Furbolg

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Furbolg
Redfang Hunter.jpg
Faction/Affiliation
Character classes
Racial capital
Racial leader(s)

Tribal chieftains

Homeworld
Primary language(s)
Secondary language(s)

Furbolgs are a hulking, ancient race of bear-men who live in northern Kalimdor and in Northrend. Though they have no special love for war or murder, several tribes have fallen to multiple forms of corruption, including but not limited to the Burning Legion and the Old Gods. The tribes of Ashenvale were traditional allies of the night elves. Concerned by the once peaceful race's condition, the night elves have attempted to help the furbolgs settle their tensions. But the mighty bear-men retreat ever further into their territories and fall deeper into the rage that is overtaking their race. Few tribes are now tolerant of outsiders, most notable being the Timbermaw tribe. Meanwhile, the tribes of Grizzly Hills struggle to recover from the corruption Yogg-Saron placed upon their people.

History

They have an oral tradition that says they have ancient origins.[4] According to Brann Bronzebeard, furbolgs are descended from the bear Ancient Ursoc.[5]

War of the Ancients

Though the furbolg were around at the time of the War of the Ancients 10,000 years ago, they did not take part in the war against the Burning Legion.

However, due to a disturbance in the timeline instigated by the Old Gods, the original timeline was altered. In the new timeline, they were convinced to join an alliance comprising of the night elves, the earthen, and the tauren, against the Burning Legion, created by the dragon-mage Krasus and the human wizard Rhonin. It was a reluctant truce, since many night elves were xenophobic towards the "lesser races," but ultimately successful, and formed the foundation for much of the familiarity and peace between the night elves and later furbolg generations. (It should be noted that other accounts corroborate that this happened, proven by the fact that the blue dragonflight currently exists.) They were led by Unng Ak.

A furbolg from WC3.

Recent history

Furbolg in the comic.

They had positive relations with night elves and tauren. They lived in peaceful isolation until the Third War.[4]

However, the furbolgs' close connection with the forests was exploited by the Burning Legion during the Third War. As the forests were corrupted, many furbolg tribes became tainted with evil or went completely mad, and began attacking their former allies and destroying the lands they once protected. Individual satyr such as Xandivious and Xabraxxis are also known to be responsible for the damnation of entire tribes.

What once were believed to be only whispers and rumors of attacks by savage and cruel bands of furbolg in the night elves' enchanted forest have become an increasing concern for the Sentinels. It is thought that the passing of the Burning Legion and the vestiges of its demonic taint drove the simple and peaceful bear-men to madness. Their aged and wizened leaders have been replaced by ruthless firebrands who lead the crazed furbolgs to prey upon the denizens of Ashenvale Forest. Where the furbolgs coexisted peacefully with the night elves for ages, with claw and fang they now seek to carve out their own home in the endless forest.[6]

Currently, many of these renegade furbolg tribes remain on the loose, and are considered a grave threat to nearby settlements. Those few furbolg tribes who do remain uncorrupted have become withdrawn and suspicious, fearing that any outsider may bring corruption and madness to them as well.

Customs

An uncorrupted furbolg shaman.

Winterspring's furbolg prize the brilliant white feathers of the snowy owls for ritual purposes.[7]

These days, it seems few furbolg ever become shaman. Shamanism is much more common among the among the free-willed furbolg tribes. Furthermore, some free-willed furbolg are even capable of basic shapeshifting, much like a trained druid.[8]

Tribes

Uncorrupted tribes

Timbermaw Ally

The following appear to be the only furbolg tribes not corrupted in some way, and as such are the only factions that can be communicated with.

Timbermaw
Stillpine
Barkskin
Blackwood
  • Found in Darkshore.
  • The Blackwood tribe was corrupted by the satyr Xabraxxis until a group of Alliance adventurers slew him and purified the Blackwood with an offering of blessed fruit, nuts and grains.
Bestiary Thumb Furbolg.gif
Thistlefur
Blackmaw

Corrupted tribes

Deadwood
Foulweald
Gnarlpine
Winterfall
  • Found in Winterspring.
  • Former allies of the Timbermaw, they have grown increasingly aggresive towards them and the other inhabitants of Winterspring due to the corrupting influence of the satyr Xandivious.
  • Yields Timbermaw Hold reputation when killed.
Bristlelimb

Northrend tribes

WotLK This section concerns content exclusive to Wrath of the Lich King.

Frostpaw
Redfang

In the RPG

The RPG Icon 16x36.png This section concerns content exclusive to the Warcraft RPG and is considered non-canon.

