Kemet is an Exekian male. Nearly five hundred years old, he is a former hunyadi who briefly rose to prominence in the later years of the Old Exekian Empire. Praised for his skills as a warrior, he gave up fighting and retired from public life after playing a major role in Matta's Mutiny.
Following 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 copies of the holy books written in Old Exekian. These documents formed the basis of Xavier Vormund's new translation, which Kemet aided him in creating.
Around four hundred years ago, Kemet was born in the city of Tyr. Like most Exekians, he never knew who his parents were. As a child he stayed at the house of Haya, the daughter of Skoga, and was taught to fight by her lover, the soldier Skandar.
During a stint in the imperial army, he met Matta, who would become his mentor and friend. He became a highly skilled warrior and gained fame for his combat prowess. Emperor Rokanan favored him because he faithfully carried out even the most gruesome orders or menial tasks. He eventually became a hunyadi and built his own palace, Casca Dun.
Kemet's loyalty to the Empire was tested when his old friend Matta rebelled against the emperor in Matta's Mutiny. Kemet was forced to kill Matta to protect Rokanan, an action he regretted deeply. Upon his death Kemet came into possession of Matta's holy books, including one written by Matta himself.
Kemet became secluded, rarely appearing in public and preferring to keep to his sizable estate grounds and Casca Dun. At his first kluuda, an unknown Exekian female bore him a daughter, Arina. He chose to raise her himself, causing some scandal and alienating him further from the rest of his kind. She was sent to the House of Life for schooling.
During the First Exekian War, Kemet lost everything. His daughter was among those slaughtered, and his property was destroyed and his wealth taken as spoils of war. Any servants or slaves he possessed were freed or fled, and the world he knew crumbled around him.
Heading south, Kemet eventually took shelter in a cave burrowed into Arza Kell, a mountain near the city of Bodai. He kept to himself, but was occasionally chased or attacked by humans. He encountered few members of his own kind, and 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 managed to keep his copies of the old holy books intact, and studied them a great deal. He also modified the caves over time, flattening and smoothing the floor and expanding some of the inner chambers.
The Cult of Vormund
Badly injured during a scuffle with a group of farmers, Kemet was found and nursed back to health by the prophet Vormund and his followers. After learning who they were, he became intrigued and allowed them to stay in his cave. He became close to Clara Belgrade and befriended Gavin Zosimus.
Gradually, Kemet was converted to the new religion. He also began to develop romantic feelings for Clara, and they eventually married.
Not long after, King Tristan Stirling ordered the arrest of Vormund, whom he saw as a threat. Soldiers arrived at the cave, demanding Vormund come with them, but he was away at the time. Kemet hid from sight, and was unable to prevent them from taking Clara and Rowan Renard prisoner.
Vormund was sentenced to death for heresy and treason, but died in prison. Fearing for their lives, the cult disbanded. With the help of Lord Gavin Zosimus and his wife Melissa, Kemet and Clara escaped to the south.
After crossing the river Antoi, Gavin left them and returned to his home in Tyr. They continued on to the border, where they took shelter in an abandoned cottage. The couple rebuilt the dilapidated building, adding extra structures and repairing the house, and made it their permanent home.
Dissolution and Unity
In search of other members of his kind, Kemet frequently traversed the southern wastes, which had become known as the country of Exekia. He swiftly learned of the situation among the his people in the south; two rival factions had formed, one led by the self-proclaimed Empress Callisto, 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 Callisto possibly would. Over the next several years, Kemet traveled to her territory and preached to the people, with varying degrees of success. He once managed to get an audience with the Empress, but failed to convince her that tolerant coexistence with Alucarsia was possible.
In the year 184, the first Exekian kluuda since the fall of the Empire occurred. While staying in a nearby Exekian settlement, Kemet was vilified for refusing to help propagate his dying species by mating with a member of his own kind, as it would break his marriage vows to Clara. Despite his convictions, he found it increasingly difficult to resist his nature, as well as the aggressive advances of others. He left the village and returned home, where he suffered the symptoms and debilitating effects of the fever alone.
Kemet is described as having delicate, chiseled features, pale skin like marble, golden eyes which glow in the dark, and long white hair. Among his race, he is not considered attractive, but many humans perceive him to be incredibly beautiful. In all his appearances in the stories, he is depicted wearing a black cloak with a large folded collar.
"Vor carried him on his back 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, especially so close to the border, but it was generally believed that he was in a kind of exile."
—Gavin meets Kemet
"She thought of the paintings she had seen in the houses of lords depicting the heroes of history with the faces of angels—figures that were strong and robust, but also delicate and refined, almost feminine. His voice was too deep for him to be mistaken for a woman, but that long white hair didn’t help. Ah, well—she had always loved the pretty ones."
—Clara on Kemet's appearance
Kemet was what the ancient Egyptians called their country, meaning "black land".
The character's earliest known incarnation was as "Prince Caspar of Thun". He appeared in a short-lived story called Entropy, which was published on Wattpad as part of the short story/fragment anthology The Old World Lives Anew!
In early drafts of Hymns to the Sun, he is named "Apollo".
The Old World Lives Anew!, 2017: "Hatchling"
Hymns to the Sun, Unpublished Novel
Fever, Incomplete Novella