Suspended in the final timeless moment between life and death, the keremet are not truly fae, but Enchanted humans brought into the Dreaming at the moment of their death. Those so chosen for this role are often, though not always, Dreamers or kinain. Many were known in life for their extreme wickedness or piety. Originally people of emotional extremes, the keremet have have had these feelings stripped away from them in the process that gave them new life. The keremet go by many different names throughout the world. Among the better known are the sri of Tibet, the wicked Malaysian langsuir, or the Russian nalet. Keremet also stand behind the legends of the Wild Hunt. Stolen from their rightful Dán in Heaven, Hell, or the Underworld, these grim shades walk the tenebrous roads between life and death on missions of dark import. Whether this is a blessing or a curse remains a matter of some disagreement, even among the keremet themselves.
Driven by a gnawing, nameless hunger, these spirits push themselves to extremes to experience the simple emotions taken for granted by humans or fae. Some of these creatures continue their past depredations, ravenous spirits ever jealous of those who can experience feelings now denied to them. Others pursue a path of redemption, hoping to repay past transgressions and free themselves from the wheel of existence. The keremet seek, above all other things, some sort of meaning to their existence, whether to punish the wicked, act as guardians of the recently dead, or fulfill some unfinished personal task. (This last notion fades quickly when a keremet wraps up every possible loose end in their old life and still doesn't escape their existence.) Some eventually give up trying to find any real meaning and ceaselessly pursue whatever faint pleasures they can derive in their numbed state. Those of this bent often inflict great agony on others in order to feel any sort of emotional gratification. Conversely, some of them, realizing the value of what they once had, seek to protect both fae and human lives.
Grim and fatalistic, many of these creatures harbor secret death wishes, but the will that powers their twilight existence also hardwires them to survive no matter the cost. Thus, many keremet court dangerous situations in the hopes of ending their existence but, when pressed, fight like mad to live. Lacking basic emotions, they try to compensate by substituting a largely inflexible code of honor, logic, or desires. Their sometimes-exaggerated sense of duty paired with their lack of emotions has made them very useful to both the fomorians and the sidhe. Without emotional consequences, the keremet under the fomorian banner made fearsome, remorseless killers. The sidhe of both Courts formed an elite oath-bound circle of keremet, nine for each Court, known as the Soul Bearers, to ferry human souls to their destination in Arcadia when the sidhe possess their bodies in the Autumn World. No sidhe who has returned to Earth remembers this. Walking the secret trods and Black Paths of Balor between the Dreaming and the Underworld, this small cabal alone reputedly knows the true location of Arcadia. Hardly ever known to fail, a Soul Bearer's recent loss of the human soul exchanged for Lord Harroth Balor is seen as a major calamity by the normally emotionless adhene.
Trust, hope, and friendship... these are things that do not come easily to the keremet. Highly solitary, they are lost in cynical thoughts most of the time. With few needs, emotional or physical, cerement rarely feel the desire to hold down a job or seek out a relationship.
Few kermess care for the vagaries of fashion and often appear in voile resembling a tattered version of whatever clothes they wore in life.
Since keremet rarely feel emotion of any sort, the Dioniae Ariá is almost a relief for some, though for others the long forgotten emotions it brings to the forefront become a torment. In this form, the keremet looks exactly as they did when they were alive, and has a strong desire to reach out and experience human sensations and relationships. Melancholia is eased in this form (reducing the difficulty penalties by one) and it is only in this form that they may temporarily forget any burdens imposed by the Pact of Dagda.
In Araminae form, the keremet's skin appears pale white or ashen gray. In such a state, the keremet may, or may not, pass for a living human on casual inspection... but causes disquiet in those who see them. Eyes shrink back into the skull and gleam an unnatural yellow, blue, or green. The Denizen has either a very gaunt or a bloated, corpulent appearance. Keremet in this state are better able to deal with more "everyday" concerns without the instinctual desire for sensation of the Dioniae or the rigid duty of the Apolliae.
Keremet in Apolliae are the dreaded reapers of souls, taking no pleasure in there work but performing it with grim efficiency. Here, their undead origins come most fully to the fore and they look like little more than animated corpses that exude a slaughterhouse stench. For obvious reasons their Melancholia Frailty increases in this form (difficulty penalties increase by one) and they fixate completely on accomplishing any oaths. Their eyes are shiny and black, like pieces of onyx suspended in oil. Most believe this is a result of the adhene looking into the abyss for so long.
Birthrights & Frailties
- Affinity: Actor or Prop
- The Shadowed Way: As spirits of the dead, keremet can travel the Black Paths of Balor freely, bringing them occasionally into the Underworld. They may see and communicate with the dead, but have no inherent control over them. Unlike most Denizens, the jeremy were exempted from the Silver Ban and are able to walk the Silver Path.
- Will to Power: As dead spirits of the Dreaming, only Glamour and their own will animate the keremet. they don't need to eat or breathe and are immune to all but the rarest chimerical diseases. They also feel little pleasure or pain. As long as the jeremy has at least three points of Willpower, they have the equivalent of the Merit: Iron Will and can resist all but the harshest physical tortures. Finally, for the purpose of resisting Wound Penalties, every two points of current Willpower (rounded up) subtract one level of health penalties from any injuries against the keremet's overall health level. Thus, a keremet who is down six health levels (Crippled, -5 penalty) and has 3 or 4 Willpower will actually only have the damage penalty of someone who is Wounded (-2 penalty).
