|Character classes||Warrior, Priest, Rogue, Mage, Shaman, Monk|
|Racial capital||Pearlfin Village|
|Racial leader(s)||Elder Lusshan|
|Racial mount||Sea turtle, Water strider|
The jinyu are a race of fish-like creatures that live in Pandaria. They are an elder and wise race, and they have been known to stick their staffs in rivers and literally hear what the land is saying. They are looked up to by the pandaren. The waterspeakers are an upper caste that uses the river to listen to the future.
Before the Great Sundering
The jinyu originated from murlocs who were fortunate enough to live near the enchanted pools of the Vale of Eternal Blossoms. The magic of the pools expanded their minds and grew their bodies, until they became one of the great ancient cultures of Pandaria. In the days before the Sundering, legend has it that all rivers flowed to Pandaria. Few were more aware of this than the clever jinyu. Over time the wisest of their people learned to commune with the waters of the river and listen for the future and news it would bring. These elders were respected by most races and earned their title of "Waterspeakers".
After the Great Sundering
The jinyu have been at war with the hozen for a long time. Many thousand years ago, the Pearlfin Tribe stood on the throne of all Pandaria. At one point they trusted a tribe of hozen which somehow led to a great betrayal; consequently causing a waning of their numbers and influence. After this betrayal, Pearlfin Village became all that was left of their people. The jinyu have been distrustful of outsiders and at war with the hozen ever since.
Alliance players encounter a jinyu named Bold Karasshi and enlist his aid in rescuing Admiral Taylor from a hozen prison. After escaping their captors, the Alliance and jinyu prisoners seek sancturary in Pearlfin Village, home of the Pearlfin tribe. After discovering that the Horde has allied with the hozen, the Alliance attempts to recruit the jinyu into the Alliance. After consulting with their water spirits and the spirit of the former jinyu emperor of Pandaria, Rassharom, the Pearlfin jinyu agree to ally themselves with the Alliance. The Alliance trains the Pearlfin in their superior military knowledge and arms them with weaponry. In exchange, the Pearlfin pledges their support in the Alliance's war against the Horde.
Pandaria is surrounded by and shot through with clear blue waters, and it is in these bodies of water that the amphibious jinyu flourish. In a sense, the jinyu maintain and cultivate natural water sources, even creating smaller streams with elemental magic. But the jinyu also exercise a dominion over Pandaria's rivers and lakes that can bring them into conflict with other races. They regularly stop up rivers to create their homes and breeding pools, and the multifaceted dwellings they create aren't simple mud lodges – they are towns and camps that can extend beneath the water.
Jinyu society is caste-based. Jinyu are chosen for their roles (such as warriors or priests) at a young age, and final say in all communal decisions is granted to the elder jinyu in a tribe. While this rigid structure can seem constricting, the elders' roles are often deserved: they can speak and listen to the waters that flow throughout Pandaria, making them extremely wise and terribly powerful. Eggs are sorted early on based on the needs of the community. Many jinyu are cast as workers, diligently put to work building dams or other structures. Others are selected to be craftsmen, and immediately undergo a rigid apprenticeship on hatching. Only warriors and priests are given access to the most food and findest shelters, and only the most successful of priests can ascend to the role of elder or waterspeaker. It is a taboo for the jinyu castes to intermingle.
Unlike the fire and heat forges of the pandaren and mogu, the jinyu have mastered the art of water forging. They shape stone and metal by using the pressures and currents of water. Originally they would scavange for polished stone and materials in the river. They developed an eye for the places that would provide the best quality baubles and rocks. Over the ages they have learned to manipulate water through their magics to craft exceptional edifices of the rock and stone that defy rivalry. Their weapons and armor are as hard as any forged steel, and their walls often appear to be constructed without seams.
- Bold Karasshi
- Pearlkeeper Fujin
- Elder Lusshan
- Instructor Sharpfin
- Little Lu
- Emperor Rassharom
- Wise Mari
- Pearlfin tribe (Pearlfin Village, Moonwater Retreat)
- Inkgill tribe (Inkgill Mere, Waterspeaker's Sanctuary)
- Fallsong tribe (Fallsong Village)
- Unknown tribe (where New Cifera is now)
- Jinyu (金魚, jīnyú) is Chinese for "goldfish".
- The layout of the Jade Forest marks Jinyu Village as an Alliance town. This is actually contrary to what was said during the panel, where the Alliance will try to befriend the hozu. This was eventually clarified in a press tour, which stated the Alliance would indeed befriend the jinyu, and the Horde the hozu (now renamed hozen).
- Their current in-game model uses the night elf male skeleton for a base.
- Hozen skulls are prized tokens among the jinyu. They use them to perform ceremonial rites, and the older the skull, the more potent its magic.
- Jinyu also admire resourcefulness.
The Jinyu could be inspired by the Zora from Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda series as they bear a strong resemblance.