There are so many stars in the sky tonight that I am fighting it difficult to sleep that much. I’m still pretty shaky from the fever that I was running in Uldum and I should be resting more because there are going to be so many more trying times to be had in the days, weeks and months to come.
Yes, we were summoned back to Stormwind to have an audience with King Varian. At that point I was still so sick that it didn’t sink into my head as to what that could possibly mean other than we were going to be ordered to some new hell that had caught the King’s attention. We were all kind of surprised with the orders to report to the King, that’s not the Sentinel way.
I had high hopes of being able to slip away and seeing my parents and sons in Dolonaar, however, that was not meant to be. No leaves were being granted and we were to report aboard a ship for our next assignment – destination, unknown.
Being in Uldum, we were cut off from some of the rumor mills, however, we had all heard of the assault in Panderia through various other sources – me, by my husband as we lay in each other’s arms in Shattrath, also, from my son, Kal, when he made his last trip to Shattrath. Of course, neither one of my sources were giving away any secrets by telling me where they were and what the land was like. They never told me exactly where they were and the only place that they even mentioned frequently was a little farming community called Halfhill. It’s somewhere out there in the middle of the country, I suppose.
Kal had briefly mentioned something about taking a ship from Stormwind to Panderia. I was thinking, a cruise across the ocean and then they landed. Oh no, that’s not the way that it went at all. It was a flying ship – a huge ship similar to the one that I had seen in Northrend, although, I’ll admit that I never boarded that one.
I was sorry to hear about the Prince being lost somewhere in Panderia because I know how that tears at a parent’s heart, regardless of their status in life. Your children are a large part of your life and you never want them to be hurt or anything else if you can prevent. Apparently, this was supposedly an exploratory mission that went awry with the arrival of the Horde.
I know that I really was surprised that you could get just as seasick on a flying ship as you could on an ocean going vessel, however, you can. I know that a lot of the women spent the majority of the passage hanging over the rails being ill.
Once we were on the ship, we were actually given our orders. We were going to Panderia!! Finally, I was going to where I have been trying to go – my heart was just singing at the thought of finally being able to see my husband and my eldest son again. However, with the seriousness of the situation, I had to push that to the back of my mind as a secondary thought.
We all strained out eyes to see this new land with a mixture of fear and excitement in our hearts and minds. We were going to the real war, we were going to fight the Horde and the Cultist was very quickly wiped from our minds for the time being.
That first sight of the land emerging from the heavy fog and mist was not one that I will never forget, nor will I ever forget the number of Horde ships I saw already there floating on the water. The sound of battle could be heard even at the altitude that we were flying and the smells of fire and gunpowder were almost overwhelming. I know that I had enough adrenalin pumping in my veins when the shells started falling on us onboard the ship – some of the group never made it off the ship and I assume that they were considered some kind of collateral damage. Our bows were useless in trying to defend the ship from that altitude.
I was frightened out of my mind when they ordered us into flying machines. Oh, I’ve flown on a small machine before; however, I have never ridden in one that was taking me into battle. Naturally, we’re all trying to tell the Captain that we’re Sentinels, we don’t know how to fly and the only response that we got was, it’s easy, they almost fly themselves. That’s easy enough to say when you’re standing on the deck of a ship with something somewhat solid under your feet. Shells may be landing on that deck, however, you at least feel like you’re part of the earthen plane.
We took off one at a time and grouped to begin shelling the troops on the ground which was amazing – how could you be sure that you were hitting the Horde and not some of your own troops? The flying machines were amazing and after the first few shutters that it would give, it would level out and you could get an idea that you were aiming at the right targets and that it wasn’t going to fall out of the sky. Of course, there was a lot of noise with the battle raging; the smoke in the air was burning your throat and your eyes to where you were wondering if you weren’t going to run into the ground or one of the Horde structures that had already been erected on the shore.
