Kento's Avatar Form Condition in Age of Defiance | World Anvil
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Kento's Avatar Form

Just a bit bigger and twice as goofy looking...   Mal Daggur planned a repeat of the disaster inflicted in Bainshaebo when he used a chemical to turn Paigasurin into a gigantic monster. Intervention from the Ronin Warriors put a stop to this plot and exhausted of his supply of chemical, he scrapped his plan entirely. Unbeknownst to him, the chemical-never before tested nor intended to be used on a living being-had unforeseen effects upon one of the Ronin. A confluence of events led to the creation-or emergence, depending on who you ask-of a powerful physical transformation which Tar Uhnin insists is the first true example of an emdourachil seen in well over a century. Like pushing a Hardrock-sized boulder up a hill, it's been a struggle for Kento: trying to control his new power and use it to protect his friends. As much progress as he's made harnessing his "Inner Self", it's a gnawing fear he deals with daily that should the day come that a true cure presents itself, he'll be too accustomed to his Avatar to want to give up that strength.

Transmission & Vectors

Pesak miners on the Thunthen homeworld use a chemical designed to agitate metal on a molecular level, drawing it out of the rock in order to avoid digging in risky areas. Undesirable stone is left untouched and precious metal pulled towards the surface where it can safely be extracted. Even Peasants know better than to let a drop of the chemical touch them and it is handled under strict safety protocols, stored in water-tight plastic-like containers.   Mal Daggur reasoned it could be used on Eyurodin's newly-created Pegasi. The chemical had never been tested before on a living creature until Mal Daggur's human collaborator Lazro Cochran tinkered with potential effects on living tissue. A counteragent could be used to restore a test subject, but repeated exposure to chemical seemed to result in a lasting effect on the subject. When used on a living creature, ingestion or skin contact is enough to trigger first-phase or second-phase transformation, though ingestion results in a much quicker reaction while skin exposure has a significant delay.

Causes

Cochran only conducted experiments on tomato hornworms aboard the Nsenagvvik. A cave worm in the cisterns transformed from a combination of full-body immersion and ingestion, but prolonged exposure seemed to increase its ferocity. When Kento underwent third-phase transformation a second time, his behavior seemed normal at first until he started to suffer a lapse. In the case of a living being, the chemical first comes in contact with the skin, then is retained in the blood, then restructures the DNA.

Symptoms

First-phase
  Occurs when nearby matter is destabilized on a molecular level and drawn towards the subject like a magnet. Mazzan's original dererium framework collapsed, being consumed to augment Pegasus' body. With Pegasus, the chemical would have lost its efficacy given time without a special filter attached to his neck to recycle it. Without the device, he simply reverted back to normal. In Kento's case, he absorbed nearby physical matter such as brick, concrete, and metal, drastically changing his appearance. Pegasus did not suffer any secondary effects being entirely mechanical, but even with use of a counteragent, trace amounts of the chemical remained in Kento's bloodstream, leading to second-phase.  
Second-phase
  Kento appeared completely normal until Cye started noticing his ravenous appetite and hair-trigger temper-at least much more than usual. He experienced erratic mood shifts and periods of euphoria. Because of its weakened state and efficacy, residual chemical in his bloodstream couldn't directly absorb nearby matter as with first-phase exposure. He literally had to eat more than his weight in food at multiple times throughout the day. His internal body temperature started to increase as his body attempted to enter third-phase. His cognitive abilities started to decline until he operated on instinct, searching for more and more food.  
Third-phase
  As demonstrated by Cochran's hornworm, the victim undergoes a drastic physical transformation, seeing a nearly 30% increase in body size and gaining a significant amount of muscle mass. In order to grow, bone, organs, and tissue are effectively torn apart from within and new growth occurs to repair the damage. Skin coloration changes depending on whatever matter was absorbed during first-phase and the victim displays severely heightened aggression, unable to distinguish between friend or foe or respond to attempts at dialogue. If left untreated, the transformation is potentially permanent.  
Fourth-phase
  By now the chemical itself has been thoroughly purged, but not before significantly altering the subject's DNA. At this point no overt symptoms are displayed until the subject is provoked by external stimuli. Cochran's hornworm exhibited fourth-phase when Mal Daggur simply tapped it on the side, but due to its size reverted quickly after exhausting itself. Tar Uhnin had not yet completed full tests on Kento's DNA before he demonstrated fourth-phase during a fight against the Dynasty. While he reverted back to normal after the fight had concluded, by then the damage had already been done.  
AvatarKento1.jpg
Avatar Kento (thumbnail) by Mardrena
raw pencil sketch
Transformed State
  The subject is able to retain some level of awareness and control but undergoes significant physiological changes. Cochran's hornworm tripled in size and became so strong it nearly splintered Mal Daggur's claw by squeezing it. The cave worm absorbed trace metal from the caverns above the cisterns, giving it an extremely hard carapace. Because Kento absorbed a large amount of cobalt when he first transformed, it settled into his bone marrow and distributes whenever he transforms, mixing with the iron in his blood and causing his skin to become a light-gray lavender.   The process of transforming seems to draw the coloring out of his hair, causing it to turn white. His eyes lose their color as well, the pupil and iris turning white and pupils becoming slitted. His canines appear more pronounced because of his size. His nails lengthen and thicken into sharp claws. He has yet to fully explore the upper limits of his physical strength, but if the front gate of the Kurtora is any indication, it is anywhere from between 25-50 tons. Despite his increased size and muscle mass, he retains his full range of movement being more lean muscle than straight up bulk.
 
