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  1. #1

    [SPOILERS] "The Trial of the Red Blossoms"

    [WARNING: This article contains spoilers for the WoW Extended Universe story "Trial of the Red Blossoms."]







    OKay, so if you're reading this, I assume you have read the Trial of the Red Blossoms... If you haven't... well, Read it here.

    So, I really did like the story. It was really well written and all... but there was only one- maybe two- things that really bothered me.

    So, we all know the first scene where they're in the temple for the trial and all, but for those who haven't read it:

    Basically, we have the group of (I think it was mentioned there were 10) young pandaren recruits standing on a rickety bridge over a lake, listening to a speech and being given their first test.

    What is it, you ask?

    They gotta race into a tiger-shaped Brazier and pull out a metal coin. There are fewer coins than participants, so it was definitely a race. Surprisingly tame for the most esteemed order in all of Pandaria, right?

    Well, remember how I mentioned they were on a bridge over a lake? Turns out at the start of the test, the bridge is literally DROPPED from beneath them and they ALL get to fall into the water. Oh, also, I forgot to mention that it's like... winter or something and the lake is definitely below freezing temperatures? So yeah, those that don't drown immediately (due to being unable to swim or wearing too heavy armor) get to swim the freezing lake, battle Hypothermia and Frostbite, then plunge their hand into a brazier to pull out burning coins.

    And these recruits are all children, the oldest probably being teens? Hard to tell, I don't remember if we were told specific ages. But they were referred to as 'cubs' and 'boys/girls' so, definitely implied these are not even adults.

    There were 10 of them... 4 of them made it to the next test, the fates of the others were unknown.. but just read this one paragraph:

    With a clank, the chain holding one half of the bridge dropped from its mooring, and the applicants fell into the lake below, breaking jagged holes into the ice. They came up sputtering, shouting, bellowing, one voice screaming that he could not swim. There were a few seconds of terrifying chaos as some panicked and grabbed onto others, who responded violently with blows and curses to avoid being dragged down into the frigid depths. Those who had been dressed in fancy armor did not surface. The quick ones shucked their heavy gear and struck out across the lake with rapid strokes. They knew that more time in this icy water meant death.
    Keeping in mind this is happening to children/teens.. This is probably one of the most horrifying things I've read in all of WoW.

    AND THIS IS FROM THE SHADO-PAN. This is the organization that has been set up to protect the people of Pandaria.

    I mean, I understand seperating the Wheat from the Chaff, BUT WHAT THE HELL.

    Do the Golden Lotus, or the August Celestials know about this?! Would they ALLOW this? I can not believe Chi-ji or Yu'lon would approve of this. This is just..

    Oh, and then the second trial involves a tiger and a poisonous snake (which killed another one of the recruits, so we're down to 3 of the 10)

    Granted the tiger was dead and it was a SHA instead, but we can't hold that against anyone.



    Look, I loved the story. Ten is probably one of my favourite characters in all of the WoW universe, and there were moments I really enjoyed...

    But... The idea of the Shado-pan willingly letting a bunch of young pandaren die to, again 'seperate the wheat from the chaff' is just... something that's been bothering me since I read it.


    What do you guys think?

  2. #2
    Yeah I thought the short story was a little too...harsh. I get that the Shado-Pan are supposed to be badass panda ninjas that protect the homeland and all that, but...really? How bad has life been in Pandaria since the last Mogu empire? I doubt things have been very difficult for them until lately where they decided to sacrifice their own children in order to see who is strong or not.

    The other side of the coin is that Blizzard wanted to show that Pandaria - and the pandaren - are not all fluffy, sweet, cuddly people. They wanted to show that MoP had some bite to it, considering everyone called it a joke expansion, or childish. Many still hold that opinion, but this solidified everything for me that Pandaren are just as formidable and serious as any other race. But, yeah, it was a bit much.
    3 hints to surviving MMO-C forums:
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  3. #3
    Never underestimate the shao pan, i'm sure the failed students were retrieved by feterans, that bridge had to fall somewhere as of hypothermia or getting burned badly - c'mon Panda's have furrs they'll be fine.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by JStormrage View Post
    Never underestimate the shao pan, i'm sure the failed students were retrieved by feterans, that bridge had to fall somewhere as of hypothermia or getting burned badly - c'mon Panda's have furrs they'll be fine.
    Yeah, and the bridge did drop.. into the freezing water. And no, they story even described the most... 'insulated' of the recruits having trouble fending off the cold. and there was the description of how those that went under didn't come back.

    I mean, ya can only hold your breath so long.. especially when caught off guard.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Destinas View Post
    Yeah I thought the short story was a little too...harsh. I get that the Shado-Pan are supposed to be badass panda ninjas that protect the homeland and all that, but...really? How bad has life been in Pandaria since the last Mogu empire? I doubt things have been very difficult for them until lately where they decided to sacrifice their own children in order to see who is strong or not.

