The Demon and The Deva (Prologue)

Once upon a time, in a world very similar to our own, there was an ancient land called Bharat.  Within Bharat was a small kingdom called Videha.  This is where our story begins.

The ruler of Videha was King Janaka.  Under his long reign, Videha was prosperous.  The people were happy, and life was peaceful.  There was just one problem.  King Janaka was aging and he didn’t have an heir.  For many years, Janaka and his beautiful queen, Sunayana, prayed to the gods for a child.  But the gods remained silent.  No child was born.

One day, a senior advisor in Janaka’s court, named Vyasa, approached the king in the throne room.  “Sire,” Vyasa beseeched him.  “You have heard me talk of the Seers for years.  The time has finally come.  You need their help.”

Janaka’s brow furrowed.  Everyone in Bharat had heard of the Seers.  They were a group of golden-eyed mystics who lived in the kingdom of Mahishūru.  They followed the teachings of an Asura called Mahishasura.  “Demons,” Janaka sputtered at the thought of an Asura setting foot in his kingdom.  “You want me to ask those demon Asuras for help?”

“Janaka, I am your friend,” Vyasa looked him in the eye.  Few others would dare do the same thing.  “We have known each other since childhood.  I will not just sit beside you and feed you idle words in this time of need.”

“I still have time,” Janaka protested, flushing angrily.  He was older, but still one of the most powerful kings in Bharat.

Vyasa raised an eyebrow.  He was accustomed to Janaka’s ego, but the time for soothing injured pride had ended.  “Sire, please allow me to speak honestly,” When Janaka nodded, Vyasa continued.  “Your enemies are mobilizing against you.  They are waiting for the first sign of weakness to pounce on Videha.  You must have an heir and time to train him.  Without one, Videha is in danger.”

“But to ask an Asura for help is outrageous,” Janaka scowled.  His distaste for Asuras was deep-rooted.  Devas and Asuras had been fighting each other for centuries.  It was only in the last two decades that a tentative peace agreement had been forged between the two groups.  But the distrust still lingered.  “There must be another way.”

“My brother, there is no other way,” Vyasa said softly.  It pained him to admit it.  He didn’t want to approach the Asuras for help either.  “I’ve seen it.  This is the only path to an heir.”

“So, who do you propose we call?”  When Vyasa raised an eyebrow, Janaka shook his head.  “He won’t come,” Janaka crossed his arms.  “Even if I ask him to.  There is too much bad blood between our kingdoms.”

“Yes, he will.”  Vyasa smiled.  When his visions were clear, they were never wrong.  “Ask him and he will come.”

One week later, Vyasa’s statement was proven correct.  He rushed into the throne room and found King Janaka conducting his daily meeting with his ministers.  Conversation halted as Vyasa approached the king.

“Sire, he’s here,” Vyasa whispered into the Janaka’s ear.

The king waved his hands, dismissing the ministers.  Once they scurried out of the room, Janaka nodded to two of his guardsmen.

The heavy doors at the opposite end of the room swung open.  An Asura named Mahishasura entered.  He surveyed the room with one sweeping glance as he strode across the marble floor.  Despite his towering height, Mahishasura looked up at the throne from the bottom of the steps.  “Janaka.”

“So, we finally meet,” King Janaka nodded back, and remained seated.  He pointedly lowered his head to look down at the Asura.  It was customary for two royals of equal status to greet each other on level ground.  “I’m told that you are the legendary Mahishasura.”

Mahishasura’s golden eyes eyes narrowed.  He recognized the insult.  “I am.”

“You look more human than I expected,” Janaka remarked casually.  He scanned the Asura from head to toe.  “I’ve heard that you are part water buffalo.  If the stories are true, where are your horns?”

Mahishasura smiled, baring even white teeth.  “Stories don’t always contain truth.”

Vyasa fluttered around Janaka nervously.  He said softly, “Sire, I must remind you that we invited him here.  We need his help.”

