Keth Beltune

An elite warrior from Exandria, trapped in a different world, searching for a way back

This article contains small spoilers about the Cryn Dynasty in the second campaign of Critical Role. You have been warned!

Kethrine Beltune (a.k.a. Keth)

 
On that day, I was stationed near the Lucid Bastion, while the Shadowhand did his magic. I don't know what he was doing, and even if I did, I would not understand it anyway. But apparently it was important enough to have me stationed there. After a few hours, something went wrong, horribly wrong. We got infiltrated by a Vollstrucker agent, and the experiment failed catastrophically. The only thing I remembered was hearing the most bone shattering sounds of my whole life. I later learned that it was literally reality ripping apart. And I got pulled into the void. Next thing I know, is waking up at the shore of a different world, with no idea on how to get back home.
— Keth
Keth is an Echo Knight, born in the Kryn Dynasty of Wildmount, but an accident changed her whole life. Now she is apparently one of the prophesied heroes of another world, Thylea. Even if she just wants to find a way back home, she might as well try to help while she is here and who knows, maybe this world is changing her more than she may think.

Description

A fighter for her whole life and in every way
Keth trained her whole life, day after day, which gave her a very athletic, muscular but slim build. A bright blue tattoo, starting at the back of her right hand, flows up her whole arm to her neck, like tongues of smoke or flowing water. She does not rely on strength, but on precision and speed, always one step ahead of her enemies. Her fighting style looks more like an elegant dance; a deadly, but elegant dance.
 
Keth is very self conscious about pretty much everything she does, except for the one thing she knows she is good at, fighting. She would rather be stuck in an endless fight with her worst enemy, than stuck in a room filled with strangers and forced to do small talk. She is not a woman of words, but actions. Determined, maybe even stubborn from time to time, and impatient, this might make her seem harsh to others, but at her core she deeply cares about her friends and will do everything to protect them. Her trust and friendship is hard to get, but once you have she will be the most loyal friend you can imagine.
 

History

Humble Beginnings

Keth was born in the Coronas of Rosohna, the poorest district in the capital city of the Kryn Dynasty. Growing up in such poor conditions, she swore to herself that she would do better, find a better place for herself. So she started to practice and train, joining the Aurora Watch at only 35 years old, slowly working her way up. After years and years of training, she was transferred to Bazzoxan, a town probably better described as a military outpost.
 
Bazzoxan: The entire mountain side was a prominent temple to a number of Betrayer Gods long ago. The inhabitants had begun to reclaim elements of it, but then uncovered that there were quite a number of remaining doorways. They only managed to build parts of the city before it was assailed. Most of the tunnels that lead to the various entrances have been collapsed or blocked since, in order to funnel any creatures coming from under the mountains into one area, to make defending the village easier.
 
Bazzoxan is not a great place to be. It's far away from any civilization and the only thing going on are the monsters running out of the Umbral Gates. But Keth saw this as an opportunity, proving herself again and again fighting those monsters coming out of the Umbral Gates. After many more years of duty, fighting and training everyday, she was one of the best warriors stationed at Bazzoxan and she got noticed by one of the Elite Fighters of the Dynasty, an Echo Knight.
Black Gate of Bazzoxan
Black Gate of Bazzoxan by Miloš Radojkić
 

An Elite Fighter - An Echo Knight

The next decades, she trained as an Echo Knight, switching between duty in Bazzoxan, training in Rosohna and missions near the border of the Empire. During one of those missions, she was badly injured by a poisoned blade just barely missing her heart and nearly died. She was brought back to Rosohna for recovery, but she wanted to get back into the field as soon as possible. So she started to work as part of the Aurora Watch in Rosohna as soon as she could barely stand on two legs again.
 
One fateful day, she found herself in the midst of an assasination attempt orchestrated by the Empire and saved multiple important members of Den Beltune with her quick action. As a sign of gratitude, and taking her accomplishments in Bazzoxan into account, Den Beltune took her in and she got consecuted in the Light of the Luxon at an incredibly young age of only 137. Her duties as an Echo Knight continued after that for a few more decades, till she fell in Bazzoxan saving many other soldiers in the process.
 
Consecution: The Luxon Beacons are at the center of the Kryn Dynasty ritual known as "consecution". When a follower of The Luxon has proven their faith through word or deed, that person is claimed by one of the ruling Dens of the Xhorhas Empire. That individual is then "soul-bound" to the Luxon through consecution. When a consecuted creature dies within 100 miles of a Beacon, their soul does not move on to the Outer Planes; rather, their soul is reborn in a newborn infant within 100 miles of the Beacon in question. Around adolescence, the creature carrying the consecuted soul begins to remember their past life; this process of anamnesis can be accelerated with meditation practices perfected by the Dynasty.
 

A Brave new World

 
But for a consecuted soul, death is not the end, it's just a new beginning. So her second life started once again in the Coronas of Rosohna, but as soon as she started getting her memories back, she was quickly brought back into Den Beltune and her training as an Echo Knight continued. A few years ago, the conflict between the Dynasty and the Empire escalated into a bloody war, which caused her to see many battles and missions close to the border. After one of the battles she was ordered back to Rosohna, to help train new recruits and she reluctantly agreed. In addition to her training duties she was assigned to various high important watches and bodyguard missions. During one of those guard assignments, something went horribly wrong and she, along a few other guards, her best friend and the Shadowhand himself, got pulled to another world, Thylea.

