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Posts with tag rp-guide

Know Your Lore TFH: Sailing to Oshu'gun

The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

Tinfoil Hats on. Let's speculate. Let's make some things up.

To be honest, I'm not one hundred percent sure that what I'm about to write is a TFH entry. It's more just speculative about the nature of the Iron Horde and the Draenor it seeks to rule, and the consequences of its rise. Since I can't actually know any of that yet, it's certainly speculative, but I have no grand theory in mind to explicate, just a bunch of speculations to lay out.

What we know so far is actually only a tantalizing veneer over all we don't know. From the time of the initial incursion that creates this new Draenor to the time that we become aware of it, a certain amount of time has to pass - it takes time to outfit an entirely new kind of army, much less create a new Dark Portal and usurp the connection to our Azeroth's Dark Portal and invade it, which we've been told will be happening. This leads to a whole host of questions - what happens during that period of time? How does Garrosh convince the orcs of Draenor that they should listen to him, a completely unknown quantity? He won't be from any tribe they know of - while he's a member of the Warsong by blood, none of them will recognize him. How does it happen?

I'm fascinated by the idea of this moment. Does he just flat out tell them who he is and where he comes from? While Garrosh is a very cunning tactician capable of deceit, he's also fairly straightforward, so I can imagine him infiltrating the tribal society of orcs on Draenor or simply strolling up to a Kosh'harg and declaring who he is. Either approach has risks, of course - while violence is forbidden at a Kosh'harg, he could easily be laughed right out of the place, and infiltrating an orc tribe would be very difficult for an outsider.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: Timelines, timeways, and Karazhan

The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

What is time, in Warcraft? Is it a straightforward line, or a tapestry of events that can be changed or altered with a simple pluck of a thread? While the bronze dragonflight may be masters of the various pathways of time, we mortal players are most definitely not. We've been sent through the pathways of the Caverns of Time on more than one occasion, but always at the behest of the bronze flight, to complete the tasks they have set and keep the timelines pristine.

But this mysterious maze of time wasn't left unexplored prior to our travels through Tanaris. Obviously the bronze dragonflight has been up to a great deal over the thousands of years that it has existed -- Nozdormu's long absence predated even our first journeys through the Caverns of Time. And for one player in the next expansion, time had absolutely nothing to do with the dragonflights, and much more to do with the mysterious home of his enigmatic master, Medivh. So how does it all weave together?

More importantly, when is time travel not really time travel at all, as the developers seemed to be so insistent on saying at BlizzCon?

Today's Know Your Lore is a Tinfoil Hat edition. The following contains a small amount of speculation on datamined material. These speculations are merely theories and shouldn't be taken as fact or official lore.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore TFH: The Big Lie

The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

You guys know how the Tinfoil Hat essays work by now - this is my musings, and not officially sanctioned in any way by Blizzard.

We've been lied to all along, and the evidence is mounting up.

I started to be uncomfortable with events when I first went through Thrall: Twilight of the Aspects and we were introduced to the concept of 'false timeways', alternate realities that were somehow less than real despite being filled with real people living real lives and dying real deaths. If the alternate Blackmoore who attempts to kill Thrall several times is somehow not real, then his final confrontation with Thrall and his death at the shaman's hands lacks. Furthermore, how can a person who isn't real kill you? Nozdormu's explanation for his own inactivity I bought, but the idea that the other timeline was in some way not a true timeline bothered me.

Then we went to End Time. And I really started to wonder about Nozdormu.

There we were, in a potential future - moreover, a potential future that we were attempting to avert. And in order to do so, we had to kill Murozond because he was preventing us from traveling to the distant past and upon arriving there, gleefully altering history. Things we did in the Well of Eternity instance that were not part of history before include palling around with Illidan, Malfurion and Tyrande, fight and kill Peroth'arn, attack Queen Azshara, and steal the freaking Dragon Soul. None of this happened before! Even if we assume that our pilfering of the Dragon Soul was somehow okay, that when Nozdormu lost his Titan-granted powers it was sent back (a statement we only have his word for) we still know that the Aspects and Thrall changed the Dragon Soul. Remember, we all had to grab the Focusing Iris just so they could? Furthermore, at Deathwing's demise, Nozdormu makes a cryptic statement.

