|Instructor Lia Duan|
Chun Duan † (Father)
Quiren Springcrest (Formerly)
|"Her stances aren't perfect, her attention is all over the place, and she needs to control her temper. But that's not what I'm looking for. What I'm looking for is what should be at the core of any disciple of the Red Crane - an unwavering hope for a better tomorrow."
Lia Duan (Pandaren: 利亚端; pinyin: Lì Yǎ Duān) is a Pandaren monk of the Spirited Crane Style. Originally growing up on a farm in Pandaria, Lia idolized the Horde for their heroism in Kun-Lai and sought to join them. In her naïveté, however, her membership in a violent warband led her to commit evil acts during the Fourth War.
Disillusioned after a brief possession by the diminished Sha, Lia became an independent member of the Horde, avoiding most organizations as she sought to better herself. She now serves the Order of the Broken Temple as an instructor of monk trainees as well a mother to her children, Jian and Yu.
Growing up in Kun-Lai
Lia Duan was born and raised in the Kun-Lai Summit, on a farmstead, owned by Chun and Xiang Duan, that raised yaks and cultivated crops. As a child, Lia was always temperamental and prone to fits of anger and temper tantrums. However, her parents worked to ease Lia out of her early tempers, recounting stories and working with her to try and instill patience. Like many Pandaren, they wished to live a life free of the Sha.
During her childhood, Lia met a boy named Baodam Mu while both their families were at the Halfhill Market. The two became friends, with Lia often teasing Baodam for being a "citypaw" and not from the farmlands like her. The two often mocked sparring, pretending to be monks, with Lia always besting him in combat.
The farmstead was often harassed by a tribe of Yaungol. During the conflict in Pandaria brought by the Horde and Alliance, Lia's family backed the Horde as they began to establish themselves in Kun-Lai. As the Yaungol began to invade the region, the assaults on the farmstead only worsened. The Horde soon came to the aid of the family, and drove off the Yaungol that had attacked the family. Grateful for the Horde's aid, the Duan family began to offer resources and support to the Horde, and Lia came to idolize the faction from Kalimdor.
The Vale's destruction by Garrosh Hellscream drove something of a wedge between Lia and Baodam, as Baodam was angered by the Horde, despite Lia attempting to defend them. Baodam decided that the best way to use his time was to help with the relief efforts across Pandaria to repair the land after the war the Horde and Alliance had brought. This surprised Lia, who still had feelings for Baodam, as he abruptly left for the next few years to help rebuild. Having no contact with her friend, Lia stewed in frustration over her unrequited affection.
During this time, Lia's parents gave birth to a younger sibling, a brother named Lin. While Lia helped to care for Lin, she also secretly desired to do more. Seeing Baodam go on to help relief efforts and the Horde's heroism, she began to dream of becoming a monk. Though she did not know how to go about accomplishing her goals, she began to train rigorously to build her strength, hoping to one day venture beyond the mainland and do great things in the world.
Joining the Horde
The Bloodletter Warband
Five years later, Lia finally decided to take her life into her own hands and left the farmstead to travel to Orgrimmar and join the Horde. Her fondness for the Horde had not wavered as she remembered their assistance from the Yaungol years ago. Not long after entering the Orcish city, she met with Caewyn Strongspear.
Lia challenged Caewyn to a duel that ended in Lia's victory. The two praised each other's strength and fighting prowess before returning to the Wyvern's Tail where they had met.
The young Pandaren eventually met Caewyn's adoptive father, a Thunderlord Mag'har Orc by the name of Graul Strongspear. Graul kept what appeared to be a large frostsaber as a companion, but revealed it to actually be a Night Elf druid by the name of Reyan. Lia quickly befriended Reyan, giving the meek and abused elf a pleasant reprieve despite Graul's ire. Lia eventually challenged Graul to a duel, betting that if she won she would be allowed to bring Reyan to visit Pandaria with her, and if she lost she would owe Graul two worgen pelts.
The duel ended in Graul's victory, but he decided to change the conditions of their agreement by recruiting Lia into the Bloodletter Warband. Lia would be a new unblooded member for a short while before the abuse Reyan suffered in her enslavement finally became intolerable to the pandaren. As she stood between Graul's punishment and Reyan, a paladin by the name of Aelenicus stepped in to duel Graul for ownership of his slave. Aelenicus was victorious, and used his "ownership" to free Reyan to her Kaldorei people. Reyan's parting wish was to meet Lia in Pandaria one day.
