The Future of the Sha: 5.4 and Beyond

Be forewarned: This post contains liberal use of italics and lots of theorising, and may contain spoilers. Read at your own risk.

The Sha have been pretty quiet for the last couple of patches. I’m quite glad that I was vindicated about the Seventh Sha, although it wasn’t hard to identify. I’m interested to see whether Shaohao will be touched upon further, especially as I have little idea how the Sha of Pride comes to ruin everything just yet.

However, I’m not here today to talk about the Sha of Pride – though it is very interesting. I am here to talk about Y’Shaarj. Although we have yet to meet him, I am very certain that we should.

The first and foremost reason why we should encounter Y’Shaarj is that Old Gods are awesome, and I know Cata was rather overloaded with them, but they make for good lore. As my friend put it, they’re creatures that can literally drive you mad just by talking to you. They’re insanely powerful, creepy and cool, and given the darker shift MoP brought with it, I think they’d really fit.

The second reason is that Garrosh dug Y’Shaarj up. Think about this for a moment. C’Thun was located in an underground room in a temple in a ruined city, only accessible by going underground and traversing miles and miles of deeply hostile Qiraji hives filled with corrupted Titanic constructs. He was not on the surface, he merely commanded surface forces. Yogg-Saron was located in an underground prison in a gigantic Titan complex, accessible only by fighting through thousands upon thousands of Titan troops. And of course, the bridge to the complex had been destroyed.

Y’Shaarj is not underground, and is not imprisoned. He was put in a cage because the Titans thought he was dead – but I do not think he is dead. They are outside the cycle. They do not die. And most importantly, we thought C’Thun and Yogg-Saron were dead when we defeated them – but they’re still affecting the world. And when Med’an was thrust onto the ‘corpse’ of C’Thun (who Cho’Gall did intend to resurrect) he heard C’Thun whispering to him!

Before I go onto the Y’Shaarj is not dead tangent, my point here is that Garrosh did not just discover Y’Shaarj. He did not just free Y’Shaarj. He took Y’Shaarj to the surface of Azeroth.

No other Old God has been on the surface of Azeroth since the time of the Titans. But Garrosh took Y’Shaarj to Orgrimmar. Y’Shaarj is directly responsible for the formation of Sha – and Orgrimmar is going to become the biggest battleground on the planet in the next patch. We already know the Sha aren’t just confined to Pandaria – they can be moved. Orgrimmar could quite easily become overrun by Sha due to the proximity of Y’Shaarj.

And now we’ll go back to my tangent. Do the dead whisper, anyone? I do not think they do, and so far, that is all Y’Shaarj has done. Let’s take for a moment some of what he says in the Dark Heart of Pandaria scenario:

‘I only sleep.’
‘My blood hungers.’

And then I stumbled across these on YouTube – but I can’t recall ever seeing them. Link here:

‘Pure agony rejuvenates me.’
‘Pure hatred strengthens me.’
‘Release me.’

Now, I can’t recall ever seeing those (mainly because it is damn noisy in that scenario) but if they’re actually true (and they might not) then I can assume that A) he’s not dead and B) The Sha are powering him up.

Which leads us on to point number three! We’re not done with the Sha. At all. Because of course, we’re conquering pride next patch – but even after defeating hatred, anger, doubt, despair, violence and fear – I think pride will be a lot harder. How many humble heroes do you see in Azeroth these days?

I think the point I made about the Sha is very conceivable. Y’Shaarj was trapped in a box for millennia – the little blood we encounter in the scenario is not enough to corrupt the continent as Yogg-Saron’s was able to. And more prominently – The Sha are the breath of Y’Shaarj.

Has anyone seen a single Faceless One this expansion, even though we know that all the Sha are caused by the presence of an Old God?

Why are there no Faceless Ones? Simple. Because Y’Shaarj was trapped in a box and then buried under the earth. But the Sha cannot ever be totally defeated. They cannot be killed. Some have mastered them – but can you imagine teaching every one of Pandaria’s inhabitants to never have negative emotion? Keeping the Shado-pan is far easier than that. But the Sha are still surfacing on occasion – they are Y’Shaarj’s influence on Pandaria as he cannot influence it any other way.

Because it wasn’t coincidence that Garrosh’s forces just happened to choose the exact lake Y’Shaarj was entombed beneath. All the Horde forces have encountered Sha – and the Sha are probably voices enough for Y’Shaarj to get himself freed.

But if Y’Shaarj is not dead, only resting, how would it come back to full strength? Well, I have no doubt that the Sha get power from our emotions and simultaneously cause chaos – but you’d need some sort of really big conduit to get it into an Old God…

Like the corrupted Warchief of the Horde, not cleansed of any of his negative emotions but certainly as full of them as Shaohao.

That is what I think is going to happen. Garrosh doesn’t just become corrupted from his proximity to Y’Shaarj, he’s becoming a conduit for all the power his emotion contains to restore the Old God. Every one of Y’Shaarj’s seven heads, Garrosh has in abundance. Doubt we’ve seen several times, most prominently in Sarah Pine’s story. He doesn’t think he’s good enough. Despair – well, he used to be depressed. He’s pretty quick to anger, he hates humans, he’s as violent as orcs come. He says he fears nothing. But when he’s on his last legs, with forces pressing on him from all sides – he’ll probably start to get scared. And even then, he of course still has the utter pride in the orcish race.

Every negative emotion. In abundance. In certainly just as much abundance to cause the rise of a Sha equal in power to Shaohao’s Seven Primes.

But what happens when all Seven Sha are there, near Y’Shaarj?

Well, my friends, I think we have sufficient reagents for the rejuvenation of an Old God.

Whether it’ll be an Old God strong enough for say, a secret heroic-only boss, a dungeon, or its own full raid – I can’t say.

But what I can say is this:

Y’Shaarj moving to Kalimdor and to Orgrimmar means that there are two certified Old Gods on the same continent. The Sha can spawn anywhere on Kalimdor now, and most importantly – Y’Shaarj is on the surface.

Y’Shaarj could quite easily move.

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