    The other side of the coin is that Blizzard wanted to show that Pandaria - and the pandaren - are not all fluffy, sweet, cuddly people. They wanted to show that MoP had some bite to it, considering everyone called it a joke expansion, or childish. Many still hold that opinion, but this solidified everything for me that Pandaren are just as formidable and serious as any other race. But, yeah, it was a bit much.
    The main purpose for the Shado-pan since the fall of the mogu empire and sealing of the Sha has been to hold the wall against the Mantid swarms. I can see how you might want absolutely nothing but the best of the best when you're talking about a fighting force that has to hold the wall against thousands (tens of thousands?) of swarming enemies. These are the warriors who can fight continuously for days without rest to hold a line (Gao-ran).

    I'd also imagine that it's the sort of deal where everyone knows what happens because everyone knows how hardcore the shado-pan are, people know that not all the applicants make it through. They probably also tell applicants flat out that some of them will die facing the trials to join. It's the sort of choice that has to be made knowing that from there on out your life is on the line, both in training and afterwards.
    You tried too hard and now your post is shit. Never try too hard, the gamble isn't worth it. -Boubouille

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Destinas View Post
    Yeah I thought the short story was a little too...harsh. I get that the Shado-Pan are supposed to be badass panda ninjas that protect the homeland and all that, but...really? How bad has life been in Pandaria since the last Mogu empire? I doubt things have been very difficult for them until lately where they decided to sacrifice their own children in order to see who is strong or not.
    In their defense, they were created to protect Pandaria from what was essentially the apocalypse, if the Shaohao videos are anything to go by. Plus the Sha. Plus the mantid. Theirs is a serious history and a serious purpose. Even in 10,000 years, two of those threats are still there. Constant vigilance and all that.

  7. #7
    Immortal KrazyK923's Avatar
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    I understand your outrage but I feel like that's kind of the point of the trials. The Shado-Pan don't fuck around.
    Men, you've trained for this. You're among the elite. You are Skyfire men! This is the ship that took down Deathwing. You think some raggedy little Horde outpost stands a chance against the pride of the Alliance fleet? NO! Those green dirtbags down there plagued your homes in Southshore, laid siege to your children in Redridge, and massacred every man, woman and child in Theramore. It. Is. PAYBACK TIME!
    Sky Admiral Rogers for High Queen. Remember Theramore!

  8. #8
    Elemental Lord Combatbulter's Avatar
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    I don't see how this is surprising, the shado pan are absolutely unforgiving, cold and ruthless killers to the core. The students that died simply didn't make the cut to be one of them, not to mention the cubs got a choice to walk away if they thought they were not up to the task, it is not like they forced to partake in these trials, except for the little thief, who would have otherwise been killed for stealing from them.
    He who sees his own doom can better avoid its path. He who sees the doom of others can deliver it.

  9. #9
    Scarab Lord Chonar's Avatar
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    I think the story did well in establishing the Shado Pan as the true badasses they are. I like to direct the idiot zealots who still cling to the 'lol kungfu panda kiddie' mantra to the story.
    "Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my comrade." - Albert Camus

  10. #10
    "What is worth fighting for?"

    The question of the expansion....I mean here I think it is obviously something not worth fighting for. I get wanting to be part of the sacred order and become a protector of your people, but how are they protecting their people by letting them perish...There is a difference between incredibly tough training and trials and what happens in the story. Doesn't fit the atmosphere or teachings of the Pandaren.

  11. #11
    Elemental Lord Combatbulter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pizzakid2093 View Post
    "What is worth fighting for?"

    The question of the expansion....I mean here I think it is obviously something not worth fighting for. I get wanting to be part of the sacred order and become a protector of your people, but how are they protecting their people by letting them perish...There is a difference between incredibly tough training and trials and what happens in the story. Doesn't fit the atmosphere or teachings of the Pandaren.
    Shado pan are the embodiment of self sacifice and everyone who wants to be one one has to realize they have to give everything, including their life.
    He who sees his own doom can better avoid its path. He who sees the doom of others can deliver it.

  12. #12
    The Insane Slowpoke is a Gamer's Avatar
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    The Shado Pan are the closest thing to Demon Hunters we've seen in the game thus far. They literally care about two things. Purity of spirit, and power.

    Also keep in mind these are the guys who are responsible for Garrosh's Imprisonment.
    "You should only install Warlords on your master hard drive. They will never be slaves." - @CM_Lore


  13. #13
    Pit Lord Zulkhan's Avatar
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    The Shado-Pan never had huge numbers, on the contrary they have always been pretty few.

    Fucking good reason for which those few members have to be strong beyond any possible physical, spiritual and mental level.

    If you want to be become one of them, you have to become strong, free of fears and doubts, and only trials that put your life in the more extreme and imaginable danger can forge strong, focused and skilled individuals.

    There is nothing you can protect if you're too weak for effectively protect it.
    Last edited by Zulkhan; 2013-09-16 at 05:47 PM.

