This article is a copy of "Mists of Pandaria Bestiary", an official article by Blizzard Entertainment. It presented creatures implemented in the third expansion, World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria and succeeded the World of Warcraft Bestiary, the Burning Crusade Bestiary and the The Wrath of the Lich King Bestiary. The original article, formerly located at http://us.battle.net/wow/en/game/mists-of-pandaria/feature/bestiary [archived copy], did not survive the overhaul of the World of Warcraft Official Website.
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- 1 Virmen, Scavengers and annoyances
- 2 Jinyu, Caretakers of Pandaria’s waters
- 3 Sprites, Pranksters and embodiments of nature
- 4 Mogu, Overlords of old Pandaria
- 5 Hozen, Furious hunter-gatherers
- 6 Mantid, Insectoid reavers from beyond the wall
- 7 Saurok, Reptilian humanoids uplifted by dark magic
- 8 Yaungol, Tribal warriors in search of a new home
- 9 Grummle, Humble wanderers of the mountains
- 10 Sha, Fiends of the heart and soul
Virmen, Scavengers and annoyances
The Virmen are an annoyance with the potential to become a serious problem. Rabbit-like pests with powerful hind legs that send them bounding across terrain, Virmen typically live and scavenge out of sight in caves and burrows. But when the civilized races of Pandaria draw near their warrens, the Virmen are a famine on legs.
Virmen are inveterate lurkers, awaiting the opportunity to grab carrion, garbage, or actual food whenever they can. They’ll steal and eat nearly anything, then scurry away, leaving behind overturned tables and ransacked trash piles. The menace of the Virmen is only slightly increased by their propensity to wield stolen daggers (or, failing that, sharpened pieces of bamboo) in both hands. Though most Virmen avoid direct conflict, they are not unwilling to attack others in pursuit of the sustenance that drives their every waking moment.
Jinyu, Caretakers of Pandaria’s waters
Pandaria is surrounded by and shot through with clear blue waters, and it is in these bodies of water that the amphibious Jinyu flourish. In a sense, the Jinyu maintain and cultivate natural water sources, even creating smaller streams with elemental magic. But the Jinyu also exercise a dominion over Pandaria’s rivers and lakes that can bring them into conflict with other races. They regularly stop up rivers to create their homes and breeding pools, and the multifaceted dwellings they create aren’t simple mud lodges – they are towns and camps that can extend beneath the water.
Jinyu society is caste-based. Jinyu are chosen for their roles (such as warriors or priests) at a young age, and final say in all communal decisions is granted to the elder Jinyu in a tribe. While this rigid structure can seem constricting, the elders’ roles are often deserved: they can speak and listen to the waters that flow throughout Pandaria, making them extremely wise and terribly powerful.
Sprites, Pranksters and embodiments of nature
Mischievous and prevalent, the nature sprites of Pandaria resemble the prevalent features of their surroundings, like shrubs or rocks. Their appearance allows them to easily hide and engage in their favorite pastime – playing tricks on others for inscrutable reasons. Many forest sprites’ pranks – disguising themselves as stools to trip people, or throwing fruit and nuts at wanderers – seem harmless. Mountain spirits’ means of interaction tend to have a higher incidence of violence and death, involving rockslides and falls off cliffs.
Rumor has it that more deadly, unique varieties of sprites have emerged in Sha-tainted areas. If sprites’ behavior is simply a reflection of the environments that surround them, any such creatures must be monumentally dangerous.
Mogu, Overlords of old Pandaria
The land known as Pandaria today was not always named for the Pandaren people. In ages past, the Mogu ruled. Possessed of immense size and strength, they built an empire based on might, in which the weak – other races – were subjugated, and the strong – always Mogu – ascended to power. Imposing stone monuments and titanic siege engines displayed the power of the Mogu to the rest of the land. They turned their strength on the lesser inhabitants of Pandaria, shaping flesh to their whims as they shaped rock.
The Mogu were overthrown in a desperate revolution led by the Pandaren, but their legacy persists in thousand year-old ruins too immense to fall. Indeed, some of the Mogu were too great to topple with their empire. As Pandaria emerges into a changed Azeroth, the surviving Mogu have begun to stir. They crave the domain they once held, and, to regain it, they will sweep usurpers and invaders alike into the dust.
Hozen, Furious hunter-gatherers
The Hozen are uncannily dexterous foragers and hunters who dwell in clans among treetops and mountains of Pandaria. They’re extremely short-lived (their elders are often no older than twenty) and their society lacks roots (and rules) as a result. Uncouth and impulsive, Hozen nonetheless play, live and squabble together…at least until their clans grow so large that they collapse into multiple smaller groups.
