The Xbox showcase on June 11th was a treat for RPG fans, with Fable, Avowed, and Starfield all making appearances. Obsidian fans have cause to be excited, with the Avowed trailer teasing the combat, story, and world. However, while the trailer was mainly focused on the game’s combat and showing off creature designs, it also offered fans their first glimpse of a major character.

The character in question was the trailer’s narrator, a scaly humanoid who Obsidian later identified as Kai. Players will encounter Kai relatively soon after their arrival in Avowed’s frontier island of The Living Lands, and he is one of the first companion characters they can unlock. Given his prominence in the trailer, it also seems safe to assume that he’s a significant character in Avowed‘s story. However, some viewers might be left wondering who exactly Kai is.


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The Race of Avowed’s Narrator

Avowed trailer Kai

Even some Pillars of Eternity players might initially struggle to identify what race Kai is supposed to be. While his race was present in the original games, Obsidian seems to have put them through a substantial redesign for Avowed. That, or Kai is from a group that has deviated quite substantially from how his people usually look.

Kai is a member of Avowed’s Aumaua race, whom players encountered and could play as in Pillars of Eternity and Pillars of Eternity 2. Physically, they are the largest of the humanoid races in the world of Eora, but their most unique feature is that they are semiaquatic, possessing webbed hands and feet. While the Aumaua don’t live in the water, they prefer tropical coastal climates and are natural seafarers. In Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire, the Island Aumaua sub-race even received a perk that lets them move through mud and water without the usual movement penalties.

Of course, Kai does not look like the typical Aumaua players encountered in the Pillars of Eternity games. Both the Island and Coastal varieties had sharp teeth and pointed ears. The former typically had brown or yellow skin, while the latter were usually blue, grey, or green. However, while they always had some fish-like elements to their appearance, Kai is the first Aumaua that seems to have actual scales.

There are two possible explanations for why Kai might look different from the Aumaua fans saw previously. First, he might be from a new sub-race that players didn’t encounter in the previous games. Avowed takes place on an island called The Living Lands, far north of Dyrwood and Deadfire, where the first two games took place. Considering that the Aumaua already has two distinct sub-races, Kai may be part of a group native to the Living Lands.

Alternately, Kai might be a normal Coastal Aumaua, and Obsidian has decided this is how they look now. One could even argue this isn’t necessarily a retcon so much as a change in art style. Similarly, Pillars of Eternity’s 3D character models weren’t as detailed as those in Avowed, and scales wouldn’t be visible anyway due to the isometric game’s more distant camera angle.

About Kai Himself

Avowed Kai offical art

Avowed‘s game director Carrie Patel talked a little about Kai himself during the Xbox Showcase Extended on June 13. A former soldier and mercenary, Kai has many years of battlefield experience, which comes across in his personality. However, he also has a sense of humor, showing that he isn’t all business. Based on his concept art, he seems to favor the sword and pistol in combat.

Kai is also apparently something of an idealist, according to Obsidian’s studio head Feargus Urquhart, but that’s tempered by Kai’s more pragmatic side. Obsidian also noted that Kai is one of the few friendly faces Avowed players will likely meet during their adventures in the wild frontier of Avowed’s Living Lands. Hopefully, fans will appreciate getting to know him when Avowed finally releases next year.

Avowed launches in 2024 for PC and Xbox Series X/S.

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