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Lei Shen
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Titles:

The Thunder King
Emperor of the Mogu
Emperor of Pandaria

Gender:

Male

Race:

Mogu

Affiliation:

Mogu Empire

Occupation:

Emperor of the Mogu

Relatives:

Unknown Warlord (Father)
Suen, Lu'lin (Consorts)

Status:

Deceased

Lei Shen, known as the Thunder King, was the first Emperor of the Mogu in Pandaria when the various Mogu clans were unified under his reign. This signaled the end of the Age of a Hundred Kings and the establishment of the Mogu Empire which ruled much of ancient Kalimdor before the rise of the Kaldorei Empire. Once defeated and laid to rest in the distant past, the Thunder King returned to the world before the Siege of Orgrimmar, prompting the Alliance and Horde to loosely band together to halt the Mogu Empire from being recreated.

HistoryEdit

Youth Edit

The young Lei Shen was born the son of a warlord during the terrible Age of a Hundred Kings. In his youth, Lei Shen was told tales by his father of the Mogu God, Ra-den, and the purpose of the Mogu to bring order to Azeroth. Born into the same Clan as his close friend Vu, Lei Shen and Vu grew as close as brothers. As children, they played, quarreled, and challenged one another. It is said that this early rivalry was instrumental in developing Lei Shen's thirst for power. Their brotherhood was the source of much conjecture and fiction. The peasant masses enjoyed writing many stories about their misadventures, including a famous saga about their feud over a woman. 

As Lei Shen grew, he eventually became his Father's lieutenant. Despite seeing the mogu's infighting and squabbling as a betrayal of their great potential, Lei Shen remained a stalwart vassal of his father. One tragic day however, a close advisor eventually betrayed and murdered Lei Shen's father, causing the Clan to fall apart and seek refuge with other warlords, leaving Lei Shen and a handful of loyal guardsmen behind. Rather than continue the fighting, the young mogu chose to go into exile, meditating and wandering the land. The decision saved Lei Shen's life. Typically, sons and daughters of deposed rulers were customarily put to death to prevent any descendants from seeking revenge for their families. Most mogu saw Lei Shen's meditations as a sign of madness and proof that he was harmless and would never threaten any mogu ever again.

The power of Gods Edit

After years of wandering with but a handful of loyal armsmen by his side, Vu among them, Lei Shen had come of age and commanded his own legions. Like his brothers, Lei Shen was strong of arm and fluent in the ways of war. But unlike others of his generation, he spoke of more than conquest. The legends of his forefathers were forever etched into his heart, and soon became fixated upon the legend of Ra-den. The mysterious Titan Keeper had vanished from Mogu culture centuries ago and few still believed that their creator even existed, let alone lived. Others laid the blame at his feet for abandoning them to the curse of flesh. Lei Shen however was convinced there must be another explanation. After years of searching, Lei Shen eventually discovered the hidden entrance to an ancient Vault hidden beneath the Kun-Lai mountains. There he found the missing Highkeeper, sitting guard over a mysterious machine known as the Engine of Nalak'sha.

Ra-den showed no shock or surprise to Lei Shen's presence even as Lei Shen began asking the Keeper questions about the Mogu's purpose. Lei Shen received no answers or even hints of acknowledgement from the Highkeeper. Weeks passed, and Lei Shen grew frustrated. Eventually Lei Shen realized the Titan Keeper was not contemplating some grand plan for the Mogu, he had simply given up hope, and was content to sit in the dark. Angered, Lei Shen shouted furious accusations at Ra-den, accusing him of abandoning and betraying the Titans, who all Titan-forged worshipped as Gods. Roused by the harsh words, Ra-den at last acknowledged Lei Shen, bringing him to the Thundering Mountain, the mysterious forbidden sacred mountain where no Mogu dared dwell. Within the Mountain's under chambers, Ra-den revealed to Lei Shen the fate of the Titans, slain by Sargeras, including bearing witness to the actual spirit of Aman'thul, kept preserved and barely alive by the Highkeeper. Expecting these revelations to crush Lei Shen's spirit as they had his, Ra-den was stunned when Lei Shen announced that if Ra-den would not do the Titans' work, then he would. Lei Shen then turned on Ra-den, attacking him in his stunned state and binding the Highkeeper with magical chains that sapped and drained at his power. With this action, Lei Shen stole not only the power of Ra-den, but the power of the Titan Aman'thul. Might beyond understanding flooded through Lei Shen's soul and filled his mind with knowledge on the workings of the universe. Bristling with power as had not been seen on Azeroth since the Ordering of Azeroth, Lei Shen left Ra-den imprisoned beneath the Thundering Mountain. Lei Shen returned to Kun-Lai to meet with his loyal followers, and begin the creation of a grand new dominion for the Mogu as masters of Azeroth and guardians of its World-Soul.

The Mogu Empire Edit

Lei Shen at once began his campaign of conquest. He claimed the birthright of the Titans and declared himself the Emperor of the Mogu and demanded that all Clans submit to his authority. His first action as Emperor was to reward the Mogu who had remained the most loyal to him during his long years of exile with power beyond their wildest dreams. Mogu such as Vu, Qon, and Kao were granted unimaginable might and would serve Lei Shen as his foremost advisors and generals. Then began the reconquest of the remainder of his people. No longer would the petty warfare and squabbling that had plagued their kind be tolerated. With lightning and thunder at his command, Lei Shen crushed all Mogu who opposed him. Most Mogu initially rallied to his banner out of fear, but soon his 'miracles' inspired genuine devotion among the Mogu populace. A great boon to Lei Shen's power came when his stolen knowledge allowed him to activate the Engine of Nalak'sha, granting the Mogu access to a working Titan Forge. With this God-machine under their control, the Mogu began advancing at a rate faster than any other race on Azeroth. With his people solidly behind him, Lei Shen turned his attention towards the other races of Azeroth.

