The mysterious natives of Pandaria, a mysterious continent shrouded in myth. For a very long time, the only members of their race seen in Azeroth were their nomadic Brewmasters.
- Pandaren (especially males) tend to be fat. In fact, they consider weight to be a good thing. However, they are also very agile.Female Pandaren joke: Oh, I'm doing great! I mean, I could stand to gain a few pounds sure, but who doesn't?
Male Pandaren joke: Gotta store up some fat for the winter! I don't hibernate or nothin', I just like havin' it around.
- This is even part of their backstory. When they were enslaved by the mogu, the pandaren were not allowed to own weapons. When the monks began to secretly train others in the art of combat in order to overthrow their masters, they focused on using farm tools and unarmed strikes. In contrast, the mogu favored huge, impractical weapons designed to inspire terror, on top of already being slow (yet very strong). During the rebellion, the mogu were often left dazed and disoriented by the pandaren's speed.
- Pandaren (especially males) tend to be fat. In fact, they consider weight to be a good thing. However, they are also very agile.
- The Alcoholic: The pandaren rival the dwarves in this respect.
- Almighty Janitor: Even the ones working simple jobs are usually quite good at combat.
- Arcadia: Pandaria is largely fertile farmland and fetid forests.
- Bare-Fisted Monk: Untrained civilian Pandaren default as monks and can defend themselves with simple farmtools, staves and their fists. In fact, one of their racial abilities is a stunning hand-jab.
- Big Eater: A lot of the pandaren /silly and /flirt quotes, as well as in-game dialogue, reference food.
- Big Fun: Big, usually jolly, and usually drunk.
- Bilingual Bonus: ren means "human" or "people" in Mandarin Chinese. Hence, panda people.
- Call to Agriculture: The pandaren, hozen and jinyu managed to overthrow their despotic and cruel masters and are left with the structure to build an empire and conquer the world if they so wished... And what do they do? Work some crops and learn how to brew beers and liquor.
- Fantastic Slur: Most mainland Pandaren have a poor opinion of pandaren born to Shen-zin Su or develop a wanderlust they call "chasing the turtle". Some mainlanders go so far as to call such pandaren "wild dogs".
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: The pandaren started off as a fairly generic East Asian Culture Chop Suey, based mostly on Warring States Japan. Mists of Pandaria dropped most Japanese influences in favour of a culture mostly rooted in Chinese Taoism: living "in the moment", appreciating simplicity, and maintaining inner balance. The pandaren revolution against the mogu is also reminiscent of Taoist peasant revolts such as the Yellow Turban Rebellion. Meanwhile, the modern history of Pandaria - a formerly isolated land now under threat of both foreign invaders and internal conflicts - brings the Qing into mind.
- Fat and Proud: Culturally, the pandaren take pride in their weight, seeing the fattest among them as the strongest and most attractive.
- Happiness Is Mandatory: As it turns out, pandaren culture is so peaceful and balance due to the remains of the Old God Y'Shaarj that lies under the continent, which manifests as the "Sha" when Pandaria lacks Spiritual mana. Spiritual mana is kept high through calmness and peace of mind and is drained through hate and ignorance towards others, so the Pandaren culture evolved to adapt.
- Hot-Blooded: The Huojin philosophy lends itself to this temperament. While students of Tushui approach problems with careful contemplation, those who follow Huojin favor swift and decisive action.
- Panda-ing to the Audience: One of the reasons the pandaren are controversial in the fandom. Whether silly fat panda people fit into Warcraft lore was a major point of debate when Mists of Pandaria was first released, and echoes of this... debate are still felt to this day.
- Pragmatic Hero: Unlike the ideal Tushui, who believe that ideals and morals should be held up to the death, the Huojin believe that nothing is too much to protect the ones you love and ensure your survival. This is why Ji goes through the very risky plan of blowing the Skyseeker out of Shen-Zin Su's side, rather than waiting for Aysa to maybe come up with a safer plan.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The philosophies of Tushui and Huojin. The Tushui teaches patience and forethought, to meditate and contemplate before taking action. The Huojin teaches that taking action in the moment is vital to protecting what one holds dear and that waiting to act is dishonorable as inaction could lead to situations becoming worse.
- The Stoic: Several of the students of Tushui, in contrast to Hot-Blooded Huojin, who opted to join the Horde.
Voiced by: Keone Young
Chen Stormstout is a wandering pandaren brewmaster from the Wandering Isle. He originally appeared in Warcraft III : The Frozen Throne, where he fought with the Horde against the Alliance's Daelin Proudmoore, becoming good friends with Rexxar, Rokhan, and Vol'jin and meeting Thrall, Cairne, and Baine, before he once again went off to wander around the world. He has a major role in World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria, where he finally arrives in Pandaria and gets to visit his ancestors' brewery.
Afterwards, he assumes command of the Brewery while he continues to adventure through Pandaria. After finding more of his Stormstout kin in the Dread Wastes, he finds both Tyrathan Khort and Vol'jin mortally wounded, delivering them to the Shado-Pan Monastery to recover. He stays by their side as they heal, and eventually grows into a romantic relationship with Shado-Pan Priestess, Yalia Sagewhisper. While he plans to live a quiet life with Yalia for the rest of his days, he travels to Durotar to help Vol'jin's rebellion against Garrosh Hellscream.
- The Ace: Certainly by Pandaren standards. In Dawn's Blossom in the Jade Forest, you're given the breadcrumb quest to find Chen in the Valley of Four Winds. It's called "His Name Was...Stormstout", and the person giving it to you talks about how he drank more ale than the local lush, told a better story than the local braggart, and beat up the best fighter in the village, all while his little niece made fun of them, and it was awesome. He is officially the best martial artist on the Wandering Isle, after his only real competition was killed in action.
- Acrofatic: Chen is rather fat, but that hasn't stopped him from being quite an agile monk, for example when he easily evades and out-maneuvers both Alliance and Horde sailors teaming up on him, the only hit he takes being the one that chipped his hat.
- And Now for Someone Completely Different: During the quest "Broken Dreams," you briefly take control of him while playing through the flashback of how he went to the Stormstout Brewery.
- Back-to-Back Badasses: With Vol'jin on the Shadows of the Horde cover.
- Badass Boast: Gives one after deciding to prove himself to Uncle Gao, "I'm Chen Stormstout, and I'm the best brewer alive."
- Bare-Fisted Monk: In World of Warcraft he mostly fights with his unarmed martial arts instead of his staff.
- Bash Brothers: Hints of this with Vol'jin. He's a major character who helps Vol'jin in Shadows of the Horde, and he helps Vol'jin during Battlefield: Barrens.
- Big Damn Heroes: Chen is the first of the cavalry to arrive in the ending to Valley of the Four Winds and Krasarang Wilds, attacking four Mantid on his own and then explaining to one of the local Shado-pan that everyone will give their lives to save their homes. He also has a moment in Pearl of Pandaria appearing out of nowhere on a flying rocket to save Li Li and Strongbo from a fel orc.
- Breath Weapon: As a Brewmaster he's capable of breathing fire. In Shadows of the Horde, he uses it to entertain children.
- Call-Back: One for Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne's Orc Campaign in the Horde's Dominance Offensive questline: he's the one who heals Vol'jin of the Kor'kron assassin's troll-killing poison, referring to Vol'jin as an "old friend."
- Chef of Iron: Not only is he the best brewer in Azeroth, but he's also a very fine cook, as well as a strong monk.
- The Drifter: Has been wandering the world since as early as Warcraft III, during which his travels took him to Durotar. After finishing aiding the orcs, he returned to his travels until the mists surrounding Pandaria were pierced, and he returned to his ancestral homeland.
- Drunken Master: The Shado-Pan refer to him as "Master Stormstout."
- Gargle Blaster: Not all of his creations are... successful. In particular, the brew he made from Durotar ingredients was so vile that Rexxar accused Chen of trying to kill him with it.
- Guile Hero: Doesn't seem like one at first, but his encounter with a group of Ogres really seals him as this. He was captured by a group of three who were arguing over what he would taste like. One thought he would taste like bear. One thought he would taste like rabbit, and the last thought he would taste like crow. Chen suggested to them that they go catch and cook those animals so they would have the taste fresh in their mouths when they ate him, and that he would brew beer for them. The ogres did so, and Chen brewed them beer. After a night of eating, drinking, and partying, Chen walked away as the only one sober.
