His Mortal Parent and the Story of the Meeting
11 Ymiden 655
Intimidation 5, Blades 20, Endurance 10, 15 Brewing
Some lives are harder than others, and everyone knows that. For Ziev, nothing was easy. Poor parenting, an inability to read, no desire to succeed… He was destined for failure the minute he was born. It didn’t help that he was horrendously ugly and his hair was like a mass of greasy snakes. As he grew, he found that the only place he could command respect was a battlefield. Though not spectacular, his girth and mass made him a decent combatant, enough so that the other soldiers in his regiment took notice.
They took to getting Ziev drunk before training, feeding him ale and wine for breaks beforehand. It dulled his senses and let him be overtaken by those lesser than him, all while making him look worse. They took advantage of him, and he was naïve enough to believe they were his friends. He was removed from the regiment because of his growing ineptitude and alcoholism, which put him into a downward spiral.
Then he was introduced to hallucinogens at his job, a tavern in Rharne. The drugs crushed his already fragile mind, driving him to insanity. He would randomly put on shows and scream at his job, and they finally released him for making the patrons uncomfortable. Then he would sit in the tavern and just ramble while he drank, staring into his cup like it was the person he was conversing with.
The tavern was nearly empty, just a few of the normal patrons staggering around, trying to find a place to piss and pissing in the corner instead. Ziev sat off to the side, away from everyone else, terrified that one of them would try to touch him. He kept casting suspicious glances around the open room, ensuring that nobody would slip up to him. His mutterings, though inaudible, were constant, his jowls moving with each twitch of his head.
He noticed movement at the door, and immediately snapped a suspicious gaze on it. A red-haired woman, barely dressed in torn clothing, stumbled in, looking in disarray. There was something to her, something that drew Ziev’s gaze. He couldn’t tear his eyes away, and it appeared as if the rest of the patrons just took her for a working girl, or worse, a thief. Many clutched their money tighter, but paid her no more attention.
His heart was racing. Ziev knew he should help the girl, knew she was in trouble. He was petrified, however, and continued to mutter to himself. The red-haired girl lurched to a nearby table, thin rivets of tears streaming down her face. Ziev was up and moving before he knew it, and it was as if he couldn’t stop himself.
When he got to her, he stopped, his rotund form blocking the small girl from the view of the rest of the tavern. She raised her eyes to meet his, meekly, and there was a connection there. For what seemed like an eternity, they stared into each other’s eyes, neither speaking. Ziev’s heart was racing, and the freckles on the girl’s cheeks darkened by a blooming shade of red that was spreading across them. Ziev reached a hand out, and she took it.
Without speaking, he sat down next to her, and she leaned against his arm. They just stayed there, unmoving, for a break. The barkeep kept feeding Ziev drinks, but the girl wouldn’t drink. She just leaned against him crying. He quaffed one after the other, growing drunker and more irritable. Though nothing happened, he suddenly jerked to his feet and grabbed her by the hand, pulling her from the tavern. She struggled very little, knowing that it was why she was there. He dragged her into a ramshackle mess of a home, littered with old food and trash. It was there they spent the majority of the night together. As he laid in the bed after, heaving, the red-haired girl kissed him on the forehead. She rose silently, still not having said a word. Her tears were no longer there, instead replaced by a determined stare. She dressed and left, leaving Ziev to his own devices.
He hung himself that night.