- This article is about the tauren city. For the in-game faction of the same name, see Thunder Bluff (faction).
Chiefdom; Spiritual hierarchy
- “Greetings young one, and welcome to Thunder Bluff. You'll find safe refuge from the burdens of the world here. All denizens of the Horde are welcome here.
The spirits of the present and past come alive here in this sacred place, my friend. Honor them, and in doing so honor yourself.”
Thunder Bluff (sometimes spelled as Thunderbluff) is the tauren capital city located in the northern part of the region of Mulgore on the continent of Kalimdor. The entire city is built on bluffs several hundred feet above the surrounding landscape and is accessible by elevators on the southwestern and northeastern sides. Established by the wise chieftain Cairne Bloodhoof and his stalwart tribe, Thunder Bluff overlooks the verdant land of Mulgore from atop a series of windswept mesas. Prior to the construction of the capital, the tauren had lived as nomads for countless generations, often under attack by marauding bands of centaur. With Thunder Bluff’s founding, however, the proud and good-spirited race was finally granted a permanent home.
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Notable characters
- 4 Travel connections
- 5 In the RPG
- 6 Notes and trivia
- 7 Gallery
- 8 Patch changes
- 9 References
- 10 External links
The Third War and after
With the orcs' help, Cairne and his Bloodhoof tribe were able to drive back the centaur and claim the grasslands of Mulgore for their own. For the first time in hundreds of years, the tauren had a land to call their own. Upon the windswept mesa of Thunder Bluff, Cairne built a refuge for his people, where tauren of every tribe is welcome. Over time, the scattered tauren tribes united under Cairne's rule. There are a few tribes who disagree about the direction their new nation should take, but all agree that Cairne is the wisest and best suited to lead them towards the future.
Rexxar and his companions were tasked by Tagar with driving the Stonetalon harpies away from the tauren's kodo herds, for the foul creatures were slaughtering them and leaving their bodies to rot. Mulgore was also home to a large group of centaur, who had captured Baine and thrown Cairne into despair. With the help of Bovan Windtotem, Rexxar rescued Baine and brought the tauren back into the Horde.
World of Warcraft
The city of Thunder Bluff lies atop a series of mesas that overlook the verdant grasslands of Mulgore. Once a nomadic people, the tauren recently established the city as a center for trade caravans, traveling artisans, and inventors of every kind. The proud city also stands as a refuge for the many hunters who stalk their dangerous prey through the Barrens and its surrounding areas. Long bridges of wood and rope span the chasms between the mesas, and each mesa is topped with tents, longhouses, colorfully painted totems, and spirit lodges. The mighty chief, Cairne Bloodhoof, presides over the bustling city, ensuring that the united tauren tribes live in peace and security.
Thunder Bluff is the first city of its kind; for centuries, the tauren wandered the plains as nomads, unable to claim a permanent home. All Horde visitors are welcome here, and the expertise of the tauren in professions ranging from leatherworking to shamanism, druidism to hunting are all practiced and taught here. Unfortunately, the central location of the Thunder Bluff also makes it easily accessible to members of the Alliance. Thus, it is often one of the easier Horde capitals for Alliance players to raid, with Baine being killed long before Horde reinforcements even become an issue.
In order to gain access to Thunder Bluff, visitors must either ride wyverns to the top one of the four towering mesas, use the zeppelin from Orgrimmar or be lifted via rope and wood elevators from the foot of the bluffs, an invention unique to the tauren.
World of Warcraft: The Comic
Some time prior the Lich King's awakening, Thunder Bluff's Pools of Vision became haunted by an element rumored to be summoned by Magatha. The city was visited by Rehgar Earthfury and his two gladiators - Broll and Lo'Gosh who destroyed the element and eventually escaped from slavery. A human assassin from Assassin's League also visited Magatha in order to learn the location of Lo'Gosh.
Thunder Bluff was enveloped by the mists of the Nightmare but Malfurion was able to find and recruit Baine in the city.
The city was attacked by furious elements but the attack was repelled.
The Shattering: Prelude to Cataclysm
- For the battle for Thunder Bluff, see Battle for Thunder Bluff.