Graul called Lia back to the Wyvern's Tail, and promptly exiled her from the Bloodletter Warband. Despite her frustration with being cast out and her mistake in confronting authority, she was content with her part in freeing Reyan.
Mercy is for the Weak
Lia began to spend her time outside the Warband in attempting to help the Horde wherever she could in combat. She showed great restraint, never killing her enemies but instead leaving them incapacitated. This ultimately backfired, however, when an enemy she spared proceeded to shoot an ally next to her, leaving her with incredible guilt.
The guilt only compounded when Caewyn confronted Lia with the revelation that her daughter, Xenara, had been kidnapped by Reyan, the slave that Lia had defended and helped set free. Lia suddenly became distraught and confused as her perceptions of mercy were being challenged to such an extent. Turning to Caewyn for advice, the words "mercy is for the weak" became central to her as she began to train herself to believe those words.
As she trained, Lia began to prepare herself for what she thought what be a suitable act of redemption: killing Reyan. To prepare herself, Lia captured a Night Elf priestess. Wanting to be ready to kill a Night Elf like Reyan, Lia engaged in a brief discussion with the captive that drove the pandaren into a violent rage, pummeling her foe to death and coating her in elven blood. She came to the conclusion that Reyan had betrayed her trust and was not the good person that she had believed her to be.
Having made her first kill, Lia gradually became more agitated and quick to anger. Her anger began to manfiest as violent, destructive outbursts that made her almost feral in behavior. One day, at the Wyvern's Tail, a half-elven monk by the name of Quiren Springcrest was able to sense Lia's pent-up anger and took her under her wing to train Lia to put her anger to more productive use. Lia was successfully taught how to summon Chi, and agreed to become Quiren's student.
As part of Lia's training, Quiren brought Lia on one of the Bloodletters' missions to rescue Xenara. Lia was ferocious, snapping the neck of an Alliance soldier before the Bloodletters moved on to the next objective. They battled the nobles Lady and Lord Ashbury, who held Xenara captive. The battle wounded Lia heavily, progressively driving her into a feral rage that ended with her violently mauling Lord Ashbury even after he had died, creating a gruesome mess that only ended with Lia's exhaustion.
For her involvement in rescuing Xenara, Lia was allowed back into the Bloodletter's camp, and Graul accepted her presence. Lia mentioned that had been training to eventually kill Reyan, and Graul stated that he wanted her to do the deed and bring her heart to him for consumption.
Time passed as Lia carried on her training and helped the Bloodletters before a letter was delivered to her by Reyan requesting to meet in the Kun-Lai Summit. Seizing the opportunity, Lia made the journey to meet Reyan. The druid was ecstatic to reunite with her friend, and pleaded with Lia to join the Alliance, claiming that she did not belong among the savagery of the Horde.
In response, Lia lashed out at Reyan, attempting to strangle her to death. Reyan retaliated in self-defense for only a moment before trying to escape, which Lia denied. She soon begged Lia to stop, only for the pandaren to choke the life out of her, with Reyan's last words being a drawn out "Why?"
At the end of the fight, Lia was surrounded by a dark, monochromatic aura. The Sha had taken hold of Lia, and she screamed in unadulterated rage. Under the corruption, she was compelled to wander for five days without rest or sustenance, seeking an outlet for her rage and thirst for violence against the Yaungol she had grown to hate.
Worried for her student, Quiren followed the Pandaren's trail to find her student under the Sha influence. The two battled, only for Lia's feral ferocity to overwhelm Quiren's skills as a monk. Though Quiren expected the deathblow, Lia did not deliver one, instead collapsing due to fatigue.
Using her mother's ability, Quiren was able to purge the Sha infestation within Lia. The two shared a lengthy discussion in which Lia revealed her regret in killing Reyan and her shame in becoming infested by the Sha. The two agreed to bury the Kaldorei, and that her body would not be desecrated further by removing her heart. Instead, they decided to present a goat heart to Graul as a substitute, and made camp for the night.
A Calming Presence
With Reyan's death and the false trophy delivered, Graul welcomed Lia back into the Bloodletter Warband as one of its members. Lia was deeply troubled by the events in Kun-Lai, but was able to put them behind her and return to enjoying herself among her friends in the Warband.
Shortly after Lia's venture to Kun-Lai Summit, Baodam Mu arrived in Orgrimmar. He had heard that Lia returned to Pandaria, but was too preoccupied to meet with her before she left, and decided to visit the Horde capital to try to find her. He was successful in meeting Caewyn, who seemed to admire Lia's ferocity and determination to kill Kaldorei without remorse or restraint. The description perturbed him as he moved on to locate his friend.