The other races of Pandaria are careful to avoid Hozen hunting grounds, as their notoriously short tempers grow even shorter when their hunger pushes entire clans, including elderly and young Hozen, to ravage food sources outside of their territory, either gathering enough food or seeing enough Hozen die in the process to ensure the survivors’ continued health.
Mantid, Insectoid reavers from beyond the wall
The Mantid people were once deemed a threat so great that the ancient Mogu who ruled Pandaria dedicated several generations to the construction of a zone-spanning wall solely to keep them at bay. Yet, the insectoid Mantid are no hive mind. They are intelligent creatures who organize themselves by caste, and claim total obedience to an Empress of their race. They are the builders of elaborate cities that range across Pandaria’s steppes. It is the manner of these cities’ construction that makes the Mantid so dangerous.
The cycle of Mantid birthing and building revolves around the Kunchong, a colossal insect large enough to threaten whole towns by itself. The Mantid revere this enormous creature, and when instinct compels it to stampede throughout the continent, eating earth, trees, and lakes, they follow behind, collecting the amber-colored resin it secretes, birthing their young and creating their homes in its wake. If other races’ homes are trampled by the Kunchong, it is of little consequence to the Mantid. Where the Kunchong’s shadow falls, they walk. Where they walk, the land is transformed.
Saurok, Reptilian humanoids uplifted by dark magic
In the search for shock troops to consolidate their hold over ancient Pandaria, the Mogu turned to an unlikely source: the fauna of the Vale of Eternal Blossoms. The Mogu chose several particularly sturdy varieties of local reptiles, and twisted them in body and mind, imbuing them with an upright gait and sufficient intelligence to wield weapons. But these reptilian servitors were spectacularly ineffective: they attacked their commanders, fled from battles, and prized plunder over obedience. Furious, the Mogu slaughtered them in great numbers and crushed their breeding chambers…yet, today, the experiments outnumber their creators.
After the Mogu withdrew from the Pandaren empire, their creations, the Saurok, survived by scrounging and hiding in the wild places of Pandaria. As lone bandits possessed of brute strength and innate aggression, the Saurok can be dangerous enough – but they have slowly begun to organize in roving warbands. Unburdened by ‘civilized’ notions of property, these raiders charge into battle, seeking the spoils of softer races.
Yaungol, Tribal warriors in search of a new home
Ten thousand years ago, a number of tauren tribes were stranded on the western slopes of the new Pandaren continent. Clever and hardy, forced to adapt to a harsh land, they were able to eke out a life in these dangerous environs. They became the yaungol. They counted the lands of the Townlong Steppes among their hunting grounds. There they roamed, in the dangerous wilds beyond the Pandaren wall.
Recent mantid attacks have led many yaungol warlords to the realization that the best hope for their people was to breach the wall and seek new homes in the safer environs of the Kun-Lai Summit. The Shado-Pan, outnumbered and already straining to fight off mantid assaults and a sha uprising, were unable to stop the incursion. The yaungol horde has arrived in Kun-Lai, bringing war with them. It now falls to the Alliance and the Horde to drive back the yaungol and aid the Shado-Pan in securing the breached wall.
Grummle, Humble wanderers of the mountains
High among the cloud-topped mountains of Pandaria live the grummles. These simple, tiny humanoids are a humble folk content to wander and transport goods throughout the twisty, windy trails of the Kun-Lai Summit. In addition to their great knowledge of the mountains, the superstitious grummles rely on luck and good fortune to see them through the difficult high passes.
Grummles travel in packs. They do not have a centralized government so much as an arrangement of caravan masters who handle business. The grummles have a long-standing arrangement with the Shado-Pan which grants the grummles protection on the perilous mountain roads from predators, bandits, and hozen in exchange for transporting perishable goods to the great wall. This centuries-old trade route, known as the Burlap Trail, has been the source of much prosperity for both the Shado-Pan and the grummles.
Sha, Fiends of the heart and soul
Ten thousand years ago, Shaohao, the last Pandaren emperor, sought to rule wisely, that he might save Pandaria from ruin. To better his people, Shaohao undertook a grand quest to strip away his own negative emotions. He succeeded, and the doubt, anger, fear and still more that he plucked from himself was imprisoned beneath the earth. But it did not lie still. It seeped into the very land Shaohao hoped to protect.
In the heart of Pandaria, Shaohao’s darkness – the Sha – waited, feeding off every harsh word, angry fist or pang of despair. The Pandaren have trained themselves in compassion, patience, and love of life in order to limit their contribution to the power of the Sha, but with the arrival of violent outsiders on Pandaria, all their care may be for naught.
It is not clear if the Sha have an agenda, but there is no doubt that they exist in disharmony with life. Wherever they lurk, they bring and delight in discord and death in a cycle that seems difficult for even the greatest heroes to end. Swords cannot slash doubt. Armor cannot deflect hatred.