Keith Sirius is Kzye City's gym leader, responsible for the Pyre badge. He specialises in Fire and Electric pokémon. He's something of a nightmare to deal with, owing to his psychotic personality, though he's not in the least destructively inclined - killing or permanently damaging anyone would just spoil a perfectly good human victim, after all. He's in his early thirties.
Keith is an energetic and enthusiastic personality, happy to come across anyone… even pokémon trainers, who he enjoys to antagonise, given his position as a gymleader. In a word, he's a sadist, completely delighting in anything ranging from discomfort to agony in his fellow human beings, coupled with an unshakable belief that trainers certainly deserve it. As a survivor of Taqnateh, he occasionally outright flirts with the idea of being Arbiter; needless to say he's not considered suitable for the job, seeing as he'd make no effort whatsoever to rule in favour of the human.
It's quite rare to catch him wearing an expression other than a predatory smile.
Keith slots into the category of 'with friends like that, who needs enemies'. Since he's much more cautious than his glowing exterior might suggest, friends are more likely to end up taken advantage of than complete strangers, since he feels he can gauge his leeway with them better - but if they're friends of his, presumably they know what they're getting themselves into. From his end, he tries being friends with all people that matter and will certainly unabashedly flirt with anyone he perceives as having more authority than he has (which, at this point, really is just Yarver Bakema and Jagdish Tsukinaka). He rarely gets to see either, though, probably owing to his definition of a fun evening involving a game of 'let me see if I can catch you off your guard so we can both enjoy my favourite status affliction'.
Despite all that, he's hospitable and helpful where he can be, constantly coming across as if mildly starved for human contact. His helpfulness is in large part owed to an utterly inexhaustable patience - he's happy to wait for years to get to sink his teeth into you and thus entirely happy to spend that time working to gain your trust. He makes no real secret of it, either - after all, if what it inevitably leads up to is too much of a surprise, it's not going to be the start of a long-lasting relationship, and then what would all that hard work have been for?
Misconceptions not to have about Keith: Despite doing a thorough job of disarming and weakening anyone that he'd like to harm, he's not a coward - while he can be considered cautious, the primary motivation is the psychological effect. If anything, he's courageous, given that he will dive into any opportunity to test just how far he can go with someone before he crosses a line, even if such a person intimidates him.
Additionally, it's easy to confuse his rampant lack of common sense with stupidity. He's extremely observant and intelligent and very quick and unashamed in the uptake - he has no difficulties admitting to mistakes and will quickly refine his future dealings with someone to suit new data. Careful: He knows what you say is not always what you mean, and just because you claim you'll toss him into the depths of the Magma Chamber if he as much as touches your arm again doesn't mean he'll take you seriously. He might stop because he 'cherishes your friendship' (effectively a code phrase for 'don't go, there's such a beauty and personal note to your writhing; I promise I'll be gentle (or gentler, rather) as long as I can have your company'), but he's not easily shouted into submission by anyone not in a clear position of authority.
Finally, while he's a 'letter of the law' kind of person, his observational skills override any urge of his to push the matter if he senses that it'll do more harm than good. He's not going to do anything he's not sure he can get away with. Unfortunately for many people, he's very sure he can get away with a lot of things.
Keith 'likes' neither his fellow gymleaders, nor anyone else to have ever done the Sehto gym circuit and come out the other end alive, though the range of his stance varies from “would like to poke a few holes into casually as a way to say hi, good to see you” (such as with Yarver Bakema) to “wouldn't object to getting to spend a day slowly and methodically eviscerating” (such as with Terry Kiran). Given Keith's general glowing predisposition, he'd not claim to dislike any of the characters, but one should be careful to mistake his sincere smile as anything reassuring.
An 'exception' to the rule would be Jagdish, whom he's a bit enamoured with, but at least to equal degree terrified of - not that latter trait does anything to stop him from testing his luck with the man, given such caution would be sane and Keith certainly doesn't qualify as that. He certainly enjoys the mental image of Jagdish at his mercy, but as it were, after a single event testing those particular waters, he's learnt not to physically harm the Taqnateh gym leader ever, given that it resulted in Jagdish sternly telling him never to do anything like that to anyone without their consent ever again. He adheres to this rule - especially since he had the nerve to ask whether that pertained to the physical or mental torture and got a very clear okay to do latter to his heart's content, which is a wholly acceptable compromise from his perspective.