Baodam and Lia reunited in the Bloodletter's camp, where the former expressed his concern that Caewyn was a bad influence upon her and that he was worried about what she had said. Though the two overtly agreed that there was no immediate problem, Baodam decided he would stay among the Horde to keep a watchful eye on Lia.
At the suggestion of Cas Autumnwing, Lia was expected to confront a dangerous Silithid in the ruins of Ahn'qiraj. The exact reason for it was mostly unknown to Lia, though in reality it was suggested because it would test the extent of her strength and her seeming need for a fight, whilst giving her an outlet for her rage and frustration.
Before she made her venture out into Silithus, Lia decided to visit the Wyvern's Tail for a drink and encountered her first Pandaren outside of her homeland. She approached the Pandaren woman, who had been gathering materials from a cactus. Her name was revealed to be Akania, and the two bonded quickly as they shared tea in the Wyvern's Tail.
As they talked, their conversation soon shifted to talk of Pandaria. Lia suggested that they take the nearby portal to visit the Jade Forest, and the pair did so. They decided to rest on a hilltop overlooking the Jade Forest, introducing Lia to a side of her homeland she had never before seen.
Lia and Akania enjoyed the moment and took in the sight of their locale. As they got to know each other, Akania eventually suggested what she referred to as a date. Much of Akania's behavior was clearly flirtatious towards Lia, catching the latter off-guard but not disturbing her in the slightest. Lia agreed to see Akania again in the future on their would-be date.
Lia joined Quiren and Jolon Stormrunner - one of Cas' "Bloodhawks" - in Silithus to confront their quarry. The battle was quick and decisive, with the group ultimately slaying the Silithid. Cas arrived to collect her desired prize, with Lia and Quiren returning to the Bloodletter camp.
A few days after Lia's trial, she went to her date with Akania in Sri-La Village. She decided to be as formal as possible, wearing a Pandaren dress instead of her trainee garb, much to Akania's pleasure. The two went to the small tavern owned by Smiling Waiyu, sharing a meal of soba noodles before leaving to stand on the bridge. There, Akania confessed to romantic feelings for Lia.
Lia was hesitant, both unfamiliar with any form of love that was actually requited and also the fast rate that their relationship was developing at. However, Lia did not feel any objections to Akania's advances, and the two shared a kiss before Akania vanished, promising to meet with Lia again in the future.
Having no time to change out of her date wear, Lia hurried to join the Bloodletter Warband in the Eversong Woods, where supposedly they were to meet. She was met with a grisly sight of void creatures murdering a child. Though the void apparitions were destroyed, the deceased child spewed void all over the gathered Bloodletters, driving all of them to attack one another.
In Lia's case, she instantly became feral, assaulting Graul and almost tearing out his throat with her mouth alone, as well as tearing off flesh from his face. After defeating Graul in her wild rage, Quiren attacked her and drew her attention. Lost in her murderous drive, Lia once again ferociously assaulted Quiren, and was defeated only by being shot at point-blank range when Quiren fired a loose tooth from her mouth using Chi.
Quiren and her fiancee were able to help Lia recover from the void's influence, but the experience left Lia feeling immense guilt once again for losing control. Having been reminded of what it was like to lose control under the Sha, Lia decided to pay a visit to Reyan's grave.
For a while, Lia carried on in her duties to the Bloodletter, attempting to put the incident in Kun-Lai behind her. While Lia continued to serve the Horde, she sustained damage to her hearing, resulting in tinnitus that escalated when exposed to loud noises. To soothe this pain, Quiren taught her a method to shroud her ears in Chi, to muffle the tinnitus and offer comfort.
Though she had thought the matter in Pandaria was over, a familiar face arrived in Orgrimmar; Baodam, hearing about Lia's return to Pandaria, had attempted to visit her only to find that she had departed again, and thus sought her out. The two were quick to reunite once Lia received word of Baodam's arrival, and began to catch up on the past five years.
As they spoke, Baodam knew that something was troubling Lia, and expressed his disapproval about her joining the Horde, stating that nothing about them had changed since Garrosh poisoned the Vale. Lia disagreed heavily, and Baodam realized that he would only upset her with his opinions and decided to refrain from expressing them. Putting aside the matter of the Horde, the two reinvigorated their bond.
