Presented in short, bite-sized stories, relevant glimpses into the life of the thieving Méi-Lun are found on this page. Childhood, adolescence and adult life is explored up and until present day. Whilst content is still being added, titles represent the general direction of story. Once all the blank spaces have been filled out, new chapters will release with time as the character grows.
Binan Village Edit
A Thieving Cub Edit
An Autumn morning, in the busy streets of Binan Village, preperations for one of the annual festivals were taking place. The bustling sound of occupied villagers filled the air, but it never quite made it as dense as the scent-accompanied voice of Jin Lung, at her noodle-cart, screaming above all the commotion:
“Jin's Noodle-shop is open! Come and get your noodles here! Culinary wonders from the Jade Forest and Heartland!” she advertised. Méi-Lun knew that her food had nothing to do with the forest -or- the valley, she'd stolen some recipes before. Yet, even if she knew the truth, she still loved Jin's noodles – and when you're a lazy cook, you must be a swift thief.
Forth! Quick paws, sprinting across the dirt of the road. Soundless, but fast, she rocketed towards the target; a bowl of mouth-watering wonders waiting to be won. The lady bear had just turned her back to the prepared meal. A sound of wind, and a customer's rising voice and waving fist – it didn't take the old cook long to figure out what had happened. “Méi-LUN!” she shouted after the hearty child laughter that turned a corner further down the walk. Jin abandoned her noodle-cart and chased after the little scoundrel.
Ears perked with amusement as little Méi-Lun sat herself down in her secret spot. She could still hear the chef's voice rasping her name nearby. The cub only giggled, as she started eating the delicious meal someone else had ordered for her.
Méi-Lun didn't steal because she liked making people feel bad - or well, with the exception of Jin Lung who always got funny mad. No, she was just fully convvinced that she wanted things more than other people. Coins, food, toys, trinkets – anything and everything – she wanted it all. She needed it all.
The last noodle gone, bowl was placed decide as she threw herself back in her little cave of pillows, silks and drapes she had borrowed from the various homes. Hidden beneath an elevated house, eyelids fell shut and a smile lifted her cheeks. She'd steal the world if she could get away with it. One bowl of noodles at a time.
At least as long as she could keep her parents unaware, and her secret hide-out hidden.
Wanderer's Flute Edit
Sometimes, it was just the risk. All that mattered, was the racing heart and the throbbing head. What had she stolen this time? Méi-Lun hadn't even looked. She wasn't going to either. When you're running away, you look only where you're going. The child thief swung a corner.
It was her birthday - again. Seventh. She never liked her birthday, because it was the one thing in the world she would have to share with her younger brother forever. Family visits, presents, attention. All nice concepts, until you can't steal them from someone. They all liked Han-Ji more. She had left gifts and family behind to make her own fun. Another corner.
Each heavy exhale slammed against her face as she ran. Air never felt as precious as when you fled; when you really needed it. This oldling was fast. How was he so fast? She betrayed her own rules and threw her eyes back over her shoulder, and there he was, barreling towards her in a shock of robes, straw hat and fur. Eyes shot back forth, welcoming her to a wall and two turns. She shouldn't have, but she did go left.
Dead end. Her ears flattened, her heart stopped and for a moment she just wished herself away. She had never been caught before. Not by a stranger. Nerve-piercing, the inevitable sound of the wanderer bumbling her way.
Trembling paws decided for her. The flute was thrown in an arch over the house, before he caught up with her. Ridding herself of the instrument didn't save her; she still had to face the music.
Snot and tears soaked her face as she buried herself in her pillow. It was bad. Dragged into her room by firm hand and stuck behind locked door, forced to endure this wooden prison she had just tried to escape. It stung. Not being caught by the stranger, not being dragged into the street, not her parents being called out to get her, but her mother's voice:
"Méi-Lun! Of all days, you run off to do this on your brother's birthday?!"