In line with Tar's theory about this being a true emdourachil, Kento behaves more like himself, stating that there's no "Jekyll and Hyde" with him. Dr. O'Connor used epinephrine to induce a transformation, reinforcing the hypothesis that a spike in adrenaline triggers the change. Kento's eyes glow bright white if agitated or irate. His pupils turning white seem to signal a potential transformation with the first stages of organ growth marking the "point of no return". The actual process itself occurs fairly uniformly being preceded by his eyes changing color followed by his nails lengthening into claws. The first few events he experienced excruciating pain and the process took anywhere from thirty seconds to a full minute. More recent events have occurred with minimal pain and take less than thirty seconds. It would seem focusing on a specific need like protecting someone can effectively block out pain entirely.
“Chow mein?”   “Too much fat.”   “Lo mein?”   “Too much sodium.”   “Soda?”   “Has to have cane sugar. If it’s chemical sugar it makes me dizzy.”   “Burgers?”   “Has to be medium-rare. If it’s well-done I blow chunks.”
— Cataclysm War Ch. 12

Treatment

If the chemical is not properly purged before a seventy-two hour window expires, any changes become permanent. In Kento's case, his DNA has been irreparably altered to such a degree not even Tar Uhnin, one of the most brilliant minds in his field, can reverse the effects. Magic proved ineffective and even the Healing Theme failed to have any impact. Genetic reconstruction was considered as a possibility but requires significant amounts of living, viable genetic material to work with. Trakar of the Reptilloids admits they do not possess any form of treatment. The Redals have experience in genetics but Bak Thraplek's contacts have not relayed any promising solutions yet.  
“Um…hey, Tar? Can I ask you something?” The elderly Nobeyl glanced at him. “Could…could something like this be used to help me?” Kento asked in a hushed tone.   “No, I’m afraid not, as there exists no pre-altered DNA of yours to utilize as a target,” Tar replied sadly, keeping his voice low. Ryo stood by the entrance to the room, far beyond earshot. No one else could eavesdrop. Kento furrowed his brow thoughtfully and blinked.   “My mom keeps a lock of my baby hair in the family album. You could use that,” he suggested. Tar made a face and shook his head, looking almost embarrassed.   “It…doesn’t…work that way, Kento. It has to be living, viable DNA!” Tar made a pinching gesture with his claws then gestured in the direction of the flood tank. “Sage had his entire blood supply removed, that serves as the target DNA!”   “But, you could use it like a blueprint, right?”   “You watch too many movies…” Tar rolled his eyes.
— Fight Alone Ch. 13
  Upcoming Content
Roth demonstrates she could potentially restore Kento to his pre-exposure state, but she effectively tells him to fuck-off.
  Planned Content
At some point in the future Tar proposes using a retrovirus to permanently suppress Kento's Avatar, to which Kento replies how is teaching his DNA to dance going to help, which causes Miz to run out of the room crying.