- Hat Damage: His hat gets damaged in the Mists of Pandaria cinematic, and the cut is still there in the game.
- Honorary True Companion: To the Horde, although he remains neutral.
- Honor Before Reason: He expresses his discomfort with Tyrathan's more pragmatic ways for dealing with the Zandalari trolls, although he realizes they have no choice. He also feels a little Squick in the ways Vol'jin and Tyrathan discuss the proper way to kill a Zandalari with a bow.
- Hidden Depths: Though he is first presented as a carefree goofball in The Frozen Throne and the Valley of the Four Winds, players later get to see a more serious side of him in the Dread Wastes, where he is forced to deal with the deaths of two family members (one later turns out to be Not Quite Dead). This is explored more in Shadows of the Horde, where again, he acts like a goofball to entertain people. His conversations with Yalia, however, reveal his deeper side and how the two of them contrast.
- I Have No Son!: When he goes to Uncle Gao, he gets coldly turned away (despite- or possibly because- of the fact that the brewery is spiraling out of his control), and is hurt to be treated this way by family.
- I Just Want to Be Normal: He's renowned the world over as a legendary Brewmaster and explorer and is revered as a Champion of the Horde (Even though he's neutral), but when he returned to the Wandering Isle to see Li Li, he wanted nothing more than to live a quiet life with his family. For all of his exploits and explorations, being able to actually live in one spot was a brand new adventure for him. As of Shadows of the Horde, he plans to build a small extension of his brewery by Zouchin Village, so he can live there with Yalia.
- Lightning Bruiser: At one point you take control of him during a flashback quest (detailing what he encountered when first entering the Stormstout Brewery), and he has just two abilities. One is "Stormstout Fu: Perform a dazzling feat of martial arts on your target." (the other, unsurprisingly, is "Drink: Restores your health over time.")
- Nice Hat: Always wears a straw hat, which ever since the Mists of Pandaria cinematic has been damaged from his fight with shipwrecked Alliance and Horde sailors.
- Official Couple: With Yalia Sagewhisper as of Shadows of the Horde.
- Opposites Attract: With Vol'jin and Yalia.
- Vol'jin is a pragmatic troll who uses dark magic and enjoys combat, not afraid to use his fists and claws to rip someone's head off, and the two of them are best friends.
- Yalia is calm, serene, and graceful as opposed to Chen's boisterous, outgoing, loud ways. A part in Shadows of the Horde touches upon this while the two of them are talking — Chen crosses a river in a single bound with a large, bold leap, and Yalia carefully chooses her steps perfectly to tip toe across revealed stones.
- Retcon: In Warcraft III' Chen introduces himself as being from Pandaria. It would later be established that he and his kin have never even seen the continent, and once he gets there his foreign origin is a plot point.
- Simple Staff: His primary weapon is this, though he ties jugs to it, presumably for easier transport.
- Stout Strength: As he proudly tells Li-Li.Chen Stormstout: Why would I want to feel skinny? Size is strength!
- Supreme Brewer: His concoctions can put even the hardiest of drinkers under the table.
- To Absent Friends: Delivers an eulogy to the dead Evie Stormstout in the Dread Wastes, with the player present.Chen Stormstout: I never knew you... but you were family.
- Walking the Earth: He did this for a time, as some of the pandaren of the Wandering Isle are prone to do. In Mists of Pandaria, he arrives in the homeland of his ancestors, Pandaria.
Li Li Stormstout
Voiced by: Kim Mai West
Chen's young niece who travels with him around Pandaria. Before the events of Mists of Pandaria, Li Li went on her own adventure across the world in search of her uncle. During that adventure she got caught up in a villainous plot as a Naga and her flunkies were searching for the mysterious Pearl of Pandaria.
- Action Girl: It doesn't show up much in the game but Li Li is shown as a good fighter, at least for a little girl, in Pearl of Pandaria. She was taught by Strongbo, the Wandering Isle's foremost martial arts master.
- A Day in the Limelight: She has a central role in the Pearl of Pandaria comic.
- Are We There Yet?: Is frustrated with her uncle's leisurely traveling pace.
- Badass Adorable: Trained by one of the Wandering Isle's best martial arts masters while still a young Pandaren girl. Exemplified in Pearl of Pandaria, where she often out-maneuvers and/or outwits her foes.
- Deadpan Snarker
- In-Series Nickname: "The Wild Dog". It's actually a derogatory term used by mainland Pandaren for Pandaren from the Wandering Isle, namely those who lean towards Huojin like Li Li does, but she's come to embrace the name and what it brings.
- Little Miss Snarker: Especially during, but certainly not limited to, Muddy Water.Li Li: My favorite part was when you splashed muddy water in my eyes. I'm being sarcastic, by the way.
- Missing Mom: Her mother died in a fishing accident.
- Mouthy Kid
- Stop Poking Me!: "Okay, so, I'm all like, 'Hey, what's up?' and you're like, 'I'm gonna poke you', and I'm all, 'Whacha doin'?' and you're like, 'I'm gonna keep poking you', and I'm like, 'Seriously?' an 'you're all just like poking me? Like, what's your deal?'"
- Tagalong Kid: Will tag along with the player while Chen goes ahead to find the Stormstout Brewery.
Voiced by: Jim Cummings
A wandering historian encountered by the player during their travels in Pandaria. Like the other Lorewalkers, his job is to scour the land for whatever pieces of history have been lost to memory. He encounters the player character shortly after what's left of their faction entrenches itself and proves to be quite accommodating compared to Taran Zhu, quickly making friends with the player and helping them solve their current dilemma in exchange for a little help with his relatively humble pursuit of knowledge.
Cho continues to appear throughout the Jade Forest and Kun-Lai Summit, ultimately making an extended stop at the newly-opened Vale of Eternal Blossoms to study the ancient mogu texts there. He makes a later appearance as the guide within the Mogu'shan Vaults raid and sings the Song of Liu Lang at the Wanderer's Festival in Krasarang Wilds every Sunday.
Lorewalker Cho narrates the Patch 5.2 trailer, reciting an ancient poem telling of the Thunder King, shifting into a modified version of the rhyme found in his tomb, and closing with a verse of his own creation, calling the heroes of the world to arms.
When the Vale of Eternal Blossoms is destroyed in the revival of the Heart of Y'Shaarj, Lorewalker Cho leads heroes into the Titan vaults beneath the Vale to combat the Sha of Pride. He is present at the defeat of Garrosh Hellscream, and in Legion, he is the artifact researcher of the Monk Class Hall.
- Ancient Keeper: He and the other Lorewalkers.
- The Beastmaster: Subtly, but its there. He has a Cloud Serpent mount named Mishi, a tiger companion named Summer, and multiple cranes live in and around his home.
- Covert Pervert: In the beta, Alliance players could "paint something sexy" for him, and he will remark that he likes it, although he prefers women with more meat on their bones. This did not make it through to live.
- Mission Control: Sort of, in that he guides you on your way in Kun-Lai. He even uses a magical artifact to simulate this kind of system.
- Mood-Swinger: A milder example but while meeting the Horde player character, Cho cheerfully speaks of how you fight "with the vigor of youth but the experience of an old veteran" before rather somberly commenting that you must have "seen a lifetime of war."
- Mr. Exposition:
- Cho will give exposition on any question about Pandaria you ask, provided you locate several scrolls concerning that subject first. He also provides the backstory for the Blood in the Snow and Dark Heart of Pandaria scenarios.
- Not to mention providing the means for players to experience those scenarios, as well as two others that used to be exclusive to one faction each with his dream brew.
- In Mogu'shan Vaults as well, for a number of its bosses. For example, after you defeat Feng, you hear that he has long served as a guardian of the tombs, and he might not be permanently dead.
- Nice Guy: He's courteous, friendly and polite to the players shortly after meeting them, especially when helping Alliance players search for Anduin.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Nice job accidentally helping the Zandalari locate the legendary mogu Thunder King and revive him.
- Non-Action Guy: As he says, knowledge is his armor, and he carries a quill in place of a sword. Naturally, he leaves the room whenever there's a boss battle.Cho: [before the fight with Elegon] Oh dear...this could get messy. I will observe from a safer distance!
- The Reveal: He actually answers to Emperor Shaohao.
Voiced by: James Sie
Lord of the Shado-Pan, the shadowy protectors of Pandaria and the closest thing the Pandaren have to a proper standing army. Among the enemies he faces are the Sha, and as they have been empowered by the war between the Alliance and the Horde, he considers both groups unwelcome on Pandaria.
