Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Lessons in Lore - Temple of the Jade Serpent

This morning I'll take a look at the first dungeon in Mists of Pandaria. You can jump into this dungeon via the dungeon finder as soon as you're 85, but to have a better understanding of what's going on you should quest through the Jade Forest until you've completed a group of quests that take place in a non dungeon instance of the temple. You should also finish the quests leading up to and including the climactic event that takes places at the Serpent's Head. Please be aware that there will be spoilers for these events and others in the dungeon in the post below.

Temple Courtyard
The Temple of the Jade Serpent rests on the eastern side of the Jade Forest, overlooking the coast. The temple is a monument to the last emperor of Pandaria's triumph over the Sha of Doubt thousands of years ago. At some point while questing in the zone, you'll be tasked to deliver a shipment of jade to the center of the forest where a group of Pandaren are hard at work building a statue of Yu'Lon, the Jade Serpent. Then you'll get the opportunity to go inside the temple before anything has gone wrong. Inside is a huge library, the Waters of Everseeing, and a large courtyard where the guardians of the temple train. You'll also meet Yu'Lon herself, and she explains that the statue being built is meant for her to pass into when she dies, and a new celestial guardian will be born.

Upon leaving the temple, however, events take place that alter the course of Yu'Lon and all of the Pandaren in the Temple of the Jade Serpent. The Horde and the Alliance go to war near the jade statue, and their anger and hate draws the Sha of Doubt up out of the ground, destroying the statue in the process. Together with Lorewalker Cho, you push the Sha back, but this is just the beginning of problems as the Sha and its minions proceed to invade the temple and corrupt its inhabitants. This is where we start when we enter the dungeon for the first time.

Sha of Doubt makes its first appearance.

Wise Mari
When you first met Wise Mari he was a simple waterspeaker plagued by mischievous water sprites. He spent most of his time gaining insight and knowledge from the Waters of Everseeing. Now he is hostile, driven to distrust and suspicion under the influence of the Sha. By attacking him you're able to force the Sha out, and he eventually calms down.

Lorewalker Stonestep
As you enter the library, you'll notice that the Sha have infested the many books and scrolls scattered about the place. You'll have to face down corrupted versions of characters from Pandaren stories and lore as you make your way down to the bottom where Lorewalker Stonestep is waiting. Once there you will have to battle Sha who have personified one of two stories. In the Trial of the Yaungol, you will have to fight against the manifestations of Strife and Peril. If you get the Champion of the Five Suns you will have to shoot the suns out of the sky before they possess Zao Sunseeker. Once defeated, the library returns to some sense of order, and Lorewalker Stonestep sends you on to the courtyard. On the way there, you see many of the temple guardians have been slain.

Liu Flameheart
Once the most devoted of the temple priestesses, Liu is now consumed with uncertainty as to the future of the jade serpent. With the statue destroyed, what will happen to the spirit of Yu'Lon? She fiercely protects the heart of the temple from anyone who might intrude. Including you. As you attack her, she continually calls upon her training to fight paw and foot. Eventually she will even call upon the spirit of Yu'Lon to defend her, and you must defeat the image of the jade serpent to finally break her out of her trance and open the doors to the cause the suffering and pain within the temple.

Sha of Doubt
Being trapped underneath the temple for thousands of years has caused the Sha of Doubt to obsess over Yu'Lon and corrupting her influence on the Pandaren people. With the battle of the Horde and Alliance giving it enough strength to break free it used this opportunity to strike at its obsession. Now its up to you to defeat the Sha and drive it back from the temple. Upon defeating it, you save the temple from its corrupting influence for now, but can the Sha ever truly be defeated? 

What is worth fighting for?
To echo a phrase used in the Mists of Pandaria trailer, I've decided to use the last part of each of these posts to summarize why we as characters fight the monsters in each dungeon. For the Temple of the Jade Serpent, it's fairly straight forward. The war between the Alliance and Horde has freed the long trapped Sha of Doubt from the ground where it was imprisoned long ago. The Sha then seized this opportunity to attack the home of the Jade Serpent Yu'Lon, corrupting its inhabitants. It's up to us to free the temple from the influence and doubt of the Sha; to clean up the mess that the Horde and the Alliance have made by bringing their war to this land. 

No comments: