Hello! My name is Xi’Shuei. My friends call me Shuei for short. Up until recently, I had spent my days in my homeland. It was commonly known as The Wandering Isle, but we knew him as Shen-zin Su -a giant turtle who provided all the life around us. My family referred to him as He Who Gives To All.
My family consists of Umma and Appa, as well as my brother Hiroim, or “Ironbelly” (he’ll eat anything), and my sister Paramita. Hiroim is the oldest, as Paramita and I were twins. Despite being sisters, we don’t really have very much in common. We have always walked the same mountain, but on completely different paths.
This is a picture of my best friend, Meilei. She’s a Monk (!) and this is a picture of the two of us from long ago. During our schooling, we would often spend a few hours outside, helping clean up the vegetable fields. She’s fierce and loyal, and to this day it is quite common to see us side by side.
So now that you know a little bit of who Xi’Shuei is, let me tell you about the day I came to the city of Stormwind. It was a very special day for me, and yes Meilei as well. We had learned enough of the Alliance and the Horde, and through the teachings of Master Shang Xi we Pandaren were to choose who we would bring our services to and share our wisdom with. I am still glad Meilei and I came to the same decision.
We arrived upon the city in the hours of moonlight. It was both massive and majestic. Anya informed me we were to make our way to the “Keep.” We had no map, but a quick survey of the area made it quite easy to discern its location. We strode through a lovely series of statues, a collection of gallant looking individuals. One could not help but sense an aura of pride which consumed the area. We paused to pay respects and feel the spirits and their wisdom. After our brief meditation, we proceeded through the city.
We observed the many, many, merchants of the city with such a wide selection of goods. And such wonderful scents coming from the kitchens! More than one in our party had to give their chin a wipe. If time allowed, we would most certainly be visiting some of these kitchens following our visit with the King.
We carried on for a little while longer before we found ourselves passing through the long corridor that marked entry into Stormwind Keep. The vast number of guards cast a foreboding feel about the place, as if violence could take over at any moment. We later learned that more than once in the city’s history that is exactly what happened. After being asked to wait a moment, we found ourselves in the presence of King Varian Wynn, leader of the Alliance. After several formalities, he asked us to walk with him!
It was during our stroll through the garden of the Keep that his lordship shared with us the history of the city, as well as the conflict between the Alliance and the Horde. Several of my companions would later say they felt King Wynn to be abrupt and harsh in his views. While I agree with that perception, it seems to be the King has been through much during his rule that would do nothing to quell the rage that has been fed over the years. Truth be told, I feel sorrow for him having to carry that burden on his shoulders.
Where was I? Oh yes! The walk. As the walk concluded, Varian Wynn informed us if we were truly to become members of the Alliance we had to understand what that meant. Where the Alliance stood against the Horde, we were to do the same. This meant our fellow Pandaren who had chosen the path we did not were now the enemy. One or two tried to question the King on this matter, but it was made vehemently clear this was not an area where deviation would be permitted. Contact with the Horde was forbidden.
We walked some more and learned more about the Alliance itself. The other races were all intriguing, particularly the Dra…Dra-nye I believe he called them. They seemed outsiders to this world in much the same sense we were. To find out how they adapted to the world was of interest to myself and a number of others.
When all was said and done, King Varian warmed to us a bit and said his soldiers informed him of our…proficiency in combat. Why was he looking at me when he said that? I was much fonder of the Fire Spirit’s teachings than hand to hand. Monks such as Meilei were much more suited for the…why was he handing his swords to his squire? He wanted to spar! WITH ME?!?!? The first impression of our people in combat, and the he was selecting me. It did not go well…
I didn’t mean to knock him off his feet. I mean, from what teachings I remember he had very good form. His blocking had a fluid motion to it. It was just that he leaned briefly on his left leg long enough for me to strike with the Quaking Palm (it’s the only strike I remember) and well, suddenly he was on his back. Most of my comrades had gone quiet at this point, and several of the guards had started to step forward. What had I done?
Moments later the King was laughing wholeheartedly. He was pleased to have been briefly bested in such a way! He explained he chose me over the clearly more proficient appearing members of my people on the basis that things are not always as they appear. As well, if I could hold my own with him then he would know just how good our best were. I was flattered, but still blushing that I had knocked the King of Stormwind on his backside. I wonder how many people can say that?
Yes, the visit to Stormwind was breathtaking and memorable in so many ways. And after all was said and done, we were officially welcomed into the arms of the Alliance! Here’s a picture of Meilei and myself just moments after the swearing in ceremony!