Prognosis

Kento has more or less resigned himself to living with his condition. He has been able to alleviate the worst of the effects with meditation and training, but new hurdles seem to crop up unexpectedly. He can halt a transformation from occurring at a certain point, but once it passes that point, attempting to suppress it causes intense pain with the potential of suffering a lapse.   During his fight with Beastlord he achieved a state of tranquility allowing him to reverse a partial transformation. As of Spacequake he has suffered no further lapses but he nearly enters a berserk state while in ancient Scotland. He behaves more or less like his normal self, but that plays into his fear that the more he is able to control his Avatar, the more reluctant he'll be to fully cure himself. As the oldest of his siblings, he is obligated to start a family of his own. Even if he retained his power, whether future offspring would inherit this ability is yet unknown.   According to Dr. O'Connor and Shannon, a transformation is triggered via the fight/flight response, but Kento has not yet learned how to transform at will, the only possible instance occurring when Beastlord attempts to kill Tanya.   Planned Content
In either an alternate Realm or dreamscape, the guys are forced to assume their monster forms to navigate trials set before them, and Kento remarks that he's the only one who's "still himself" out of the others since Ryo turns into a "demonic Don Juan", Rowen goes all "we are Borg we will assimilate you", Cye becomes a "super-sophisticated bug alien", and Sage transforms into an "insane lightning-vampire", to which Sage vehemently protests.

Sequela

Even though Kento benefits from heightened senses, increased stamina and durability, immense strength and agility, and limited empathy and healing factor, he's had to deal with quite a few unforeseen side-effects. His acute senses mean he can sometimes hear or smell something he shouldn't. Even though his first few transformations didn't result in completely losing his clothes or even a shirt rip, the drastic shift in size has resulted in him wearing looser-fitting clothes.   Because his body follows the law of conservation-of-mass, his weight does not change and his normal form is much denser than in the past, meaning flimsy furniture can collapse under his weight. His calorie intake has effectively quintupled, but he's been able to work around this thanks to creative use of local cuisine. Certain foods are off limits to him because of various negative impacts to his dietary tract. Because of his body's energy usage, he produces practically no waste with his body generating excess heat or sweat to deal with surplus intake.
"YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT IT’S BEEN LIKE FOR ME HAVING TO PUT UP WITH THIS!!” Kento bellowed and turned to face her, pointing a claw at his chest. “I can’t eat some of my favorite foods anymore because they make me throw up! I’m always hearing and smelling things I kind of wish I didn't. I can’t go a day without feeling like I want to fight something! I’m always on edge, even when I’m trying to sleep or relax!” Kento squeezed his eyes shut and clenched both fists close to his chest then swung them downward in frustration. “I CAN’T EVEN PEE OR POOP ANYMORE!!”
— Cataclysm War Ch. 11
 
Flecks of rust sprinkled off of the thick bolts fastening the hinges to the gate. Bits of stone trickled down from where the hinges connected to the wall. Some of the bolts squealed softly as they wriggled loose. The metal of the hinges started to buckle and one of the bolts popped out entirely, striking the bridge next to Cye’s feet like a bullet. Cye squawked in alarm and skipped away from the edge. Kento bunched his shoulders and pulled mightily, and the other Ronin watched in awe as he wrenched the entire gate off its frame. The gate tilted backwards slightly and they had to duck to avoid getting hit.
— Cataclysm War Ch. 13
His empathy allows him to pick up thoughts directed at him and anticipate planned attacks, but it might also mean he'll hear a snide remark about him. In some cases he's been able to pick up powerful emotions even when in normal form as witnessed with Tanya. Conversely he might unintentionally broadcast his thoughts outloud, resulting in awkward moments with others.   During his fight with Monster Slayer he finds out the hard way that not only is his skin allergic to silver, but it can prevent him from hardening his skin or healing when transforming. He is vulnerable to poisons in both forms such as when Kylyra used fearix venom to cause him to hallucinate and when wyverns in Gurvangoth bit him before he could fully transform. His hardened skin can deflect most strikes but is vulnerable when exposed to fire since the scorched skin cannot respond properly.   As powerful as he is in his Avatar form, he has a mixed win-loss ratio such as when he easily defeated Mal Daggur only to lose against Plaedarr Bloodhun. He has a habit of relying on his Avatar before or in lieu of using his Armor of Hardrock when it has been a rock-solid staple of his in the past. As of Spacequake it's become easier for him to control his anger, but he is still prone to flying off the handle. He also seems to have a strong urge to squeeze enemies' heads off.
 
