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7-06-2011 @ 4:17PM
It seems the pendulum on whether or not the tauren were the first druids have swung back and forth ever since WCIII. In WCIII and its tie-in novels, Malfurion was the first druid. In Vanilla WoW, the tauren scrolls said that they were the first druids. Then around TBC's release the warcraft encyclopedia once again said Malfurion was the first druid, and Nethaera actually came onto the old forums to say that the Tauren were flat out WRONG in remembering their history (http://www.wowblues.com/us/wow-encyclopedia-error-43884861.html) which is a very, very interesting point. Then Xarantaur (who, if you don't know, was added as a favor to a friend of Metzen and a prominent member in the European lore community) was added and he claimed he did, indeed, predate Malfurion. THEN Stormrage came out and both the omniescent narrator and keeper Zaetar call malfurion the first druid.Honestly? I really, really, really wish Blizz would just settle this once and for all. For the record, I'm going to believe Nethaera (and, specifically, her referencing of the series bible) over what's ultimately a fan character. Xarantaur's backstory, AFAIK, was written with Vanilla's lore and was passed through even after it was retconned due to a lack of editorial oversight. That said, I also prefer Nethaera's version of events because I like the idea that maybe, just maybe, a group of nomads without a specialized record keeping system might have a somewhat loose grasp on history.
7-06-2011 @ 5:09PM
Both races believe that their ancestors were taught druidism first. Can't everyone be right? Couldn't Cenarius have taught druidism to both Malfurion and some unnamed tauren at the same time, only separately, leading each race to think they alone were being taught?Also, it's not like other parts of Warcraft lore don't ever change.
7-06-2011 @ 5:11PM
So you're saying Knaack is omniscient? ;)Realistically, Blizzard should never settle this. This issue is nowhere near as muddy as real history is, and Blizzard should not cater to fans who insist history be wildly, unrealistically sharp and accurate in a fantasy world, when realistically, it should be even muddier. It's the kind of question that no one should really know the answer to, and there should be conflicting evidence galore if it's to be at all realistically portrayed as history. Instead, fans want history to be as well known as if it happened just yesterday, more or less destroying the feeling of depth that history, legend, and myth ought to have. You remove all the mystique by parting the shrouds of time too completely. You destroy the mythic feel of a backstory by giving it the crystalline clarity of a court transcript.
7-06-2011 @ 5:13PM
You might have a point, Artificial, if there didn't exist beings whose sole reason to exist is making sure history is "correct"... like Xarantaur and the rest of the Bronze dragonflight. Any historical conflict could be easily solved by someone walking up to a bronze dragon and asking them.
7-06-2011 @ 5:16PM
Um, yeah. Speaking of destroying mythic feel...One not ought to be able to find a bronze dragon on every street corner, happy to settle your curiosity about events long past. Nor should they give answers that are necessarily understandable.What the bronze dragons know should have little bearing on what humans, night elves, and tauren know about history.
7-06-2011 @ 5:20PM
It should also be noted that what a bronze dragon says about history must, given their nature, be what they think you must believe in order to fulfill whatever role you are to play in history. If a bronze dragon is to do the job they're supposed to do, it's almost a necessity that they lie from time to time."The Doctor lies." -- seems to be a common problem when dealing with time travelers.
7-06-2011 @ 5:22PM
Warcraft isn't mythic. It stopped being mythic when the dwarves started mass producing firearms and Sylvanas started using chemical warfare. Actually, hell, scratch that: Warcraft stopped being "mythic" when we got globalized economies and world wars. Essentially, Warcraft is hovering around the first half of the 20th century, just with magic.Regardless, even without the bronze dragons there ARE ways to see into the past. Off the top of my head, a draenei shaman uses some kind of shamanic herb blend to see into the past where the humans split off from the vrykul. I can imagine anyone writing a history textbook would be dropping those 'herbs' for the greatest accuracy. I know that there are also arcane based ways of seeing into the future (the archmages in Dalaran who'd give you your daily dungeon and raid quests during WotLK) and I'm pretty sure it works the other way, too.Point is, it should not be hard to find this stuff out, lorewise. The only way you could have a "wrong" perception of history is if your government was purposefully rewriting the past in order to deliberately misinform you: something I'd expect from the fascist Forsaken or authoritarian Blood Elves, but not from the Tauren.
7-06-2011 @ 5:51PM
No, it's modern history isn't mythic. That entirely beside the point. I'm not saying 20th century history is mythic. I'm saying the mythic past is. No matter how much information processing power we devote to the task, we'll never really know the true history of the Trojan War.There are ways to seeing into the past. It always does and always should involve some extraordinary means, and it should never provide definitive answers, if one is to preserve the mythic feel of the distant past.I too can imagine a setting where historians are regularly invoking rituals of the type you mention, and having imagined it, I see how it would destroy the time-shrouded feel that history ought to have. So, once again, I must assert that this should not be the way of things in the Warcraft universe, if it is to preserve this. In most fantasy settings, seeing into the distant past or the distant future (or often, any future) is neither commonplace nor reliable. So, too, should it be here, IMHO.
7-06-2011 @ 5:55PM
How time-shrouded can the past be when we're inundated with people who're over ten millenia old? If you want to know about the War of the Ancients, just toss a rock in Darnassus, chances are someone either lived through it or they could call up their buddy who did.
7-06-2011 @ 6:17PM
Presumably Tyrande, Malfurion, and crew have better things to do than stand around all day answering trivia questions.Also, this should *add* to the confusion, not clear it up. If you don't believe me, ask a few different people at an accident scene what happened. Ask a few hundred people who lived through historical events what *really* happened.Presumably powerful shamans capable of seeing what happened many thousands of years ago generally have better things to do, too. As well as people who can see the future. You mention such arcane rituals exist, and indeed they do, but we know they're not commonplace or there would be no such thing as a surprise attack in WoW. There would be no point in using stealth if everyone had true-sight. Etc. There are all kinds of magic that negate some of the ways things are hidden, whether by time, stealth, or magic, but they can't be universal without destroying the setting.It would also contradict the lore, since it's established lore that stealth exists, despite the fact that magic exists to counter it, surprise attacks exist, despite the fact that magic exists to see the future, and questions about the past exist, despite the fact that magic exists to see the past. We know these things exist, but we also know they are *not* commonplace or easy.
7-06-2011 @ 6:31PM
It also should be noted that the people in question aren't omniscient, no matter how old they are. Suppose you ask Malfurion, "Who was the first druid?" and he answers. Let's further assume he's not lying. What does this prove? It proves nothing more than that Malfurion is unaware of any druids prior to whoever he names in his answer. Alas, it doesn't tell you who the first druid actually was, it just tells you the oldest one Malfurion knows about. This may be quite interesting, but it proves nothing. His answer may or may not reflect the reality of who the first druid actually was.History is never easy. Having people you can ask helps, unless you take their answers too seriously, in which case it actually hurts.
7-06-2011 @ 7:05PM
You don't use simply one source when asking people about history. You interview malfurion, but you also interview Zaetar and if you can, you interview Cenarius. Plus, Tyrande, Malfurion and the like were not the only people around during the WotA. In fact, it's more likely that noncombatants survived into the modern age, too. It's less hazardous to your health to be a gardener or an auctioneer than it is to be a glaive-slinging huntress.Plus, let's look at the societies most likely to put together history textbooks: Dalaran, Quel'thalas, Stormwind, maybe even Undermine. All of these have powerful mages and a few even have powerful shaman. It's not at all unlikely to believe a publisher could get a few of these guys together and gain a consensus on history by getting a bunch to scry for them.
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