Aka the Dragon Aspects.
Adding more flavor into Pandaria. I even decided to have them use their own language for who the Aspects are.
First off, yeah, I'm using Japanese rather than Chinese because well...I know Japanese better than Chinese.
Some of the actual Pandaren language survived even the slavery. The Pandaren once had their own actual language, but when they were enslaved by the Mogu, the Mogu forced them to speak their dialect of Titan.
So, what resulted was an odd mixture of Pandaren, which is a mixture of mostly Mandarin Chinese and Japanese and Mogu Titan.
So, important words would still be written in original Pandaren.
Such as the Sacred Beasts, their word translated as Dragon Aspects.
However, I modeled the Dragon Aspects after the Japanese Elements, which is similar to the Classical Greek Elements. Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and the fifth....which is in Japanese called Void, or really Heaven.
In Greek, or even Pagan beliefs, the fifth is known as the soul or the spirit.
And the reason why I decided to use the Japanese elements rather than the standard Chinese elements...which are Earth, Fire, Water, Wood, Metal...well...Earth and Metal would basically not fit very well, since both are represented by Neltharion himself.
I suppose I could substitute Wind for Wood...in some ways because of Ysera...but really...the Japanese one fits a bit better when it comes to the Aspects.
But the elements aren't the actual elements like they are in the Greek Classics...Fire isn't really Fire in Japanese elements...nor is Earth really earth, and so on...
The elements in Japanese myths are metaphysical representations of the body and the mind, as well as the mood.
So, I'll start with Earth, since it is at the base. Earth in Japan is the foundation. Makes sense. It's Earth. Same with Neltharion.
Neltharion is seen as the pillar which supports the world in Pandaren Myths. He is called Shugodoju.
The Sacred Beast of Earth.
However, he also has a second name, that of the Great Beast. Daiyaju.
And the Pandarens have lots of stories about Daiyaju
and his wacky adventures through Pandaria. It's cute.
Neltharion represents Earth to them because he became the building blocks upon which they built their empire after they overthrew the Mogu. Granted as stated in the other journal, Neltharion himself worked in subtle ways but the Pandarens still recognized what he did.
Also, in Pandaren myths, Shugodoju
is also the embodiment of matter, all things material. Which goes back to our friendly Special Relativity Equation and what Neltharion is a part of that.
So, he's not really the Beast of Earth as much to the Pandaren as he is the Beast of Mass and Matter.
I kinda painted the Pandarens actually having a little bit more of an understanding of who Neltharion was than the rest of the world, which is why they respect him so much. And because of him, they learned how to manipulate the physical elements, which is earth, fire, air, and water...and they are different from the Metaphysical Elements that the Beasts represent.
Next on the pillar we have Water...the Beast of Water, aka Shugomizuju.
And this is Ysera.
Ysera is associated with plants, nature, ecosystems, and dreams. Dreams are formless, fluid things, whether they are still waters or torn by storms of nightmare.
Just like the sea is torn by the hurricanes that batter it.
And plants are usually associated with water. Water also has a soothing presence, which seems to fit how Ysera is the most.
Next is fire, and it's Alexstrasza, and most of you are going: "No fucking shit!"
So, yeah, like the obvious of Earth being for Neltharion, Fire is Alexstrasza.
And it fits again like Neltharion. Her fire can both create and destroy. Can heal and kill. So, no brainer there.
And often, in various myths outside of Judeo-Christian beliefs that fire is the devil...Fire is often the representation of life.
So, the Shugohiju
, aka Beast of Fire is Alexstrasza. Because fucking Life-Binder, guys.
So, even to the Pandaren, this again was a no brainer.
is the Beast of Wind. Which is Nozdormu.
Wind is often associated with to freedom of movement, growth over time, and experience could fit Nozdormu. And he he's very elusive and evasive, hard to pin down.
