It will get better. You'll never forget them, not even after years. But one day, you'll go a whole minute without feeling the pain. Then an hour. A day. That's all you can ask for, really.

–Keenan to Laia before she leaves for Blackcliff.

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The Nightbringer, also known as 'Keenan', was the second-in-command of the Scholar Resistance. He is also Laia's handler until he leaves to pursue his life with her. He is later revealed as the Nightbringer once he gets Laia's armlet.


Keenan is the second-in-command of the Resistance as well as Laia's handler throughout her mission. His family was possibly killed in a raid when he was a child. He was six and on the brink of death when Jahan picked him up off the streets on a winter's day. The man brought him to his camp, clothed and fed him. He gave Keenan a family and a place to live.


Keenan along some members of the Resistance encounter Laia in the catacombs. He recognizes Laia's face to a certain extent but his memory is vague. They are taking her silver armlet away but there is an unlooked-for Aux patrol. Nervous, he pushes Sana to grab Laia's armlet quick but she hesitates and defends Laia. He tries to reach her but Sana shoves him away forcefully causing her hood to fall back, revealing a tattoo on her neck. He quickly decides to haul her to their hideout because he is afraid that she will blow their cover if they leave her behind.

Keep quiet and watch your step or I'll knock you senseless and leave you in one of the crypts. Now move.

–Keenan threatens Laia.

In the Resistance's hideout, Keenan orders Sana to give Laia some neem leaf to erase Laia's recent memory. Then, he engages himself in a group of fighters in the corner where he is supposed to receive the death news of Raj and Navid. Once he returns, he insists on getting Laia out of their place and refuses to help her. In confirmation to what Laia says, he explains to Mazen that the new recruits, Raj and Navid were following her brother, Darin and their bodies were found by Eran in the west end of the Scholar's Quarter in the morning.

Keenan and the other leaders are to discuss privately whether or not they should help her in Mazen's chambers. During the discussion, he suggests them to keep her safely in the camp.

She's insane. They call her the bitch of Blackcliff. You won't survive the Commandant. The mission will fail.

–Keenan discourages Laia.

When they return to Laia hours later, Keenan points out that breaking her brother out might sacrifice their men. In acquiescence, he disappears into the muttering crowd and watches them from a distance as Mazen warns him to back off for interrupting him. He shows a strong disapproval at his task as Laia's handler but restrains himself from speaking. By the evening, Keenan and Sana escort Laia to the Resistance operative. Before Laia leaves for Blackcliff, he approaches her and gives her the Resistance's salute; Death before tyranny.

Sana can convince him. She's not leader of her faction for nothing.

–Keenan to Laia while waiting.

Keenan has disguised himself as a bag-seller by the time Laia arrives at the Execution Square. He signals her to go to the side alley leading out of the square and then makes his way down to their hideout, opening the door from the inside. He notices Laia's bruises but keeps himself tongue-tied and offers a neutral response for her second chance. After the meeting, he walks Laia out of the basement to a backstreet nearby. He comments on her disfigurement and discovers her bruises and welts. Annoyed by her lack of knowledge and experience, he gives her some basic tips of spying.

Shuffle, hunch. Act beaten. Act broken.

–Some of the tips given to Laia.

A few days later, in the couriers' office, Keenan informs Laia of Darin who is now in the death cell and will be executed after the new Emperor is named. He advises her to meet Mazen the day after tomorrow. Nevertheless, Laia insists on meeting with him tonight at the Moon Festival therefore he promises to find her there. After the meeting, he invites Laia to have a dance with him and reveals that he was against her from the outset because he did not want her to go to Blackcliff. He thinks it is unfair of them to treat her that way for the great things her father had done to the Resistance.

During the raid, all of the Resistance members manage to escape just in time. The Martials capture more than a hundred Scholars.

After the raid, Keenan has been watching the square all day, hoping Laia would come through. When she does, he informs her of another meeting which will be held eight days later. He could not tell her where Darin's exact location at the moment because their leader has been hiding the spy reports. He thinks their leader is planning something else but then questions the possibility of it since they lack of men to do both tasks simultaneously. Instantly, he notices Laia's scar as her cloak accidentally rips free and emboldens her to take pride of it because it proves her valor.

It means you survived her. It means you're brave.

–Keenan emboldens Laia.

Eight days later, Keenan leads Laia to an abandoned shoe shop. He confesses that he has been thinking about her and then trails off about them being together. He attempts to kiss her but on sensing Mazen's arrival, he retracts. He is dubious about their leader regarding Darin's transfer to Bekkar Prison and when the Resistance attacks the Emperor that night, he tells Sana about it. After the successful ambush, he keeps guard over their hideout and tries to warn Laia not to enter the basement before standing aside restlessly while Mazen deals with her.

Keenan plays along by hitting her in the temple from behind when she launches an assault on their leader.

Mazen locked up everyone he thinks is against him. 'Confining them,' he says, for their own good. Sana's under full guard. I couldn't let him do the same to me - not if I wanted to help you.

–Keenan to Laia.

Keenan hits Laia to protect her. He carries her to a shed so that when she is awake, he is able to explain everything to her personally. He was not aware of Mazen's withholding all along as he and some other fighters were misled. He tells Laia that right after the Emperor's killing, Sana was abandoned by her own faction when she confronted Mazen about Darin's transfer to Bekkar Prison. Before he finds Sana and warns the other leaders, he gives her a small packet of acid to break her cuffs and directs her to a galley called Batcat.

Keenan will find Laia in Silas which is where the galley is headed and they will figure out about Darin there. Howbeit, he is expected to meet Izzi.


Keenan is loyal and dedicated to the Resistance, secretive, stoical and self-centered at times but he cares for Laia since he owes her father for saving his life.


Keenan is described having a Scholar's even, fine features. He is lean, muscular and medium in height which is at least 5'10". He has noticeable red hair and deep chestnut brown eyes.

Fan Art


  • Keenan (Cianán) is a male Irish name which means "ancient, gavin".
  • Laia describes him having the scent of lemon and wind and something smoky, like cedar.
  • At the Moon Festival, Elias nicknamed him 'Red' in virtue of his striking hair colour.