Every Tuesday, we chortle in sadistic glee as Varialyta attempts to compress a complex story into 500 words or less for the consumption of the Ritalin generation. This week’s topic: Taurens
Tauren history is a bit mysterious. The beginning of their written history is relatively recent. Instead, their story is one handed down in oral tradition. Summaries of their key ancient stories can actually be read in-game in Thunder Bluff in the large tent on Elder Rise. There are “scrolls”–actually what appear to be large decorated hides–around the walls of the tent. Here’s a brief summary of those scrolls, along with more recent updates.
The Tauren were created by the Earthmother immediately after her creation of the world. There are many theories as to who the Earthmother may have been in relation to recorded history, but I won’t go into that here. I find it interesting, and if you think you might, you can go here for some of this speculation. They revered their creator, and based their entire culture on harmony with Azeroth–its land and its living beings. Their survival required hunting, which they ritualized and incorporated into their mythos.
Their drive to prove themselves in the hunt led them to a particularly challenging prey: a great white stag so striking that both the Tauren and the Night Elves refer to him by name: Apa’ro and Malorne, respectively. They chased him until he finally fled into the skies, where the moon found him and fell in love. The unlikely couple conceived a child who became known as Cenarius.
Now, there is intense argument amongst scholars over who really learned druidism first. Tauren mythology has it that they were the first to learn it, and directly from Cenarius. Recorded history shows the Night Elves as also having learned druidism directly from Cenarius–but I’ll go into more detail on this in a later post. But regardless of who learned what first and from whom, without the Tauren and their hunt for Apa’ro, there would be no druidism, as there would have been no Cenarius to teach it.
OK, some of you may be remembering back to my post about the Alliance and Horde, and that I said the Alliance is good and the Horde is bad. Someday I’ll reveal my true motivations in having said so, but for now you may be wondering, how did a seemingly good, peaceful, harmonious lot as the Tauren hook up with the Horde? I wondered that as well. But I think I’m finally starting to understand this part of the story.
At some point in time–still before written records–Cenarius left the Tauren. I can’t find where they say why. If you have a reference, please comment, as I want to know! I would speculate he left when he helped stop the first demonic invasion, but take that with the appropriate measure of salt. At some point after he left, the Tauren suffered invasions by the Centaur. This forced them to a nomadic life. Over time, they found it harder and harder to find resources where they could also be safe from centaurs. So they sought out an ally.
What they found were the orcs, who also fought centaurs as they tried to establish a territory in which to settle for the long term. But these orcs, you say, are those maniacs from Draenor who were possessed by demons! But by this time, they had been cut off from demonic influence, and were working to restore the shamanistic culture that was their true legacy.
While shamanism is different from druidism, there are certain resonances between them–a focus on balance (druidism more on balance among land and living things, shamanism more on balance among the raw elements that make those up). I can see how this would appeal to the Tauren–and the Tauren did become one of the first Azerothian races to embrace shamanism.
At any rate, both races shared the same predicament–the centaur. So they joined forces to beat the invaders back. In doing so, both were able to take and hold territories they now call their homes. Of course, the Shattering has shaken everybody up, so let’s just hope they can continue to work together to rebuild!