"Pandaria, our home, was once a quiet place. A land of solitude, peace and a thousand eternal blossoms. The tree's leaves as I remember them, were gold. They flowed through the winds just as a warm ale through a cup. The air was welcoming to the touch, grateful that it's valley was in such capable hands. We were warriors of the Golden Lotus, a force of brave souls that safeguarded this sacred place from harm. Our enemy, the Mogu had long coveted this valley, our golden land of peace." The young pandaren looked onward as the battle hardened warrior continued his tale from atop the ornate chair.
"Sometimes my friends it is not he who vies your destruction that you must worry about. Instead..." The pandaren places his hand on his chest, "One may look inside for such darkness." The children were in awe.
The warrior peered to the outspoken youth, his bright blue eyes casting an intimidating gaze towards her. He nods, "Yes my child?" The girl had settled back to the floor along with the others, "Tell us of the battle of the Serpent's Wall!" Lou Shen chuckled, "My dear, that wall has seen centuries of abuse. My part was but a small one in a long line of heroics." The pandaren places his hands on his knees, preparing to rise. He does so and addresses the younglings. "As I was saying, sometimes the greatest threat, is within."
Years earlier, in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms. Do not underestimate me! A warrior slices into his comrade's shoulder with a blade of pure steel. "Gaaah!" screamed the victim, who now had shamed himself by gripping the arena fence. I...must! The wounded pandaren swung towards his opponent; blood hot from the adrenaline building within him. I made a promise! His enemy smirked, "Now now Lou Shen!" The hurt warrior had struck out with his claws instead of a weapon as instructed. His opponent grasped his arm and smashed his fist into Lou's face. The Pandaren landed on the dirt, bleeding from the shoulder wound and hissing as the foreign bodies made it into his system.
"Lou Shen, you have failed the initiation trial. I am sorry." He rose with anger in his eyes, gripping the open gap of flesh. "Jinto Khan." The larger pandaren smirked at Lou, "As long as I serve the Golden Lotus you will never serve in this order. Your pride dictates your life, forget your vows and go home!" Lou Shen's eyes widened before he fell to the ground in unconsciousness. This is my home.
"Days later, when my wounds recovered. I took up my pan spear and headed into the valley. For years I had done so periodically to collect my thoughts and formulate a plan. I had to defeat this man, "Jinto Khan." I could not bear it that he lived, let alone serve my father's order in my stead." A male youth stood, "What did you do? Why did he serve in your stead?" The warrior lowered his head and sat down once more. "I was prideful in the years I spent in the valley. I came as an aspiring young pandaren with dreams of glory and treasure." He gazed the crowd before him, looking left to right he saw a large hall of children eager to hear more. "I was not like the typical pandaren, I did not value peace, brew, the spirits. I saw these things as a crutch to be used by the weak. I sought strength; so when I turned of age I ran from my home in the Jade forest. I wanted to fight the Mogu, gain glory for myself."
The wounded warrior was busy treating his wound. The tear had rung deep into the pandaren's flesh and began to sting to the point of exhaustion. Lou Shen panted in pain as he applied a brew for this occasion. An alchemy derived from the nearby trees could use their sap to heal wounds, it was hard to make and it was one of the few things Lou had taken of value from his family. He rarely though of them; they told him he would fail as a warrior and he had taken enough offense of this to run away and prove them wrong.
He sat at an abandoned campfire, long since its final kindling. Lou found this place relaxing and serene, a place away from the constant sparring of his comrades, a place of thought. Oh how I miss you Mei, oh how I wish you were here. The warrior stayed at the site well into the blackness of nightfall. He lit the tinder he had collected and watched as the embers floated upward. Why did you have to die?
The girl from earlier orchestrated another outburst. "Wait! You're not telling the story right!" Lou stared at the upstart, "Oh?" She was taken aback and lowered her fist to her side. "We don't know who this Mei is. And people don't die in happy stories!" The pandaren looked to the youth grimly. "My child, there are seldom happy tidings in my tales." She sat with a look of horror on her face, "Who was she?" The warrior smirked, "Mei was a woman I wanted to protect, just as the Mogu desired the valley. But just as the valley was not theirs, neither was Mei to be mine to guard. She had a suitor and I wanted badly to beat this man." The girl interrupted, "Who was he?" Lou darted a glare, "His name was Jinto Khan."