- Acrofatic: As usual for a pandaren, though he's especially skilled.
- A Father to His Men: He's quite well-respected among the Shado-pan and cares for his subordinates.
- Arch-Enemy: The Sha in general, but especially the Sha of Hatred.
- Armor-Piercing Question:
- To Garrosh Hellscream, while he's transporting the Heart of Y'Shaarj to the Pools of Power, and claiming that Taran Zhu, by interfering, "confront(s) a force beyond reckoning".Zhu: Your father dabbled in powers beyond reckoning. Where is he... now?
- Also delivers one to Vol'jin in Shadows of the Horde. While Tyrathan is trapped in a freak blizzard in Kun Lai, Vol'jin is eager to go out and help, but Taran Zhu will not have it (Mostly because Vol'jin was still healing, and Jungle Trolls aren't built for blizzards and snow).Zhu: Is it to save the man that you wish to act, or to preserve your own self-conception as a hero? I expect much dusting to be done before you have reached the truth.
- To Garrosh Hellscream, while he's transporting the Heart of Y'Shaarj to the Pools of Power, and claiming that Taran Zhu, by interfering, "confront(s) a force beyond reckoning".
- The Atoner: Following his being possessed by the Sha of Hatred and being freed, he becomes this. By Legion, he's willing to work with the Serene Order and even take orders from outsiders as a monk champion.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Inherited the position from his father, and he has a lot of ass kicking skills to go along with the authority. It helps to have inherited leadership of an order that takes up the position of the closest thing the pandaren have to a standing army.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: By the Sha of Hatred, though he is freed in the Shado-Pan Monastery instance.
- Carry a Big Stick: While he initially wields a two-handed sword, he switches to a mace on the Isle of Thunder.
- Dark Is Not Evil: He's definitely a jerkass and he may be dressed in all black, but he is still devoted to Pandaria's safety.
- Dragon Rider: Rides a cloud serpent, which is pretty much a Chinese dragon, when he first appears.
- Fantastic Racism: At first, towards the Alliance and Horde. This eventually causes him to get possessed by the Sha of Hatred, which he is later cleansed of. He ends up warming up to the races, just not to the Alliance and Horde.
- Freak Out: It is safe to say that none of his previous experiences could have prepared him for the arrival of the outsiders from beyond the Mists. His behaviour could charitably be described as this.
- Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: Gives a verbal one to both Jaina and Lor'themar after the battle against Shan Bu.
- Good Is Not Nice: Being devoted to Pandaria's security does not prevent him from being quite the Jerkass to the newcomers of Pandaria, though he eventually warms up to some of them.
- Hypocrite: Zigzagged. He condemns the Horde and Alliance for committing a race war, while the Shado-Pan wage war on the Yaungol and Mantid, although he's not waging those wars because of their race. note
- I Can Still Fight!: After nearly being killed by Shan Bu at the Foot of Lei Shen, he insists that Taoshi give him his weapon so he can break up a potential fight between Jaina and Lor'themar.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: By Garrosh, just before Garrosh places the Dark Heart of Y'shaarj into the pools in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms. His fate was uncertain for a while, but it turns out he survives.
- It's All About Me: He doesn't care what the Alliance and Horde do to each other, on their or any other land. He just wants them away from Pandaria.
- Jerkass: Towards the Alliance and the Horde. Gets so bad that he actually gets possessed by the Sha of Hatred.
- Jerkass Has a Point: He may have been very much a Jerkass about it, but he was pretty much right in that the Alliance and Horde's war coming to Pandaria is doing no good at all and is in fact making it far, far worse by empowering the Sha. He makes it explicitly clear that he doesn't give a damn that the Horde and Alliance are fighting or why, but doing on his turf, thereby empowering the Sha and endangering all of Pandaria, earns them both lip.
- Taran Zhu: Go back and ruin your own land!
- Made of Iron:
- First gets a beating by alliance and horde players when he is possessed by the Sha of Hatred in the Shado-Pan Monastery, then gets nearly killed by Shan-Bu in the Isle of Thunder, then gets impaled by an enraged Garrosh in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms. And he's still alive, and still able to walk and fight. This man just won't stand down.
- In Legion, when monk adventurers seek out the Staff of Shaohao, they find Taran Zhu so beaten down and exhausted that he's lost his Nice Hat, but he still has plenty of fight left in him and acts as the tanking character for the adventure.
- My Greatest Failure: Taoshi implies that he sees letting himself become possessed by the Sha of Hatred as such, and because negative emotions empower the Sha, he will have to come to terms with this. He takes it very seriously, and personally leads a hunt for the Sha of Hatred through the Townlong Steppes.
- Nice Hat: Practically uniform for the Shado-Pan. It's a sign of how badly he's been beaten down single-handedly defending the Terrace of Eternal Spring from the Burning Legion in Legion that he's lost his hat. He gets it back as a champion.
- Not So Above It All: While he may be the most serious and straight-laced of the bunch, Taran Zhu is still a Pandaren. That's why when one of the Monk campaign quests in Legion involves having to destroy barrels of tainted ale, he laments the loss of the brew.Sigh... hundreds of years of the finest ale... ruined. I don't wish to hear any more of it. Just get it done.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "And walk. Away."
- Pride: All but a walking symbol of how while other Sha-fueling emotions were repressed, Pride wasn't.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: At least as far as his own men are concerned. He criticizes Gao-ran for his apparent negligence in Townlong Steppes, to which Gao-ran responds by respectfully explaining that his men are stretched thin and growing tired from long shifts on the watch, proposing that they fall back. Taran tells Gao-ran that they can't withdraw, but sends the player to help Gao-ran out, and as he leaves, promises to send more men when he is able.
- He becomes even more reasonable in Legion when he joins the Shado-Pan more fully with outsiders to defend Pandaria from the Burning Legion, admitting that even the Shado-Pan can't fight the Burning Legion alone.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Delivers one to Garrosh in the trailer for 5.4.Zhu: Your father dabbled in powers 'beyond reckoning.' Where is he now? [...] I have fought beside the tauren, trolls, and others! You are nothing like them!
Zhu: Every reprisal is itself an act of aggression, and every act of aggression triggers immediate reprisal!
- And one to Lor'themar Theron and Jaina Proudmoore, concerning their factions as a whole.
- Scarf Of Asskicking: Along with his nice hat, he covers his mouth with a red scarf.
- Supporting Leader: For the fight against the Sha.
- Took a Level in Kindness: After being freed from the Sha of Hatred in Shado-Pan Monastery, he begins warming up to some of the newcomers.
- He takes another level in Legion with Monk adventurers. He's still a bit prickly, but he's downright thrilled to see outsiders coming to defend Pandaria from the Burning Legion and greets them with respect and gratitude.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Delivers one to Lor'themar Theron and Jaina Proudmoore at the end of the scenario "The Fall of Shan Bu", when they are about to fight each other after he and the player take down Shan Bu, chiding them for continuing the cycle of aggression and reprisal between the Horde and the Alliance.
- The Worf Effect: Gets hits with this a lot to showcase the threat of the foe, being possessed by the Sha of Hatred, beaten within an inch of his life by the Mogu, and later wounded by Garrosh.
- Your Mom: Substituting mom for dad, he takes a shot at Garrosh's father to goad him into anger.
Shaohao was the last emperor of Pandaria. Ten-thousand years ago, during the War Of The Ancients between the night elves and the demons, a jinyu Waterspeaker received a vision of the Great Sundering. Shaohao knew he had to protect his people, and with the help of the Monkey King and the August Celestials he removed his despair, doubt, hatred, anger, fear and violence and sealed their physical personifications beneath the earth. A being of pure good, Shaohao entered the sacred Vale of Eternal Blossoms and vanished, as a shield of magical mist surrounded Pandaria and protected it from the Earth-Shattering Kaboom.
However, Shaohao held on to one vice. He was unable to expel his pride, and it was his pride which compelled him to cut Pandaria from the rest of Azeroth using the mists, believing that his people were better off alone. In the present day, Shaohao appears as "Seer Hao Pham Roo" and asks the player to help him up Mount Neverest in Kun-lai Summit. At the peak of the mountain he reveals his identity and the existence of the Sha of Pride, warning the people of Azeroth to set aside their differences before things get worse.
Following the defeat of Garrosh Hellscream, Shaohao summons the player and Lorewalker Cho to the destroyed Vale of Eternal Blossoms. He discusses the lessons Pandaria has taught us and plants a tree in the Vale, allowing it to begin regrowing.
- A Day in the Limelight: The Burdens of Shaohao, an animated miniseries, covers Shaohao's trials in the days before the Great Sundering.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: He graduated from the Tian Monastery and, in at least one version of his legend, he personally fought and defeated his six sha, only needing significant help against three at once. That said, though, he's far from the best fighter among the pandaren.
- The Emperor: The last Emperor of Pandaria.
- Enemy Without: The prime sha (that is, the sha bosses) specifically originate from him.
- Enlightenment Superpowers: Overcoming and sealing away his vices gave him spiritual power capable of affecting a continent.
- Heroic BSoD: The Burdens of Shaohao portray his overcoming his emotional flaws as working through a sequence of these, sealing away each Sha as he deals with the emotional stress of his journey.
- Pride: The one negative emotion he didn't purge himself of, since in it, he believed moderated pride to be a virtue, and that Pandaria deserved to be separate from the rest of the world. In retrospect, he has come to believe that this was an incredibly bad plan.
- Prophecy Twist: When told to seek out the Heart of Pandaria in order to save Pandaria he, at the end of his journey, saw himself as the Heart of Pandaria becoming one with the land inadvertently tapping into the real Heart of Pandaria, the heart of the Old God Y'Shaarj, creating the Mists of Pandaria.
- Significant Anagram: Seer Hao Pham Roo, his pseudonym in 5.3.
- Spirit Advisor: Seen in that form in 5.3. Said in the Burdens of Shaohao shorts to speak to people through The Mists.
- Staff of Authority: Shaohao received Sheilun as part of his coronation, unaware of its history and magical power. He is known to have used it once as a Simple Staff but otherwise treated it as an ornament.
- Took a Level in Badass: The whole point of his journey was to overcome his personal failings to be strong enough to save Pandaria from the Sundering.
- Wham Line: As "Seer Hao Pham Roo", delivers one after players bring him to the top of the mountain, his voice changing. "You see, when I was young... when I was young... when I was young... I was EMPEROR."
- Bold Explorer: Liu Lang was the first Pandaren to explore the world outside of Pandaria and every five years would come back to his home to invite more into his lifestyle.
- Iconic Item: Liu Lang is well known for his bamboo umbrella. It was given to him for free by a pandaren shopkeep who supplied him for his first voyage. He was so happy for the gift that he named his turtle after the shopkeep Shen-zin.
- Meaningful Name: Chinese for "wandering".
- Our Founder: Liu Lang raised and "created" Shen-zin Su and the culture that lives on the turtle's back. There is a statue of him within the Temple of Five Dawns.
Leader of the Alliance-aligned Pandaren who follows the Tushui philosophy. Aysa embodies the Tushui monk arts, which emphasizes meditation, stoicism, rigorous training and moral convictions. These ideals drew her to the Alliance, whose values are much the same.
During the Siege of Orgrimmar, Aysa saves Ji from execution at the hands of the Kor'kron and apologizes to him for her behavior. Aysa mentions returning to the turtle so they can be together, so it is unclear whether or not she will be involved with future Alliance affairs.
- Blue Oni, Red Oni: The blue to Ji's red. In an interesting coincidence, the Alliance is represented by blue and the Horde by red.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: After their arguing on the Wandering Isle and the brutal beating Ji received in the Siege of Orgrimmar, Aysa and Ji can be found together back at the Isle in Legion.
- Foil: To Ji, which is emphasized on a few occasions in the starting zone. She meditates and tries to think of a solution while he tries everything he can think of, the moment he thinks of it.
- Lady of War: Admired greatly by the other Pandaren for both her grace and skill.
- Levitating Lotus Position: Meditates like this.
- Oh, Crap!: In a relatively lighthearted moment, she has an absolutely stunned expression on her face when the player lays Varian flat during a sparring match, right after warning the player not to harm their new king.
- Ship Tease: With Ji Firepaw, though mostly on his end. Her feelings for him eventually are made more clear in the Siege of Orgrimmar.
- Star-Crossed Lovers: She and Ji wind up on opposing sides but ultimately they prioritize each other over any faction loyalty.
- The Stoic
- Not So Stoic: Breaks down in tears when Ji Firepaw foolishly (in her eyes) almost kills Shen-zin Su. It's also subtly indicated that she's bothered by the prospect of having to fight against the Horde-aligned Huojin, and she's deeply upset when she finds Ji beaten to the point of unconsciousness and in a pool of his own blood; she apologizes to him and begs him not to die.
- Put on a Bus: Following the Siege of Orgrimmar, true to her word, Aysa and Ji left their factions capitals and returned to the Wandering Isle. Officially, Aysa remains Alliance Representative for the Pandaren, but has removed herself from their politics.
- This Means War!: During the Siege of Orgrimmar, if the raid takes too long and Ji is executed, Aysa screams out "I'll KILL YOU!" while charging at the orc who did it.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Gives this to Ji in response to his plan to blow up the crashed Alliance ship, which opens Shen-zin Su's wounds and almost kills him.
Leader of the Horde-aligned Pandaren. Brash and boisterous, Ji embodies the Huojin monk teachings; the belief that inaction is the greatest crime, and that fighting real battles to protect home and family, regardless the cost, is the only way to live. He joins the Horde because he's drawn to their nature of tragic monsters defending themselves in a world that hates them.
During the Siege of Orgrimmar, it's revealed that the Kor'kron were interrogating him to find out information about some Pandaren artifacts the Horde found in Pandaria, despite the fact that Ji wouldn't know about such things. They say if he doesn't speak, they will execute him. The players rescue him, and Aysa Cloudsinger comes to carry him to safety.
Ji Firepaw continues to make token appearances, still aligned with the Horde, in stories such as War Crimes and A Good War.
- Bare-Fisted Monk: The physical martial art aspect is more apparent in Ji than his counterpart. Not only does he aid the player more directly on the Wandering Isle with higher level monk skills but when asked for by the guards, they will note he often spars in the arena.
- Bear Hug: No pun intended. During Wandering Isle questing, when you find Ji in Morningbreeze Village, he's excited to see you and goes, "hug me!". If you actually to the /hug emote towards him, he'll 'warmly hug you back'.
- Blood Knight: He's extremely impressed by the Zandalari's dinosaurs when he visits Zuldazar, and wistfully sighs, saying, "I can't wait to punch one..."
- Blue Oni, Red Oni: The red to Aysa's blue.
- Boisterous Bruiser
- Chivalrous Pervert: In a removed and controversial bit of dialogue, he would flirt with female Pandaren players. In the final game, you can make note of how he seems to be attracted to Aysa Cloudsinger, and he will say he's conflicted on how to approach her; she might think he's creepy if he compliments her appearance or that he has no personality if he compliments her form. Blizzard actually intentionally added this dialogue as a reference to the arguing players about his original controversial dialogue - Some female players felt creeped out when Ji complimented their appearance in beta ("You're some kinda beautiful, aren't ya?") and players who thought the compliment should stay thought the new dialogue ("You looked poised and ready!") made it seem like he had no personality.
- Deadpan Snarker: A little bit. Such as when Shen-Zin Su refers to the crashed airship in his side as a 'thorn'.Ji: A thorn? Hm. And I left my tweezers at home.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: After their arguing on the Wandering Isle and the brutal beating Ji received in the Siege of Orgrimmar, Aysa and Ji can be found together back at the Isle in Legion.
- Establishing Character Moment: After kicking a hozen in the face: "Take THAT, monkey-butt!"
- Foil: To Aysa, best expressed by how they go about retrieving the elementals and their response to hearing that the island is in danger.
- Hope Spot: Is depressed after hearing about the death of his master, and when Aysa said he knew in advance what was going to happen, he responds with "let a Pandaren hope, would you?"
- I Did What I Had to Do: His reason for exploding the Skyseeker out of Shen-zin Su's side, nearly killing the island in the process, along with it being part of Huojin philosophy. In Ji's defense, his plan worked. He saved Shen-zin Su's life. Not to mention that Shen-zin was already suffering greatly and would have died had the Skyseeker remained lodged in his body for much longer.
- Leeroy Jenkins: In a way. The core principle of Ji's philosophy is to always act quickly to solve problems before they become worse. For example, he justifies his decision to blow up the Skyseeker by saying that they were running out of time. Subverted in that it actually works, and may have been the best decision all along.
