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Know Your Lore: Tauren at the end of Mists

The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

There are an awful lot of loose threads around the tauren right now. The Grimtotem are scattered, making temporary pacts with the Alliance in Stonetalon, besieging the night elves in Feralas, and their greatest leader was last seen claiming an artifact of elemental power. In the wake of Cairne's death, Baine Bloodhoof chose to allow Garrosh to rule uncontested - but that position clearly changed over time, and Baine led tauren troops to the support of Vol'jin's rebellion against the Warchief, rather than simply challenging him as his father did. Ironically, this choice shows a certain political maturity - recognizing that trial by personal combat might not be the best means to effect regime change in the Horde - while it also shows a bit of a break with the old ways of both the Horde, and the tauren people.

Baine's father Cairne chose to live, and die, by the older ways of ritual and honor. Betrayed by Magatha, he died from poison on Garrosh Hellscream's axe and with him seems to have died the last vestiges of the tauren ways of the past. Baine led an expulsion of those Grimtotem that would not swear allegiance to him over Magatha that culminated in a battle against their last leaders in Mulgore, and at the end of that battle, Baine ruled the shu'halo as undisputed chieftain of all. But in doing so, he also led his people into their last break with the past, and following the defeat of Garrosh and the ascension of Vol'jin to the seat of power as Warchief, one must ask - what role do the tauren fill in the Horde to come, and where will Baine's current choices lead them in the future?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Know your Lore, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

Mists of Pandaria beta: A guide to pandaren pronunciation

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Mists of Pandaria brings us an all-new continent with a ton of brand-new races, quests, storylines, and characters. Along with those characters comes a whole host of names that look a lot easier to pronounce than they actually are. With names commonly found in the troll race, it's a simple matter of navigating your way around all of the apostrophes. Old Gods, for the most part, sound just like they are spelled. But with the names you find in Mists, there's an actual precedent for pronunciation, and most words definitely don't sound like they look.

Simon, one of our readers who also happens to be fluent in Chinese, took some time out of his busy day to drop an email in my inbox detailing just a few of the Chinese words, their meaning, and their actual pronunciations. According to Simon, many of the names you'll encounter in Mists are actually written using the standard PinYin system, which, when accurate, is usually pronounced differently than how it looks.

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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

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