“Yes, yes,” Janaka lifted one hand and waved Vyasa away.  The internal struggle was apparent on his face.  After a few moments of silence, he stood up and walked down the steps.  “My advisor has reminded me that you have done us a great favor by appearing in our court.”  He extended his hand.  “Please forgive me.  You have shown us a great honor with your visit.”

Mahishasura raised an eyebrow.  After pausing, he took Janaka’s hand and clasped it in greeting.  “You are forgiven.  Now, what is the purpose of my visit?”

“I have been told that your people have special,” Janaka hesitated.  He searched for the word.  “Abilities.”  When Mahishasura remained silent, Janaka continued.  “I have need of such abilities.”

“Is that so?”  The expression on Mahishasura’s face was mild interest.  “And why is that?”

Janaka grimaced, as if he spotted something distasteful.  He squared his shoulders.  “My advisors tell me that I will never have an heir without your help.”

“I see,” Mahishasura replied evenly.  He didn’t appear surprised by the revelation.  “And if this is true, why should I help you?”

The Asura was trying to bargain with him.  Well, this was something that Janaka could understand.  “What do you want from us in exchange for your help?”  He extended his hand to point out the splendors of the room.  “Gold?  Jewels?  I will pay your fee.”

Mahishasura snorted.  “I am the rightful King of Mahishuru.  It is one of the wealthiest kingdoms in Bharat.  Do you think I could be bought so easily?”

“But you’re not,” Vyasa interjected.  When Mahishasura turned his gaze to Vyasa, the old advisor stammered.  “Your Highness, I mean no disrespect.  But I have been told that you gave up your right to the throne to follow the teachings of the Seers.”

Mahishasura nodded.  “You speak the truth.  I am no longer the King of Mahishuru. But my people still follow my words as law.”

“Then why are you here?” King Janaka demanded.  He didn’t have time to banter with an Asura.  “If not for gold or wealth, why are you here?”

Mahishasura’s brow furrowed.  Why indeed?  “I will help you.  But for a price.”

King Janaka threw up his hands in exasperation.  “What price?  I just offered you all of the gold you could ever want.”

“My price isn’t wealth,” Mahishsura replied.  He glanced over his shoulder and nodded at someone waiting outside the throne room.  “I need your protection.  For him.”

A woman holding the hand of a boy walked up to the group.  The boy was young and handsome.  While the woman kept her eyes cast downward, the boy boldly met the penetrating gaze of Vyasa.  He grinned, showing a flash of even white teeth, before turning his golden eyes to King Janaka.

“Who is this child?”  King Janaka demanded.  There was something about the boy that made him uneasy.

Mahishasura smiled.  He rested his hand on the boy’s thick black hair.  “He is the younger son of the Sage Vishrava.  His name is Ravana.”

DAY #20: A Modified “NaNoWriMo” Challenge (Write 15 Minutes of Garbage Every Day)

Does anyone else have this problem?  Loss of momentum in the middle of writing a story?  It’s Day 20 of this challenge and I’m trying to pick up the story from where I left off yesterday.  I had tons of ideas for the direction I wanted to go when I stopped typing yesterday afternoon, but all of them flew out of my mind…..

Sigh.  Well, let me retype the last paragraph or two from yesterday, and see if I can generate some momentum again.  (NOTE:  I won’t include the retyped portion in my final word count.)

Shivani couldn’t admit defeat so easily.  She needed Patrick by her side for her first trip to Bharat.  “What difference does it make if they do discover you?  They can’t hurt you.”

“No, they can’t hurt me,” Patrick replied, and looked her straight in the eye.  It was time to tell her the truth.  “But they can hurt your parents.”

Shivani started at his words.  “My parents?” she repeated, frowning.  “What does this have to do with my parents?  They’re dead.”

Patrick studied the emotions that flitted across her face.  He had to tell her.  It was the only way she would be ready to face the situation in Bharat.  “What do you know about your parents?”

