Plot and setting
The game is set after the events of Deathwing and the Cataclysm. The major setting is the titular land of Pandaria, one of the continents of the world of Azeroth. Discovery of Pandaria is made after a naval battle between the Horde and the Alliance. It had previously been hidden by magic since The Sundering, only to resurface.
Pandaria is a new continent located to the south of the Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor. Several zones have been announced, including the Jade Forest, Valley of the Four Winds, Vale of Eternal Blossoms, Townlong Steppes, Kun-Lai Summit, Krasarang Wilds, and the Dread Wastes. The Jade Forest will be the first zone, and the entry point for the Alliance and Horde. It will feature lush rainforest and stone spires, and introduce the player to the Hozu and Jinyu races. It will contain the Temple of the Jade Serpent, one of the new dungeons, and introduce the Sha enemy. The Valley of the Four Winds will include Pandaren farm lands, with a coastal jungle. The Stormstout Brewery, another new dungeon, is located in the valley. There will be auction houses scattered across the five zones of Pandaria. Along with these normal auction houses, a "black market" auction house will be located in an area north of the Valley of the Four Winds called the Veiled Stair. Unlike the player controlled auction house, this auction house will be controlled by NPCs who will post items, usually of rare status or those that have been removed from the game in previous expansions. Both Horde and Alliance can use the black market auction house.
The Wandering Isle
The Wandering Isle is a roaming giant turtle named Shen-zin Su, where Pandaren player characters begin their adventure, which they leave after choosing a faction. Historically, the Pandaren explorer Lui Lang was overcome with a rare trait in the Pandaren of that time, Wanderlust. It is because of this he departed Pandaria around 10,000 years ago on the back of the turtle, Shen-zin Su...