in your browser.
The Chronicles of the Empire - Compenduim I: The Tribal Era (Complete)
Return to board index
The Tribal Era:
As many do not know, The Pandaren Empire did not always exist, far from it in fact. The Pandaren were long ago, a people divided. There were a myriad of different clans and groups within the Pandaren culture. These clans sprang from families breaking ties, followers of certain leaders, and various other causes. In this Compendium we will explore the early stages of the clans, and how these stages have been instrumental in shaping Pandaren society as we know it.
A Myriad of Clans
Origins of the Wardance and Geomancy
Origins of the Ju-Gong Tournaments
A Myriad of Clans
The oldest records indicate that during the still infantile stages of the Pandaren race, there were over one hundred different clans, a far cry from the twenty-four the Empire maintains today. These clans often warred with one another over a vast number of differences, ranging from spiritual belief to territorial holdings. However, it was not uncommon for clans to band together in allegiance with one another as well.
One of the most prominent of these allegiances during the time was the Ichima Coalition, consisting of the Stone Claw, Forest Heart, and Moss Fur clans. Many of the laws and rules that we hold dear in Pandaria today are derived from agreements set forth by the terms of the Ichima Coalition. They held neutrality as a very important ideal, believing that aligning oneself to a particular way of thinking is short-sighted and often dangerous. The Ichima Coalition was however, short-lived. Though they were peaceful, they were often harried by raids and incursions from other, more brash clans. Over time, the Coalition began to dwindle and eventually the remaining members were absorbed into other clans.
Another notable allegiance during the early stages of Pandaren culture was the Southriver League. Like the Ichima Coalition, the Southriver League held many ideals dear to them that we now hold in high regard. The Southriver League held that the spirits were to be revered, that the defense of oneself and one's allies is the highest priority in battle, and that none were above the law. Through these ideals, the Southriver League flourished. The clans consisting of the Southriver League eventually decided to join ties to one another and create one large clan, the Whispering River Clan. It was through this coming together that some of the first foundations of the Pandaren Empire were laid.
Though many allegiances rose and fell throughout the Tribal Era, warfare was a constant. Throughout the era waging war was one of the things that a Pandaren knew he or she would have to face at some point in his or her life, and more often than not, multiple times. There were a number of developments in these conflicts that have affected the Empire as we know it today. One such conflict was the Jade Forest War.
The instigator of the war was the War Paw clan of the southern Jade Forest. They sought to claim territory from an easterly-located clan, whose name has been lost to the ages. The War Paw, however, was much smaller of the two clans, so they knew that in order to claim the land from their eastern rivals, they would need to employ something rather different in order to gain the territory. They spent months in training, building up what is recognized to be the first trained army among the Pandaren.
Before this, armies consisted of any who were willing to fight against the designated foe, nearly all of them having no formal training in the arts of war whatsoever. It was through this training regiment that the War Paw Clan was able to overcome their larger counterpart. The display put on by the War Paw impressed the remaining members of the larger clan so much, that they devoted themselves to their conquerors and were absorbed into the War Paw Clan.
Throughout the decades following, the War Paw Clan continued with their training regiments. Through their training, they were able to take land from a number of different clans, and grow immensely from the rather small group from which they had begun. Over time, they grew into the largest single Clan among the Pandaren people.
But, this growth eventually stopped. The training regiments that the War Paw had perfected had been noted by the myriad of other clans, who began to employ their own training as well. Though the War Paw was the largest clan, they soon began to dwindle in number due to raids and incursions from other, more well trained clans. Eventually, the War Paw Clan was but a shadow of it's former glory.
With these new training regiments and new tactics being employed, it was not long until clans began to question the validity of the use of animals in warfare. The Pandaren had long been accustomed to taming the native horses of their lands for work purposes. It was known that the horses could carry immense weights and still be rather light on their feet, but it was not until these training regiments spread throughout the clans that horses were looked upon as something more than beasts of burden.
During the War of the Eastern Plains, the Swiftplains Clan is recognized to be the first to utilize horses to carry soldiers into battle. This rudimentary cavalry was however, largely ineffective in its first deployments. It was not until the Swiftplains began to mount archers in place of infantry soldiers on horses that their cavalry became effective. They would send out these mounted archers in the first stages of the battle. They would gallop at full charge toward the enemy, loosing arrows at them as quickly as possible, and run back to the rear lines of their own armies. This tactic often drew the enemy into attacking the more heavily armored infantry with far less than the desired force.
