Character Spotlight – Special: Li Shaoshen


Li Shaoshen is one of the youngest of my characters. In fact, I believe he is the newest to my collection if I’m not forgetting anyone. I created Li Shaoshen within World of Warcraft, as a Pandaren Monk when the Mists of Pandaria expansion came out. I had no real idea how to role-play a Pandaren, but after trying him out, I found that I thoroughly enjoyed playing a happy-go-lucky character and did not seem to have any difficulty with him despite a general lack of planning since I had no idea what to plan. Now, I am posting this as a general view of what Li is like, because I am debating bringing him into one of my stories. Obviously, he won’t be a Pandaren, but I am sure I can find some other means to bring him into one of the stories. The only question is … which. I definitely do not see him as a part of Magnian’s story, but if I do pull Magnian into the same universe as the other stories, who knows, Magnian might meet Li eventually.

cao-caoLi is 6 foot 6 inches tall (height might alter, since Pandaren were generally a taller race), and has black hair, with a pointed beard. The picture to the left is of Cao Cao, ruler of the Wei Kingdom during a pre-AD time period of Chinese history. That specific picture is inspired by Romance of the Three Kingdoms, a historic novel of that same time period. Either way, this fits more than just Li’s beard, for the moment. Though the facial features here are a bit more firm than I envision for Li. Li is a wanderer and a brewer (yes, Pandaren are generally wandering brewmasters, but as that is the only other version of Li, I do not see it changing), and has a son named Hao. Li’s backstory I also see remaining the same, though with a few slight alterations to at least separate from the story line of Mists of Pandaria.

In a battle of some sort, Li’s wife passed away. She, like Li, was a martial artist, and they were fighting to protect their home, people, and son. Lao Mei, however, died in the fight, and so from that point on, Li and Hao journeyed onward by themselves. They left their home to explore the rest of the world, bringing their teachings to other lands, sharing Li’s brews, and seeing the wonders of the other cultures. Li is proud of Hao for his excellent progression in learning the martial arts, even though the boy is only 10 years old, and is rewarding his son with this grand vacation of journeying the world, but at the same time, is using this trip to distance himself from his home, so as to not dwell too much on the loss of his wife. He is usually a happy person, and the sort that would share ancient proverbs to help people look on the brighter side of things, but it is now that he could use the same insight for himself, and seems unable to work it out in his own life. Despite his loss, he still keeps himself merry, though at holiday times, he often secludes himself, because it is at those times where the sorrow is strongest, even during holidays he’s had no experience celebrating.

He befriends animals (and people) easily, and has a menagerie of animal companions for him and his son, whom he has named after the religious culture of his people (a turtle named Zhi Ming was his mount in WoW, and I aim to try and mimic/continue this into whatever writing he becomes a part of). I definitely see him being very chummy with Istalindir’s daughter, Neenuvar (Valya in WoW) because of their shared cheerfulness and love of animals and nature.

Hao is also an energetic character. Since he is a child, this is less creative in my mind, but either way, he is always practicing his martial arts, also leaping around and ‘showing off.’ However, not because he is arrogant or sure of himself, but he does so to show his dad what he can do. He is ever wanting his dad’s approval and exceedingly happy when his father shows how proud he is. (This was of course inspired by the fact that I used the Pandaren Monk companion pet in game to symbolize Li’s son when I walked around the towns. And the companion was literally always doing some monk posing and stances which easily showed Hao’s energy.)

I have no idea if this character fits into Dorian’s world or Alek’s world better, though whichever world he winds up in ‘originally’ I also imagine what it might be like for either of those main characters to interact with Li and Hao. I’m anxious to see what people think, especially the people I rp’d Li with back in WoW. I hope this is something I can experiment with during NaNo, but I’m not sure if that’s the way to go just yet.

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