- Put on a Bus: After the Siege of Orgrimmar, he makes small token appearances, but A Good War does mention that he still lives in Orgrimmar.
- Ship Tease: Ji makes his feelings for Aysa clear prior to their going their separate ways. There's the bit when he admires her form and a part where he suggests that the player doesn't have to come immediately while "Aysa and I can hang out here. You know... just the two of us."
- Star-Crossed Lovers: What his and Aysa's relationship boils down too, during the Siege of Orgrimmar Aysa even tries to convince Ji that they should return to the turtle and be together from now on. It's unknown how this goes, since they are seen together as members of the Order of the Broken Temple in Legion, but Ji Firepaw is still said to live in Orgrimmar.
Jojo is a Pandaren from the Wandering Isle who boasts great strength and loves showing off, tasking the player with gathering objects he can smash with his head. The only object he cannot break is a jade pillar, and he carries it with him everywhere.
Jojo aids Aysa, Ji, and the player in rescuing the Alliance and Horde when they crash on the Wandering Isle. After the Alliance's airship is dislodged he joins Aysa on the journey to Stormwind.
- The Big Guy: Establishes himself as this when he breaks down a large door barring entry to the bamboo forest.
- Brick Break: His signature. Only not with his hands, but his head.
- Can-Crushing Cranium: His "break objects with your head" behavior has a similar vibe to it.
- Meaningful Name: Again: he breaks things with his head.
- Telephone Polearm: After he fails to break it with his mighty brow, Jojo carries the jade pillar around as a weapon.
- Use Your Head: Jojo prides himself on his iron brow, using it to crush any material presented to him.
Immature and impulsive, yet fierce fighters and dedicated workers, the Hozen are a race of anthropomorphic monkeys native to Pandaria. The Forest Hozen in particular are a tribe of Hozen that live in the Jade Forest. While initially hostile to the Horde, with a little 'diplomacy' and help from Lorewalker Cho, they end up delighted to side with the Horde against the Mogu and their Alliance-aligned rivals, the Pearlfin Jinyu.
Hozen are a curious, short lived race. Their 'elders' are mostly fourteen or fifteen years old, which is why they tend to be immature and reckless. However they breed like rabbits. The Forest Hozen are widely considered the friendliest of the Hozen. While they have a grudge with the Pearlfin Jinyu in the Jade Forest, they are otherwise friendly to the rest of Pandaria, with non-Horde aligned Forest Hozen appearing as neutral questgivers throughout the continent. They are led by Chief Kah Kah.
- Conlang: Hozen language is... Well, weird. Outsiders are called wikkets, fish are called slickies, , to 'grook' someone means to kill or attack them, and dook, well... You can figure out what that one means (Hint: The Hozen often throw it).
- Hidden Depths: While immature and unintelligent, the Hozen are actually pretty good dispensers of more 'basic' wisdom. After all, all you really need to know you learned in kindergarten, right? Some Hozen even travel to monasteries to become Monks, and the Bleeding Sun novella has a Hozen member of the Order of the Golden Lotus as a major supporting character... but he's so assimilated that one Horde member is overheard believing that he's lost his culture and identity.
- Rite of Passage: The earning of the "name name". Hozen gain a single name at birth, and eventually, they earn the right to a name name, which is just their name twice. See Chief Kah Kah. Before he earned his name name, he would have been called Kah, not Kah Kah.
- The So-Called Coward: When you defeat Dook Ookem in the Jade Forest, the Hozen flee at your sight for a while. Lorewalker Cho makes it a point to you that this won't last long. "The Hozen are many things, but they are not cowards." This is what leads you to eventually seek diplomacy with the Forest Hozen and recruit them into the Horde.
- Stealth Pun: Every rule for Hozen is the second most important rule. The second impression is most important to Hozen. They really put emphasis on number two.
- Toilet Humor: If you haven't noticed already, the characterization of the hozen is rife with poop jokes.
The Monkey King
Voiced by: Jess Harnell
The undesputed leader of the Hozen and close friend and companion of Emperor Shaohao.
- Guile Hero: The Monkey King is very clever and prefers to use his wit to get his way. He became Monkey King without spilling a single drop of blood with a simple lie. He told every hozen he met that he was the Monkey King, and their tribe supported his claim. If they didn't beleave it, he told them to take it up with their tribe leader. Since no one would challenge a tribe leader over something lightly, most hozen accepted him as king. When the tribe leaders eventually found out, most of their people were already accepting the Monkey King's title and decided not to challenge it.
- Monkey King Lite: A trickster monkey known to carry a staff checks most of the boxes.
- Staff of Authority: When granted Fu Zan by the Jade Serpent, the Monkey King held it as his symbol of rule among the Hozen.
- Rhymes on a Dime: Just about everything the Monkey King says is in simple verse.
- Taken for Granite: Spent centuries trapped as a jade statue in battle with a high ranking Mogu before members of the Alliance/Horde discovered and freed him.
Long ago, the mighty Mogu ruled Panderia and all who dwelled in it. One of the few Titan-Forged who were able to undo the Curse of Flesh, the Mogu firmly, fanatically believe that their dominiation of Panderia was their birthright, and their empire ruled with an iron fist, brutally destroying any and all forms of dissent. Eventually, however, the Pandaren revolted and overthrew the Mogu, forcing them into hiding. With the parting of the mists, however, the Mogu have returned, determined to reclaim and rebuild their empire, and have called upon their old allies, the Zandalari Trolls, to help them attain this.
- Abusive Precursors: The Mogu were the dominant race on Pandaria, cruel and warlike. All other races were enslaved to them, and often brutalized, worked to death, or killed for the most insignificant reasons.
- Always Chaotic Evil: There's not a single friendly mogu to be had.
- Awesome, but Impractical: Their weapons are huge, and look like they could obliterate you with a single strike... but they're unbalanced and difficult to wield with any effectiveness. Pitting these against the pandaren monks was part of why they lost.
- Cats Are Mean: Based on Chinese guardian lions with a humanoid shape. Their beast of choice, the quilen, is literally just a guardian lion that moves.
- Creating Life Is Bad: The mogu's creation of the saurok and grummles, and perhaps more importantly their methods for doing such, are treated as callous and obscene acts.
- Fantastic Racism: Against everyone. The Zandalari trolls are given limited respect but are still seen as ultimately inferior.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: If the pandaren represent China when it was peaceful and isolated, then the mogu evoke those periods in Chinese history when it... wasn't. To be more specific, while pandaren philosophy is based on Taoism, mogu culture is instead influenced by Legalism, the Chinese school of thought which emphasised strong imperial authority and ruthless enforcement of law and order. While Legalism has been an important part of Chinese politics for millenia, it was particularily important during the Qin dynasty, which is the main inspiration behind the mogu.
- Fat Bastard. They have quite thick midsections that protrude outwards, and are definitely... abrasive.
- Gone Horribly Right: As titan-forged, they are designed to maintain order on Azeroth. After their Keeper supervisor went silent, Lei Shen decided that the best way to maintain order was to rule everything with an iron fist.
- Humanity Ensues: Like most Titan creations, the Mogu fell victim to the Curse of Flesh and became biological. Notably, the majority of Mogu seek to reverse the Curse and become stone creatures again.
- Kill the God: According to legend, they were the ones who fought and slew the Old God Y'Shaarj. Chronicle reveals that did not actually happen, and it may be an embellishment based on their discovery of the Old God's heart.
- Living Statue: Some "mogu" are not true titan-forged created by the Forge of Wills, but rather literal statues carved out of stone and given motion by spirit-binders. They are visually distinct by being more obviously chiseled and geometric while normal mogu are smoother with fewer edges.
- One-Gender Race: It's not unusual for Blizzard to design only males to save artist hours, but the mogu are truly nothing but men, with the exception of Lei Shen's Twin Consorts. They seemingly used to have women in their days afflicted by the Curse of Flesh, but once they reversed its effects they had no need for different sexes to reproduce.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: Very proud, to the point where they see themselves as too good for the job of sustaining an Empire with labor—they have slaves for that.
- Shock and Awe: Many of the Mogu control thunder and lightning as their Thunder King did.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: With the Zandalari trolls lead by Prophet Zul. The Mogu consider themselves the top of the food chain and all other races inferior to themselves. Having to work with the trolls is considered an insult to their honor, but a necessary one to restore their empire.
