|Birth||25th of Ujeregula, 503 AEKE|
|Death||13th of Tyelcartel, 534 AEKE|
31 in Artograchian years, |
32 in Terran years (at the time of death)
|First appearence||Ways of Darkness (FRPG) (mentioned only)|
Keshuver Seward (Middle Etrandish: Keshuver Seward ; IPA: [kɛʃʊvəɹ‿sɛwɒɹd]), also known by his nickname Keshú (Middle Etrandish: Keshú ; IPA: [kɛʃuː]), was an Etrandish Knight, best known as the first lover and murder victim of Ashrám Wegnard, immortalizing his name as a martyr.
Before the exile
Keshú was born on the 25th of Ujeregula, 503 AEKE as the second son to a minor noble family in Central-Eastern England, not so far from the borders between Etrand and Etrancoast. As the second son in a minor family with no spare land to subdivide between heirs, it was apparent from the very beginning of Keshuver's life, that he would not inherit an inch of land upon his father's death. The little child, who was initially intended to become a priest, however turned out to be too hot-blooded for such a job - as such, it was decided that Keshú would be forced to join a knightly order once old enough to wield a sword, so that he may further the reputation of his family.
He was eight years old when his parents enrolled him into the Order of the Blood Red Knight. The rather promising child was assigned to a master at the age of twenty, and at the unusually young age of seventeen, he gained the rank of Paladin. Keshú was well-known as one of the most talented - and also hot-blooded and fierce - members of the order, having an extraordinary amount of physical strength for his age, allowing to wield a sword longer and heavier than that of other knights. However, hot-bloodedness was not his only trait: he was also known as a gregarious person, one who got along with others with ease.
It was at that time when he met his would-be-lover Barn, whom he befriended very fast, and for whom he has started to develop forbidden urges that eventually turned out to be mutual. Keshú and Barn worked together on many missions, and while initially, both of them were reluctant to admit that they felt something stronger than just friendship towards each other - which as understandable, given how everything they stood for abhors such forbidden urges - eventually, the ice was broken: Barn turned out to be the shyer one, so it was up to Keshú to land the first kiss.
Afterwards the two have become lovers, co-operating on just about every mission they took, even spending much of their free time together. For obvious reasons, they have attempted to hide their forbidden relationship, but despite their best efforts, one of their partners, a lazy good-for-nothing knight whom has never progressed beyond the rank of Paladin even at the age of 30, has caught them in the act, and threatened to report this intolerable act of sodomy to the order's grandmaster... unless they agreed to complete missions for him and credit him.
The two knights reluctantly agreed and kept the deal for half-a-year, until something unexplainable happened. The man who blackmailed them was very close to getting the promotion he always wanted, but he wanted more. Then all of the sudden, he died mysteriously. From the wounds, he was stabbed in the back.
To Barn, this was a great relief, but for some reason, from that point on, Keshú started to constantly have a worried look on his face, grew more paranoid, and his ability to use his Clerical Magic declined. One and a half year have passed since the murder of the blackmailer, and Keshú personally went to the grandmaster of the order, and confessed everything to him: the forbidden relationship between him and Barn, the blackmailing fraud, and the fact that he killed the man, as he was unable to bear the situation anymore. He also personally begged that all the blame be put on him and that Barn be left alone, unpunished and his reputation untarnished. Desperate to avoid a scandal, the grandmaster agreed to Keshú's proposition and sent him off to the countryside to serve for an indefinite time "until he can find the light again", while Barn was left alone, unpunished, as agreed.
As punishment for his actions, Keshú was formally stripped of his sword and title as a knight for the duration of his exile. He would be forced to pray five times a day and whip his own back as a form of penance, as well as complete difficult and arduous tasks in the far southern parts of Etrand, which were constantly raided by Orcs. As the fallen knight was forbidden from using a sword, he would take up an axe to beat orcish raiders into pulp, as well as various other monsters when being sent to explore old ruins. When he was not on a highly dangerous mission, he had to perform work similar to that of monks.
During these years, Keshú has grown to be full of scars and wrinkles, looking at least ten years older than his real age.
Return and death
After almost a decade of constantly tasks and various other mandatory "acts of repentance", "having found the light again", Keshú was finally allowed back into the order. One of his first things to do after being re-admitted to the order as a full member was to ask others about the whereabouts of his old friend Barn. Keshú was delighted to hear that his former lover became a man of power, but rumours also came into his ears that he was living together with an Elven woman, who may not have been his de jure wife, she was much more to him than just a maidservant. That is why he did not start looking for Barn immediately after returning - fate would still ensure that they meet by accident.
Barn knew that Keshú still had strong feelings for him and felt hurt. Both of them knew - but refused to say out loud - that they still had lingering feelings of love for each other, so they scheduled a meeting at Barn's house, presumably to pre-emptively sort out the unresolved tension that could arise between Keshú, Barn and Barn's de facto spouse. The date the meeting would be held was 13th of Tyelcartel, 534 AEKE.
Unfortunately, Barn arrived to the scheduled meeting late, only to find his female elven lover Dídlet lying dead on the floor, in a pool of blood. Barn immediately suspected Keshú of murdering Dídlet, so he rushed to Keshú's house, broke in the door, only to find a visibly sad Keshú. Keshú claimed that there was an accident, but Barn did not believe it - he immediately took out his sword and charged at his former lover.
Keshú did not offer much resistance to Barn. Instead, even in his dying breath, while laying in a pool of his own blood, he confessed his everlasting love for Barn, arguably hammering in the final nail in the coffin of Barn's sanity. After the murder, Barn went into seclusion and murdered most of his household servants. The survivors testified that it was most certain that Barn murdered Keshú.
The funerals of both Keshú and Dídlet were held on the same day, at the same place, in Barn's absence. Keshú's name was immortalized a victim of murder by an evil psychopath and traitor. Keshú's death and Barn's turn to the Dark Side made it impossible for the Order of the Blood Red Light to avoid scandal - they had to come forward with the fact that both knights were sodomites who were blackmailed by a certain other knight. This scandal tarnished the order's reputation quite a bit, and it took almost a century for them to repair their reputation.