Contrary to the other artifact lore books, this one doesn't have a set author.
Fu Zan, the Wanderer's Companion
FU ZAN, THE WANDERER'S COMPANION
You may have heard that this legendary staff was once carried by a hozen. That concerned us. A lot. We examined it thoroughly, and you will be pleased to hear that there was no damage done to this artifact (that we cannot fix).
And as it turns out, we weren't giving the Monkey King enough credit. He is not the most reverent creature on Azeroth, but he has a healthy respect for this weapon. He even helped us understand its true power. Fu Zan has certainly been through a strange journey.
Long ago, Keeper Freya sculpted an ethereal plane of existence, the Emerald Dream, to act as a guide for Azeroth's natural life. She crafted and planted one tree near the powerful energy of the Vale of Eternal Blossoms.
It grew strong and tall, drinking deeply from the vale's resonant power. More trees arose around it. Lush forests, both in the Dream and in the waking world, sprang to life across the region. Keeper Freya named the tree Fu Zan and shaped one of its branches into a walking stick for her long journeys.
From the beginning, this staff has accompanied legendary creatures and immortal spirits as they carried out important, lasting work all across Azeroth.
It also fell into the possession of the Monkey King. That came later.
In the early days of Azeroth revival, natural life flourished strongly in the enclaves where the keeper Freya did her most intensive work. A small number of exceptional wild animals grew far beyond expectations, showing such remarkable power that they would soon be known as the Wild Gods.
Each of these beings had a different personality, but Freya noticed that four in particular shared a deep commitment to peace and wisdom. These four-a serpent, an ox, a crane, and a tiger-had gathered near the Vale of Eternal Blossoms. Freya knew their compassion would aid the region well. Indeed, they would be called the August Celestials by the inhabitants of Pandaria.
One day, Freya came to the celestials with concern in her heart. There was a great darkness in the north, she told them, and she believed a confrontation was near. She gave them her staff for safekeeping. "If I do not see you again, return this staff to Azeroth, to one of its children," she said. "Give it to someone who loathes battle and loves peace."
Freya never returned. Yu'lon, the Jade Serpent, vowed to keep the staff safe. For thousands of years, even during the dark reign of the mogu empire, she did just that.
In the south, near the Vale of Eternal Blossoms, many new creatures arose, forming tribes, villages, and even empires. There were the jinyu, the pandaren, the hozen, and others.
Yu'lon suspected that, if Fu Zan would pass to one of these beings, it would go to a jinyu or a pandaren. Surely the hozen were too innately violent to be trusted with such a gift. They were often selfish and shortsighted, unable to work together long enough to build a proper civilization of their own.
But as time passed, Yu'lon questioned her assumptions. There were different forms of wisdom and courage, were there not? It was easy to see the short-lived, short-tempered hozen as troublemakers, but they lived full lives-wild lives-in the years they had.
Yu'lon felt Fu Zan begin to awaken. It needed a new companion. The Jade Serpent knew that soon she would honor Freya's wishes and allow a worthy mortal to carry Fu Zan. And she was becoming certain that it needed to be given to a hozen.
"Give it to someone who loathes battle and loves peace."
Freya's words became clear the moment Yu'lon laid eyes upon one exceptional hozen. He called himself the Monkey King.
Long ago, only a few years before the War of the Ancients, he had become the leader of an ungovernable people. He had risen to power without spilling a single drop of blood. He was beloved by every hozen tribe.
How had he done this? After all, hozen fought endlessly. Constantly. For the simplest reasons. Any disagreement meant physical violence.
The Monkey King knew this. So he told the hozen tribes, "I am the Monkey King. Your tribe supports me with all its heart." That was all. When a single hozen would question him, he would tell them that their tribe's leader had already agreed to it. No hozen wanted to challenge their leader on a whim-and be in a fight-so they declared, "You are the Monkey King."
When the tribe leaders learned his name, all of their subjects were already calling him the Monkey King. They were confused, but they did not want to fight their people, so they did not challenge him either. The Monkey King's wild claim, his lie, eventually became true because nobody dared to disagree with it.
Soon tribal fighting had ceased. The Monkey King passed judgment on all disputes. The hozen obeyed.
