Short Story: The Trial of the Red Blossoms

Community Manager
We just added a brand-new short story to the Destination: Pandaria section of the World of Warcraft community site.

    They are the Sword in the Shadows. The Watchers on the Wall. The only line of defense against the evils that threaten Pandaria.

    They are the Shado-pan.

    Every seven seasons, the trees within the Shado-pan Monastery bloom crimson – a sign that those who wish to join the secretive order must pass through a grueling ordeal known as the Trial of Red Blossoms. Only those rare and favored few that survive may have a chance of one day calling themselves Shado-pan.

    Some hopefuls seek glory. Others seek battle.

    For one young pandaren thief, the Trial is a punishment for his crimes, a stay of execution, and a chance at redemption.


Check out The Trial of the Red Blossoms now! Read the story on our website, or download it for your e-reader in the convenient EPUB format to enjoy on-the-go or while nestled in your comfiest reading spot.
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90 Blood Elf Warlock
9260
Hmm, interesting. Are there going to be more of these for the other factions?

And is that illustration in the background by Alex Horley?
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90 Human Paladin
17275
Those Shado-Pan really don't mess around.

Good stuff.
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90 Night Elf Hunter
18210
I can't believe I read the whole thing. That was actually pretty good.

Miles beyond the stuff we see out of Metzen.
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...I am slightly mortified by the Shado-Pan right now...

...I... I don't think I want their rep any more...
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20 Worgen Rogue
9810
02/14/2013 06:40 PMPosted by Bashiok
They are the Sword in the Shadows. The Watchers on the Wall.


They are the fire that burns against the cold, the light that brings the dawn, the horn that wakes the sleepers, the shield that guards the realms of men. They pledge their life and honor to the Night's Watch, er, strike that, Shado-Pan, for this night and all the nights to come.
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90 Dwarf Paladin
15650
The story as a whole did a lot to break the "Pandaland is nothing but rainbow and happy smiles" perspective. It was interesting to see another perspective of the Pandaren, that they can be cold and callous even to their own family.
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90 Undead Warlock
16285
Posted it in the comments section for the article and I'll post it again here, am I the only one who was thinking that "Ten of the Peppered Scroll" would end up being Tenwu of the Red Smoke?
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90 Draenei Shaman
17870
02/15/2013 03:47 PMPosted by Malefacent
Posted it in the comments section for the article and I'll post it again here, am I the only one who was thinking that "Ten of the Peppered Scroll" would end up being Tenwu of the Red Smoke?


Very good observation!
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90 Dwarf Warrior
16335
If not for the fact that it takes place at the same time as the Alliance and Horde are arriving on Pandaria, I'd be reading more into that.
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90 Draenei Warrior
14070
02/15/2013 03:47 PMPosted by Malefacent
Posted it in the comments section for the article and I'll post it again here, am I the only one who was thinking that "Ten of the Peppered Scroll" would end up being Tenwu of the Red Smoke?


I thought that myself, but seeing as how the events of this short story take place at the same time we make our way onto Pandaria, that thought was quickly shot down. Still, it was a very well written short story; it had action, suspense, and even comedy (I'll never look at Den Den the same way again). What's more, I'll never look at the Shado-pan the same way again because damn, I didn't think they were THAT hardcore.
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90 Draenei Paladin
10400
I am reforming my opinion on how awesome the Shado-Pan are.
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
18115
02/15/2013 03:47 PMPosted by Malefacent
Posted it in the comments section for the article and I'll post it again here, am I the only one who was thinking that "Ten of the Peppered Scroll" would end up being Tenwu of the Red Smoke?


I was thinking the same thing too, I was kind of disappointed when they revealed that the Horde and Alliance were already landing in Jade Forest.

My other thought is that the Shado-pan are very similar to 40k Space Marine Chapters when it comes to recruitment initiation of new recruits.

Which, to be honest, kicks up the hardcore factor for me with them.
Edited by Thilena on 2/15/2013 7:15 PM PST
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Remind me to never go "At War" with the Shado-Pan.
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90 Orc Warlock
10735
02/16/2013 01:12 PMPosted by Rhonwen
Remind me to never go "At War" with the Shado-Pan.


Someone should try this, I bet they just get skewered to the wall and and can't do anything for three days while their toon dies slowly.

Three initiates every seven years doesn't seem like enough though. Do they take in a new class each day for several days, or is there some other way they induct trainees?
Edited by Mohrrk on 2/18/2013 6:38 PM PST
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90 Dwarf Warrior
16335
Well, it was whittled down to three from however many they started with. Even then, the limiting factor was the coins, of which there were six (two went unclaimed, and one student died from the snakebite).
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It's a shame that this isn't how actual books go. This was a great story.
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90 Tauren Shaman
7365
It is definitely a good read, but I think I lost a good bit of respect for the Shado-Pan with how callous and short-sighted they came off as. I know they are pretty no-nonsense, but some of the things they did was pretty dumb in the grand scheme of things (There's also a bit of hypocrisy involved).

Their whole 'spartan' way of inducting new members seemed really stupid to me, sure they need the best of the best, but that sort of thing only really works in purely warrior cultures (which Pandarens clearly aren't), and there's a saying about 'diamonds in the rough'. Allowing the initiates to die off like that just seems... counter-productive. Especially since they were CHILDREN that were already pre-selected by the senior members anyway.

Also didn't like how Yalia kept whining about 'tradition', but tradition is only good when there is no need for changes -- and given the circumstances of Pandaria as a whole, it is definitely time for some change.

One last thing that bugged me was how none of the characters, not even Ten or the other initiates, cared one whit about the fallen initiates. It makes me question the whole 'brotherhood' aspect of the organization; Even Death Knights had it better. Sorta.
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90 Draenei Death Knight
14390
It is definitely a good read, but I think I lost a good bit of respect for the Shado-Pan with how callous and short-sighted they came off as. I know they are pretty no-nonsense, but some of the things they did was pretty dumb in the grand scheme of things (There's also a bit of hypocrisy involved).

Their whole 'spartan' way of inducting new members seemed really stupid to me, sure they need the best of the best, but that sort of thing only really works in purely warrior cultures (which Pandarens clearly aren't), and there's a saying about 'diamonds in the rough'. Allowing the initiates to die off like that just seems... counter-productive. Especially since they were CHILDREN that were already pre-selected by the senior members anyway.

Also didn't like how Yalia kept whining about 'tradition', but tradition is only good when there is no need for changes -- and given the circumstances of Pandaria as a whole, it is definitely time for some change.

One last thing that bugged me was how none of the characters, not even Ten or the other initiates, cared one whit about the fallen initiates. It makes me question the whole 'brotherhood' aspect of the organization; Even Death Knights had it better. Sorta.


I feel the same way.

What they threatened to do to the child thief who only stole food so he didn't starve was beyond cruel.

This makes the shado pan out to be just as bad as the mogu.

Maybe the ancient tradition of the shado pan was based on the mogu's warrior culture?
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