- This article is about the tauren lore. For the Kalimdor tauren playable race, see Tauren (playable). For the Highmountain tauren playable race, see Highmountain tauren (playable). For other uses, see Tauren (disambiguation).
The tauren [ˈtɔɹən] (shu'halo in their native language of Taur-ahe) are a race of large, bovine humanoids who dwell on the great plains of Central Kalimdor. For countless generations, they were constantly harassed by the violent centaur, who forced the tauren into a nomadic lifestyle in the harsh Barrens. However, during the Third War and the Horde's invasion of Kalimdor, the tauren and the invading Horde became allies, and the Horde aided the tauren in driving off the centaur from the sacred lands of Mulgore. High Chieftain Cairne Bloodhoof established the capital city of Thunder Bluff, and to this day the tauren remain one of the most stalwart allies of the Horde, even after Cairne's death and the ascension of his son, Baine Bloodhoof.
- “Our people have walked this land for many, many years, and in that time have learned much about the world. Our allies will need to look to us for wisdom and guidance. My father once made a promise to the Horde, to repay a debt we owed them for their service to our race. I, for one, intend to deliver on that promise.”
- — High Chieftain Baine Bloodhoof
The tauren are a peaceful and honorable people, that nonetheless are fierce fighters when roused. Hunting and shamanism are held in high regard in their culture, as is their worship of the Earth Mother and respect for the land and nature.
Origins and early history
The tauren are the descendants of a bovine race known as the yaungol. Several millennia before the First War, the yaungol roamed central Kalimdor and lived in peace with the demigod Cenarius, but were eventually driven south due to not wanting to share hunting grounds with the trolls. There, the yaungol were enslaved by the mogu empire and twisted by the mogu flesh-shapers. Though they eventually regained their freedom along with the other slave races during the pandaren revolution, much of their ancient cultural heritage had been lost. Heated arguments led many yaungol to migrate back north. While one group traveled as far north as the Storm Peaks, where they took up the name taunka, the other group settled in the balmy areas surrounding the Well of Eternity. There, they reunited with Cenarius and rediscovered their ancient traditions. Those who studied with Cenarius learned the druidic magic of the natural world, while others mastered the art of wielding shamanic powers. The energies of the Well soon began to change these yaungol into a new race, who would later take up the name "tauren". The taunka, tauren and yaungol retained some contact with one another for many years, but the Great Sundering finally shattered the connections between the tribes.
War of the Ancients
In the original course of events, the tauren did not take part in the War of the Ancients, the war that occurred when the demonic Burning Legion invaded Azeroth approximately 10,000 years before the First War. However, in the altered history created by the intervention of Krasus and his companions, they were convinced to join the alliance against the Burning Legion by the dragon-mage, and the tauren tribes were led by Huln Highmountain, wielder of the eagle spear. The xenophobic night elf commander, Desdel Stareye, refused to use the tauren to their abilities, namely heavy melee fighters, on the grounds that they were apparently as likely to kill night elves and earthen as demons. After the "tragic" loss of the commander, the tauren were re-deployed to extreme effectiveness by his replacement, Jarod Shadowsong. The tauren who survived the war maintained fairly good, or at least cordial, relations with the Sentinels.
Due to a blessing bestowed upon Huln by Cenarius, the tauren under Huln — the Rivermane, Bloodtotem, Skyhorn, and Highmountain tribes — were given the Horns of Eche'ro: moose-like antlers. After the war, these tribes would rename their home region Highmountain in honor of Huln's heroism during the war.
The rise of the centaur
1,100 years before the opening of the Dark Portal, the tauren wandered Kalimdor's forests and plains, living in harmony with nature. One region in particular was especially sacred: the verdant grassland of Mashan'she, or "Loom of the Earth Mother". Drawn by faint elemental whisperings, the tauren became convinced that somewhere beneath the meadows, the Earth Mother herself dwelled. After decades of attempting to rouse her from her slumber, the tauren shaman eventually succeeded, but to their horror they realized that what they had awakened was not the benevolent Earth Mother, but the enormous earth elemental Princess Theradras, daughter of Therazane the Stonemother. The newly awakened Theradras reached out to the verdant surroundings for sustenance and consumed their energies in order to regenerate her weakened form. The tauren would later name this now barren land "Desolace".
The sudden monumental loss of life sent ripples throughout all of Azeroth and even the Emerald Dream. Zaetar, son of the forestlord Cenarius, traveled to Desolace to investigate, but though he had decided to imprison Theradras, he instead fell in love with her. Theradras requited Zaetar's affection, and the two became mates. From this forbidden and unnatural union, the centaur were born. After having brutally murder their father, the half-horse creatures quickly proliferated and spread out across Kalimdor, driving the tauren of Desolace from their homes and igniting a long and dark period of war that would come to last for many centuries.
The Third War and the Horde
- The mighty tauren of the Kalimdor plains have pledged their allegiance to the new Horde out of respect for their courage and honor. The bold Tauren seek only to safeguard their quiet culture from the deathly fires of the Burning Legion. When roused, tauren are fierce fighters and use their flails, horns and their mighty totems to smash their enemies into the dust of the plains.
For countless generations after the war, the tauren roamed the plains of the Barrens hunting the mighty kodo, and sought the wisdom of their eternal goddess, the Earth Mother. Their tent cities were scattered across the landscape and changed with the seasons and the weather. The wandering tribes were united only by a common hatred for their sworn enemy, the marauding centaur. The Earthen Ring was originally founded by tauren shaman some time before the War of the Three Hammers to lead their people with wisdom and maintain the harmony between the elemental spirits.
