"Close-up, Kety seemed even taller and leaner than he had at a distance at the poetry-readings. He had cool chiseled features very much in the haut mold—hawk-noses had been the style ever since Fletchir Giaja had ascended the throne. A bit of silver-gray at the temples set off his dark hair. Since the man was only in his mid-forties, and haut to boot . . . by God, yes. The touch of frost was quite perfect, but it had to have been artificially produced, Miles realized with well-concealed inner amusement. In a world where the old men had it all, there was no social benefit to a youthful appearance when one actually was young."
―Miles meets Ilsum Kety[src]

Ilsum Kety was a haut lord of Cetaganda who at the very young age of 45 rose to the governorship of the Cetagandan satrapy planet Sigma Ceta. An ambitious man, when he was presented with an opportunity to break away and become the sole leader of a portion of the Empire, he took and ran with it.

The tale of his attempted takeover is told in Cetaganda; he was foiled by Rian Degtiar and Miles Vorkosigan working with the ladies of the Star Crèche. Kety was offered the choice of either forced retirement or suicide, and it was considered likely that he would choose a forced retirement, in hopes of future chances.

"Yeah, and I should have known he was Lord X when I first spotted that fake gray hair, Miles decided. This was one haut-lord who didn't want to wait for what life might bring him."
―Miles, reflecting on Kety[src]


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