Summary: Larz, who everyone thought was dead, washed up on shore in Cenril and still remembers who he is, surprisingly. Meri comes to find him and shuttles him off to someone who can help.
Strewn all across the coast are a multitude of small jagged rocks and an assemblage of sandy seaweed, brought in just the night before as the higher tides came in, surely they will be washed out and new ones will replace them this night. The sand is soft and very fine grained and would feel rather nice on bare foot bottoms were it not for the random flanges of rock. The water sways inward slowly, breaking upon the darker, moist sands and rough collections of rock before suddenly dropping back and seeming calm and serene once again. Just along one edge of the shore you see a single dwelling. To your north is much the same, only much less jagged. To your south the rocks prevent further passage, making the only other exit from this scenery west, towards the fish market. However, the rocks are not so much an obstacle to any person with determination. They merely hold the path of the ocean, which froths up and down in timeless rhythm. Only now, feathers gather upon the shore, decorating the rock pools. They are not healthy feathers, however, and their blackened tips and the stench of decay permeates the area. There is a ship that has impaled itself upon the coral reefs. The feathers - and upon close inspection, dead birds - lead to it. There are many, many, many dead birds and they are not fresh, nor pleasant. An able body can swim or fly out to that ship, but caution is a necessity. Above, the skies are black and pregnant. They pause in the breath before fury, but a wind chill with readiness takes to blowing about. It smells of rain above the death-scent. Once to the ship - a huge three-masted affair with the fat belly of a merchant ship - there is a rope that has fallen off the tilted deck. Secured above, it is a convenient way to climb aboard. And once aboard, the storm will close. Belowdecks, that is a good option for any one. The ship is made of sturdy ironwood, and though it is pierced, it has come to a rest upon the reefs. It is safe, it is good. Yet once below, things would be discovered. Not all is as it seems. For within the bowels of the ship lies chaos. Shown as an ivory-walled labyrinth to some, eternal darkness to others it holds the possibility to change the traveler into a person-that-could-have-been... where the insane become sane and the peaceful turn bloody. It welcomes you, traveler, and it promises safety within the heart of chaos, and in return you will give it a soul-that-could-have-been- for it must be fed. If you deny it, you will face eternity…
Largakh lay nowhere near the shipwreck and it could be a nice day if it weren’t for the dead birds everywhere stinking up the place, but at least that stench covers the half-orc’s own. Had it not been the fact that he’d been held hostage in a cave over the last year, he’d smell nice and look cleaned up, but definitely be in Gualon somewhere. The half-orc man looks almost asleep on his back in the sand and rock, wearing nothing more than tattered bottoms that used to be black slacks, but he looks rather lifeless as one would approach closer to inspect. The high sun was already starting to burn his ashen looking pine green skin which is dappled in jagged shapes of prussian blue due to a rare form of vitiligo. His dark black hair had grown with a bushy curly beard both kissed by bits of silver hairs while his once athletically built form is lacking and a bit gaunt from malnutrition, but the most alarming thing about the obviously washed ashore man is the sharp rock fragment that must have been used for a knife at some point. The sea washed away the stench of blood and evidence of it from the rock along with mixing of the stench coming from the half-orc, half-elf. It appears like he’s breathing, but just unconscious which is really lucky because I wouldn’t want to give CPR to that bad breath havin’ man.
Perhaps to your average human, one stench could mask another but to the werewolf she could easily pick out each of the scents present, from dead birds to stinky half orcs. That does not mean she is easily able to identify each scent, unfamiliar scents are unfamiliar and she's never met Larz before...but she knew it was there. So did the dogs that Meri currently had with her on the beach. Three of them. One a a great dane, the other a little dachshund, and the third dog is probably the only one that Larz is familiar with (were the half orc even conscious)...a little mastiff puppy, who is also the Adventurer's Guild mascot. A puppy that used to belong to Lanara. It's the mastiff puppy that is the first to run up to Larz. The half orc may not be in need of CPR but he's going to get it....from the puppy. Okay not really, but Circinus is going to try and make this guy stir by licking his face, head and ears. The pup's breath is really not anything to write home about either. The great dane joins in, also trying to get Larz to wake up by via stinky doggie breath. Mr. Weanie is less certain that his two comrades and opts to hang around Meri's ankles, who is slowly approaching the body. She does not tell the dogs to stop though. It seems as good as a wake up call as any other as far as Meri was concerned, if Larz even stirred at all.