At the brink of extinction, the chieftain Cairne Bloodhoof, desperate for help, turned to the strange green-skinned warriors from over the sea. Cairne quickly befriended Warchief Thrall and the other orcs, and recognized that they shared a love for honor and battle. For their part, the orcs and the Darkspear trolls that composed the Horde found much in common with the tauren. Each of these races wanted to achieve a more shamanistic culture, and the tauren, long versed in the lore of spirit and nature, were well-prepared to provide counsel and support to the budding shamanism within the Horde.
With the orcs' help, Cairne and his Bloodhoof tribe were able to drive back the centaur and claim the grasslands of Mulgore for themselves. For the first time in millennia, the tauren had a land to call their own. For this alone they were forever indebted to their orcish allies. Upon the windswept mesa of Thunder Bluff, Cairne built a refuge for his people, where tauren of every tribe were welcome.
Owing a blood-debt to the orcs for their assistance, the tauren joined Thrall on Mount Hyjal to defend Kalimdor from an invasion by the demonic Burning Legion. Following the Legion's defeat, the tauren who helped defend Hyjal returned to their new home in Mulgore.
Over time the scattered tauren tribes united under Cairne's rule. There were but a few tribes who disagreed about the direction their new nation should take, but all agreed that Cairne was the wisest and best suited to lead them toward the future. Helping the mighty Cairne in the duties of ruling his race were the Archdruid Hamuul Runetotem and the elder crone Magatha Grimtotem.
Although the tauren had reclaimed their lands and battled alongside the Horde, not all was peaceful. The Grimtotem tribe tried to usurp the rule of Cairne, plotting to overthrow his leadership. In Mulgore, they had problems with the Bristleback quilboar. At the same time, the Emerald Dream, realm of the green dragonflight, was tainted with a strange evil. Malfurion Stormrage was trapped inside, and the green dragons acted strangely as they attacked all who passed near. Both elven and tauren druids were researching these events since the Emerald Dream, home of Ysera the Dreamer (the Green Aspect), had to be be kept safe.
This section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.
When a peaceful meeting between tauren and night elf druids was sabotaged by Twilight's Hammer cultists posing as members of the Horde, Cairne mistakenly thought that the new Warchief, Garrosh Hellscream, was responsible. As a result, Cairne challenged Garrosh to a mak'gora for the title of Warchief. The duel ended in Cairne's death, as the treacherous Magatha Grimtotem poisoned Garrosh's axe, Gorehowl. After Cairne's death, the Grimtotem quickly seized control of Thunder Bluff and other major tauren settlements. Cairne's son, Baine Bloodhoof became High Chieftain of the tauren and led an attack against the Grimtotem, retaking Thunder Bluff. He then banished the Grimtotem to Stonetalon Mountains.
Despite their banishment, Grimtotem forces were able to corrupt several water wells within Mulgore, but their efforts were stopped by tauren adventurers and Baine personally killed Orno Grimtotem, the leader of the Grimtotem forces invading Mulgore. The Grimtotem, hunted by the Horde, were forced into an uneasy truce with the Alliance in Stonetalon Mountains, the likes of which was broken shortly after.
Within Mulgore, the quilboar began attacking tauren caravans. While many tauren and Garrosh Hellscream wished to confront the attackers, Baine looked towards diplomatic measures to find a compromise. Several of the tauren began to express dissatisfaction with Baine's compromising attitude with Garrosh. Viewing his willingness to bow down to every demand made of him as an affront to their peoples' interests, they considered walking away from the Horde. Led by Greyhoof Farwanderer, these tauren prepared to leave both the Horde and Mulgore. When yet another caravan was attacked, Garrosh and his Kor'kron personally assaulted the quilboar, only to be nearly overrun. Baine, Hamuul and the Sunwalkers arrived to relieve the battle and help the orcs escape. Hamuul then demonstrated the power of the Earth Mother to Garrosh as he called upon a river. Baine stood over the defeated quilboar, and instructed them that this river would provide them with all the water they needed - provided that no more attacks were made on the tauren people. The quilboar anxiously returned to their tunnels. Later on, Baine was approached by Greyhoof Farwanderer and the tauren that had prepared to leave Mulgore prior, and having witnessed Baine's victory over the quilboar, apologized for doubting the high chieftain's ability to lead and requested a pardon for this rash action. Baine granted it, and urged them to remain strong and steadfast in these trying times for the good of their people.
When Alliance forces invaded the Barrens, Camp Taurajo was burned to the ground. The survivors fled to Camp Una'fe and Vendetta Point. To protect Mulgore from being invaded, the tauren created a mighty wall named the Great Gate.
Mists of Pandaria
This section concerns content exclusive to Mists of Pandaria.
When the Warchief issued a call for the leaders of the Horde to gather for a meeting in Orgrimmar, Baine answered the summons despite not feeling right within the "new Orgrimmar." Garrosh then informed them of his plan to destroy the Alliance port of Theramore. While Baine and other leaders protested against such a plan, they all agreed in the end. Despite his personal misgivings, Baine ultimately resolves to join Garrosh's cause in an attempt to protect his people. Baine led his tauren forces from the Great Gate and then joined up with Vol'jin and his Darkspear forces. Baine then co-led the combined tauren and Darkspear army as it marched from the Gate to Northwatch Hold, killing any Alliance that got in their way. Baine ordered his forces to attend to the bodies of the fallen. He further ordered that that his people not desecrate any of the fallen Alliance soldiers. After they finally arrived at Theramore, Baine led his tauren in battle. When the battle was won with Theramore's destruction, Baine and the tauren returned to Thunder Bluff.