The Jade Serpent could see the Monkey King's motivation. It was simple: he disliked the sight of blood. At the most fundamental level, this was a creature who loathed battle and loved peace. And from that, he had achieved what no other hozen ever had.
Yu'lon needed to know how deep the Monkey King's cleverness ran. She visited him in disguise. All the Monkey King saw was another hozen... but this one did not call him king or bow before him. He demanded that she show respect.
Instead, the newcomer asked him a riddle, telling him that a true king would have no trouble answering it. He snapped out the correct answer in seconds. She gave him another. He answered again. On and on they went, for three days and three nights. The Monkey King grew enraged, but even in his anger, he continued to answer her questions.
Yu'lon was convinced. Violence and tyranny were not in the Monkey King's nature, or he would have tried to shut her up with force long ago. She revealed her true form-which caused considerable chaos in that hozen village-and presented him with Fu Zan.
The Jade Serpent told him the story of Freya and how the staff had come to be. Then she warned him: she sensed that, one day, his cleverness would not be enough to stop evil. When that day came, he would need to act decisively.
The Monkey King did not believe her. But he did think the staff was very, very pretty.
With Fu Zan in his grasp, the Monkey King's authority over the hozen became absolute. He could bend like a willow in the wind, avoiding any blow from a challenger to the throne. The staff was as light as a feather, and yet anyone who tried to steal it found they could not lift it an inch. It was his; no one else was allowed to wield it.
But there was a serious problem with Fu Zan. To look regal while carrying it, the Monkey King needed to use two hands. That meant he had no free hand for his most prized possession, a small keg that he always kept filled with brew.
But that was easy to solve. The Monkey King had two metal bands added to the end of Fu Zan and hung his keg from them. Luckily, the staff was not permanently damaged.
The Monkey King became fast friends with a young pandaren prince, Shaohao. The day of Shaohao's coronation, the new emperor learned that all of the land was at risk of being destroyed by the Burning Legion's first invasion of Azeroth.
The Monkey King believed that Yu'lon's prophecy had come to pass: this was the day he needed to face evil directly. He declared that he would stay by Shaohao's side until the end.
But fate had other plans. A great, ill wind roared from the east and carried the Monkey King far away.
The Monkey King was blown into the lands of the mantid. All of his cleverness counted for nothing there. He was helpless, about to die at their hands, when Shaohao rescued him. The Monkey King was enraged, but the mantid were not his enemy. Shaohao reminded him that the Burning Legion was the true threat.
And in the end, it was not violence that saved the peoples of Pandaria. Shaohao released his spirit to the land, shrouding it in mist and protecting it from the destruction of the Sundering.
The Monkey King went home and hurled Fu Zan into a river in a fit of rage. His friend had vanished, and the Monkey King had seemingly failed Yu'lon's prophecy.
Eventually he went to the river to retrieve the staff, but only because those waters were sacred for a jinyu tribe, and they could not remove it themselves-it was too heavy. It still belonged to the Monkey King.
After the Sundering, Pandaria was isolated from the rest of the world. The emperor was gone. There would never be another.
Some believed that all the other lands had been destroyed. Others wanted to explore the world beyond the mists. And a few wanted to claim Pandaria for themselves. With force.
Not much has been written of this brief surge of would-be tyrants. Very few of Pandaria's denizens were harmed by any of them. Whether they were mogu warlords, fringe hozen tribes, or even brutal yaungol raiders, none of them ever launched a true campaign of conquest. Before they could, they were always approached by a mysterious hozen who would chatter endlessly about a hidden cache of artifacts that had granted him untold power. He could demonstrate miracles-no weapon could touch him, no matter how many combatants tried to attack him.
It was very convincing. These ambitious, greedy beings would eagerly follow the Monkey King's directions. Sometimes they would walk off a cliff. Sometimes they would find themselves ambushed by Shado-Pan. In any case, their story always came to a quick end, and the Monkey King would stride away, Fu Zan resting easily across his shoulders.
The Monkey King had never had such fun. Turning evil beings into stumbling fools became his most cherished pastime for years. He saw it as his way of honoring his old friend Shaohao, who now watched over the land but could no longer protect Pandaria's peoples directly.