Ordered roughly from positive to negative, Keith…
Despite everything, Keith takes his role as a gym leader seriously, though he'd never let it on outwardly - and while perhaps not the best person to field the role, certainly does a fair job of it. His attitude toward it is that of a trophy - he's still occasionally giddy about that he has it, like a child that's been given its favourite treat, and he'd be loathe to lose it to something like misconduct, far too proud of it.
Owing to his personality, Keith's gym rules come with a bit of a twist: He disallows rematches and he's going to claim any of your pokémon that fell in battle with him as his own, whether you win or lose (with the added note that a withdrawal from the battlefield counts as a loss, owing to the nature of the gym environment). He doesn't always follow up on this preposterous claim, though he'll certainly go through the motions by collecting them before handing over the gym badge - frequently, he'll follow up to it with a sunny smile and a “Just messing with you, kid,” or “Just wanted to see if you'd stay true to your word.” and the return of the 'captured' pokémon. (That being said, he's not beyond dangling them over the volcanic depths beforehand if he thinks the reaction will be suitably entertaining.)
Keith is originally from Nightclaw (specifically South Nightclaw). Subjectively 'growing up' together with his Pichu (later Raichu), Keith imagined himself more pokémon than human for much of his early years, something he's never entirely managed to shake. As such, his decision to go on the gym circuit felt a lot more like a 'we' decision than it could really be argued to be - though certainly true for his first pokémon and him, if not the others.
Keith's primary underlying motivation to do the gym circuit was to get away from Nightclaw, not much enjoying the sort of entertainment other people did in their free time and his own opinions of it not being entirely… appreciated, even in their more harmless prank variant that they began as. The depths of his sadistic tendencies certainly only established themselves while he had time to himself on that very gym circuit run, fueled by a competitive edge against the gym leaders and any trainers that might hope to do better than him. Either way, the gym circuit let him hang out with pokémon more, and that was clearly a great reason to do it.
Keith came up to Taqnateh brimming with dark energy and wholly confident in his ability to conclude the run, only to be rolled up and tossed aside. That did very little to his ego, interestingly enough, merely stunning him into an idle silence much to the effect of “Oh.” Jagdish dragged him infront of the Council a little more literally than customary, owing to Keith's slightly stupefied but nonetheless unafraid post-battle attitude. When the Council session began to detail his situation, Keith's response to that, in turn, can also be best summarised as, “Oh!” and a brightly apologetic smile.
As for the actual punishment, Keith did not take it well. Having no pain tolerance of note, Keith would describe his time in Taqnateh as worse than any sort of hell he can imagine, and he quite happily does not imagine anything of the sort. He's pushed all memories of the events into its own little corner of his mind, entirely content to simply ignore it as if it had never happened - which is just about what makes him capable of bearing Jagdish's presence and even rather liking the man, because if he remembered any of it in detail, his sole reaction to Jagdish's presence would be complete, unadulterated terror.
Keith likes Jagdish, though. Or rather, he decided a short while into the Council session that he really ought to like Jagdish, simply for a brilliant execution of something clearly viscerally terrifying (something he's a bit of a connoisseur of, after all), and for pretty much having better reasons to do all that than Keith ever would for one of his own setups… and as it is, Keith is very good at simply deciding on his own emotional allegiances. As such, from that point on, he was exceptionally fond of Jagdish, and post-punishment didn't skip a beat to offer himself as an eager underling.
Getting a gym shoved onto him probably wasn't what he thought or directly hoped would happen, but he still deems it a fantastic gift, and he's happy to run it, and he's going to run it in the most loyal, precisely to the letter of the law fashion as he can possibly muster. (Furthermore, he makes for a surprisingly good mediator when someone has the nerve to seek him out for a serious matter, and he's quite good at protecting the village from any attempted criminal incursions, so he's certainly not running it into the ground.)
