There are many stories about the origin of Kehl, and no one’s sure which one is true. He is either Thiw’s youngest brother, his eldest estranged son, or the adopted child of a jotun jarl and a demon princess. His behaviour is a slippery as the truth of his origins, and Kehl isn’t so much worshipped among the Asengiir as feared and respected. He is the patron of certain rogues and villains of all types, but his willingness to do whatever needs to be done to ensure victory is something respected by many adventurers. If there are any festivals or rituals done in Kehl’s name, no one had been unwise enough to speak of them. His symbol is a dagger held in a dragon’s claw.
If the PCs were modern-day anthropologists, they would be enthused by the changes in the legends surrounding Kehl. He began as a sort of generic villain, a stand in for evil and corruption and everything bad that happens. With the arrival of the athaminar, and a deepening relationship with other human cultures, Kehl has come to represent not everything wrong with the world, but within Aesingiir community itself – he is more a creature of chaos than he is a creature of evil., treating honour as a tool to gain power and influence, and the sacred role of the family with disdain.
Kehl, bride of the Jotun
Onansmiir, once lord of the jotun, was seven hundred feet tall and had seven hundred hands. In half of his hands he bore a club shaped from a yggarl tree, and in the others he carried spears tipped with meteoric iron. When he travelled to Sandsheim, his footsteps were so great that the hall of Thiw himself seemed ready to shake apart.
He gave Thiw an ultimatum – he would take the hand of the most beautiful maiden of the Aesin and Sandsheim for his home, and would yield within a day. If not, he he would kill the gods, one by one. He made good his threat right from the start, gutting Fridr, one of Tiw’s manservants.
The gods, who were all gathered in Thiw’s hall for a feast, deliberated for nearly that full day without any resolution. For one thing, Thiw, Kehl and Orn nearly came to blows arguing over which of their brides was the most beautiful, and the brides themselves, Ver, Suv and Uhlti were so pleased to see their men fight for their honour that they did not care to intervene. As the final hour approached, the gods grew desperate.
At the beginning of the feast, Kehl had arrived very drunk and had made a fool of himself flirting with Tiw’s wife, Sarii, the chief warrior maiden of the einrenhaer, and saw now a way to make restitution. He bade all of the gods vanish and told them that he would deal with Onansmiir.
Using his magic, he transformed himself into a beautiful maiden with long, lustrous hair the colour of the sun and made ready a marriage bed. When Onansmiir entered the hall, he was so overcome by the beauty of Kehl that he made to take her then and there. Kehl was ready, though, and used his illusions so that when Onansmiir began to rut, he was rutting into a pot of wax.
Kehl had anticipated that Onansmiir would be exhausted after he was spent and then he could kill him while he slept, but Onansmiir didn’t just have multiple hands. After magically substituting a wheelbarrow of manure, a fruitcake, a fresh loaf of bread, an ashpit and a very surprised horse for himself, Onansmiir was still not finished, and he was very strong. He grabbed Kehl by the arms and grinned.
When he was finished, Onansmiir finally fell into a deep slumber and Kehl cut off his head.
Tiw and Hlatr, another of his servants, had been watching the whole thing from the window, and before the gods returned to the hall, he had told them all what he had seen. When they returned, most of the gods were laughing at Kehl’s humiliating experience. Suv, for her part, was incensed and made a great speech in mockery of her husband’s manhood and fled down to Hel.
Kehl, for his part, swore vengeance on Tiw, telling him that some day he would see to it that Tiw’s son Ljos died by Tiw’s own hand and took to a distant forest. In time, he found that he was bearing Onansmiir’s child and in time bore five children: Fenrir, the first werewolf, Angrboda, the first hag, Endsdrang, the first troll, Kuthi, the first linnorm and Thrass, the first dragonspawn.