“Well,” Shivani hesitated.  “Not a lot.  I mean, the people at the agency told me that I was left at an orphanage in India when I was a baby.”

“And?” Patrick tilted his head.  He leaned against the desk and crossed his arms.  “What else did they tell you?”

As Patrick’s gaze narrowed, it occurred to Shivani that she had never questioned the story.  “Not much more than that,” Shivani shrugged.  “Just that an American couple adopted me and brought me to this country.  But they were killed in a car accident when I was little.  No one else wanted to adopt me.  So I went back into the foster care system.”  Shivani studied the floor.  It sounded so much more pathetic when she said it out loud.  She didn’t like that at all.  “I’ve been there ever since then.”

“So, no one knew who left you at the orphanage?” Patrick persisted.  He suspected what her answer would be, but wanted to make sure.

“No,” Shivani whispered.  Was it possible that her parents were still alive?  That they were the ones who left her at the orphanage?  Her heart started beating wildly.

Patrick knew what she was thinking.  He hated to crush her hopes, but she had to know.  “They weren’t the ones who dropped you off at the orphanage,” he said softly.  He winced when he saw the light go out of her eyes.

Shivani’s shoulders slumped.  He was probably right, but that small sliver of hope prompted her to question him.  “How do you know that?  Did you see it?”

Patrick hesitated.  It didn’t take his Seer’s abilities to see that Shivani wasn’t going to respond well to the truth.  What was the best way to approach this revelation?  “I guess you could say that.”

“Oh,” Shivani muttered, disappointed.  Patrick’s visions were always accurate.  “Did you see what happened in a vision?”

“No,” Patrick replied.  “It wasn’t a vision.”  When Shivani looked at him with confusion, he gave up his feeble attempts at tactful disclosure.  “It was me, Shivani,” he stood up and looked into the golden eyes that reminded him so much of someone else he had once loved.  “I’m the one who left you at the orphanage in India.”

DAY #19: A Modified “NaNoWriMo” Challenge (Write 15 Minutes of Garbage Every Day)

Well, it’s Day 19 in the 30-day challenge and I’ve completely run off track from a story perspective.  But the good news is that I’ve been writing for more than 15 minutes each day.

I want to try and get back into the story writing groove, so here goes:

Shivani stood in the empty hall, staring at Patrick.  His words were impossible.

“If you want to help them, then you have to choose,” Patrick said, as pulled out a key from his pocket.  Shivani heard the click and he unlocked the door.  He held it open for her once it swung open.  “And it has to be your choice alone.”

“But, I’m not ready,” Shivani protested.  It was too soon.  Her mind still whirled from his revelation.  She needed more time to prepare.  Her stomach tightened as she followed him into the large dark room.  It looked like a library, with its shelves that spanned the walls from the floor to the ceiling.  “I didn’t even finish the school year.”

“I know.  I wish that we had more time,” Patrick said, frowning at her.  He flicked on the light switch.  His concern was obvious, as he placed his hands on her shoulders.  “I wouldn’t normally ask you to choose yet, but we need your help.”  He dropped his hands from her shoulders and walked over to a panel on the wall behind the desk.  “And we need it now.”

“Why can’t you come with me?” Shivani pleaded.  There was no way she could do this by herself.

“I wish I could go with you,” Patrick said.  A part of him was tempted to accompany her.  “I really do.  But I can’t.”

“Why not?” she demanded.

Patrick sighed.  There were two reasons, but he would only tell her what she needed to know.  “They know me.  As soon as I enter that realm, the energy will shift.  They have Seers who will recognize the change the minute I arrive.  But you have a chance to get in there undetected.”

“But you can disguise yourself,” Shivani protested.  There was a sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach that she would lose this argument.  But she persisted.  “You can make them see what you want them to.”