During a period, Baine and several tauren of Thunder Bluff had dreams of a valley, golden with blossoms, filled with the hope of peace. Baine Bloodhoof ordered Sunwalker Dezco and his Dawnchaser tribe to sail into uncharted waters in search of this mysterious place. Guided by the visions of Dezco's pregnant wife, Leza, the last vessel was able to find Pandaria, and landed on the southern shore of Krasarang Wilds. After heading inland by canoe, the group set up camp at Thunder Cleft. The tribe continued on in their search for weeks until they finally discovered the Vale of Eternal Blossoms. They moved into the vale and settled at the Shrine of Two Moons.
When Vol'jin declared open rebellion against Garrosh, Baine and the tauren pledged their support. The two forces, along with the rest of the Horde and the Alliance, then marched upon Orgrimmar, where Garrosh was ultimately defeated.
This section concerns content exclusive to Legion.
The tauren assisted the Horde in the Battle for Broken Shore. Mulgore, or at least Thunder Bluff, was targeted by the Burning Legion during their third invasion. The tauren joined various class orders and fought against the Legion on the Broken Isles.
Following the demonic invasion, the tauren reunited with the Highmountain tauren and brought them to the Horde.
- "But we're nothing if not people who strive for balance. Our warriors fight only when there is need. Our hunters take only what the tribes require to live, and use all they can when they do. The shaman stand as guide and mediator to the elemental spirits."
- — Aponi Brightmane
The tauren are a noble race that embrace the natural world. They have shed their nomadic roots and united in their ancestral lands. Their race may be one of spirituality, reverence for nature, and respect for elders, but it also possesses powerful warriors that willingly fight when the situation demands it. The shu'halo people strive to live honorable and dignified lives filled with respect for nature and the Earth Mother. Although strong and capable warriors when roused in battle, most tauren reserve combat for when all other options are exhausted. They prefer course of wise discussion and careful rumination before embarking on any great endeavor, and they have great respect for the wise, spiritual and elderly among their people. The tauren are not wrathful by nature, but sometimes a thirst for justice causes them to take up arms in anger.
- "Into the brave hearts of her pure children, the Earthmother placed the love of the hunt. For the creatures of the first dawn were savage and fierce. They hid from the Earthmother, finding solace in the shadows and the wild places of the land. The Shu'halo hunted these beasts wherever they could be found and tamed them with the Earthmother's blessing."
- — The White Stag and the Moon
Though the noble tauren are peaceful in nature, the rites of the Great Hunt are venerated as the heart of their spiritual culture. Every tauren, warrior or otherwise, seeks identity as both a hunter and as a child of the Earthmother. Tauren, young or otherwise, seek to prove their bravery by setting themselves against the creatures of the wild. Hunting is a tauren's greatest honor; at times they hunt for food, at times for honor, and at times to earn the Earthmother's teachings. Hunters are important to the tribes as a strong part of tauren tradition and history, and are respected and revered if they serve their people well. Young gazelles quickly learn to flee when they hear the war cries of tauren hunters in Mulgore. They don't hear the good hunters, unfortunately. While mighty warriors defend the tauren's homes, shamans show the ancestors' past and druids discover the Earthmother's will, hunters learn many aspects of those roles and blend them together. They represent the heart of the tauren people, and are looked to for guidance and protection. Despite killing the animals, the tauren are taught never to waste anything given to them by nature and to give back what they can. They learn the fine balance that exists in nature and that if they honor the Earthmother, she will bless them in return.
Many tribes claim that it is a gift to be blessed with the aptitude to use magic or to talk to the ancestors, but tauren warriors are taught that they are just as gifted. They are a special breed also, not unlike the druids and shamans, and are just as important. They are the ones called upon to defend the borders, to hunt the centaur, and to go to war. Every warrior plays a role in their tribe, and they must all go through the same rites.
Despite their enormous size and brute strength, the remarkably peaceful tauren cultivate a quiet, tribal society. However, when roused by conflict, tauren are implacable enemies who will use every ounce of their strength to smash their enemies under hoof. They are noble and proud and have never, despite significant adversity in the past, succumbed to their enemies. Like the orcs, the tauren now struggle to retain their sense of tradition and noble identity.
Their buildings are called long houses and great tents.
- "Peace between the earth and all her people should be our goal. She has a grand plan for nature, and we all have a role to play in that plan."
- — Bashana Runetotem
The tauren worship the Earth Mother as their creator. According to the tauren myth Sorrow of the Earthmother, when the Earth Mother saw her children falling to the corrupting whispers from below the earth, (the work of the Old Gods) she tore out her eyes and set them spinning endlessly across the sky. Her left eye became Mu'sha, the moon, and her right eye became An'she, the sun. Neither of both is better than the other, and together they see with balanced vision - they are the tauren's own "Light".
The earliest history of the tauren is recorded in a series of myths. These chronicle the period of time from the creation of the world to the appearance of the centaur, speaking of the creation of the tauren by the Earthmother, their meeting with Cenarius, and the coming of the centaur.
Due to night elven influence, tauren druids long revered only Mu'sha, as Mu'sha is considered to be the tauren equivalent of the kaldorei moon goddess, Elune. During the War against the Lich King, the warrior Aponi Brightmane engaged in theological discussion about this matter with Tahu Sagewind. Aponi pointed out that in all else, the tauren strived for balance, and she wondered if they had neglected a key aspect of balance in all things. As a result of these discussions, following the Cataclysm, the Sunwalkers, an order of tauren paladins, arose, wielding the power of the Light through An'she.
- The tauren believe that the Earth Mother weaves the strands of fate.
- Darkness is not considered evil by the tauren, for it is a naturally occurring thing, and therefore right.
