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The Sha are physical manifestations of negative emotions like fear, anger, despair, hatred, and doubt found in Pandaria. They are the legacy of Y'Shaarj, its dying breath spreading a taint upon the continent. Though primarily found in Pandaria, the influence and presence of the Sha could be carried to other locations where Y'Shaarj's essence endured, such as in Orgrimmar following the Heart of Y'Shaarj.

Sha manifested in forms of various sizes, but only seven Sha known as the Prime existed. These were the Sha of Anger, Despair, Doubt, Fear, Hatred, Pride, and Violence. Of all the Sha that Emperor Shaohao sealed away, Pride was the sole vice to elude Shaohao's notice.

The Sha were seemingly quieted for millennia, primarily through Pandaren civilization adopting a life that minimized the presence of negative emotions in their life that allowed the Sha to thrive. However, it made a drastic emergence during the Alliance-Horde War when it reached Pandaria's shores, due to feelings of hate, violence, and more fostered by the war. This in turn introduced new stresses to the people of Pandaria, inviting the Sha to corrupt even the native inhabitants.

Though the Sha's return led to the upset of numerous societies, including the corruption of the Mantid Empress and the desecration of sacred temples, the Prime Sha were all gradually defeated. With the consumption of the Heart of Y'Shaarj by Garrosh Hellscream, the Sha's influence has been steadily declining and is believed to eventually disappear entirely. However, until it does, remnants of the Sha sometimes emerge to this day.