As soon as we reached the surface again, and they payed me generously for my time, I left the Reliquary and headed west into the Searing Gorge. The journey was long and difficult, so I had little chance to update my journal, but I had little to say anyway. The entire pass was riddled with black dragonkin - whelps, drakonids and a fully grown black dragon. I managed to slip past them - fortunately I'm small and pale enough to have been completely unnoticed - and soon reached the border, but it made for some tense and sleepless nights.
As soon as I crossed that threshold, the land began to blacken, and sand and dust seem to be little more than coarse ash. Despite this, I feel safer now than I did around those dragons.
I found a small camp a few days ago, consisting of Dwarves and an Ogre. I slipped past them just as carefully. The Dwarves had skin as ashen as the land, and could only have been Dark Iron Dwarves, which was unsurprising in this territory.
About three hundred years ago, both the Searing Gorge and the Burning Steppes to the south had been a part of the Redridge Mountains, and home to the Dark Iron Dwarven clan. Their leader, Emporer Thaurissan, launched an attack on the other two Dwarven clans, but when it became apparent that he would lose, he chose to summon Ragnaros, the Fire Lord, and use him as his servant in battle.
Needless to say, Ragnaros is not one to be ordered around, and once he was summoned, his burning presence immediately incinerated the land and anyone nearby, and created the volcano known as Blackrock Mountain. Even as I write this, I can see it to the south, a constant plume of smoke and ash rising from its peak.
Everything I know of this place I have gleaned from books. I'm hoping that I'll be able to see some of these landmarks for myself, and get some new accounts of what happened from anything that has survived.
If not venture into the mountain myself.
Either way, so far I am a day into this burned region. I am not sure that there are any Horde camps anywhere nearby, so I think I will have to make my own bed when night falls once again. I think I've grown a little too used to company in Uldaman. Despite its dangers, I had been forced to interact with the same people every day for a week and a half, and, I suppose, after leaving my home as suddenly as I did, I am only noticing what I've given up after having a taste of it.
Well, if I want to go back, I know the route. But I'm still heading forwards, so that must mean something. I've traversed just over half of the continent so far, and I have no plans to head backwards now. Especially not when I'm in such a historically rich area.
Everyone's allowed a weakness, right?
-- Atherya Sunleaf