Caste: Dawn

Anima Banner: A lion with a golden mane throws back its head and roars.

Motivation: beat back the bullies who threaten the Children of Earth

Growing up without any parents to speak of and running with the orphan gangs on the streets of Chiaroscuro, Demetheus pulled his weight protecting the smaller kids from the bullies in rival gangs and the ill-meaning adults everywhere else—at least the screwed-up ones who treated kids like toys or punching bags. He left the gangs when he was old enough to work, like everybody had to, and took some jobs doing manual labor. From there, he got involved in the local bare-knuckle fight scene. He learned to fight and made a little money, but the scene was corrupt and ugly underneath.

Demetheus got out while he could and set off into the South to wander instead. Figuring he could live the rest of his life on the road, he earned money at poor villages showing off strongman tricks or betting cocky locals they couldn’t take him down. And when the kind of help a strong back and hard fists could provide was called for, Demetheus felt obliged to lend it.

That’s why he got Exalted, he figures. (It’s as good a reason as any.) He’d come to a caravansary where a pair of brothers were running a theft and murder scheme on lone, unlucky travelers. The first brother was the brains, so he went down easy. Now, Demetheus could’ve left after that, but he knew the other brother would keep preying on travelers if he did. So he stayed. When the other brother showed up, a Solar Exalt was waiting. Though this brother was the muscle, he never stood a chance.

After that, Demetheus wandered a little longer until his feet brought him back to Chiaroscuro. He’d made some friends of other like-minded Solar types who saw the potential in Chiaroscuro’s glittering ruins and hardy citizens. They took up residence just outside the city and tried to do what they could to make it cleaner, safer and better. Things went all right for a while until Demetheus met a freshly Exalted kid named Kidale.

New in town, with nothing going for him but charisma, Kidale was making a hash of local customs and was about to get himself cut down on the street by a Delzhan nobleman with a short temper when his own sudden Solar Exaltation and a timely intervention by Demetheus saved the lad. Demetheus brought the Eclipse Caste home to the rest of his circle.

All too soon, what started off so well came to dust. The circle’s early efforts to make Chiaroscuro better attracted the notice of local Dragon-Bloods, who called in a Wyld Hunt. The hunters surprised and scattered the Solars, hoping to pick them off one by one. Demetheus fought for himself and his friends, but tragedy loomed.

A single Dragon-Blood remained by night’s end, but he was the smartest and toughestone. Knowing he couldn’t defeat Kidale and Demetheus both, he put himself between them and redirected their simultaneous attacks toward each other. Kidale’s attack never connected; Demetheus’s did. Demetheus couldn’t check himself in time. He killed his friend Kidale, and the Dragon-Blood escaped.

Demetheus broke off from his circle that morning and disappeared into the Southern desert. He’s been wandering ever since.

He’s determined to find some way—any way—to do right by his fallen friend Kidale. Sure, he only knew the kidfor less than a week, but the young Exalt made a powerful impression on Demetheus and had a lasting effect—not least because Demetheus couldn’t protect him. Demetheus knows intellectually that Kidale’s soul has already moved on to be reborn—his circlemate Wind saw to that—but knowing that doesn’t obviate Demetheus’s need to make up for what he did. Unfortunately, he has no idea how to do that.