- Your Soul Is Mine: Some of their troops are most feared for their ability to steal souls of slain enemies, and then use the soul to animate huge, obedient automatons of war.
the Thunder King
Voiced by: Paul Nakauchi
Born during the Age of a Hundred Kings, when the mogu were divided and weak, Lei Shen would go on to unite his race into a single mogu empire and rule Pandaria with an iron fist. To accomplish this and establish himself as the supreme ruler, he delved into the depths of the mountain housing the mogu's long-silent god, Ra-den, and emerged having acquired its powers somehow. Now the most powerful entity in the land, he adopted the title of "Thunder King" and went about enslaving the surrounding races, establishing laws and infrastructure, cementing a notable and unique alliance with the Zandalari trolls, and dabbling in the infancy of flesh-shaping before eventually succumbing to age.
In Mists of Pandaria he is resurrected by the modern Zandalari and, seeing his empire in ruins, makes his move to reclaim his throne in patch 5.2.
- Abusive Precursors: He and the rest of the mogu were this.
- An Ax To Grind: It was said that when it threw his axe, it sounded like crashing thunder.
- Arc Villain: The main antagonist of Patch 5.2.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: Affirmed his leadership of the mogu by being the strongest of them all.
- Back from the Dead: Thanks to the Zandalari trolls finding his grave and reanimating him.
- Badass Boast: On being pulled:
- Lei Shen: I am Lei Shen, slayer of kings and gods. You have made a grave mistake.
- Badass Normal: Before he gained his mastery over the storm, he was a normal warrior, and presumably defeated and subdued Ra-Den without any powers.
- Blade on a Stick: He wielded a spear in addition to his axe.
- Blow You Away: In addition to his lightning powers, he's also able to call upon strong winds against his foes.
- Cool Crown: Obtainable by players, even.
- Cool vs. Awesome: Lei Shen had a duel with the August Celestial, Xuen the White Tiger, who is a badass in his own right. It is said that the battle lasted 30 days and 30 nights, and on the last morning, Xuen fell. Lei Shen had a prison built for him which would later become the Temple of the White Tiger.
- Chrome Champion: Only noticable on his ingame model but he's made of platinum (due to his Fleshshaping power).
- Defeating the Undefeatable: He was able to defeat and subdue Ra-den, the mogu god, without any magic. How he accomplished this is unknown, though it's revealed in Chronicle that he struck down Ra-den (or Ra the Titan-Forged) after the Watcher told him about the fate of the Titans and expected him to be overcomed by the Awful Truth. Instead, Lei Shen decided that he would shape Azeroth's destiny in their stead and stole Aman'Thul's power along with Ra's to do so. Players do this when they fight him, since the first time it took a weapon meant to annihilate all life on Azeroth to kill him.
- The Dreaded: By the whole of Pandaria. Lei Shen is legendary for his cruelty and power in leading the mogu empire for generations, enslaving entire races of people, defeating demigods in single combat, filling the hearts of peasants with terror, and being undefeated his entire life until finally dying of old age. The things he built during his reign, including the Serpent Spine wall and the Mogu'shan Palace, as well as the Twin Shrines and the Temple of the White Tiger, still stand to this day (Taken over by the Pandaren). The Pandaren themselves still make poems about his tyranny, such as the one Lorewalker Cho recites in the Patch 5.2 trailer.Lorewalker Cho: It is said that, after the revolution, the Red Crane of Hope placed the rainbow in the sky, so that we would know not to fear the storms any longer... I don't see any rainbows today... do you?
- Dual Wielding: He uses both Thunder the axe and Lightning the spear in the final phase of the battle with him.
- The Emperor: May be the first true emperor of Pandaria, considering it's he that united the mogu clans under a single banner.
- Empowered Badass Normal: He is without a doubt one of Warcraft's most powerful villains in history, possessing the power of the Titan Aman'Thul. Perhaps the greatest indicator of his power is what it took to kill him the first time: the tol'vir of Uldum activated a localized pulse from the Forge of Origination — ie. the weapon meant to wipe out all life on the planet in case of extreme corruption. The blast killed nearly every living creature in Uldum, including Lei Shen, and turned what was once a lush jungle into a desert. Mogu legend would instead state that he merely died of old age, badass in itself as it implies no one was ever able to kill him.
- Evil Sounds Deep: With added echo-ey effects for flavor.
- Fantastic Racism: He sees all of the other races, even his allies for more than 10,000 years, the Zandalari trolls, as lesser races. He cuts the Zandalari some slack, even bestowing some of his own power upon a few of them, but in the end he and the mogu as a whole see them as merely the worthiest of the weak.
- Final Boss: Of Throne of Thunder, and perhaps of the indigenous Pandaria story arc as a whole.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: Lei Shen was the son of a minor warlord and lost almost everything when his father was betrayed. Years later, he stole the power of a god, became one of the most powerful being on Azeroth, and singlehandedly united the mogu into an empire.
- A God Am I: He possesses the power of Highkeeper Ra, and by extension the Titan Aman'Thul.
- Kill the God: What he did to Ra-den is said to have been like this to the mogu.
- Knight Templar: For all that he and his people have done, he believes that he and his mogu are bringing order to a chaotic world and creating new life, just as the Titans would have done. It seems that the Titans wouldn't have necessarily had a problem with his methods as long as they were working, as evidenced by their willingness to have Algalon kill and rebuild entire planets on a regular basis.
- Living Battery: You know the big room you fight him in? The one with four different mechanisms designed for killing you? All the electricity for them comes from his body, and it's implied he powers the entire palace and the storm brewing above the Isle of Thunder.
- Magic Knight: He is very skilled with an axe and spear, and controls the power over storm.
- Meaningful Name: Lei Shen in Chinese means "Sound of Lightning" aka Thunder, he also shares his name with the Taoist Thunder god, either way it's an accurate name. This means he's "Thunder (God) The Thunder King.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: His backstory was inspired by Qin Shi Huangdi.
- Palette Swap: He initially was one of Xin the Weaponmaster, final boss of Mogu'shan Palace. In 5.2 he has a unique model.
- Person of Mass Destruction
- Pragmatic Villainy: He needs slaves to build his stuff and keep his empire running, but the free races are most likely going to fight back until most of them are dead and so he'll get less slaves for his trouble. What does he do? He issues a personal challenge to the free peoples to send a single champion to face him in a duel, with their freedom as a wager. If the champion loses, they will submit, knowing they never would have had a chance anyway. Additionally, the champion he decided to face was Xuen, arguably the strongest being in Pandaria. Xuen's defeat absolutely crushed the morale of the pandaren resistance and removed a dangerous demigod all in one.
- Red Baron: He chose the name, as quoted above, because lightning strikes quickly and is over in a flash while thunder booms, commands fear, and lingers after the lightning has passed.
- Shock and Awe: Almost his entire arsenal is based on lightning.
- This Cannot Be!: The gist of his rants as he gets near teeth.
- Villainous Breakdown: When he gets near death he begins to rant about how he wields the power of the heavens and how the players are unworthy.
- Villainous Friendship: He had one with Sparkmancer Vu. It's a Type I, but possibly Type III if rumors about Lei Shen being responsible for Vu being kidnapped and having his tongue cut out are true.
- Whip It Good: One made of lightning, no less.
- Worf Had the Flu: He's greatly weakened by having just recently been brought back from the dead, the adventurers that kill him interrupt him in the middle of what seems to be an attempt to fully power himself back up. When Chronicle reveals just how freakishly powerful Lei Shen was in his prime and what it took to actually kill him, it's likely that if we hadn't killed him in time and he had restored all of his powers, he could have conquered the entire world with little effort.
The Klaxxi are a council of mantid elders that was formed to oversee the transfer of power from one Empress to the next, while also acting as guardians of mantid culture and keepers of their history. As the current Empress has been possessed by the Sha and driven insane, they are working to cure her and keep mantid civilization from collapsing under her mad rule.
- Ambiguous Situation: One of the previous Empress' they killed may or may not have concluded their social darwinist attitude had to change, or she simply wanted to stay in power.
- Ancient Keeper: They exist to ensure the Empress will not put the needs of the Mantid as a whole below her own needs.
- And I Must Scream: Iyyokuk the Lucid was aware of what was happening while he was in the amber. For 877 years. He states after being released that he cannot say his sanity survived his entrapment completely intact.
- Badass Boast: Korven delivers one to the players when he fights them.Korven: We have endured the Usurpers, their children, the loss of the Old One, and soon... you.