- Believed to be the ill omen of a coming age, white tauren are held in near reverence by their people, often becoming reclusive priests who wander the land in search of kindred spirits.
- Tauren legends abound regarding the great horned kodos of Kalimdor's Barrens. Some myths tell of rare kodos that are bound to the spirits of the sky and storm, thus allowing the colossal beasts to harness the powers of lightning itself.
- Sun rocs feature prominently in primitive tauren mythological cycles.
- Shu'halo ancient myth tells of three powerful artifacts — , and . If the tales are to be believed, they were gifts from the Earth Mother herself.
- The tauren chieftains hold such sacred bonds with their Earthmother that they can actually be reincarnated after they die in combat. Though this ability is very rare, it makes the wise, benevolent chieftains a dangerous foe to threaten.
- "Earth Mother, into your arms we give one of our own. She is Unaya Hawkwind, my mother, and Greatmother to us all; the wisest of our tribe. May her spirit fly to you swiftly; may the winds carry her gently, and the grass whisper her name. Watch over her as she has watched over us; let her look down on us with joy, through the eternal gaze of An'she and Mu'sha, until we too join her in death. For we are all born of you, and shall all return to you."
- — Chief Hawkwind during the funeral ceremony of Greatmother Hawkwind
The tauren do not bury their dead. Rather, they prepare the body for its return to the elements and place it at one of their sacred grave sites. Only the most valiant tauren are laid to rest at Red Rocks, the tauren's sacred burial ground. It is an honor bestowed upon the great warriors who helped found and defend Thunder Bluff and those who have given their lives for the greater good of their tribes and chieftains.
Once the proper rites have been performed, the spirits of the deceased join the Earth Mother to find peace. Deceased tauren ancestors are welcomed at the "hearth of the ancestors", and cremated shu'halo are said to become one with both the Earth Mother and Sky Father, who welcome the dead.
The Dawnchaser tribe believes that honored ancestors who gave their own lives to save, or create, other lives become yeena'e ("those who herald the dawn" in Taur-ahe) — spirits who aid An'she in announcing the coming of dawn.
The Feast of Winter Veil
The tauren and their shamanistic understanding of winter, along with their recent emergence into druidic endeavors, fit in well with the legend of Winter Veil. They focus almost entirely on the renewing aspects of the lore however, leaving legend worship to those races (as they view it) less in tune with the nature of things. Many tauren choose this time as the right time to give thanks for the blessings of their new home in Mulgore. Some tauren disapprove of the modern Winter Veil celebrations, claiming that the goblins have "polluted" the true meaning of the holiday.
- The totem poles of the tauren people represent a link to their past. The carvings provide a focus for shamanic arts or illustrate stories of famous events or heroic tales.
- Tauren villages use smoke signals to coordinate hunts over great distances, or, occasionally, to signal distress.
- One respectful greeting gesture of the tauren is to touch one's heart, then forehead.
- Young tauren perform the Rites of the Earthmother in order to become braves and gain the respect of elders in Thunder Bluff. These Rites consist of the following:
- Rite of Strength: the first ceremony, proving physical strength.
- Rite of Courage: to prove bravery in the face of the enemy.
- Rite of Honor: to uphold the honor of your people.
- Rite of the Winds: willingness to seek the unknown.
- Rite of Vision: willingness to follow the guidance of the spirits.
- Rite of Wisdom: to honor one's ancestors.
- After completing the Rites, the brave must continue proving their worth in order to retain their status.
- One ceremony apparently involves a tauren presenting themselves before the High Chieftain whilst wearing a special feathered headdress. At least one of their siblings is required to witness the ceremony.
The shu'halo use pine nuts in most dishes: meat, fish, vegetables, even baked into breads or sprinkled over sweet pastries. The very best pine nuts come from the trees upon the very mesas of Thunder Bluff. The fine and noble spice bread of Thunder Bluff is traded in countless settlements in the most far-away lands, even by the tauren's staunchest foes. One of Thunder Bluff's most important staples is cornmeal; bowls of corn may be found in nearly every home, and cornmeal biscuits, once merely a staple food among the tauren tribes in Mulgore, have traveled along various trade routes and are now enjoyed in many regions across Azeroth. One of the great delicacies of Mulgore is the crayfish that dwell in lakes and streams. They are particularly popular during weddings or the celebration of a birth.
When the Alliance allied with the Grimtotem tribe in Stonetalon Mountains, Force Commander Valen asked "Cookie" McWeaksauce to cook up the finest of tauren cuisine; an offering no tauren, "not even a grim tauren", could refuse. It consisted of eagle eggs, ram meat and a special cheese kept by the local kobolds.
Mounts and pets
The kodos are the racial mount of the tauren. Swifter and slightly smaller than their wild cousins, kodo mounts nevertheless demonstrate the same resilience and fearlessness found in their untamed brethren, traits that serve them well when bearing their equally resolute riders. When the tauren settled in Mulgore, they also brought the kodos with them. Many kodos hold a special bond with the benevolent tauren race.
Brown Prairie Dogs are their racial pets.
Languages and naming
- Sample male names: Motah, Ahul, Varg, Dezco, Turak, Helaku, Hurnahet, Torwa, Huum
- Sample female names: Tamaala, Winnoa, Chepi, Hahrana, Kamu, Torra, Jyn, Isashi, Tawn
- Sample last names: Ragetotem, Huntsworn, Lighthoof, Hawkseye, Dawnchaser, Thunderhorn, Winterbluff
Tauren are described as half-bovine beings and are known to have a very large bulk and weight, long tails, bipedal hooves, and only three fingers per hand. Both males and females have horns of varying size and shape.
