Mogu empire

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NeutralMogu empire
Mogu crest.jpg
The racial crest of the mogu
Main leader None
  Formerly  Lei Shen † (first emperor)
IconSmall Mogu Male.gifIconSmall Mogu Female.gif Various emperors †
Secondary leaders Unknown
  Formerly  Warlord Kao †
 Shan Bu †
Race(s) MoguMogu Mogu
  Formerly Enslaved races:
PandarenPandaren Pandaren
Grummle Grummle
Saurok Saurok
Jinyu Jinyu
Hozen Hozen
Yaungol Yaungol
Capital None
  Formerly Mogu'shan Palace
Throne of Thunder
Other major settlements Mogu'shan Vaults
Ruins of Dojan
Theater of operations Pandaria
Affiliation Independent
  Formerly Zandalari Empire (allies)
Status Unknown

The mogu empire[1][2][3][4] (or Mogu Dynasty)[5] possessed immense size and strength. The mogu built it based on might, in which the weak — other races — were subjugated, and the strong — always mogu — ascended to power. So brutal was their regime that its name is never uttered aloud: pandaren call it either the "Old Kingdom" or "First Dynasty".[6] The mogu empire was a meritocracy, where the previous regime and/or dynasty must be overpowered and executed.[7]

The mogu empire was founded by Lei Shen, "The Thunder King." He united the mogu, defeated the other pandaren races, and built an empire that would last for thousands of years.[8]


The mogu defending their lands from the mantid.

15,000 years before the Dark Portal, the mogu had fallen to disarray after they became afflicted with the curse of flesh. Clans and warlords engaged in brutal power struggles during this Age of a Hundred Kings. The only thing that would temporarily unite them was the emergence of each new mantid swarm.[9]

The Thunder King

During this era, Lei Shen was born to a minor warlord. When his father was murdered, Lei Shen wandered the land for many years, eventually finding Ra-den in the Thundering Mountain. Angry at Ra-den's abandonment of the titans' purpose, Lei Shen overpowered the highkeeper and stole his power. Claiming the birthright of the titans, Lei Shen set out to unify the mogu as masters of Azeroth and guardians of its world-soul. He crushed all opposition and fear of his powers soon turned to devotion.[9]

Many mogu saw in Lei Shen the unity of purpose that had been lacking in the generations since their masters had fallen silent. They flocked around the Thunder King's banner and eagerly did his bidding as he enslaved the other races, believing — as Lei Shen did — that the "lesser" races should serve the mogu, just as the mogu had once served their masters.[10]

At the height of the mogu empire, the Spiritclaws were a sect of mogu assassin-priests and the most elite and most feared of the emperor's troops.[11][12]

The two empires

Lei Shen believed that although the mogu might never be fully cleansed of the curse of flesh, other beings of flesh would always be beneath them. Thus, he began a campaign of enslavement in the lands surrounding the Vale of Eternal Blossoms. The hozen pledged their loyalties to the mogu empire in exchange for preferential treatment. The jinyu's small empire was the first to fall. Next were the pandaren who sought the protection of Xuen, the White Tiger. Though a powerful August Celestial, Xuen could not match the Thunder King's stolen titan power and was forced to watch as the mogu bound the pandaren into slavery. They were forbidden from learning how to read or write or speak any language other than the mogu tongue.[13]

Possessed of immense size and strength, the mogu built an empire based on might, in which the weak — other races — were subjugated, and the strong — always mogu — ascended to power. Imposing stone monuments and titanic siege engines displayed the power of the mogu to the rest of the land. They turned their strength on the lesser inhabitants of Pandaria, shaping flesh to their whims as they shaped rock. The great Serpent's Spine wall, which separates the Townlong Steppes and the Dread Wastes from the rest of Pandaria, was built by the mogu's slaves during the rule of Lei Shen.[14] The mogu empire had a unified language, an established system of weights and measurements, and the first set of written laws on Azeroth.[13]

