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Kemet is an Exekian who allies himself with the New Exekian Empire. He is a central character who makes an appearance in Hymns to the Sun, Book II, and Book III.

Having imposed a self-exile upon himself, he is shamed and mistrusted by the New Imperials, primarily due to his ambiguous stance and his marriage to the human Clara Belgrade. Despite this, he is renowned as a warrior, though he avoids killing whenever possible. He was the first Exekian Vormundist, and believes humans and Exekians can and should coexist peacefully.

Biography

Early Life

Approximately 460 years ago, Kemet was born in the city of Tyre. Like most Exekians, he never knew who his parents were. 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.

During a stint in the army, he met Matta, who would become his mentor and friend. An unknown Exekian woman bore Kemet a daughter, Arina. He vowed to raise her himself, causing some scandal and alienating him from the rest of his kind.

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, where he kept numerous slaves and was known as a kind, fair master.

Kemet's loyalty to the Empire was destroyed 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.

A Slave In Hiberia

During the First Exekian War, Kemet lost everything. Arina was among those slaughtered, and his property was destroyed and his wealth taken as spoils of war.

Attempting to find safety, Kemet traveled to the city of Hiberia, which he believed was still under Exekian control. Upon his arrival, however, Kemet was immediately captured. The city had been taken over by the humans, who opted to keep the thriving system of slavery. Captive Exekians were made to work or face death.

Kemet was enslaved until the city was overtaken by King Cassius Stirling I. Most of the slaves were promptly killed by their masters, but Kemet was among those who managed to flee.

Hunted

Kemet went into the wilderness, where he lived 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. He found shelter in a cave on Casca Dun, a mountain near the city of Bodai, and spent his days alone. He managed to keep his copies of the old holy books intact, and studied them a great deal. He desired death, but knew suicide was a sin, and so he kept living.

The Cult of Vor

Kemet was found by the followers of the prophet Vor. After learning who they were, he became intrigued and allowed them to stay in his cave. He became close to Clara Belgrade and her infant son Vormundus, and also befriended Gavin Zosimus, who became his closest friend.

Gradually, Kemet was converted to the new religion. He also began to develop romantic feelings for Clara. Another cultist, Rolfe, objected to their relationship on the grounds that it was unsafe, and the two initially resisted their attraction to each other because of this.

At one point, Kemet left. Vor discovered him at a lake to the north. The two conversed at length, and Kemet returned to the cave with him.

Not long after, 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 Eclipse; the other two thirds scattered to the four winds. With the help of Lord Gavin Zosimus, Kemet, Sofia, and Vormundus escaped to the south.

After crossing the river Antoi, Gavin left them and returned to his home in Tyre. They continued on to the border of Casca Dun, where they stopped and built a cottage in a clearing, which was to be their permanent home.

Dissolution and Unity

In search of other members of his kind, Kemet traversed the shadowlands. 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. Over the next several years, Kemet would travel to her territory and preach to the people, to no avail.

Description

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; he looks "too human". In all his appearances in the stories, he is depicted wearing a black cloak with a large folded collar.

Quotes

"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 Musatei, 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."

—Sofia on Kemet's appearance

Trivia

Kemet was what the ancient Egyptians called their country, meaning "black land".

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!

In early drafts of Hymns to the Sun, he is called "Apollo" like the ancient Greek god of the sun and truth.

Works Cited

The Old World Lives Anew!, 2017: "Hatchling"

Hymns to the Sun, 2017

Fever, 2017

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