The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You’re playing the game, you’re fighting the bosses, you know the how — but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.
Last week, we looked at the true origins of the mogu as revealed in patch 5.2. Let’s face it — Pandaria is full of mysteries. It’s been feeding us answers to questions very, very slowly, but each answer raises another score of questions as a result. And despite getting answers to the unique origins of the mogu, it still leaves us wondering who Ra-den really was. More importantly, it raises the question of Titan Keepers, and how those Keepers are assigned.
By all rights, Pandaria should have more than Ra-den to watch over it. The mysterious continent is chock-full of Titan technology, and due to the death of Y’shaarj, it presents far more problems than even Ulduar had to offer up in Northrend. With all that said, where are the other Keepers of Pandaria? Do any still exist? Are they in stasis, or guarding something in an area still unexplored? More importantly — all of Pandaria is connected, but how? And how does Emperor Shaohao fit into all of this?
Today’s Know Your Lore is a Tinfoil Hat edition, meaning the following is a look into what has gone before with pure speculation on what is to come as a result. These speculations are merely theories and shouldn’t be taken as fact or official lore.
What is Pandaria?
What do we know about Pandaria? In patch 5.2, it becomes even more clear that this place is an incredibly important piece of Azeroth’s history. The entire continent is literally sitting on top of what appears to be some sort of Titan playground. If this is the case, what was the purpose of this particular Titan facility? From what we can see, it obviously involved the creation of new life. Elegon, the Will of the Emperor, and the waters of the Vale of Eternal Blossoms all clearly point to this particular task.
And unlike Ulduar and Uldum, Pandaria is absolutely teeming with life. It’s not there to lock up an Old God. It’s not there to re-originate the planet. If anything, Pandaria seems to fit most closely with Un’goro Crater and Sholazar Basin — petri dishes of the Titans. But there’s a twist to this particular observation, and it lies within the strange waters of the Vale. Those waters are a dead ringer for the Well of Eternity, and their properties seem to be relatively similar. Given Wrathion’s fascination with the waters, we can presume that they are incredibly important. So what gives?
Far more curious however, is the nature of Pandaria’s creation. Mogu legends tell the tale of Y’shaarj’s demise and the release of the Sha. They speak of the eventual silence of the Titans. When the mogu enslaved Pandaria, there is little doubt that they supposed they were doing the right thing. Lei Shen and the rest of the mogu knew of Ra-den. They knew he’d fallen silent. And as far as Lei Shen was concerned, that was the point at which mogu culture began its slide into failure — with no purpose to complete, the mogu had little reason to exist. The Thunder King rose to power by merit of giving his people a purpose again, something to accomplish.
So here we have Pandaria, and here we have the mogu, Titan creations that are simply following orders. Without orders, they fall into chaos, perhaps victims of the Sha that they may very well have released on Pandaria, according to legends. And even when one rises to give them that order they so desperately need, that creature, the Thunder King, is still in the end just another mogu. His terrifying reign was built on the concept of crushing others until they submitted. And if they refused to submit, his response was to find more power. It’s a very robotic response.