But just as Yu'lon had told him, his cleverness would one day not be enough to defeat evil.
A mogu despot called the Jade Warlord had followed the Monkey King's directions, traveling deep into a tomb beneath Kun-Lai. But rather than finding nothing--as the hozen had expected--the Jade Warlord found an ancient cache of knowledge written by the Thunder King, Lei Shen. In the warlord's hands, it would grant him terrible, awful power.
The Monkey King knew he had made a mistake... and as the ground began to shake, he knew there was no time for anyone else to stop the mogu. He took Fu Zan and went into the tomb to deal with the problem directly.
The Monkey King loathed violence. He detested it. But he also knew he was the only one who could oppose the Jade Warlord before it was too late.
The two of them dueled beneath Kun-Lai for hours. For years, Fu Zan had been an aid to the Monkey King's mischief-that proved to be excellent practice for avoiding the powerful, lethal magic the mogu soon unleashed.
The Monkey King believed he would not leave the tomb alive that day. Indeed, he did not. But he was not killed. The Jade Warlord had no command of his new power, and an errant spell did what neither of them expected: it froze them both in jade. They remained there, locked in battle, for almost ten thousand years, able to communicate all the while.
That must have been a fate worse than death for the mogu.
Once the Monkey King was freed, he traveled to the Timeless Isle and watched as the August Celestials taught the champions of Azeroth lessons in strength, endurance, courage, and wisdom. After some time had passed, the Monkey King sensed that his travels with Fu Zan were nearing their end. So, he traveled to the temple of Yu'lon and passed the staff back into her care so that one day it can again be given up to another who is worthy to wield it.
He was even happy to hear that it would soon be carried into battle again.
Sheilun, Staff of the Mists
SHEILUN, STAFF OF THE MISTS
Do you know of Shaohao? Of Kang, the Fist of First Dawn? Of Xuen, the White Tiger? Do you know of the terrible trials the pandaren people overcame thousands of years ago?
Sheilun is living proof that conflict can be endured, that tyranny can be overcome, that disaster can be averted... and that a caring heart can make it all possible. Sheilun will aid you greatly in the tribulations to come. Carry it with pride, and use it to bring your comrades home alive.
"It feels strange to call Sheilun powerful, does it not? You could not use it to flatten a mountain with a single blow, nor could you use it to burn a thousand enemies alive with a single thought. Others might find that disappointing. But you are a monk. You know power takes many forms. Others desire the might of a waterfall crashing down on the rocks. You seek the calm, inevitable force of a deep river, the kind that carves canyons into the toughest stone and carries away warriors on its currents without so much as a ripple. Sheilun is the embodiment of that idea."
-Master Xunsu, Mistweaver of the Terrace of Endless Spring
This staff has seen many battles in Pandaria. It was there when a slave toppled an empire of slavemasters. It was there when an emperor saved an entire continent from death.
Sheilun contains the legacy of ancient days and ancient spirits. In the hands of those who help others, this staff is very powerful indeed.
Long before the Sundering, long before the southern end of Azeroth was known as Pandaria, there was an explosion of life in a particular valley. Four animal spirits were drawn to that place, the Vale of Eternal Blossoms, and they were in awe at its potential... and its power. At that time, dark forces had eyes on the vale's secrets. A titan keeper and his armies of mogu protected the land from the mantid and other outside threats, but there was no guidance for what was growing within.
These four spirits chose to make this place their home. They were Xuen, the White Tiger; Yu'lon, the Jade Serpent; Chi-Ji, the Red Crane; and Niuzao, the Black Ox. They would become known as the August Celestials.
Under their care, many different life forms emerged near the Vale of Eternal Blossoms. Among them were the wise jinyu, the mischievous hozen, and the peaceful pandaren. They worshipped the August Celestials, and in return, the spirits offered them knowledge and guidance. For a time, there was peace.
The peace of the vale did not last. The terror of the Thunder King shattered everything.
A mogu warlord named Lei Shen revolted against his master, the keeper Ra-den, seizing his power and crowning himself the emperor of all mogu... and of all who lived within his domain. He enslaved those who surrendered and killed those who did not. First he conquered the small, fledgling jinyu empire and their hozen rivals. The pandaren fled to the harsh climate of Kun-Lai Summit, seeking the protection of Xuen, the White Tiger.
