In the years prior to Lei Shen's rise to power, the wise jinyu had arrived at the Vale of Eternal Blossoms and established a small empire. When the Thunder King began to saw all other races within his domain as servants, he launched a brutal campaign against the jinyu. Though they fought valiantly, the fish-men eventually crumbled before the might of Lei Shen.
During one battle, the mogu fought against the jinyu empire in a battle that lasted forty days and forty nights. Haqin of the Hundred Spears countered their attacks and defenses and won the battle for the mogu. Afterwards, the Thunder King presented Haqin with a hundred of the finest golden spears crafted by mogu forgemasters. He became one of Lei Shen's greatest lieutenants, and after his death, the spears were buried at his side.
On the eve of the jinyu's final stand against the mogu, they were betrayed by their allies, the hozen, who had secretly made a pact with Lei Shen. The hozen believed that in exchange for their loyalty to the Thunder King, they would receive preferential treatment under the mogu empire's reign (a promise that was never kept). This betrayal ensured the jinyu's defeat and created a vicious feud between the two races that would last for centuries.
Many thousand years ago, the Pearlfin Tribe stood on the throne of all Pandaria. They lost the throne when they were betrayed by their hozen allies. Unlike the pandaren, who ruled from the Jade Forest, the jinyu ruled Pandaria from the Vale of Eternal Blossoms. Rassharom, Ancient Emperor of Pandaria, was a jinyu emperor of Pandaria in ancient times.
- It is unknown if the "Pearlfin" section is talking about the pre-mogu empire jinyu empire, or a jinyu dynasty of the post-mogu Pandaren Empire.
- A battle against the jinyu at Inkgill Mere is shown during the patch 5.2.0 trailer. This may represent the subjugation of the independent jinyu state.