Lore

Four Senses Brew

Ren Yun the Blind

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Over the last few months, I’ve discovered several references to Ren Yun including his walking cane – one of the common items in Pandaren Archaeology. Finding a pristine version will allow you to display it in the Seat of Knowledge.

Walking Cane of Ren Yun

A long cane tipped with a head of carved whalebone, once used by the enigmatic Brewfather, Ren Yun. Blind since birth, Ren Yun’s other senses were heightened. As a result, he found the brews of his time to be harsh or bitter. Years of experimentation allowed him to perfect four perfect brews that appealed to each of his other senses. And yet, the “one brew” that would appeal to all four senses at the same time eluded him. It was only at the end of his long life that he perfected the one master recipe, “The Four Senses Brew”, that was the most magnificent discovery of his generation. Sadly the recipe was lost to time, because Ren Yun’s handwriting was pretty much illegible.

If you make your way up to the top of Mount Neverest in Kun-Lai Summit, you may find two more:

Ren Yun Shrine

Ren Yun Shrine, Kun-Lai Summit

Father of the individual sensory beers and the Four Senses Brew

Ren Yun, his other senses heightened by his blindness, suffered for years with what he considered to be the harsh taste of normal Pandaren brews. After years of wandering and experimentation he developed separate brews that delighted each of his four senses but, though he had perfected these individual beers, the combination of the separate elements into one perfect unifying brew eluded him. For a lifetime more he wandered on until he found at last the secret to bind all of his sensory beers into one master recipe, the Four Senses Brew.

It’s quite a trek to reach the pinnacle without flying but it’s worth the effort if you’re questing in the area or just feeling lucky for the tablet.

Tablet of Ren Yun

Tablet of Ren Yun

The recipe ended up sitting in my bag for a few weeks due to the Way of the Brew requirement but having nothing left to do for The Tillers, I gathered all the ingredients to produce one special brew. Note that three of the ingredients require Ironpaw Tokens, which I’ve been collecting from Nomi every day.

Four Senses Brew

Adds a red blindfold illusion

For a 5min buff it’s a pretty expensive novelty item so I don’t see myself making too many of these unless I’m swimming in Ironpaw Tokens and Leeks.

 
Chen Stormstout in MoP, Glenn Rane

Chen Stormstout

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Chen Stormstout has been described as the jovial and independent Brewmaster of Pandaria who travelled the lands in search of exotic ingredients for his ever-evolving concoctions.

During the introduction of the Pandaren in Warcraft III and then later during The Frozen Throne expansion, Chen’s journeys eventually led him to Durotar, where he met Rexxar the travelling Beastmaster. Chen asked Rexxar to retrieve the ingredients for his latest brew – a barrel of Thunderwater, the egg of a thunder phoenix, and a sprig of thunderbloom.

Chen was overjoyed when Rexxar returned with the ingredients, and then mixed his special brew and offered some to Rexxar who nearly choked on the volatile beverage!

Shortly after that, Chen decided to join Rexxar on a secret mission to Theramore Island to help the Horde find out why the humans were attacking them. Once there, Grand Admiral Daelin Proudmoore wanted to have them arrested due to his hatred of the Horde. Jaina, who didn’t agree with her father’s beliefs and in an attempt to avoid any pointless deaths, helped them escape. When the Grand Admiral instigated his attack on the Horde, it inadvertently resulted in his own death. When Jaina asked her father why he did not listen, Rexxar told her to remember her father as the great warrior he was.

After the battle, Chen spent some time in Durotar teaching the brewmaster ways to the mentor of Brewmaster Drohn before continuing his travels. Since then, several of his empty kegs could be found scattered throughout The Barrens; these have since been removed from the game. It was quite a chore gathering the items for this quest and after handing it in the first time, it turned out to be a repeatable one. Not surprisingly, I didn’t think it was worth doing a second time.

Chen remains neutral, siding with neither the Horde nor the Alliance.