“It’s not that simple,” Patrick replied, shaking his head.  “Humans in this realm are unaware.  It’s much easier for me to manipulate energy here.  But the Devas and Asuras aren’t so easily deceived.  It takes more energy to hide from them.”

Shivani couldn’t admit defeat so easily.  She needed Patrick by her side for her first trip to Bharat.  “What difference does it make if they do discover you?  They can’t hurt you.”

“No, they can’t hurt me,” Patrick replied, and looked her straight in the eye.  It was time to tell her the truth.  “But they can hurt your parents.”

DAY #16: A Modified “NaNoWriMo” Challenge (Write 15 Minutes of Garbage Every Day)

When I woke up this morning, the first thing I did was check my email.  This single action could be the focus of an entire blog post about screen time addicts, but I digress.  I checked my inbox and was surprised to discover a message from the website Nugget Tales.  It contained the following message:

[New post on Nugget Tales] Shivani Roy and The Demon King of Lanka

Another piece here from a brand new writer, this is an excerpt from a novel they are working on and they would really appreciate some feedback from our readers. We hope you enjoy it!


I stared at the screen in shock.  OH MY GOD!  THAT’S MY STORY!!!!  I knew that it was supposed to appear sometime in October, but I still wasn’t prepared for the surprise.  I would have shrieked, if not for the fact that the house was quiet.

I clicked the link to Nugget Tales and to my incredible delight, saw my story PUBLISHED LIVE ON THEIR SITE.  For a few moments, I just sat in the dark, basking in the glow of that incredible screen image.  Someone actually thought enough of my story to post it on their site.  Unreal.

After a few minutes, my husband walked into the room to inform me that the kids were up and saw me just sitting on the bed and staring.  He beamed when I told him the news, hugged me and said, “Congratulations!  I’m so proud of you!  You’re a published author now.”

I pushed him back and automatically replied, “No, I’m not.”

He looked at me strangely and tilted his head towards the screen.  “Isn’t that your story?”

“Yes,” I replied.

“Isn’t it posted on that website?”

“Yes,” I said hesitantly.

He shrugged.  “Then you’re a published author to me.”

I didn’t argue with him, but had trouble accepting his words as truth.  Which is why I’m writing this post.  I have it in my head that to be considered a “published author,” I must have a published book or be a regular writing contributor to a large website.

So, is this my own personal issue?  Or do other people share my views?  What does a writer have to do to be considered a “Published Author?”

I recently read an article on Kristen Lamb’s blog about women not “owning” their achievements.  Men own their achievements, while women minimize them.  Is this my problem?  Is it because I’m female that I feel so insecure about owning this title?

After struggling with this internal debate all afternoon, I finally updated my LinkedIn profile with the following title:  “Published Author.”  I still feel guilty about putting it up there.  I have this image in my head that people will see it, roll their eyes and snicker about it.  But I’m going to try and own it.  We shall see.

DAY #14: A Modified “NaNoWriMo” Challenge (Write 15 Minutes of Garbage Every Day)

It’s Day 14 of this 30-day writing challenge.  So far, I’ve been able to follow a sequential story progression but I admit that I’m stuck.  I don’t know what the next logical scene should be.  So, I thought that I’d jump forward in the story and try writing an “out of sequence” scene today.  Here goes:

The fire blazed higher as Mahish poured the ghee onto the embers.  King Janaka could feel its heat on his face.  There were two ornate mats on the ground in front of the fire.  He sat down on one of them, while Queen Sunayna sat on the other one beside him.  Vyasa stood on Janaka’s right side, holding a large bowl.

“This is absurd,” Janaka muttered, and shifted uncomfortably on the mat.  Was sitting on the ground really necessary?  He could have just as easily sat down on a cushion for this ceremony.

“Sire, please,” Sunayna whispered, as she glanced at Mahish.  The Asura was standing on the other side of the fire, with his eyes closed.  She could see the rise and fall of his chest as he breathed deeply.  “He may hear you.”