Tauren are large, muscular humanoids and bovine in appearance, complete with hooves and horns. They weigh anywhere from 400 to 800 pounds. Their immense bodies are covered with fine, short fur that ranges in color from black to gray to white to red to brown to tan and any mottled combinations or variations thereof. When tauren grow old, their pelts start to become dotted with gray.
According to the World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade game manual, tauren females are 6.5 feet and males are 8 feet tall. However, according to Blizzard's internal bible, females are 9 feet and males are 10 feet tall on average. Blizzard is working to make their internal height values publicly available. Sean Copeland suspects the game models being shorter is due to a game limitation; even with the shorter models, tauren have trouble fitting through openings other races can. The height of their models as of Legion are for males, 8'10" at their hunch and for females 8'1" at their hunch.
Tauren tribes and organizations
Note: These may not all represent tribes, but only special names given later in life or surnames.
- Bloodhoof tribe — Leading tauren tribe within the Horde. Led by Baine Bloodhoof.
- Cliffwalkers — Dwell on top of Cliffwalker Post in Stonetalon Mountains. Led by High Chieftain Cliffwalker.
- Cloudsong tribe — Took on the role of spiritual leaders after the Skychaser tribe was wiped out by the Grimtotem.
- Dawnchaser tribe — Tribe who set out to find Pandaria. Led by Sunwalker Dezco.
- Dawnstrider tribe
- Eagletalon tribe
- Farwanderers tribe — Considered leaving the Horde due to disapproving of Garrosh's rule. Led by Greyhoof Farwanderer.
- Grimtotem tribe — Renegade tribe, known for being much more aggressive than other tauren. Led by Magatha Grimtotem.
- Highmountain tribe — Led by Ornamm or Sulamm.
- Ironhoof tribe - According to Durgan One-God, the tauren of Old Ironhoof live in the Desolace area called the Last Forest.
- Mistrunner tribe
- Ragetotem tribe
- Runetotem tribe
- Stonehoof tribe
- Stonespire tribe — Mostly wiped out by the dwarves of Bael'dun Keep.
- Thunderhorn clan — Spiritual leaders of tauren shaman. Wiped out by the Grimtotem tribe.
- Wildmane tribe
- Winterhoof tribe
- Earthen Ring — A worldwide organization of the most powerful shaman on Azeroth, originally founded by tauren shaman.
- Longwalkers — Scouts and messengers who serve only Baine, and before him, Cairne.
- Outrunners — An organization dedicated to ensuring the safety of all who travel through Mulgore's plains.
- Seers — An order of tauren priests formed in the wake of the Cataclysm. Led by Tahu Sagewind.
- Sunwalkers — An order of tauren paladins formed in the wake of the Cataclysm. They are the most militant branch of the tauren armies within the Horde. Led by Aponi Brightmane.
Tauren are found as members in a multitude of independent organizations, most notably the Cenarion Circle and the Twilight's Hammer cult. Some individuals are adventuring explorers such as Trag Highmountain (who was one of the first tauren to appear in Lordaeron and the Eastern Kingdoms) and the ancient Watcher Xarantaur, who is assisting the bronze dragonflight. Over the years, some pirates had journeyed to Kalimdor and recruited or impressed various tauren into their crews, and shu'halo pirates can be found as members of the Blackwater Raiders, Bloodsail Buccaneers, Northsea Freebooters and the Dread Crew, just to name a few. As such, these criminal tauren were among the first to appear in the Eastern Kingdoms, and some even call Rustberg Village of Tol Barad home, becoming fishermen. A sole tauren was also a member of the infamous Defias Brotherhood.
- "The world is torn, and our Horde allies have turned down dark paths. We must guide them. Even in the darkest hour, we will bravely hold our heads high, and honor the Earth Mother in all we do."
- — Baine Bloodhoof
The tauren remain stalwart allies of the Horde, even after Cairne's death. The Grimtotem tribe, is, in fact, the only tribe to have never formally joined the Horde. When a great drought struck Horde-controlled lands in Kalimdor and quilboar raids became frequent, Garrosh demanded that the tauren deliver water from Mulgore to Durotar. The Farwanderers tribe, who were not used to remaining static, disapproved of Garrosh's rule and Baine's passive obedience at the Warchief's every command, and so considered leaving Mulgore. However, they were eventually convinced to remain in Mulgore, and the Horde, after Baine dealt with the quilboar problem.
Following the destruction of Camp Taurajo, a group of tauren were unsatisfied with Baine's rule, and so the High Chieftain banished them from Thunder Bluff but did not take further action. Despite this, the tauren tribes retain respect for their High Chieftain.
- The Forsaken
When Sylvanas Windrunner sent out emissaries to various factions in order to protect her budding nation, the Forsaken, the kind-hearted tauren of Thunder Bluff proved to be the most promising contact. Specifically, Archdruid Hamuul Runetotem saw the potential for redemption in Sylvanas' people, even though he was fully aware of the Forsaken's sinister nature. Thus, the tauren convinced Warchief Thrall, despite his misgivings, to forge an alliance of convenience between the Forsaken and the Horde. There are some tauren, such as the Elder Council, that wish to cure the Forsaken, and Bena Winterhoof, who wept when first seeing the undead, claims that she was given a mission by the Earth Mother herself to save their new undead allies from their curse. Magatha Grimtotem herself was one of the original proponents of the alliance between the tauren and the Forsaken, and she, more than anyone among the elders, felt the tauren and their ways could help the Forsaken find a path back to being human. She claimed that to heal the land, the tauren had to first remove the disease upon it. She pointed out that the Forsaken know much of disease, and claimed that by aiding one another, the trust between the two peoples would be strengthened.
