Devraj [ The Shield ]

“Do you have any special powers? Or are you just a pretty boy?
“She did not need me to have magic.”
“What did she need you for?”
“Comfort. Support.”

sendhil ramamurthy
Name Devraj
Age Seems to be in his late 30s, maybe 40s
Appearance Devraj is tall and on the slender side, the type of build that can carry a suit and a jacket over it without looking overly bulky. Without his clothes he would probably be reed thin, but Anna’s imagination has not gone that far. He has warm, dusky skin, dark curly hair and a very gentle face. Devraj is the type of guy who looks good, pretty enough in a crowd of men but isn’t charismatic or distinctive enough to draw focus. Put him in a room with Ravi and most would probably forget meeting him.
He has an aura that is comfortable. The type of person you could go to for a hug, who probably smells like home and peace and safety.
Personality Devraj is gentle, friendly. He is not the type of man who would be the life of a party, neither would he lead the party. But he would make sure that every member was taken care of, and he is a quiet, intense way of looking at you and asking ‘are you okay?’ that seems genuine. That, if you were to tell him what your problems are, he would be able to fix it.
Ability Devraj does not seem to have any abilities at first glance. When he is commuting with his “cousins”, his eyes can take the same brassy color, but other than that, he seems to be very human.
Unexpectedly arriving at the Flurry
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There is a woman who creates monsters. Shy knows she exists because he has come across her monsters, Ravi the Blade, who hunted down those who had wronged her, pulling souls from bodies and punishing the wicked. He sent the Blade to Dawn Watch Weyr. He found Nana the Balm, who consumed emotions, blunting ‘her’ pain and soothing ‘her’ anger. There was Amina, who snuck into the dreams of the little ones and gave Shy’s little imperial prince time to grief, to relieve the good memories (and only the good ones).

Shy knows there is a woman who dreams of monsters, and he is looking for her. Because maybe she can help turn the tide on his war with the Death Court.

The Beginning

  • It was an unexpected but not entirely unsurprising arrival. It was the Flurry after all, drawing candidates from all pockets of the Nexus. Many escorted by Search Riders who had sensed their potential, but many finding themselves int his new world with bemused and slightly lost expressions.
  • This man was just another one of them.
  • “He looks a little old to be a candidate” A rider remarked.
  • “For a traditional Pernese clutch, he would have aged out, that’s for sure. But this isn’t Pern, and the Flurry has never been so conventional” another argued.
  • The rider grunted as he conceded the point.
  • It was an unexpected but not entirely unsurprising arrival, and the older men ‘who would have aged out at a traditional Pernese clutch but this was the Flurry’ found himself signed up as a candidate.

A Boy, Looking For His Girl …

  • “He is a pretty one” the women seemed to have taken interested, and maybe a few men.
  • Always so carefully dressed. Maybe inappropriately so (why would a candidate need to wear a suit to a candidate lesson? Did he not understand that the very soft, delicate sweaters would get damaged in his chores? Who wore so much hair product from the morning?), but no one was complaining.
  • “He said he’s here looking for a woman.”
  • “Isn’t that always the story?” a swoony sigh followed the words. “How romantic.”
  • And Devraj was romantic. Quiet, soft spoken, part of the crowds but never leading it, always there to lend a hand and an ear. So polished and proper, but with hugs that warmed the soul and eyes that stared straight into your soul.
  • He listened, and he cared.

But Finds His “Cousins” Instead…

  • Amina was the one who found him first.
  • In a dream where the moon was absent from the sky and the stars dull, on a beach where the waves crashed into the shore and tiny lights sparkled. Bioluminescent light that gleamed shades of blue and green.
  • “This is nice.” she remarked. They walked, barefoot, side by side, their footprints barely visible on the sand.
  • Devraj shrugged. “She enjoys long walks on the beach, and I enjoy it when she is happy.”
  • An amused snort meets his words. “Do you really enjoy it?” she asked.
  • “Of course I do. She called for me to comfort her, that is what I do.”
  • “That is what you did. She does not call for you any more.”
  • “No. Does she call you?”
  • The monster who allowed dreamers to relive the best memories, or to create new ones, the monster who was a constant companion of a little imperial prince, slowed her steps. “No, she does not call me any more.”
  • “Does she not call you because she does not need you? Or because she can’t?”
  • Amina’s gray eyes took a brassy tint. A flat, almost two dimensional shade that did not suit three dimensional people. “She is in trouble?” the monster had not considered this before. “Does she need our help?” she demanded.  
  • Devraj shrugged again. “I would not know. I was called to comfort her, not to protect her. She must have a protector.”
  • Ravi was the one who found him next.
  • Not in a dream, but in real life, at the Nidus, flying on the back of a gray winged beast with black scales and crimson wings, a wickedly sharp horn on his nose.
  • Devraj watched the monster land with the dragon, watched as Ravi’s eyes took on the same odd brassy shade as both weighed each other.
  • “I am not her protector.” Ravi said by ways of introduction. “I am her sword, her blade. I seek justice and revenge, but I do not protect her.”
  • Devraj nodded. This made sense to him. “I do not go out of my way to protect her.” He answered. “I am there when she needs me, but I do not go out of my way to find her, to make sure she is safe.”
  • “Then she is missing a protector.”
  • “Yes.”
  • Both stared at each other, neither ready to break the stare and admit defeat.
  • “Oh, get a room.” At the passing, laughing comment, and Devraj was the first to look away.

