Y'Shaarj (pronounced Yah-Sha-Raj) is an Old God, one of several malefic beings that were sequestered by the Titans during Azeroth's primordial ages. Located in what is now Pandaria, the mantid race worshiped his seven heads. The Titans slew Y'shaarj, but with his dying breath he cursed Pandaria by infesting it with "shadows of his former self".
The mantid seem to believe Y'Shaarj may return someday, and if so, they will ally themselves with him.
Upon reaching exalted with the Klaxxi, a faction of mantid that have turned against their queen, players may speak to who will tell them the story of the mantid's origins and Y'Shaarj.
- <name>, your deeds have earned you the trust of the Klaxxi.
- You are to be rewarded. Walk with me.
- We mantid are an elder race. The pandaren you associate with, they are but children. They have their role to play.
- Each cycle, our young swarm their walls. The pandaren slay the weak. The strong return.
- With each generation, we grow ever stronger.
- Before your history began, our empire was vast. We shared this world with our sister kingdoms, Ahn'Qiraj and Azjol-Nerub.
- Our gods were many and powerful. We mantid worshiped the Seven Heads of Y'Shaarj.
- Great was the Old One, and terrible was his wrath. He consumed hope and begat despair. He inhaled courage and breathed fear.
- When the Usurpers came, the ones you call Titans, Y'Shaarj was destroyed.
- His last terrible breath has haunted this land ever since, but the shadows he left behind are mere whispers of his former glory.
- I tell you know because you have earned this warning.
- Your gods are not YOUR gods, outsider.
- If the Old Ones ever return, we mantid will once again stand by their side.
- The wisest among you will do the same.
- That is all that needs to be said. Come, take your reward, and remember what you have learned today.
The "Seven Heads of Y'Shaarj" possibly became the Sha, as their creation story is known as The Seven Burdens of Shaohao, especially considering that "shadows" were left allegedly left behind by his demise. Kil'ruk's assertion that Y'Shaarj "begat despair" and "breathed fear" could also be references to the the Sha of Despair and Sha of Fear. Further, the pronunciation of his name "Yah Sha Raj" stresses the "sha" portion.
Another potential theory is that Y'shaarj was the original Old God, and that his seven heads became the current ones.
Puzzle Box of Yogg-Saron
Cataclysm introduced a new item, the Puzzle Box of Yogg-Saron, which whispers to the player on each attempt to open it. While most of these whispers are thought to describe N'Zoth, one describes a "black goat with seven eyes" which may refer to Y'Shaarj due to the similar theme of seven eyes/heads.
- Have you had the dream again? A black goat with seven eyes that watches from the outside.
Based off the "black goat with seven eyes" quote of the puzzle-box it is possible Y'shaarj is a reference to H.P Lovecraft's Shub-Niggurath, who was known as "The Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young". However it is not completely certain if the goat is in fact Y'shaarj.