Unable to bear the stress anymore, Lia revealed to Baodam what the Warband made her do, violently tearing apart enemies of the Alliance and being sent to murder her own friend. Baodam was disturbed, and suggested that she needed to pull herself away from the Warband and the Horde. She refused once again, until she witnessed the Warband beginning to create a "brothel" using captured Alliance prisoners as slaves.
Finally, Lia decided it was time to draw the line and withdrew from the Warband. Baodam comforted Lia, assuring her that she did the right thing. Recalling her mention of having killed her friend and seeing her grief, Baodam gave her something that his Lorewalker parents had given to him: Beads of Spiritual Return. He suggested that, if she could commune with the spirit of lost friend, perhaps she would be able to overcome her struggles and her rage. Baodam decided to return to the mainland, but assured Lia that they would be able to meet again, and that the Beads would ultimately help her to overcome her emotional pain.
Since that moment, Lia began to pray every week at Reyan's shrine in the Kun-Lai Summit. Despite her efforts, her prayers did not summon the spirit of the fallen Night Elf. Feeling alone, Lia took time to herself before encountering a sudden influx of Zandalari trolls in the city of Orgrimmar. Frightened by the Zandalari due to stories she had grown up with, she was initially afraid to be around the old enemies of the Pandaren. However, she soon warmed up to them with personal conversation and an opportunity to learn about Zandalari culture.
Taking up a suggestion from her old mentor, Lia began to bake cookies with the use of peacebloom to help calm her violent tendencies towards anger. For a time she was followed by a hostile treant that began to harass her day to day activities. She soon met a Zandalari who offered to help her commune with the Loa of the dead, Bwonsamdi.
Using the opportunity to commune with Bwonsamdi, the troll helped Lia to speak to the wisp spirit of Reyan. Lia expressed her deep regret for killing Reyan, but the deceased druid admitted that she could forgive Lia, and that Lia simply needed to forgive herself. After the interaction with Reyan's spirit, the druid began to watch over Lia by entering the diamond receptacle on Lia's necklace. Bound to the necklace, Reyan manifested as a Pandaren water spirit.
Confused, Lia spoke to the spirit as though it were her friend, addressing it as Reyan; however, the spirit introduced itself as Xiuying. Created from Lia's Chi, Xiuying was, in many ways, a representation of hope for Lia, and had manifested to help her to forgive herself and move on from her grief and anger.
Journey Through Pandaria
Temple of the Jade Serpent
Wanting to learn more about her own homeland and Pandaren culture, Lia embarked on a journey through Pandaria with Xiuying. Her goal was to visit each Celestial temple to learn from the monks of each temple, particularly those of Chi-Ji. Beginning her journey from Honeydew Village in the Jade Forest, Lia moved south towards Dawn's Blossom. While in Dawn's Blossom, Lia met with a grummle trader who offered a scroll to her, a part of the Tale of Jian Shu.
Lia was amazed by what she read. According to the legend, Jian Shu was capable of summoning a deadly Chi lightning bolt that mimicked one out of nature, which instantly felled a mighty foe. Eager to learn if such a technique was possible, Lia began to practice her own technique based on how the ability was described.
Lia moved to the southeast, where the Arboretum and the Temple of the Jade Serpent were located in close proximity. Still practicing her version of the instant chi lightning, Lia met with the Order of the Cloud Serpent, though she did not yet attempt to join them. She spent time searching the Temple of the Jade Serpent for any other parts to the Tale of Jian Shu, and successfully found the first part of the story.
Speaking with the monks for teaching, she was offered a scroll on anatomical knowledge, and how the body and the spirit interacted. Lia was initially confused, expecting a combative technique to be taught to her, but humbly accepted the gift. The young Pandaren was instructed to then read the teachings of Yu'lon and meditate upon them.
The teachings, as Lia had read them, placed emphasis upon wisdom in one's choices and knowledge in one's actions. Initially, Lia believed that the importance of knowledge was the reason that she had been given a scroll on anatomy and the spirit. The more she thought about it, the less it made sense to her, not entirely understanding the importance of wisdom to a monk.
Confused, Lia spoke to one of the monks for guidance. The monk in question explained that, to a monk, knowledge is what one aspires to obtain. All monks seek to know, to see all sides and through all lenses. The monk continued and explained that she believed the wisdom to discern what was true and what was false, and was part of what made monks such powerful mediators to resolve conflict.
Lia asked the monk what the point of the scroll on anatomy was. The monk decided to challenge Lia to a spar to study her combative technique. The two dueled in the central courtyard of the Temple. Lia's strikes were violent punches and kicks meant to injure, but the monk promptly disabled Lia by striking specific points on her body, causing the muscles of her body to spasm, prompting her body to collapse.