It is time! I will expend EVERYTHING to bind every thread here, now, around the Dragon Soul. What comes to pass will never be undone!

Okay, so he expended everything. This is no big deal - all the Aspects make a similar statement that they're channeling their full power (one assumes the very power that they lost, that granted to them by the Titans) into the Dragon Soul. No, the line that gets me is 'bind every thread here, now, around the Dragon Soul. What comes to pass will never be undone!'

I got a Ray, what did you just do? vibe off of that moment. Which leads us to the announcement of Warlords of Draenor and the explanation of how it comes to pass.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: The warlords of Draenor

The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

Originally, Draenor was a planet with a nigh-uneventful history until a series of progressively more incredible and unusual events, brought to the world from outside sources, plunged it into chaos. According to what we knew -- which was admittedly very little -- the orc clans of Draenor had no issues with the rest of the world, or with each other. There may have been the occasional squabbles between clans, but there was nothing remotely resembling full out war ... at least nothing that's been recorded in history as we know it. However, the announcement of Warlords of Draenor seems to indicate a big history lesson is on the way.

Draenor's history, one distinct moment in time has been altered, creating a separate fork -- a bubble of time, if you will -- that has changed the fates of these old heroes. So who are the Warlords of Draenor? We have their names. What we don't have is the new history revealed in the expansion just yet. But even in the original timeline, these orc warlords each had different, unique histories that all tied in together, courtesy of the Burning Legion's meddling and influence.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: The History of Draenor

Adam's project
The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

It may not be Azeroth, but it's got a history just as rich and just as convoluted. In the Warcraft universe, the planet Draenor plays a secondary role to Azeroth in terms of storyline -- consider it something like a sister planet, one whose history is irrevocably entwined with Azeroth's. Although these days Draenor exists as a mere shell of what it once was, Draenor, its inhabitants, and its fate are all one of the most significant pieces of Warcraft lore out there. After all, if there were no Draenor, there would be no First or Second wars. There would be no Horde.

Why is this planet so important? It certainly didn't have very much to do with the original inhabitants. In fact, Draenor would have likely lived on in obscurity were it not for the strange, peaceful settlers from another world. Peaceful they may have been, but they had a history they could not escape -- a past that forever linked them with the Burning Legion ... and the Burning Legion knows little of forgiveness or mercy for those that incur its wrath.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore, TFH: The Aspects of the Titans

The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

Y'all know the drill here - this is a speculative jam. Nothing in this is to be taken as what Blizzard is actually saying.

In the distant past, Azeroth was formed by the hands of beings potent even beyond gods. These beings, known to us as Titans, have left the evidence of their presence in many ways - huge, magnificent complexes of astonishing construction, races shaped by their will, the prisons that held Yogg-Saron and Y'Shaarj's heart, and much more besides. From the Mogu'shan Vaults to Uldaman, from the fantastic jungles of Un'Goro to the Sholozar Basin, including the magnificent Vale of Eternal Blossoms the Titans left their mark in the very structure of Azeroth.

Recently the black dragon Wrathion consumed the heart of Lei Shen the Thunder King, a mogu warlord empowered by the stolen power and knowledge of Master Ra (known as Ra-Den to them), a Titan Watcher similar to those left behind in Ulduar. When he did that, he spoke the following words: "We have fallen. We must rebuild the Final Titan. Do not forget." I've wondered long and hard what that could mean. But it wasn't until I considered the powers the Titans bestowed upon the five Dragon Aspects so long ago. Their control of life, magic, dreams, the very land beneath our feet and time's ebb and flow was so absolute that it beggars the imagination, and it also asks us a question - could they bestow this power, if they did not have it themselves, and more besides?

