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Cloverhoof

Seduced by Mutiny

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. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Seduced by Munity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

It all began, I believe, one late afternoon just outside of Bloodhoof Village.

I had been learning to fish, struggling endlessly with the brilliant smallfish that populate Stonebull Lake, when a deep but pleasant voice had called out in the Orcish tongue from behind me. "My best greetings to you, lovely Tauren. May I ask, is the fishing good here?" Turning I found myself looking at a rather interesting Orc. He wasn't dashing, as his voice might have implied, but still he was well groomed, smiled easily, and there was something about his eyes. They held a twinkling light within them, like he was always laughing, but just never quite showed it.

Not being used to flattery I'm certain I stammered some kind of reply, and next I knew he was sitting next to me, casting his pole into the lake's depths and making pleasant small-talk, and I found myself having a marvelous time. When I eventually left to check on my small one, he merely wished me well and left. Nothing more, and yet, even that simple farewell stuck in my mind.

His name was Ulgrath.

After that I found myself continuing to run into him, mostly as I plunged myself into the rituals of The Hunt. Sometimes in Mulgore, more often in the Orc lands of Durotar, and small talk was always exchanged. And every time I spoke with him, that something within his eyes just laughed... and I found myself wanting to know WHY. It started to become this great mystery in my mind that I very much wanted to puzzle out, and I began to seek him out during my explorations into the world.

And then came the gift.

I know I had not mentioned anything, as I have always been taught to be self-sufficient, but a mere week after our first meeting he handed me two pouches of woven linen. To be honest, I wasn't sure of what to do. Nobody, outside of the tribe, had ever given me a gift before. I thanked him, probably half a dozen times at least, and once more he merely smiled that smile of his and took his leave.

I became determined to return the gift, to give something back to this strange and pleasant Orc with the laughing eyes. Having been taught to both mine the earth's ores and skin the beasts of the wild, I felt certain that I could come up with something to return, and after a day of discreet inquiries I finally learned that he was a practicing smith. In hindsight the hundred bars of smelted copper were probably a bit much, but his profound thanks made me stomp my hooves and almost preen like a plainstrider.

I'm not certain what I was thinking at that point, but whatever it was, I know now that it was the first step to my eventual downfall.

Shortly after that he began to introduce me to some of his companions. Calling themselves Mutiny, they claimed to be former pirates who had broken away from their captain to follow a life more to their liking. Such upstanding words, that in hindsight could have had so many meanings, but meet them I did, and found each such a unique individual....

Thar, the head of their group, always organizing and coordinating, and Kharzak, a Shaman like myself, though a Troll with a knack for mechanical things. Greywarrior, who seldom spoke but was always so nice, and Scoundral, who... is. And others as well... always working on something, needing just an item or two to make ends meet, like Yert, needing copper and linen as he learned from Kharzak. Or Desharia, who needed some fish to be able to complete his latest potion, or Sanuye, even younger then myself and needing just a little bit of everything, and of course I gladly gave. I wasn't necessarily using the things that I had been stockpiling, and I knew nothing of the market in which to sell my catch.

Which brings me to the present, one in which I find myself surrounded by pleasantly smiling folk... and poorer then ever before. I continue to receive those small gifts from Ulgrath, usually a coin or two to ensure that my young one eats, but as I mine, and skin, and fish, and fight, I find myself taking less and less back with me, as someone is always needing that one final thing.

I now occasionally catch the elders, back in Mulgore, shaking their heads in my direction when they do not think I am looking. And the talk has begun, the rumors and stories of how I have been seduced by the pirates of Mutiny, but I do not confront them... for I think they are correct. By the kind word and a mysterious smile I have been swept into a den of questionable people, riding a ship with an unknown destination, and into a future that I may not survive.

And I don't think, in all of my admittedly short years, I've ever had so much fun.

mutiny.jpg

(My thanks to Spronkle/Streyth for the perfect picture. :o )

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