Demane

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Emily Roland with Capt. Demane, by DemonBunny
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Emily Roland with Capt. Demane, by DemonBunny

Character Profile

Name: Demane
Date of Birth: c. 1796 (3 years younger than Allen)
Service: Aerial Corps
Rank: Cadet, Captain
Nationality: Xhosa
Billets: Runner for Temeraire
Captain of Kulingile


Biography

Demane was a young hunter the aviators of Lily's formation encountered on their search for a cure to the dragon plague. He agreed to help the aviators locate the large, foul-smelling mushroom believed to be cure by training his dog to sniff them out. With Demane's help, the aviators eventually collected enough of the mushroom to send back to Britain.

During an attack on Capetown by another tribe, Demane was stabbed by one of the soldiers (believing him one of the attackers). Laurence brought him and his younger brother Sipho onto the HMS Allegiance and back to Britain. After promoting Emily Roland and Peter Dyer, Laurence named Sipho and Demane as Temeraire's runners.

After Laurence was convicted of treason, Berkley took Sipho and Demane under his wing. He managed to keep Sipho, who was not even nine, in his ground crew, but Demane was assigned to fly with Arkady. Berkley considered this to be a good assignment for him, as otherwise he tended to get into fights.

Arkady was too old to learn English, but Demane had picked up both English and Durzagh in addition to his native Xhosa. He would tell Arkady what the signal flags meant, and then he and Arkady together would decide whether or not they were going to obey, neither Arkady nor Demane having much use for unquestioned authority.

When Laurence - technically still under a death sentence - and Temeraire rejoined the Aerial Corps during Napoleon's occupation of Britain, Demane and Sipho returned to them. He remained with Laurence and Temeraire throuh their journey to New South Wales with three dragon eggs to begin an Aerial Corps on the Australian continent. When one of the eggs was stolen by natives, he was among the party of many men, and three dragons (Temeraire, Iskierka and Caesar, who had lately hatched) that went after the thieves.

When the second egg hatched, Jeremy Rankin wanted senior Aerial Corps officers to attempt to harness the dragonet, but it was born deformed and none of them wanted it. The group fought over whether it was best to let the creature die, since it could not fly and hunt for itself. However, Demane was an expert hunter and brought food to the dragon. He named the dragonet Kulingile and was, in the dragon's estimation, his "captain" though no such rank was officially bestowed upon him by Aerial Corps. Later, when it became clear that Kulingile was able to fly (albeit awkwardly) and would become a heavy-weight, some of the officers attempted to gain the dragon's affections but he would not be swayed from Demane.

Demane believed having a dragon would mean true freedom for himself and his brother, as no one would be able to make them do anything they did not want anymore. However, Sipho did not share the sentiment. He thought a dragon would be a burden and preferred his books to fighting wars. He was also, possibly, a bit jealous of the dragon. The relationship between the two brothers grew a bit strained.

It was observed that Demane fancied fellow runner Emily Roland, who had to put up with prejudice due to her gender as Demane did for the colour of his skin.

Demane disliked the cold British winters and took care to keep his younger brother well bundled up.

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