The Tragedy of Ordos

Word of the Waterspeaker’s vision spread across Pandaria, circulating among the wise of the many races. Soon it reached the ears of Ordos, a high shaman of the yaungol, and without delay he sought the counsel of Niuzao, the Black Ox and guardian of the west.

“Great One,” pleaded Ordos, “fire shall rain from the sky! We must rise to face this threat and defeat it!”

The Black Ox was unmoved. “Do not let your fear guide your actions, friend. Stand against that which threatens you, and you will see that from courage comes fortitude, but from desperation comes only despair.”

The high shaman misliked Niuzao’s counsel, however. He consulted the elemental spirits, telling them of his fears: that this wretched fire would come down from the heavens and blacken the steppes that the yaungol called home.

The Spirit of Earth echoed the sentiments of Niuzao: “The mountain does not break before fire, but instead weathers the storm.”

The Spirit of Water cared not for Ordos’ fears: “There is no fire that water cannot extinguish. Let this rain fall! We shall wash it away into steam.”

The Spirit of Air merely laughed: “Let us ride the winds to the far-flung corners of the world! We can rise above this fire and remain free of it for all time!”

At last, when he spoke to the Spirit of Fire, Ordos finally heard agreement: “A rain of fire, you say? What blasphemy is this? Fire is our domain. No one else may wield it save by our will!”

Ordos was overjoyed. “Then you will aid me? Shall we fight this fire with fire, together?”

“We shall,” said the Spirit of Fire, “though there will be a cost. You must give yourself wholly to the flame if you are to be the agent of the Fire Lords. But if you do, you shall be a force unlike any other on this world.”

Ordos agreed, and together with the Spirit of Fire, preparations were made. When the Eternal Brazier was complete, Ordos stood before it and prepared himself, knowing that if he did not embrace this power, his people were surely doomed. Already the rain of green fire had begun to the north.

Then Ordos stepped onto the Eternal Brazier and entered the will of the Fire Lords. He writhed in untold agony, his very being alight with flame, and in his mind the Spirit of Fire exulted: “yes! You are the avatar of the Fire Lords! Bring destruction to these infidel invaders! Let naught but embers remain!”

Ordos fought through the torment, driven by his certainty that without his sacrifice, the yaungol would perish. And as he waded into battle against the invaders, the purity of his flame overcame their depravity. Day after day he burned and yet he could not be overcome, until at last the invaders withdrew from the blackened plain where he stood.

His every breath was pain and fire, but nonetheless Ordos looked back towards the Steppes, and saw the Black Ox standing on a cliff, unshakable. In his mind, he heard the words of Niuzao once again: “You will see that from courage comes fortitude, but from desperation comes only despair.

Strange mists began to coalesce around the Steppes, and Ordos could see that they stretched all over Pandaria. He ran, desperate once again to return to his home, but his battle with the invaders had drawn him too far away.

As the mists closed in, Niuzao stamped a mighty hoof, and a piece of the Steppes broke away from the land and came to rest in the sea. Ordos came to rest on that island as Pandaria faded into the mists, and recognized what he had done: if he had listened to Niuzao and stood with courage and faith, he would be hidden behind the mists, safe with his people.

Instead, Ordos had given in to his fear, and let his desperation drive him to a pact with the Fire Lords, for which he knew he would suffer forever.

Upon that timeless isle he built his temple, waiting for the time when his agony would at last come to an end, and he could return to the land of his ancestors.


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