… as well as the Scientist who cannot stop meddling

  • “You look disappointed.” Ravi remarked.
  • Shy sighed. A delicate, put out noise. “He seems entirely human and not very impressive.”
  • Devraj continued to stand, calm and expressionless as the scientist circled him.
  • “Do you have any special powers?” The scientist complained. “Or are you just a pretty boy?” he sounded entirely put out that his new discovery wasn’t a monster with fangs and claws, could not command magic.
  • “She did not need me to have magic.” Devraj answered.
  • “What did she need you for?”
  • “Comfort. Support.”
  • Shy let out an entirely disgusted and disgruntled noise. Muttering something about women and emotions and the waste of creativity and abilities.
  • “She likes to hug me.” Devraj offered, amused by this pretty man with his ornate nails and heavily embroidered dresses, those eyes that seemed to gleam with avarice. Devraj opened his arms.
  • Shy stared at the open embrace with skepticism. “You may not know me very well, but I am the last person to be swayed by emotion and insubstantial annoyances such as feelings.”
  • Devraj continued to stand there, his arms open wide, as if he had all the time in the world to wait for the prickly Scientist. One step, another, rather like a very suspicious cat, Shy stepped into the embrace and allowed the monster to close his arms around him.
  • The Scientist let out a considering noise. “This is far nicer than I had expected.”
  • “Mmhmm.” Devraj tugged the scientist a little closer.

When the Boy Catches Sight of the Girl

  • Devraj found himself standing on a very familiar deck, in front of a very familiar placid lake. The water was almost opaque, reflecting the sky and the few cotton candy clouds that seemed to drift slowly. A thick forest of trees in circled the lake, red and yellow and gold: autumn, except the wind was a bit too warm, the light a bit too bright.
  • He looked down at the tray he held, a mug of something hot and frothy piled with whipped cream, a small platter of delicate biscuits. He was barefoot, wearing soft, well worn jeans and a plaid shirt over a white t shirt that was a little bit too tight for his comfort.
  • At the edge of the deck a young woman sat with her legs over the edge, her feet not quite brushing the surface of the water.
  • “I brought you your favorite” he broke the silence first.
  • Setting down the tray and taking a seat next to her, he handed her the mug of hot chocolate spiked with espresso and baileys. She took it from him carefully, cradling it in her hands as she let out a content little sigh and leaned against him, her head just comfortably reaching that crook in his shoulder.
  • For a few minutes, they sat in silence, feet not quite touching the placid surface of the lake, the only sound the too-warm breeze whispering against the trees.
  • “It’s been a while.” he broke the silence again, and she took a noisy little slurp of the frothy concoction. “Are you happy?”
  • “Is that why you think I have not called? Because I am happy?”
  • He nodded. Felt her move a little bit closer.
  • “I am alive.” she answered.
  • “Happily alive?”
  • “I am breathing. And living.” she answered instead.
  • It was not an answer that he liked. Not one that allowed him to leave her alone. “I found the others.”
  • She let out a pleased noise. “How are they?” she asked, as if they were two strangers catching on on acquaintances.
  • “Worried about you.” he answered.
  • “I am alive.” she responded. “I am breathing, and leaving.”
  • “But you are not happy.”
  • That was the crux of it, wasn’t it? They were Anna’s monsters, to help her deal with grief and anger, and yet she was still unhappy.
  • “No one is really happy” she answered, so matter of fact as if she was chiding a child. “People pretend. They live, they survive another day. But no one is truly happy.”
  • Devraj decided then that he might have been called to comfort her, but that he was going to protect her.

The Boy Comes up with a Plan

  • Amina agreed whole heartedly with his plan. they would go find the girl who had called him, and make sure she was happy. There was a reason, wasn’t there? That she had managed to call them. That she had stopped, even though they had not solved her problems. Each one of the monsters had been created for a very specific reason, and while none had been created for the specific purpose of protecting her, that was something they coudl all do.
  • Nana was not interested. She was in a new world with other monsters snd creatures that flashed fang and screamed from the shadows. She wanted to play with her new targets.
  • Ravi, Ravi did not understand, but Nelduth was the only fully fledged dragon fro now, so he agreed. They would help search for the girl who had created them.