I am hoping that this is a title grabber. Because oh my god...
Yes, I am even blaming Neltharion for this one. So, no the Squishy isn't blameless here.
Mostly it has to do with Nel 1.0 and the other Aspects. Rather than squishy Nel 2.0 who's the broken Woobie we have to hug.
So, I have to beg the question. When the Mogu enslaved Pandaria, how the fucking hell could the Aspects let that happen?
I knew you were a bitch, Alexstrasza, but I didn't think you were a heartless bitch.
I know I'm gonna be called out about that statement.
But, blech, I don't care.
But one of the things I have to do with this story is fill in a lot of holes left by Blizzard. And when you're dealing with someone like Neltharion, I have to.
It's the only way I can make sense of it all for the story.
So, let's get this thing started.
Why is Neltharion the Main Character?
One of the main reasons why there's a huge hole in there has to do with the Player Character is a nobody. The Player Character is not a Dragon Aspect who has been there since the beginning, or one of the Titan Watchers, or a Tol'vir, or a Mogu, or hell, even one of the many cast of main characters in the lore itself.
You as the Adventurer, as I had stated in a previous journal, do not matter in the grand scheme of things, are not really a part of the actual plot of the lore, and cannot really change the lore.
The only thing you can do is do your chores. Like gather stuff, beat ten of those monsters, send a message to someone...that sort of thing. At the most, you can run a dungeon and or do a raid...but really, there's not much of the story you either affect nor do you really get.
Which again is why when I took on this project, I wanted to mess around with Neltharion. Because he can in fact affect the story, and the lore in a sense, and he has done so in the past as Deathwing, or even Nel 1.0.
Hell, he helped shape the entire planet. So having a person like that as the main character opens a large door. It also allows me to really explore just what this place is about.
And the great thing about him losing his memory is that you get to make this discovery with him.
But again, Nel is a plot hole filler. And yeah, a lot of what we're filling is mostly speculation. But given how little I have to work with anyways, there's really no other way I can really do this.
So that is why the Squishy is here, folks. He's here to really show us the Azeroth the Player Character doesn't ever see.
The Mogu as Titan Constructs
Okay, so here's a big thing I need to handle. The Mogu. Who they were, what they were, and what part of the grand scheme of things did they fit.
We don't have much on them. We do know that they were basically, to put it simply in terms we can understand, worker robots to the Titans.
Think I, Robot
, (yes the one with Will Smith), and you'd get the idea.
Hell, they probably weren't on the same level as the Aspects. If any, they may have been on a lower pecking order given that they were basically mass produced, and mono-gendered. Which again brings me to think they basically were robotic lifeforms. Not robots like we would make, but still...yeah. Robots.
Still begs the question if the Mogu became mortal when they suffered from the Curse of the Flesh, why didn't they die out when they had no females to reproduce with? Did they reproduce aesexually? Did they build more of themselves like the concept of self replicating robots?
You know, that's a big plothole that I can't really think around it that much, so I'm just gonna say that the Curse of the Flesh did something else to them. Like...cut them off from the orders of their programmers, or screwed with their primary functions which is why they "devolved" into feudal clans.
It didn't really change them physically, but it did mess something up.
Their Relationship with the Aspects
Okay, so we basically know what the Mogu were. They were basically giant rock robots created by the Titans to pretty much guard and work in the Titan's R&D Lab in Pandaria, aka the Vale of Eternal Blossoms.
Doesn't sound all that grand or majestic when I put it that way, huh?
So, being robots, and programmed by the Titans, they probably have worked with the Dragon Aspects. I wouldn't put it passed.
Now before you purists call foul, let me remind you, we don't really know much about what went on. I mean the dragons and the Aspects really don't appear at least to the mortal consciousness in the canon until the Well of Eternity trilogy. That's thousands upon thousands of years of most mortals on Azeroth not knowing they had dragons...let alone Dragon Aspects.
And even then, it's not made clear.
And I'm working a story that has a Dragon Aspect as the main character, so I gotta fill in the holes here.
So, it would make sense that one Titan construct, the Mogu, would help and work with another Titan construct, the Aspects.
So I wouldn't put it far beyond these two groups as being at least on the friendly side. The Titans would want their constructs to work harmoniously. They were about Order, so this makes sense. We just don't know about it because again, the Adventurer is a nobody and is probably not privy to the true doings of what goes on behind the scenes when they're not looking.
And in a game aspect, this level of detail is probably not necessary. Conservation of Detail is in play here. However, in a story being written, especially one involving one of the physical gods of the planet, yeah, we need this level of detail.
They worked together doing the Titans' work on Azeroth, with ordered precision and purpose.
That is until the Curse of the Flesh happened and the Mogu got their prime functions all screwy and started beating each other up.
It also didn't help that their administrator, aka Ra-Den, probably was either malfunctioning himself, was taken offline, got damaged...who knows...
For those of you who don't know, he's a Titan Watcher. Not an actual Titan, but a construct that acts as the administrator to keep all the other constructs in proper functioning order. Watchers are, I guess, could be even higher than the Aspects on the pecking order. Not higher in power, but higher in status. The boss's boss, basically. Or at least holding a higher position that would get an Aspect to be very respectful to them when they were around.
Neltharion could probably kick Algalon's ass every which way till Sunday, but when it comes to the pyramid of whose over whom, then it may be Algalon over Neltharion in terms of the actual pecking order.
Like the class status of the Blitzardi. Algalon just has more authority than Neltharion. Given he's got his hand on the button that tells the Titans to show up and erase all the life on the planet, strip it for resources, and start over...yeah...he's got more authority over Neltharion. Algalon can actually get on the phone with the Titans and have them drop by. Neltharion can't even do that.
