With the announcement of Mist of Pandaria we were also introduced to the new playable race of the Pandaren. The cries of Kung-Fu Panda copycats rang out but for the most part those were unfounded. The Pandaren have been in and out of WoW lore for years now. Of course they have played a very minor role in that lore but they have been there.
Let’s look at Blizzards official introduction to the Pandaren Race.
Meet the Pandaren!
Couched in myth and legend, rarely seen and even more rarely understood, the enigmatic pandaren have long been a mystery to the other races of Azeroth. The noble history of the pandaren people stretches back thousands of years, well before the empires of man and before even the sundering of the world.
Denizens of a wondrous and fertile land, the pandaren once labored under the oppressive thumb of a monstrous race of ancient warlords known as the Mogu. Through tenacity, diplomacy, and a unique form of unarmed combat, the pandaren staged a successful revolution that deposed the Mogu and established a pandaren empire that would prosper for thousands of years.
During the bleak days that preceded the sundering of the world, when demons flooded onto Azeroth and threw the entirety of the mortal realm into jeopardy, the last Emperor of the pandaren discovered a way to protect his land from the devastation. His deal with fate shrouded his land within an impenetrable mist for ten thousand years, but the nature of his transaction has left Pandaria haunted ever since…
It is the rare pandaren indeed who sought a way beyond the mist. Generations ago, pandaren explorers began to gather on the back of a giant turtle: Shen-zin Su. The great sea turtle roamed Azeroth’s oceans, perhaps the only contact pandaren had with the outside world. Eventually, they too lost contact with their mist-shrouded homeland.
Players who choose to create a pandaren character will start their journey on the back of Shen-zin Su. When the great turtle is threatened, and their whole wandering homeland is in jeopardy of being swallowed by the sea, players will have to accelerate their training and spring into action.
During their time on the turtle, players will first encounter the Alliance and Horde. Before they are finished, they’ll have to make the most important decision of their lives: Which of the two factions will they support as they venture out to heal a world broken by the Cataclysm and threatened by a global war?
So there you have it. The Pandaren are presently wandering the world on the back of a giant turtle! It is also interesting that both factions will be allowed to play as a Pandaren. Once finished with the stating zone at level 10 your new Pandaren will have to declare loyalty to the alliance or the horde. In essence, Pandaren vs Pandaren, this should be interesting!