“And what if he does?”  Janaka snapped, before turning to scowl at Vyasa.  “Please tell me why I agreed to do this.  How will some demon fire ritual produce an heir?”

“It’s called an Agni Yajna, Sire,” Vyasa offered, watching Mahish with obvious interest.  He looked down to study the contents of the bowl in his hands, but Vyasa didn’t recognize most of them.  “The Devas used to perform them as well.  I can still remember my grandfather performing one.”

“I know what it is,” Janaka huffed, slightly outraged by the indignity of sitting on the ground.  He didn’t know what had possessed him to agree to it.  “What I fail to understand is how throwing ghee and demon herbs into a fire will produce an heir.”

“We must be patient, Sire,” Vayasa replied.  It was entirely possible that the king would stand up and walk away in the middle of the ceremony.  Offending their Asura guest was the last thing Vyasa wanted to do.  “What harm does it do perform a simple ceremony?  You have everything to gain and nothing to lose.”

Mahish walked around the fire to Vayasa and reached into the bowl.  He picked up a fistful of herbs, and held them to his forehead before throwing them into the fire.  The flames crackled, as a silver mist emerged from the fire.  Sunaya watched the mist, mesmerized as it slowly encircled the small group.  When her skin began to tingle, she closed her eyes and started slow, rhythmic breathing.

On a table to the right of Vyasa sat two small bowls.  Mahish picked one up, swirled the contents and offered it to Janaka.

“What is this?” the king asked, reaching for the bowl.  He sniffed the cloudy liquid and shrugged.  At least the demon brew wasn’t offensive to the nose.

“Havana samagri.  It’s a mixture of special herbs from Mahishuru,” Mahish replied, stirring the second bowl.  He studied Sunayna’s face before carefully balancing the bowl in her lap.  Janaka didn’t notice that his wife was in a trance.  Manish continued,  “They promote fertility.”

“How?”  Janaka asked, before his eyes widened with the realization.  “Must I drink this?”  He held the bowl gingerly, frowning slightly.  Although the bowl emitted a fragrant aroma, the murky liquid didn’t appear visually appetizing.

“Yes,” Mahish said, turning away from the king to reach for a cloth.  He smothered a grin before turning back to the couple.  “You must drink this every night before the fire for thirty days.”

“And after thirty days?”  Vyasa asked, relieved that the king remained seated on the mat.

Mahish tilted his head towards the king.  “King Janaka will perform a final penance.”


DAY #12: A Modified “NaNoWriMo” Challenge (Write 15 Minutes of Garbage Every Day)

Ravana could taste the fear.  His heart pounded as Niku and Rajesh each grabbed one of his arms.  They dragged Ravana kicking and screaming towards the water trough.

“So, demon boy?  Can you do it?”  Niku snarled, as Rajesh pushed Ravana to his knees on the ground and held him there.  Niku grabbed the back of Ravana’s hair and pulled his head back.  “Can you breathe under water?”

Rajesh chuckled.  It was all in good fun.  He would pull the younger boy up after a few minutes.  No one would really get hurt.  “He’ll learn fast if he can’t.”

Ravana took one last gulp of air before Niku pushed his head into the trough.  The cold water hit him like a wall.  He kept his mouth tightly sealed while struggling against Niku’s grip.  Was Niku really going to kill him?  Panic set in until an image of Master Mahish entered his thoughts.  The Master always told him not to waste critical energy on fear.  After what seemed like an eternity, Ravana closed his eyes and exhaled the breathe that he had been clinging to like a lifeline.  When he stopped struggling, his body went limp.

Ravana could hear the panic in Rajesh’s voice.  “He isn’t moving, Niku.  Pull him up.”

As Niku lifted Ravana’s head out of the water, a surge of energy propelled Ravana to snap his head backwards.  He hit Niku squarely in the face.  There was a loud crunch.

