Brockhoist of Kul Tiras: Once a sea captain, always a sea captain
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The sun sat low in the sky, in danger of plunging into the ocean entirely, a myriad of dancing lights reflected in the sparkling water. It was a view that drew Brockhoist “White-hair” Tattersall again and again to the low wall overlooking the park below. Might’ve been a better view from the park itself, but the place was more memorial than restful – a place where, more often than not, Stormwind’s residents gathered to quietly talk, grieve, and mourn. Not the sort of place for idle staring at the sea.
Of course, he was mourning too. But it was a different sort of mourning – not for the loss of a loved one, but the loss of a life he’d grown to enjoy. Stuck as he was in a city that bore scant resemblance to the one he’d grown up in, Brockhoist had little to do but think, drink on occasion, and think some more.
Life in Boralus was a constant struggle from his earliest days as an orphan, flitting from shop to shop along its narrow streets like a starved bird. Not a good memory, that. Freehold wasn’t much easier — he could still picture the view of the ramshackle port clear as a bell when he closed his eyes, still remember the days spent there as a much younger man. At least, back then, he had the Rum & Monkey to go back to. First as crew, and eventually, many long years later, as her captain. There were plenty of days spent in Freehold looking for jobs…and many, many more spent on the open seas.
It was a life of adventure, of fortune-seeking, and endless trials and tribulations along the way. Some would call it a harsh life – he called it a harsh life himself, sometimes, in retrospect.
Still…he missed it, some days. The seas, Freehold – even Boralus, as hard as it was to think about. The cities and ports may have been difficult, but they were home. The people were hard and stern, but a Kul Tiran’s word was his word. No time for prattling on, no time for the foolish dance of propriety that seemed to envelop Stormwind and its citizens like a warm blanket.
“Fine view for a fine evening, isn’t it?” A dulcet voice interrupted his reverie along with a cloud of odious perfume. Brockhoist held back a sneeze and merely nodded his head in the hopes she would simply move on. But of course she didn’t. “I do beg your pardon good sir, but I couldn’t help but notice… I mean, I see you out here most every evening come to think of it – but I never see you speaking to anyone.” She flounced her skirts, leaning against the wall herself and staring at the ocean, her eyes screwed to mere slits against the glare of the setting sun. “You aren’t from around here, are you?”
“Whatever gave you that idea,” he inquired, droll. Years of salt-soaked ocean air had strangled his voice to a rasp of its former tenor.
He hoped his flat tone might discourage her, but it did not. In fact, she answered him with a soft peal of exaggerated laughter, flapping her hand at his attire. “Why, look at you! You look as though you belong out there on the ocean, rather than standing here looking at it.”
“That I do,” he gravely replied. The sea breeze ruffled his hair, more white than gray at his age, almost as if affectionately agreeing with him. “Ship’s long gone, now.”
“Gone?” She blinked, wide-eyed in coy bemusement. “Why, it seems a fairly substantial thing to lose, a ship. Where did it go?”
He sighed. Perhaps an answer or two would send her on her way. “I’ve no idea – no longer her captain. Rum & Monkey was her name. Fine ship, fine crew. Could be out in one of the southern ports, could be back in Kul Tiras by now for all I know. Like as not she’s holed up in Freehold, her crew celebrating one errand or another.”
“Are you a pirate?” The question was offered in hushed, awed whisper, reflected in round, astonished eyes. Brockhoist shook his head, and her fascination vanished. “Well then what did you do?”
“What did you ship?” She asked, relentless in her interrogation.
The girl – oh, she was almost certainly a woman grown but she was at least half his age – fixed him with a peculiar stare. “Go on then, you’re pulling my leg I expect – tisn’t polite you know.”
Brockhoist dragged his eyes from the ocean view, one brow arched in all the mock earnestness he could muster. “I assure you madame; I’ve never embellished a story a day in my life.” At that, she huffed an offended well-I-never and finally, finally, flounced off on her way, the cloud of perfume leaving right along with her.
And just as he’d settled back into a far more comfortable silence, another voice shattered it.
“You know… talk’s going round that they’re sending crews out to Kul Tiras.”
This time, however, the voice belonged to a Night Elf – young by the look of him, and dressed as if he’d just stepped off the bow of a ship himself as he shrugged a nonchalant apology. “Sorry, couldn’t help but overhear.”
“Hm,” was all Brockhoist could muster in reply. But the Night Elf seemed to know better than the prattling woman did, and didn’t bother staying around to badger him. Instead, he flashed the old former captain a salute and continued on his way, headed in the general direction of the docks and whistling a jaunty tune, at that.
Fine ship. Fine crew. One of those was accurate, and it didn’t involve arguments or ousting. Kul Tiras… he missed it still. He missed the Rum & Monkey more – the comforting rock of the deck beneath his feet, the open seas stretched endlessly before him. He missed those casual salutes. He missed the respect – he missed the bounty.
Perhaps it was time to go home. And perhaps…perhaps it was time to look up the whereabouts of his erstwhile ship while he was at it. He wasn’t getting any younger, after all.
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