Largakh starts to softly grin as the pups assaulted his face with kisses. Lucky for him the small smooth rock, which was blessed with an animal affinity, is still within his pocket and how he managed to keep the first thing Lanara ever gave him this whole time a secret from his captor is beyond me. If he did not have the blessed item, the dogs would be barking and snarling for sure at his evil orc blood. “Stop it, Llama, I’m gonna be late for work,” a low gravelly voice responded and it was as you expect an orc to sound, but definitely not as intelligent -or- as flirty. As if the sound of his own voice woke the man, he sits straight up while pulling his rock-knife hand in front of himself in defense, but there is nothing. Now the sea is the only thing licking his feet as the waves taper off where he lay and his tuscan sun yellow eyes wince at the bright light of the afternoon for it had been night when he made his great escape from a cave. His mouth feels so dry as he swallows hard and tries to focus through the haze while automatically lowering his free hand to pet the mastiff and all it’s adorable wrinkles. A pet!? Someone must be near! Jerking his head to look one way and then the other to see… a person! “Hey!” He notices he’s still clutching the rock in his hand and quickly tosses it over his shoulder, “miss! Please tell me, where am I?” An orc with manners… obviously this man isn’t -just- an orc. The lanky looking six foot seven man starts to get himself up to his feet… rather slowly and definitely looking his age, but once he’s standing unsteadily on both feet, he tries to grin in a friendly way to the stranger. “I’m Larz and I’ve been missing for…” he tries to think of the time he kept in the cave, but it wasn’t accurate, “a year?” He stumbles a bit one way before correcting himself while making sure not to step on the dogs, their paws and gods forbid, their delicate tails. He assumes people had been looking for him. His dear Lana, her sister maybe, but definitely his grandparents!
Meri has done her time in Gualon and has learned to not judge the place based on assumptions, though Larz is admittedly one of the more well spoken orcs that she has encountered in her years. One who smiles and uses words like please and speaks in complete sentences. That observation made, Meri's response does not highlight the fact that she notices this one way or another. She speaks to Larz just as she would any other person. "You're in Cenril right now, Larz. Where you've come from," she motions to the beach, having no clear sign of how he might have ended up here. "I do not know. I hope that you remember?" Partial amnesia is not something that is unheard of in these lands. "And are you sure that you are well enough to be up and on your feet already? I think that we should probably take you somewhere to have someone look at you. It looks like you are all in one piece but internal injuries after an accident are not unheard of..." Well she was assuming accident, people don't just wash up on shore for no reason after all. But maybe it was no accident at all and some pirate made Larz walk the plank, and luck was on his side. Meri honestly does not know. "Plus you are probably dehydrated and are clearly half starved..."
Largakh stares at the woman as if he just zones out there while she is talking, but just when it might seem like the ‘smarts’ on this orc fizzled out, he comes right back to the conversation, “I’m not sure. My captor,” he still isn’t ready to admit that it was his father who took him and held him against his will while performing many experiments in order to make the blue orc prophecy come true, “kept me in a cave all this time.” His wise yellow eyes still squint in the sunlight as he swallows hard again, “once I made it out of the cave,” he gives a glance to the rock behind him, “I ran the short distance to the water and swam as hard and fast as I could until there was land once more.” There are slender scars, some old, but some newer and deliberate as if bloodletting had been practiced on the man. Then he recites something that kept him sane all this time, a mental pathway to ground himself whenever he’d been tortured,
“I am Larz,
I’m a city Guard,
I love my grandparents Theodiun and Seldana
and I love Lanara.
Officer Tanner is the name of my partner K9,
To the orphanage I give most of my money and time.”