- The Pact of Dagda: In return for their omission from the Silver Ban, the keremet performed a ritual keeps them to their word when sworn by this pact. Similar in some ways to the trolls' Bond of Duty, this oath nullifies the keremet's Will to Power until the keremet is able to atone for any breech of faith (usually by fulfilling a new oath or making good on the one originally sworn). Unlike trolls, the keremet are no more honorable (or dishonorable) as a group than any other fae. They do not suffer from a broken oath any more severely than any other changeling unless they have sworn a Pact of Dagda. Most keremet avoid giving this oath when possible, but almost all Denizens know to invoke it at need.
- Melancholia: Although called melancholia, with all its connotations of sadness, keremet's lack of feeling goes far beyond low spirits and hovers on the verge of being emotionally dead. The keremet's intelligence and reasoning capabilities remain unimpaired, but any emotions are, at best, felt through a thick fog with the keenest emotion being a profound sense of loss. Because of this, keremet suffer +1 difficulty on all Social rolls. Additionally, they have problems reading other people's emotional states (+2 difficulty to all Empathy rolls). Keremet only feel strong emotions when taking Glamour directly from a mortal Dreamer. Since they find it very difficult to inspire Reverie in most Dreamers, Ravaging or Reaping are the only reliable ways in which they can restore Glamour while in the Waking World. Additionally, a botch draws a point of Glamour away from the keremet and drives the Dreamer into a form of Rhapsody. Needless to say, this makes the keremet less than popular with the local fae. Some keremet become addicted to the experience.
- Acheri: They consider themselves our "associates" for some reason. They are lucky. They perform an ordained task and their existence has some meaning (such as it is).
- Aonides: Frivolous hedonists, they are among the very few who can touch us emotionally. This is to be cherished, and feared (if we could feel such).
- Fir-bholg: Seeking ever to reclaim their former greatness, they have nt even noticed that their race is already dead.
- Fuaths: Beasts of the field, their only purpose seems to be to continue existing. It is unfortunate that they misunderstand us so.
- Moirae: Listen to the ladies of Fate, for they alone hold the key to our existence.
- Naraka: The pain surrounding their death and resurrection has driven them insane. Now in their rage they threaten to destroy us all. Guide them back to sanity if possible; destroy them if necessary.
- Changelings: Some of us have served the sidhe and there is much to commend the trolls. The sluagh, though, are the only ones among them who might understand us.
- Humankind: Most humans go through their lives without any appreciation for what it means to be alive. Tragic.
While most Denizens are born of the Dreaming and have never known the Autumn world, the Keremet have a tale more tragic. Enchanted beings, most commonly Dreamers or Kinain, they were taken to the Dreaming in their final moments of life. Stolen away from their rightful fate after death, they instead become wraith-like creatures that drift about without much drive or desire in their miserable, prolonged lives. Passionate people when alive, after reawakening, keremet find their emotions deadened nearly to the point of nonexistence. Many fixate on finding a way to experiences these feelings again. When this proves fruitless, most discover that despite having no real will to continue, they possess a supernatural will to survive, even without a reason to go on.
Many keremet clothe themselves in rags or simply wear whatever they have into shabbiness. Their voile is likewise torn and tattered, similar to clothes they wore in life.
- Dioniae: Some find refuge in the emotions that are closer to the surface here, others find it a torturous experience. Dioniae keremet appear just as they did when they were alive, and their Frailties are eased (Pact burdens do not apply, and melancholia penalties are reduced by one).
- Araminae: Though best equipped to deal with the struggles of everyday life, araminae keremet have a notably strange appearance. They may or may not be able to pass for a living human, but do have either an extremely gaunt or bloated appearance, with sunken eyes that gleam unnatural shades of yellow, green, or blue.
- Apolliae: Truly corpse-like in this mindset, apolliae keremet are animated solely by whatever duty they have given themselves, and their Pact oaths are objects of obsession. Their eyes are sunken and oily black, and they give off the stench of the dead. With this unsettling appearance, the effects of melancholia increase.
Birthrights & Frailties
- The Shadowed Way: Keremet are exempt from the Silver Ban and can still walk trods. As creatures of death, they can sometimes find their way to the Underworld, where they may observe and interact with the dead.
- Will to Power: Keremet are immune to all but the rarest chimerical diseases and have no need to eat or breathe. As long as she has three points of Willpower, a keremet is considered to have the Iron Will Merit (p. 180). A keremet may also reduce her wound penalties by one for every two unspent points in her Willpower pool (rounded up).
- Pact of Dagda: A special oath unique to the keremet, the Pact of Dagda supersedes any other oaths, pacts, or promises the Denizen has sworn. A keremet must fulfill whatever she has promised in this way as wholly and quickly as possible. If she breaches this contract, the need to atone overpowers her Will to Power Endowment. Regular oaths do not carry this weight, but most Denizens know to ask for such a Pact.
- Melancholia: Beyond mere sadness, keremet have difficulty experiencing any emotion. All Social rolls are made at +1 difficulty, and any Empathy rolls are made at +2 difficulty. Ravaging is the most viable way for keremet to gain Glamour, but a botch draws Glamour from the keremet to their target, driving the target into Rhapsody.