Since he's become the Kzye gym leader, the post-Taqnateh gym leader friendly hazing ('give all your fellow gym leaders a visit and do what they ask') has become significantly more sinister, though Jagdish has told Keith that he'd like prospective gym leaders to escape Kzye with their psyche in tact, since he really doesn't have spares. Naturally, Keith happily toes that particular line.
Suiting his fiery theme, Keith's hair has flame-like qualities both in style and in colour (auburn), just shy of short and intentionally chaotic in design - but very intentionally and precisely shaped and gelled firmly into place. Keith is rather specific about his hairdo and spends more time with it that he'd admit without specific prompt. As such, someone deliberately ruining it could potentially be one of the few things to punch through his sunny composure simply for the invested time that it rudely undoes (and significantly less for actual vanity reasons), though so far, that's never occurred.
His eyes are a grey-ish blue, though this does nothing to dampen the sparkle in them - they're quite expressive, not that it helps much given his one-track emotions.
He tends to wear dark clothes, though he's not a friend of all-black but for formal occasions (or occasions he thinks are formal, at any rate, which is certainly not always the same thing; guests of any sort with an actual appointment do tend to prompt that sort of thing, regardless the actual circumstance). His most frequent get-up involves an intentionally stereotypical high-collared black jacket worn across a significantly less stereotypical shirt of some warm, earthy colour, usually a wine red or dark brown, though the high contrast of white finding use is not unheard of. His anthracite jeans have a reasonably high degree of wear, giving them a non-uniform appearance.
His build is just a smidgeon on the lean side and he has fairly delicate fingers, quite suiting his desire for precision.
Collected from Arsaga:
Devi had returned to the group at the lake a little later, in tow of an energetic seeming youth with his coppery hair styled akin to a blazing fire, spikes radiating upwards, gelled into place, though sans the grimy look that usually comes with such a setup. Even his grey-blue eyes appear bright, despite his dark, earthy attire. Whereas Devi seems strange in her demeanour, perhaps mulling over something, his stride is sure, walking up the slope leading to the hot springs without lethargy, beaming with positive energy, grinning up towards them.
As the stranger appraches them, he continues to grin broadly, his expression still half a leer and thrusts his right hand forward through the air to offer a hand for the shaking, between Neike and Marcus, as though less decided than he appears as to whom he might approach first. “G'day,” he echoes a greeting, jovially. “Welcome to Kzye, travellers. Welcome, welcome. So unusual.”
“Arsaga? Arsaga… where have I heard that name before?” he asks, inclining his head quizzically, and obviously expecting Marcus to fill him in. He shakes the hand a touch more vigorously and a touch longer than would be appropriate - eyes glittering with a strange, unintelligible emotion. “Keith Sirius,” he introduces himself, a quick side-note, trying not to talk over any answers to the question, nor detract from the question itself.
He seems to stumble across something for a moment, something passing across his expression briefly, before he remarks: “You're here for the Pyre badge, aren't you?” […] The expression darkens, amusement twinkling in his eyes. “Come along, then,” he gestures with his left hand, casually, turning without moving his gaze just yet, instead casting it across his shoulders at them.
“The rules are fairly simple… you can throw at my six pokémon whatever you want to throw at them, as in, the whole exhaustive shenanigans of your own party, but…” he inhales, lingering on the moment with a strange satisfaction. “Your pokémon may never outnumber my unfainted pokémon at any time on the battlefield and - and this is important - every pokémon that loses to mine will belong to me afterwards.”
“You can back out of the fight whenever you wish. However, backing out of it is final - there will be no re-runs,” Keith informs, nodding with closed eyes in acknowledgement of his own words, as though stressing their importance to himself.
“Do you have objections to battling simultaneously, keeping in mind the restriction of the amount of pokémon you may have on the playing field?” he asks, simply, both his hands raised, fingertips resting loosely against each other. “It would come with the benefit that if any one of you lot beat me, all three of you get the badge.”