So Pecking Order....
Mogu and Tol'vir
Bottom row, guys.
Told you, you didn't matter.
So, again, this suggest they worked together.
Which comes to the big issue here...
How the Hell Could the Aspects Allow Slavery to Happen?
Yeah. That's a big one.
You disappoint me, Squishy!
Let's look at the canon as is, unaltered by me to really fill in the holes.
Up until 12 thousand years ago on Azeroth, the Mogu had enslaved the Pandaren and other creatures in Pandaria, and the Aspects did jack shit to stop it.
Why did they allow it to happen? Why didn't they do something?
Because they clearly didn't. Or else there would have been evidence. Hell, the only time when all five Aspects lifted a finger to do ANYTHING was during the War of Ancients.
And probably a good thing too, because they botched that up big time.
I am looking at you, Alex! You claim to again be Little Miss Perfect and Compassionate and you allowed Slavery to flourish!
And you're no different, Neltharion! Shame on you!
Hell, according to canon, before the Mogu even took over the place, the Jinyu were the benevolent rulers and they got their asses kicked by the Mogu.
What the fucking hell happened?
The canon doesn't say. It honest to god doesn't say.
I'm beginning to think that the Aspects were an afterthought by Knaak because he wanted to stick dragons in the story and have them do something. They basically had nothing to do at all in the lore.
Hell the main synopses on the history of Azeroth doesn't even mention them until the Second War when Deathwing gave his Dragon Soul away to Nekross.
Didn't even mention the fact that the friggin Dragon Soul, when combined with the Well of Eternity, was the thing that broke the planet.
You see why I am writing the story I am writing? I am actually giving the dragons something to do. More than they did in the actual canon. If they were so goddamned important, than, this should have been easy.
It almost seems like the Titans just gave them those titles just to make them feel important.
But in my headcanon, they actually do shit.
So, how do I explain thousands of years when Pandaria was under the enslavement of the Mogu...and the Aspects just let it happen...well...here's how we do it...
The Legend of the Great Beast (Neltharion)
You all probably have already heard the title, the Great Beast, spoke already.
if you read the story, you would.
The Pandarens respecting Neltharion because he was the one who enkindled the fire of inner strength in them...which gave the Pandaren the will to stand up to Lei Shen and overthrow him.
Neltharion the Liberator! Right?
Neltharion did not liberate any slaves. The truth though is that Neltharion 1.0 was a very cunning and intelligent being. He was also a person who, because of his lengthy lifespan, thought of the big picture. He was planning for the future rather than handling things in the now.
So, he didn't break any shackles, he didn't rally the masses, but he did confront Lei Shen.
The prologue of Rise of the Sha is written mostly from a folklore perspective. A parable passed down by the Pandarens.
But the truth itself is a bit different.
Neltharion probably was issuing a warning to Lei Shen and the Mogu that what they were doing would really make his job a bit harder. They were going beyond the required safety levels for their work. And it probably was damaging the planet. And given the planet was Neltharion's responsibility, he had to step in and say something. But it wasn't a warning like issuing a challenge...but more like one of the higher-ups telling the worker to stop what they were doing or they would get their hands cut off.
But the Pandarens interpret it as Neltharion standing up against what they believed to be a tyrant, and it spoke to them. It made them want to rise up and overthrow the Mogu.
The Pandaren see Neltharion as their savior, but...really...he probably was not.
However, I'm inclined to try and interpret in another fashion as well. Maybe Neltharion really did hear the cries of the slaves, and wanted to do something. But knew that if he actually did, he would be only doing more damage than any good.
Take a look at how we tend to "conquer" other countries under the guise of liberation, only to just leave and allow another even more corrupt power to take over?
Yeah, that would have happened.
Also, Neltharion was about long term goals given his lifespan. He was planning for the future. He saw what had happened to the old empire when the Mogu overthrew the Jinyu, and he saw what the Mogu were doing that was damaging the planet. So, he knew the best option, since Lei Shen during their meeting...and Nel telling him that he needs to follow safety regulations...Lei Shen telling Neltharion to fuck-off...probably didn't sit well with Nel either.
And he realized that the time of the Mogu was over. It's time to put in power a culture that would rule over Pandaria justly, respect the land, and not be such stuck up assholes.
So, Neltharion, in very subtle ways, prepared the Pandaren. Neltharion 1.0, being the crafty genius bastard he was, probably nudged the Pandaren in various, secretive ways. He wanted to make sure that they could stand on their own feet as well. So, he didn't liberate them, he made them liberate themselves.
And because of that, it created a stronger culture in the Pandaren.
Give a man a fish, he'll eat for the day, teach a man to fish, he'll eat for a lifetime.
And that's basically what Neltharion did. Eventually, when the Pandaren overthrew their taskmasters, and started their new Empire, Neltharion probably helped in molding it to make sure that empire would not crumble. He taught the Pandaren how to respect the land, understand its moods. He worked with the Jade Serpent to guide the Pandaren.
Did he hold their hand while he did it? No. He treated them like students, and they learned so that they would learn from the mistakes of the Mogu and make sure those mistakes are not repeated.
And because he planned for the future, here was an Empire that lasted for over 12 thousand years, even after the Sundering when most other cultures were being wiped out.
They kept accurate records. Despite their shorter lifespans compared to the Elves, they still remember the day the green fire came. They do remember the Sundering quite well.
So the legacy that Nel 1.0 left behind is still there.
But unfortunately, Nel 2.0 doesn't have the feet big enough to fill those shoes.
And honestly, the legend itself and the legacy, it is far bigger than the Earth-Warder himself.
Sooner or later, reality is gonna smack him over the face again.
And we will see the Squishy cry like a baby.
And Garrosh laughing at him in the distance.