Tauren are a race of nomadic humanoids who live in the vast plains of Mulgore in Kalimdor. They are one of the tallest races recorded on Azeroth.
The plains of Mulgore have been home to the huge tauren for a long period of time. They are a race of very spiritual people with a majority dedicated to faith. Long ago, they developed a complex culture and system of living without the aid of stonework, conquest or steel. Tauren are not pacifist because if they are angered they will quickly retaliate and will become brutal. They are described by many as stoic and towering. Many people regard the tauren as a wise race and sometime dangerous race. Tauren rarely speak and prefer to act. However, once a tauren has learned to interact with somebody they seem more open and enthusiastic word-wise. 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 do not favor bloodshed as their deep spiritual beliefs say that warfare is incorrect. When troubles arise, the elder or chieftain will deal with it. Sometimes this can resemble a duel. Due to being members of the Horde, they have been brought into more conflict and the warchief demands 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.
Tauren have a long, complex oral tradition passed down and used for a very long time, handed down by generations. Almost no written tauren history is recorded, the accuracy of their tales is uncertain. Regardless, many of their stories provide the only known account for several events in history, and so these stories must be regarded as having at least some believability. The tauren race is believed to have begun about the same time of the night elves. According to the famed Brann Bronzebeard's research, the tauren have been around since the titans arrived to Azeroth. It is also believed they descended from an unknown bull ancient. Much like the elves, they have a strong attunement to nature and the elemental spirits. Thus, tauren are largely based off of druidism. They live to serve nature and maintain the ever delicate balance between the wild things of the land and the restless spirits of the elements. Elements taught by Cenarius have been forgotten over time but have recently been introduced into tauren society.
It is also known that tauren ancestors reside in the Emerald Dream, an ever-changing spirit world.
War of the AncientsEdit
In the main timeline, tuaren did not take part in the War of the Ancients, the first demonic battle that occurred 10,000 years ago. However in an altered timeline, the tauren were talked into joining the Alliance by Krasus, a dragon mage. 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. The tauren forces were lead by Huln Highmountain. After the tragic loss of their leader, Desdel Stareye was replaced by Jarod Shadowsong who lead to extreme effectiveness. The tauren who survived the war maintained fairly good, or at least cordial, relations with the Sentinels.
For many generations after the war, tauren wandered the plains of the Barrens hutning the large kodo. Tehy also sought wisdom from their eternal goddess, the Earth Mother. Their tent cities were littered across the plains and changed each season and changed during different weather conditions. The tauren tribes eventually united and battled against the marauding centaurs.
Nearly at extinction, Chieftain Cairne Bloodhoof desperate for help turned to the orcs for to help them. Cairne soon became close friends with Warchief Thrall and other orcish people. The orcs discovered that they share 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 race wanted to achieve a more spiritual, shamanistic culture. 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 Bloodhoof and his tribesmen defeated the centaurs. This allowed the tauren to claim the grassy plains of Mulgore. For the first time in millennia, the tauren had a land to call their own. For this alone they were forever indebted to their orc allies. Up on the mesas in Mulgore, Cairne Bloodhoof begun building a tent city for his brethren called Thunder Bluff. Every tauren tribe was able to live here and were all lead by Cieftain Cairne Bloodhoof. There are but 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 toward the future. Helping Cairne rule Thunder Bluff was Archdruid Hamuul Runetotem and Magatha Grimtotem.
After so long, conflict began erupting in Thunder Bluff and Mulgore. The Grimtotem tauren constantly try to take over Thunder Bluff for themselves and do not follow the rules. At almost the same time, it was discovered that the green dragnflight's Emrald Dream had a twisted and tainted evil within. Malfurion Stormrage is trapped inside, and the green dragons act strangely as they attack all who pass near. Both elven and tauren druids are researching these events since the Emerald Dream, home of Ysera the Dreamer (the Green Aspect), must be kept safe.
During the Shattering, also known as the Cataclysm, the tauren lost their noble chieftain Cairne Bloodhoof. Cairne's son, Baine Bloodhoof pushed the Grimtotem out of Thunder Bluff after they caused his father's death. He then proceeded to become the new tauren chieftain. Other problems include keeping the Barrens safe from Alliance forces. The tauren built up a gate to separate the Barrens conflicts from Mulgore's less severe problem of the quilboar and angered elements. The Grimtotem tauren themselves, hunted by the Horde, are forced into an uneasy truce with the Alliance in Stonetalon Mountains, the likes of which is broken shortly after.
Early tauren history is recorded in mythology. 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.
Though tauren of nobility are peaceful in nature, the Great Hunt rites is venerated as the heart of the taurens' spiritual culture. Every tauren, warrior or otherwise, seeks identity as both a hunter and as a child of the Earth Mother. Tauren often seek to prove their bravery by battling against wild creatures. Despite the fact they kill animals, tauren are taught never to waste anything that is given to them by nature and that they should give back what they can. They learn the fine balance that exists in nature and that if they honor the Earth Mother, she will bless them in return.
Despite their enormous size and brute strength, the remarkably peaceful tauren cultivate a quiet, tribal society. However when conflict comes into play, tauren will use their brute strength with everything they can to beat the enemies. Tauren are proud and noble and have never fallen to the enemies once. Like the orcs, the tauren now struggle to retain their sense of tradition and noble identity.
A tauren youngling is known as a "youngblood".
Tauren faith is based off of nature which is the mother of the world to them. Their faith holds a deep spot in their hearts. Tauren are connected to the ebb and flow of the world. Tauren deeply revere their ancestors and spirits as they turn to these two for guidance and wisdom. 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 nature and the hunt; to hunt is to honor the nature spirits.