The monk explained that the knowledge of anatomy helps a monk to know where to strike to disable, and where to kill. Wisdom was a matter of knowing how this knowledge was to be used. Not every fight had to be to the death, and not every duel had to be one of brutal beatings. A wise monk knew what battles needed to be fought, and how they needed to be fought.
Valley of the Four Winds
Having learned from her time in the Temple of the Jade Serpent, Lia and Xiuying departed and began to move east. Within a day they arrived in the Valley of the Four Winds, stopping at Thunderfoot Inn for a bite to eat. Exhilarated by the sights of the Valley, even at her age, Lia decided that instead of going straight to the Temple of the Red Crane, she would stop at the Halfhill market for a few days to enjoy the food and, if possible, learn from the masters there.
Staying at the Lazy Turnip in Halfhill, Lia visited the market to observe all the cooking there, especially curious about those who specialized in brewing. She decided that she would spend a few days paying close attention to the cooking of the masters to learn from their technique, and help out with any tasks that she could volunteer to assist with.
During her time in Halfhill, Lia volunteered to help local farmers in harvesting their crops, as well as defending them from virmen. In exchange for her help, a farmer suggested that Lia visit the Stormstout Brewery to learn about a "special" brew that she could make use of, known as the Dragon's Breath Ale.
On her last day in the Valley of the Four Winds, Lia walked to the Stormstout Brewery to speak with the brewers about the "Dragon's Breath Ale" that she had been told about. The brewers explained that, among some monks, the ale was used to create a breath of fire not unlike that of a dragon's.
When Lia asked to borrow some, the brewers explained that the ale was not simply something anyone consumed and spat out as fire; it was something that interacted with one's Chi, and one had to understand how. The young Pandaren was offered a book on Pandaren brewing in the hopes that it would shed light on the significance of brews to an Ox-style monk.
Confused by the notion of an "Ox-style" monk, Lia asked for the brewers to explain. They spoke of monks at the Niuzao Temple, defining the Sturdy Ox Style as a form of martial arts that relied on one's fortitude and endurance. The use of brew could help an Ox-style monk absorb and shrug off blows that would knock anyone else down, or to fluidly dodge such attacks. It was explained to Lia that if she wanted to truly learn about the Sturdy Ox Style, she would have to go to the Niuzao Temple in the Townlong Steppes.
Lost in the Wilds
Feeling that her business in the Valley of the Four Winds was complete, Lia began to travel south into the Krasarang Wilds. Where Lia had found the Jade Forest and the Valley to be beautiful places that invited warm feelings of optimism, the rain forest of the Krasarang Wilds was not easy for Lia to navigate.
Within a day of entering the Wilds, Lia found herself lost, with Xiuying as her only companion. Uncertain of what lived within the Wilds, Lia did her best to forge ahead and find the path once again.
Though she was tempted to panic and worry for where she was, she took a deep breath to calm herself. Reassuring herself that she would find her way in the end, Lia pushed on through the rain forest.
Despite her self assurance that she could find her way through the Wilds, she continued to be lost for days on end. One day, she stumbled upon a Mogu ruin. Terrified by the prospect of encountering Mogu, Lia began searching for an alternate route around the Mogu ruin, to no avail. From what Lia could deterine, the only way around it was to backtrack a great distance until she could ultimately find the path once again.
Uncertain that she would ever be able to reach the Temple of the Red Crane, Lia decided the best she could do was to simply make camp nearby. Yet as she and Xiuying settled for the night, she had a sneaking suspicion that she was being watched. Indeed, Lia could soon see that a wild tiger had begun to stalk her. Again, doubt and fear began to take hold of Lia as she felt herself trapped within a dilemma.
As Lia froze, Xiuying then held her hand. Feelings of hope and determination welled up within the Pandaren, and she looked to the Mogu ruin. Everything she feared of the Mogu came from old stories and legends she had been told as a cub, but never from what she herself had seen. She feared stories, nothing more. Steeling herself, Lia entered the ruin.
At first, the ruin was seemingly empty. As Lia entered, she found that the tiger broke off from its hunt, unwilling to follow. Now convinced that her decision was the right one, Lia pressed on deeper into the ruin, following the paved stone until she could find the way out to continue to the Temple.
Before she could find the exit, a hulking figure leapt down from atop one of the walls. Brandishing a massive spear, a Mogu warrior attempted to impale the young Pandaren. Narrowly dodging the strike, Lia engaged the Mogu in a duel using her punches and kicks, as well as her Chi.
