- Ten thousand years ago, Shaohao, the last Pandaren emperor, sought to rule wisely, that he might save Pandaria from ruin. To better his people, Shaohao undertook a grand quest to strip away his own negative emotions. He succeeded, and the doubt, anger, fear and still more that he plucked from himself was imprisoned beneath the earth. But it did not lie still. It seeped into the very land Shaohao hoped to protect.
- In the heart of Pandaria, Shaohao’s darkness – the Sha – waited, feeding off every harsh word, angry fist or pang of despair. The Pandaren have trained themselves in compassion, patience, and love of life in order to limit their contribution to the power of the Sha, but with the arrival of violent outsiders on Pandaria, all their care may be for naught.
- It is not clear if the Sha have an agenda, but there is no doubt that they exist in disharmony with life. Wherever they lurk, they bring and delight in discord and death in a cycle that seems difficult for even the greatest heroes to end. Swords cannot slash doubt. Armor cannot deflect hatred.
The sha are described as the manifestation of negative energy. Their numbers have grown since the Alliance/Horde conflict has spilled into the lands of Pandaria. Shadowy creatures, they have intruded upon several important sites and will be featured as the main enemy within two of the dungeons: the Temple of the Jade Serpent (where the Sha of Doubt rules) and the Shado-pan Monastery. The Sha of Hatred is a boss in Kun-Lai Summit. For classification purposes, they are considered elementals.
There are 7 Sha in total in Pandaria, they are: Doubt, Fear, Anger, Despair, Violence, Hatred and Pride. The 7th Sha was unknown from launch until Patch 5.3, when the quest, Path of the Last Emperor (Part of the Escalation questline), revealed not only that Emperor Shaohao is active as a spirit but that the final and seventh Sha is Pride, the one vice he had hung onto. In 5.4, the Sha of Pride is the fourth boss in Siege of Orgrimmar.
When Y'Shaarj died, its blighted remains scattered across the Vale of Eternal Blossoms and the surrounding regions. In time, the Old God's evil seeped into the land itself. Y'Shaarj's lingering essence latched onto and amplified negative emotions, giving rise to malevolent spirits known as the sha.