Following Cairne’s death in a duel with Warchief Garrosh Hellscream, Thunder Bluff was briefly seized in a coup by Magatha Grimtotem and elements of her tribe. Thunder Bluff became sabotaged by the Grimtotem Clan assassins. Their targets were experts in weapons, powerful druids, or shamans. They headed to the Spirit Rise, where The Skychaser clan's members were all murdered. The Forsaken below were supporting the Grimtotem, thus they needn't be worried. The hunters of the Hunter Rise were also killed and some others who could lift a weapon were also killed to struck fear to remaining tauren. The reign of Grimtotems was short-lived, however. Thanks to the effort of Jevan Grimtotem and Jaina Proudmoore, Baine was able to rally an army and buy weapons needed to defeat the Grimtotem in Thunder Bluff. In retaliation, Cairne's son, Baine, launched a brilliant counterattack using a fleet of zeppelins. After he strategically divided Magatha's forces, Baine recaptured Thunder Bluff and assumed his role as the high chieftain of the tauren. Having recovered from the recent unrest, the capital is once again a bastion of peace and security for Kalimdor's tauren. Magatha and her loyalists were sent to an exile. Jevan became the leader of the Grimtotem who remained with the Horde and he remained in Thunder Bluff.
Baine now rules the tauren from the High Rise. New shamanistic tribe, the Cloudsong replaced the murdered Skychaser tribe.
Before the Storm
|This section is a lore stub.|
After the Argus Campaign and the Orgrimmar parade, Thunder Bluff hosted the Warchief Sylvanas Windrunner and several representatives of other Horde races to speak about the tragedy in Silithus on the behest of Archdruid Hamuul Runetotem. Soon after, they were joined by Magni Bronzebeard who warned the Horde about the injuries of Azeroth.
Thunder Bluff held a feast for the Highmountain tauren from Highmountain on the Broken Shore. The whole city was celebrating with fireworks until it was attacked by the minions of the Old Gods who sensed Spiritwalker Ebonhorn. They trapped the city civilians with the void power turning them unresponsive. The city was defended by Horde adventurers, Baine Bloodhoof, his personal guards, as well as the city guards who killed the void minions and their leader, Qy'telek.
A drinking Bluffwatcher.
Battle for Azeroth
After Baine was rescued from the Underhold by Thrall and Jaina Proudmoore, they feared Sylvanas Windrunner would burn Thunder Bluff like she did Teldrassil. It was also attacked by malevolent spirits from the Shadowlands but successfully defended by Baine and the tauren hero.
The citizens of Thunder Bluff would support Varok Saurfang in his revolution against Sylvanas, though Baine's wounds would force him to remain within the city rather than march to Orgrimmar by Saurfang's side. Ji Firepaw, Aysa Cloudsinger, Mayla Highmountain, and their forces would reinforce the city's defenses in case Sylvanas launched a counterattack. During the conflict, Saurfang challenged Sylvanas to a Mak'gora, which ended in his death and Sylvanas's abandonment of the Horde. A stunned Lor'themar ordered for champions to report what had transpired to Baine. With Thunder Bluff no longer under the threat of an attack by Sylvanas, the reinforcements left the city as Baine, Ji, and Mayla traveled to Orgrimmar to attend the funeral of Varok Saurfang.
Thunder Bluff is located in the far north of Mulgore, among the sprawling flatlands of the Golden Plains. The city is composed of four towering mesas or rises. The only entrances from the plains below are elevators leading to the central platform. The central rise is connected to the others through large wooden bridges.
Thunder Bluff has a central mesa divided into three rises, surrounded by three additional mesas with distinct names:
- Central mesa - In the game is split in to the lower rise, the middle rise and the high rise.
- Elder Rise - Located across the rope bridges from the middle or the high rise.
- Hunter Rise - Located across the rope bridges from lower and high rise.
- Spirit Rise - Located across the rope bridges from lower and middle rise.
- The Pools of Vision - The cave entrance is found in the Spirit Rise.
Points of interest
- Main article: Thunder Bluff points of interest
- The Bank is on the southeastern side of the Lower rise.
- The top of the Wind Rider Roost in the central totem pole houses Wind Rider Master Tal, the Flight master, and Brave Tuho, the Thunder Bluff Quartermaster.
- The inn is on the southern part of the lower rise.
- The Auction House is located on the lower rise, just west of the entrance to the wind rider roost.
- The mailbox is located just outside the bank. (There's only one mailbox in TB.)
- The fishing hole is located in the center of the lower rise.
- The zeppelin dock is located on the west of Spirit Rise.
- Main article: Thunder Bluff NPCs
The new Chief of the Bloodhoof clan, Baine Bloodhoof has become the High Chieftain of the tauren race in wake of his father's death. He watches over Thunder Bluff, and over his people in an ever-darkening world. Baine can be found in the chieftain's tent in the eastern main city and is accompanied by his Honor Guards.