In front of the whole family. -His- birthday. It was not Han-Ji's fault, but Méi-Lun didn't care. She hated him. She hated her home, her parents, her family. She hated the unattened loom in her room, and her tailoring homework. The frustrated cub shouted all the Pandaren cuss-words her young mind knew, into her dripping pillowcase – only for her to bottle it all up with a last panicked sigh. Too much anger lead to terrible things, here in Pandaria.
Then she saw it, as she lifted her face - through a little teary ocean of envy, anger and self-pity, a golden sparkle of hope right outside her bed-window. The tossed flute had landed in the window-planter, smiling fortune right through the shutters. As her paws gathered around the gold-tipped flute, rich with a little story engraved into its bamboo wood, she let out a shaky exhale.
The Wanderer unintentionally seeded wanderlust deep into the cub's heart that day. Be it her hate for must's and has to's, her unhappy home or the gift given to her by a stroke of luck - Méi-Lun had but one goal.
To make her own fortune, as she had today. Far, far away from home. Somehow.
A Flowery Promise Edit
It was her favourite part about the local farms. The hay-loft of the barn was the perfect place to partake in a little healthy game of hide and seek with one of the only people in the village Méi-Lun actually liked; Shang. Here, the overcoming smell of hay and dust made it hard to catch onto each other's scent. Unfortunately, it also tickled the snout something awfu--
Méi-Lun's attention snapped towards a little square formation of bales, triumphant smile lifting her cheeks. ”Celestials cure,” sounded the Pandaren version of 'bless you,' as she braved bales of hay in the direction of the accursed, game-shortening sneeze. Her rival swore under his breath, every cussword he had picked up from his elder brother. Once the little formation had been scaled, Méi-Lun found a center-haybale missing – and of course, that empty pocket had been filled out by a snug Shang. Gotcha.
Shang only manages to pull a sheepish face before it turns into shock and horror when she dive-bombs on top of him, both cubs clumsily squirming and struggling to fit into the little pocket of hay. Whilst one laments, the other celebrates her victory – both chuckling as they lazily find comfort. A laughter that ends in brief, near-meaningful silence. Neither cub had a proper concept of love; she was eight, he was seven – but they very much understood that they fancied each other.
It was brief silences like that one that had the thief amongst them delve deep into a happiness exclusive to time spent with him. He knew. Shang knew that she stole from people – he also knew where her hide-out was, who she stole from - and even when she stole from him, he forgave her. He accepted that she just had to. What was more; Shang saw past it, and found room for all of her in his forgiving heart. No pretending, no lies, no hiding. How could she not grow over-attached to him?
He, on the other hand, always found the silences awkward – no matter how fond she was of them. So he sniffled once, before speaking: ”Doesn't count.” Méi-Lun was quick to protest; ”Does so. I found you.” - ”I sneezed.” - ”I don't care, I found you.” she stubbornly insisted. A little wrestling around landed the youngest bear pinned down against the hay, elder cub playfully trapping him. She pressed her body down against him with a lung-supressed ”and now it's your turn,” before stretching to get off.
She never got that far. Méi-Lun was captured by her wrists, surprised attention falling back on Shang. ”You haven't found it,” he accused her. Of course that peaked her curiosity, and so she sank back onto his big belly. Shang had a pretty belly. ”- Found what?” He only clicked his tongue in response. Ears flicked an opinion down at him, before the thief immediately sprung to action. Paws patted him down as she dedicated her attention to finding out what he hid. It was a ritual of theirs. Shang would let her 'steal' things from him on purpose, and it was her favourite thing – he knew it was.
”This isn't a trick?” asked the suspicious, scrutinous lady, paws ruffling through his pockets. ”- No trick,” announced Shang after an amused, better-knowing laugh. ”Mh,” buzzed Méi-Lun, as she turned her eyes back down to her search. Took her a while, before she spotted the little treasure bathed in hayloft light; hidden in the brim of his boot-sandals. She swiped it quickly, lifting it up in front of their snouts for her to properly witness.
