History[edit | edit source]
During the Riftwar he was captured by the Tsurani and taken to Kelewan as a slave. He decided not to reveal his rank since the Tsurani kill nobles. However other Midkemian slaves treated him with deference.
He was sold in a gallery in Sulan-Qu where he and his fellow Midkemians brought a hard time to the overseer and the tally keeper. Mara of the Acoma and her First Strike Leader Lujan watched the commotion and something on his appearance moved her. She decided to buy all 24 of them for the clearing of new needra meadows for 30 centuries.
On their way to the estate, a porter was injured on the leg, and Kevin was ordered to replace him. As Kingdom humans are taller than the Tsurani, the litter was uneven. He looked straight towards Mara and asked for other 3 of his fellows to replace the other porters. On this insolence, he was beaten down, until Mara asked to hear his suggestion, which they judged a sound one.
Service in the Acoma[edit | edit source]
One of the following days, Kevin and the other Midkemian slaves trimmed akasi plants, frustrating the overseer Elzeki with their insolence and improper behavior. Eventually Kevin complained that the Midkemians are unaccustomed on Kelewan and would require more water. He also said that they are not trained to take care of plants, therefore they can't make the job quicker.
Frustrated by a slave talking back, Elzeki hit Kevin on the face with his ceremonial lash, only to make an angry Kevin to hover him with his hands. Then Mara came out to see what happened and ordered Kevin to let the overseer down. Kevin complied by opening his hands and letting him fall down among the plants.
Mara sent her guards to take Kevin and be beaten. Elzeki then narrated to her and Jican the reason of the arguments. Mara then realized that the red-headed slave had valid points and sent Elzeki to go and put a stop to his beating. Jican reminded Mara that Elzeki has never had much perception and Mara ordered to remove him from his office.
Kevin was then invited to sit with Mara and ordered to narrate about Midkemia. He told his name, about Zūn and the absence of slavery, as well as other alien customs, like metallurgy, fur tenting, snow and rain. The following day he continued his narration, and mentioned how a dragon once troubled Zūn and the horse he kept. After the session ended, he reclaimed that he is just a captive and not a slave, stood up and denied her order to sit down.
He then ran towards Mara and almost strangled her. He let her go mentioning that in his Kingdom, is honorless for men to kill women; and also said that her life is now a gift from a slave. Even if he hangs him honorlessly, his spirit and soul would be free.
Mara realized his game, but also reexamined long-held beliefs and set certain 'truths' aside. Twice she overcame her necessity to send soldiers to have Kevin beaten or killed because he had won. Mara was forced to re-examine her concepts of honour, and loyalty because she understood that Midkemian honor was acting within a strange culture's tenets; Kevin's defiance, enduring of humiliation and degradation, a possible escape and return he reclaimed, would be honorless for a Tsurani, but seen as heroic by his fellow people. She decided that she would use his alien way of thinking against the Minwanabi; however she decided to take her revenge. On their third intercourse, she appointed him her body servant.
Mara's retinue[edit | edit source]
About a month later, he accompanied Mara and Ayaki in the Cho-ja hive when a note came to Mara from Arakasi. It was the first time Kevin met the Spy Master, and were notified that the Minwanabi had attacked a thyza shipment according to Tasaio's plan. Mara suspected that the raid was in order to discover the Cho-ja silk that she planned to out in the market. Kevin suggested a "red herring" as he called it: wrap something "fake" in the thyza so as to misdirect the Minwanabi spies on what the real significant secret is, while transport the real shipment, the silk, in some other medium.
Suddenly, the meeting of Hokanu of the Shinzawai was remembered as he returned from Jamar towards Silmani; Mara abandoned the council to prepare herself. She met Hokanu in the garden followed by Kevin, who found Hokanu's gestures irritating. As the pair started to comment on Kevin, Mara ordered him to fetch Misa and himself tend Hokanu's caravan. There, Kevin was given by Jican a basin and went to serve two slaves who recognized him as Isleman, Laurie and Pug. Laurie remembered him and his rank from when he toured Zūn and Pug told him about what the Tsurani understand as the wal. Kevin was not able to meet them again the following night, but could hear his fellow Midkemians gossip with them.
