|Title(s)||The Black Cat|
The Black Cat
From the little information gathered, it's believed Kinley stands at a shade over 6ft tall with his build perhaps slightly slimmer than it should be. Often described as toned, slender and defined rather than a hulking mass, it's plausible that Kinley uses his slight frame to his advantage - slipping in and out of the shadows and walking amongst crowds of people almost unnoticed.
Known to be in his mid thirties, Kinley has developed a large contrasting streak of grey hair running along his right hand side. Believed to be rugged in appearance with a face accentuated by a dusting of stubble and trimmed goatee beard.
Often seen with a fashioned metal leg brace supporting his left leg which runs from under his boot up to his thigh it's known that Kinley walks with a slight limp without it. Aside from this slight handicap Kinley was last seen looking relatively healthy although smoking heavily from a pipe. Kinley has on occasion been seen sporting a magnified eye-glass, while it's believed his vision is perfectly fine rumour has it that he uses the glass to gauge the carat of any gems he may have had 'acquired'.
Noted as having a rough, common voice many have said Kinley's words are well pronounced and pulled from a vocabulary rivalling that of a scholar. Given his past one can assume Kinley must be under a constant pressure to choose his words carefully, speaking freely with perhaps only a handful of people.
Listed throughout history as having various known associates, Kinley has never been a man to declare an allegiance. Playing his cards close to his chest and walking a thin line it's believed Kinley speaks to and knows a variety of people, some in positions of power - some not. With each of them likely knowing a 'different' Kinley entirely.
From what we know it's believed that there's not many things Kinley wouldn't do in exchange for coin. It's reported he has quite the penchant when it comes to mechanical devices and with his reported silver tongue he could no doubt make a trade out of whatever he chooses. His nomadic lifestyle however and ties with the criminal underworld lead you to believe he has 'less desirable' career choices.
Stooped in mystery, intrigue and more than a handful of romanticised tales of daring heroism it’s often hard to separate the fact from the fiction and truth from exaggeration. There’re only a few certainties behind Kinley, everything else is mere speculation and with many of the tales coming from those he has encountered, eye witness accounts are less reliable.
It’s known that Kinley was born in an area of southern Elwynn then known as Grand Hamlet. The town was destroyed by the green skinned Orcs during the first war and in the process many of the town’s records were lost, never to be recovered. Of what remained it’s fairly safe to deduce that his father was Jarek MacFarlane, a young apprentice stonemason staying in the area to further his training.
His mother however, is less obvious but the few survivors of Grand Hamlet have each accounted for Jarek’s frequent visits to the local whorehouse - a practice which in those days was less frowned upon. From the records still in existence we know that none of the ‘working girls’ survived the Orcish onslaught and it is thought that Jarek and a then infant Kinley slid away quietly to neighbouring Westfall.
Involved in the rebuilding of Stormwind some years later it is unknown where Jarek MacFarlane fell with regards to the rise of the Stonemasons and subsequently the Defias Brotherhood. It is known that the pair returned to Westfall but there now sits a grey smear as to what happened next – some claim that despite his father’s best efforts Kinley joined the brotherhood. Others claim that the father and son were staunchly opposed, and some have told tale of Kinley’s betrayal to the brotherhood where he escaped death by the skin of his teeth. A trend which seems all too familiar when attempting to retrace Kinley’s steps.
The father and son disappear from the pages of history for more than a year until Kinley returns ‘home’ to find the town of Darkshire in its place. Jarek never appears on record again and can only be assumed dead.
With some links to a local gang at the time Kinley is reported to have carried out numerous crimes ranging from petty theft to murder. It’s during this time that the name “The Black Cat” became synonymous with Kinley and he would, in some cases be openly referred to as such. Assuming the name had connections to his gang activity we can only assume Kinley fled Darkshire to escape the hand of the local watchmen, although it’s said by locals that Kinley sought to escape the clutches of the gang.
Appearing in various smaller towns over the next year or so, all remained fairly quiet and Kinley once again trailed out of existence until re-appearing in the town of Lakeshire where he’d been living under the alias of Jacob Green.
Accused of horse theft, Kinley was ousted as a fraud and the local constabulary at the time had just as hard of a time as finding out who the man really was as everyone else. Put before the town judge Kinley was sentenced to a year of hard labour and 40 lashings from the guardsmen. It’s known that he never served his sentence as he appeared in Stormwind four months later. Local legend has it that he was able to free himself from his shackles within his first week and make a daring escape into the mountains but not before returning the favour of the lashings to the guard. Again, another unconfirmed story resting solely on the words of the locals at the time.
Making a brief stop in Stormwind at the still standing ‘Pig & Whistle’ tavern and inn, Kinley likely fell into the criminal underworld as he doesn’t appear on record again until his arrival in the then young nation of Theramore almost eighteen months later. As a stowaway on an Alliance vessel with little to no history and a story which raised more than a few eyebrows Kinley found himself incarcerated in the subterranean Ironclad Prison as a traitor pending further investigation.
What happened from here is unclear, and accounts vary depending on who you talk to, the one constant is that Kinley was forgotten about, deemed an enemy of the state he was left in the prison to rot. His release, or escape as some claim it to be is a story fit for any novel with mention of secret tunnels, corrupt guards and gravity defying rooftop chases.
Appearing sporadically over the next few years Kinley slowly faded out of all knowledge and not for the first time either. There’re no more official records hinting at Kinley’s whereabouts, following his escape it’s believed he would have sought refuge in one of the Goblin cities along the coast and kept a low profile, perhaps taking on another alias to mask his identity.
With tales of a mysterious, silver tongued stranger fitting Kinley’s description in almost every tavern you walk into, the nameless man is seen as a hero to some and a villain to others. With drunken tales ever increasing in daring courage or debauch villainy forming a clear picture of the man behind the stories is no easy feat. Exaggerated versions of the truth? Outright lies? Or a life marred with a series of heroic quests and adventures?
If Kinley is still out there somewhere, I imagine he wouldn’t be able to answer either.