It was a simple hair-pin, an artificial flower. Orange cloth petals, and a yellow pearl center. She knew as soon as she held it in her hands, that it was of his make; Shang was handy at making pretty trinkets, no doubt the result of his jewelcrafter dreams. ”- Shang,” chimed the girl on top of his belly as she twirled the little pin in her fingers. Brought a big fat smile to his round, fur-adorned cheeks. That tone of hers; it was exactly what he had been hoping for when he made the small pin. Her sparkling eyes already told him plenty, but he asked anyway; ”like it?” To which the reply seemed equally obvious; a joyful, drawn-out ”Yesssss.” Donning the hair-pin, she curled her arms around him, and his around her in turn, as they shared just the hug you would expect two bears to share. In the embrace came a single promise from the spoiled girl:
”I'll wear it forever.”
The Sky Is My Canvas Edit
To be written.
The Raft & The Mists Edit
A walk along a foreign beach, every step sinking brief pawprints into the water-licked shore. Brief, because they are immediately erased – though not by the ocean, the waves are still and only caress the sands and rocks in gentle strokes. It is the raft, the two children are heaving along, that removes their marks from the wet sand, replacing them instead with the prints of dragged wood.
There are no seagulls here, for they never learned how to navigate through the mists – the birds of this land are every bit as trapped as its people. Though some have escaped. With a grunt, and an ursine huff, the two cubs drop the raft into the shallows. There is a splash, and the wet thud of settling bamboo.
”Méi, maybe-” says the boy, expressing a sound uncertainty. Sizeable for his age, his silks are filled out with the promise of a great bear, and for that reason, he is winded. That is why, his sentence arrives in two halves: ”-we shouldn't do this.” He earns the attention of unshakable hazel, of course, large eyes in a small head prettied with a braid that is topped with a beautiful yet simple flower.
”Shang, maybe-” she echoes, playfully cutting her sentence in half to mimic him. She isn't winded at all. ”- you should stop worrying.” She curls a broad smile, a sly grin even for a girl her age – ten – and with a huff, hauls the large sack of stolen food and fruits onto the raft. Things that'll last. They might be out there a while, before they discover new land.
He grunted, at her teasing. Didn't feel right – none of this felt right. And she was making fun of him. ”What if there's nothing?” She didn't answer, at first – focused on securing ropes and inhaling the sea-air. There was plenty of that where she was going. ”What if there's a storm?” She glanced up at him, sniffed, and rose as she patted her paws free of sand. ”What if--...”
”-- What if you fall in?” Méi finished Shang's sentence, causing him to stutter his last into gibberish. ”I'll get you,” she says, sound of mind. ”Like we practiced.” There's a small nod, there, from the bigger bear. ”Besides,” Méi hummed, giving him a gentle bump to his shoulder, ”you're my shǎn. You have to do what I say.”
One could easily tell, from his flattening ears and the twitch to the corner of his mouth, he was at unease. The fact he did not have an immediate reply, put a more careful face on the little thief he'd chosen to help with her escapades for the last three years. The little thief – his. His. He wasn't sure the danger was worth any of all this. Not a bit. She approached him to paw some sand out of his fur, and was about to give reassurances when they were interrupted by time.
”Shang? Méi-Lun? Is that you?” shouted the big bear, from the hill. His angler father – and a couple of friends, currently gathering around the boat that need to be pulled down to the shore. Suddenly, there was no time for reassurances, and the thief yanked the fisherman's son onto the raft with her. ”Quick!” She demanded, shoving one of the paddles into his paws as she spun around to push the raft into the water. His breath hadn't settled, and he was trembling when he sank the rookie sailor's instrument into the water.
His father grew loud, and Méi-Lun's determination sealed like the pact between a priest and his Loa. Heartbeats were racing like fluttering batwings, yet nothing could drown out the roaring father from the shoreline, demanding for the two cubs to come right back. But she urged Shang on, and she urged herself on, small paddles cutting through like knives through butter – or so it felt like, in the sheer rush of it all.