Varian Wrynn notes that the tauren are the only Horde race that do not make him want to immediately reach for his weapon, but they, too, have made themselves untrustworthy by siding with the orcs.
Tauren have poor relations with the dwarves of Ironforge, as the dwarves' constant digging in the earth has caused them to come into conflict with the tauren. The tauren see their digging as scarring the Earth Mother, and that the dwarves are hollowing and defiling the land. The Stonespire tribe of tauren were nearly wiped out by the dwarves of Bael'dun Keep, and as a result Gann Stonespire, one of the few survivors, severed all ties with the Horde and went rogue to exact vengeance or die trying. The tauren don't seem to get along well with the Wildhammer clan, either, as it was their gryphon riders that firebombed Camp Taurajo. Roon Wildmane and Hemet Nesingwary is one of the few cases of friendship despite the enmity between the two races.
Of all the Alliance races, the night elves are the ones with the best relations to the tauren, due to their shared druidic tradition and connection to nature. Arch Druid Hamuul Runetotem strives for diplomacy and willingly works side by side with the night elf druids in the Cenarion Circle. The tauren have shown an incredible propensity to the tenets of Cenarius, and by their proxy the Horde is welcomed within the safety of Moonglade. The preservation of Azeroth is a common goal that the two races both share. One notable example of close friendship between shu'halo and kaldorei is that of Tholo Whitehoof and Anren Shadowseeker. However, despite the bond between the two races, there are some tauren who believe that the night elves' pride still limits their sight. Prior to the War of the Shifting Sands, the night elves and the tauren had apparently been involved in a blood feud dating back centuries. Some of the kaldorei during the War of the Ancients, such as Desdel Stareye, also seemed to regard the tauren who came to their aid as barbaric and uncivilized in nature, although this attitude seems to have considerably lessened over the millennia.
- "Some see our people as gentle giants, or noble savages. They have never seen us fight against our own kind... against betrayers from within.
The Grimtotem were offered mercy in exile, and they have scarred their own home to spite us. They will no longer be tolerated in Mulgore."
- — Baine Bloodhoof
The Grimtotem tribe stand as an aggressive extreme of the usually pacifistic tauren, wishing to eradicate the "lesser races" from Kalimdor and to retake the tauren's long lost ancestral holdings. Even before their exile, the Grimtotem showed open hostility towards the other tribes, going so far as to attack the settlement of Freewind Post and almost eradicate an entire village in Stonetalon.
After the battle for Thunder Bluff and the exile of the treacherous Grimtotem, they sought to ruin Mulgore itself as they were driven out, sending a force led by Orno Grimtotem through the Stonetalon Pass and poisoning several sacred tauren water wells throughout Mulgore.
- The centaur
Tauren and centaur tribes have long feuded with each other over the lands that the two nomadic races shared. The centaur are known for their brutality and savagery, but support from the Horde has turned the conflict in the tauren's favor, allowing them not only to survive but also to prosper. The barbaric centaur over-hunted giraffes for decades, but it was the tauren who saved them from extinction. The tauren claim that the centaur have always existed to scourge the land, even though the shu'halo were actually indirectly responsible for the centaur's creation by awakening Theradras.
- The quilboar
The vicious, boar-like quilboar have long clashed with both the centaur and the tauren over land and food. One tauren group inhabited the southern parts of the Barrens for decades and considered the land to be holy, but they were driven off by the quilboar. While some tauren were able to forgive being driven from their ancestral lands, others, such as Auld Stonespire, were not and considered the quilboar's actions to be a sin worthy of the most severe revenge.
The Bristleback tribe have long been at war with the tauren of Red Cloud Mesa, ambushing hunting parties and stealing from the village by dark. For years they encroached on Camp Narache, and the great Cataclysm finally drove them from their dens to spread like locusts across the land. Chief Squealer Thornmantle set upon Greatmother Hawkwind and took her life. The thorncallers began calling up great roots to choke out all other life in the mesa, and the Bristlebacks began training wild boars to be used against the tauren. A band of Bristleback quilboar also began ravaging the Red Rocks, the holy burial ground of the tauren.
Due to a drought that struck Central Kalimdor shortly after the Shattering, a group of quilboar began raiding Horde caravans and water shipments. Though Warchief Garrosh and his Kor'kron tried to put an end to the quilboar with force, it was Baine and Hamuul who resolved the conflict by creating a new river for the quilboar to take their water from.
Although centaur, tauren, and quilboar all hate each other, the three races come together to do trade at Flayers' Point in Desolace. But there is no love lost between them, and brawls erupt like clockwork every five minutes, earning the trading post the nickname "Slayers' Point".
- The harpies
Harpies have clashed with the tauren on several occasions. During the Third War, a group of harpies from the Stonetalon Mountains started poaching the tauren's precious kodo herds, slaughtering them mercilessly and leaving the beasts to rot in the sun. The threat was only dealt with once Rexxar set out to kill the witches. The Windfury harpies are one of the tauren's natural enemies in Mulgore, and the shu'halo collect their feathers for ceremonial headdresses. The tauren take pride as the protector of the Stonetalon Mountains, which unsurprisingly caused them to come into conflict with the nearby Bloodfury harpies.
- The furbolgs
- Main article: Yaungol
Though previously indicated to be an ancient offshoot of the tauren subspecies, the yaungol are actually the ancestors of both the tauren and the taunka. Unlike the two offshoot groups, the yaungol remained in the land later known as Pandaria, even after the Great Sundering separated them from their northern cousins. As a result of living in the harsh Townlong Steppes, a land they are forced to share with the dreaded mantid, the yaungol are a much more violent species than their tauren or taunka descendants, using oil and fire to succeed in battle. They were introduced in World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria.