Collected from N'Sehla:
Clad in a simply black shirt, his flame hair seems to have a slight glow of its own even at this time a night… and his eyes even moreso as Dakarai approaches and attracts a glance.
“A customer!” Keith's smile grows to a bizarre breadth. “Well, Paul, I'm afraid you have to retire now. I can no longer supply an excuse for you to stay up all night. Shoo, then. I've got work to do.” - A toothy grin is cast to Dakarai from the stranger, apparently called Paul, who tips the hat he's wearing, only to begin a casual saunter off, looking like some old, wisened cowboy in the process. Keith, on the other hand… there's something distinctly unsettling about that smile. “You do want to battle, right?”
Dakarai feels energy begin to pump back through his veins, his mood picking up considerably. Finally, someone who wasn't alien to their job. Keith's welcoming nature was almost off-putting after five gyms of off-kilter gym leaders who seemed to forget what they were on Sehto for. It smelled like a challenge, to boot.
“Been a while,” he remarks. “Boredom doesn't come easily, I spar all the time, but alas… it's just not the same thing, you know?”
Keith snaps his gaze over to Paul. “Don't insult my intelligence. Outside all you please, but this place doesn't have the luxury of a ventilation system, so I'd prefer you didn't add cigarette smoke to the tang of sulfur.” Those eyes are narrowed in depiction of a glare, though it's light-hearted, as if it were a repeated ritual, despite its relative eloquence.
Keith gestures with his right hand, evidently not bothered, only to shift his attention back to Dakarai. His right hand slides into his pocket, searching for a badge… only to slide back out without one. “What do you know, fresh out of badges,” he mutters, giving an eyeroll. It serves to widen Dakarai's eyes, which Keith catches in time to pre-empt a question. “I've more back home, it's just inconvenient.” A grimace. “Sorry.”
Collected from Reshigah:
“Oh!” Keith regards the hand with a perplexed expression, not quite sure which of his two hands to reassign to the task, left still quite happy to pet his psychic visitor, right still holding his household implement. For a moment, he presses his lips to a thin line across the tip of his tongue, then throws a glance to the broom. His hand shifts its grip into one with two fingers, then tips the broom over theatrically - it clonks to the ground as it's discarded, and his right hand instead enthusiastically closes around Terry's proffered one. “Jagdish said you were coming,” he comments with a tone of delight. “You're the aspiring gym leader, is that right?”
“That's fantastic,” Keith comments, only to cast his glance upwards ineffectively toward Raichu. “Raichu, honey,” he addresses the pokémon. “I need my hair now.” The Raichu gives a soft sound that could be interpreted as a displeased snort, but does leap from its perch on its human's scalp, tail lashing through the air like a whip for an instant. With natural grace, it holds itself still at a distance, looking as if coiled, ready for an attack.
“Mew,” Keith addresses the psychic pokémon. “Do we let him do that? Just water? Or is that breaking some unspoken social protocol? What do you say?” His voice is thickly lathered with a humourous tone.
“I'm sure you'll do fine,” Keith adds with an apologetic chuckle, unwrapping one hand from his glass and giving Terry a friendly pat on one shoulder, gentle in the motion as his guest has another sip, a little more generous this time. It's at that point that Keith's gaze lingers on the glass, not quite managing to free itself from its self-imposed anchor, assessing the amount and a slew of other variables, frankly simply trying to figure out how quickly he's going to have to react if he doesn't want the rest of it spilling all over his carpet.
“It's dawning on you now, isn't it?” Keith comments, voice just a fraction elevated above a whisper, thick with an alien, predatory flavour of concern, gaze having swept back up to find Terry's face, trying to catch his gaze, the Kzye gym leader's posture angling itself slightly. As if in afterthought, he sets his own glass on the table, only to ease both hands forward to his not yet altogether artificially paralysed victim, wrapping his left hand oh so gently around Terry's, tip of his right hand's fingers touching against the bottom of the glass in additional support, ensuring it doesn't simply drop quite suddenly. “Careful with that,” he adds, sunny smile morphed into one of mischief.