It’s a poorly formed rhyme, but it did the trick so he didn’t lose his memory. He grins victoriously, “I remembered the important things.” After stumbling again, he realized his ankle had been hurting him and looked down. There’s a sharp piece of wood splintered into his ankle and all he offers through the shock is, “oh…” then his face somehow blanches some more as he frowns. “That’s not good…” He plops back down on his arse and begins to try and wrench the thing free of his ankle.
As Larz explains that he escaped some captor and swam here, Meri turns her gaze out to the ocean. There were a couple of islands nearby that perhaps Larz could have been kept on while still managing to swim out here. Which one might have been his prison? Meri did not know. She was not going to force him to speak on these details, it was not her place to run out and attempt to play hero for this stranger. There is a twitch of a frown to Meri's lips when Larz mentions that he loves Lanara. If it has been a year since he has seen her? Well Meri was not the sort of person with the type of temperament suited for delivering bad news. Even when she tries to state things delicately, it always comes out wrong. Someone else will have to tell him that Lanara got engaged to someone, kidnapped and tortured by witch hunters, and then driven mad by a combination of heartbreak and..well being tortured by witch hunters. "Listen. Your ankle looks like crap. I'm not a doctor so I am not even going to try. What I want you to do? Is sit your butt down in the sand and don't move. I will be back shortly. I am just going to take the dogs home and then I am going to take you somewhere to get help." Meri was not asking, she was telling Larz how this would play out. She does not even wait for him to agree to this plan of action before she is turning and calling her dogs to follow her. Her home was not far from here, it would not take her long to bring the dogs home and then return to Larz. And when she returns? It is with a cart that is hitched up to a gray mare. Even if Larz was not currently wielding some sort of enchantment to make animals more at ease with him, Kadence would still be relatively at ease with the half-orc provided he showed no signs of aggression. The reason is simple. This horse actually came from Gualon and was stabled there for a significant amount of time. If Larz is still there when Meri returns, she gives the back of her cart a solid pat, signaling to the half-orc that he should climb into the back. There he would also find a sparse meal. Sparse because those who are half-starved need to build back up to a normal meal schedule. Meri knew that much, but she'd let the actual smart people patch Larz up beyond that. "I am going to take you to my sister's guild hall. She and other members of the Devout's Guild should have the skills needed to bring you back to good health. My sister's name is Khitti."
Largakh evidently replies to no one, “sounds like a plan,” as she retreats and he gives into exhaustion once more, relaxing his back on the sands. He didn’t realize he dozed off until he heard heavy footsteps… four of them! And his eyes blink open through the assault of the sun and when she motions for him to get on, his gravelly tone obliges, “thank you miss… what did you say your name was?” If the woman gives it, he would mumble something about it being a nice name. The bit of food is consumed slowly even though he thought he woofed it down, to this he thanks her again until he slips out of consciousness again, but not before requesting, “do you know of the Animal Sanctuary? Lanara runs it. Would you please send word that I am found?” Even if she responds, he’d be out like a light until he’s pulled into the hall of the divine.
Really it is good that Largakh is so out of it right now for if he was more aware of the responses that he is being given he'd probably be less than pleased. He gets an answer to his inquiry of a name, "Meri." Her initial answer is fine, that is not the part that might have caused upset were he more coherent. It's the lack of answer to if she will send word to Lanara at the Animal Sanctuary. Meri is not above lying in many scenarios, but in this one there was nothing to gain by pretending that she did not know of Lanara or the Animal Sanctuary. Meri's silence it not because she is trying to flat out ignore Largakh, but because she's not sure what she should say to him. How should she word it? Should she give him the full truth of the matter? Meri does not have to actually draw conclusions to any of these answers, for Larz is asleep before she actually can answer. The rest of the trip is made in silence, save for the sound of horse hooves and wagon wheels. Once brought to the hall of the divine, it would be other members of Khitti's guild that would assist Meri in removing the sleeping Larz from the cart and taking him inside, presumably to a comfortable bed to rest and recover. They would be appraised of his condition and tend to him until Khitti is able to arrive and offer further assistance herself.
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