What could have been days, years or just minutes later, she found herself washed ashore on a different coast, all by herself. A coast she had never seen before, under a completely different night sky. With no clue what happened and no idea on where she was or how to get back home, she headed towards the biggest city nearby, hoping to find someone, anyone, who might be able to help her find the others and a way back. Arriving in Mythros, she soon learned about a powerful group called the Prophesied Heroes, who apparently already had saved the city in the past. So with no one else to turn to, she turned to those Heroes, hoping to find help there.
OdysseeCover1.jpg
Mythros by Mophius Entertainment
 
As soon as Nissa saw this strange dark skinned woman following them, a vision flashed before her eyes. A man, with the same dark skin, is standing over a table. Papers and scrolls filled with strange and alien symbols are scattered on it and a chain, leading into the darkness, is binding his ankles. And in this darkness, three eyes emerge staring right into her soul. Barely being able to rip herself away from their gaze, the vision around her changes. Finding herself in a cave with an endless pile of coins, gems and other treasure extending outside of the range of the torch she is holding. And in the middle of this, a huge maelstrom is roaring and leading down into the void. And once again, the vision changes. She is now back in Mythros, but not the Mythros she knows. The city around her stands ablaze, people screaming and running for their lives. But in all this chaos, she sees herself, Artagan and Leiro, the three prophesied heroes, bloodied and exhausted, but still fighting. And fighting right next to them, is this strange dark skinned woman, she just saw in the streets of Mythros. As a loud roar is echoing over the city, her attention shifts skywards. Above Mythros there are four dragons circling the city, a sight that hasn't been seen since the Dragonlords came to this world many many years ago.
— Nissa's vision
 
After that vision, Keth joined the Heroes. They are helping her to find a way back home, while she is helping them accomplish their goals. Keth does not believe in prophecies, but the Heroes are her best bet at getting back home for the moment. Over time Keth has realized that this task is not as easy as she has hoped. She has found her best friend Elrann and she found the Vollstrucker Agent that caused all of this, but the Shadowhand, the only person probably able to bring them back home, is held captive by one of the gods of this world.
 
Keth knows, she can't fight a god and hope to survive. This made her more and more frustrated, until that frustration has turned into anger and she has had to accept that she will be stuck here for a while. Even if she will not admit it quite yet, this new world grows on her day by day, the heroes becoming her friends and the prophecy morphing into a destiny, a goal. So when she finally gets the opportunity to return back to Exandria, will it still be her home, or has she found a new home in this strange world?
Keth Beltune
Keth Beltune by Portrait Workshop and AP.
 

Special Abilities

An echo knight, trained to wield the power of choice itself
A mysterious and feared front-line warrior of the Kryn Dynasty, the Echo Knight has mastered the art of using dunamis to summon the fading shades of unrealized timelines to aid them in battle. Surrounded by echoes of their own might, they charge into the fray as a cycling swarm of shadows and strikes.
Dunamancy is a primal magical energy of potentiality and actuality, an anticipatory arcane force that helps shape the multiverse and might very well be what holds everything together, like an infinite web of unseen tethers. It controls time and space, chance and possibility. And Keth is able to tap into this power, even if she doesn't fully understand how it works and what it is. She can summon alternate versions of herself, from timelines that could have been, if she had made different decisions. Those alternate versions, those Echos, fight alongside her and are nearly as deadly as Keth herself.
 

Morality

Protect those who protect you. Kill those, who would kill you.
Keth's morality is pretty simple; you help her, she helps you, you hurt her, she hurts you. At least it was as easy as this, but being around people, who consider themselves heroes changed her and she is slowly starting to care more about strangers around her. But one thing will never change. She protects her friends at all costs, and if necessary, she will even run into certain death for them. If someone hurts her friends, they will have a really bad time.

Philosophy

Everybody is the architect of their own path
Her philosophy on the other hand, is a bit more complicated. As an Echo Knight, she relies on alternate versions of herself in combat. She relies on time lines that could have been, on choices that could have been made. In essence, she relies on possibility and choice. She thinks that, something like destiny can't exist and everybody forges their own path through their life. "We got molded into the personalities we are, by the choices we made, not by our heritage or by gods and other powerful beings."

Faith

The Luxon - The Light - The First Radiance
The Kryn Dynasty believes that The Luxon came to Exandria when it was a cold, dark, empty world, before the other gods existed. Alone, it embraced the lifeless place, destroying its own body. Its destruction brought light and life to the world and gave birth to the elements. Later on the Kryn Dynasty found ancient artifacts, parts of The Luxon and called them Beacons.
Keth was raised into the faith of the Luxon, but it was never really a big part of her life. At least not until she started her training as an Echo Knight, and even more so after she got consecuted. Keth isn't sure if the Luxon is a real god or something else, but she has a firm opinion on what it stands for. In her mind the Luxon stands for possibility and freedom of choice. It allows consecuted souls to life multiple lives, learn from their own choices every single time, and grow stronger because of it. It allows mages to alter chance and time around them and it allows her to access the fleeting energy of timelines that could have been. Whatever the Luxon is, it helps her in battle and ensures that nobody other than herself controls her life, and this is all that counts.
  Keth's backstory depends on the work of Mathew Mercer, who created the world of Exandria and everything within it. All the places and some of the characters, described in Keth's backstory are taken from there. If you want to see more of his work, you can buy "The Explorer's Guide to Wildmount" (link), watch the Adventurs of the Mighty Nein over on the Critical Role twitch channel (link) or read throught the fan made wiki of his world (link).

Character Portrait image: Keth Beltune by Portrait Workshop

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