The Mantid

World of Warcraft is perhaps the most famous (or infamous) MMO of all time. It was a genre-defining game, and considered to be one of the best online games out there during it's peak. While it may not have the same cultural relevance as it used to, modern WoW is still widely played, and the world of Azeroth only grows with each new expansion. While the different zones and plots each have their interesting points, I'd like to focus on a single expansion, Mists of Pandaria, and one particular part of it. The Mantid.

The mantid are a race of intelligent insects, found in the Townlong Steppes and Dread Wastes of Pandaria. They play a major role in those two zones, with a minor role in other parts of the continent. Their story doesn't have much impact on the overarching plot of the expansion, and they only reappear a handful of times outside of Pandaria. Despite their incredibly small role in Warcraft's expansive story, they remain as one of the most interesting and strange cultures explored in the game, and that is what I'd like to document here. This is meant to be a guide even those not familiar with the game can follow.

The majority of the information here comes from World of Warcraft itself or the short story "Death from Above", which can be read on Blizzard's website. I suggest that anyone who wants to experience the storyline for themselves either play through the Dread Wastes questline or watch a playthough, because it serves as a good primer for the rest of the information. I would also recommend visiting, as it contains incredible amounts of information on just about everything in-game, from quest text to character models. I will not be using any information from Battle for Azeroth, on account of it being bad.


In Mists of Pandaria, the mantid are first seen as ememies in the Stoneplow storyline. There, the player encounters the Serpent's Spine, a massive wall built millenial ago to seperate the mantid from the rest of Pandaria. Every 100 years, they attack the wall in great numbers for reasons unknown, but now they have begun attacking ten years too early, and the defenders are woefully unprepared. With some help, the town is defended, yet the reason for their erratic behavior is still a mystery. Later, the player will likely move to the Townlong Steppes, the northern part of the Mantid Empire, to help keep the mantid contained. There, the player will learn a few snippets about the how they fight and their history, but the most important information is about the Sha. The Sha are a significant part of the expansions storyline, serving as a common threat faced throught the game. They are described as the embodiment of negative emotions, feeding on and amplifying fear, despair, hatred, and more. And the mantid have been corrupted by the Sha of Fear, which has driven them into a frenzy, threatening to consume all of Pandaria and leave both sides in ruin.

With this information, the player is encouraged to go to the Serpent's Spine and help the defense. You are sent on a mission into the Dread Wastes to rescue a missing archer who fell off the wall, and in the process encounter two mantid fighting each other. One which wields the power of the Sha as a weapon, who must be defeated. The other is heavily injured, and he doesn't attack. Rather, he gives you a quest. He tells you to awaken the Wind-Reaver, and hands you a tuning fork before dying. Outside, there is a strange block of amber. When struck with the fork, it breaks open to reveal another mantid, Kil'ruk the Wind-Reaver. After helping him regain his strength, he explains a little bit about what's going on. He is a Paragon, an hero who was preserved in magical amber at the peak of his power to be awoken at a time of great crisis. The Klaxxi, a group of mantid elders who preserve their empire's culture and traditions, have remained untouched by the corruption, and have called on him to help. He flies you over to Klaxxi'vess, their base of opertation, where you are formally introduced to the faction. From there, the Dread Wastes questline begins.

The first few quests establish some basic information about the Mantid.


This page was last updated 2/26/2021.

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