|The real heroes of Thunder Isle. I just turned up.|
Having completed the Scenarios on the Isle of Thunder, I have come to a decision.
I have done all that I have been asked of in this undertaking, and more besides. Wherever Jaina asked me to go, whatever I did, I never once asked what my reward would be, and expected none. My continued guilt over the Alliance and it's actions in invading Pandaria was motivation enough. Finally, when we are at the Storm Lord's front door, when I help the Shado Pan defeat Shan Bu, almost at the cost of their own leader's life, my faction stands by and does nothing. Oh no, that's not true, they stand and decide to have a Mexican Standoff and get all pouty and postury with the Horde and it takes a gravely injured man to point out to them what I've known since this whole sorry affair began.
THERE'S NO POINT.
Seriously, Garrosh is a wanker. The Alliance have known this since Theramore, and (to their credit) so do the Horde too. Sadly the damage is already done, and looking at what is about to come for 5.3 I find myself thinking how close the Alliance is to the exact same thing. No-one is pulling in the same direction, just look at my own kin for an adequate example of that. There is no solid leadership, and no alternative to those who would wish to live in peace, and that has bothered me for quite some time.
I have hugely enjoyed working with the Shado Pan, however. Their philosophy calls to me, their methods suit the loner. I can be helpful and feel as if I have achieved something without the need to be praised or plied with gifts. Taoshi is a strong female role model I can identify with, far more than the High Elves and Lady Proudmore, who all seem far too wrapped up in agendas of revenge and political significance. I don't want to be a part of this charade any more: I knew this when I encountered the Sha in the Jade Forest and now I'm convinced. I want to carry a new faction banner, and represent a new group during my continuing travels.
I want to join the Shado Pan.
Give me an affiliation: let me wear the uniform and carry a banner for their cause. They don't care about the petty and the insignificant, they simply understand that the way to deal with evil is to eliminate it and move on. Their cause is not only just but noble, and they don't get swayed by personal and negative arguments, they simply find the solutions. Let the Monk Sanctuary in the mountains of Kun-Lai be their Capitol and let Taran Zhu be their worthy leader, freed from the grasp of the Sha and with a true understanding of what must be done to release Pandaria from the grip of the most ancient of evils. Let me roam the lands and show people there is an alternative to both the Horde and the Alliance, that perpetual war need not be the answer. As the Pandarans were forced to choose a side when they first met the rest of Azeroth, let them now become their own separate and distinct entity, accepting all who wish to join them. Give them the sanctity of their own land back, and the opportunity to live their lives in peace again, away from the oppressive regimes that currently bicker on their own doorstep.
Most of all, afford them more respect than is currently being given, because they deserve this more than anything else.
I may be a dreamer at heart, but I'd love to think that, after all these years I might get the chance to choose more of my own destiny than I have before. The Shado Pan's approach to live and their attitude resonate so deeply within me, I feel compelled to at least ask for the possibility. After all, if you don't ask, you will never know.