I don’t think I’ve ever had the fear and exhilaration racing through my body as quickly as it was with those flying machines. We were ordered to regroup to try to take out the ships in the water. This is where it got hazy and kind of dicey in my mind. We had to fly in close to get the munitions barrels that the Horde had on the decks of the ships for offloading. You had to fly in close to hit those barrels just right – not everyone in my unit survived that and I consider myself blessed to have made it that far. You could feel the warmth of the fire and feel the explosions of the ships as the barrels were ignited – the screams from the injured on the ships was almost deafening.
We were radioed on our machines to return to the ship. What we returned to was a ruin of what had been one of the most beautiful air ships in the Alliance armada. I know I balked a bit when I was told that I would have to repel off the ship to the ground, directly into the fighting on the shore and small landing area. All I did was grab the rope, close my eyes and prayed very hard to Elune to protect me as I dropped rather quickly to the ground.
The fighting on the ground was very intense. Not only were we fighting the Horde and trying to blow up their equipment, we had to deal with these little devil things that were called Sha. Kal had mentioned something about a creature called the Sha – they were like things out of a nightmare that almost seemed as though they were trying to swallow your soul as they were trying to kill you. It was the heaviest battle that I have been in for quite a few years and I had forgotten how your survival instincts seem to take over your body and mind – you respond to things automatically, you don’t take time to even think – that moment of thought could take your life. All I know is that my mind would target and my bow arm would release the arrows as quickly as I could notch them.
The smell of blood and smoke was all that filled my nostrils for what seemed like forever and all I can remember is that I kept killing things as quickly as I could. I felt bodies fall against mine, some were Horde, some, unfortunately, were Sentinels. You used your bow as a weapon when you got into close hand-to-hand combat and those of us with pets were calling on them to do impossible feats. It seemed like the fighting went on forever – sometimes things would slow down to slow motion because your brain was taking in so much information that I think it was having trouble processing it.
I remember one Orc that had grabbed me by my hair and was doing his level best to kill me and I could feel the glances of his blade against my armor and I saw Lumina pull him down and rip his throat out without too much effort. Elune bless that well trained beast.
We were able to fight our way through the Horde and these Sha things to a bridge that lead to a village called Paw ‘don. It was like walking from a land of nightmare to some kind of oasis of calm. So many people were injured and I don’t think that some of them even realized it until we hit the village – we were too busy just fighting to stay alive long enough to reach a place of safety.
Our healers and the Pandarian in the village were busy treating the wounded. Naturally, our healers had a triage system that helped that move along rapidly. I knew that the ones that treated right away were the ones that were going to make it and the ones that they gave potions too and were shifted off to the side were the ones that probably wouldn’t. I saw so many of our group in that potioned group that I caught myself with tears streaming down my face.
I know that a huge Pandarian male took me by the arm and started leading me away from the carnage and I must have started to mentally shut down. He kept telling me to “slow down” and handed me a large cup of something that must have been tea as he lead me to this building that must have been a Pandarian version of an Inn.
When I stepped inside that Inn, all of the noise of the fighting seemed to drift away to nothingness – there was a calm in that building with the other Sentinels and the locals that I am wondering what was really in that tea.
I know that I fell asleep in my armor, covered in soot, blood and Elune only knows what else there was on it. When I awakened this morning, I was lying in a bed without my armor that had been stacked on the floor next to the bed along with my weapons. They had been wiped down and not thoroughly cleaned; however, my body was free of it under these blankets.
It felt good to get up and almost imagine myself in another place and time. Then the reality of the situation hit me and I couldn’t help but smile that I had made it this far and I was finally in Panderia.
We have been ordered to stand-down today, get our gear back in order, attend to our wounded and rest before we start all over again with another assignment.
My heart is racing at the thought of being here in this land and from what I can see away from the battlefield – it is truly as remarkable and as beautiful as my Sindorei and my son had told me. I’m ready for my adventure to being anew and get closer to them.
Well, it’s my turn to be able to take a bath, finally and I think that I will also try out some of this food that I have smelled since I awakened.