Separated from the rest of Pandaria by the Great Wall, the rampaging mantid people of the Townlong Wastes devour everything in their path in order to build their own crystalline empire of ruthless warriors and scheming feudal lords. The pandaren are left reeling when the mantid's thousand-year cycle of aggression kicks off a hundred years too early and their greatest warriors burst through the great wall. The beleaguered pandaren must now face the worst swarm in recorded history while trying to isolate the cause of the mantid's erratic behavior.
Townlong Steppes is located in the northwestern half of Pandaria, secluded by the Great Wall that runs along its eastern border. The Shado-Pan are fighting to the last pandaren against a host of different forces. The yaungol attack from the northeast, attempting to drive their way into Kun-Lai Summit, while the insect mantid push their way from the south and west, striking deep into pandaren territory and striking at the Gao-Ran Battlefront and Niuzao Temple. The mogu claim the northern-most islands, enslaving the indigenous cloud serpents, while the sha, bringers of fear and hatred, infiltrate the deepest catacombs.
According to the map of Pandaria presented at BlizzCon 2011, it appears there may be a dungeon or raid situated here named the Mantid Colony. It appears to be located in the fortress (ruins?) on one of the western islands labelled Niuzao Temple. This may have changed since the conference, as it now appears that another named dungeon, the Siege of Niuzao Temple, will be located on the island closest to the temple to the southwest.
The contiguous areas of the steppes consist of grass-covered hills sprinkled with red-leafed trees. The northeastern areas are more sparse, with great rocky crags, mostly taken by the yaungol. A deep divide separates the bulk of the steppes from the Dread Wastes, and within this divide is a marsh and river that leads out to the sea. There is also a small pocket of bog or marsh situated in the eastern side of the steppes, south of Longying Outpost.
There are a handful of islands that make up the western half of the steppes. The southwestern-most and western island are both taken by the mantid, with their great central trees and pod-like architecture. The Niuzao Temple island is indicative of the grassy hills of the greater steppes, though the mantid have infiltrated here, as well as the sha in the catacombs beneath the temple. The northern-most island has the most caves and is home to sprites and cloud serpents, dotted with ancient ruins. More steep hills can be found here, as well as a heavy mogu presence.