Early history

Furbolgs originated from Northrend. They lived on Azeroth before Titans came to the world. Their oral histories speak of the first time Titans stepped on the world and roamed the wilds. Furbolg may have descended from early Pandaren who settled up in Northrend, becoming more feral; or furbolg of Northrend may have discovered Pandaria and their culture became more contemplative.[10] Grizzly Hills is the homeland of the furbolg, and they outnumber every other race there combined. In central Grizzly Hills the only known furbolg city, Grizzlemaw, hold but half their number, the rest are gathered in clans and scattered throughout the region.[9]

Culture

"Faced with the unexpected attacks by demons, undead and their own people, the furbolgs joined the fight, putting their generations of hunting experience to more violent purposes. Formidable warriors, they’ve always been. Formidable soldiers, well, that is a newer concept. Some furbolgs hired themselves as mercenaries to forces on both sides.

"After the war, emissaries from both the Alliance and the Horde (advised by the night elves and the tauren, I expect) approached the furbolgs and invited them into the affiliations, but they declined both. Perhaps it was their reluctance to choose between their friends, the night elves and the tauren. They do seem to be closer to the night elves, but I don’t think they want to claim themselves the enemies of the tauren simply by association. Perhaps they simply felt their problems had always been their own, and they would make their current problems their own as well. They are a proud folk.[11]

"When not attempting to heal their forests or their own people, furbolgs focus on hunting the Legion’s agents, who they blame mostly for their plight. You do not want to get between a furbolg and a demon. To keep life on track, more young furbolgs than ever are training to become shaman, seeing the holy men and women as the only adults who seem calm in these days of horror and uncertainty. With half of the population looking to pick up the spear (although they are deadly enough with their claws and bite) and the other half studying the magic of nature, the furbolgs are a people whose society is changing.

"One positive thing the war has done for the furbolgs is get them more acquainted with the world outside their forests. Formerly only the friends of the night elves and tauren, beings of the forest, and a self-contained people, now the furbolgs are watching the movements — political or otherwise — of the Alliance and Horde; traveling more; learning more about the world outside their forests; and widening their view of life as it applies to them in this new and harsher world."[12] ~ Attributed to Brann Bronzebeard

Languages

Furbolgs have their own language, Ursine, and a few speak Darnassian. Furbolgs sometimes learn the languages of their friends and, occasionally, their enemies, including, Common, Low Common, and even Taur-ahe.[13] Some furbolgs speak common and low common as primary languages.[14]

Affiliation

Independent. Furbolgs have long been friends of the night elves and regard the tauren with esteem. They are wary of all other races.[15]

Faith

Furbolgs are tied to nature. Some accounts have them worshipping primitive godlike figures (they venerate the bear twins, Ursoc and Ursol),[16][17]) but primarily they revere nature and the spirits of the world.[15] The bear twins are the primary patrons of those who believe in a balance between nature and all living creatures.[18] The furbolg are the most fervent followers of the bear twins in the present day, following in their magical tradition and carving their fortress, Timbermaw Hold, in the form of a gigantic, growling bear head.[19] The Hols is the shrine to the Ancients Ursoc and Ursol.[20] Furbolgs try to mimic the ales made by Ursoc,[21] Furbolg shamans often bring Amity wine to peace talks and important discussions.[22]

Furbolg leaders are shaman or druids — which furbolgs usually also call shaman, making little distinction between the two practices. Furbolg priests are unheard of; only those who break far from furbolg society would follow the path of a deity or philosophy. Ursa totemics follow the paths of the bear twins.[15][17]

Names

Furbolg names tend to be simple and denote important characteristics about the individual.

  • Male Names: Darkmaw, Swifttrack, Treebreak.
  • Female Names: Gripjaw, Ragerun, Softstep.
  • Family Names: Furbolgs do not have family names, but they sometimes use their tribes’ names (like Felpaw, Snow Flurry, or Timbermaw) in their place.[15]

Appearance

Furbolgs resemble bears with a few humanoid characteristics — bipedal gait, dexterous hands, and the ability to speak. They dress in loose loincloths or togas when they wear anything at all. Fur color normally ranges from light brown to black, and white furbolgs from Northrend are called polar furbolgs. Fur color also denotes status in the tribe: shaman have gray fur, and black fur marks the most powerful furbolg fighters. Furbolgs are big and strong, averaging 7 to 10 feet in height and 3 feet in width. Many furbolgs continue to grow even after they reach maturity, adding layers of muscle. Furbolgs weigh 300 to 400 pounds on average, though some reach 500 pounds.[15]

Region

Most furbolg tribes live in isolated villages in Ashenvale Forest. A few live in other wilderness areas on Kalimdor. Grizzlemaw, in the Grizzly Hills region in Northrend, is by some accounts the center of furbolg civilization. Furbolgs often place totems around their territory.[15]

Clans

A corrupted furbolg.
Snow Flurry clan
Snowspring clan
Winterpaw clan

Gallery

Notes

Myth

Furbolgs are probably loosely based on the Fir Bolg of Irish mythology. The Fir Bolg were a pre-Celtic race who inhabited Ireland millennia ago; as with most such beings, it is unclear whether they were human, near-human, or something else entirely. The Fir Bolg were forced out of Ireland by the Tuatha de Danaan, who are vaguely similar to elves.

See also

References