We casually discuss the vast oceans of time that separate us from the Titans. Untold tens of thousands of years, perhaps more - indeed, none can say exactly how far in the past the Titans began their ordering of the universe, much less arrived to create Azeroth. Sargeras had already fallen to be the Dark Titan over 25,000 years ago, but how far before that is unknown to us. But it brings a question to mind - how could such powerful entities seemingly vanish? Why have they left their creations to their own devices? Why are emissaries such as Algalon watching over their creation, rather than the Titans themselves? Is it merely that they are so distant from mundane mortal concerns, living on a scale vastly beyond our comprehension?

I submit it is something else entirely. To determine what, we must look at their actions, and the servants they've chosen to enact their will.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Burning Crusade, Lore, Know your Lore, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm

Know Your Lore, TFH Edition: What are the Old Gods?

Know Your Lore, TFH Edition What are the Old Gods
The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

They are malignant entities, forces of chaos and destruction that were locked beneath Azeroth long, long before most of the sentient races we know today came to be. The Old Gods, horrific creatures capable of warping mind and thought, bending "lesser creatures" to their whim, once reigned supreme on Azeroth until they fell to the Titans. Yet they persisted still, even from within their prisons deep beneath the soil. C'thun, Yogg-Saron, N'zoth, and even the haunted last breaths of the Old God Y'Shaarj have presented a persistent menace that simply will not go away.

And according to at least some accounts told in Titan records, it's because they can't go away. They can't be killed. Destroying the Old Gods would result in the destruction of Azeroth itself, which is why the Titans chose to merely imprison them instead of flat-out destroy. But one question lingers, in the midst of all the this muddled history. Who -- or perhaps more appropriately, what -- are the Old Gods? Where did they come from? Which version of their history is correct ... or is the truth simply sitting somewhere in between the two?

Today's Know Your Lore is a Tinfoil Hat edition, meaning the following is a look into what has gone before with pure speculation on how it happened. These speculations are merely theories and shouldn't be taken as fact or official lore.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Who speaks for the orcs?

The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

A question asked via email this week on the podcast got me thinking: who is in charge of the orcs right now? All the other races of the Horde have their own faction leaders, but following Hellscream's defeat and the ascension of the new Warchief (following this paragraph, I will be using the name of the new Warchief, as Garrosh Hellscream has been available on LFR for a week now) this leads us to an unusual circumstance - for the first time ever, the Warchief is not an orc, and thus, not the direct faction leader for the orcs in addition to his role as overall leader of the Horde.

Now, for those of us who saw the cinematic, this question seems to have a simple answer: clearly Thrall is now in charge of the orcish people, yes? He is the first to kneel and proclaim that he will follow where the Warchief leads. However, upon several rewatchings, one thing is clear - he says he will follow. He doesn't claim to speak for anyone else.

This leads us to another question - if Thrall isn't to speak for the orcs, then who is? Of course, another question we could ask is, does it matter?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Know your Lore, Mists of Pandaria

Know Your Lore: Which side is Wrathion on, anyway?

Know Your Lore Which side is Wrathion on, anyway
The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

Once upon a time, an egg from a corrupted flight of dragons was purified. Even before he hatched, the dragon in that egg began to plot and plan. His first step was freedom -- both from those who sought to contain him, and those who sought to kill him. The second, far larger step was born of a vision ... a terrifying vision of a precious, fragile world abruptly coming to a devastating end. Wrathion is one of the stranger characters to have been introduced in Warcraft. While his plans in Cataclysm were fairly straight forward, Mists has proven to be a far more complicated gambit.

And through all of the quests and all of the plans, Wrathion has remained as enigmatic as he was the first time rogues set eyes on him. He can be cruel, he can be downright merciless if the need calls for it. Yet at the same time, he seems to possess an altruistic capacity that we've simply never seen before from a black dragon. He'll promise the world to you, and then turn around and promise the same to your enemy. Is he bad? Is he good? Is he siding with the Alliance or Horde? What makes Wrathion tick, and just whose side is he on?

