Cleaning House (RP)

85 Tauren Druid
Things had changed while he was gone. He noticed right away that something wasn't quite as he remembered it as his flying machine came to land next to Ishnu Por Ah's lodge on Spirit Rise. Not that Mishkwaki had expected things to remain the same. He understood the world moved on just as he and everything else did, no matter how much people wished things would stay still. But change wasn't any less surprising despite this fact. And it was a surprise finding an empty lodge, the last thing he expected returning to Thunder Bluff.

He searched the vacant, hide covered building looking for some possible note or clue as to what had happened to all the accoutrements belonging to the Ishnu Por Ah, but the place had been stripped bare. All that remained was a bit of ductwork that had served as the intake and exhaust for one of Brother Gohir's climate controlling machines and Mishkwaki's now overgrown garden patch. In an abundance of caution, fearing the chance of something else mysteriously disappearing, Mishkwaki secured his flying machine to the ground and then headed across the bridge to the main bluffs.

It took some inquiring and after a few words of happy returns from local residents he was satisfied to hear the Ishnu Por Ah had not met a tragic end but had been rather quiet since the departure of its former Matriarch and that Brother Kaeevanrash was still well in charge. He sent off a letter to the itinerant Bull, informing Kaeevanrash of his return, letting him know that he seemed to have misplaced the guild's home and that in the meantime Mishkwaki could be found at Sister Pala's inn.

Assuming he wasn't off on business in Orgrimmar, that is. Curious to know what other changes occurred while he was island hopping in his attempt to learn to fly as other druids did, he thought the best way would be to contact some old business acquaintances.
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85 Tauren Druid
Mishkwaki had a hobby. A hobby that he had begun many decades ago but in the last several years being on Thunder Bluff, with access to better materials and equipment, he had been able to develop and refine. He had found joy in working with stone and metals. He had come to adore crafting small things which he could assemble into mechanical toys. But at the same time, he had developed his desire to turn rough stones into useful, yet, fine and delicate things. Particularly things like an elegant, precision sharp sword blade or a well balanced mix of powders and chemicals to make specific types of explosive effects.

He still considered it a hobby even though he worked at forge and anvil to make countless number of swords and other weaponry or tinkered on his workbench mixing and containing explosive powders almost everyday. No one of the Ishnu Por Ah ever asked him what he did with all the weapons and explosives he made or where he got the coin to live on and buy what he needed to continue his hobby. No one ever asked the old druid who spent most of his days on Thunder Bluff managing the communal holdings of the Ishnu Por Ah or keeping the lodge tidy what sort of business led him to occasionally visit Orgrimmar. He never really talked about it because it was just a hobby. Something to fill the old Bull's time.

But Mishkwaki was not naive. He was well aware what his pursuit of weaponsmithing artistry and the subsequent selling of his products could lead to. And it would be wrong to say he did not care. All that could really be said was he had an uncommon sense of balance. And that with every extremely well made item he sold there was a well made relationship with customers.

The well travelled and verbose birds that spoke to him as a druid were not the only ways he kept aware of the goings on of the world. He paid attention to many things. Stepping off the zeppelin once he arrived at Orgrimmar, Mishkwaki headed to the Valley of Honor. There at the Wyvern's Tail he was sure to find a familiar face in time.
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100 Human Paladin
((Great story, as usual. It's good to see Ishnu back.))
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85 Tauren Druid
The walk to the tavern was filled with lots of interesting new things to see and conversations to listen to. New creatures. New people. Word of a floating island. A new land. He received obvious hints of a new war on the rise. And among the masses a mix of national fervor and paranoia. Before even entering the tavern he had a general idea of what was happening. Ordering a drink he took a seat alone at the end of the bar and quietly sipped at his mug.

"Didn't think to see you again." A short, stocky orc hopped onto the stool next to Mishkwaki, waving down the bartender for an ale. Upon receiving his mug, he offered Mishkwaki a friendly toast. "Thought you finally kicked the bucket, old man. Or someone kicked it for you."

The last words piqued Mishkwaki's curiosity. "Why would anyone try to 'kick' me?"

"You never know these days. Especially with the kind of folk you hang around with."

"Weapon merchants like you?"

The orc laughed. "Are you joking? Best time for people like me! Business has never been better. You seen what's going on out there? You thought Garrosh was setting up for war before. You should see things now. He's gone full blown imperialist."

Mishkwaki's silent look was enough to let the orc know he needed to fill in the holes. "You've seen those new folks, yeah? Those Pandaren? Seems they got a place that's been hidden in the south. That is until the Alliance bumped into it. A whole continent. And damn if the Warchief lets them have it."

"What of these . . . . Pandaren? Don't they already have it?" Mishkwaki ventured.

"Well, yeah," the orc agreed. But then he shrugged. "But you know the Warchief. Where the Alliance are he's gonna be. Doesn't matter who's in the way. Can't trust them Pandaren anyway. Some of them have joined up with them Alliance. Nothing can be done about it but move forward. Horde already has a foothold there. Getting things ready for the big bang."

"Big bang?"

"Where you been, buddy? A hole in the ground?" a nearby orc asked, interrupting rudely.

"Actually, yes," Mishkwaki answered rather matter of factly.

The response made his companion chuckled. The weapons merchant had known Mishkwaki long enough to know he didn't lie even if his words were a little odd. But the rude one, obviously drunk, didn't find any humor in it and snorted derisively, then raised his glass. "Damn those Pink skins. We're heading to war! Horde might will make it right. For the Horde!"

