History of the Tauren, A Summary

The history and early origins of the tauren are still largely a mystery – but there is enough information available out there to answer a few basic questions surrounding the quiet and peaceful race.

1. Aren’t the night elves the ones that are supposed to be the first druids?

Yes and no. The Night Elves are the first recorded students of Cenarius, but I like to think that’s in a large part due to the fact that the night elves are much, much better at record keeping. The tauren race is old, older than the night elves by a very large period of time, and it’s possible that the time period in which Cenarius trained the tauren in druidism took place before the night elves even existed. In which case, of course the night elves would say they were the first students – Cenarius never taught the tauren in any of the night elf history because he did so before night elf history even began.

2. So the tauren are pretty much good guys, right?

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Tauren History Part Three: Legends and Legacies Long Forgotten

Welcome back to Tauren History 101. Today we look at the last of the Thunder Bluff Scrolls, and try to piece together the fragments of information they contain. Please 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 last of the Thunder Bluff Scrolls tells of the evolution of the centaur, the tauren’s most hated enemy, and the one with which they still do constant battle today.

Scroll Five: Hatred of the Centaur

Part one: As the mists of dawn faded and the Age of Memory advanced, the demigod, Cenarius, went his own way through the fields of the world. The Shu’halo (tauren) were sorrowful at his passing and forgot much of the druidism he had taught them. As the generations passed, they forgot how to speak with the trees and the wild things of the land. The dark whispers from the deeps of the world drifted up to their ears once again.

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Tauren History Part Two: Looks Like A Stag Party To Me

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

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Tauren History Part One: Why Do Cows Suddenly Appear Every Time You Are Near?

We’re taking it a little easy this week, as last week’s foray into the world of Night Elf history still has my fingers bruised. This week we’re looking at another of the Horde races – the loveable, cuddly tauren, aka ‘WoW’s moocows’. The Tauren are often viewed as the ‘good guys of the Horde’ – whereas the other Horde races can and have been brutal, bloodthirsty and rage-ridden, the tauren are generally viewed as the Horde’s peaceful inhabitants, and more often than not win the title of World of Warcraft’s ‘nicest’ race. Is this a correct assumption to make? Are the Tauren really that pleasant, fun-loving and good-natured? Where exactly did they come from anyway, and why on earth did they bother joining up with the Horde?

While Night Elf history is well documented, one can hardly say the same of the Tauren race. Much of their history is orally told through story and myth, and very little of it is written down anywhere to actually read. This makes documenting Tauren history a challenge of a different kind – rather than being almost too much history to go over in a week’s time, the Tauren may not have enough to go on. Therefore the Tauren history this week is going to be a little different – mostly conjecture based upon the small amount of material Blizzard has given us to work with. 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 Earthmother and the Creation of the Tauren

The tauren race has been around for an undefined period of time. Quiet for the most part, though they were present before the Sundering that split the great continent of Kalimdor into the continents we are familiar with today. Which…means I need to adjust the map of pre-Sundering Kalimdor I made and add the Tauren territories in there. I’ll post that later this week. At any rate! Tauren. The earliest records of any kind of Tauren history are hanging in the great tent occupied by Arch Druid Hamuul Runetotem over on Elder Rise in Thunder Bluff. These scrolls are readable by players, and placed sequentially around the tent in a clockwise fashion. There are five Thunder Bluff Scrolls, and they tell the earliest stories of Tauren civilization and birth. I’ll be examining each one of these piece by piece over the next several days, and what the possible symbolism and myths behind each scroll could mean.

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Character Focus: Garrosh Hellscream

I’ve decided to do a new feature, once a week covering one character in Warcraft, their history, back story, motives and where they are today. Some weeks you’ll see the big names – major players in the story of WoW, and others you’ll see NPCs that I thought were particularly interesting. To kick it all off, I’ve decided to start with one of the mostly hotly debated characters in Warcraft at the moment – Garrosh Hellscream, son of Grom.

WARNING – THIS POST CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR THE FOLLOWING: The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, and possibly Cataclysm. Also included are the Warcraft comics and novels. If you don’t wish to be spoiled on any of the above material, I would not recommend clicking to read further!

Son of Hellscream, Son of Draenor, Son of Nagrand

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RP and You, a Beginner’s Guide – How to RP

Back with another set of basic rp tips! So here you have your character, with a name that suits them. Now what? Roleplayers that have been doing this for years would probably laugh at you, but it’s actually a really valid question. How do you explain roleplaying to someone who’s never done it before? There’s a few things to keep in mind.

#1 – You are your character. Think of it like acting on TV or in a movie. It’s called ‘roleplaying’ because you’re quite literally playing a role. The difference between acting on TV or in a movie and roleplaying is that while actors in television, movies, or plays have scripts to work from, roleplayers do not. It’s all improvised, and it’s all off the cuff acting like improvisational theatre. If someone says something to you, you want to respond not as you, the dude typing on the keyboard would respond, but as you, the draenei/troll/warlock/etc would respond. There are two distinctions when you roleplay that you really need to pay attention to – being In Character, and Out of Character, otherwise known as IC and OOC.

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Night Elf History, A Summary

Whew. The history of the night elves is probably one of the most complicated pieces of Warcraft history created, spanning thousands of years with a huge cast of characters. There was no possible way to touch on them all, so I tried to keep it brief – and even brief, it was still incredibly long.