“Aaaarrrrgggghhh,” Niku screamed, releasing his grip from Ravana to reach for his nose.  Blood dripped through his fingers, down his face.  Without thinking, Ravana dropped to the ground.  He stuck his leg out and swept it around, knocking Niku down.  Ravana quickly scrambled on top of Niku’s chest.  He grabbed Niku’s head by the hair and slammed it into the ground until Niku’s eyes rolled backwards.

Rajesh stared in shock, as Ravana wiped dripping water from his eyes with the dry edge of his sleeve and ran over to Sukha, who was still lying motionless on the ground.

“Don’t just stand there,” Ravana yelled at Rajesh, as he placed his fingers on Sukha’s temples.  “Check on Niku.”

Ravana’s voice snapped Rajesh into action.  He moved quickly and knelt on the ground beside Niku, but then looked helplessly at Ravana.  “What do I do?”

The answer came to Ravana without any thought.  “Clear the blood from his face.  Make sure that he’s still breathing.”

Rajesh nodded and used his sleeve to wipe the blood from Niku’s face.  Ravana closed his eyes and slowed his breathing.  Sukha still hadn’t regained consciousness.  Ravana focused his energy on finding the injury.  When he found the ruptured vessel, warmth seeped from his finger tips.  Ravana could feel himself losing strength, but he maintained his physical contact with Sukha.  When Sukha coughed, Ravana dropped his hands, exhausted.  He collapsed on the ground, breathing heavily.

“What happened?”  Sukha mumbled, as he tried to sit up.  He rubbed his temples and twisted his head.

DAY #11: A Modified “NaNoWriMo” Challenge (Write 15 Minutes of Garbage Every Day)

Ravana could hear the cries coming from the garden.  When he approached a clearing, Ravana saw two larger boys standing on the roof of a small shed.  They were holding a smaller boy upside down by the ankles over the edge of the roof.  Below the small boy, on the side of the shed, was a water trough.

“Where is our money, Sukha?”  One of the boys on the roof was wearing a red shirt.  He snarled and shook the small boy’s leg.  “You were supposed to give it to us today.”

“I don’t have it for you yet,” the smaller boy, Sukha, sobbed.  “Please, Niku.  Get me up from here.  If you give me more time, I’ll get it for you.”

“What do you think about that, Rajesh?  Should we give him more time?”  Niku’s lip curled into a smirk.  Both boys laughed and lowered Sukha closer to the water.  “Or should we find out if he can breathe underwater?”

Ravana could feel the young boy’s fear.  It wasn’t just getting wet.  He’s terrified by water, he realized.  Master Mahish had told him that he could amuse himself in the palace gardens until the evening meal, as long as he stayed out of trouble.  Interrupting a fight wasn’t what the Master had intended.

But Sukha’s fear was palpable.  Without thinking, Ravana squared his shoulders and ran towards the shed.  “Stop that,” he shouted.  “Leave him alone.”

The two large boys started.  After a moment, they pulled Sukha up onto the roof with them.  Then, after flashing a smirk at Ravana, Niku pushed the smaller boy from the roof.  Ravana watched in shock as Sukha landed on the ground with a loud thud.  The two larger boys jumped off from the roof and landed on their feet.  Sukha remained motionless.

Ravana rushed towards Sukha.  The boy still hadn’t moved.  Ravana knelt on the ground and placed his fingers on the boy’s temple.  Warmth seeped from his fingers into the boy’s skull.  “He needs help,” Ravana said, trying to recall his lessons.  It was the first time that he had tried to heal anybody without guidance.  Ravana closed his eyes and focused on the blood flow.

“Well, well, what do we have here?” Niku smirked.  Rajesh picked up Ravana and slammed him against the wall of the shed.  Both of them scanned Ravana up and down before resting their gaze on Ravana’s face.  Surprised, Niku nudged his friend.  “Rajesh, look at his eyes.  They’re yellow.”