- Sun Rock Retreat
- The Crossroads
- Shadowprey Village
- Brackenwall Village
- Camp Mojache
- Freewind Post
In the RPG
The centaur were driving the tauren out of their homeland around the time of the Third War. When Thrall and his Horde arrived on the continent, an alliance was forged between the Horde and the tauren. Following the defeat of Archimonde and the end of the war, Thrall helped the tauren rout the centaur and reclaim their land. Shortly thereafter the tauren founded the city of Thunder Bluff and began the process of settling into their old surroundings and repairing the ecological damage the centaur had wrought. Thunder Bluff grows and expands at a tremendous rate.
The city was described as being built atop a near-impenetrable mesa deep in the south of Mulgore. The weather is almost always warm and sunny, with intermittent breezes carried in from The Barrens.
People and culture
Although some of the historically nomadic tauren probably miss their itinerant lifestyle, they are intensely proud of their permanent home and spend much of their time trying to make it better. They gladly accept the help of the orcs and trolls that help them, but are somewhat less enthusiastic at the presence of the Forsaken, whom they only grudgingly tolerate because of their membership in the Horde. Tauren place a strong emphasis on the value of life, and the unlife of the Forsaken stands as an affront to their beliefs, not to mention the less than honorable activities the Forsaken carry out.
Notes and trivia
- At some point, Thunder Bluff was caught ablaze.
- Galena Stormspear's mother has a tavern in the city.
- Occasionally, some Darkspear trolls travel to Thunder Bluff to live with the tauren and adopt their ways. Chen Stormstout refers to these trolls as "blue tauren".
- Thunder Bluff's elevators and windmills are kept in working order by Engineer Palehoof.
- The diamond Magni Bronzebeard is now so heavy that the lifts are not able to carry him.
- Daily fishing and cooking quests that give Thunder Bluff reputation are offered from Kah Mistrunner and Aska Mistrunner on the High Rise.
- It's a bad idea to jump from the top of one of the bluffs, as the fall is generally fatal without some sort of slowing effect. If you want to save time, you can jump on the platform under the main elevators. The fall damage may not kill you, but will reduce your health significantly.
- Thunder Bluff is most likely the optimal place for flying in Kalimdor for the Horde, as it is located in almost the center of the continent.
- Thunder Bluff is the only capital city in which player duels are permitted, becoming available when within the Hunter Rise.
- Strangely, while The Shattering: Prelude to Cataclysm describes "hundreds of corpses" in the city after the battle for Thunder Bluff, the only in-game change the city received in Cataclysm was the replacement of the Skychasers, most of whom were killed during the events of the novel.
- Thunder Bluff is a Rare Location card in the World of Warcraft: Trading Card Game's Drums of War set.
- In Hearthstone, the Thunder Bluff card back was rewarded for achieving Rank 20 in Ranked Season 23, which took place during February 2016. The flavor text reads: "Unofficial slogan: "Great warriors come from happy Tauren tribes. Happy Tauren come from Thunder Bluff!""
- During the development of the original World of Warcraft, Thunder Bluff was one of the easiest racial capital cities to create, taking about two weeks of modeling.
Map of Thunder Bluff from the World of Warcraft: Game Manual.
Map of Thunder Bluff before 3.2.0 without the zeppelin docking ramp.
- Warcraft III
- Patch 3.2.0 (2009-08-04): A new zeppelin docking ramp has been added to Thunder Bluff allowing Horde players easier transport to and from Orgrimmar.
- Patch 1.4.0 (2005-05-05):
- The Rainsticks sign in Thunderbluff is no longer floating.
- Patrolling scouts that can see through stealth and invisibility have been added to Thunder Bluff.
- Patch 1.3.0 (2005-03-07): You can now design guild tabards in Thunder Bluff.
- ^ Shadows Rising, pg. 20, 110, 139
- ^ a b World of Warcraft: Game Manual
- ^ Old Hatreds (WC3 Orc)
- ^ Before the Storm, chapter 12
- ^ a b Lands of Mystery, pg. 47
- ^ Lands of Mystery, pg. 48
- ^ Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, pg. 207
- ^ Lands of Mystery, pg. 46 - 47
- ^ Jaina Proudmoore: Tides of War, pg. 222 (ebook)
- ^ Traveler: The Shining Blade, chapter 10
- ^ Vol'jin: Shadows of the Horde, pg. 36, 100
- ^ Bluffwatcher#Quotes
- ^ Before the Storm, chapter 12
- ^ Countdown To Classic: Episode #63 – The Making Of World Of Warcraft With Vanilla Dev, John Staats (around 2:28:20) (2018-08-20). Retrieved on 2018-09-24.