Lion’s Arch was not how it seemed. Not like it was, anyways, he remembers coming into port with his crew, he remembers sailing out with provisions to last them the trip around Orr and beyond, and after that…. Nothing. He hasn’t been that way in a long, long while.
He doesn’t remember what the city used to look like, always peering here and beyond through the smoky lens of distance, a spyglass of brassy fortune that kept his eyes on the horizon. Never in the moment. Never around him, and maybe if he had, there would be a story still left to live. Now, he is a streetlight, fixed to the corners where opportunity has passed him by like a schooner on large on fair winds and following seas. He is left anchored, moored, and for a long while he remains.
He wanders these white streets with a rapt fascination, where he had only known the wooden gangplanks and walkways, the aquamarine banners that mirrored and echoed the waves from out and beyond now was pristine, elegant. This wasn’t his pirates’ haven. This wasn’t what he had known for his whole life, but then again, so much had changed in an instant. It had only taken an instant to act, it had only taken an instant to have his instant taken from from him in a rain of shrapnel and fire. An instant to let his guard down, an instant to accept the deal that had saved his life.
Many instances gain. All lost. All gone. All new experiences to wander aimlessly towards.
He sits on the loading dock with his legs dangling towards the water, acutely aware that the Blades held a minor presence around the area, acutely aware that there is a lack of privacy even here in the Free City from the eyes of the Countess. It’s not so bad. He chose this.
He does remember a few things. The lighthouses, the gates that overhung the water. The Fort still stands but with those addendums that make the Mist gates well shrouded. The main complex of Lions’ Arch though, he can’t remember. The fountain was there, the huge, golden lion that had made this the hub of Central Tyria. The roost that was now taken over by skritt, the Captain’s council–
He doesn’t remember the rest.
He watches the water until sundown, his eyes searching for something on the horizon, something to bring him home past the reefs —
He holds his hand up, aligns with the stars as a wayward wayfinder, and wonders quietly if there’s anything left past the Isles he’d called home for a short year. The stars on his knuckles point the way, and he cannot reach it, not with grasping hands, not with the fastest boat the ocean could give him. Marooned would be a good word for it. Lost on dry land.
He finally stands, locking eyes with the Blade cross the water to his left before wandering back towards the gates, back towards Divinity’s Reach and back towards his rented room and his layabout habits while —
A glint of light.
A quiet whisper. He looks up.
Past the pillars, a dark cloak, a white eye and a flash of pain in his chest. He thinks it’s pain. He doesn’t know what it is but it sparks something in him. A splinter lodged in his palm.
His vision blacks for just a moment, and the shape is gone.