Rajesh’s brown eyes widened.  “It’s the demon boy.”  He dropped his hands from Ravana and stepped back from the shed.  When Ravana tried to walk away, Niku pushed him against the shed, placing an arm across Ravana’s chest.  When Ravana struggled, Niku leaned on him with his full weight.

Rajesh put a hand on Niku’s shoulder.  “Let him go, Niku.  Asuras have special powers.  We haven’t been taught how to fight them yet.”

Niku snorted.  “I’m the son of one of the greatest warriors in Bharat.  Do you think this boy scares me?”  When Rajesh remained silent, Nicu looked at him scornfully.  “Are you afraid, Rajesh?  There’s nothing to be afraid of.  I’ve always wanted to see if the demons were as powerful as the stories.”  An odd look came on Niku’s face as he studied the water trough.  “Now we can find out.  Let’s see if this demon can breathe underwater.”

DAY #10: A Modified “NaNoWriMo” Challenge (Write 15 Minutes of Garbage Every Day)

It’s Day 10 of my self-imposed 30-day writing challenge.  So far, I’ve spent Day 3 through Day 8 writing a story.  That’s 6 out of 10 days actually storytelling.  Since my plan was to just write whatever random thought appeared in my head every day, this is a pleasant surprise.

I’m growing more interested in this story, so I thought that I would jot down a few notes for myself.  I hope that it will facilitate my storytelling in the upcoming week.

Working Title:  I was using “Ravana’s Daughter” at first, but now, I’m not sure if this title applies…..  I’ll keep it as a place holder until I think of something better.

Story Location:  The basis of this story is an epic tale from India called the Ramayana.  Rama is from an ancient land in India that is still called Ayodhya today.   India used to be called Bharat.  This story takes place in another realm that has an ancient land called Bharat.  The land of Bharat consists of many smaller kingdoms, the first of which is called Videha.  King Janak and Queen Sunayna are the rulers of Videha.  I have an idea how I want to handle their world’s similarity to our own……

In Chapter 1, I’ve already visualized characters knocking each other off for the throne and/or to preserve alliances. (Can anyone say Game of Thrones?).  I’m trying to stay as true to Indian mythology as I can, but the characters are starting to take control of the story.  So, the names are fairly accurate, but I’ve completely departed from what I expected their characters to be.

Characters:  This is what I have so far.  I expect the list to grow longer this week.

  • Janaka – The King of Videha
  • Vyasa – An Royal Advisor to King Janaka; also a childhood friend
  • Sunayna – The Queen of Videha
  • Sage Mahishasura (Mahish) – The (former) King of Mahishuru
  • Pulastya – The King of Lanka
  • Sage Vishrava – (Former) Prince of Lanka; Pulstya’s eldest son
  • Kaikesi – Vishrava’s second wife; Daitya Princess
  • Sumali – Kaikesi’s father; Ravana’s maternal grandfather
  • Kubera – Prince of Lanka; Pulstya’s youngest son; Heir to throne?
  • Ravana – Prince of Lanka; Vishrava’s eldest son; Heir to throne?
  • Maya – Queen Sunayna’s personal maid/servant

THE DEVAS (“Demi-Gods”):

  • Janaka – The King of Videha
  • Vyasa – An Royal Advisor to King Janaka; also a childhood friend
  • Sunayna – The Queen of Videha
  • Pulastya – The King of Lanka
  • Sage Vishrava – (Former) Prince of Lanka; Pulstya’s eldest son
  • Kubera – Prince of Lanka; Pulstya’s youngest son; Heir to throne?
  • Ravana – Prince of Lanka; Vishrava’s eldest son; Heir to throne? (1/2 Asura, 1/2 Deva)

THE ASURAS (“Demons”)

  • Mahishasura (Mahish) – The (former) King of Mahishuru
  • Kaikesi – Vishrava’s second wife; Daitya Princess; Ravana’s mother
  • Sumali – Kaikesi’s father; Ravana’s maternal grandfather
  • Ravana – Prince of Lanka; Vishrava’s eldest son; Heir to throne?


