Some dragons are more powerful than others, with some capable of doing serious damage to the world.
Some of these particularly powerful dragons cannot control their powers and accidentally devastate the lands. Such accidents are heavily discouraged, and such accidents lead to the dragon being exiled to the Dead Realm (sometimes called death).
These dragons are capable of becoming guardians. guardianship, as a role, can have diverse requirements. Fundamentally the guardian must protect and maintain the balance of the world of which they are a guardian, without directly interfering unless it is absolutely unavoidable. Interfering directly with the balance of the world usually works out badly for the world, destabilising it and causing unnatural phenomena to appear which the guardian subsequently has to fix.
The guardian's duties can involve anything and everything, but often involves simply being present but inactive (relaxing and snoozing is fine), or interacting with other inhabitants of the world to ensure that they do what is needed to keep the world in balance.
A portal exists called the Guardians' Portal, through which the most powerful dragons, who decide to accept a role as a guardian, can enter other realms to gain more experience to become better guardians. Alternatively they can shape-shift into another form to live life incognito as another creature entirely (including humans), and either remain their whole lives or return to the world that is under their guardianship.
Eastern dragons in Maundrill's realm are often snobby as many hold political power and are wealthy, so look down on non-dragons and non-eastern dragons and are seen as ignorant by the targets of their derision. This is lessening during Maundrill's lifespan.
Maundrill is a rare eastern dragon crossbreed with exceptional powers, and an original character. He is a guardian of Earth and has the ability to live for as long as he chooses. He is active and outgoing to the point that some may find him overpowering, but he is also genuine and kind.
Maundrill was the result of an unusual union between two dragons who are usually sterile together. Somehow they produced a viable egg, and Maundrill was the result.
They were delighted, welcomed their little surprise into the family with open arms.
He was indulged and cosseted as an infant, and as a result felt wonderfully looked after. He trusted them to care for him, and it never occurred to him that he might be anything other than a good baby to look after.
Maundrill enjoyed the comfort and sense of safety he got from his home, family and possessions, so overall he tried to hold onto these things. He resisted whenever he had to be separated from his parents or give up a toy.
All was not entirely well, however. His parents were very aware that he was not only a rare cross-breed, but also unusually and immensely powerful. There was no way they could explain this to him in terms he could understand while he was so young, yet they needed him to be aware that his actions could have extreme consequences, not just for them, but for the world at large.
The reason for their concern was clear enough: the sheer power Maundrill had at his disposal was easily enough for him to devastate a world, and if that happened then he would be exiled to the Dead Realm. His parents wanted to avoid this, and they had their work cut out while he was an impulsive toddler with a strong likelihood of having the occasional tantrum.
As a result he understood well enough that he needed to take responsibility for his temper, and kept the sense of responsibility for this until adulthood. As time went by he came to understand more and more clearly the terrifying amount of power that he had. This developed from a sense of personal responsibility to anxiety. By the time he reached adulthood it had started to manifest as an anxiety where he tried to keep track of everything at once. Of course, he couldn't always do that, so as a result he tended to become inactive. As far as he was concerned, it was better to do nothing than to risk making a catastrophic mistake.
The biggest downside to this is that he can stall in responding to his friends, so he can come across to them as unresponsive. He is afraid that he will hurt his friends accidentally with his powers. When he feels particularly anxious about this, he chooses to train himself to master and control his powers. Given that he feels anxious about this a lot, he spends a lot of time training.
Despite the enormous destructive potential of his power, he is also a very good healer. If any of his friends did get hurt, he has the power to heal them. Of course, this doesn't translate to a willingness to risk hurting them in the first place, so Maundrill still avoids his friends a lot.
Like many people who feel anxious, Maundrill prefers smaller groups to larger crowds. However, this is only a mild issue and large crowds only leave him feeling slightly nervous. It is not debilitating. The nervousness comes from his worry that he might hurt somebody by swiping them with his tail or with his intense body heat (which can bur people just by standing near him), but he also dislikes being the focus of attention. However, his anxieties do not extend to being visible in a group dynamic so he has no problem presenting new ideas to smaller groups and groups of friends.
Maundrill doesn't feel as if he was invisible, but he does have the next best thing: he is able to shape-shift into objects. He also has the ability to mimic voices.
Maundrill continued to be a well-behaved hatchling. His parents continued to impress on him whenever necessary that he should be kind and considerate to others, and this successfully avoided him unleashing his powers. However, Maundrill himself remained vaguely haunted by the sense that something wasn't quite right, and that there was more at stake than he was being told.
