Noble Savage, Servant of Dol Arrah
D’Khan is a large half-orc, with huge hands, grey-green skin and long, stringy black hair. He always smells of sweat and woodsmoke. Wears old chainmail and tabard that are too small for his size. The once white tabard has the symbol of Dol Arrah, but now is old and stained. Carries an old longsword and a trapper’s backpack. Has a large heater shield, also with the symbol of Dol Arrah. The paint on the shield is chipped and the shield has many dents and scratches.
Geoff was having a crappy day. The rain was relentless and it felt like every scrap of clothing he had was soaked. The “office” he worked out of, really just a wood shack, was holding out the rain like a sieve would. At least no one would be out today, so he could huddle by the fire and keep warm. Less ships were setting sail day after day. Word of the king’s failing health was on everyone’s lips.
BANG! BANG! BANG!
The door shivered in its frame, knocking droplets of water everywhere.
What the hell? “Hey! You don’t have to knock it down! I’m coming!”
BANG! BANG! BA—
“Like I said, you don’t have to… Geoff stopped speaking, looking at the hulking figure in a sodden cloak and tabard. In the darkness and rain, it was hard to tell what was on the tabard.
The figure spoke, his voice sounding like rocks scraping together. “I need passage to Novelle-Terre”
Geoff gathered his composure, remembered his job. He didn’t want to invite the figure in, but didn’t really want to tell him no either. “Come inside, I’ll see what is left. I don’t know if there is any room left”
The figure entered, and lowered the soaked hood of his cloak. Long stringy black hair. gray-greenish skin, tusks. An orc! In the capital! No, it couldn’t be an orc. A half-breed!. He was dressed in a muddy cloak, chain mail and a dirty old tabard. A tabard with the sunburst of Dol Arrah. What in the nine hells?
“Don’t get many of your kind around here. Where are you fr…”
The half-orc interrupted him, grunting, “A ship. To Novelle-Terre. Now.” Geoff then noticed the old, but well used sword on the half-orc’s hip.
“Yes, yes. Like I said, I don’t know how many ships are still sailing out. Geoff fumbled out the schedule and tried to keep it from getting wet. “Here we go. Looks like there’s only one ship heading to Novelle-Terre. The Fading Sun. I don’t know if they will have room though.” Especially for a half-orc.
“They will. She has told me so. Thank you for your assistance.” The half-orc lifted his hood and walked back out into the rain, lumbering down the dock towards the Fading Sun.
A scary and polite half-orc. Geoff couldn’t wait to tell his wife about this.
“Are the words not making it through your ears? There’s no room. I’m not putting the gangplank out, so you might as well crawl back under the rock you crawled out from!” The mate yelled at the figure on the dock.
“Get your captain. I must travel on this ship. You and I will both regret if you oppose me in this.”
The shipmates muttered among themselves. The figure on the dock looked big and was obviously armored and armed. No one wanted to wake up the captain.
“Come back in the morning! The captain is asleep” There was some snickering at this, as they all knew the ship would be gone by morning.
“Do not try to fool me. Awaken the captain or extend the gangplank.”
“Go bugger yourself! You aren’t getting on this ship!” The mate turned back to his mates. They were no longer snickering, as the captain stood behind the mate, his clothing growing more soaked as he watched the mate. Prominently displayed on the captain’s chest was the silver holy symbol of Dol Arrah, glimmering in the torchlight.
The captain, disturbed by a dream that just awoken from, looked at the figure on the dock. He sighed.
“Extend the gangway. Welcome aboard Sir.”
The figure lumbered up the gangway, stopping before the captain, his tusks catching the light of the ship’s lanterns.
“Not a knight. Just a servant.”
The captain grasped the sunburst symbol around his neck. “Your cabin awaits, follow me.”
The sea voyage was torturous, much like D’Khan’s dreams. Dreams of his childhood, the tribe falling before the silvery knights and shining swords. Dreams of the recent past, the old knight showing him how to properly hold the sword and how to block the incoming attacks with his shield. The old knight lying in a D’Khan’s arms, bleeding out, coughing, “Protect them!” And Her dreams, the dream of what could be, the fire and destruction. It was coming, unless he prevented it.
The ship tossed on the waves, like a bottle in the ocean. D’Khan rarely went above deck, which suited both him and the crew. The captain spoke with him a few times. A man of the faith, the captain did not question why his passenger was on the ship. The captain shared the same dream. He knew this was his last voyage.
Avalon looked beautiful, after the harrowing voyage. So different from the decadent cities of the empire. But the stares were the same. Fear, anger, distrust. The eyes that began with his tusks then dropped to symbol on his tabard. The expression changed to one of confusion. A shake of the head. Looking away. It was always the same.
The captain awaited him as he headed to the gangway.
“I don’t know where you are bound, and I don’t want to know. Dol Arrah watch over you.” He held his hand out, while the crew watched.
D’Khan took his hand in a firm handshake and said. “You can’t go back, the pact is broken.”
The captain shook his head. “I have to try. What’s a captain without a ship?”
“Alive,” D’Khan released the captain’s hand and walked down the plank. He wasn’t sure where he was going, but knew the sun would show him the way.