ometimes, when you’re writing, new concepts introduce themselves out of nowhere. Often, if you’re listening and paying attention hard enough, these ideas can be some of the best to explore. I’m doing that today, brainstorming about a new concept that came to me not too long ago, the Rai Guard.
I was writing the chapter that introduced TsuYa in a Dreigiau re-write (that was never released), and talking about his loyalty to SoYa’s inherited right to be next in line as the leader of Nefol. Stuff started writing itself at that point.
Apparently, there’s a group of warriors known as the Guard (I don’t have a super official national name for them yet – Spire Guard?) who dedicated themselves to protecting Nefol after its founding. TsuYa practiced long and hard to prove he’s made of the stuff to become a part of this leet warrior group… but they kept shooting him down (and making up really lame reasons why).
Here’s an excerpt:
TsuYa would probably be on duty right that moment, watching his brother’s back, if he was allowed to. But every time he spoke his desire to join the Nefolian ranks, the Rai Guard shot him down. He bitterly recounted their lame excuses – he was either too young, not properly trained, or too tall (yes, that had been the latest reason).
Yeah, I know. The irony. 🙂
When I first wrote this paragraph, I didn’t call them the Rai Guard. But then, I went back to edit this chapter, and it just made sense to develop it this way. And it opened up a lot of future possibilities, tying it to past history.
The Rai Clan
I noted in the previous Brainstorm that JinRai, one of the Founders of Nefol, was also the Warleader of the Rai clan. Syn and I actually have developed a bunch of history and lore around the Rais, how Zento came to meet them, and how they fought off the Ghost Clan… which is what we’re trying to tell here in this story.
Eventually, (spoiler) most of the Rai clan came to know Zento and support the vision of Nefol he brought from Zemi. I won’t say that it was a 100% adoption rate, but winning over an old-fashioned guy like JinRai was a pretty big deal!
The Rais were known as a tough Warclan, especially when it came to defending their lands from their enemies. So, when Nefol was founded, it was natural that they formed the city’s first defense efforts. I wouldn’t call them a military force… I don’t think they’d organized that much yet, and the clans didn’t look at their warriors as soldiers. But “Guard” seems fitting, and I can see the Rai Clan embracing that.
Eventually, more than just members the Rai Clan joined the Rai Guard. When I pitched the idea to Syn to get her input on it, she was very adamant that Jin would have wanted the Guard to be something Nefolian-born and not just limited to his single clan. So, that’s why it needs a more national name.
However, some people who have been familiar with it for a long time, such as TsuYa, would probably still call it the Rai Guard out of habit. And it’s not that TsuYa lacked skills or determination to join the Guard… it was more that the Guard saw him as someone to protect, not someone to recruit. Plus, Tsu was quite a reckless and angry youth. 🙂