Another notable development was the use of magic within the armies. Being a shamanistic people, the Pandaren had been using magic to meet their various, more dire needs for generations. However, it was not until the use of these new tactics became widespread that the use of magic was beginning to be employed in warfare.
The first use of magic within Pandaren warfare is recognized to be used by the ancient Redfur Clan. During their conflicts with the Stonefist Clan, they would utilize shamanistic magic to bolster the strength and speed of their outnumbered warriors. This boon granted them the necessary force to take much of the Stonefist's territory. Later, the use of shamanistic magic was employed to imbue the armor and weaponry of many clans. These imbued armors and weapons have been described to be able to set enemies afire, freeze attackers in place, and various other effects.
Over time, the conflicts between the clans began to dwindle. This is largely due to the fact that many of the clans were absorbed into larger counterparts or eradicated completely.
Origins of the Wardance and Geomancy
Over the periods of Inter-Clan warfare, many different tactics and types of training regiments were employed. Through these training regiments, Pandaren warriors of all types began to hone their respective skills on their own. Over the decades following the first wars among the Pandaren Clans, the Wardance had begun to develop. The first recognized Wardancer was Wong-Fei of the War Paw Clan.
In his life, Wong-Fei was a renowned tactician and one of the ranking generals of the War Paw Clan during it's height of power. In the remaining journals of those who fought alongside him, it is said that he could move as quickly as the wind, and that his strikes were as strong as the earth itself.
From the journal of a soldier in the War Paw Clan, by the name of Koda:
"The raids against the Northern Clans have been very successful. Thanks to our training, we've been able to stave off their defenses. But what has been the most magnificent of our attacks, has been General Wong-Fei.
His abilities astound all of us. We are in awe of him. His grace in battle is unmatched. I saw him take down six defending warriors with a single, swift, marvelous motion of his sword. His prowess will lead the War Paw to greatness.
We soldiers have approached him multiple times, asking for direct training under him, but he has rebuked all of our advances. He says that had he the time, he would train us, but with the warfront growing larger every day, there is no way that he could train us properly."
General Wong-Fei was the driving force behind the legend of the War Paw Clan. With his leadership, the War Paw Clan drove on to become the greatest clan of its time. It was not until his death that the War Paw's decline seemed evident.
Another passage from the journal of the War Paw soldier, Koda:
"Today is a dark day. We have just recieved word from the front, that General Wong-Fei has fallen, his heart pierced by an arrow. They say he fought valiantly throughout the battle, but a volley of arrows finally took him. Without his leadership, I fear that the raids and incursrions from the other Clans will only get worse.
I hope that we can live by his example, to become the greatest warriors among our people. He will be known in legend. He was a true master of War."
After Wong-Fei's death, the War Paw did eventually fall to the raids and incursions from their rival clans. Though the War Paw's glory did fade, their legacy did not. The legend of Wong-Fei grew throughout the clans. Each soldier, fighter, and ruffian aspired to become as great as he who could dance through war.
With his legend spreading, new masters of the arts of war began to spring up in Wong-Fei's place. It was not long until each Clan had it's own master, with their own legends developing. With each small amount of rest between wars, these masters would take on students, and teach them to perfect the arts of war. These were the first Wardancers, and though their styles have died out, their legacy has lived on.
Geomancy, unlike the Wardance, has a much different story surrounding it's origins. Long before the Wardancers became known, the Swiftplains Clan had begun their foray into horsemanship. Living on the open plains of the west, they were able to control a vast amount of territory with their abilities to ride.
It was with this, that the Swiftplains were the first to encounter a race of people previously unknown to the Pandaren. In such a remarkable discovery, the captain who led the scouting party wrote a letter to his superiors, detailing the encounter:
We have encountered a people in our mission. They are not like us. They have large hooves and horns. Their faces resemble that of the horses we ride, but they are different. They call themselves Shu'halo. They are peaceful, and willing to trade with us it seems. They have many exotic furs, precious feathers and many other valuable things.
I think it best that we send an envoy of good will to these people. I seen that they contact the spirits, much like our Shaman. Perhaps it would be best to send along a Shaman with the envoy, so that we may teach each other our traditions and practices in magic. It also may be easier to understand them if we could communicate through the spirits as well; we have only been able to utilize hand gestures and charades to commune thus far.
Your Loyal Captain,
The Captain Swiftwind and his scouting party had discovered the Tauren. Through their envoys, the Swiftplains would learn that the Tauren worshipped an entity they called the Earthmother. This intrigued the Pandaren shaman who visited the Tauren. The more they learned of this "Earthmother" the more they found themselves drawn to her.
