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."
"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.