The next morning Lou Shen had returned to the sparring camp in the center of the valley. He approached the circle, pan spear in hand. Around him, small youths came to form the circle that would begin the day's activities. Lou Shen stood taller for he was a few years their elder. This was the initiation sessions for the Golden Lotus. He sparred against them all that day and none scored a hit, but rather treat the act with dignity he ridiculed them. "You pathetic excuses for pandaren! If you can't beat a drop out then you will never be able to kill a Mogu!" The instructors saw this as an obstacle to test their students mettle of mind. Lou Shen was nothing more than the local brute, easily put down by the honorable. Lou Shen sheathed his pan-spear and approached the instructors. "I have defeated your 'warriors.' I demand to face Jinto Khan, murderer of my love!" A tall monk stood before the brash warrior, "As we have said many times, Jinto Khan is no murderer and you're not to accuse him such. Second..." He waved his hand, "Jinto Khan is not here. He and a entourage of warriors headed to the south of the valley to investigate a Mogu presence." Lou Shen's eyes widened, "Then I will go there."
"They didn't try to stop you?" said another young pandaren from the crowd. Lou Shen shook his head, revealing his three claw scars on his left cheek from underneath his white fur. "Honor dictated otherwise. After all, they though I wouldn't find him."
The warrior tread the grasslands toward the southern edge of the Vale. He found signs of a march and followed the indentations. It took hours but eventually Lou discovered signs of a battle. Trees were littered with sword markings and the ground bared stains of blood. He ran forward until he heard the clashes of swords in the distance. The warrior crawled to a nearby hill and gazed below where Jinto Khan stood alone against a Mogul raiding party. How did they get into the Vale? Where is the host of warriors? Jinto Khan engaged some of the Mogu after taking a drink from his jug that he carried on his back. "For the Golden Lotus!" He charged but was taken into a magical prison by one of the Mogu Spirit slavers. "Come with us Pandaren! Join your brothers as we take on your forms!"
The children looked on in fright. "Mogu could do that??" Lou Shen nodded, "The Mogu are innate in the arts of magic. Do not underestimate them, lest they take your body and use it as a guise to wreak havoc on your homes." The children nodded in turn.
Lou Shen darted along the trees as he followed the Mogu to a cave. The pandaren realized he had been in a state of fear and decided that it was time to overcome it. He was to be the one to kill Jinto Khan and the Mogu. When the guardsmen to the cave entrance eventually lost their vigil and went to switch their roles with others the warrior snuck to the cavern's top which was visibly amongst the mountain-side. He found a series of hols that peered into a chamber, there he could see a variety of pandaren classes chained in magical prisons. The warrior looked onward as a larger Mogu approached Jinto Khan's cage.
"Hello Jinto Khan." The pandaren stared at the Mogu before his cage. "You remember me do you? That night when you realized your pretty wife wasn't all she was meant to be?" Lou Shen listened in, Mei? Jinto Khan screamed, "I remember how you wore her skin! How I sliced you in half!" Lou remembered the night when he saw him do just that to his beloved Mei. The woman who had always given hope to Lou when defeated, the woman who comforted him, invited him into their home for meals and brew. The woman he had once called his sister.
The children let loose an awe, "Oooooohhhh." The warrior chuckled, "It gets them every time." Some of the children launched questions, "Mei was your sister???" Lou Shen nodded, "When I left the Jade forest to seek my fortunes I did so after we received word from my elder sister. It said that her home was always open and I took that seriously. I wanted so badly to become one of the Golden Lotus and I had hated my family. I wanted to be more than a pike-man, a village guard, more than just drink and spin wild tales. I came to the Vale and discovered she married a monstrous pandaren. Virtuous in the field, but not at home. He beat my sister and me, I swore vengeance and to free her from his grasp. But then one nigh I saw him as he killed her and my mission became even more clear. I challenged him nearly every day in hopes of avenging my sister and gaining renown to help prove his guilt." The children looked down. "Fear not my friends, there are more battles in my tale."