- Badass Normal: Malik the Unscathed, Ka'roz the Locust, and Kil'ruk the Wind-Reaver: Kil'ruk can fly, but that's normal for many Mantid.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: The mantid themselves, but especially the kunchong, a massive living insectoid siege engine. There is a quest chain that involves the player raising one, then taking it for a ride through the Empress's army.
- Blood Knight: Skeer the Bloodseeker. He also has Bloody Murder, making this trope even more literal.
- Blue and Orange Morality: The mantid are Social Darwinists, and use the swarm as a way to separate the weak from the strong.
- Cold Sniper: Hi'sek.
- Cultural Posturing: "You address your elder!"
- Enemy Mine: A faction of the normally xenophobic mantid are seeking help from any and all individuals who can aid them in holding back the swarm and returning the Empress to sanity. That's how desperate they are. The player can earn their trust as a "Wakener", one who releases the Paragons from amber-enclosed stasis.
- Evilutionary Biologist: Rik'kal the Dissector, presumably made a Paragon for his great advancements in biological study and augmentation. Expresses a desire to perform experiments on his fellow Paragons, the kunchong pet of one of them, and the player character in the interests of science.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Kaz'tik the Manipulator is fiercely protective of Kovok, his favorite kunchong. When Rik'kal asks to dissect him, Kaz'tik threatens to force him to cut himself open out of scientific curiosity. As Kaz'tik dies, he calls out to Kovok.
- Fantastic Racism: The player gets a very cold, but not completely hostile, initial reception on this basis, and must earn their trust.
- Irony: The Klaxxi decided to off the Empress due to her Sha corruption, and generally react negatively to anything Sha-related. The Sha are the remnants of Y'Shaarj. The Klaxxi appear to be aware of this, but they note that the Sha are profane mockeries of everything Y'Shaarj was.
- Mad Scientist: Rik'kal the Dissector, who even wants to experiment on his fellow Paragons.
- Make Me Wanna Shout: A lot of mantid technology and magic is based around sound.
- The Mole: Kor'ik is a spy for the Empress, and tries to kill you when you wake Hisek.
- Neutral No Longer: The Paragons of the Klaxxi are bosses in the Siege of Orgrimmar, having allied with Garrosh after he began using the powers of their Old God master, Y'Shaarj. It's not really a surprise, as the player is told at the end of the Klaxxi questline in no uncertain terms that when Y'Shaarj returns, they will join him.
- No-Sell: Kaz'tik the Manipulator says to players that he can't use his Mind Control because their minds are too strong. When you fight him in the Siege of Orgrimmar, he can mind control you, and claims that your mind has gotten weaker since you last encountered him. This could be explained that while your mind isn't weaker, per se, your resistance is. After all, you spent all that time grinding up rep with them, and it's not easy fighting your "friends".
- Psychic-Assisted Suicide: Kaz'tik threatens Rik'kal with this when he wants to experiment on Kovok. He can do this to players by forcing them to walk toward hungry kunchongs.
- Red Baron: All Paragons have one. Earning one is a rite of passage for Mantid, a way for one to distinguish himself from the rest of the swarm.
- Resurrection Sickness: The Paragons are weak when they emerge from the amber, and you must find appropriate sustenance for them in order to restore their strength. It's a sign of respect given the Mantid's Social Darwinism that the Wakener pretends not to notice while the Paragon gorges himself and returns to fighting form.
- Rhetorical Question Blunder: Kil'ruk asks Ka'roz how he could make his name chasing down peasants and farmhands. Ka'roz says that it's easy; you don't have to jump as far between kills.
- Sealed Badass in a Can: The Paragons, mantid champions encased in amber when in their prime, to be released during a crisis; the current situation most definitely qualifies as a crisis. Not all of them are warriors: some are scholars or alchemists who use their knowledge to combat the mad Empress and ensure that mantid culture will be preserved for future generations. And the player gets to open the can.
- Sealed Good in a Can: From the Klaxxi point of view, anyway. The Paragons are their greatest heroes.
- Shoot the Dog: As Grand Empress Shek'zeer's dungeon journal entry indicates, they have decided that their empress must be killed, even though her successor is currently too young to replace her.
- Shout-Out: The player can get buffs from the paragons they release, which are permanent while the player is in the Dread Wastes, until switched out for another. Each of the buffs is a reference to a Heavy Metal song or band.
- The Social Darwinist:
- The mantid unleash their swarmborn against the pandaren; the weak die and the strong come back and are recognized as citizens. Part of the problem (for the pandaren and the mantid) is that this is happening too early, leaving the pandaren unprepared, preoccupied with other threats, and in danger of being wiped out, which would leave the mantid without much of anything to fight. Even when the swarm isn't occurring, young mantid instead feed upon their broodmates until only the strongest are left as the survivors of their clutch, though this is considered less effective and comes with less prestige as a result.
- One daily quest involves killing an enemy mantid warrior who has been genetically modified to bypass the need for the traditional trial by combat given to newborn mantid—the questgiver finds the idea that one can be simply given strength, rather than having to prove oneself to be strong, to be a sick perversion of their way of life. His genetics work, he says, is meant to give mantid that have demonstrated superior inherited traits some powerful acquired traits on top of that.
- One of the past Empresses wanted to end the swarm, claiming it was a senseless waste of life. Mantid Blue and Orange Morality came into play, and the Klaxxi ordered her deposed just like Shek'zeer, because it would have changed the Darwinist factor of their lifestyle.
- Super Speed: Ka'roz the Locust.
- Ungrateful Bastard: After the player awakens Kil'ruk and saves him from Resurrection Sickness and the ghosts of his enemies, the Klaxxi consider disposing of the player, and Kil'ruk seems ready to comply, but one Klaxxi'va objects, suggesting that the player might be useful.
- Victor Gains Loser's Powers: In the battle against the Paragons, when one dies, you can, if you're the proper role, acquire one of their abilities. For example, healers who take Iyyokuk's powers can use a heal that copies to targets that share attributes with the first target, tanks who take Korven's powers can encase themselves in amber, and DPS who use Ka'roz's powers can leap onto platforms and throw amber.
- Wolfpack Boss: In Siege of Orgrimmar, the nine remaining Paragons attack, three at a time.
- The Worf Effect: Mallik the Unscathed, one of the paragons, falls at the hands of Imperial Vizier Zor'lok, the first boss in Heart of Fear.
- Worthy Opponent: Several of the Paragons seem to regard the player as this in the Siege of Orgrimmar.
Kil'ruk the Wind-Reaver
The first of the Paragons to be awakened by the player and the one who grows closest to them throughout the Dread Wastes questline.
- A Day in the Limelight: Death From Above is a short story about how he became a Paragon.
- Chekhov's Skill: He started out as a simple bomber. By the end of Death From Above he has to dispose of a volatile artifact that's roughly the same size and weight as one of the bombs...
- Death from Above: His specialty. The buff he gives players will have him drop down and assist the player if he/she is fighting more than one enemy.
- The Dreaded: Warlord Gurthan's battle plans had specific components devoted to dealing with Kil'ruk.
- Evil Counterpart: For a given value of evil, in Death From Above, the mogu Fulmin. Both are young members of their races with unorthodox ideas and methods.
- Evil Has a Bad Sense of Humor: He finds the mogu's method of preventing rebellion[[note]] They send any disobedient slaves to the Wall, where the mantid butcher them. uproariously funny.
- Fire-Forged Friends: Kil'ruk tells you, after you reach Exalted with the Klaxxi, that the Klaxxi may never trust you, but he's honored to have fought by your side.
- Flight: He's one of the winged Mantid. He's particularly skilled, learning how to dive like a hawk, which was considered impossible prior. His "innovation" in that field was one of the things that earned him the Paragon spot.
- Innocently Insensitive: Due to mantid Cultural Posturing, he legitimately means no offense when he says the player's entire life was meaningless until they started to aid the Klaxxi.
- I Warned You: If you wipe on the Paragons of the Klaxxi encounter while he is present.Kil'ruk: I did warn you, Wakener...
- Jerkass Has a Point: After cutting down a dozen mogu slaves and still having more rush him, he wonders what threats could the mogu offer that are worse than certain death.
- Lightning Bruiser: His speed and flight are what make him really deadly.
- Red Baron: The Wind-Reaver.
- Sealed Badass in a Can: Again, like all Paragons.
- Took a Level in Badass: He started out as a simple swarmborn, then one day he saw a hawk hunting and wondered if he could dive like that...