Soon, the Zandalari trolls took notice of the otherworldly powers wielded by the Thunder King. Zulathra a high priest of the Zandalari proposed to Lei Shen an exchange of each other's secrets; the mogu's arcane power for the trolls' knowledge of the lands beyond the vale. Together, the two empires would be unstoppable.[13] However, both the mogu and Zandalari held contempt for one another. The mutual contempt between the two would grow to polite indifference. They trusted the other not to attack, because they were confident they would defeat the other. While Zandalari and mogu stood back to back, they did not watch the other and did not see the other falter.[15]

After the coronation of Queen Azshara, she expanded her empire, ecliping even the mogu empire.[16]

Thunder falls

12,200 years before the Dark Portal, Lei Shen sought to claim the Forge of Origination in Uldum. Its tol'vir guardians were to become honored members of the mogu empire under his leadership. However, the tol'vir became furious upon learning that Lei Shen had betrayed Highkeeper Ra and refused. The mogu army marched on Uldum accompanied by their troll allies. The tol'vir could not resist them and instead configured the Forge of Origination to purge the area around Uldum of almost all life. The death of the Thunder King and most of the Zandalari leadership left massive power vacuums, striking a mortal blow to both empires. A succession of emperors followed Lei Shen, but none would ever wield as much power as he had.[17]

The Pandaren Revolution

Main article: Pandaren Revolution
Pandaren slaves at work during the reign of the Thunder King.

Over the next 200 years, the mogu empire continued lording over the vale. Its slaves suffered greatly under Lei Shen's successors, each ruler more cruel than the last. The final emperor, Lao-Fe, was proficient enough in this regard to earn the title of 'Slavebinder' early in his reign. To maintain obedience among the empire's slaves, he was known to tear families apart, even for mild or benign transgressions. One such common punishment was for the children of slaves who were perceived to be disobedient to be sent to the Serpent's Spine wall to act as fodder for the ruthless mantid swarm.[18]

A pandaren brewmaster named Kang concluded that the mogu's extreme cruelty towards slaves was a symptom of their weakness. The mogu empire had grown dependent on its servants. Because pandaren were not permitted weapons outside the Serpent's Spine, Kang developed a new unarmed fighting style disguised as an artistic dance. Combined with the secrets of inner strength learned from Xuen, Kang's pandaren monks began their revolution. Their first major victory at the Mogu'shan Vaults prevented the mogu from using the Engine of Nalak'sha to create any new twisted soldiers. This drew other races into the rebellion to topple the mogu empire. As more and more slaves rebelled, the empire fell into chaos. Eventually Lao-Fe was defeated by Kang in hand to hand combat, but Kang sustained mortal wounds in return. The pandaren and the other races flourished as peace and prosperity came to the Vale of Eternal Blossoms and its surrounding areas. A new Pandaren Empire emerged, built on the principles of justice, wisdom, and benevolence.[18]

The mogu's Zandalari allies had assisted them against the revolution. Despite being defeated and pushed from the island now called Pandaria, the Zandalari remained in pandaren lore, and slowly turned into pandaren children's "bogeymen".[19]

Attempted rebirth

After the mists collapsed, the Zandalari sent out their forces to Pandaria. It seemed they want to help the mogu retake the land from the pandaren and once again bring it under mogu rule. However, the Zandalari seemed too desperate to acquire pandaren territory and appeared to have motives beyond just helping out their ancient mogu allies.[19]

Rise of the Thunder King

A storm brewed on Isle of Thunder in the form of the newly risen Thunder King: Lei Shen and the invading Zandalari forces who supported his bid to regain his seat of power over Pandaria. Once more the heroes of the Horde and Alliance were being called forth to take on this threat, but they did so in the midst of their own dark and bloody war reignited by the decimation of Theramore and the betrayal that split the Kirin Tor. Waging war on two fronts wasn't easy and the Shado-Pan had no interest in anything more than using the power of both factions to put down a more clear and present danger.

The Horde and the Alliance worked for some familiar faces as they make their way through the island. Each faction's finest were spearheading the assault: the Kirin Tor Offensive led by Jaina Proudmoore and the Sunreaver Onslaught led by Lor'themar Theron.[20]

Emperors and kings

Xuen fighting Lei Shen.

Despite the name "First Dynasty" or "Mogu Dynasty", the mogu empire was ruled by several different dynasties over the years.

See also