“So what yer sayin’ is ya gots a deal wit da govr’mint fer dis.”
Smoke curled around the table, further diffusing the dim lighting and creating an intimate feeling of privacy in the booth at the end of the room. The sounds of pugilistic pursuits made up the bulk of the noise in what appeared to be an ancient storehouse. Fighters of all races were here in the ring, practicing for the bouts later this evening. Wary eyes watched the trainers and trainees, scribbling notes and speaking in hushed tones about odds and coin.
Endicott had settled in with two gentlemen after one of their medics looked to his shoulder. He was keen enough to notice the Apothecary Society band on the healer despite the layman’s clothing, and had brought it up after the initial pleasantries. The large Forsaken man eyed the bartender warily, while to his right, the massive Pandaren who had given his name as Cuju continued to chew thoughtfully on his pipe before speaking.
“But of course, Mister Orrick, the City has given us certain…privileges not unlike our sister Arena in Orgrimmar. With the right coin in the correct hand, we not only are allowed to operate, but are often encouraged to seek out new sources of entertainment for our select clientele.”
Endicott nodded, eyes shifting between the pair. “Then why me? What’cha need ole’ Endi for if’n ya got backin’ already?”
The larger Forsaken smiled, revealing two rows of sharpened teeth. His face was still slightly hidden underneath his wide brimmed hat. He had given the moniker Rat, and for Endicott, that was a fairly accurate description. His raspy voice betrayed the latticework of scars across the man’s throat, alluding to the life of a dock ruffian. Endi knew the type all too well.
“You, Orchitis, aren’t worth a soggy pile of worgen crap quite honestly,” Rat drawled the nickname into a tapered hiss, “but we respect the Tong’s business in the City. Your bar would bring a certain legitimacy to our ring, not to mention more customers and potentially fighters.”
Orrick raised an eyebrow at Rat, he was used to rough treatment and had worked hard to take on a certain nonchalance that came with being a part of the Grey Tigers. Leaning forward, Endicott scooped up the shotglass and poured another measure of rotgut for himself and Cuju, pointedly ignoring Rat’s empty cup. The Pandaren eyed him with mild curiosity, but met him in the drink.
When the older bear had drained his cup, Endi filled it again for good measure before replying, keeping his stare fixed on Rat.
“Ya got some good judgment respectin’ the Tigers, Cuju. We gots deals all through dis City’s politicals too. As for customers, yea, I can see dis workin’ fer both of us. Keepin’ folks out of the Kor’Kron’s eyes once inna while might come in handy. An honestly, what’s a club like dis even doin’ without a proper bar inth’ back?”
The larger man looked away first, back at the empty space the fighter’s were using to stow their belongings in. It was a big enough niche for a small bar, and Endi knew just the goblins to help him promote it. Sure, they’d have to keep it to word of mouth in the official establishment, but once a month they could set up shop here and possibly increase their business tenfold. Those that came to watch the fights often did so to blow off steam, and toss away their earnings. It was a great idea to position oneself appropriately to be on the receiving end of some of that gold.
Rat hissed a Gutterspeak curse. “We’re still pretty new, Orchitis. Frankly, you’re the only one with balls big enough to still operate regularly down here in the sewers and get a decent influx of living to even come to your shitstain of a bar.”
Endicott smiled widely, ignoring the condescension. He’d heard far worse from Treb, and had grown inured.
“Now, now, big boy. I don’t swing dat way. All dat sweet talk’ll just turn me on.”
Rat continued to glare, but Cuju interrupted before he could retaliate.
“Mister Orrick, we would like to see about a proper partnership with you and, of course, your ‘Tigers. They are well known in various circles around all the major cities. I’d like to see about hiring you all on as well as some sort of deal to get your bar in here and in our sister location in Orgrimmar, if you’re willing.”
The bartender had made the lightest of taps on his earpiece when he first entered, and was confident that all of this was being listened to and recorded. “Well, since ya know a little about us, then ya know we’ll be sendin’ one of our own around later with th’ contracts.” He spread his hands out before him. “Until then, I’m pretty certain my backers’ll see the profit we can all stand to gain from dis.”
With mock bravado, Endicott boomed out. “Ladies an gentlemen, welcome to th’ first annual Flask & Flagon Fite Night!”