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Keth Detritus 

“Some lycanthropes fear the moon. They fear that it may turn them to beasts, but I know the truth. Men have always been beasts – brutal, heartless things that would no sooner help their neighbor than kill them for the food on their table. If I must be a beast, then let it be that I am the most dangerous one – and if I must fight tooth and nail, then let me have fangs!” 

– Keth Detritus

With the same slinking silence as a wolf stalks in the grass, the moon glides across the sky. It coats the hollow space between trees with a ghost-matte paleness and leaves nothing through which noise may travel save the muted moans of the wind. 

It is a deathless moment. It frightens a man, the stillness in the air that holds his breath in his lungs. As the moon settles into its zenith, he knows now – at this hour – he is become prey, and only the wolves can see in the dark. 

Keth has not always been as he is now, a werewolf. In his youth he was a cleric’s boy who would spend his days avoiding chores when he could, and making a game of them when he couldn’t. He was a whimsical creature with a hopeful future that promised a lifetime of joy and peace. But this came to a sharp end when his father – a cleric of the sun goddess Raygus’gon – was attacked. 

It happened all at once, right in front of the young boy. His father had warned of the dangers that threatened him, he was not well liked by the status quo; afterall, and it took out its repudiation with devout fervor. 

“Kill this heathen,” Keth recalls them saying. Blood sprayed where the attackers’ struck his father’s skull. “The sun is yours, but this land is ours – and we aren’t keen to sharein’ it with the likes of you.” They ended the cleric's life for suggesting they be more warm and welcoming like the sun that served as his example above. They were afraid, and; in their fear, vicious.

“Do not be afraid,” Keth’s father said “Rise up like the sun at dawn.” He seemed too calm, Keth thought, but in reality he spake carefully for all he had left for breath was his last.

Keth crumbled immediately. He was sapling in the storm of old hate, as the men turned quickly on him. They called him ‘the pagan’s pup’. Ultimately, the savage city men cast what they let live – the ragged, broken body of the boy – into the river. Keth, he says when asked, died there in that river – drowned by the greed and fear of men. What was pulled out of that cold, dark water – rescued by a pack of werewolves – was a different boy and one who had not met the end of his suffering. 

He learned quick that men, regardless of their form, were cursed by greed and hate that made any lycanthropy seem like a minor illness. 

The wolf-men tortured the young Keth. They wanted information on the city from which he was cast out – where did they keep their livestock, in which house did the governor live, how many soldiers guarded their gates? They got everything the boy knew, he poured it out with his tears and in the empty space nightmares filled the little boy until he was hardly more than a shaken bag of bones curled into himself. 

Their interrogation turned into a sick game where the winner was whoever made the boy cry the loudest.  Then, one day, as Keth rested at the peak of day, he heard the werewolves – now in their human form – bicker with one another. They ridiculed each other for the weakness of their human forms and taunted each other.

“You should’ve been bitten twice, ha ha ha!” they said. In hearing this, Keth learned how one becomes a werewolf, and how one becomes fearless. 

That night, as the full moon swelled with its sharp, silvery light, the wolf-men returned to Keth. They planned to eat him for he was no more fun than he was useful now. 

They slit the boy in the belly, but Keth held to his father’s words, an anchor in the material plane that tethered him to his mortal coil. He was not afraid. 

He remained strong and fearless. He allowed blood to pour from him without so much as a whimper. Then, he feigned his death and pretended to be limp.

He was all but dead when the first werewolf bit down in bloody hunger and Keth let loose his final bits of strength.

The boy launched from the maw of the surprised werewolf. He ran out from the shed in which he’d been kept. They ran in pursuit, but the animal in him – the animal he was becoming – was faster. He learned the moon was the cause of their power and took his fresh werewolf bite to be bathed in the shallow glow of the night sky.

All that remained to see the following dawn was a boy with a scar on his belly and bite marks in his haunch, and a pack of animals indiscernible from their remains  – animals that did not understand one simple truth: the beast that instills fear is powerless against one that has none. 

Today, Keth Detritus is an apex predator, an alpha among monsters. He stalks the dark maw of dead, moss-rotten forests as he hunts for his prey, prey that feeds not his hunger for flesh as much as his hunger for knowledge. Keth is an animal, but he is also an artificer. He maintains a twisted mission to bend the form of flesh to his will and he must study and experiment on any critter and creature he can find. 

He is obsessed with the same lycanthropy that curses himself, but where others might seek a cure, he seeks an evolution – a deeper understanding of how his body has changed that he may become even more feral and powerful.

In order to maintain his wolven form even in the radiance of day, or the darkness of a partial moon, Keth forged a sword from a fallen meteor. He first observed the meteor as it fell from the sky and was astonished to find it radiated the same energy as the full moon, and decided – though he did not understand the mechanism by which this was true – that the celestial stone must have come from the moon itself, ejected directly from its surface like stone ejected from a blast of dynamite. This sword, so long as it remains in his possession, grants him the ability to remain, everlasting, in his hybrid man-wolf form.

Keth is not one to lead, he prefers a solitary life where he can be left to his work, but he allows the company of his creations. Most of these stitched, piecemeal monstrosities are mindless drones, creatures with the same affect as a pet or beast of burden. Some; however, are the product of human experiments, and these lycanthropes often fall in line under his rule or are driven so mad they clamber and sow mayhem in the towns they once called home.

His studies have revealed many truths to him that he has used to infuse himself with greater power than lycanthropy alone. He is augmented with an array of different curses and arcane enchantments. Despite his increased power, Keth aims for the penultimate control over life, he aims to wield the power of death itself, the power of the ancient death god Krithgore

For this reason, Keth’s studies are focused on occult legends and demonic texts. He is unsure where this path will lead, but he knows it will involve investigating further a series of recent discoveries: 1) a god can be killed by its herald 2) killing a god grants unto the assailant their domain and powers, and 3) a herald of a god is whoever makes the greatest sacrifice in their name. 

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