I feel like I'm blind.
Not literally of course. Not in the waking world, so plagued by the squabbles of those outside Pandaria. But at night...in my dreams...darkness is all that awaits me.
I try to stir, yet fail...I think. It is dark, but whether it is due to me still being within my dreams or the darkness that comes before dawn, I cannot say. The blossoms of the Vale do not reach my nose...but perhaps they too are sleeping. Perhaps they too dread the darkness that has descended over our land.
I shoot up...or do I? I am without sense of time or place.
"Continue to sleep, by all means. It might actually help.
"Help...what?" I ask the dark.
The voice...it is speaking Pandaren...if "speaking" could really be applied to it. Even the foreign barbarians utter their grunting languages with the movement of the mouth, having their words fit within a set level of tone. This voice...it is not of them. It is not of anything natural.
"Quite natural, I assure you. You've just forgotten."
And he...she...it...knows my thoughts. Not natural indeed...no more natural than the darkness I find myself in.
The mantid beyond the Great Wall, the strife on this side of it...what did you expect, panda bear? Or have your minds been so slowed by denial that you don't remember me?"
I...do remember. As much as I'd rather not. Because its words make sense. The strife of the mantid, the wars of the barbarians...it is to be expected...
"Sha..." I whisper.
I still can't see it. I still can't see past the gloom, let alone tell with it is natural darkness or not. And perhaps this is for the best. I don't want to see a sha...must not see a Sha. Just doing so would cause negative emotions, which would only make it stronger.
"Oh please, it's a little late for that don't you think?"
Pale blossoms, deep blue seas, running rivers, calm forests...
"And platitudes as well."
I ignore him...or try to at least. Even with my eyes closed, and my form now in a meditative stance, there is no difference in the lack of light. The gloom of closed eyes is the same as that of open ones, though in this case, closing my eyes is the way to see the light.
"Just go to sleep panda. Let me eat your bad dreams."
"I'm...already having a bad dream. I..."
"Negative emotion, how delectable," the sha cackles. "Almost enough for me to take the rest..."
I keep my eyes closed. I embrace the darkness. I cast my mind afar...I dare not open them.
I don't want to see what's coming.
Taking some liabilities with the nature of the sha admittedly. The core idea behind this came from that of the baku, a creature in Japanese mythology that devours bad dreams. Kind of turned it around, and as a bonus, got to bring misery to a pandaren in the process...
(Wouldn't say I outright dislike the pandaren, but I can't say I'm that enthusiastic about Mists of Pandaria either...)