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 August Celestials
are comparable to the Ancients of Kalimdor and Northrend. (Whether or not the Ancients reach into the Eastern Kingdoms is debatable - I haven't seen
any there, but that doesn't mean they can't get there.) They serve as the four pillars of Pandaria, sustaining the lands under their protection from the four temples that bear their names. Xuen
the White Tiger to the north in Kun-Lai Summit, the powerful Niuzao
the Black Ox to the west in the Townlong Steppes, Chi-Ji
the Red Crane from the Krasarang Wilds to the south, and Yu'lon
the Jade Serpent from her temple in the Jade Forest. Since before the time of Shaohao the last Pandaren Emperor, these four have advised and aided the peoples of Pandaria, protecting the land from the malign influences of the Sha, the rapacious expansion of the mantid, and the cruel oppression of the mogu. It's fair to speculate on whether or not the pandaren, jinyu and hozen could have hoped to have freed themselves without the August Celestials.
Yet these four spirits and their temples, while powerful influences on the culture and life of the lands of Pandaria, are not omnipresent parental figures. They do not shepherd their followers, but encourage them. They won't stand idly by and allow them to be destroyed, but neither will they control their lives.
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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Know your Lore, Mists of Pandaria