Pandas in Stormwind Keep!

“Samuelson! Bring me my boxing gloves!”

Báiyáng walked up the hall towards the throne of Stormwind Keep. She could feel the eyes of the guards assessing her as a possible threat. She wondered why for a brief second; then corrected herself as to where and who she was.

She was a pandaren, and a stranger to this land. For all these guards knew she could be a secret assassin for this ‘Horde’ they kept warbling on about. Obviously she wasn’t- she would have not walked through the room in plain sight if she was- but they still had many reasons to be suspicious.

She stopped at the end of the hall. In front of her was a very large man, wielding a very sharp sword and expression.

In frustration over Ophi’s new Beast Mastery rotation, I decided to take a break tonight and start putting my panda through the grind of 1-90.

Blustering through the Wandering Isle is actually a very nice experience. It’s pretty much a mini-Pandaria, sharing all the architecture and whatnot, and it’s very nice in places. It’s also quite strange to think that you’re on the back of a turtle. The plot is also quite engaging and it fits in well with the mechanics and ‘style’ of the pandaren; at least for me, it raised quite a few questions concerning the Alliance/Horde war, and the pandaren factor within it.

Oh well, back to the story stuff.

After a prod or two from Aysa, Báiyáng came to realise that this large, rather frightening man was in fact Emperor- uh, King Varian Wrynn of the Alliance. She had been surprised about his attitude towards the Horde whilst they walked; they were his enemy, and had done terrible things to him and his kingdom, true. But the way he talked- he almost spat out every word concerning them, as if the words themselves were foul- suggested that he would not, would never consider any true diplomatic reasoning with them.

While she definitely didn’t like the tone of the Horde’s representative back on the Wandering Isle, Báiyáng did not find this particularly appealing either.

And as they came to the garden to the side of the throne room, she was given the chance to show it; he had asked to spar with her. She figured she may have put a tad too much force into the last swing, as the mighty King of Stormwind was knocked on his backside. Oops.

Aysa and Jojo had a look of pure horror on their faces. If this was seen as an affront, their lives were probably forefeit. A great relief then, that the accosted King got up as quickly as he had fell with a look of great happiness.

It’s a shame that, like Kezan and the Lost Isles, The Wandering Isle is an isolated zone unto itself; once you’ve left, you’re not going back. I think this is kind of a waste, really. I mean, it’s a nice zone that’s plenty big; there’s potential there for it to become a nice questing zone if only Blizzard think about it a little. Heck, even if other races aren’t able to, at least let pandas go back every now and then. Nice bit of nostalgia, without having to roll a whole new character just to experience it.

As I said in a post a while back, the Pandaria expansion as a whole raises many questions about the Alliance and Horde’s views of each other. It seems that the war is starting to change people for the worse, especially in the Alliance; Jaina Proudmoore wants revenge for the massacre at Theramore, and let’s not forget the Captain of the Skyfire during the opening moments of the skirmish in the Jade Forest, opening fire on defenseless orcs. It’s all rather unsettling.

The King had taken the sparring match in good humour and had welcomed them to Stormwind. As Báiyáng explored one of the large districts of the city, she pondered the conflict that had brought her here. The King had said that any pandaren who had joined the Horde were now their enemies; and as such should receive no quarter. What a wasteful way to deal with things, she thought. As she found herself in a barber’s salon having a much needed hairdo, she silently resolved that should she find any of these ‘Horde’, she’d try talking to them first.

With a laced dagger behind her back. Just in case.

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