“But, um, I like plants.”
Date of Birth: Gai’s Seed (March 3)
Appearance: Raj is a Gaislander with light-brown skin, dark brown eyes, and thick messy black hair which curls into bunches. He’s tall and thin like a branch with thin spindly arms that he struggles to coordinate. He prefers to wear light robed garments in either his lilac House colours, or in a Green Hand style. He wears a lilac sash and also a scarf around his neck which hides a scar. He doesn’t always carry a sword, but his pockets are full of seeds and dried plants.
Home: Enais, central Gaisland
Job Role: Academy Student
Story Role: Side character and friend to Mina. He’s a Green Hand-in-training which makes him the healer of the group.
Motivations: Raj never considered himself to be overly ambitious. As the only male heir to House Enaibond, he assumed he didn’t have much choice in things and was patiently awaiting his fate by reading books and helping with the family vineyard back home. After his helbond, he decided he wanted to enter the Academy to learn more about his House responsibilities.
Secretly, he also wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps and study to become a Green Hand, which his mother approved of, though the rest of his House wanted him to train as a warrior. He reached a compromise by studying both within the Academy. Truly, he’s never been interested in swordplay and puts in the bare minimum effort. He’d sooner spend his time in the Temple of Gai or in the library.
He loves his mother and his House, so he’ll do whatever he can to please them, even if it goes against his own desires. He understands that he has a responsibility to his House first and foremost.
Personality: Raj is quite a shy, reserved boy who is a big softie despite how tall and imposing he can appear. He is unsure about himself and doesn’t have the confidence of his own convictions. He is cautious and gets scared easily, yet despite his distaste for violence, fighting, or death, he doesn’t shy away from the gruesome realities of being a healer, and he is always willing to try new things if it makes his friends happy.
He is a cheerful and supportive friend who is happy to accept Mina and Alistar for who they are despite their faults. Raj is compassionate and forgiving and rarely gets angry. He sees the good in people and doesn’t want to cause conflict.
But he does need a nudge every now and then to stand up for himself.
Quirks: Raj is shy and hesitant when speaking and sometimes talks with a stutter. He easily gets embarrassed as he doesn’t have confidence in his own words.
He has a great memory for detail and can memorise most books. He loves to read about and collect plants, and has a natural talent for gardening. He also has an interest in Neu Bosan culture, especially Neu Bosan tea.
Abilities: Raj isn’t one for the fighting arts. Whilst he can ride a horse without falling off it, he can barely swing a sword without dropping it and has no interest in learning other combat skills such as archery.
However, he is an excellent Green Hand and has a natural gift for healing. His skills are more academically-minded and suited toward studying and experimentation. His great memory is perfect for whipping up herbal remedies and potions quickly.
He’s good at growing plants, and helped his mother grow crops within their Enais vineyards.
Secrets: Raj once injured himself during sword training which is a secret he attempts to hide in the Academy because it embarrasses him.
He has a few other secrets that he also tries to hide, and only confides into his two closest friends – Alistar and Raj.
Family: Raj has a large extended family of cousins, but he is an only child. His father was a Green Hand who died in the last war seventeen years ago protecting Fire Walkers who’d used up all of their power. Raj was only a baby at the time and has no memories of his father. For a time, he resented his father for being a terrible warrior and leaving him and his mother alone. But after learning of his father’s kind nature and Green Hand skills, Raj came to learn how much he had in common with the father he never knew and wanted to follow in his footsteps.
His mother is Lady Hana, the head of House Enaibond, and the only female Houseman on the Council. She is somewhat protective of Raj, and as such they were close during his early years to the point that other family members accused her of coddling him.
Raj also listens to his uncle Rahim who pressures him into sword training.
Favourite Food: Neu Bosan Flower Tea, figs, citrus fruits, and walnuts
Favourite Colour: Green
Favourite Place: The Academy Library
Favourite Hobbies: Reading, studying Green Hand texts, volunteering at the Temple of Gai, gardening
Raj grew up within the forests of Gaisland alongside Neu Bosan and Green Hand orphans, so nature and Gai has always been a part of his blood. As a child, Raj loved playing in the dirt and spent much of his childhood running around the forest collecting plants and learning about them. His mother was affectionate with him and had a hands-off approach to raising him, allowing him a childhood of freedom and wonder that most Housemen boys are denied. Though many of his House disagreed with her parenting style and felt he was being coddled and not taught the more “manly” skills that boys must learn, especially as Raj is House Enaibond’s heir.
As such, Raj didn’t feel pressured into training as a warrior and spent his time helping out at the Temple of Gai or reading in the library. Eventually, his uncle demanded he be taught proper combat skills and he reluctantly agreed to train. Raj disliked his uncle’s lessons and accidentally injured himself, almost dying from his wound.
After his accident, Raj realised he held a responsibility as Enaibond’s heir and agreed on a compromise; to learn the sword whilst training as a Green Hand. He chose to enter the Academy to get better at sword fighting and to prove himself to his House and his mother.