"In becoming every man, I am become no man"

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"In becoming every man, I am become no man"

Post by Thelos on Sat Apr 27, 2013 5:46 am

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In becoming every man, I am become no man

In becoming every man, I am become no man.

Every member of the Shado-pan, down from the lowliest neophyte to the mightiest of masters, are taught to emancipate themselves from negative emotion. To emancipate is not the same as to suppress. To suppress Sha is to strengthen Sha; this is the first lesson the neophyte learns. The deeper the Sha are shoved down the deeper they take root, and the more repugnant they fester. Doubt; Despair; Fear; Violence, Hate and Anger; the true Shado-pan has no need to bury these, for they have removed them root to branch.

That is the ideal.

The impossible dream.

The sages are eagerly teach us that the positive and negative are necessarily intertwined; yin and yang, opposite halves of the whole. For what is hate, but the opposite of love – an opposite, so the monks say, that defines its other? We hate that which threatens to undo that which we love, and we love that which undoes that which we hate. How strong can a love be called in which the lover does not hate the fiend that strikes down his beloved? It would be an empty love.

How strong can we call a Faith untried by Doubt? Without doubt, we do not speak of belief; without doubt, things simply are as they are and do not require our faith to attest them. I become what I am because I am what I have become.

What is Hope, but the rejection of Despair? We look upon our future and past, and we cannot help but feel one of either; a belief that things will better, or a want thereof; these two are two answer to the same question: what will be, and what will I become?

How courageous can we call men in a world that contains nothing in it for them to fear? What is the courage of a peerless warrior worth, whose prowess knows no challenge, whose existence is above threat?

We cannot regret that which could not possibly have been different,

We cannot rise above that which is not present,

We cannot have faith in that which we believe to be is all there is.

No dislikes without likes. No light without dark. No life without death. Yin and yang.

And so, many Shado-pan prove ultimately unable to purge themselves entirely of Sha due to their attachments.

They cannot rid themselves of Hate, for their hearts are filled with love.

They will doubt and despair in their hopes and dreams.

They will challenge their fears and face them.

Violence. Suppression. Conflict. Tension. Unrest.


The Shado-pan, sole standing army of Pandaria, mustn’t be violent. It is a strenuous contradiction. A constant tension. All Shado-pan feel it.

All but the Masks of the Monkey King.


Paozi Wulong sat meditating in his dimly-lit study. Surrounding him on all four walls hung his many costumes and disguises.

The farmer's overalls and straw hat, wielding a pitchfork and a fishing rod. Howdy, fine folks – ye seen a sewergator about these here parts?

A fancy black festival suit, neatly groomed to fit a bounteous figure. Your beauty strikes me like a very blow from the mighty Xuen himself, Sugarplum. Won't you allow an old bear the exquisite pleasure of buying you a drink?

A long jade robe, the very same the adepts of Yu'lon wear. Jade Serpent guide your steps, weary wanderer. Won't you rest here at our warm hearth? The first brew is on the Serpent herself. Let none who rest in her halls accuse Yu'lon of being an ungracious host!

A Shado-pan uniform, complete with scarlet scarf and dark helmet. There is no war beyond the wall. You are safe here, citizen.

A red uniform, sporting the Horde crest as depicted in the Houjin style. The only virtue is the will to act.

A blue uniform, sporting the Alliance crest as depicted in the Tushui style. Discipline and practice lead us to our full potential.

Paozi Wulong was all of these, yet none of these. The costumes and the mannerisms and personalities that belonged to them were the people, and he was the mask that they wore. The Mask of the Monkey King.

He loved jasmine tea an hated jasmine tea.

He feared crowds, he feared loneliness; he feared the dark and he feared the light.

He had no future to despair about. No past. Nothing to hope for.

He knew nothing to believe in, yet, he believed everything; he doubted all and had faith in all.

Paozi Wulong was not his name. He had no name

He had become no one..


They sat in a circle around the master, all the Neophyte Masks, watching their teacher who stood in their middle with expressionless faces. Over the last few months, they had undergone an intense training process to purge themselves of their personalities They had been administered droughts that killed their memories and had been taught meditation techniques to rid themselves of mannerisms , demeanor, ticks and tendencies. Now they were being taught how to experience life without any attachment – to simply allow experiences to flow trough their souls without stirring a thing, without sticking to anything. They would accumulate no new mannerisms or demeanor and the memories they would gain would not be their own. They would belong to any of the hundreds of people they were taught to be.

Sitting in this circle, each of the neophytes had lived dozens of lifetimes and will live dozens more. The mystical masks they used for their training each contained the memories of an entire lifetime. There was the mask of the yak-herder, Li Firebrough, who had lived a peaceful life in the planes of Kun Lai. There were masks for adepts of every priesthood; Yu'lon, Chi-ji, Niuzao and Xuen. There were masks of legendary Shado-pan warriors and there were masks of renowned poets, philosophers and brewmasters. They would becomes all of these people; and in becoming every one, they would become no one.

A nameless boy put on the mask of a fisherman and lived out his thirteenth lifetime.


Two pandaren wearing identical uniforms approached one another on the outskirts of Lion's Landing. Under the shade of one of the few swamp trees that had not been cut down during the construction of the Alliance's base of operations in Krasarang, they made sure they were not being watched.

“In becoming every man...” one said,

“I am become no man.” the other added.

The two pandaren nodded in perfect syn, and the one that approached from the keep disappeared into the wilds.

“Rest well” the other said to him, as he headed to the keep.


Paozi Wulong loved jasmine tea an hated jasmine tea.

Paozi Wulong loved crowds, he feared loneliness; he feared the dark and he feared the light.

Paozi Wulong had no future to despair about. No past and nothing to hope for.

Paozi Wulong had nothing to believe in, yet, he believed everything; he doubted everything and had faith in nothing; doubting nothing and believing everything.

But Paozi Wulong was old and not young. His muscles were stiff and not supple. His heart was failing and had no hope of bettering.

The old pandaren stood up, having finished his meditations, and walked up to the blue Tushui mask. Holding it up to the fire and gazing trough the slits, he put the feather-ornamented ceremonial helmet on. He then walked to the Houjin tunic, took it off the handle and cast it into the fire. Slowly he got dressed, putting on the blue uniform he had only been wearing on and off for a few months or so.

“I'm not getting any younger,” the old pandaren grunted to himself as he left his study.

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