Xuen offered them sanctuary for a time. But soon, Lei Shen brought an army to the Kun-Lai foothills. Rather than launching an attack, he issued a challenge: Xuen would come forth and duel with the Thunder King. Victory meant the pandaren would live free. Defeat meant the enslavement of them all. Refusal meant summary execution.
Xuen accepted the challenge. The duel between the celestial of strength and the Thunder King shook the skies for days. In the end, Xuen fell. Lei Shen did not have him killed; instead he took him to the highest peak, Mount Neverest, and had him bound there, forced to watch the pandaren being led into an era of slavery that would last for thousands of years.
But although Xuen was imprisoned, he was not idle. It is here that the story of this staff truly begins.
For millennia, Xuen was alone, able to do nothing but watch the mogu empire inflict unforgivable cruelty on its slaves. Then he saw the seeds of revolution take hold.
It began with a single pandaren, Kang, who believed the mogu empire's reliance on slave labor made it weak. He learned how to fight without weapons, using the strength of his opponents against them, and taught it to many others. Soon he and his followers escaped to Kun-Lai, where they honed their abilities and philosophies in secret. One day Kang climbed to the top of Mount Neverest to meditate, and instead found Xuen.
The White Tiger's isolation had not made him angry or bitter. It had simply made him eager to help. He guided Kang and the other novice monks in the ways of strength-not simply the strength of raw power, but the strength of endurance. "Look to the little life you can find in these heights," Xuen told him, "and you will know strength."
Kang looked, and saw scattered, isolated trees growing along the Kun-Lai ridgelines. They were twisted and gnarled, but he soon understood they needed to be. They had to endure biting winds and harsh sleet. Their trunks needed to be sturdy and strong, their roots deep.
It was those trees that formed the walls of the monks' monastery and supplied the wood from which they crafted their first weapons-not blades, as their enemies had, but staves. Kang brought his to Xuen, who blessed it. Kang named it "Sheilun," after his son, who had died to the mogu's cruelty years before.
Kang carried Sheilun for years, all throughout the Pandaren Revolution. The staff did not win the war. It was Kang's words that galvanized the mogu's slaves, and it was Kang's will that drove him onward when all seemed lost. On some days, Sheilun was a mere walking stick. But some days it was all that kept the mogu's swords and axes from carving his heart from his chest.
Sheilun was there the day Kang died, as he gave his life to topple the last mogu emperor. With that sacrifice, the former slave freed all of Pandaria.
Sheilun was brought back to the monastery in the mountains, serving as a quiet symbol of what could be accomplished through the strength of inner harmony. The monastery itself, however, was not quiet at all. It had never been busier.
Xuen warned the monks that, although they were free, they had inherited the responsibility to protect Pandaria from the evil minds that wished to claim it. Every one hundred years, the mantid--dangerous insectoid creatures--would swarm the land. All that stood in their way were the brave souls who would fight atop the Serpent's Spine, a great wall protecting Pandaria from the mantid's ravaging mayhem.
The monks who remained in Kun-Lai dedicated themselves to preparing for this threat. And every one hundred years, pandaren monks lined the top of the Serpent's Spine to face the overwhelming waves of mantid and risk their lives to protect their land. Xuen would always allow one mistweaver to carry Sheilun into this centennial battle.
It is impossible to say how many lives were saved by those who carried this staff. It is impossible to say how many of its bearers died in service to Pandaria. But their sacrifices were not in vain. The wall still stands, even today.
Almost ten thousand years ago, this staff passed into the possession of the last emperor of Pandaria. Perhaps you've heard his story. But please understand: before Emperor Shaohao became a legend, he was an untested, uncertain young pandaren, completely unaware of the burdens he would bear.
On the day of Shaohao's coronation, a monk from Kun-Lai presented him with the gift of Sheilun. The new emperor did not know its importance. He did not even recognize the monk as being sent by Xuen, the White Tiger; he merely thought it was a pretty ornament. Shaohao believed he was destined for a life of comfort and ease. Pandaria had been a peaceful land for generations. Why would he believe that would change?
