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Horde When last we met, we were finishing up the pandaren starting experience on the Wandering Isle. True as Blizz said, the beginning zone was fairly relaxed and almost serene compared to where we're off to next. Seeing as how we finished the Isle choosing to be an Alliance pandaren, we're going to give the Horde a little love as we step into the Jade Forest of Pandaria.

Did we say "step into"? That's not quite what happens...

We begin our journey in Orgrimmar and, by chance, walk into a conversation between Garrosh Hellscream, General Nazgrim (that's right! he's been promoted!), and a goblin survivor. It turns out there's a whole fleet of warships that has vanished while being attacked by the Alliance, and our little gobo has managed to crawl his way back to inform Garrosh about his ships and missing "cargo". We find out much later this cargo is, in fact, Anduin Wrynn, a situation which seems oddly familiar.

Garrosh, instead of treating the goblin's injuries and at least thanking him for his efforts, grabs him by the throat, chokes him, and throws him across Grommash Hold. The little guy doesn't survive the launch, and now we see a glimmer of the despot Garrosh is destined to become by expansion's end. Oh, and did we fail to mention that several of the Horde kingdoms are a little behind in paying their dues to Orgrimmar? Garrosh isn't all too pleased about that, either.

In an effort to find his missing ships and precious cargo, Garrosh orders Nazgrim to take the finest warriors (which, of course, includes us) to track down the fleet. We board the Sky Shark, a nice big zeppelin, and chart a course for the unknown. Into the fog surrounding Pandaria we go, and what could possibly go wrong?

When we regain our senses, we're smack in the middle of the Wreck of the Sky Shark. A deep trench has been plowed into the ground leading up to the biggest flaming section, letting us know we hit extremely hard and fast. Other pieces have landed in the hozen villages nearby, and more than a few, including our supplies, have gone completely over the cliff. To make matters worse, all we find of Nazgrim is his axe.

Our concern is short lived, for Nazgrim is much further down the hill from us and just regaining consciousness himself. Most of the crew is dead, and many missing, and the hozen are coming at us from every side. We realize with a certain amount of dread that we are now cut off from any help. Nazgrim takes command, ordering us to find survivors. Things are worse than they seem as we answer his call and find one of Hellscream's Vanguard mortally wounded: not only are the hozen ransacking what little supplies that remain, they're carrying off the wounded to their villages! From the looks of things, they aren't dragging them in to patch them up and give them tea, either.

We vow to recover their remains to give them a proper burial (via catapult), thin out the hozen, and recover some of the technology used in the construction of the Sky Shark. The Alliance are still out there somewhere, and we wouldn't want it falling into the wrong hands.

That's a good summation of the Horde's Jade Forest welcome. We aren't occupying, we aren't marching and taking over new territory; we're just scrambling to survive. As we find more survivors we perform more tasks to increase our chances of survival, including recovering weapons from the sprites at Sea Mist Ridge, gathering water to put out the wreckage fires, and retrieving our leaping off a cliff and using the tail of a Cliff Glider to bungee jump.


Aside from the burning wreckage, we do find some nice spots in our new home away from home:

Once we're finished saving our fellow crew and scouring the area, we can now go join Nazgrim further south. Our enterprising general has carved out an encampment, and it looks like he may have wiped out a village of hozen to do it. Now to figure out how we're going to survive out here, what enemies and allies we might make, and whatever became of the Alliance.

Go back to Beta testing: Wandering Isle finale.
Continue to Beta testing: Hellscream's Hope (Horde).

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