Who controls Lanka?  I remember reading about Ravana seizing control of Lanka from Kubera in the Ramayana.  I wanted to preserve this part of the story because I think disputes between royal brothers over thrones are interesting.  However, the question that I make take liberties with answering is how did Kubera get control of Lanka in the first place?

I made him a Prince of Lanka to keep things simple because I have two sets of conflicting information on him.  His relationship to Ravana is different in the Ramayana versus the Mahabharata.  In the Ramayana, Kubera is Ravana’s half-brother.  In another story (Mahabharata), Kubera is Ravana’s uncle.  I started by following the Ramayana and maintaining Kubera’s status as Ravana’s older half-brother.  But I thought that gave Kubera a stronger claim to the throne of Lanka.  I want more conflict regarding ascension rights to the Lanka throne.  So I thought that following the Mahabharata on this part of the story would be more interesting.  I’m not sure what direction this will go, so I reserve the right to change this direction if I need to!

Whew!  That’s a lot to keep track of and I’m just getting started…..  I may have to make a map and a family tree to keep all of this straight in my head.  Please wish me luck!

DAY #8: A Modified “NaNoWriMo” Challenge (Write 15 Minutes of Garbage Every Day)

He was here.  The queen’s heart pounded as she changed out of her heavy robes into lighter clothes.  Perhaps a stroll through the gardens would calm her nerves.  She would preside over the evening meal with her guests.  It was important to remain unruffled in his presence.

Mahishasura.  Sixteen years had passed since the last time Sunayna had laid eyes on him.  Mahish was no longer a prince or a king.  But that didn’t matter to Sunayna.  It never had.

Two royal guards followed Sunayna out of her chambers.  They stopped when she ordered them to stand alert at the garden entrance.  She needed solitude to collect her thoughts.  Sunayna found her favorite spot in the garden and sat on the ground under a tree.  She leaned against the trunk and closed her eyes.  All she could see was him.

“Suni?”  A deep voice startled her out of her reverie.  Shaken, Sunayna stood up and turned around.  Mahish stood in front of her.  The surprise on his face changed into obvious pleasure.

For one moment, time stood still.  Nothing existed but the two of them.  Looking into his golden eyes elicited the same thrilling shiver down her spine from her youth.  With a sinking feeling, Sunayna realized that neither time nor marriage had changed her feelings.  “Your Majesty,” Sunayana managed after a few moments.

Mahish’s eyes widened in surprise.  “Are we going to be formal with each other?”  he said, laughing slightly.  His eyes still crinkled at the he corners when he smiled.  Maya had been right.  He was too handsome for his own good.  “I am no king.  Such formalities are unnecessary.  Especially between old friends.”  Mahish reached out to take her hands.  “It’s good to see you again, Suni.”

Her slim, delicate hands were dwarfed by his.  Sunayna could feel his heat wrapping itself around her fingers.  A treacherous flush stained her cheeks.  She snatched her hands out of his.  “Oh, forgive me,” she pressed her hands against her cheeks, feigning discomfort.  She couldn’t let him know his effect on her.  “The heat is making me dizzy.”

“Oh, Suni,” he said, with obvious concern.  Mahish bent down to study her face.  “You do look flushed.  Where are your quarters?”  Before Sunayna could protest, Mahish swept her up into his arms.

“Why are you alone like this?  Where are your guards?”  Mahish strode towards the palace.  He scowled when he saw the two guards standing at the garden entrance.  “You two.  Why are you just standing there?” He barked at the guards.  “Your queen is unwell.  Please show me to her chambers.”

The two guards didn’t question the Asura.  They scurried to do his bidding.  Shocked at the complete departure from protocol, Sunayna remained speechless.  Mahish carried her as if she weighed little more than a child’s play thing.