A jinyu waterspeaker received a vision of the future that shook Shaohao's confidence: soon, very soon, an army of demons would invade Azeroth, and the damage would be catastrophic. Pandaria would not survive the devastation that would follow.
Shaohao was greatly distressed. He sought out the advice of Yu'lon, the Jade Serpent, who told him he would save no one if he did not rein in his emotions, which were out of control and dangerous.
Shaohao would travel Pandaria in search of the wisdom that would save his land. This staff, Xuen's gift, it accompanied him. This journey would change Pandaria forever.
Shaohao set out on his travels with his friend, the mischievous and playful Monkey King. Before they got far, a great wind surrounded them. The Monkey King was carried away, disappearing into the distance. It was an event unlike any Shaohao had ever seen, and he soon found himself struggling to keep up.
Doubt and despair rose up in the emperor's mind... and then they rose up outside of his mind, taking form as monstrous creatures. When the Jade Serpent told him his emotions were dangerous, she had been speaking of the sha, ancient shadows of a fallen Old God. The terrifying Sha of Doubt and the Sha of Despair confronted Shaohao. To dispel them, Shaohao had to listen to Chi-Ji, the Red Crane, and let go of those emotions, ridding himself of their burdens.
He continued his pursuit of his friend, following him all the way across the Serpent's Spine and into the land of the mantid.
When Shaohao looked upon the mantid lands from the Serpent's Spine, he was frozen with fear. To cross into their territory was to risk almost certain death. The Sha of Fear held him immobile, paralyzing his thoughts. Niuzao, the Black Ox, was there to remind him that fear only controlled his mind, not his feet. Shaohao understood, wrested himself free of fear, and walked on.
Shaohao saved the Monkey King from the mantid's clutches and brought them both back to safety. Now, without fear or despair or doubt, Shaohao believed himself ready to face the Burning Legion's might.
But he saw no need to face it alone. He wanted an army to command, so he climbed Kun-Lai... and finally came face to face with Xuen.
The monastery atop Kun-Lai had changed over the years. What had once been the only refuge for free minds was now the training grounds for the most dedicated fighters in the land. These were the souls who trained to fight the mantid and all of Pandaria's other enemies.
Shaohao came to them confidently, demanding that they submit to his authority. Xuen saw that he was carrying his coronation gift-this staff, Sheilun-but that it had been nothing more to him than a walking stick. The White Tiger also saw that the emperor had rid himself of a great many dangerous emotions... but not anger. No, Shaohao's anger toward the Legion made him brash and reckless.
"Why do you fight?" Xuen asked.
"To destroy demon hordes! To crush those that oppose me!" Shaohao declared.
Xuen offered a simple challenge: "Strike a single one of these monks, and you will have command of them all." Shaohao accepted. He swung Sheilun over and over again, but he struck nothing at all. The monks were too skilled. They easily evaded him.
Shaohao's humiliation and anger built up, and then they exploded. A great darkness burst forth from him, and in his rage, Shaohao broke Sheilun over his knee and lashed out with the power of the Sha of Anger. When he regained his senses, a monk lay dead, the victim of Shaohao's unchecked aggression.
Xuen watched the emperor's heart break for the life he had taken. And then Shaohao knelt humbly, accepting his failure, ridding himself of anger forever.
"Again I ask, why do you fight?" Xuen said.
"For the people I protect," Shaohao replied. "For them, I would give my final breath."
Shaohao was now ready to fulfill his destiny. He took one half of the broken staff and returned to the Vale of Eternal Blossoms, prepared to save Pandaria.
The Legion had invaded to the north. A great battle was taking place at the Well of Eternity. And soon, very soon, it would end.
Shaohao returned to his people and tried to give them confidence, but there was none to be given. The Sundering was at hand, and its fury would change the face of Azeroth forever. There was nothing that could be done to stop it.
All Shaohao could do was shield them from annihilation. With Sheilun in his grasp, Shaohao committed his final breath to protecting his land and all who lived within it. This staff had saved countless lives before-and in one moment, it saved countless more.
Free of all his burdens and negative emotions, Shaohao became one with the land. Through Sheilun, his spirit was transformed, surrounding Pandaria as a great mist.