KentovsSymoiSketch.jpg
Get your damn dirty monkey paws off me! (sketch) by Mardrena
raw pencil sketch
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Wyvern Wrasslin' (sketch) by Mardrena
raw pencil sketch
 
Spoiler Warning: Upcoming Content!
  RoninWarrior Spectra
"Thus we figured if the conditions of the prophecy were satisfied, then you simply would not be permitted to die," Witheren stated.   "...WHAT?!" Kento snarled, his brow contorted in fury. "You...GAMBLED WITH OUR LIVES?!" The others glanced at him when he took a step forward, fists clenched.   "Kento, what are you-?" Ryo hissed. Everything happened so quickly all they could do was watch in shock as Kento transformed so fast it seemed to happen instantly as he made a beeline for Roth.   "Hmm?" The Goddess of Victory tilted her head in his direction as he closed the distance rapidly.   "I'm sick of you acting like you're so high and mighty, TREATING US LIKE WE'RE JUST PIECES ON A CHESSBOARD!!" Roth watched him approach, still appearing eye-level with him despite his height. He got within a foot of her before she reached up and pushed her palm forward, sending him flying back-first into the wall.   "Kento!!" Tanya shrieked, horrified at the sight.   "Kento, calm down! She's way out of your league!" Cale protested.   "N-N-NO!!" Kento growled, eyes flaring bright white. "I-I-I'VE HAD ENOUGH OF THIS!! OF HER!! WE'RE NOTHING MORE THAN PAWNS TO HER!!!" Kento managed to peel away from the wall and take a step forward despite the force surging against him. Roth scowled and bunched her shoulder slightly, throwing Kento back against the wall, invisible force keeping his arms pinned. He grit his teeth and clenched his fingers as he struggled. He huffed and grunted as leaned forward, letting out a gurgling growl before throwing his head back and belting out a bellowing shriek.   "THAT IS NOT A GOOD SOUND!! THAT IS NOT A GOOD SOUND AT ALL!!" Dais shouted.   "He's lapsing!!" Sage exclaimed.   No...this is all him! He's throwing everything to the wind in the hope it'll give him the slightest edge! Cye watched his friend helplessly as he fought against the might of a god. Roth kept her arm raised and fingers splayed as she channeled her power.   "NO!! Kento, stop! Please! This isn't like you! You've come too far to start acting this way!!" Tanya pleaded to no avail as Kento took another step forward, his hair bristling like a mane and eyes blazing white. "She's too powerful! You can't win!! Stop! Please! She'll hurt you!!"   "Yes, Kento! Stop, you'll hurt yourself!" Witheren taunted, tilting her head from side to side mockingly. Tanya furrowed her brow and turned to face her.   "You're not helping!!" she clenched her fists, exasperated.   "N...Nei...Neither are you, girl," Eyurodin stated flatly as Kento let out another savage cry. "Get. Him. Under. Control! His conduct is poorly becoming that of a Ronin Warrior..." Tanya glanced about helplessly. Kento seemed determined to inch his way forward step by step, even if Roth could disintegrate him if she wanted to. Her shoulder tensed as she shifted her stance.   "Kento, please!! I know you can hear me! I know you're upset! I am too, but I can't let you do this! Snap out of it! You're better than this!!" Kento showed no sign of stopping or responding to her entreaties. "Kento, stop!! Think of your family! Think of-"   All of a sudden Roth clenched her fist and raised her arm as if pulling something. Kento rose off the ground a few feet, and Roth swept her arm down, smacking him face-first into the ground. Tanya shrieked in horror at the sight, but Roth didn't stop there. Like holding a duffel bag, she lifted Kento up a second time, slamming him onto the floor like slapping a mattress. Unbelievably enough, Kento's arms moved and he tried to push himself off of the shattered floor before Roth lifted him up and slammed him again then swept her arm to the side, sending him skidding until he hit the wall. The first three times made sense, but the fourth and fifth came off as being just plain vindictive as the second Kento tried to get to his feet, Roth slammed him again and again, raising him up high then smashing him into the floor powerfully a final time.   Kento tried to prop himself up on his elbow, eyes still glowing, guttural growls coming from behind clenched teeth. Suddenly he let out a sigh and collapsed onto his stomach, reverting back quickly. Tanya ran over and knelt beside him, grabbing his shoulder. She looked up at Roth with an accusing glare.   "You didn't have to do that!!"   "Y...Ye...Yes I did! Control yourself, Kento of Hardrock! Did you not see the covetous look Baeron gave her? Direct your anger at those truly deserving of it. Y...Yo...You will need that strength when the time comes," Roth scolded then turned and walked away, followed by the other gods.   "That...could've gone worse?" Sehkmet commented and rubbed the back of his head.   "I cannot fault him for feeling frustrated, but to have lashed out like that..." Anubis muttered.   "You all didn't notice, did you?" Rowen began, drawing glances from the others. He looked at them grimly. "She had trouble holding him back."