- Underestimating Badassery: Ninil'ko the Bloodcaller thinks Kil'ruk will die in the battle against Gurthan and worries that he will die too soon to be of any use. He's dead wrong.
- Worthy Opponent: He admires the mogu's ruthlessness and willingness to throw mountains of slaves away to handle their problems.
The Sha are negative emotions made real, a dark energy haunting the land that would become Pandaria ever since the death of the Old God Y'Shaarj. Any being on the continent is exposed to it and is vulnerable to its corrupting influence—letting your emotions rule your mind will cause it to grow and fester within you, ultimately resulting in blind hysteria, outright Demonic Possession and even infection of the land around you with lingering negativity. At its worst, the Sha will manifest physically as writhing monochrome masses of what resemble teeth, tentacles and bone that both inspire the associated negative emotion in individuals around them and feed off of the same to grow in size and power, making them dangerous foes for all but the most stable and disciplined fighters.
Ten thousand years ago, Pandaren Emperor Shaohao made use of hozen tribal magic to purge himself almost completely of negativity, birthing the six most powerful and personified manifestations of sha seen to date, before battling them and trapping them within the earth near the temples of the August Celestials. With the coming of the Alliance and Horde to the continent, all of the Sha have grown in power to become an immediate physical threat, and Shaohao's six Sha have become powerful enough to break free of their bonds and terrorize the people of Pandaria.
There are seven varieties of Sha: Doubt, Despair, Anger, Violence, Hatred, Fear, and Pride.
- All Your Powers Combined: The Amalgam of Corruption.
- Back from the Dead: Both the Sha of Doubt and Sha of Violence state this will happen to them.
- Blood Knight: The Sha of Violence embodies this and relishes killing.
- Dark Is Evil:
- After defeating Tsulong the Sha of Fear corrupts him, not only making him paranoid yet also obssessed with darkness and night. "Die in Darkness."
- The Sha of Doubt speaks of Darkness as well. "Succumb to the darkness inside your soul."
- As does the Sha of Fear itself. "Your lights will go out. The darkness will envelop you. And you will fear the shadows that move within it."
- The Sha of Hatred uses darkness to attack unlike most of the other Sha.
- Deader Than Dead: After The Heart of Y'shaarj's being reduced to a smear on the Underhold floor the Sha have become incapable of spreading leaving only the blackened areas with white patches with the dead flora and the Sha themselves falling into a dying stagnation.
- Demonic Possession: Several characters fall victim to this at the hands of the Sha, and often end up as bosses. Like most types of possession in Warcraft, it tends to make individuals stronger as well. Their possession abilities were weaponized in the form of the mogu's Divine Bell, which causes sha possession (for better or for worse) in those who hear it ring.
- Elemental Shapeshifter: In the Burdens of Shaohao video series, the Sha are depicted to having shapeshifting powers, as they take on forms from nature (thus far, the Sha of Doubt takes on the form of wind, Despair takes on water, and Fear takes on trees) to hinder Emperor Shaohao's progress.
- Emotion Bomb: Their preferred tactic is to simply induce either frenzy or apathy in beings depending on which Sha and what is more useful.
- Emotion Eater: Just like the Old God they are the aimless breath of.
- Enemy Without: The prime Sha are manifested by Y'Shaarj's aimless breath specifically from Emperor Shaohao and Garrosh's negativity.
- Evil Counterpart: The six prime Sha were imprisoned beneath the temples of the Celestials opposite their aspects: Doubt with Wisdom, Despair with Hope, Anger/Hatred/Violence with Strength, and Fear with Tenacity/Courage
- Final Boss: The Sha of Fear can be seen as the last boss of the first set of Pandaria raids, since it is the last boss of the Terrace of Endless Spring. Players must complete "Heart of Fear" first, and it is a more difficult dungeon than the Mogu'Shan Vaults.
- The Sha of Pride isn't the final boss of the Siege of Orgrimmar itself, but it is the final boss of the raid's "Vale of Eternal Sorrows" section.
- Flunky Boss: A few of them.
- The Sha of Doubt summons Figments of Doubt from each player that heal the boss if they aren't killed in time.
- The Sha of Despair summons lesser Sha to attack players during its fight.
- The Sha of Violence summons Volatile Energy adds.
- The Sha of Anger summons Ire adds, and mind controls various nearby players.
- The Sha of Fear unleashes adds with a frontal shield on players, and drags players to platforms and pits them against corrupted Pandaren crossbowmen.
- The Sha of Hatred while not possessing Taran Zhu unleashes smaller Sha against the player and the Shado-Pan.
- The Sha of Pride summons one add during its attack cycle, and turns players into its flunkies if their pride overcomes them.
- Foreshadowing: Believed so, but no. There are stained glass windows in Ulduar that resemble the Sha and fans were quick to point this out, but lead quest developer Dave Kosak said that it's a happy coincidence. Since then, Blizzard is pleased with how snugly it fits with the lore, so they've made it canon anyway.
- Legitimate example in the Seven Burdens of Shaohao and Y'Shaarj's seven heads. The seventh Sha is confirmed to exist in 5.3, and it is the Sha of Pride.
- Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: The Sha of Violence isn't mentioned in the main storyline at all, though players can read about Shaohao getting rid of his negative emotions (including violence) in an easily-missed scroll.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: The Sha of Fear inadvertantly corrupts Lei Shi the Water Spirit while corrupting the waters of the Terrace of Endless Spring. When Lei Shi is purified of Sha corruption, she heads to the top of the Terrace where she manifests a column of uncorrupted Light to hold off the Sha's power.
- The Heartless: They are the manifestations of various negative aspects given form and can absorb negative emotions and aspects to get stronger.
- Kaleidoscope Eyes: All the prime Sha except the Sha of Doubt and the Sha of Pride.
- Large Ham: Aside from the Sha of Despair all of them to an extent, but especially the Sha of Anger.
- The Man Behind the Man: The Sha of Fear is responsible for the mantid empress being corrupted. The Sha of Anger is behind many of the Sha-related events in Kun-lai along with the Sha of Hatred.
- Motive Decay: Y'Shaarj was an intelligent being with goals in mind and discretion in how it wanted to accomplish them. The sha are Y'Shaarj's power divorced from that discretion, with no greater purpose except to foster negativity to feed and become stronger. The Sha of Fear's actions do terrible damage to the viability of the mantid species, who would normally serve Y'Shaarj without question but are treated by Fear as merely emotional livestock.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: When the Alliance and Horde arrived, the emotions of the war fed sha across the continent, triggering the releases of the Sha of Doubt, Despair and Fear and, indirectly, the other three. Previously, the limited forces of the Shado-Pan could handle what rare, minor incidents of sha activity were occurring, but now they are greatly overwhelmed.
- Pride: Notable for a few reasons. It is the only Sha that Shaohao did not purge from himself, and in the present he considers it the most dangerous of the Sha because, as he says, pride is good, until it becomes bad, and it isn't always easy to tell when that happens.
- Prophet Eyes: The Sha of Doubt always has these while the other prime Sha switch between these and Red Eyes, Take Warning except for the Sha of Pride.
- Purple Is Powerful: Most sha are black highlighted with a white that faintly glows red. The Sha of Fear, the most powerful, having cultivated nourishing terror in an entire civilization, is dark purple with bright red highlights. The Sha of Pride, even more powerful than Fear, is a shade of purple closer to blue.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
- As expected from the embodiment of contempt the Sha of Hatred loves giving these out so much that one of its Dummied Out lines is one directed to Taran Zhu.
- The Sha of Fear gives one to Grand Empress Shek'zeer after her death calling her useless and that her kind are worthless to it.
- The Sha of Pride gives one to Norushen before killing him.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: The Sha of Fear has these. The other prime Sha (plus other major Sha like the Amalgam of Corruption) switch between these eyes and Prophet Eyes except for the Sha of Doubt and the Sha of Pride.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: The larger sha were sealed within the temples of the August Celestials and the Shado-Pan Monastery.
- Summon Magic: In patch 5.1, an artifact/container summons a Sha to Silvermoon City, when normally they do not exist outside of Pandaria.
- Supernatural Gold Eyes: The Sha of Pride has these.
- This Cannot Be!: The Sha of Doubt utters this during its defeats during the Temple of the Jade Serpent daily quests.
- Unstoppable Rage: The Sha of Anger embodies this.
- The Voiceless: The Sha of Despair never talks.
- You Have Failed Me: The Sha of Fear threatens to pull this on Grand Empress Shek'zeer after she keeps demanding more power.