Li Li's Travel Journal

Part 1 of 11

Life is an adventure.

That's what Uncle Chen wrote in a letter to me once. It's sage advice, but my pop, Chon Po, doesn't think so. He says I spend too much time dreaming about the outside world, and that I ignore all the beauty and wonder of the Wandering Isle. He couldn't be more wrong—I do love where I'm from.

That's the point of this journal. I figure if I'm ever going to be a great explorer like Uncle Chen, I need to start writing about my own adventures, just like he does. Why not begin at home? Maybe my book will end up in the Great Library, tucked alongside Uncle Chen's missives. Better yet, someday folks in Stormwind City, Orgrimmar, or other faraway lands might read this and learn about my kin, our culture, and what makes this place so great!

First things first: an introduction. I was born on the Great Turtle, Shen-zin Su, also known as the Wandering Isle. Nowadays, many of the pandaren here just sit around on their butts, telling the same old stories, but it wasn't always like that. Our ancestors had adventure in their blood. To them, every day on the isle was a chance to see new things and make new stories!

As I write this, Uncle Chen is carrying on that tradition somewhere out in the world, but he's not the only one. The Traveler's Path has called to me too, right here at home, and it's time I finally answered!

My name is Li Li Stormstout, and this is the Wandering Isle.

***

Entry One: Back to the Basics

I decided to explore my home using the Wanderer's Way, a philosophy that Uncle Chen has written a lot about in his missives. Basically it means to take each journey one step at a time, observe everything around you, speak to everyone you meet, and soak in all the details.

After some thought, I started my journey across Shen-zin Su where I had initially learned about the isle's history: the Dawning Span. This massive stone bridge stretches along high cliffs near the center of the isle. From the top of the span, you can see all across the emerald Pei-Wu Forest to the south. It's breathtaking up there!

But I didn't go for the view. I headed into a small classroom built below the bridge. This is where most cubs learn of Liu Lang, the first pandaren explorer (although I originally heard about him in a letter from Uncle Chen). The cozy open-air room was packed with eager little cubs who were being told Liu Lang's history by a couple of Lorewalkers. I grabbed a seat and closed my eyes, trying to imagine I was hearing the tale for the first time.

Listening to Liu Lang's story made me feel like anything was possible! Inspired, I set out across the span to the Temple of Five Dawns, a gleaming tower at the heart of the isle. Stepping into the giant building is like entering a different world. Rain poured from the ceiling; a soft breeze tugged at my clothes; and, even though it was chilly outside, the air within was as warm as a summer's day.

The Lorewalkers say that as Shen-zin Su grew larger, so did the temple, as if the building itself were a part of the Great Turtle. This is a sacred place, and for good reason. The temple is home to the four ancient spirits of the land: Shu (water), Wugou (earth), Huo (fire), and Dafeng (air). As long as they're safe and sound, the weather stays calm and the seasons pass as they should.

The temple's full of wise proverbs and rare trinkets, but what interested me most was the statue of Liu Lang on the first floor. As I looked at him, I thought about all the great things he'd accomplished. It took guts to do what he did! Adventure must've followed him around at every step, even at home.

I bumped into Master Shang Xi as I was leaving. He's a big deal around these parts, a very noble and brave pandaren who mentors young and old alike. I can't count how many times I've gotten into trouble with Shang, but he's always been pretty forgiving (except that day I brewed his tea with skunk-water from the cursed pools). Anyways, he was in a good mood, so I hit him with some questions that'd been bothering me: What would Liu Lang do if he were still alive today? Where would he find adventure on the isle?

"Why don't you ask him?" Master Xi replied, pointing back to the statue. I hadn't thought of that, so I gave it a shot. I didn't really expect an answer. But I got one!

The spirit Shu must've been listening. The little guy hopped up on Liu Lang's shoulder and chucked a glob of water that splattered on the ground. After a moment, the puddle moved. It slithered to the entrance of the temple as if it was alive, and then it bounced down the long Dawning Stair outside.

I followed as fast as I could until I reached the wide valley north of the temple. I never asked the water where it was going; that would've ruined the surprise. Just like Chen, I was taking the journey one step at a time!