Affected Groups

Dr. O'Connor theorizes that this condition would likely be fatal in any other person and that Kento's situation is unique due to him being at peak physical health, his already-substantial calorie intake, and his martial arts training. Whether Ryo would have suffered similar symptoms is unknown but Kento didn't wish to find out and threw him out of harm's way.

Hosts & Carriers

Planned Content
Myr Chedryn uses a modified version of the chemical to force one of his human underlings to undergo a similar transformation while still retaining his physical humanity, enjoying virtually all the benefits of an Avatar form without the drawbacks...at least until Vandall Carter vthiasaks him...

Prevention

Avoiding exposure to the chemical altogether seems to be the only way to prevent any phases occurring. It's all well and good that Peasants exercise such precaution and have no knowledge of the goings on at the front lines, lest they get the idea that they can become large and in charge.

History

Events of Fight Alone

While chasing Commons working for Mal Daggur, Kento is exposed to the chemical and transforms the next day into a mindless giant. With help from Roxi Hirochner, Tar Uhnin administers a counteragent to restore him. Kento started undergoing second-phase, nearly transforming in the city before his condition progressed into third-phase. Tar devised a new counteragent tailored specifically to him and Ryo used his Lion AnimArmor to administer the drug.   Mal Daggur attempted to stockpile more in a cave system but the chemical contaminated the water, affecting a worm that ate the entire escort. Ryo and Kento went to investigate, noticing the walls seemed more metallic and hampered their ability to summon Armor or use coms. An attack from the transformed worm forced Kento to ingest tainted water, causing him to quickly enter third-phase. He managed to kill the worm and the two Ronin worked to escape, discovering a deeper chamber containing a cistern built by the Clan of the Ancients.   Kento's mental state deteriorated and he severely injured Ryo before the newly revived worms distracted him. After a grueling battle, Kento reverted seemingly on his own, causing Ryo to wonder if the water had curative properties. They escaped the cave and Tar administered more counteragent as a precaution. Tar found the chemical no longer present in the blood, but noticed unsettling inconsistencies in Kento's genetic profile and attempted to alert Ryo.  
Showdown with Mal Daggur
 
Tar found too late that Kento had already undergone fourth-phase, suffering permanent alterations to his DNA. Distraught, Kento transformed and attacked Ryo, nearly overwhelming Bak's crew before coming to his senses. The Ramahatesguad enters the atmosphere for a full-scale attack. The younger Ronin encounter Mal Daggur and he easily defeats them. Kento transforms and engages the Dragon Tyrant in a ferocious one-on-one duel, the two evenly matched until Mal Daggur deploys his flame-breath and grievously wounds Kento. Kento recovers and crumples Mal Daggur's snoot like a soda can.
Everyone in the infirmary flinched when Kento threw back his head and belted out a mournful wail. They all sensed it; terror, despair, anguish-The urge to run to the top of the nearest mountain and scream at the sky until he could scream no more.
— Foes From Another World Ch. 29
 
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Against Mal Daggur (thumbnail) by Mardrena
raw pencil sketch
KentovsMalDaggurSketch.jpg
Against Mal Daggur (sketch) by Mardrena
raw pencil sketch
  Bru Ranir orders a full retreat and arrives in a troopship to retrieve Mal Daggur. Kento lapses and nearly lashed out at his friends until Tanya knocks some sense into him. Shannon's father Charles agrees to conduct some tests on his health and behavior while transformed. Unwilling to accept defeat, Mal Daggur summons Plaedarr Bloodhun to make an example of the Ronin Warrior.  
Events of Fight Alone
 