Pandaria drifted away, immune to the chaos that gripped the rest of the world. The Sundering passed the land by, and for thousands of years, the mists would continue to protect Pandaria.
But although Shaohao disappeared that day, Sheilun remained.
Sheilun was found shortly after Shaohao's ascension. Monks brought it to the Terrace of Endless Spring for safekeeping, where it stayed for millennia.
Several generations ago, a mistweaver master wrote at length about its history and meaning.
"It was not Sheilun that prompted Shaohao to make his sacrifice. It was not Sheilun that inspired Kang's revolution that freed his people. It was not Sheilun that kept the Serpent's Spine standing against countless mantid cycles. But it was there for all of those events, in the possession of people who could act. It is the perfect companion to those willing to sacrifice everything in order to save others. And I believe it has not yet found its final bearer."
-Master Xunsu, Mistweaver of the Terrace of Endless Spring
Fists of the Heavens
FISTS OF THE HEAVENS
The last thing Azeroth needed, on top of all its other problems, was to suffer another elemental invasion. It was good that you cut down Typhinius so quickly. Had he gone unopposed, he might have become truly unstoppable once he mastered these weapons.
But now the Fists of the Heavens are in your hands. You have a balanced heart; you seek harmony in all things. There is perhaps no other creature on Azeroth more capable of wielding this hurricane of power than you.
It has not been long since Uldum was revealed to the world, and thus, many fragments of the tol'vir's history are still hidden from us. Still, it is becoming clear: the Fists of the Heavens are some of the finest weapons their society ever crafted. And they are also some of the most dangerous artifacts the world has ever seen.
There are tales of an ancient weaponsmith, a master without peer among the tol'vir. His name was Irmaat. His name is known to all surviving tol'vir as one of the most exceptional minds to have lived in Uldum... and also as a cautionary lesson. Irmaat was driven to create incredible works, but his pride turned out to be his undoing.
The titans created the tol'vir to protect key locations across Azeroth. Over the millennia, some fell to the forces of darkness. For a very, very long time, Uldum did not. Irmaat, its weaponsmith, worked tirelessly to arm his brethren with the finest instruments possible.
For Irmaat, his work was not simply a duty. It was his calling. He saw his hands as extensions of the titans' will, and he wanted nothing less than to give his creations the ability to restore order to all chaos. He began to imbue his weapons with magic, using different sources of power to inspire him.
The power of air in particular held a special interest to him. He secretly observed the Skywall, the realm of air in the Elemental Plane, and studied the way its creatures lived and fought. Irmaat forged four scimitars, representing four extraordinary djinn lords. And then, in a ritual that stunned the tol'vir with its audacity, Irmaat summoned and bound those very four lords within the weapons themselves. Their power now belonged to the tol'vir.
Irmaat's four scimitars became highly coveted among tol'vir warriors. Stories of their power rapidly spread, and messengers came from other tol'vir outposts, begging Irmaat for more of those wonders.
But the weaponsmith's satisfaction was short-lived. He had accomplished something great, but it was not perfect. Irmaat had seen for himself the true elemental power of the Skywall. Even the captured might of four djinns was but a light breeze compared to the ultimate power of that realm.
Irmaat carefully began crafting two new weapons. Not scimitars this time. Two smaller weapons, one to be held in each hand. He named them Al'burq and Alra'ed, and he intended for them to control a power that, by its nature, could never be tamed.
After Irmaat forged his new weapons, he declared them to be his finest work. These "fists of the heavens" would be capable of commanding the wind itself. All that was left was to capture the ultimate power within the Skywall: the elemental lord Al'Akir.
Irmaat began the ritual slowly, not wanting to warn the Windlord of his plan. It took weeks of preparation, but once he was ready, it was over in an instant. The weaponsmith cast his spell, intending to open a portal to the Skywall and bind Al'Akir's essence. There was a great flash of light and a great rush of air, and when it was done, Irmaat could feel his weapons, Al'burq and Alra'ed, trembling with elemental power.
He believed he had succeeded. He believed he had accomplished the impossible. His surety was what led to his death.
