The Keymaster
Keymaster.jpg

Illustration based on the general description of Entity-χ. Photographic evidence has been deemed impossible to capture.

Description:

Entity-χ, more commonly referred to as “The Keymaster”, is an entity of unknown origin. The greatest renown acclaimed to him by wanderers is his intervention in their time of need, and his ability to provide Level Keys to help them escape levels of The Backrooms which they may be trapped within. Simultaneously ubiquitous and obscure, there have many sightings, the earliest of which dating back to the time of The Lost - yet he always seems to consistently evade those who wish to know his true nature.

Over time, The Keymaster’s visual description has varied diversely between reports - primarily regarding the color of his skin, hair, and eyes. He is known to retain a consistent guise for brief, multiyear spans, before adopting a slightly altered appearance ad infinitum. Since 2014, his current attributes consist of light skin, dirty-blonde hair and green eyes, though this is subject to change. Such discrepancies aside, a series of underlying details have always remained consistent: he is a male humanoid figure standing near 6’10", shrouded in a cloak obscuring everything below the top half of his face, with long unkempt wiry hair. A dark mist of indeterminate properties proceeds the entity's movements at waist height, briefly remaining in trodden locations before dissipating. The most prominent trademark of his appearance is a large ring of several keys attached to his right hip. The keys appear worn and ancient but also ornate, with indecipherable runic symbols inscribed onto them.


Behaviors:

Coinciding with the changes in his appearance, The Keymaster has exhibited a diverse range of behaviors in reported encounters. Regardless of these inconsistencies, he is a generally quiet and soft-spoken individual, often in a state of weariness or confusion, though always has an underlying willingness to help wanderers. Since 2014, hidden observers have witnessed several anomalous occurrences while he is alone - the most common of which is questioning the state of his existence. This likely coincides with another anomalous occurrence, related to his sleeping habits. Although possessing a need for sleep, The Keymaster is strongly averted to it, and will stave it off as long as possible. When he inevitably succumbs to fatigue and loses consciousness, he dematerializes and disappears, later reappearing in a random level. This is presumably the reason behind The Keymaster's opposition to sleep, and his weariness/confusion are likely narcoleptic symptoms.

Towards wanderers, The Keymaster’s demeanor is neutral. He will not display hostility and will keep to himself if not approached. If a wanderer approaches him and enlists his help in escaping from a Level, he may be willing to provide it, though warns that he is not liable for "unwanted outcomes." In these interactions, The Keymaster conducts himself with formality and does not deviate from the goal that he is committed to achieving with wanderers.

Towards entities, The Keymaster's demeanor is neutral, although slightly more casual compared to his interactions with wanderers. He seems to generally possess enough knowledge to effectively navigate possible interactions with most entities without provoking aggression. Common hostile entities display a certain degree of intimidation and even reverence towards him, regardless of his demeanor. Within the overall ecosystem/hierarchy of The Backrooms, entities seem to be aware of their position relative to The Keymaster's. Numerous non-hostile entity communities have often reported a "strange traveler" matching The Keymaster's general description passing through their territory.

Towards any organized group attempting to interact with him, especially for the purpose of learning information, The Keymaster is uncooperative and aggressive (but not necessarily malicious), and when possible will make himself scarce from their presence. Learning definitive information about him through direct questioning has proven unviable, as he outright ignores such prompts. In doing so, he displays a snarky attitude, as if attempting to get across the point that he has no desire whatsoever to interact with these individuals.

0102.jpg

Average result of the attempted photography of Entity-χ.

Attempted first-hand documentation - including but not limited to the use of photographic, video and audio recording devices - consistently malfunctions or otherwise fails in The Keymaster's presence. Any successfully obtained digital documentation becomes corrupted, and any physical documentation is lost or destroyed under anomalous circumstances.


Biology:

By all accounts, The Keymaster cannot be destroyed, or at least can always come back from his destruction. He has been reported by witnesses to be "destroyed" on several occasions, only to subsequently resurface in another level with a newly reported sighting. Accompanying this subsequent sighting is a change in personality and appearance. There have been no such instances of destruction recorded since 2014.

The Keymaster's most notable trait is his apparent access to every level key in The Backrooms. He obtains a given key by materializing it, though it is unknown whether this is accomplished by summoning the keys from a location1 or creating them at that moment. Although the latter option is widely believed to be of a magical nature, it may be explained from a scientific standpoint as the use of highly advanced nanotechnology and/or molecular manipulation technology to rapidly construct the keys based on a preprogrammed database of blueprints and templates. The specific functionality of this hypothetical technology is yet to be theorized, however. Given the extent of The Keymaster's accessibility to level keys and the intertwined nature between them, he may possibly be the inventor of level keys.

If an altercation occurs, most commonly with hostile entities, The Keymaster primarily fights opponents by weaponizing the dark mist around him, forming constructs to defend himself with. He neutralizes his opponents rather quickly, but does not outright kill them - instead "banishing" them elsewhere. With the use of a certain key on his key ring which is particularly worn, he opens a rift through which he sends his assailants. Where they are brought is not yet determined, though it is speculated to function as a type of prison. All of the keys on The Keymaster's key ring seem entirely unique to himself, not matching the description of any known level keys. The rest of the keys on the ring most likely serve their own special purposes just like the rift key.