Several voices rose up among the tavern patrons echoing the sentiment. Some were true believers in the might of the Horde. But Mishkwaki could also sense a note of uneasiness being masked by feigned fervor in a few others. He wasn't quite sure where his acquaintance stood as he joined in. Either way, the orc nudged Mishkwaki, urging him to raise his mug. He lifted it a little, acknowledging the drunken orc with a friendly nod and smile. He received a hard glare in return as the orc finished his drink, tossed coin on the bar and rose to leave. He muttered something under his breath about smug Tauren as he walked away, making sure to give Mishkwaki one last look before walking out the door.
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85 Tauren Druid
As the amosphere settled back to normal, Mishkwaki's friend turned back to their conversation. He was more cautious, however, lowering his voice a little as he leaned closer to the old Bull in order to keep their conversation more private.

"Garrosh is building the biggest fleet of warships I've ever seen. Arming his men to the teeth. He's going to take that continent, damn anything that gets in the way. Especially the Alliance. I'm telling you, it's time to pick the right side or get out of the way."

"You seem to be implying I'm on the wrong side."

"Old man, I like you. We've done good business in the past. And I wouldn't mind dealing with you in the future. But you Tauren, especially some of you Tauren, have this tendency to say some provocative things."

"By some, you mean the Blackhides."

"Mmhmm. Especially the older one. That shaman. And her associates. You could be considered one of them."

"The Ishnu Por Ah are . . . . provocative?"

The orc didn't answer right away as he gazed around the room. He sidled up even closer to Mishkwaki before continuing.

"I personally got nothing against you or who you hang out with. What you do is your business and in the right circumstances could be good for mine. But when people say they aren't Horde under Garrosh's rule they start to get noticed. Might have been alright before. But that was under a different 'warchief'. This guy is the real thing. And he and the people loyal to him don't take kindly to folks who say 'provocative' things."

The orc pushed back. Downing the last of his ale, he smacked his lips then smiled at the Tauren. "So, you're back. Got something for me? Because I can easily find someone interested in your fine work. I know you don't do the mass production thing, but there's lots looking for a master's blade to take heads off with. Or explosions more reliable than what those goblins put out. Very good time to make that extra coin."

"I just got back. Just now trying to see what I've missed, get my bearings. Haven't started any work yet. We'll see."

"A hole in the ground, eh?" The orc shook his head, amused. "Well, now you know the fun you've been missing. And you know how to find me if you have anything. Watch yourself, old man. Garrosh's eyes are upon you."

As he left, his words and his firm grip upon Mishkwaki's shoulder served as a warning.
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85 Tauren Druid
Mishkwaki took his time finishing his drink, and when one else he knew came along before he took his last gulp, he decided it was time to return to Thunder Bluff. He had learned enough to know what direction he should be going now. But fate seemed to have different ideas for him. As he stepped out of the tavern, two of the city guards approached him.

"Come with us, Tauren," one of them commanded.

"Is there something wrong?"

"Come with us," he repeated.

"I see no reason to unless I'm under arrest? Is that the case?"

The orc paused to consider if he should answer him. "We've been asked to take you in for some questions."

"Questions concerning what? To my knowledge I've committed no crime. Or been witness to one. I'm just an old Shu'halo heading home."

The second guard stepped forward and spoke up, a warning tone in his voice. "It would be better if we didn't have to make a scene, Tauren."

His hand reached across his body, firmly taking hold of the grip of his axe as he glanced around briefly. Mishkwaki did the same and noticed the gathering of bystanders furtively observing, waiting to see what would happen next. He considered his options. Then he nodded, capitulating.

"Very well. And my name is Mishkwaki, thank you. Mishkwaki of the Ishnu Por Ah."

He made a point to say it loud enough for those nearby to hear.
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85 Tauren Druid
After a number of days, Mishkwaki regretted not having followed his instincts and made more of a noise when the two guards had approached him. They had taken him to a grim, scowling orc who did ask him a few terse questions. Primarily his name and his "affiliations". Then he was told to wait for further questioning. They offered him to stay as their "guest" while he waited. They also warned him not to try anything "funny" during his stay. Most likely referring to the fact that he was a druid.

When Mishkwaki saw his accommodations, a small room high in a tower with barred windows and a lock on the outside of the door, he couldn't help but chuckle to himself wondering what they thought an old, not well practiced druid could do against stone walls and metal bars. But they had ways of dealing with his sort, they claimed, so he best be patient and wait. Hellscream's eye were upon him.

As if the cell weren't enough- he had had enough of cages in his lifetime- each time he heard that phrase, it annoyed him a little more. He was Shu'halo and lived many years of his life serving as Oathbound to a deeply spiritual family. He was raised knowing that there were only two eyes that saw everything, An'she and Mu'sha, the sun and the moon, the eyes of the Earthmother. And while he wasn't much of a religious bull, as a Shu'halo, he couldn't help but be insulted by the comparison. Garrosh was just an orc, not a god.

The suspicious questions, the incarceration, the underlying insults, it all left him with a nasty feeling in his gut that stewed in him as he was forced to wait. His demands for quick answers and attention fell on deaf ears as well. When they finally came to escort him to his interrogation, he was no longer willing to be cooperative.
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100 Human Paladin
((Good stuff. Lovely and well written as always, but I've been one of your biggest fans for years. I can't wait to see what happens next.))
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