Of all the elemental lords, Al'Akir was known to be the cleverest. When Irmaat captured four of his most prized lieutenants, the Windlord was filled with wrath, but he recognized an opportunity to exact vengeance. He suspected that Irmaat's pride would drive him onward.
When Irmaat's spell concluded, he felt Al'Akir's power quivering. But it was not the elemental lord's spirit; it was Al'Akir's trap. When Irmaat hefted his two weapons and tested the power within them, uncontrollable fury spilled forth.
The weaponsmith, his forge, and a number of buildings within Uldum were destroyed by the hurricane of might that had been unleashed. The weapons themselves were hurled miles away. The unfortunate tol'vir who first tried to recover them were similarly destroyed. Al'Akir had made Irmaat's greatest creations unusable, filled with so much power that nobody could ever hope to control them.
The tol'vir carefully locked the weapons away, burying them deep. For millennia, nobody dared to touch them or repeat Irmaat's folly. Al'Akir's lesson had been learned very well.
The events of the Cataclysm changed Azeroth forever.
Uldum was revealed to the world. The remnants of the tol'vir came under assault. Al'Akir and another elemental lord were slain by Azeroth's champions.
We have only begun to feel the ripple effects of those events. We do know that the death of Al'Akir left a power vacuum among the air elementals. His surviving subordinates went to war with one another, scrambling to secure leadership of the Skywall. None found any immediate advantage, for none were as powerful or as clever as their master had been.
But one djinn, Typhinius, sensed that there were still scraps of Al'Akir's power out there. The Fists of the Heavens would not stay buried for much longer.
Lingering rifts in the Skywall allowed Typhinius to leave quietly and hunt for something that would elevate him above his kin. He let his senses guide him and was led to an empty, nondescript part of the desert outside Uldum. When he dug into the sand, he found what the tol'vir had buried: the Fists of the Heavens, Irmaat's last creation.
Typhinius realized that, though Al'Akir was dead, the weapons' elemental chaos remained--but it seemed to be slightly, just slightly, more stable than when the Windlord lived. Still, when the djinn first wielded the weapons, the resulting burst of power nearly destroyed him.
But slowly and secretly, Typhinius learned how to keep his old master's power under control.
When Typhinius returned to the Skywall with the Fists of the Heavens in his grasp, he immediately set out to end the air elementals' civil war. It was not simply his raw power that quelled them. They sensed the essence of their old master, and it compelled them to obey.
There were those who refused, of course. Other djinns believed that they could band together and overcome Typhinius's borrowed strength. A huge battle nearly ripped apart the Vortex Pinnacle, and a brutal clash in the Temple of Asaad saw tremendous losses on all sides.
In the end, Typhinius was not the cleverest. He was simply the strongest, and he overpowered his enemies. He flung the spirits of those who had opposed him into the other elemental realms. Alone, they could not stop their natural enemies from finishing them off in a slow and agonizing fashion.
Typhinius declared that he was the rightful heir to Al'Akir, and that he would finish what the Windlord had started.
The war in the Skywall had caused more damage than Typhinius realized. It would take time for the air elementals to regain their strength and prepare for a full offensive.
Typhinius had no interest in waiting. The moment he felt the Burning Legion invade Azeroth, he knew that the mortal champions of the world would be preoccupied. He told his minions that there would be no better time.
The raids on Uldum began almost immediately. The Fists of the Heavens swept away all early resistance.
Typhinius's assault on Uldum was a serious strategic error. The civil war had not long passed, and the fighting power of the air elementals was still weaker than it might have been only a few months later.
The only advantage they had were the weapons Al'burq and Alra'ed, but even Typhinius had not mastered their true potential yet. He could unleash carnage, yes, but most of his efforts had to be spent keeping Al'Akir's fury from ripping him apart.
Typhinius's pride was fortunate for Azeroth. His ambition drew attention, and it was that attention that led to the discovery of his plans. He launched his war too soon, and even these weapons could not save him.
The history of these weapons is marked with pride. The power that they contain can only be harnessed by a balanced mind and a harmonious spirit. Any arrogance, any cockiness, will inevitably lead to ruin for their wielders.
But if you are already practiced in walking with the wind... the Fists of the Heavens will finally have a master who can make them truly legendary.
- Patch 7.0.3 (2016-07-19): Added.