Welcome back! And now, on to part two of the Thunder Bluff Scrolls, aka Tauren History 101. As I said last week, keep in mind that almost none of the following assumptions and conclusions have been validated by Blizzard as being correct. This week, it’s a week of historical speculation!
The next portion of the Thunder Bluff Scrolls involve Malorne, Elune, and the origin of the demigod Cenarius, patron god of druidism. While the night elves believe that they were the first druids, tauren lore tells a different story altogether.
Scroll three: The White Stag and the Moon
Part one: 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.
Not only were the tauren a nomadic group of shaman, but they were keen hunters as well. It could be theorized with this scroll that Eonar (the assumed Earthmother of tauren lore) did put the tauren in charge of defending something. It’s possible Eonar created the tauren to keep peace in the world by hunting those that would otherwise mess around with the careful order that the Titans had put into place. Well, either that or it was something along the lines of Elune and Alexstrasza – placed to promote peace and life among the other creatures of Azeroth.
Part two: One great spirit eluded them, however. Apa’ro (known as Malorne to the night elves), was a proud stag of snow-white fur. His antlers scraped the roof of the heavens and his mighty hooves stamped out the deep places of the world. The Shu’halo hunted Apa’ro to the corners of the dawning world – and closed in to snare the proud stag.
Malorne is a figure that heavily features into night elf and tauren mythology. A protector of nature and a diplomat, he took the form of a brilliant white stag. He has never been seen in any other form but he has appeared before the night elves before, preventing two civil wars simply by making himself present before the astonished eyes of the night elves. It’s uncertain why the tauren would be hunting Malorne, as he is a benevolent force rather than a dark one.
Part three: Seeking to escape, the great stag leapt into the sky. Yet, as his escape seemed assured, his mighty antlers tangled in the stars which held him fast. Though he kicked and struggled, Apa’ro could not loose himself from the heavens. It was then that Mu’sha found him as she chased her brother, An’she, towards the dawn. Mu’sha saw the mighty stag as he struggled and fell in love with him immediately.
The clever moon made a bargain with the great stag – she would set him free from the snare of the stars if he would love her and end her loneliness.
This portion of the story tells the tale of Malorne and Elune and how they met. The actions of Mu’sha in this tale don’t really ‘fit’ with other tales of Elune, but it can be assumed this part of the story was embellished a little to make it more entertaining. As tauren lore and mythology is largely told rather than written, their history not only has to be informative, but entertaining as well.
Part four: Mu’sha loved Apa’ro and conceived a child by him. The child, a demigod some would claim, was born in the shadowed forests of the night. He would be called Cenarius, and walk the starry path between the waking world and the kingdom of the heavens.
Elune and Malorne had a child, the demigod Cenarius. Cenarius is the patron god of all druids, and one of the most powerful and influential demigods of Azeroth. Cenarius’s origin has been the subject of much speculation, as it has been mentioned before in Warcraft lore that Ysera, Aspect of the green dragonflight and guardian of the Emerald Dream, was Cenarius’s mother, not Elune. There were even theories that Ysera and Elune were the same being at one point, but these theories were firmly snuffed out by Richard A. Knaak, author of several Warcraft novels.
“Elune birthed Cenarius, but gave him up to Malorne because Cenarius was more a creature of the mortal world and could not be with her. Malorne, who had relations with both Elune and Ysera, knew that he could not properly care for his son, but Ysera’s love was so great for Malorne that she took Cenarius as her own. Hence being his mother (or adoptive mother).” – Richard A. Knaak
So Malorne apparently got around – being a protector of nature, it stood to reason that he and Ysera would get along. She was largely responsible for raising Cenarius, and thus considered his mother, even though Elune was the one that gave birth to him.
Scroll four: Forestlord and the first Druids
Part one: In time, the child, Cenarius, grew to the stature of his proud father. A brother to both the trees and the stars, the great hunter roamed the far places of the world, singing the harmonious songs of the dawning. All creatures bowed before his grace and beauty – there were none so cunning as the son of the moon and the white stag.
Cenarius was both of Elune, the moon – the upper portion of his body formed like that of a night elf, and Malorne, the spirit of the earth and nature – the lower half of his body that of a stag. The demigod of nature, he inherited many powers over nature from his father Malorne.
Part two: Eventually, Cenarius befriended the Shu’halo and spoke to them of the turning world. The children of the earth knew him as brother and swore to help him care for the fields of life and the favored creatures of their great Earthmother.
This is where history diverges – the night elves insist they were the first druids, and the first to be taught by Cenarius, and yet tauren mythology tells a different tale. Taurens largely believe that they, not the night elves, were the first to follow the druidic path. As there is no solid timeline available for either, there’s no real ‘proof’ for either side – however the night elves are known for…embellishing lore in their favor. The night elves were not among the first races of Azeroth, and the tauren were – which strongly hints that the tauren are correct on this particular lore disagreement.
Remember Vordrassil? The quest text states that Vordrassil was created ‘thousands of years ago’ – I’d like to think it was before the events of the sundering, possibly even before the birth of Cenarius. The events of Vordrassil and the failed World Tree weren’t the acts of druids – they were the acts of tauren that were trying to be druids, but didn’t understand what they were doing. The tauren were just trying to please the Earthmother. Think of it as a small child trying to make a vase for mom’s birthday, but the best they can do is a really horrible looking ashtray. Embarrassed by their effort, they don’t bother playing with ceramics again – unless mom gets them lessons.
It’s a large leap – but perhaps Cenarius’s birth was arranged to give the tauren someone to guide them along that druidic path that they showed an innate talent for, once upon a time.
Part three: Cenarius taught the children of the earth to speak to the trees and plants. The Shu’halo became druids and worked great deeds of magic to nurse the land to health. For many generations the Shu’halo hunted with Cenarius and kept the world safe from the shadows that stirred beneath it.
And this is where the ‘real’ druidism begins. The tauren take to it with ease, incorporating it within their existing beliefs and affinity with nature. With Cenarius’s guidance, they used these talents and skills to continue doing what they’d been set on the planet to do – hunt down the dark and violent creatures that sought to destroy the Earthmother’s world. The last sentence of this scroll is interesting – once again mythology references ‘shadows beneath the world’. Another reference to the Old Gods?
There is one scroll left to examine up there in Thunder Bluff. Expect the scroll’s meanings, and a recap and summary of what can be gathered about the tauren scrolls tomorrow!