The Thousand Oceans
A half-orc born of savagery, being called to something more. . .
The Caravan plodded eastward, out of its Human Kingdom, bound for the Dwarven Lands for trade. The Princess and her company were along for the trip as well. It was part of her training as a future regent to learn the lands and culture of one of the kingdoms great allies. Three days into their travel the caravan was halted, as the guards leading the way hear a clamor over the ridge to the north. They stopped the train and went to investigate. It was 5 minutes before they were seen again, and when they were it was being dragged behind their horses.
“We’re under attack!” The head caravaneer shouted in horror.
Following the dead men rose the warcry of a band of vicious orcs. They attacked with a fervor and abandon that the paltry guard had never seen. They were backed further and further beyond the goods, until they were at the south side of the road. From behind them the frightened defenders heard a horn, and the cries of a dozen more orcs. They were surrounded.
The rout of the caravan was complete, and its goods belonged to the chief now. Gru’Zakh looked over his prize, and found a human woman hiding in the storage compartmant of a rather nice carriage.
Royalty he thought. He would give her the royal treatment her kind deserved. Over the next week she was beaten, and mistreated in ways unspeakable. She knew only pain for these times, and it seemed she would be consumed by it, forgetting ultimately who she was.
She awoke one morning to the sounds of battle. Fear filled her now as she realised that her captors were being slaughtered, and that she would be taken off to a whole new nightmare. She cried out as the door to her tent swung open. She recognized the person in the door.. It was her Father
Within months of her rescue it became apparent that she was with child. Or abomination, as her father said. He declared that upon birth the child would be sold into slavery to the cruelest master they could find, a sort of retribution for what had been done to his daughter.
The edict was carried out, and for 10 years the child was beaten, worked nearly to death and starved, always kept chained to a heavy boulder. He was too much of a beast to be kept unrestrained he was told. He was aware of what had happened to his mother, and who his father was through the stories that he had over heard. He was told a much harsher version by his new master. In his youth pain was all he knew, and that pain grew into a rage. A fire within him that would only be sated with blood. One day the rage consumed him, and he ripped at his chains so fiercely that they broke from their grip on the boulder. He would use their chains as his retribution. One by one he slaughtered every one in the castle. Men, women, children, it mattered not. They were all cruel to him, and deserved no better. The rage continued within him, seemingly unending, as he wandered through the land surrounding his bloodied prison.
Through his haze he wandered, and he began to hear sounds of approaching horses. He readied Lash, this is what he chose to name his new weapon. But through his fury he heard a serene voice, speaking to him in a language he had never heard. Slowly, comprehension built within him, and the words formed a coherent thought within his mind. These were not foes. He dropped to his knees as fatigue washed over him and he began to cry, feeling now the pain he had caused. Those approaching were a band of orcs. They saw him kneeling there, covered in blood and in tattered clothes. They knew of the castle, and knew what must have taken place for him to be found in this state. They took him in and trained him as one of their own. They even gave him a name.
Khuzrik was raised and brought through the trials of all orc younglings. He became a hunter among the tribe, and brought back many large kills. All with Lash wound about him, as a constant reminder of where he had come from. One night as he lay restless looking at the stars he began to hear the crashing of waves. There was no ocean near by, but the sound was unmistakable. The voice in his head told him in their language that he must head to the great waters and seek his next task there.
With Lash in hand he packed up. He didn’t say good bye. It wasn’t that he didn’t care to, but he had no idea how to say good bye to the only family he had ever known.