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Do Not Despair

Know Your Lore Do Not Be
The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

Often, the most important things are lost in the crash of events. The tumultuous overthrow of the Warchief, Garrosh Hellscream, obscures events that occur elsewhere and the implications of those events. This is natural - Orgrimmar's siege was a pivotal moment in the history of Azeroth and its resolution changed the political landscape of the Horde and established the Alliance's willingness to come together. An untested Warchief now must contend with a Horde full of fractious leaders and the roar of the Lion is once again heard over Azeroth. These events, the culmination of a year spent exploring a new land, are not surprisingly dominant in our minds.

But in the end it is in Pandaria that the truth is revealed. The world has changed. A profound alteration to a land locked away for ten thousand years, imprisoned by pride. Events were set in motion by our discovery of the land behind the mists, but their final denouement was not on the floor of Garrosh Hellscream's bastion beneath the streets of Orgrimmar, but rather in the Vale he casually destroyed to fuel his ambitions.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Know your Lore, Mists of Pandaria

Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: Twists in time

Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition Twists in time
The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

Two weeks ago, we looked briefly at the Timewalkers and the strange goings-on on the Timeless Isle. Since then, players that have been dutifully completing Kairoz's weekly quests have reached the end of the mysterious visions Kairoz has been trying to pinpoint -- with some disturbing results and implications. In fact, the whole mad journey has been a steady trickle of unanswered questions and dizzying scenarios that might or might not be true. Or perhaps they're all true, just in different versions of reality.

And that's the bronze dragonflight in a nutshell. It's a headache-inducing puzzle of events that might have been, have been, never been, and may have meant to be but hadn't, that can't quite be untangled. Led by Nozdormu, the bronze dragonflight's missive has always been to protect and observe the pathways of time. The Titans gifted Nozdormu with the knowledge of when and how he would die as a warning, a lesson -- that no matter how powerful Nozdormu might think he was, he, just like any mortal, would have to answer to time eventually. This was meant to keep the Timeless One in check, an effective plan.

But did it really work?

Today's Know Your Lore is a Tinfoil Hat edition, meaning the following is a look into what has gone before with pure speculation on how it happened. These speculations are merely theories and shouldn't be taken as fact or official lore.

Please note: This post contains spoilers for events on the Timeless Isle.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: The fate of Garrosh Hellscream

The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

In a recent edition of The Queue, one of our readers asked a question regarding the fate of Garrosh Hellscream in patch 5.4. It was a question that many players have actually been asking ever since Garrosh's fate was revealed. In the interests of avoiding spoilers, I won't mention that fate here, but be forewarned that this edition of Know Your Lore is chock full of spoilers for patch 5.4 that discuss the situation in full.

Garrosh Hellscream's journey began as leader-in-training for a remote, tiny village in Outland. Clouded with shame over his father's misdeeds, Garrosh was listless, depressed, and convinced that he was destined to lead his people down the same dark path that his father had. In the years following his introduction, Garrosh has discovered his father's heroic sacrifice, strove to live up to his name, eagerly sought to strengthen the Horde, and then promptly fulfilled his own sad vision of the future, leading his "True Horde" down a path of darkness that eerily echoed the familiar refrain of the Old Horde from so long ago.

Please note: There are spoilers for patch 5.4 immediately following the break. If you are avoiding spoiler content for the Siege of Orgrimmar, run away!

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: A brief summary of the Pandaria campaign

Know Your Lore A brief summary of the Pandaria campaign
The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

There will be spoilers for every patch of Mists of Pandaria, including 5.4 and the Siege of Orgrimmar raid, in this post

Leaving aside blame for a moment, let's just look at the results of the past year or so in terms of what actually happened. To heavily summarize events:

Horde and Alliance forces discovered Pandaria, landing in the Jade Forest.