Lou Shen jumped from the cavern ceiling and thrust his pan-spear towards the mogu standing at Jinto Khan's cage. The creature dodged the blow and more more Mogu came from around him. Lou Shen lifted his spear and prepared himself for battle. He engaged the Mogu skillfully, delimbing them with ease. The monsters backed away and the pandaren charged, unaware the cages had been opened. He was grasped by his fellow warriors and they held him down to the ground. "My my, a spirited one!" The Mogu approached, spell being weaved in his hands. Lou Shen looked up from the ground and saw his nemesis as the one holding him. "You should have stayed in the Jade forest pup!" At that instant a glimpse of the past occurred to Lou Shen, it was the night Jinto Khan killed Mei, she had casted a similar spell at him, one that flowed evenly, like fabric in the wind. A realization came to him, Jinto Khan had a weakness towards magic, he never seemed to expect it. Lou Shen looked to his shoulder and began to rip at the bandages with his teeth. The sap of the Vale blossoms are magical in nature, perhaps he will have a panicked reaction. A pungent odor engulfed the pandaren's senses and caused him to let go of Lou Shen. Jinto Khan was thrust back and Lou Shen took the oppurtunity to skewer the Mogu leader.
The other prisoner were free of the spells, those that were possessed layed dead, including Jinto Khan. "Well, it seems we owe you a degree of thanks Lou Shen." The pandaren warriors bow to him, "We should gather our comrade's corpses and return to the camp. We will need to inform the rest of the Golden Lotus."
That night Lou Shen was hailed as a member of the Order of the Golden Lotus. A wardancer of the guild it would be his charge to leade the pandaren against forces like the Mogu and the Mantid. After years in the Vale fulfilling Jinto's role, Lou was sent to the Serpent's Wall where he'd recognized for heroism against the Mantid invaders. He has learned much of the value of pride and roles. What dangers they may lead and hazards they present. Lou Shen became a respected warrior of the Golden Lotus and now serves his people as a some-what wise warrior. But he is still far from the peace mongering of his people, instead he focuses on battle and strategy, favoring the blade to the paper. He stands at a medium height, a lighter drinker than many. White fur with black splotches around his eyes and throat. He carries a small jug of medical potion from his recipe in the Vale and wears his hair in a tied-back fashion and short. He wears the standard pandaren warrior armor, leather with small metal plates circumnavigating the armor. He wields a pale-spear that he uses with great skill. He also make a habit of sporting his helm even when not in combat, preferring anonymity as a soldier than an individual. And one day hopes to die well on the battlefield in Pandaria and beyond.
"Tell us about the battle of the Serpent's Wall!" Lou Shen chuckled, "Well, I suppose I have a few more stories. Did I ever tell you about the time I helped some adventurers of the Horde and Alliance?"
---------- Post added 2013-01-10 at 03:25 AM ----------
((My first MOP related thing ever. I hope this follows the lore, I did some research on wowpedia. Feel free to critique!))
That was awesome. Reading through the first paragraph is what I imagine it to be like in the Vale of Eternal Blossom's.
Just a little tip though. There are two separate factions of the Pandaren. The Tushui who are allied with the Alliance and the Houjin who allied with the Horde. I think if you want to be as accurate as possible you'll have to pick one of those factions. Honestly from the sounds of Lou Shen and what his character is like he seems to be leaning more towards being a member of the Houjin.
The link provided is the info on Pandaren and you'll notice that there is a section labelled "Tushui" and "Houjin" that give a brief description on the two factions and how they differ from each other. http://www.wowpedia.org/Pandaren I think it would be wise to chose one or the other for Lou Shen.
Other then that I absolutely loved the story. I felt like I was in the Vale of Eternal Blossom's with Lou Shen kicking some Mogu tail!
Thanks for the links! As I said I've never had experience with Pandaria. My intention was that he'd choose a side and develop further later on, hence the children and the story. He will continue more after the War of the Greys series is concluded.
Yea it would be cool if he could kind of interact with each faction and see which one he suites or likes the best, but from my point of view (not sure which direction you want to take this character in) he seems to fit the Houjin archetype better.