If you purchase the Pandaren Monk pet (from the Blizzard Store), you’ll receive a letter from Chen, which says:

I would like to introduce you to a long-time friend of mine: you will find this kindly pandaren monk is a most wonderful travelling companion.

May he lead you to new adventures across the face of Azeroth and beyond!

– Chen Stormstout

Pandaren Brewmaster Deluxe Figure

You can also purchase the awesome looking action figure of Chen Stormstout in 3D. The Pandaren Brewmaster Deluxe Action Figure is a limited edition, one-of-a-kind Blizzard online store exclusive!  The premium-sculpted piece stands at a colossal 8″, features Chen’s signature bamboo Bo staff and Brewmaster’s keg and comes packaged in a 4-colour, spot UV collectors window box.

Pandaren - April Fool's Joke

Before the launch of The Burning Crusade, players were speculating what the new Alliance race would be. An artist by the name of Ian McConville, created the above 3D model of a Pandaren female as a prank. The screenshot was so convincing that it had a large number of the player population fooled. In World of Warcraft, the Pandarens did not have much of a presence in early expansions. Mainly due to how Pandas, who are a national treasure in China, were originally portrayed in traditional Japanese Samurai armour during Warcraft III. This has since been rectified as you can see in more recent media.

During the first Blizzcast episode in 2008, Samwise Didier, the Art Director and concept artist for Blizzard, tells how he came up with the Pandaren race.

Samwise: Well, it started off, you know, a bunch of years back when I had a daughter, right. And, when she was born, for Christmas I usually draw a picture for my family. Like a personal one. And so I did, for that picture, for some reason, I decided to do like a panda guy because, actually, also like “Samwise,” “Panda” is my nickname because I’m kind of a big hairy bear dude, but I’m not very fearsome. So I got the nickname “Panda.” So I drew a picture of a panda with a little panda cub on the shoulder and that was the picture for Christmas, that I gave to all my family. And “Oh, it’s because he had a little kid. He’s getting soft!” You know? Whatever. It’s for the family. I had to do something that Grandma would like.

But so we put that up in there and everyone was like “Oh my God! A PANDA RACE? That’s kind of cool!” And I’m like “Are you kidding me, really? You want to see pandas in Warcraft III or whatever?” So, we made like a whole fake April Fools page with different units and all that and people, you know – we thought people would be like “NO WAY!” – and everyone actually liked it and when they found out it was an April Fools joke they were like “Aw, that sucks.” So we’ve kind of just dropped little bits of panda stuff. Like I do that all the time in my pictures. I’ll hide a picture of a panda face. Like it was on Illidan’s blades, back in the day, just put it on there. See if anyone noticed. And they did. Good job, guys. Two points. And ever since then it’s just been kind of a thing. We’re like “Oh, you’re the panda guy.”

During April Fools Day in 2010, another Machinima video was going around that again revived the notion of the Pandaren as a playable race. With Kung Fu Panda being one of the highest grossing animated movies in China’s history, it’s not a surprise to see that the next expansion will be devoted entirely to them. However, there was also some new controversy stemming from the Mists of Pandaria trailer due to the mixture of Japanese influences seen in the video.

At BlizzCon 2011, it was revealed that players would be able to meet Chen in the upcoming expansion Mists of Pandaria. He will appear in the Stormstout Brewery dungeon, helping players by reclaiming his family heritage, and also his beer. I almost wish I still had one of his empty kegs…

Enjoy this fan made trailer while we wait for the Mists release.

Thrall and Aggra's ceremony - part 1

Thrall and Aggra

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Shortly before the Cataclysm, Thrall journeyed to Garadar to discover why the elements of Azeroth were so afraid. When he arrived, Greatmother Geyah (Thrall’s Grandmother) advised him to turn to the Mag’har Aggra, who told him bluntly that he had been both leader and shaman for far too long and that he would have to give up his leadership role to truly become a shaman. Despite their rough beginnings, Thrall and Aggra grew closer to one another as he became truly connected with the spirits and became a proper shaman. Before returning to Azeroth Thrall and Aggra became romantic after she fell for his big heart.