Despite this Maundrill was a very energetic child, although given that he is a reptile (and a lava dragon to boot), this was dependant on the environment he found himself in at any particular point in time. Warmer environments made, and continue to make him much more energetic than cold ones, which dampen his energy.
He liked to achieve things so that he had something to show to his parents. He enjoyed making them proud.
Mandrill has always been good at making friends, and showed his more enthusiastic self to people he knows well. He has to make an effort to stay calm with strangers due to his anxiety about being 'the dangerous dragon', his natural excitability, and his desire to downplay his power so as not to scare anybody off. He can in fact be irritated sometimes, but the next day he is totally fine and has put it behind him.
He likes to cooperate with others. However, he much prefers for any distribution of work to be fair – he doesn't like being saddled with all of the work.
As Maundrill's schooling began to get more structured and the idea of his longer-term plans started to come into consideration, he sensed an intensification of his parents' anxieties about him.
His parents were deeply afraid that Maundrill would lose control one day, and if he did, then he would be sent to the Dead Realm. They guided and sheltered him as much as they could to prevent this, to the point of being overly so at times. Maundrill himself was slow to realise this as it had been all he had ever known.
Maundrill himself continued to be a playful child, but was disciplined enough to do the work that needed to be done before going out to play with his friends.
Despite his uniqueness, Maundrill did his best to fit in with the other children, but it was not always easy due to his realm's cultural perception of eastern dragons: that they were snobby, arrogant, and out of touch. When any kind of group activity came up he would contribute all he could, to the point that some other members of the group would find him too pushy at times. This may have been due to Maundrill's experience of growing up with overprotective parents – essentially, he mimicked their proactive behaviour. Maundrill not only felt that he should contribute but that others should too, so his feeling that others should be expected to contribute sometimes got in the way of his relationships at this age.
One day Maundrill overheard a conversation between a few of the locals in his village about powerful dragons. He gleaned from that conversation that dragons with unspeakable amounts of power – like him – were destined to protect the world.
Maundrill's proactive and energetic approach to life got a more positive response when he reached adolescence. His friendly nature became more magnetic to the other teenagers around him, many of whom wanted a role model or a charismatic figure in their life. Although Maundrill could not please everyone, the overall result was a positive one.
Furthermore, the overbearing nature of his parenting had led him to be stubbornly true to himself. If anybody tried to get him to change he would dig his heels in.
His forward nature meant that sometimes he could say inappropriate things, but he always made a point of being kind and friendly. He appreciated the same qualities in other people so avoided jackasses.
Maundrill's difficulties with his parents meant that he didn't particularly want any more adversarial relationships in his life, certainly not beyond the occasional blip in his friendships caused by his sporadic inappropriate comments. He did not have a true adversary and that suited him just fine.
He remained single for much of his adolescent life, mainly because he wasn't interested in dating. As he came into the later part of his teens he began to develop a preference for males.
As Maundrill began to reach the end of his adolescence he started to break away from his parents in earnest – as he began to develop relationships and connections with non-family in his own right – he compared his upbringing with those of other people, and realised that his parents had been overprotective of him. He confronted them about this and as a result, they finally explained to him the true extent of his power and his responsibility to flawlessly manage this power.
At around the same time he got to hear about other dragons with similar powers to himself. Most of them had gone on to become guardians of other realms. He learned that this was a great way to develop more life experience relevant to him as a super-powered being, and becoming a guardian became his goal. Those guardians became his role models and provided him with a much-needed sense of direction for his life.
He finally became a guardian at around 24 years of age.
Maundrill works well with others, but respect is an important condition of this for him. He respects others insomuch as they respect him. If they do not, he disregards them.
Maundrill is one of the new-generation dragons who are trying to reverse the damage done by the snobbery and elitism of previous generations of eastern dragons.
He is very romantic and submissive with the right male sexual partner, and finds a great deal of joy in protecting them and keeping them happy.
Maundrill is unlikely ever to retire as he is ageless. It is possible that he will one day tire of being a guardian. If and when this happens, he will simply change direction and find something else to do with his life. Given other guardians' career paths, he is likely to work as a guardian for many tens of thousands of years.
He is very unlikely to ever have children.
Despite Maundrill's agelessness, he is not immortal, so one day his life will almost certainly come to an end. His body can constantly refresh its cells so he can live for as long as he wishes.
Maundrill is lethally vulnerable to cold temperatures.
Most likely, Maundrill will relax when he decides he has tired of the world of work and passes the proverbial torch on to somebody else. Then he will relax for a while before deciding to move on himself.
Maundrill is © Maundrill
Artwork by Rikkoshaye and used with their kind permission
Wording by The Character Consultancy
Based on theory by:
Erikson, E., (1951) 'Childhood and Society', W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. chapter 7.
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