Both factions mobilized local allies (the Horde made pacts with the Hozen, the Alliance joined forces with the Pearlfin Jinyu) and waged a proxy battle through these cat's paws. The result was the desrtuction of the Jade Serpent's next incarnation and the release of the Sha of Doubt, leading to the Sha infestation of the Temple of the Jade Serpent.

Both factions pushed onward into Kun-Lai Summit, where they fought the yaungol and set up base camps, converting local pandaren to their cause. They did not actually join in battle at this time.

Scouts and agents of the Horde and Alliance penetrated deeper into the continent, in time exploring the Townlong Steppes and Dread Wastes. In time these advance forces even managed to convince the August Celestials to allow both the Horde and Alliance to set up bases within the sacred Vale of Eternal Blossoms.

Both the Horde and Alliance made large-scale military bases in the Krasarang Wilds and began using these to wage resource war against one another, fighting over territory and raw materials as well as ancient mogu artifacts buried below the surface of the wilds.

This period of hostilities led to a culmination wherein Warchief Garrosh Hellscream attempted to use a mogu artifact, the Divine Bell, to infuse his own soldiers with the power of the Sha. The fallout from this action caused the neutral Kirin Tor to eject the Sunreaver pro-Horde faction from Dalaran and declare themselves for the Alliance under their leader, Lady Jaina Proudmoore. Prince Anduin Wrynn nearly died in the attempt to destroy the Divine Bell, which succeeded. Garrosh Hellscream, however, was not balked from his goal of finding a new weapon.

There's more, of course. Things had only begun to heat up at this point.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Know your Lore, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

Know Your Lore: The curious case of the Timeless Isle

Know Your Lore The curious case of the Timeless Isle
The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

Its existence is an enigma that even the wisest of pandaren have yet to unravel. A place of great reverence for the pandaren, many warriors and aspiring leaders once traveled to this remote isle to test their mettle against the great Celestials themselves. Yet at some point, some moment in history, the Timeless Isle vanished. And as history continued to wind on in Pandaria, the Isle would reappear from time to time -- long enough to perhaps be noticed, but never quite long enough to allow more than a few unfortunate adventurers upon its shores before blinking out into history once more.

Until now.

The Timeless Isle represents a curiosity both to the pandaren, who are glad to see the Isle back again and stable -- for now -- and to the Bronze Dragonflight and their allies, the Timewalkers. To many players, the Timeless Isle simply represents a fun way to pass a few hours, killing rare spawns, picking up enticing Bind-on-Account item tokens for alts, and of course gathering tons of Timeless Coins to turn in for other rare rewards. But there's something ... different about the Timeless Isle. It's a puzzle, one that has yet to be fully solved. And of all the questions I have about this odd island in the middle of nowhere, the one that stands out at the front of my mind is quite simply -- why now?

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: What does not kill us

Know Your Lore What does not kill us
The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.
- F. Scott Fitzgerald, "The Crack-Up"

While I make no claim to being even a second-rate intelligence, I am occasionally capable of holding opposed ideas. I wrote last week that the destruction of the Vale was going to happen. That it was necessary, to end the reign of the Sha of Pride over Pandaria itself and the stagnation it allowed to fester in the heart of the island continent for over ten thousand years. I still believe that to be true.

But something can be necessary and still be horrific, and moreover, still someone's fault. What happened in Pandaria, the escalation of the Horde and Alliance conflict that led to the Vale's destruction, may have been necessary. That doesn't excuse us for having helped make it happen, for failing to find a better way. For failing to even try to find a better way.

One of the arguments advanced after the Siege of Orgrimmar is over is the concept that the Alliance and Horde strengthen one another, that if one side were to utterly win and destroy the other, it would be weakened for the loss of that which it tests itself against. To this I make a counter response - there are many ways to strengthen one another.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Know your Lore, Mists of Pandaria

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