Despite this, Lia's brute force was easily outmatched by that of the Mogu. She had attempted to beat the warrior at his own game of brawn and muscle, and was clearly losing for it. Even with Chi, she was unable to hold her own against the Mogu, beginning to falter.
As the fight went on, the Mogu's spear cut the string that held Lia's beaded necklace together. Though Reyan's soul never left its receptacle, the physical form of Xiuying failed to hold together and collapsed before Lia's eyes. Terrified and enraged, Lia unleashed a frenzied assault upon the Mogu that shattered its leg, giving her the opportunity to recover her beads and flee from the ruin.
As Lia escaped from the ruin, she was pursued by Mogu. She ran down the path, with her adversaries flanking her on both sides. Though at first she seemed to outrun her followers, they simply had taken alternate routes around the path and soon one stood directly before the young Pandaren. Thrusting a spear forward, the Mogu ran Lia through the abdomen.
Still incensed by the destruction of Xiuying, Lia was determined not to be captured. While the spear was still lodged in her flesh, she took advantage of the close distance and their stillness to create a static bridge between herself and the Mogu warrior. Gathering Chi in her hands, she soon thrust a hand forward and unleashed her instant Chi lightning. With a bright flash of red and a thundering sound, she struck the Mogu down.
With her opponent defeated, Lia managed to push on again, and the Temple of the Red Crane was soon in sight. Holding her beads tightly, Lia staggered forward, but she was losing blood at a rapid rate and had completely exhausted her Chi. Unable to carry on, she collapsed at the stone steps of the Temple.
Temple of the Red Crane
When Lia awoke, she found herself in one of the pagodas of the Temple of the Red Crane, being cared for by the monks there. With the bleeding stopped and her torso bandaged, Lia had been saved from death, though she was still terribly exhausted from her overuse of Chi. While she recovered, she was approached by a robed Pandaren man who introduced himself as Yusentei, one of the masters within the Temple. Seemingly displeased with Lia, Yusentei ordered Lia to come to the central hall of the Temple when she had recovered.
Lia began to rise, but found that many of her possessions had been removed from her person, including her walking staff, her scrolls, and her beads. Wary, Lia asked where they were, and Yusentei replied that they would be returned to her when she was ready to have them back. Frustrated, Lia spent the next several hours resting until the monks would allow her to wander the grounds.
As evening approached, Lia was finally permitted to walk about with the supervision of an attendant to ensure that she did not accidentally harm herself. Going about the Temple, Lia watched the trainees who practiced until the tutelage of masters. Amazed by what she saw, she was determined to ask the masters if she could be taught as well.
Lia sought out Master Yusentei within the center of the Temple to speak with him. Lia once again asked about where her belongings were. In response, Yusentei withdrew her beads, asking her how she obtained them, and if she knew what they were. She remembered Baodam's words, about communing with the deceased, but did not fully understand what the intent was.
The young Pandaren explained that they were a gift from her childhood friend, though she did not fully understand what they were. Yusentei revealed that they were, in fact, Beads of Spiritual Return, designed to house a soul to protect it from Mogu spiritbinders. Knowing that there was a soul housed within the glass sphere, Yusentei asked her to explain who the soul belonged to. Hesitant, Lia revealed that it was the soul of her deceased friend, Reyan.
Yusentei simply shook his head and set the beads aside. He then pulled out a pair of scrolls, Lia's collected parts of the Tale of Jian Shu, asking how she obtained them. Lia explained that she obtained both in the Jade Forest. In response, Yusentei pulled out two more scrolls, the last two parts of the Tale.
From what Lia had read, Jian Shu was a humble man from a farm who achieved great skill as a monk through hard work; however, she had neglected to read the last two parts that explained Jian Shu's hubris and abuse of power before he ultimately returned himself to his old life in shame. Yusentei, disappointed in Lia's lack of understanding, revealed that he had heard the thunderclap and saw the flash of red from her battle with the Mogu. Rather than wanting to know how Lia learned to replicate Jian Shu's technique, he asked her why she learned it.
Confused, Lia explained that she was simply trying to learn how to become a monk from she had found and read. Yusentei reprimanded her, explaining that in many ways, Lia was misusing these things to possibly dangerous extents. The Beads of Spiritual Return housed a soul, refusing to let it pass on because she herself could not move on from the loss. The Tales of Jian Shu taught her a lethal ability that she used recklessly without understanding the story in full.