- Main article: Taunka
An ancient offshoot of the yaungol species dwelling in Northrend, the taunka were thought to have been lost forever but were rediscovered by orcish forces based in Warsong Hold. Due to dwelling in the unforgiving frozen wastes of Northrend, the taunka have taken to commanding the elements by force rather than asking them for aid. However, much like the tauren, the taunka have chosen to ally themselves with the Horde. They were introduced in World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King.
- Main article: Highmountain tauren
Direct descendants of the tauren led by Huln Highmountain who fought in the War of the Ancients, the Highmountain tauren have lived in peace in the region of Highmountain on the Broken Isles for millenia, until the shamanistic drogbar rose up and stole the , shattering their unity. They were introduced in World of Warcraft: Legion.
In the RPG
The plains of Kalimdor have long been a home to these tremendous nomads. The tauren are a race of shamans, hunters, and warriors who long ago developed a complex culture and system of living without the aid of stonework, steel or conquest. This is not to say that the tauren are a race of pacifists, for when they are angered they are capable of retaliating with swift and decisive brutality. Tauren are, in a word, stoic, embodying the strong and silent type with their quiet contemplation. This introspective air combined with their immense size can lead a person to understand as to "why" many regard the tauren as a wise and dangerous race. Tauren rarely speak unless there is a true reason to, preferring to act instead of talk. However, once a tauren has learned to interact with a companion, there seems to be a more open and enthusiastic exchange of words. Since tauren warm slowly to non-tauren, they are usually silent and may sometimes appear brooding. If anything, a person could attribute the silence of the tauren on the strife of recent times. Tauren have no love for bloodshed, as their deep spiritual beliefs do not have a place for warfare. The elders of a tribe solve most issues, or two tauren might resolve a conflict with a ritual challenge resembling a duel. Having become members of the Horde, the introspective race has been involved in more and more conflict, creating a demand for tauren warriors and healers. Many must spend time putting great thought into the actions they perform on the field of battle. Taking another life, whether it is man or beast, is an act filled with great significance and responsibility to the tauren.
Their history is relatively short compared to Kalimdor's other races. Ancient accounts suggest they were the result of magical experiments that fused titan with beast, but details are lost to the ages.
When the tauren first encountered the orcs of Thrall’s Horde, the tauren recognized the orcs as spiritual brethren. No other race shared such a similar outlook on the world, and the shamans of both races met frequently to discuss the matters of the spirit world. The tauren allied with the orcs out of a shared vision, one of a collective of allies keeping each other well guarded. While the tauren see the orcs and trolls as potential friends to welcome, they rarely trust the Forsaken with more than a nod and a place to set their withered feet.
Tauren also bear no ill will to the members of the Alliance unless threatened by them, although they do make an exception for high elves. The taint of magic on the high elven spirit is a poisonous air to the tauren, a stench of the soul that they cannot tolerate for long. Night elves are quite the opposite; tauren sometimes view them with awe and fear. Tauren and night elves have coexisted on Kalimdor for centuries, and tauren have long seen the Kaldorei as a mythic race of demigods, possessed of great magic and steeped in natural powers.
Tauren have an extremely close relationship with the orcs with whom they share a similar culture. Cairne is also extremely close friends with Thrall. They are less thrilled at the presence of the Forsaken at Thunder Bluff, who they grudgingly tolerate due to their alliance. The tauren place a strong emphasis on the value of life, and the unlife of the Forsaken stands as an affront to their beliefs.
In general, however, the tauren get along with the orcs well and the trolls almost as well; there’s still a bit of distrust for the Darkspears, knowing that they only recently abandoned voodoo and cannibalism.
For the tauren, nature is the mother of the world, and their faith holds a deep and resonant tone within their hearts. Tauren are connected to the ebb and flow of the world. They revere the spirits of the land and of their ancestors, and they turn to these spirits for wisdom and guidance. This connection manifests in their deeply animistic culture, where druids and shamans stand side by side with warriors and hunters. Tauren do not see a separation between the veneration of nature and the hunt; to hunt is to honor the spirits of nature.
Spiritual Hierarchy and Tauren Titles
The tauren possess a structure of spiritual hierarchy. The most talented and powerful shaman traditionally hold positions of power, though rulership is not limited to spellcasters. Shaman interpret the voice of the Earth Mother and the wishes of the ancestors; sometimes these interpretations lead to the rise of hunters and warriors in the tribe. Such is the case with Cairne Bloodhoof, the former chieftain. The leader of a tribe uses the title "chief" and/or "chieftain." The three most powerful healers in the tribe support the chief, the most powerful of whom takes the title "seer." A chief generally consults his seer and her two contemporaries before making a decision, but this consultation is not required. The leader of the United Tauren Tribes — Baine Bloodhoof, these days — also uses the title "chieftain." During council meetings, chiefs make recommendations to the chieftain, but again the final decision is the chieftain’s alone to make. "Chief," "chieftain", and "seer" are genderless titles. Aged female shaman sometimes take the title of "crone" or "elder crone", which others use as a sign of respect.
Tauren tend to learn languages for trade or exchanging ideas.
The language of the tauren is often harsh and low sounding, which is reflected in the names of their children. The last name of a tauren is usually a family name, handed down through the generations. If the tauren has performed some act that has made an impression on the elders of his tribe, however, he may choose to take on his own last name to commemorate that act. Tauren have several names. They receive a name at birth and another during a ceremony to celebrate reaching adulthood. This adult name describes some event in their lives or some notable individual characteristic: for instance, Blackhide, Earthborn, Halfhorn, Hidemaker, Riverwatcher, Scar, Splithoof, Stormchaser, or Windrunner. A tauren may also acquire a third name that he uses when dealing with outsiders.