“Doc said that if…if what I have had happened to anyone else, the strain would’ve killed them…” Kento held up his hand and stared into his palm. “So…maybe, in some way…I’m meant to have this,” he said and glanced at Ryo sadly.
— Fight Alone Ch. 13
Kento starts noticing problems when he has a strong instinct to kill Kylyra. Bautan attempts to grow crystal suffused with Dark Power, and Kento is exposed to residual energy when rescuing Tanya. Bautan uses the energy as a backdoor into Kento's mind, forcing him to transform and manipulating him into attacking Ryo. Mia attempts to intervene and Kento demonstrates his empathic abilities for the first time. Ryo leads him back to the cisterns hoping the water will heal him. Kento realizes his mistake at the last minute, but Bautan tries to force him to attack, causing Kento to lapse. The water seems to bring Kento back to his senses and Tar analyzes samples but finds it is unable to cure him.
 
Events of Cataclysm War
 
A human hunter from Gurvangoth learns about Kento's Avatar and plans to kill him. His attack exposes Kento's vulnerability to silver but Kento enters a berserker state and quickly turns the tables, nearly killing him until Yulie brings him to his senses. Kylyra poisons Kento, causing him to hallucinate and fall into despair. Rowen and Anubis travel to Banguk to retrieve the Last Bangukian and he is cured of the poison, but not of his Avatar.
SHUT UP! JUST SHUT UP! GET OUT OF HERE! GO AWAY! No! I-I can’t lose...control. I...can’t...lose...con-trol... If he suffered a lapse then and there… Yulie leaned down and saw Kento’s face. His teeth looked bared and his pupils had contracted. For some reason they looked white instead of black.
— Cataclysm War Ch. 5
 
“Look, I’m not some mindless brute who goes around squeezing people’s heads off, okay? I’m actually pretty sophisticated,” Kento closed his eyes and stated matter-of-factly. Tanya immediately thought of several incidents in battle where Kento had used such force, including just that morning.
— Cataclysm War Ch. 13
Beastlord attempts to sway Kento but Tanya cusses sense into him, breaking Beastlord's power. The Ronin coordinate a full-scale attack on the Pit and infiltrate Gurvangoth. Kento transforms in order to fend off wyverns but suffers severe injuries from their venom. He remains transformed during most of their journey, but is attacked by Symoi who use radioactive ropes to weaken him. He nearly goes berserk and messily kills one of them.
 
The party arrives at the Kurtora but a guard insults Kento and nearly dumps hot oil on Tanya. Enraged, he proceeds to yeet the main gate clean off its hinges, nearly getting skewered by silver crossbow bolts. Kento nearly causes another scene when dealing with unscrupulous guards. The guard captain attempts to provoke him by attacking Tanya but he manages to restrain himself. He stays transformed and he senses an incoming attack, alerting the others as the Siege of the Kurtora unfolds.   After the attack, he changes back so he can sleep comfortably. The Ronin travel to the Tower of Fire for a final confrontation with Beastlord and his Menagerie. Beastlord taunts Kento into facing him and goads him into transforming. Kento is able to stop the process and revert to normal for the first time only for Beastlord to attack again, forcing him to fully transform. Instead of resorting to instinct, Kento relies on martial arts to hold his own until Beastlord uses his tail stinger to paralyze him, severely wounding him.
"Being human is more than what you look like, or how you act! It’s waking up feeling like crap in the morning and having family there to cheer you up! It’s getting your butt kicked and having friends at your back! It’s caring for others when they need it, and having them do the same! It’s loving someone and being loved in return!” Kento clenched his fist and drew himself up straight. “I’M MORE HUMAN NOW THAN I’VE EVER BEEN BEFORE IN MY LIFE!”
— Cataclysm War Ch 14
  Tanya drives off Beastlord and Sage arrives and heals Kento. He reverts to normal but Beastlord ambushes them and tries to kill Tanya. Kento appears to transform at will for the first time, saving Tanya at great injury to himself. Sage uses the irradiated ropes seized from the Symoi to snare Beastlord and throw him into lava, putting an end to the murderous Menagerie leader. Upon being told he suffered a broken spine during his rescue effort, Kento realizes his Avatar isn't as much of a curse as he thought.  
Events of Spacequake
 
“No no no no! It’s okay! It’s okay! It’s alright! It’s me! It’s just a thing I can do, you know, like a superpower or something!” Kento raised a hand and waved reassuringly. Tanya grabbed her ponytails and crossed them over her eyes, blindfolding herself. “What? Whaaat? Oh c’mooon, I don’t look that hideous! I just look like my regular dopey-ass self!”
— Spacequake Ch. 3
While fending off thugs, Kento transforms and turns the assailants into origami, but is completely chill. Ryo entrusts him with tracking down Tanya and Kento is able to locate her, his heightened senses alerting him to an attempt on her life. He transforms again to fend off attackers and assures Tanya he's himself, but the excitement of battle results in an awkward moment. After the Four Queens make themselves known, the Third Ally Trakar appears. He tells Kento he knows of his condition but has no cure to offer.
 
