One of the stranger things most people have ever seen happen at the square was the time a female orc rode in and dropped of a basket with a baby she said was human and belonged with it’s kind. No further explanation, no discussion. No one had any idea what to do. They all just stood around.
People just stared, slack-jawed
When a young well-dressed girl pushed her way through the crowd and picked up the basket and said she would take the baby.
She had the good fortune to be born into a merchant family who’s politics were exceptionally progressive due to their exposure to all sorts of people plying their wares.
Early life was fairly easy. Or at least easy for a half-orc in a human settlement. Orcs aren’t the most welcome in human settlements, makes people uneasy.
Really nearly passed as human as a baby, right on up through childhood.
Reasonably bright and rather charming he was able to get along quite well by being polite and keeping a fairly low profile. Often whole days would go by with no one shouting obscenities.
Haleen had a hunger for the world and for knowledge. Her parent’s trade brought all manor of novelty and wonder into her world and she shared this with Hayoo.
Books and puzzles fed the curiosity between the children. Never ending sweets and games even brought some human children to secretly play with them though none of them would ever notice him if anyone else was around.
If others were around they got mean. And as years past it got worse. Name calling, and bumping into him grew into shoves to the ground, few would try to punch him. Needed to prove themselves.
A few years back it came to a head and he’d been down right attacked by a group of boys. They thought they would have a little fun with the ugly little kid. At that point, we learned something about our young hero. He might be a bit touched.
As the boys started shouting and pushing him, he started pleading with them to just let him go…home. Just home..he cried. But they wouldn’t leave him be. Knocked him over they did, and those boys started kicking at him. Must have been Sev-no eight boys. Then something happened.
The cries of the kid getting kicked changed. He unleashed a primal roar. Two of the boys lept up in the air, but they weren’t leaping. Heads on them snapped back like dish towels and those boys fell just as limp.
Moments later two more the boys seemed to headbutt each other and collapsed in an accidental embrace.
Then it stood up. Stood near 9 feet tall. Let out another one those roars and the remaining boys run off screaming. Then there he stood, the four boys knocked senseless all still on the ground in states ranging from stunned terror to completely unconscious. Can’t say which option I’d have chosen for myself. All of them would be nursing headaches Hayoo wasn’t at all the same anymore. While he didn’t remain the 9 foot giant for long he grew well over a foot and near a hundred pounds in an instant.
Yeah, that was tough to explain. His resemblance to his previous self, some might call it a face only a mother could love. Or in his case, Haleen could recognize
Now his orc features were overwhelming. His lower jaw massive and jutted forward and spiked with fierce teeth.
Crying he ran home. Some people pointed, some people screamed.
Haleen recognized him but knew things would never be the same.
Now standing a head taller than most and not sticking out becomes increasingly difficult. That was the situation our young adventurer found himself.
Now he was 6’5” and well over 200 lbs
He stood out everywhere
They barely tolerated him like that.
Being invisible worked reasonably before, it wasn’t going to work now.
Haleen had a pretty decent idea of what to do. She knew a caravan driver heading out towards the new outpost of Din’s den. A week away would help to clear the air.
Caravans were generally very eager to hire on strong hands. Never know when a wagon will break an axel and enough strong hands to lift a wagon could save hours, and lives.
Haleen had told him stories of caravans and merchant adventures. He knew of many of the pitfalls that caravans could encounter.
Began to channel his rage abilities but never replicated that bestial response he’d had that first time. He never shrank.
Sometimes, particularly when he first started asking people if they wanted help a few of them may have believed it was a holdup. A giant standing in the middle of the road and waving his arms.
But his ability to swap a wagon wheel became a bit of a local legend and quickly he often found work as people ventured to the developing outpost. There he also quickly found ready work in the farms out near the edge. Didn’t take him long to find a farm willing to let him sleep in a hayloft and keep him fed in return for some of the sweat of his brow and his strong back made many jobs much faster.
A small clearing on the road small hills separating it from the surrounding farms but by sight line was the perfect place for him to settle himself. Made for predictability in hiring on for both sides for the long ride to Din’s
Haleen always had something she needed to have taken to or picked up from Din’s, as only a merchant can. She always visited between the caravans but could only visit when they ran. Her duties as a merchant.
And so he grew.