Within the context of the story, Kemet is designed to serve as a foil to Nechtan, who fills a similar role in the Clan. While Nechtan is a hero among his people and Zimreon's most trusted ally, Kemet has imposed a self-exile upon himself and has been shamed and mistrusted by the New Imperials, primarily due to his romantic relationship with the human Sofia Belgrade.
Despite this, he is nonetheless renowned as a warrior, even though he avoids killing whenever possible. He is one of the few Exekian Vormundists, and believes humans and Exekians can and should coexist peacefully.
It is hinted that Kemet has a much darker nature, and may have committed evil deeds in his past which haunt him in the present.
Kemet is described as having delicate, chiseled features, pale skin like marble, gray eyes which glow faintly in the dark, and long, curly white hair. His more muscular build is not considered attractive among his slender race. He is missing his left hand. In all his appearances in the stories, he is depicted wearing a black cloak with a large folded collar.
10,441 years ago, Kemet was born in the city of Casca Dun. Like most Exekians, he never knew who his parents were, although he suspected his father was the city's master builder, Bakka. As a child he stayed at the house of Haya, the daughter of Empress Skoga, and was taught to fight by her lover, the soldier Skandar. The two of them served as his primary foster parents.
As an adult he became a highly skilled warrior and gained fame for his combat prowess. Various emperors favored him because he faithfully carried out even the most gruesome orders or menial tasks. He eventually became a prince and built his own palace, where he kept numerous slaves. In his long life he was lover to many beautiful, rich, and powerful women, no doubt fathering numerous children.
During the Age of Shadows, Kemet was assigned to deal with a small group of runaway slaves hiding in the wilderness. His mission was to recapture most of them, but it ultimately turned into a massacre. Men, women, and children were brutally slain at his hands. When he returned, having killed them all, he was praised by the Emperor Rokanan himself and promoted to a higher rank. Kemet was confused by his shameful feelings at the time and repressed his guilt to save face, but he retained lingering doubts about what he and his race were doing to the humans.
DownfallIn the years preceding the fall of the empire, Kemet grew increasingly withdrawn from public and military life. He took a public lover, Nesrine, and privately carried on a kind of platonic romance with one of his slaves, Mary. Nesrine bore him a daughter, Kaarina; contrary to custom, Kemet kept her chrysalis in his home and was present when she was born. He vowed to raise her himself, causing some scandal. Kaarina was cared for by Mary and sent to the House of Life as soon as she was old enough to begin schooling; Kemet often visited her, further alienating him from the rest of his kind, who did not understand why he was parenting the child. His behavior became increasingly disdainful, and it was believed he was becoming "too human". His relationship with Mary became suspicious, and he was forced to sell her or risk both their lives.During the First Exekian War, Kemet lost everything. Kaarina was among those slaughtered in the House of Life. His property was destroyed and his wealth taken as spoils of war. Seeing that he was ruined, Nesrine fled, never to be seen by him again.
A Slave In Hiberia
Attempting to find safety, Kemet traveled to the city of Moloc Bal, which he believed was still under Exekian control. Upon his arrival, however, Kemet was immediately captured. The city, renamed Hiberia, had been taken over by the humans, who opted to keep the thriving system of slavery. Weak and poor humans and captive Exekians alike were made to work for those in power.
Kemet was enslaved until the city was taken in force by King Cassius Stirling I. Most of the slaves were promptly killed by their masters, but Kemet was among those who managed to flee.
Kemet went into the wilderness, where he wandered the countryside for over a century. He was chased and attacked by the humans; those of his own kind whom he encountered were either driven mad or reduced to a bestial state, bent purely on survival. There were rumors of feudal warfare among those Exekians who escaped to the Shadowlands. He didn't dare follow them, realizing he could never return to his old soldiering ways.
The Cult of Vor
The Exekian was beaten by a family of farmers after they caught him trying to steal their food. They punished him the way they punished all thieves: by cutting off his left hand. They then abandoned him, bleeding, in the woods.
A short time later he was spotted by an old man. After stopping the bleeding, the man carried the Exekian with him to a cave, where a small community of humans lived. The man who had saved him was the prophet Vor, who believed in peace and friendship between species; he had carried the Exekian to his burgeoning cult.
While there, Kemet recovered from his injuries and regained his strength. He was placed in the care of Sofia Belgrade, who nursed him back to health. He became close to her and her infant son Vormundus, and also befriended Gavin Zosimus, who arrived the day after him.
Gradually, Kemet was converted to the new religion, becoming the ninth of the original disciples. He also began to develop romantic feelings for Sofia. Another cultist, Rolfe, objected to their affections, calling it "unnatural"; he was silenced by Vor, who saw Kemet and Sofia as ideals of their beliefs. Kemet was nonetheless affected by Rolfe's words, and began to question his view of humans in general.
Following the murder of Lilia Merriman, Kemet overheard Heather Babbitt and Drusus Rolfe plotting to kill Daniel Zuse. One of the ideas they suggested involved using some of Kemet's blood as a poison. Horrified, Kemet left the cave to ensure their plan never came to fruition.
Only a year after Kemet's arrival, King Tristan Stirling ordered the arrest of Vor, whom he saw as a threat. Soldiers arrived at the cave, demanding Vor come with them, but he was away at the time. Kemet hid from sight, and witnessed Sofia being attacked by one of the soldiers. He was on the verge of bursting out of cover to save her when Vor returned and submitted to the soldiers.
Vor was executed for heresy and treason. Fearing for their lives, the cult disbanded. Rolfe took a third of the Vormunds and formed the Insurrection; the other two thirds scattered to the four winds. With the help of Lord Gavin Zosimus, Kemet, Sofia, and Vormundus escaped to the south. Along the way, Sofia asked Kemet if he would marry her, and he agreed; they performed an impromptu ceremony in the woods, with Zosimus bearing witness.
At the border, Gavin left them and returned to his home in Tyre. They continued on to the river Antoi, where they stopped and built a cottage in a clearing. They stayed there for several months, living as a family. Eventually Sofia agreed to remain there with Vormundus, while Kemet proceeded into the Shadowlands.
Dissolution and Unity
In search of other members of his kind, Kemet traversed the Shadowlands. His charisma and skill with a sword led to him gaining followers of his own. He swiftly learned of the situation among the Exekians in the south; two rival factions had formed, one led by Callisto, a banished princess from ancient times, and the other an alliance between the former prince Zimreon and his lieutenant Nechtan, who called themselves the Clan.
Kemet recognized that the Clan would never seek peace with the humans, but Callisto, who had been exiled to the south thousands of years ago for falling in love with a human slave, undoubtedly would. Kemet traveled to her territory and managed to meet with her. Offering her his allegiance, she tasked him with proving himself.
Kemet led his forces and Callisto's army against the Clan. They were victorious. After the battle, she agreed to join their forces permanently, forming the New Exekian Empire.
During the reign of King Aldous, a young Queen Laura, accompanied only by the knight Sir Traun, traveled to New Exekias, seeking an audience with Callisto. She was barred from seeing the empress, but she did meet with Kemet, who realized she was his old friend Gavin Zosimus' daughter. While it is unknown what exactly was exchanged between them, Laura returned to her homeland with John and Kemet arrived at Sofia's cottage with Mayim.
Kemet was what the ancient Egyptians called their country, meaning "black".
The character's original incarnation was as "Prince Caspar of Thun". He appeared in a short-lived story called Entropy, which was published as part of the short story/fragment anthology The Old World Lives Anew! Other names no longer in use include Apollo.
The Old World Lives Anew!, 2017: "Hatchling"
Hymns to the Sun, 2017