The first nation to fall before the Mogu Empire was that of the Jinyu, who had formed a small Empire of their own within the lands surrounding the Vale. Though they fought bravely to resist, their civilization crumbled almost immediately and the Mogu left their culture in ruins. A similar fate was visited upon the Jinyu's former allies, the Hozen race, who upon the eve of the Jinyu's final defeat switched sides to the Mogu Empire in return for favorable treatment. Learning of the fate of two entire races, the Pandaren people who dwelled in the southern lands of Azeroth fled to the mountainous Kun-Lai summit where they pleaded assistance from the Wild God Xuen. While Xuen at once agreed to help the Pandaren, Lei Shen was already a seasoned explorer of Kun-Lai and found where the Pandaren had fled to near instantly. On the foothills of Kun-Lai, Lei Shen challenged Xuen to single combat for the fate of the Pandaren. For many days, the great battle between the Thunder King and the White Tiger rocked the skies an earth of Azeroth. Yet in the end, even Xuen could not stand up against Lei Shen's Titanic power. Xuen would be locked away in a prison high among the peaks from where he could watch the Pandaren he had failed be led into slavery and suffering.

The Zandalari Alliance Edit

The Mogu Empire had by now grown to encompass much of southern Azeroth, and was quickly drawing attention from the other nations of the world. In particular, the powerful Zandalari Empire was in awe of the magics wielded by the Mogu. While some leaders of the Empire feared a similar fate as the Jinyu and Pandaren peoples, one Zandalari High Priest named Zulathra saw a golden opportunity in the Mogu. He and a retinue of Trolls traveled to the Mogu lands in full diplomatic delegation and made a proposition to Lei Shen: The Mogu may hold the power of this world, but the Trolls held the knowledge of the land. The two Empires would make each other great and teach each other their secrets. Once they were allied, nothing on Azeroth would stop them. Lei Shen was intrigued, having for the first time encountered beings on Azeroth that sought to master their environment rather than live in peace with it. While Mogu were fully capable of leaving their lands, superstition and the still deeply-rooted instinct to protect the lands surrounding the Vale meant that few Mogu did so. The Mogu could explore the world blindly, or do so with the knowledge of the Zandalari.

In truth, both leaders plotted betrayal, the Zandalari believing they could steal Lei Shen's power once they learn this secrets and Lei Shen planning to enslave the Trolls the moment they stopped being useful. Yet these plans never came to fruition, even publicly brokering an agreement between the Zandalari and Mogu empires. Indeed, they found each other to be invaluable allies and their pact endured for many years. With the Zandalari Empire on his side, Lei Shen's rule over Azeroth almost doubled and unlocked many new lands for the Mogu to explore. Lei Shen even entered into a secret agreement with Zulathra, entrusting to him the knowledge to revive his spirit in case he was ever killed. With the power of the Titans keeping Lei Shen perpetually alive and the key to his resurrection in the hands of his allies, Lei Shen's destiny to become the sole ruler of Azeroth seemed to be assured, and his reign would last for hundreds of years. A triumph matched only by his own monumental defeat.

Thunder Falls Edit

LegacyEdit

To the Mogu, Lei Shen is revered and each Emperor or King succeeding would attempt to relive his legacy of subjugation, torture, domination and building of great, ornate structures.

To the Pandaren, Lei Shen is synonymous with horrible acts, atrocities, the beginning of their slavery and fear of thunder itself.

All races (except the Mantid) were enslaved by Lei Shen and during his time, the Serpent's Spine was built along with various other great structures---such as the Mogu'shan Vaults, Mogu'shan Palace, and the Isle of Thunder stronghold.

RevivalEdit

With the aid of the Zandalari Trolls, Lei Shen was resurrected and then absorbed their forces into his own, then re-activating the defenses of his Stronghold and re-garrisoning the Isle of Thunder.

Connection to the TitansEdit

Thanks to the work of Lorewalker Cho and the various adventurers raiding both the Mogu'shan Vaults and the Thunder King's Stronghold, a connection between the Mogu and the Titans was discovered.

"Fathers and sons. Mothers and daughters. As parents, we pass our legacy on to our children.

What values do we choose to install in our progeny? What will our children learn from our mistakes? What sort of world will we create and leave behind for our daughters and sons?

Parents place their children on a path, but they do not always know where the road will take them.

The mogu were children as well. Children of the titans. They were once a legion of stone, heartless and obedient. By the titans' command, they fought the terrible servants of the old gods. They shaped the mountains and carved the rivers of the land. And they created a magical cradle of life in a hidden valley that we now call the Vale of the Eternal Blossoms.

But eventually, the titans fell silent. And their creations were cursed with flesh. The mogu grew restless. Many generations later, when the Thunder King united them, they seized upon their legacy!

I truly believe now that the mogu thought they were doing the work of the titans. They fought against the mantid and used the powers of the Vale to create new life. Ah, but such terrible works!

Parents cannot always be assured of the legacy they will leave behind. How especially true this is, when the parents are gods. And their children - monsters."

According to those who ventured inside the Stronghold and defeated the revived Lei Shen himself, he is quoted as saying "I only sought to finish... the work of the Gods...". Supposedly, a Titan Construct named "Ra-den" was witnessed as being the "Mogu God" referenced by the Legend of Lei Shen.

Given the Serpent's Spine's division of Mantid-controlled lands and the rest of Pandaria, the Mogu's falling to the Curse of Flesh and various Titan relics and machines being found and used in Pandaria, it would seem that this connection is valid to assume---however brutally the Mogu attempted to accomplish this.

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