Leonard, Clara, and Kemet, who had not met in over fifteen years, conversed about the current state of affairs and decided to seek safety further south. On their way out, they were spotted and fired upon by Aldous' scouts. Thus began the Fifth Exekian War.
Forced to head deeper into the south, Kemet was vilified and Clara was increasingly harassed by the Exekians, who were disgusted by their relationship. The couple encountered Rasvan again when the agent was sent to Leonard as a representative of the New Empire. He intimidated Kemet 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 and placed in charge of managing the fortress, which was rapidly becoming a major target of Aldous' troops. In accordance with hunyadi customs, his long hair, which had not seen the shear since he went into exile over two hundred years earlier, was cut short in preparation for combat.
Also at the fortress was a pregnant Arsinoe, and Kemet was forced to face the possibility that she might be carrying his child. Despite Clara's protests, he announced his intentions of taking in the child and raising it as his own.
- Depending on who is addressing him, he may be referred to as "hunyadi 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 Apicarta, 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".