Wind is also often associated with change, like the line of "the winds of change." Nozdormu is a being that flows like the sands of time. And wind is again associated with the desert, which is again Nozdormu's home. The Caverns of Time is in the desert where Uldum and Tanaris are located.
And Nozdormu's favorite motif, his calling card is the hourglass, which has sands that empty from the top to the bottom. He often appears in a fierce torrent of wind and sand as well, and disappears in much the same way.
So the Pandaren take a good note of that and assigned him with his Metaphysical Element of Wind.
And the last one, but not least, is Shugokugeki
, aka the Beast of the Void...or the Beast of Cosmic Energy.
And that is Malygos. And no, I'm not saying also Kalecgos. Because for one thing, the Pandarens, besides those who are from the Wandering Isle, know Shugokugeki
is Malygos. They aren't informed of his demise.
The Void in Japanese Element Mythology is associated all things that are energy. Which again has to do with Special Relativity and Malygos being the other side of that equation. Because in this universe, Einstein created god dragons.
But that is not the main reason why the Pandaren chose him to be the Beast of Void.
The main reason why is because of Malygos' lively humor. Void is associated with power, creativity, spontaneity, and inventiveness. Which pretty much spells out Malygos prior to the Sundering.
Void and that of the concept of Ki Energy (yes that Ki Energy), is often associated with vigor.
Malygos himself was probably the second Aspect who visited Pandaria often after the Pandarens established their new government. Neltharion probably no doubt showed Malygos a lot of what he had done for Pandaria, the mountains he created, the fact that he was able to teach a culture how to respect the land and that his presence did influence their lives.
So, pretty much Malygos was just as respected and loved by the Pandarens like Neltharion.
So, there we go.
One thing I have to say about my version of Pandaria.
In the rest of the planet, prior to the Sundering...or hell even prior to the Second War, the Dragon Aspects were rarely seen. They did their work mostly in private and behind the scenes...under the noses of the mortals who walked upon Kalimdor.
Seeing a dragon was a rare sight in on itself.
But I often wanted to make the point that perhaps the reason why a lot of shit happened on Azeroth, was because the Aspects themselves refused to at least educate the mortals on how to properly take care of the world.
Mostly because the Aspects felt that such interaction was beneath them. Which explains Ysera being rather snappy if not outright condescending to Malfurion when he spoke with her during the making of the Dragon Soul.
Because pretty much the mortals were like onto an amoeba to the Aspects. And how many times have you attempted to lower yourself down to even communicate with them?
But because of their aloofness, the problems that happened during Azeroth's recent history, such as the Nexus War, were caused because of lack of dialog between the Dragonflights and mortals.
Hell if Malygos had really done his job right, and maybe teach the mortals to be respectful of magic, the Nexus War probably wouldn't have happened. Hell, maybe the Sundering would have never happened, I dunno.
But I wanted to build Pandaria up to be this place where what was normal for the Aspects, was pushed aside.
Neltharion got involved, in of course more subtle ways, but still got involved. He was a teacher, not someone who held the Pandaren's hands every step of the way.
He instilled lessons about respecting the land and the physical elements and these lessons are still being taught today. Hell, Math Nut deduced it was one of the reasons why even after the Pandaren Empire was dissolved the moment Shaohoa became the mists...that the Pandarens were under any sort of threat of instability for losing their main body of government.
They were more than capable of holding themselves up despite Shaohao's absence. Whereas anywhere else on Azeroth, this would have led to anarchy.
The Pandarens could make the change from having an Emperor to not having one rather smoothly.
Hell it's probably one of the many reasons why the Pandarens could remember the Aspects so fondly was because they were a part of their lives. Whereas everyone else remembers that Alexstrasza was that one dragon who was made into a baby factory for the Horde, Neltharion was that one dragon who like to make life miserable for everyone else, and Malygos was that one dragon who started a genocidal war because the mortals weren't following the magical rules that they didn't know existed.
My two cents, I guess.