It wasn't long, before the situation started rising to Shang's head, one could tell. His breath was so unsteady it could've belonged to a Farakki in Drakkari territory, naked and bare to the elements. She didn't hear any of it, she was only focused on the wall – the large, thick mountain of mist they were about to crash right into. The boat was in the water, behind them – the sounds of scrambling anglers were clear on their ears. The demands and then pleads of a father for his cub and his friend to turn their makeshift vessel.
”Almost,” Méi gasped. ”We'll lose them in the mists. Shang? Shang!” She near growled her last, in frustration, when she finally looked back at him – even if her escapee instincts told her never to do so. He was just stood there, staring. So she let out a hysterical huff and put more voice into her paddling than she did strength, and yet still, they hit the wall. Even for his enormous, and sudden concern for it.
Engulfed. Swallowed. Whisked away by two mere beats of a paddle – so thick were the mists, that the two cubs disappeared from one hasty breath to the next. The point of no return had passed for Méi, as soon as she began building rafts. For Shang, it was there and then, and the kettle's whistle was a cub's whimpering cry: ”Father!”
Méi paused, staring back at him as the wobbling raft made progress further into the dense white fog. ”Father!” He cried, again. ”Father, we're over here!”
How could he? How could he do this?
”Shang! Stop yelling.”
”No. No, Méi, I'm sorry. I can't-- I can't do this.”
She hissed a bunch of hushed gibberish at him, and he turned his watery gaze away from her to look for shades in the fog. For something, for anything. He yelled again, and again. But Méi-Lun wasn't going back. That, was impossible. She grabbed her paddle, put it back down, turned to plead at Shang to be quiet, but he was too far gone in that moment. He had gone too far, and he wanted to go back. That, was impossible.
When his father's voice reached them, it was as frightened as they were. And it was followed immediately, by a splash. In her panic. In her frustration. In her instinct to escape. She had forgotten, what she had promised to Shang – she had forgotten, that he couldn't swim. The frantic thief had only acted, how she knew to, in a dire moment like this.
She shoved him in.
Méi took to the paddle swiftly, and powered forward in blind fear, in whimpering anger and mist-piercing haste. She drowned out the splashing, and yelping, the sudden silence followed by the echoing roar of a father before the other splash, of him, diving in, and it all, she drowned it all. She drowned it.
Drowned it away.
It all drowned.
And now it is gone. Erased, like the pawprints in the sand. Replaced with a better story. With a story she can believe in. Shang didn’t want to come - she said goodbye to him, on that beach. She kept her promise, about the fireworks. Him and her might meet one day, again, two childhood friends parted ways because of her desire for adventure. This is the only thing that can be true. It is true.
Even if the raft incident of Binan will always count two lost cubs.
The Capernoited Carousel Edit
Shark-Bait Ahoy! Edit
To be written.
Gurandi's Lot Edit
To be written.
Life at Sea Edit
To be written.
Clix' Bawdy Escapades Edit
To be written.
Jarez Attacks Edit
To be written.
Azeroth, and All Its Gifts Edit
Finding Her Paws Edit
To be written.
Faire Bear Edit
To be written.
Explore & Exploit Edit
To be written.
Caught by a Great-Winged Bat Edit
To be written.
Flower Afloat Edit
To be written.
The 3rd Invasion Edit
War in Azshara Edit
To be written.
Old Faces in the Shadows Edit
With the Legion's return to Azeroth, old friends from the Pandaren's days as a sea-faring smuggler have resurfaced, beckoning the thieving bear to Dalaran. Hidden in the slums of the violet city's belly, a thief's home, an assassin's cult, a sinner's sanctum: The Hall of Shadows. Joining the hidden guild of lawless, no-good do-gooders, Méi-Lun re-unites with the remnants of her old crew in their fight against the Burning Legion.