- Male Names: Azok, Bron, Turok, Garaddon, Hruon, Jeddek.
- Female Names: Argo, Serga, Bessey, Beruna, Halfa.
- Family Names: Darkthorn, Thunderhoof, Stormhorn, Quillsplitter, Stonebreaker, Plainstalker, Spiritwalker.
Tauren are large, muscular humanoids with bull-like heads. Tauren are mostly muscle, having incredibly developed physiques and brawny frames most suitable for combat. Soft, downy fur (usually quite short) covers the tauren body, with manes growing along head and neck, the lengths of the arms, and the shins. Tauren men and women almost always wear their hair long, and the males prefer braids to any other style. Coloration can range from solid black to blond and even to white, or mottled pelts with a range of spots and different colors.
Horns are most prominent on males, although all tauren have horns. Tauren wear natural clothing — leather or hide, and some cloth. They prize jewelry, designing fine trinkets of ivory, bone and amber. From these materials they make bracelets or necklaces, and sometimes adorn their horns or locks with such beautiful displays of artistry.
Tauren RPG classes
- Brann Bronzebeard once theorized that the tauren predated the titans' arrival on Azeroth and therefore also the creation of the first Well of Eternity, just like the trolls. This was proven wrong in Chronicle Volume 1, as the tauren actually evolved from yaungol who were affected by energies emanating from the Well. However, Brann's theorized bull Ancient may still have created the yaungol.
- Tauren hooves are a secret ingredient used by confectioners.
- According to Chen Stormstout, a Darkspear troll who comes to Thunder Bluff to learn their ways is called a "blue tauren".
- The tauren are based upon the Minotaur, a part man, part bull monster from Greek mythology, and the tauren were originally referred to as minotaurs during the early stages of development for Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos. The name "Minotaur" is either derived from Ancient Greek ταῦρος/taûros or Latin taurus, both meaning "bull". (See the article about myth references for more information.)
- The tauren culture is based on a conglomeration of Native American tribes from the Southwest, Northwest, and Great Plains regions of the United States and Canada.
- The word "tauren" is an anagram of "nature", though whether this was intentional is unknown.
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 3, page 66
- ^ a b World of Warcraft: The Magazine Volume 2 Issue 1, Ancients and others lineage chart
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 90
- ^ a b c World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 144-145
- ^ a b c Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos Game Manual
- ^ a b c Races of World of Warcraft — Tauren
- ^ Shaman, prologue
- ^ World of Warcraft: Annual 2015
- ^ Ultimate Visual Guide, pg. 113
- ^ Ultimate Visual Guide, pg. 128
- ^ a b Ultimate Visual Guide, pg. 130
- ^ a b
- ^ World of Warcraft: Game Manual
- ^ Gazelle Fawn
- ^ Braves
- ^ Thrall: Twilight of the Aspects, chapter 22
- ^ a b The Shattering: Prelude to Cataclysm, pg. 552
- ^ Conversation between Tahu Sagewind and Aponi Brightmane
- ^ a b The Shattering: Prelude to Cataclysm, page 207, 317
- ^ The Long March: "Legends say that [the Oracle] saw the strands of fate as they were woven by the Earth Mother. It alone can show you your destiny."
- ^ Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne Game Manual
- ^ Roc Talon
- ^ Warcraft III manual, pg. 24
- ^ a b
- ^ a b
- ^ a b
- ^ a b c Bleeding Sun
- ^ Ultimate Visual Guide, pg. 127
- ^ The Shattering: Prelude to Cataclysm, pg. 265
- ^ World of Warcraft: Traveler, chapter 5
- ^ a b
- ^ World of Warcraft: The Official Cookbook
- ^ a b Old Hatreds
- ^ Rise of the Horde, chapter 2
- ^ World of Warcraft: Official Beginner's Guide, 45
- ^ The Shattering: Prelude to Cataclysm, pg. 211
- ^ File:WoW Manual - height chart.png
- ^ Sean Copeland on Twitter (2014-04-24)
- ^ a b Sean Copeland on Twitter (2014-04-25)
- ^ Sean Copeland on Twitter (2014-05-24)
- ^ Height#Legion
- ^ World of Warcraft: Traveler, chapter 3
- ^ Morin Cloudstalker#Quotes
- ^ Ask CDev Answers - Round 3
- ^ The Shattering: Prelude to Cataclysm, pg. 41
- ^ a b As Our Fathers Before Us
- ^ Jaina Proudmoore: Tides of War, chapter 2
- ^ Races of World of Warcraft — Undead
- ^ Bena Winterhoof#Quote
- ^ Stormrage, pg. ??
- ^ Ultimate Visual Guide, pg. 129
- ^ The War of the Shifting Sands
- ^ World of Warcraft manual, pg. 184
- ^ Ultimate Visual Guide, pg. 126
- ^ Giraffe Calf
- ^ Bloodsworn
- ^ Ultimate Visual Guide, pg. 179
- ^ World of Warcraft: Traveler, ch. 5
- ^ Ultimate Visual Guide, pg. 183
- ^ World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, 46-47
- ^ Magic & Mayhem, pg. 48
- ^ Wacraft: The Roleplaying Game, pg. 181
- ^ a b c d World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, 48
- ^ a b Horde Player's Guide, 181
- ^ Lands of Mystery, 147
- ^ Horde Player's Guide, 149.
- ^ World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, 49
- ^ Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, 52-53
- ^ World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, 47
- ^ Vol'jin: Shadows of the Horde