The keys themselves typically take the form of a conventional frontrooms key. However, in certain instances, keys are manifested in more abstract forms such as conceptual notions, unpredictable in function. They may also come in the form of other objects or entities. Wanderers who encounter The Keymaster may request a key from him, to help them escape from the level they are on. As per a personal code, he will only allow a wanderer to receive one key ever, and will not manifest another, even if the first key was somehow lost/destroyed or was the wrong one. His reasoning for this is so that wanderers won't "bother" him for help all the time. For himself, he always manifests the intended key without failure, allowing him to travel through The Backrooms without restriction. For wanderers, he generally always manifests the intended key, though there have been rare outlying incidents in which this is not the case. Although the key's resonance will naturally lead the wanderer to its respective door, The Keymaster will nonetheless follow the wanderer, protecting them and ensuring a safe passage along their path.

Given The Keymaster's ability to unlock any level with his keys, it may be presumed that he could lock them as well. This assumption is correct, and The Keymaster will typically lock the entrances to levels upon exiting them, so as to prevent its resident entities from escaping.

An additional ability possessed by The Keymaster, although not particularly noteworthy among the rest, is what seems to be a specialized form of no-clipping that allows him to clip anywhere within a given level at will, although he cannot clip out of a level itself. The only way he seems to be able to intentionally pass through levels is by "physically" unlocking them, except for instances of sleep-induced teleportation (which is randomized and beyond his control).


Discovery:

Entity-χ is known to The Lost as a mythological figure called “Gatekeeper”, to which many fantastical feats had been ascribed (yet absent from modern reports). Furthermore, evidence suggests the former existence of prayers, shrines, and other forms of worship dedicated to him. This indicates that not only does his existence far predate modern sightings, but he was also once considered a god and treated as such. However, all records of reverence towards him abruptly stopped at a certain point in time, and it is unknown what caused him to no longer be worshiped.

The first modern sighting of The Keymaster took place in The Hub, where he was seen to be wandering in a confused state.

Although no direct documentation of Entity-χ has yet been successfully obtained, the anecdotal accounts already serve to paint a vividly detailed picture of him. Many of those reporting to have encountered The Keymaster were not previously aware of similar experiences by others. The closest candidate to persisting "physical" evidence may be found in the fact that most wanderers claiming to have interacted with The Keymaster were found in possession of Level Keys. Being rare and valuable as they are, the fact that these Level Keys were easily obtained by wanderers is an anomalous occurrence. In recent years, this has prompted a vested interest in The Keymaster, and efforts are currently underway to investigate and compile any data surrounding this being that is possible to obtain.


Theories:

There are several theories in regards to Entity-χ's true nature and origins. Detailed below are the five most prominent ones:

The Wanderer Theory

It is popularly speculated that The Keymaster was once a wanderer himself, before experiencing a certain fate that made him what he currently is. This may be likely, considering the many cases of human wanderers becoming entities after being transformed by other entities, if not a level itself. The explanation would lend to his more relatively humanoid nature and appearance compared to most other entities. It may also explain his presence in The Hub, and the key ring on his hip - an object likely originating from The Frontrooms.

The Cloak theory

This theory postulates that The Keymaster is/was not only one, but in fact multiple individuals.
Those who subscribe to this theory believe that The Keymaster draws his abilities from the cloak he wears, although he himself may not be aware. Some believe that the cloak is paranormal in nature, while others believe it to be highly advanced technology. Regardless, it is agreed upon that this is the source of his power. When he dies, as he has been shown to die before, another being finds his cloak - or perhaps the cloak finds them, and upon the cloak attaching to them, they become the new Keymaster, with all the entailed abilities. This may lend to the inconsistencies between recorded interactions.

Alternatively, there may be multiple Keymasters with multiple cloaks, all immortal and coexisting in The Backrooms, yet never intersecting in the same space. Whether this hypothetical group is organized cannot be determined.

The Experiment Theory

Another theory is that The Keymaster was created as part of a test/experiment performed by a greater, more powerful entity. This is supported by the fact that his abilities occasionally malfunction. If he were experimental, then there could be room for error and failure, just as with all experiments.

The Deity Theory

Others posit that The Keymaster is simply a force of nature. He always has, is, and will be, and spirit may be tied to the very nature of the Backrooms themselves or even transcend it. This degree of omnipresence would also account for the simultaneous sightings, and supposed immortality.

Each of these theories are equally likely to be true, and equally likely to be false.


Do's and Don'ts:

Do:

  • Exhibit a neutral demeanor at minimum towards him. He will not be malicious if others are not to him.
  • Attempt to maintain a safe distance if inexperienced with navigating The Backrooms or interacting with its denizens. Negligence will likely lead to loss of life.

Maybe:

  • Request assistance in exiting the level with a key from him. Generally, he will generate the exact key needed, though discretion is advised as the wrong key or a malicious key may be manifested, and even potentially endanger your life. Carefully choose when to do so, as wanderers may only receive one key ever.

Don't:

  • Display aggressive or hostile behavior. You will likely find yourself where all others who have fought him were sent.

YOU. YES, YOU. COME CLOSER…

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