Once, there was only one shodo-pan at any one time. Hailed as the mightiest scion of the pandaren people and emperor of the empire, the shodo-pan was the blessed of the very spirits of the pandaren people. With the fall of the old empire, the term "shodo-pan" has come to reflect not a single ruler, but the heads of the various pandaren clans.
A shodo-pan is unique, in that he straddles the two worlds - the physical and the spiritual. Though he is a capable wardancer, the shodo-pan must also understand and practice the arts of the geomancers, for there are times when the two forms of practice must overlap. In the rare times when the spirits of a place cannot be appeased, the shodo-pan must dance war against them. And, just as the geomancers minister to the needs of the spirits of the land, the shodo-pan ministers to the needs of the spirit of the pandaren people.
The pandaren honor and revere their shodo-pans as the living embodiment of their people's spirit. Indeed, it is said that the ancestors of the pandaren whisper in the ears of the geomancers who will be a clan's next shodo-pan. There is no nobility among the pandaren, for any of the wardancers or geomancers might be chosen as the next shodo-pan.
When that happens, the prospective shodo-pan is taken away from his first discipline and taught the other. Geomancers are forbidden to use their spirit-arts until they have mastered the wardance; likewise, young wardancers must put away their armor and shaktani warblades to learn the Hundred Spirit Songs of the geomancers.
In combat, the shodo-pan are capable of bringing great force to bear, for they dance war as well as any wardancer. Yet their power is augmented by their geomantic knowledge — instead of a troop of pikemen, the shodo-pan may be aided by a gathering of rock elementals and other spirits. He may summon spirits to possess his blade, so that it strikes faster, surer, and with more deadly accuracy. The centaur khans are right to fear the coming of the shodo-pan.
Pandaren April Fools
- Main article: Pandaren (April Fools)