Allow me to start by saying that I have ALWAYS been a supporter of MoP since MMO-Champion first talked about how Blizzard had trademarked the name and it would likely be an expansion. I love the story, the feel of the zones, the dungeons and scenarios, et cetera.
But lately I can't help it but to have the feeling Blizz is just trying to overcompensate for the fact that people might perceive MoP as childish. I'm not talking about how the war is not pretty, or how evil the thunder king is. I'm talking about the pandaren themselves. It kind of started on Li Li's shortstories where we saw her drinking beer even though she's a kid, but the new "The Trial of the Red Blossoms" shortstory just blows away any notion that the pandaren were ever a peaceful and loving race of zen people we had since the pandaren were first introduced. Let's take a look at what happens:
- The Story is about a 14 year-old cub named Ten. He is a starving orphan who became a thief to survive;
- Ten mistakes the shado-pan for rich farmers and tries to steal from them. what he thought was something valuable was actually just a scroll.
- We discover Den Den had a sex doll in his bedroom;
- The Shado-pan catch him and give him 2 options:
- 1 - Forced Labor to pay for his crimes of being a hungry child who steals to survive;
- 2 - he'd be bound, have his eyes, feet and most fingers removed from his body, he'd be taken to the monastery, tortured and than thrown to his death in a canyon;
- Ten tricks the shado-pan into thinking he escaped. Hawkmaster Nurong appears and, impressed by his actions, gives him 2 more options:
- 3 - Painless death;
- 4 - Facing the Trial of the Red Blossoms to try to join the shado-pan;
- Ten chooses option 4 and Nurong gives him 3 months to reach the monastery in the tallest mountain in the world. it was the middle of winter and the boy barely had any clothes. he does manage to barely arrive in the time he's given;
- There were 12 other cubs there to take the trial. One of them was 3 years younger than Ten. Two of them gave up before the start of the trials, and they would never be given another chance at joining the shado-pan;
- The first trial was given by Yalia Sagewhisper. she made them fall into the lake (in the tallest mountain, in the middle of the winter), run out of the lake, grab a coin inside a lit brazier (under the coal), than go back and give the coin to her. out of the 10 cubs (children), 6 died frozen in the lake;
- The next trial was given by Master Snowdrift. He locked the remaining cubs in a room with some very heavy bells. they had to lift and ring the bells to pass. under one bell there was a poisonous snake. under another bell there was a tiger, and under the third one there were weapons for them to defend themselves. All who survived the trial would pass;
- One cub is bitten by the snake and dies;
- The tiger was actually carrying sha (it was a trap from the mantid). the kids cooperated and killed the sha;
- "You think I have never taken a beating, monster? Just last season I was whipped by a butcher for stealing his garbage, and by a blacksmith for warming my paws at his forge."
- The kids were accepted in the Shado-pan and they all lived happily ever after. except for the children who died. and their families;
So, are we supposed to admire and fight side by side with people who lock children in a room with a tiger and a snake just to see how many of them survive? After reading this shortstory I sincerely wish I could go at war with the Shado-pan and farm them endlessly all the way to hated. "Sword in the Shadows"? "Protectors of Pandaria"? My ass! They are nothing but murderers.