  14. #14
    that's old news. the children that fails the trials die. I made a rage thread about this loooong ago.

    as for me, I got over it by going into the shado-pan monastery and slaying hundreds of shado-pan NPCs with extreme hatred and prejudice
    Warlorcs of Draenorc made me quit. You can't have my stuff.

  15. #15
    You all bring up good points about Shado-pan and their strive for spiritual, mental, and physical perfection... How only the strongest can make it into the ranks....

    but then the question is this:

    Is the death of these children justified? Is it necessary?

    Is there any reason why they HAD to die? Did it benefit the shado-pan at all.

    Think about it:

    These were the FIRST TRIALS. It was the FIRST TRIAL that wiped out most of them.

    The second trial was relatively easy compared to the first. Does that make sense? A negative difficulty curve for one of the strongest forces in all of Pandaria?

    I seriously feel that that very first trial was jumping the gun, and ended in plenty of needless death that can not really be justified. I am sure there could have been plenty of other ways to do this that would have weeded out the week WITHOUT killing them all.

  16. #16
    Elemental Lord Combatbulter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Earthstar View Post
    You all bring up good points about Shado-pan and their strive for spiritual, mental, and physical perfection... How only the strongest can make it into the ranks....

    but then the question is this:

    Is the death of these children justified? Is it necessary?

    Is there any reason why they HAD to die? Did it benefit the shado-pan at all.

    Think about it:

    These were the FIRST TRIALS. It was the FIRST TRIAL that wiped out most of them.

    The second trial was relatively easy compared to the first. Does that make sense? A negative difficulty curve for one of the strongest forces in all of Pandaria?

    I seriously feel that that very first trial was jumping the gun, and ended in plenty of needless death that can not really be justified. I am sure there could have been plenty of other ways to do this that would have weeded out the week WITHOUT killing them all.
    The point is they have to be willing to put everything on the line, the moment they accept to partake in the trials their lives are only for the order, and they are no longer children they are more or less shado pan, and these guys have to give their all, they have no chance to return to an ordinary afterwards anyway. There is no place among the Shado pan, because their life is on the line the participants will do everything they can to survive, using their cunning strength and mind, if they can't cut it that's it. So yes the death of these children as cruel as it may be prepares the initiates for the brutal life they will have to live from now on.
    He who sees his own doom can better avoid its path. He who sees the doom of others can deliver it.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Combatbulter View Post
    The point is they have to be willing to put everything on the line, the moment they accept to partake in the trials their lives are only for the order, and they are no longer children they are more or less shado pan, and these guys have to give their all, they have no chance to return to an ordinary afterwards anyway. There is no place among the Shado pan, because their life is on the line the participants will do everything they can to survive, using their cunning strength and mind, if they can't cut it that's it. So yes the death of these children as cruel as it may be prepares the initiates for the brutal life they will have to live from now on.
    the point is: they could put some ninjas like taoshi over there to save the kids right before they died and than take them to a healer, and than send them back home saying "sorry kid, you don't have what it takes to be shado-pan". it would be easy for them, they are the shado-pan!

    but they choose to let them die.
    Warlorcs of Draenorc made me quit. You can't have my stuff.

  18. #18
    Elemental Lord Combatbulter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by checking facts View Post
    the point is: they could put some ninjas like taoshi over there to save the kids right before they died and than take them to a healer, and than send them back home saying "sorry kid, you don't have what it takes to be shado-pan". it would be easy for them, they are the shado-pan!

    but they choose to let them die.
    These trials are not to be trifled with and every pandaren knows it, they are given a choice to turn back some of them do and can leave, but once they decided to follow that path, there is no way back. These trials are the essence of the shado pan, self sacrifice, if the adepts don't have what it takes it is unfortunate, but it is their own choice that might cost them their life.
    He who sees his own doom can better avoid its path. He who sees the doom of others can deliver it.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Combatbulter View Post
    These trials are not to be trifled with and every pandaren knows it, they are given a choice to turn back some of them do and can leave, but once they decided to follow that path, there is no way back. These trials are the essence of the shado pan, self sacrifice, if the adepts don't have what it takes it is unfortunate, but it is their own choice that might cost them their life.
    a youngster's brain is not fully capalble of comprehending the depth of the consequences of one's actions. those trials are cruel, and that's a fact. killing children just to see which ones are fit is cruel.
    Warlorcs of Draenorc made me quit. You can't have my stuff.

  20. #20
    Elemental Lord Combatbulter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by checking facts View Post
    a youngster's brain is not fully capalble of comprehending the depth of the consequences of one's actions. those trials are cruel, and that's a fact. killing children just to see which ones are fit is cruel.
    Yes these trials are cruel, but so is the life of a shado pan, they are rather fitting for the path these youngsters chose for themselves. Their life will be constant strife from that moment on, being deployed all over pandaria, containing whatever might threaten it.
    He who sees his own doom can better avoid its path. He who sees the doom of others can deliver it.

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