Shocked by Yusentei's explanation, Lia admitted that she was only trying to teach herself and do things as she went because she did not have a proper master and simply been left with what little she had been taught. The master shook his head, explaining that by not having proper instruction, she would sooner just injure herself, knowing that her body was beyond exhausted and borderline crippled for the use of her lightning.
Shamed by Yusentei's lecture, Lia meekly asked if she could find a proper instructor in the Temple of the Red Crane. After some deliberation, Yusentei acquiesced to teach Lia. Over a series of weeks, she was instructed by the master in monk basics, during which Lia learned about the main styles of martial arts among monks: Sturdy Ox Style, Fierce Tiger Style, Wise Serpent Style, and Spirited Crane Style. After careful thought, Yusentei finally decided to take it upon himself to instruct Lia in the Crane Style.
After about a week of training, Lia learned the basics of Crane Style quickly. Yusentei suddenly stated that Lia was to study on her own. Lia was confused why Yusentei suddenly planned to abandon Lia's training, and he simply explained that the purpose of the training was to adjust what she already knew, to pull her away from focusing on accumulating destructive power and instead learning what it meant to be a monk.
He stated that, based on her current path, she was better off being self-taught, so long as she understood restraint. If a time came that she needed a proper trainer, it would require planning and forethought, and much more in-depth teaching. Still not understanding, Lia asked what she needed to do to obtain a proper teacher. Yusentei finally explained that, if Lia took time to improve herself, when she felt ready she could return and he would teach her to reach the monks on the Wandering Isle.
The Wandering Isle
"Things that are done, it is needless to speak about... things that are past, it is needless to blame." - Master Shang Xi
Returning to Master Yusentei after some time of training, he finally agreed to take Lia to the Wandering Isle. He taught her two methods of reaching the Isle, physically and spiritually.
Physically, one reached the Isle by any means of transport, be it a balloon, a portal, even a flying mount or an airship. Spiritually, this was accomplished by the use of a technique called Zen Pilgrimage, which taught the monk to separate the spirit from the body to travel across the very world itself as a spirit, all while leaving the body behind.
Learning to do this, Master Yusentei brought Lia before the monks of the Order of the Broken Temple. The monks instructed Yusentei to take Lia to a reflective pool on the Isle where she would be evaluated before receiving any official training or membership.
Lia was ordered to meditate within the pool, and did so. The pool began to reflect her deepest emotional insecurities, playing out the sources of her turbulence. Her actions with the Warband, the murder of Reyan, and her frustration with the Horde were brought forth. A disembodied voice, a feminine voice, called out Lia's feelings of pent up rage and regret.
Her emotions were drawn out, manifesting with the water forming into two figures - Lia and Reyan. The watery images began to fight to the death, playing out Lia's memory before her. She watched with great regret, and the voice asked her what she would do, wondering if she attempt to stop the fight. Lia shook her head, stating that she knew the fight was not real and that it would make no difference what she did.
The voice then asked her what difference she sought to make, if she was hoping to change the past, or if the difference she sought lied ahead in the future. She answered the future, and the voice then asked what difference she sought to make. Almost immediately, the waters shifted again, this time into the form of two more familiar figures: Tyrinade Moonsong, a San'layn of the Horde, and Arc'ulerith, Lia's friend and a new recruit of the Onyx Rose Order.
Lia froze at the sight as her secret desire to keep Arc'ulerith from joining the Order was brought up. Subconsciously, she saw Arc'ulerith as someone walking into the same trap she did, seeing a good opportunity in the Horde only to be baited into doing horrible things. The voice asked again what she would do. Every part of Lia wanted to stop Arc, but she knew that his decision was made. Reluctantly, she said that all she wanted was to protect her friend and ensure that he would do no wrong.
The voice spoke again, and declared that Arc'ulerith was not Lia, and that their fates were in no way related. It may be that Arc joined the Order, he may even go on to do awful things, but in the end it was his path, not Lia's. She would not be the deciding factor in what his destiny had in store. Frustrated, Lia argued back against the voice, stating that she would not be able to accept herself if she let someone else succumb to such a trap.
The voice was silent for a moment before speaking again, and stated that Lia lived in the past, that she was letting her past fuel feelings of rage, guilt, and fear. Any difference she sought to make was driven by those feelings.
She must accept that the past is now the reality of the world and cannot be undone. She must accept that, in the moment of now, there are things within her control and out of her control, and she must have the wisdom to determine which is which. To have clairvoyance, she must learn not to ruminate on what has happened. The voice then stopped speaking to Lia, leaving her and Yusentei alone in the chamber.
