- For other characters named Kang, see Kang (disambiguation).
|Title||The Fist of First Dawn, Master|
|Occupation||Pandaren rebel leader, creator of the way of the monk|
- “Our backs are hardened by the whips of the mogu. Our arms are powerful from building their fortresses. Our minds are sharp from working alongside our enemy. You think the mogu are stronger? I say we are their strength!”
- — Kang inspiring his fellow pandaren
Kang, the Fist of First Dawn, was the pandaren that created the way of the monk and was its first practitioner. He inspired the pandaren slaves to rise up against their mogu masters, igniting the Pandaren Revolution.
Long ago, the pandaren were slaves of the mogu empire. The emperor at the time, Lao-Fe the Slavebinder, was a monster among beasts even by mogu standards. His favored punishment among pandaren slaves was to separate families. Slaves who displeased him would have their children sent to the Serpent's Spine wall, to suffer and die as fodder for the mantid swarms. This was the fate that befell Kang, a young monk and brewmaster. His cub, Sheilun, was sent to the mantid, and his wife died trying to stop it. Kang was so grief-stricken over the loss of his family that he chose to wear all black. In a moment of clarity, he saw the mogu overlords for what they were: weak. They possessed dark magics and horrific weapons, but their empire was completely reliant on slave labor. Since the servant races were not permitted to carry weapons during the reign of the mogu, Kang determined that the pandaren themselves would become the weapons. History does not report if Kang and his son ever met again, but it was this father's love that sparked the rebellion that would change the face of Pandaria forever.
One day, Kang issued a challenge to his fellow slaves to hit him. Surprised, the beleaguered pandaren slaves tried to strike Kang. One by one they failed, for he intercepted their blows like a dancer and sidestepped their attacks like a reed in the wind. Kang told the slaves, "Our backs are hardened by the whips of the mogu. Our arms are powerful from building their fortresses. Our minds are sharp from working alongside our enemy. You think the mogu are stronger? I say we are their strength!" Inspired by his defiance, the slaves begged Kang to teach them to fight. So it came to pass that pandaren monks began their training in the martial arts, and Kang became known as the Fist of First Dawn.
When word of the movement reached mogu ears, Kang and his followers relocated to Kun-Lai Summit and secretly built a monastery to continue their training. To his vast surprise, Kang also found the prison of one of the August Celestials: Xuen, the White Tiger. Kang often communed with the imprisoned Celestial, learning the secrets of inner strength and passing these lessons on to the other students. Xuen taught Kang not only the strength of raw power, but the strength of endurance. He told the pandaren that to know strength, he had to look to the little life he could find in the heights. Kang looked, and saw the twisted, gnarled trees growing along the Kun-Lai ridgelines. The trees' trunks were sturdy and strong and their roots were deep, as they needed to be in order for them to endure the biting winds. The pandaren used these trees to build the walls of their monastery and craft their first weapons — not blades, like the mogu used, but staves. Kang brought his staff to Xuen, who blessed it, after which the monk named it "Sheilun" after his late son. He continued to carry the staff with him throughout the revolution. On some days, it was a mere walking stick, but on others, it saved his life by deflecting the blows of mogu axes or swords.
The rebels won several major victories, and soon the pandaren were joined by the other slave races: the hozen, the jinyu, the grummles, and the yaungol. Eventually, Lao-Fe's forces retreated to the Vale of Eternal Blossoms, and Kang knew that the rebels needed to expose themselves and launch an attack. Without hesitation, Kang led the charge deep into the Vale and fought Lao-Fe hand-to-hand. The monk succeeded in defeating the emperor, but sustained mortal wounds in the process. The former slave and the Slavebinder died together, but with his sacrifice, Kang had freed all of Pandaria. His staff was brought back to the monastery that he and his monks had constructed in the mountains and continued to be used in service to Pandaria for generations to come.