In an attempt to earn the Earthmother's favor, the Shaman who visited performed a ritual dance, celebrating life and the connection to the spirits. The Earthmother found a passion in the Pandaren that she knew with the Tauren, and granted them her favor. With her passion backing the Shaman of the Swiftplains, they found that they were able to control the earth with far superior skill than they had previously.
With each spell, they perfected a dance to thank the Earthmother for her guidance, and impress her with their grace. These dances became ingrained into the shamanistic ways of the Swiftplains, and the first Geomancers were born, and it was not long until the spells of the Swiftplains Geomancers began to trickle into the practices of the other clans.
Many clans were hesitant to accept the new teachings, and did not do so until the prowess of the Geomancers was proved in battle, by the Redfur Clan. As you have previously read, through their shamanistic connection to the earth, and the Earthmother, the Redfur Clan was able to imbue their warriors with the strength of the earth itself. This enabled them to utilize the mountain homes of the Stonefist Clan against them, calling down the very walls of the canyons in which they dwelt onto their heads.
But, this new practice, beginning to spread like wildfire, began to give a common meaning to the Pandaren people. It was not long until warfare among the clans was sparse and scattered. With this new way of thinking, these seemed to be little reason to fight among the shamanistic caste. The soldiers and chieftains, however, felt that dominance among the clans was still necessary.
Origins of the Ju-Gong Tournaments
Through cooperation with each other over a long period of years, the Pandaren began to devise new ways to gain territory, resources, and soldiers for the ranks. Instead of all-out war, the very best of the Wardancers, soldiers, and Geomancers would put their abilities to the test in tournaments of skill. The winners of the tournaments would be granted tribute, territory, resources, and soldiers for ranks of their armies.
The first record of a test of skill taking precedent over a battle was actually some generations before the Great Tournaments were established.
During the Blue River War, between the Ju-Gong Alliance and the Shadowpaw Clan, each battle began to take a heavy toll on the soldiers and officers alike. The two opposing forces soon found themselves in a stalemate. In a parlay between the Ju-Gong Chieftains and the Shadowpaw Generals, the Ju-Gong proposed a settlement, and the Shadowpaw Clan accepted the terms.
In the terms of settling the war, each of the opposing armies would send forth its greatest Wardancer to Blue River, where the majority of the battles had taken place. There, they would stand upon large, thick posts in the center of the rushing water. Upon these posts, they would do battle with one another until one of them fell dead from their post and into the river. The river would run red a final time, and the winner of the conflict would win the war for his people.
The Battle between these two great warriors has passed into legend, and has given each of the two a mythical status among the Pandaren people. The truth of the battle has been lost to time, and even that was likely dampened with bias from each side that recorded the combat. One fact prevails, of which we can be certain due to it being noted in ancient, neutral records, the Ju-Gong Wardancer proved victorious.
This single combat was the first of the many tournaments that sprang up in place of warfare, tournaments that took their name from the first winner. Thus, the Ju-Gong tournaments were born. The coming of these tournaments drove the Pandaren further and further toward unity, and those who participate in them are revered among our people for their skill. Even today, two jade statues of the original participants can be found, overlooking the gates of the Imperial Tournament Grounds, standing upon their wooden perches, ready to do battle.
First section done! I promise that
of the sections
be larger than the first one currently is. I wanted to get a little something more out there than the introduction, so I rushed the first section a bit. I may expand on it later, but I'm more focused on getting on to the other sections.
What happened to the other topic?
I love this btw.
What happened to the other topic?
I love this btw.
The other topic is a master thread. Otherwise I would have had to reserve a few pages for sections.
Ah, I gotcha'.
This post was from a user who has deleted their account.
Like the furbolgs, tauren, and Wildhammer dwarves, the pandaren follow a shamanistic faith, worshiping the Earth Mother and giving passage to their dead. They are true geomancers, drawing their holy power directly from the Earth Mother
Oh I know where it comes from.
But you don't know how I'm going to implement it!
Section 2 is completed!
Wewt for epicness!
Keep it up man.
Section 3 is complete.
Interesting. I like it heh.
Hehe, thanks. I'd like to see what Delt and Sept think of that section since they seemed to be anticipating it.
You are not logged in. Please
to post a reply or
if you don't already have an account.
Connect with Wowhead
Other Fanbyte Sites
Hearthstone Top Decks
Final Fantasy XI
© 2021 Fanbyte