Snow had reached the long dusty plains of Kun-Lai by late afternoon. Sweet white specks floated down like feathers in the overcast. It wasn’t particularly cold as such the flakes melted on the skin of the traveling Lord. Izulde Netherstar rode on the back of a great tan yak. It wasn’t ideal, but the Lord has relinquished the idea of traveling by sky when the dark clouds persisted over Kun-Lai for several weeks. It was too cold to fly by any mark, even the Pandaren with their great fur coats shivered in the winds. They were a great train of yaks, goats, and other beast of burden stretched over the horizon. This was a caravan fitted for war and the red and black flags of the Horde herald their advance.
So the caravan of twelve hundred soldiers marched north from the Vale. Lord Netherstar joined them from the Shrine of Two Moons along with a contingent of Reliquary agents. The Sin’dorei had given up on the thought of using their bright feathered hawkstriders once they reached the plains. There wasn’t enough feed to tend to them, and the cold made them unruly mounts. Three archeologists, two examiners, and a pompous Lordling artificer made up the ranking Reliquary agents. With them came Blood Knight honor guards, magister advisers, and a squad of Farstrider Rangers that covered their faces with red and gold masks.
They were many and few all in the same. Izulde had taken the time to count the soldiers over and over. In a sea of green and yellow, the might of Hellscream’s armies carried on. There were half a dozen clans in present. The Blackfist Clan ruled by Gren’gol the Mean took the head of the caravan. He was a Blackrock Orc who was twice the size of his kin and covered in black spiked plates. He had won the right to the clan in a duel to his brother Gren’gal. Along with them were the Ravenfang, Ghostwolf, The Haunted Spear, and the Greatmaul clans. Seven out of ten in the caravan were Orcs, and each was loyal to the Warchief fiercely.
However there were more than bright haired Sin’dorei and heavy set orcs. A tribe of Dawnchasers joined them as well. Lead by the Sunwalker mistress Glenda Brighthorn, the paladin and priest sisters stood two heads taller than Gren’gol. They were clad in brilliant plates and what little sunlight they saw gleamed off their beautiful armors.
Izulde had heard a rumor that a coven of Forsaken had landed north of Kun-Lai and were snaking their way through the mountains to join them. The Blackwidow Silvara Shadeleaf brought with her two dozen forsaken rangers. While she was the only one who shared the Quel’dorei heritage, the Forsaken were all garbed in the black leathers of Dark Rangers. Izulde had hoped to meet with her prior to reaching camp, but with only two days from the Eastwind Rest, he gave up such ambitions.
There had been others that joined on Kun-Lai itself. Pandaren sworn to Garrosh were lead under a harden Huojin Shaman with a simple name of Swiftpaw. There were more than thirty of them, all armed with traditional weapons found across the Pandaren Empire. The soldiers wore bambus reed lamellar armor, long pan-spears and round bamboo helms topped with a red crane plum. They were a sight so strange that the Lord Netherstar offered a singular shaman to join his service. Thrice was he rejected, but when Izulde returned with a jug of sweet rice wine the young shaman couldn’t refuse.
Though the caravan was not announced to the greater Horde, Izulde knew their purpose. They were ahead of the coming storm in Kun-Lai. Rumors had reached him that the Alliance would join them in battle, a fate that Izulde lamented, but battle presence was something he needed to win over the trust of his newly found allies. He knew the Sunguard would never respect him unless they watched him fight in a battle, and it needed to be bravely.
Nights were the worst of the journey. While the sky was alight with more stars than he had ever hoped to see, they had been harassed for a week by sentinels from Darnassus. The Sisters of Elune seemingly had taken male Kaldorei into their flock. Standing seven feet tall and clamored in heavy armors and elven grace, the Brothers Cenarion, as they were called, fought with as much fervor as the Orcs. Izulde often heard of patrols going into the wilds and never returning.
Cold came and went, and it was increasingly difficult to predict the weather. It was always gray and windy. A snow storm could swoop from the mountain and leave inches of snow within a few hours while some days it could pour rain and leave a soppy mess for the yaks to walk on. Twice had the half mile caravan stopped for days to sit out of the rain but the hungry grasses yearned for more. There were moments where the Lord Netherstar missed home, but he would brand himself as a craven if he were to turn yellow now.