L’Arca (formerly Orph) is a town in the world of Dragon Quest VII. It is found west of Estard Island. This village is notable for its worship of animals, and most of the residents speak in a heavy Italian accent
Long before the party arrives, L’Arca was protected by the white wolves. A monster, Hackrobat, threatened the town. The white wolves fought the monster and sealed him in a coffin within Grotta del Sigillo (formerly Mt. Ceide), the mountain of the Almighty. However, it did not come without a price. Many wolves were slain. For a time, there was peace.
However, some time before the arrival of the party, the coffin was opened from the outside and Hackrobat returned. He started to kill the wolves that imprisoned him long ago. One of the causalities was a mother wolf. She gave birth to a wolf cub who was taken in by a local farmer. To spite the wolves, he cast a spell on L’Arca which changed all humans into animals and vice versa. He returned to Grotta del Sigillo afterwards.
The hero, Kiefer, and Maribel reach L’Arca. Inside L’Arca, they notice that something is wrong about the town. Animals are running through the town and all of the humans are unable to communicate. Inside a shack, they find a young boy chained to a wall by his neck. The Hero and his party is unable to free him nor talk with any of the humans. They eventually seek the help of the woodcutter, a man who lives in a house near the village of Pilchard Bay. This man has the unusual ability to talk to the animals.
They take him to the the town of L’Arca and tries to talk with one of the animals. However, he finds that he is unable to speak with them. However, he can talk with the humans. He eventually notices why the humans cannot speak. The people are not really human. They were animals in human form, and vice versa, the animals were actually humans in animal form. From the animals in human form, the woodcutter learns the story of L’Arca.
Returning to the shack, the woodcutter frees the chained boy and he runs out of the town.
They decide to go to Grotta del Sigillo. The party finds the source of L’Arca's troubles, Hackrobat. He explains what he did. It is during that moment that the young boy arrives and bites the monster. The party, along with the woodcutter, engage the monster in combat. The party defeats Hackrobat and the boy bites him again. With this bite, Hackrobat is paralyzed. He realizes that the boy is actually a white wolf who was caught in the spell that he cast in L’Arca. As a final spite, Hackrobat casts his final spell on the boy. This spell curses him to remain in human form forever. The party reseals Hackrobat in the coffin again, undoing the spell in L’Arca.
After the battle is finished, the party thanks the boy, who identifies himself as Ruff. They are surprised that he is able to speak but he can only communicate in simple sentences like "Ruff go" and growling.
The party returns to L’Arca to see the spell undone. They visit the farmer who took care of Ruff to find his disbelief that the wolf had disappeared. Leaving the shack, they see Ruff and his wolf friend outside the building. The woodcutter understands that he wanted to thank the man for his kindness. It is in this moment that the woodcutter decides to adopt Ruff.
They party, along with the mother wolf, the woodcutter and Ruff, return to the portal and step through it, finding themselves back in the Estard Ruins. The woodcutter tries to bring Ruff with him, but he refuses, saying that the seal on Hackrobat could have only been broken on the outside and that whomever broke the seal was very powerful. Therefore, he wanted to defeat the evil that broke the seal in Grotta del Sigillo. The woodcutter acknowledges this requests and allows Ruff to go with the party.
Animals are now part of the history of L’Arca. At the time, you enter the town in which everyone dresses like animals. After visiting the village Elder, they get costumes which will allow them to talk to the villagers. They will also participate in a game to find the three women disguised as animals. Winning their game will give you the Big Book of Beasts.
The party goes to Grotta del Sigillo and returns to the place where the monster was previously sealed. They hear a voice telling them to run away or face the consequences. Instead, they opened up the coffin once more. Hackrobat is revealed to be in a human form now. He figures that it is punishment for what he did before. He recognizes the party and wants to make up what he did to Ruff in the past. He tries using magic to return Ruff to his wolf form, but he fails. Instead, he makes him more human and gives Ruff the power to speak the human language. Ruff is ecstatic that he is finally able to communicate with the party. Hackrobat also gives the party a Blue Fragment to the party. The party leaves Grotta del Sigillo to continue on their adventure.
- L’Arca - The town
- Grotta del Sigillo - The mountain on which Hackrobat is sealed.
- Dock near L'Arca - Found only in the Present. This harbor leads to the Palazzo di Bulgio
- Palazzo di Bulgio - Found only in the Present. One of three mansions owned by Bulgio. Visiting them is required to free Sir Mervyn later in the game
L'arca means "the ark" in Italian, referring to Noah's Ark in the Bible. According to the Bible, God gave Noah instructions 7 days before a great flood which would cover the world to construct a vessel, the ark, and gather a pair of every living animal aboard to spare them and his family.