Know Thy Enemy: Portrait of a Thunder King
Pandaria is a land rife with both a tragic and inspiring history. Its denizens have overcome many trials and tribulations rising beyond it to become masters of their own destiny. But, destiny has a way of changing and history is always in the making. As Pandaria emerges into a changed Azeroth, the surviving mogu stir and begin their plans anew. They crave the domain they once held, and, to regain it, they will sweep usurpers and invaders alike into the dust.
In the upcoming patch, a threat the pandaren had thought long buried will reemerge in the form of the once powerful mogu leader, Lei Shen. Joined with the power of the Zandalari, the mogu seek to once more exert their dominance over Pandaria. It falls to the heroes of the Alliance and the Horde to lend their aid in stopping the newly resurrected tyrant and his Zandalari allies.
It’s been a long journey since we first stepped foot in Pandaria. We’ve met the formidable and resourceful pandaren, made friends (or enemies) with the hozen and jinyu; we’ve faced the threat of the mantid, and unleashed long buried horrors upon the land in the form of the sha. But, amidst all of this, there was an even more insidious threat to take notice of. Layers upon layers of conflict can be found on the continent, including the situation involving the mogu and their once and perhaps (more frighteningly) future emperor, Lei Shen.
The First Emperor: Lei Shen
There is much to be said of the ways of the mogu. They are a race that covets power and their history is written in the blood of their enemies. In the past, warring clans and kingdoms fought for dominion over parcels of land, each looking to gain the upper hand against their neighbors. At least, this was the way of the mogu until Lei Shen, who through his own power and cunning became the greatest of the mogu. Born during the Age of a Hundred Kings, Lei Shen was the son of a warlord and possessed a strength that commanded respect from the other mogu. He went on to do what many thought impossible; he united the mogu kings beneath him and declared himself emperor.
Once united, the mogu swept across Pandaria, conquering and subjugating all of the other races—until he encountered the mantid. Knowing the mantid would never bow to his authority, it was Lei Shen who ordered the building of the Serpent Spine to span the length of the empire. The Lorewalkers have been diligent in chronicling the history of Pandaria and have this text on record:
The Thunder King
It has been written that when the great Lei Shen first looked upon the lands of the mantid, he did not feel fear, but inspiration.
As he began to unify his people under a single banner and subjugate the other races of Pandaria, he knew that the mantid would never succumb to his authority. They spoke his language, the language of strength. He commanded his slaves to construct the Serpent's Spine, a magnificent wall that spanned the length of the empire.
It would take many generations to build. But Lei Shen knew how to motivate his subjects. Fear. Fear of the mantid moved mountains, raised armies, secured his empire, and built his wall.
It was also Lei Shen who unified the language and built the awe-inspiring structures found throughout Pandaria, including the extravagant palaces in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms.
The Future Threat Found in the Past
There is much more to be learned of this great enemy. Even now, the Golden Lotus works to ensure the safety of the Vale of Eternal Blossoms. Heroes who have fought with the Zandalari in Kun-Lai’s Valley of Emperors know first-hand that Lei Shen has been risen. The former tyrant lives again and seeks to reclaim his former glory. If you wish to know more, travel to Kun-Lai Summit, speak with the Golden Lotus, brave Mogu’shan Vaults, and keep an eye on the ongoing research of the Lorewalkers. Arm yourselves with knowledge of your enemy, and you’re sure to rise up victorious, because if you fall, all of Pandaria may fall with you.
*Danielle “Nethaera” Vanderlip is a Community Manager for World of Warcraft, and easily gets lost indoors (even when she has a map). Dungeon Finder runners, you have been warned.