Some days later, while Mara was relaxing, Kevin showed up and as he chatted, he showed how Midkemians treat their women. As they danced, Kevin stumbled on a basket of kekali and she fell on him. Kevin put a kekali on her hair as he said Midkemians offer flowers to the women they love. As they stood up, Mara asked to see how his back was wounded by thorns, and after she tended him, she remembered Buntokapi. Kevin comforted her, and managed to make her overcome her distrust and fear of males, by touching her tenderly and finally making love.
The months passed and Buntokapi's brutality was a distant memory for Mara; until Kevin dared to question the Tsurani social system, for the poor and lower states, indirectly challenging the divine providence of the gods. Mara who was always devout and trusting in the divine will, ordered Kevin to leave and oversee the works in the needra meadows; she also threatened that each day after the Spring Welcoming Festival she would randomly hang one of his kinsmen.
Slave master[edit | edit source]
Kevin stayed there as a slave master during the following months, in charge of his companions; Mara felt him missing and sent her scribe to record his actions.
During the following two months, Kevin showed respect, the fields were clear, and managed not to see his fellow Midkemians hanged. He cleared the trees and almost completed the fences. However he noticed that an overseer cheated them by taking money for clothing; seeing no new clothes, Kevin called him a ditch monkey and threatened to pull his "balls" out.
Then, seeing that the posts supplied for the fence were of no good quality, he hanged the guildsman upside down over the river by the feet. The wood was unsound and he fell in the water, and as Kevin commented, he would think twice about selilng them inferior lumber. However Jican had to pay compensation to redress the man's dignity.
Return to the Estate[edit | edit source]
After a time Mara began to miss Kevin's company and ordered him back from the fields to address his performance. Mara noted the good job he had done but Kevin was angry with Mara and the interview ended with him being sent away. Mara realized that she had treated him like a servant and not as a returning lover and that this had hurt Kevin. She had him brought back and this time their coldness melted and they resumed their relationship as lovers.
Kevin's influences[edit | edit source]
Kevin had many influences on Mara that helped to shape her rise to power. Through her relationship with him she saw some of her culture and it's flaws in society that held back their nation. Kevin is directly responsible for convincing Keyoke to fight to live after being severly wounded during a Minwanabi ambush. He convinced the Force Leader to fight for life and live to stay on and help Mara fight the Minwanabi. Ultimately Lujan was promoted to Force Leader, Keyoke becomes her advisor for War, after she employs the aid of a monk of Hantukama to aid in saving his life.
During the campaign in Dustari, once again it was Kevin and his suggestions to use the Cho-Ja as cavalry to thwart a ambush devised by Tasiao of the Minwanabi. His suggestion led to the defeat and surrender of the Tsubar. This resulted in Lord Chipino awarding Kevin a ceremonial suit of armor in recognition of his help in the matter. The outcome of the campaign brought much honor to House Acoma and as such made Mara stronger to counter the Minwanabi threat.
Night of a 1000 Knives[edit | edit source]
Kevin once again showed his prowess and his dedication to Mara and her family with his action of the night of a thousand knives. Shortly after the death of the Warlord, who was humiliated at the Imperial Games held in honor of Inchindar (91 times emperor and Light of Heaven). The council convened to elect a new warlord. During the days the drama would play out in the council chambers but at night roaming bands of soldiers would attack certain houses to chase them off or kill the Lords attending to stengthen their position within the council. Mara was attacked, both by forces of the Minwanabi and by the Oaxatucan. During several of these engagements Kevin fough side by side with members of Mara's retinue and guests, using a sword (as a slave it was death to touch a weapon) and eventually weilded a metal sword (retrieved from a fallen enemy). This sword was kept at the end of the encounter as a spoil.
Kevin's actions both in defense of Mara and the Acoma estates and his devotion to Mara, her close circle of advisors and her son Ayaki garned a large deal of respect and love from Mara's household. Kevin was not treated as a slave on the estate and though he wore the mantle of slave while in public he was still treated deferentially by Mara's retinue.
Just before Mara stopped the Minwanabi line, Kevin was sent back to Midkemia and allowed freedom. Justin, their child became the 92nd Emperor of Tsuranuanni. That he and Mara had had a child together was something he learnt when he returned as the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Isles some 15 years later.