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A Smuggler's Duty
#1
The light of the candle flickered across the smirking face or Captain Jonoth Shyemlye. The flame seemed to dance with his eyes, which darted across the note he'd been expecting. "Good news. No....GREAT news!" he'd muttered, not loud enough to awaken any of the crew that had gone ashore to partake in the sinful delights of Booty Bay.

The Captain had earlier received word of his first claim: a galleon sitting in the Gilnean Bay with only passing eyes noting its presence. The galleon would need to be refit and armed, but its spacious hold would serve him well, and the ship itself was not in terrible shape despite the violence in the region. He had thought to himself that his First Mate's silver tongue would fill it to the brim, and be off with it in the night as he had done with one of the locals' wife. "No, not First Mate. Captain Blades." He had to remind himself of the plan, and that his most trusted allies would soon be taking the lead of their own ships.

Speaking of his most trusted, it was the news that he'd just received that would be welcome on the large ears of his Goblin Cannoneer, soon to be a Captain himself. The second ship was a frigate, built to slug it out in the open waters, and well equipped with its own arsenal. "Agald will find a way to improve upon it further," he thought, "So long as we find a way to tow it." The ship way said to be in perfect condition, but beached along the shore near the remnants of Menethil Harbor. It would have to be towed off the sand and into the sea, all without drawing the fire of the nearby patrols, or the nearby Murloc tribes. A tough catch, but worth the risk. There would need to be a crew already on the ship as it was dragged, ready to sail as soon as it found respite in the water.

The Captain rolled up the correspondence, turning his attention to the weather-beaten journal on his desk. The page was turned to a sketch of a sword, or rather many different ones. Some blades were more cutlass in design, while others appeared more like sabres. Scribbles adorned the side where runes may go, and Jonoth stroked his chin in thought. "A buccaneer knight." A smile crossed his face. "May the wind and water have mercy on the souls of those in our path."
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#2
The first rays of sunlight shone into the captain's cabin, but Jonoth had already started his morning an hour earlier. A mug of morningbrew sat half-full on his desk, the candle unlit, and the man himself sat in his underclothes staring out the window into the vastness of the Great Sea, pondering recent events.

It had been the first time he had been to Gilneas since the wall fell, and it was only to loot a ship from the harbor. In front of his crew, he had fought back his feeling of nostalgia to deal with the task at hand, but on the return trip to Stranglethorn, alone in his cabin, the thoughts flooded his memory like a tide. Memories of the letters to his father, who had put the blacksmith's hammer into his hands the first time, offering him a way out of the depression of his disfigurement. He remembered the note his mother dropped while he was a rebel sneaking back into the city, and it was the words of the note that repeated in his mind.

Home will always be home.

He'd made a new home in Kul Tiras, where he found his passion for ships and the sea, but a place in his heart always belonged to the land where he was born. He decided that he would somehow make amends. He'd taken a ship, but he would return with supplies to keep the Gilneas Liberation Front going. Naturally he would not arrive in the ship he'd stolen, but they had been stealthy enough that they could not be recognized. He'd return and help rebuild, maybe even retire there should his ideas of grandeur and death at sea ever flee. For now, though, he was a smuggler. His shipmates were the only family he had, and he owed them his strength and command.

Home will always be home.

And his home was on The Bloodpaw.
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#3
The morning in Duskwood was dark but welcoming to The Captain. It had been some time since the last he got to enjoy his bestial form, and he took to the woods in a sprint on all fours, rebounding off the trees and climbing like he was still a youth in Gilneas. Finding a tree that stood as tall as any other, he rushed to the top, letting out a deep and bellowing howl. He could see the river and the mountains, the forest in Elwynn and the beginning of Stranglethorn. He allowed himself to be just a lad for the moment, no worries about his responsibilities.

"When did I forget how to be free?"

The question haunted his once exhilarating morning. He had once trapped his explorer's heart in the cage of disfigurement. He took to the forge and the seas, and learned to break those chains. His ship became his new chain in time, though with his trusted crew, he was able to divide those responsibilities. The Captain gained something he was missing for the longest: time.

"How do I remember to be free? How do I stay that way?"

Something tugged at Jonoth Shyemlye. A memory. The old tales of his grandfather, Sir Rhodyngar, who served as one of the brave knights of Azeroth. It was fate that Jonoth should meet a knight the day before. The Captain knew that he himself was no knight, nor would he ever become one. So what then?

"There must be more to what I do than smuggling cheap ale and weapons."

The Captain finished his morningbrew, stalking into the day with the thought firmly in mind.
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#4
Jonoth unwrapped the brand new, leather-bound journal. It was black on the outside, and plain to look at. As quill took to page, he had a rush of excitement, wondering about what he was doing, and whether it was time to turn back before it was too late. He knew that his grandfather would do no such thing. A knight mounted his steed and rode through the lines of his opponents, defending his home without question but with pride in his service.

Jonoth had become a seaman. His home was anywhere the water carried. There were no walls to stand in front of, nor king to proclaim. He was his own man, and anywhere he made his business he had an obligation to keep that business going. But now, he thought about the man he wanted to be. The stories of Sir Rhodyngar in his youth that inspired him to be brave and fearless. He owed a debt. His grandfather had bought many people life with his death, as did the many knights who served Azeroth. The world still needed knights, but the ones in shining armor would never get close enough to the real enemy.

Stormwind knows this. Jonoth had heard of the secret eyes and ears of the king. He knew in his heart that out west, the Horde must have their whisperers, telling the Warchief of secret meetings and potential foes. The problem was, the spies of the Alliance and the Horde only served their own causes, and if the whispers in cities and ports were true, those causes were beginning to conflict again. Sure, there were gatherings of groups on both sides, working together for a cause. But even those causes were, in Jonoth's mind, only their own. And those groups would not understand that the right solution was not always the valiant one. Someone needed to look after the interests of all Azeroth. Someone that did not need to keep their hands clean for the sake of their allegiances.

With these affirmations in mind, he began to scrawl onto the book.

"Welcome to the Order of Light & Shadow."
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