Today, WoW Insder posted this article about the Shado-Pan so I gave it a look. http://wow.joystiq.com/2013/02/27/know-your-lore-the-shado-pan/
I have to admit that although I really do love reading about the lore within the World of Warcraft, I don’t do it enough. I’ve dabbled a bit here and there, reading about the various factions within the story, and marveled at some of their plights. While some have been more interesting than others, none have touched me more than the Shado-Pan, as presented in the article linked above.
This is where I mix the game with my personal life, I suppose. You see…the lore presented in the article immediately made me think of battle-hardened Marines, specifically those who may be suffering from PTSD. Why the Marines?
Marines are smaller in number and proportion compared to other military entities of our country. The discipline instilled in them is a tradition that dates back to the Corps’ inception. From the earliest days of boot camp, on to the battlefield, and back home being “rotated back to the world,” maintaining one’s composure or bearing is something that is a thing of pride, regardless of the pain one may feel inside.
Marines often reflect upon the things they’ve witnessed. The times they had to play “God” for a moment and choose life or death for a fellow human being. And they have to do this over and over again for the protection of those who cannot or will not do it for themselves. They fight the Sha of our world, in its many manifestations, even if others mock their motives and make claims that these Sha do not exist. The marines know. They’ve seen them. They’ve fought them. Their hearts are scarred by them. Yet, they must maintain their bearing and continue to fight. On the exterior, they’re hard—seemingly desensitized and ready for battle. Almost cold. Inside, they fight their own Sha of doubt, fear, anger, and violence. They eat at them. But they maintain their bearing. Their composure and the drive forward keep them steady.
As with the Shado-Pan of Panderia, the Marines are not immune to succumbing to the power of the Sha. There have been many acts of evil committed by members of that most noble order. It is always sad to read or hear about, and there never is any justification that makes these acts ok, but most people who judge or condemn our darkened brothers and sisters do not know the angst they must deal with—the Sha. Yet the order presses on.
After these thoughts earlier, I may now always give a /bow to the Shado-Pan as I do their quests, enter their monastery, or press on into the Throne of Thunder. I will be proud to fight for the Shado-Pan, as I was proud to fight as a Marine. While the pixelated version of this honorable order will not have the same impact on my life, from an immersion standpoint, it’s equally as important to Panderia.
Semper Fi, Shado-Pan.