When Greytorata sends the younger Ronin back in time, Ryo and Kento meet Mardrena Lockehart in ancient Scotland. Kento transforms to protect himself but because Mardrena thinks he's a mountain giant, he decides to play along. He nearly goes berserk when Mardrena's husband beats her, only calming down after entreaties from Ryo. He senses shadows coming to attack and intercepts but is seriously injured when their claws tear through his hardened skin. Another attack results in Mardrena nearly drowning, causing Ryo to start fading out of existence. Kento reverts back to resuscitate her and saves her and Ryo's life.
“He’s one of th’ Am Fear Liath Mor...a Gray Man o’ th’ Mountain…” she whispered in awe. Ryo and Kento exchanged awkward glances.   Just run with it.   “Yeah!” Kento replied and made a thumbs up before pointing at Mardrena and nodding matter-of-factly.
— Spacequake Ch. 7

Cultural Reception

Even though Kento's facial features appear virtually the same and his body is proportionally similar to his normal form, his coloration and size while transformed come off as unnerving to strangers. This has resulted in him being called everything from a monster, werewolf, ogre, man-beast, mountain giant, and wee beastie. Animals seem especially alarmed by him even when in normal form. Whiteblaze-who's known Kento for years-felt afraid when trying to track him in the forest and shied away from him in the dining room while Goldheart the Labrador Retriever cowered upon seeing his transformed state.
The two of them paused when they heard a curious sound: a low growl, like that of an enraged animal. They frowned when the walls of the buildings shuddered once more, and dust rained like a curtain from the surface. Small bits of metal and masonry skipped about on the ground. They glanced back at the Ronin Warrior and saw him move his arms to the side and place his hands on the crumpled metal he sat upon. The metal seemed to buckle slightly, even though he only barely touched it. They heard another growl and realized it came from him.
— Foes From Another World Ch. 26
Clothes that had once fit loosely now stretched thread-taut over a body thick with muscle. Sharp ivory-white claws each an inch long tipped each finger. Thick bone-white hair curled over the eyes, bristling around the round cheeks and ears. It stood nearly eight feet tall and mottled sunlight fell onto the light gray-lavender skin. Despite the claws, despite his size, despite the color of his hair and skin, Kento looked fully recognizable as he turned to face Ryo.
— Foes From Another World Ch. 27
Type
Genetic
Parent
Cycle
Chronic, Acquired
Rarity
Unique
The sensation flooded through his limbs and slowly turned into a sharp tugging pain. Kento gasped when it felt as if something tried crushing his wrist, and it felt as if something tried to burst out at the same time. His fingertips ached as if the bones inside tried to break out of the skin. The fingers started to lengthen. “This…this isn’t happening…” Kento whispered and closed his eyes and shook his head.
— Foes From Another World Ch. 28
All the while Mal Daggur watched mouth agape. The claws finished growing and Kento clenched his fists. His back arched as his spine readjusted. His skin faded into a pale gray-lavender and his hair turned bone-white. “S-S-See for yourrrself; the strength of Earth!” Kento roared deeply and threw back his head again. He held his fists at his sides before tilting his head forward and opening his eyes, revealing white irises and white slit-shaped pupils.   “…Okay…that…that’s….new…” Rowen stammered, wide-eyed.
— Foes From Another World Ch. 29


Cover image: Age Of Defiance Header by Mardrena

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Author's Notes

Kento's Avatar was inspired by Voltron: DOTU, Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, Beast Wars, American Werewolf in London, and Spider-Man: The Animated Series. In the earliest drafts of AoD the circumstances of his acquiring it differed greatly and it behaved much differently, initially being called his Guardian Monster Form. There was a old Voltron crossover fic from another author where he'd been captured and presumably would've been turned into a robeast, but the author never finished the fic.


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