Confused and frustrated, Lia asked Master Yusentei for explanation. He revealed the name of their location - the Shrine of Bared Soul. Meditating in the pools served to reveal the troubles of one's past and illuminate how it now shaped their path forward into the future. To the monk, the past was history, unable to be changed and no longer in their control. Learning from experience was one thing, but dwelling upon the past was a dangerous path.
With her trial done, Lia was evaluated by Master Yusentei, who consulted the monks and agreed to allow Lia to officially join the Order of the Broken Temple.
A Masterful Student
learning but also training khan'yuh
impressed yusentei, advocates for her to skip training and prove herself as a teacher
Crisis in Kun-Lai
The Final Confrontation
A Hopeful Farewell
Whispers of N'zoth
Lia is a Pandaren of black and white fur, with black rings around her eyes and small streaks along her nose. White fur covers her face, chest and stomach, the rest of her body bearing black fur. Her eyes have a blue coloration. Her hair is shoulder-length and tied into a small ponytail. A small orange flower pin is often seen attached to her hair.
Oftentimes Lia can be seen wearing a monk's uniform, a loose fitting jacket made from windwool cloth dyed the color of jade, with a similarly colored rope-belt bearing a paw emblem. She often carries a bag with her that contains essential items. She is completely barefoot, using a thin layer of Chi in lieu of footwear. In the event that she wears footwear, she opts for sandals.
Wrapped around the head of her staff is a necklace of beads, each of them representing one of the August Celestials using an imprint. A crane print to represent Chi-Ji, an ox hoof to represent Niuzao, a tiger paw to represent Xuen, and a dragon claw to represent Yu'lon. In the center is a diamond orb receptacle, which glows with Lia's Chi when it contains something.
Her Chi originally manifested with a turquoise color, but has since shifted to a reddish orange to represent Lia's affinity towards Chi-Ji.
- She once wore a kilt made from thick wolf hides, a monk rope-belt with a paw emblem wrapped around her waist, small sheets of parchment attached to it with calming mantras written in Pandaren. She wore a red sleeveless shirt, with wrappings around her forearms and ankles.
Lia typically possesses a positive and compassionate demeanor, and shows a lot of energy in her behavior with a fondness for sparring with friends. She often tends to show herself to be naive or inexperienced; however, since her departure from the warband she has come to scrutinize authority figures and organizations, often dubious of their agendas and their intent. Despite this, she is very caring and strives to help others as best as she can.
She is very easily agitated, which often results in temperamental storms and a need to calm down. Sometimes this anger can become aggressive and even violent. When at her absolute worst, Lia's rage was able to make her almost feral in nature, clawing and biting her foes in ruthless attacks. Fortunately, her propensity for such rage has significantly abated.
Lia tends to be respectful towards her elders and Pandaren customs, but some of her behavior can potentially be seen as out of line. She has a deep fascination with learning and seeing the world, and loves to share stories, whether they are fictitious or based in reality.
Her attitude towards the Blood War has fluctuated over time. Initially convinced she could be friends with all, Lia held no animosity towards the Alliance until the warband slowly warped her beliefs. Becoming more patriotic, Lia began to hold the Alliance races in disdain for a brief period of time. After her possession by the Sha, she abandoned the warband and its principles, allowing her to ease back into her original mentality of holding no prejudices against the Alliance. She does not actively participate in the war itself, instead trying to help with domestic problems.
Lia identifies herself as an adherent to the Huojin philosophy. Though she may not be affiliated with the Horde anymore, she still values the virtues of the Huojin that advocate for action in the face of crisis, and the duty to question or challenge what is not right.
Languages: Lia is fluent in Pandaren (and by extension, Mogu) and Orcish languages.
Physical: Lia is physically fit from regular training and exertion, possessing a great deal of strength as well as agility. Her fighting style is more conventional than most monk fighting really is, often relying on punches and kicks that she can enhance with Chi abilities. When angered, her attacks become more brutal and unrestrained.
Lia's fighting style uses the Crane Style of martial arts, which emphasizes perfect balance, precise strikes, and gracefully dodging enemy attacks. Lia's attacks typically involve jabs, "pecks" using a crane's beak, punches, kicks, and palm strikes.
Spiritual: Lia cultivates Chi through meditation and is capable of creating physical manifestations using a mental technique. She will often use restorative mist and dew for the purposes of healing, while creating wind or lightning from Chi for combative use.