During the third phase of the Elemental Unrest world event, she could be found talking with Thrall and Gavan Grayfeather‎ at the Throne of the Elements.
Thrall says: Would I be here if this were not serious?
Aggra says: I have heard you before. You are here to save your world; to learn from ours. Greatmother Geyah has charged me with instructing you, and as such, you will listen to me, Go’el.
Thrall says: I have told you to call me Thrall.
Aggra says: Yes I know, Go’el. Thrall is the leader of the Horde, but you are not here in that capacity. Look at you: At what you are wearing…
(referring to his Doomhammer’s Plate.)
Aggra says: You say you have come to seek knowledge and understanding, but you are dressed for battle. That is why I question you and your willingness to do what must be done.
Thrall says: My clothing?! Is that what this has come to now? We debate the merits of my clothing?
Gavan Grayfeather says: The clothing is merely a manifestation of a larger problem. I’ve no doubt that you are here to learn, but you must commit yourself both in spirit and in form.
Aggra says: The dwarf speaks the truth. If you wish to commune with the elements you must do so from the heart.
Aggra says: Your heart, your love for your land and your people is what has led you here. It was neither your armor nor your weapons.
Gavan Grayfeather says: Thrall, you must fully devote yourself to the cause.
Aggra shoots Gavan a disapproving look.
Aggra says: Go’el. You cannot continue to ride the line between Warchief and Shaman. The time will come when you must commit to one side fully. That time is fast approaching.
Thrall says: I hear what both of you are saying and am grateful for the counsel.
Thrall says: If I am to understand all that is transpiring, if I am to make a difference, then my devotion must be absolute. I must submit.

When Thrall and Aggra returned to Azeroth, they participated in the funeral of Cairne Bloodhoof. The next day, she noticed that Thrall no longer wore the armour of Doomhammer which satisfied her. Both left Thunder Bluff and Mulgore and went to the goblin port town Ratchet, where Gazlowe welcomed them and prepared a ship to the Maelstrom. The ship was called Draka’s Fury in honour of all Orcish women. Aggra was emotional and together with Thrall and a crew boarded the ship and left Kalimdor to the Maelstrom, which was destroyed near the Lost Isles by the Alliance (see video). When the ship sank, they lost their “precious cargo” i.e Thrall. She later appeared at the Maelstrom (affiliated with the Earthen Ring) and sends adventurers into Deepholm.

After the Guardians of Hyjal and adventurers thwart the invasion of Hyjal by the Twilight’s Hammer, a meeting was convened at the ancient Word Tree of Nordrassil. Thrall and Aggra were among the gathered heroes at the meeting that ended in tragedy when a incredibly powerful agent of the Twilight Hammer interrupted the ceremony and struck down Thrall with dark magic, casting his spirit into the four domains of the Elemental Plane. While the Aspects conceded that Thrall may be lost to the elements forever, Aggra believed that her mate could be saved, and called on the aid of adventurers of both the Horde and the Alliance to venture into the Skywall, the Abyssal Maw, Deepholm, and Firelands to rescue her beloved from an eternity of torment. Before adventurers can return Thrall’s spirit to the natural world, they must help him overcome his doubts, his wilfulness, his desires, and his rage before he is bound to his elemental cage.

During the quest, Elemental Bonds: The Vow we witness Thrall’s proposal ❥
This was actually a replay of the cutscene which you can activate at any time, which is why the colours aren’t as rich as when you see it the first time.

Thrall and Aggra's ceremony - part 1

Thrall and Aggra's ceremony - part 2

Thrall and Aggra's ceremony - part 3

Thrall and Aggra's ceremony - part 4

Thrall and Aggra's ceremony - part 5

Thrall and Aggra's ceremony - part 6

After the defeat of Deathwing by the hands of the Dragon Aspects, Thrall and the mortal Adventurers; Alexstraza reveals Aggra is bearing Thrall’s child.

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