Trouble on the Long Old Road
A monk you don't dream of crossing.
Half-orc monk with a dangerous past and a bad reputation.
Part I -
For as long as I can remember, I wanted nothing more than to run away.
The orcs that raised me taught me only two things: Fight those who are afraid of you, and win those fights.
I won more battles. I used my wit and voice to talk my way out of many, but when the time to fight came, I stood as tall as I could. I collected scars.
I began to start telling people not to underestimate me. I had many, many scars. The orcs had told me to be proud of them. So I dressed provocatively, especially once I was later into my teens. At sixteen, I was living in an abandoned dock. When people crossed me, they no longer saw that I was prone to losing fights. Instead, they noted that I had been in many.
At seventeen, running to a new town did not seem like enough. I had experienced enough of the cities to know that they were where people settled down. I was not done running away.
The moon was bright that night but the sky seemed to be empty of all stars. The waves were still and rising from them, on the oldest dock in the city, was a pirate ship.
My enemies called me Slick. The men trying to lure me to bed called me Sweet Eyes.
The new captain seemed to appear out of the water. He was a warlock. Nordak Wisdomancer. A legend from a nearby kingdom. When I first saw him, I felt as if I had fallen under a spell. When he first saw me, he bowed his head and met my eyes. My skin felt aglow and my stomach was awash in a serene sense of calm.
I did not trust his magic and at first, I did not trust him.
He was charismatic and charming. He teased me for mood swings that he labelled “sweet and sour.” I began to feel strange when I turned and he was not by my side. This invited anxiety to climb my chest with its sharp nails, but I repressed the fear. He was my captain. Besides, I was fearless.
From then on, it was a known fact on the ship: I was with the captain. I slept in the captain’s cabin, in the captain’s bed, that very night. The crew became accustomed to saving the last two cups of any large bottle for the two of us. We drank beer to chase hangovers and for any occasion he could think of, Nordak would present me with some magical trinket of protection. He called me pet names but I could never find it in me to mind.
And then he was gone.
I loved him, but he found something better.
It hurt, but it’s no excuse for what came next.
To be continued…