The Night Elves are members of the Alliance, and many view them as Good Guys, intent on protecting Azeroth and keeping it from harm under the charge of the Dragonflights. Let’s address some common thoughts about Night Elves:

1. Night Elves are good! They’re druids and they protect the planet!

Well…sorta. They do NOW – after having learned a valuable lesson. But in the process of learning that lesson, the world was ripped apart. And while the explosion was because of trying to prevent actions that the quel’dorei had set into motion, it was ultimately a druid that ripped the planet into pieces. Was there any other way? It’s…doubtful. The Burning Legion is a pretty badass bunch of characters, and it takes a lot to defeat them – or it did then. …now you just need seven or so level 80’s to click some rocks and beat the stuffing out of a pit lord, and about that many to go make Archimonde your personal punching bag. But back then? Ooo. Bad. Bad bad bad.

2. Illidan Stormrage was a hero!

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History of the Night Elves – Dragons, Druids and Demigods, Oh My!

Welcome back to Night Elf History! This is where the history of the night elves gets a little muddled. See, there’s several different versions of the timeline surrounding the Well of Eternity – one in the game manual for Warcraft III, the one on the official site of the game as part of the History of Warcraft section, and then a couple more from the War of the Ancients Trilogy by Richard A. Knaak. In the War of the Ancients Trilogy, there were two distinct timelines – one version that happened before history was altered, and one that was created by three characters from present day that traveled back in time to witness the whole shebang, and invariably change parts of it for good.

While I prefer the unaltered version, Blizzard considers the War of the Ancients Trilogy as the official source of ‘true’ history, and so there will be brief (very brief) mentions of the characters that traveled back in time. Confusing enough yet? Just keep in mind that humans and orcs didn’t really exist yet, and that dragons largely kept to themselves. Moving on!

The Druidic Kaldorei and Elune

While the quel’dorei were making Zin-Azshari their home, the kaldorei were making a home of their own – Suramar. Suramar was considered the religious capital of elven society, built along the outskirts of Zin-Azshari and home to the temples and the academies. Essentially, if one was training in the arts of magic, be it druidic or arcane, one trained out in Suramar. If one grew badass enough to be considered a Highborne, one moved further INTO the city, closer to the well.  Suramar had several sections within it. Foremost was a great garden in the middle that was home to the Boughs of Azshara, two twin trees that were sacred to all kaldorei and quel’dorei. It also contained the temple district, which bordered the edges of the Well of Eternity and contained the Eternal Palace that Queen Azshara called home.

There were several notable residents of Suramar, but there are three that stand out from the rest – Tyrande Whisperwind, and the brothers Stormrage.

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Azeroth, Pre-Sundering – A Visual Guide

You know, I’ve looked and I’ve looked online just about everywhere, but I have yet to find a map of pre-Sundering Azeroth – what the continents looked like before the Sundering that split them into the continents of Kalimdor, Eastern Kingdoms, and Northrend that we know today.

I can talk till I’m blue in the face about how Azeroth used to be nothing BUT Kalimdor, but it’s easier to show what it looked like – please note, the following is a VERY rough map, and not officially sanctioned by Blizzard. It is more than likely that the land mass was larger than what I’ve depicted here, and the territorial borders were placed there in the interests of speculation and theory more than anything.

Click for a larger image.

What you can see from this is that #1 – Zin-Azshari? Was HUGE. It covered a VERY large portion of Kalimdor. Think of New York City, and then triple or quadruple it. The Highborne concentrated closer to the Well of Eternity (the blue portion in the center), and Suramar bordered it on the far side. I’ll go more into Suramar and what exactly you could find there in the next Night Elf History post – but for now, think of it as the religious capital of the kaldorei.

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A Few Quick Notes

Note  number one! I’m on twitter, to make it easier for people to know when there’s updates on the blog. You can follow me at http://twitter.com/Shadesogrey

Note number two! Goodness, everyone’s in a flurry about the new pets you can purchase from Blizzard – some say it’s good business, and a LARGE number of people seem to think it’s selling out.

I like to look at it this way – it’s like buying the TGC, except instead of the random element where you don’t know if you’re going to get a loot card, or what loot card you’re going to get, this way you know for sure you’re going to get a pet. Absolutely guaranteed.

It’s also nice that they let people purchase them as gifts – there’s your Christmas present for the WoW gamer in your life, and it’s an inexpensive one at that. The other part that I like, and the reason I bought the Pandaren pet, is that 50% of the proceeds go to the Make-A-Wish foundation. I’ve got no problem at all whatsoever with getting a nifty ingame critter, and donating to a charity at the same time.

What I wish, however, is that all the pets worked in the same way. Right now, if you buy Lil’ K.T., it’s just money in Blizzard’s pocket. But oh, the money they could be raising for charity if they pulled the same deal as they’re pulling with the pandaren – and there’s so many charities out there that Blizzard could be helping.

I’m not going to bother purchasing K.T. unless I see a notice going up saying that they’re splitting the proceeds with another worthwhile cause. Child’s Play? Toys for Tots? Medical research organizations? Heck, the ASPCA? Come on Blizzard, you’ve already got millions of people willing to drop money at your feet, how about using some of that power you’re swaggering around with to give back to the community in spades?

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