Separated from Pandaria for millennia, the Wandering Isle meanders the oceans of Azeroth. When the weather changes unexpectedly on the Isle and it begins erratically spiraling toward the Maelstrom, the elders at the Temple of Five Dawns request the aid of four elemental spirits to unravel the mystery.
The Wandering Isle is a giant turtle named Shen-zin Su that left Pandaria 10,000 years ago and began growing. Pandaren afflicted with wanderlust accompanied the giant turtle, venturing out to explore the known world. They were gone for such a long time that their own homeland was even lost to them. Forests lush and green sprang up upon the turtle's back, and the pandaren erected buildings, temples, and farms. Wildlife native to Pandaria also live upon the turtle's back.
In the Mists of Pandaria expansion, the Wandering Isle is considered the starting zone of the pandaren. Pandaren players will be able to progress through the quests, then choose which faction to join at its conclusion: Horde or Alliance. They are the first race to have that option.
Originally, Pandaren players could not return to the Isle once they left it, and others players could not reach it, either. However, with the release of the Legion expansion, the Temple of the Five Dawns at the Isle's center became the class hall for monks.
It is the rare pandaren indeed who sought a way beyond the mists of Pandaria. Generations ago, pandaren explorers began to gather on the back of a giant turtle: Shen-zin Su. This great sea turtle roamed Azeroth's oceans for hundreds of years, eventually losing contact with their mist-shrouded homeland.
Here on the “Wandering Isle” young, eager pandaren train and learn, engaging in mock combat against one another and mastering the tools and forms of martial arts.
When Shen-zin Su travels near the Maelstrom, life on the Wandering Isle—once pacific and enlightening—is cast into crisis. The ground becomes unstable and Shen-zin Su’s very life is threatened as the great turtle drifts into an unsteady pattern which may be a death spiral.
As one of the most promising pandaren wanderers, you must uncover the true threat to the Wandering Isle. But the problem facing the great turtle has several potential solutions, and the students of the isle are split on how to handle it. Your decision will shape the future, and mark the path of the pandaren in a changed world.
In Legion, the Wandering Isle returns, after a quest chain and a great explosion, the player finds themselves on the Wandering Isle, after being injured in the Peak of Serenity (Kun-Lai Summit). The Hall of the Seasons becomes the Monk class hall. The monk area may also encompass the Temple of Five Dawns and Mandori Village.
The majority of the Wandering Isle is covered by lush grasslands intermingled with groves of trees. The eastern half of the Isle is comprised of many lakes and pools, some that contain mystical properties. This area is known as the Singing Pools. South of this is the main agricultural center for the pandaren people, the Dai-Lo Farmstead. Crop fields are plants nearby that take up the entire southeastern part of the area, with a virmen-infested brewery nearby.
The two main forests of the Isle are the Wood of Staves and Pei-Wu Forest. The former is directly west, only accessible via the long Elders' Path from the Ridge of Laughing Winds. This is a sacred site to the pandaren, for this is where their elders journey when their end has come. The Pei-Wu Forest is in the southwest. This large, dark wood is seldom ventured into, for it is home to many sorts of wild beasts. The only exception to this rule is a lone hermit.
The central area of the Isle contains the multi-tiered Temple of Five Dawns. It is the religious center of the Isle, yet boasts very few actual inhabitants. This is where the ancient spirits must be returned to.
This is the starting zone of the playable pandaren. As such, there is no way to get to the Isle. As already stated, it does not show up on the world map.
Once pandaren depart the Isle, they cannot return, much like the goblin Lost Isles. If a player attempts to swim beyond the limits of the island, the screen will black out and they will find themselves passed out at the dock of the Morning Breeze Lake.
There are no flight masters, boats, or zeppelins.
Master Shang Xi is the pandaren that players meet first, right when they begin their adventures on the Isle. He is an old elder, seemingly in charge of training would-be monks and fighters. Players encounter him at all the pivotal points in the Isle's quest lines, as he tests players and sends them to gather the ancient spirits. He eventually ends his journey at the Wood of Staves before passing into the next world.
Two other notables are his students, Aysa Cloudsinger and Ji Firepaw. Their relationship might best be described as sister-brother, if not for the fact that Ji seems genuinely attracted to Aysa. Though they share in the players' adventures and assist in removing the thorn from Shen-zin Su's side, what might be the beginnings of love cannot progress: Aysa joins the Alliance, while Ji joins the Horde.
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