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Posts with tag shuhalo

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

US Connected Realms update for January 21

Realm list
Blizzard Community Representative Nethaera has updated the US-side Connected Realms post for January 21. It appears that all the connections slated for the 17th of January have completed successfully, and as we see below, the newly connected Agamaggan and Jaedenar will be joined with The Underbog this Thursday, January 23rd, along with these other connections:
  • Alleria and Khadgar
  • Altar of Storms and Anetheron/Magtheridon/Ysondre
  • Misha and Rexxar
  • Ner'zhul and Frostmane/Tortheldrin
  • The Underbog and Agamaggan/Jaedenar

The only notable item on this list is an absence -- Shu'halo and Eitrigg has been delayed yet again. It was posted on January 6 as upcoming, and therefore should have been connected in the subsequent January 17 batch, but was delayed and pushed to "upcoming" again. As we can see below, it's still in the "upcoming" section, for the third time. The next set of connections, which do not yet have a set date, are as follows:

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Filed under: News items

Know Your Lore: The tauren peoples of Azeroth

Know Your Lore The tauren peoples of Azeroth
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.

As of right now, there are three known sub-families of tauren humanoids on Azeroth:
  • The shu'halo of Kalimdor, who believe in the provenance of the Earthmother and the sun and moon, An'she and Mu'sha.
  • The taunka of Northrend, who have grown to seek dominance over the elements via extortion and compulsion of the elemental spirits.
  • The yaungol of Pandaria, who are even more extreme in their dominant approach, viewing fire as both the weapon by which they will conquer the land and a source of mystical strength.
What's interesting to me about all three of these known offshoots of the tauren people is their diversity of beliefs as well as their physical differences from one another. Both yaungol and taunka have marked physical differences from the tauren of Kalimdor. Are any of these people similar to their pre-Sundering ancestors, or have all three groups diverged? More interestingly, despite there being no current record of the Titans having anything to do with the origin of the tauren, there are definitely tauren represented in the visual art of the Ulduar complex. Why?

At present we have no reason not to believe that the tauren are not native to Azeroth. Therefore, we have questions to ask. This particular KYL is dedicated to asking those questions, and speculating on what the answers might be.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Know your Lore, Wrath of the Lich King, Mists of Pandaria

Going Large: All-tauren guild stampedes beyond roleplaying

It's a fairly safe assumption that a guild composed exclusively of members of one Azerothian race will be a roleplaying guild. If you made that assumption about The Venture Co.'s Thunderhoof Clan -- and yes, the guild is exclusively tauren -- you'd be missing most of what this guild is all about. Of course they roleplay; one glance at the guild Tumblr or website makes their love of the shu'halo life abundantly clear. But as a self-described casual guild, TC also enjoys light raiding and organized and world PvP as well as light RP. It's a fairly unique approach among race-specific groups, which usually core into racial lore and rarely engage in organized raiding or PvP.

We interviewed GM Ravkha to find out how such a specialized guild swings easily with such a wide-ranging approach to the game. For the herd!

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Mists of Pandaria: Sunwalker Dezco for Warchief

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Spoilers for Mists of Pandaria in this post.

I cannot tell you how much I enjoy Sunwalker Dezco. As a tauren, I love the idea that there's a tauren presence in Pandaria, and that unlike most of the Horde the leadership of said tauren, actually uses the quotes around the word Warchief when talking about Messere Hellscream.

I first met the Sunwalker in the Krasarang Wilds. He was leading an expedition to Pandaria inspired by the visions of his wife. After that, I ran into him again helping out against the mantid, then in Kun-Lai Summit at the Temple of the White Tiger, where he gives out a quest to meet with one of the August Celestials within the Temple of the White Tiger. After Xuen, the White Tiger, tests your mettle, he allows you and Dezco (if you're Horde) to go south. Pretty much everything Dezco says or does shows that he's loyal to the Horde, but clearly less than enamored with Garrosh and his particular way of leading it. Dezco is very involved with the quests leading to the Vale of Eternal Blossoms as well as Krasarang and Valley of the Four Winds, and he's at once a determined bringer of the light and a much more tolerant and reasonable Horde figure than we've seen in some time.

I'm just glad to see a new, no-nonsense tauren lore figure, and to see the tauren taking some initiative in Pandaria. And I admit, I love the idea of a sarcastic tauren paladin.


It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Mists of Pandaria

Know Your Lore: Cenarius, Malorne, and Ysera

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.

He is the Lord of the Forest, a union of the heavens, and the earth. One of the most powerful and influential demigods in Azeroth, Cenarius and his teachings have led to the development of the druids, and no other demigod has been as closely involved with mortal affairs. It's no surprise that the son of an Ancient and the closest thing Azeroth has to a goddess is so powerful -- and his connection to the Aspect Ysera made him even more so.

He is the White Stag or Apa'ro, as the tauren call him. Malorne, an Ancient who served as a protector of nature, was rumored to have roamed the forests of Azeroth long before the night elves ever came into existence. He is the father of Cenarius, and unlike his son, he meddles little with the affairs of mortals. But his love with the goddess Elune resulted in the birth of his son, and his later association with Ysera guaranteed his son would be raised safely and with the right kind of guidance.

She is the Dreamer, Aspect of Nature and guardian of the Emerald Dream. Ysera has always been held in high regard by the night elves, who were bound to the Emerald Dream with Ysera's blessing. But her relationship with Malorne resulted in a son she didn't expect. Though not his mother by birth, Ysera was just as much a mother to Cenarius as Elune -- perhaps more. After all, it was Ysera and the Emerald Dream that helped shape Cenarius into the demigod we know today.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Arch Druid Hamuul Runetotem

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.

He befriends those who might be his enemies, yet he is unafraid to strike down those who harm his people, his students, even his allies. Elderly, he has but recently become a druid; his meteoric rise to the rank of Archdruid is a testament to his strength of character and his sincere desire to achieve balance in all things. A childhood friend of Cairne Bloodhoof, in that worthy's death, he has become the Old Bull of his people, even as Cairne's son Baine has taken the role of leader.

Today, while Baine rules, it is Hamuul Runetotem who is the heart of the shu'halo, the tauren people. And he does not like what he is seeing.

Stevie Nix - Baine Bloodhoof: As Our Fathers Before Us
Hamuul shook his head as if to clear it. "We existed in a time before the coming of the orcs, if you'll remember. Your father may have owed a debt to Thrall for all he did for our people, but this is a new Horde. I have heard whispers of other tauren. Some are wondering if this Horde is really something we should be a part of anymore." He snorted. "The Horde has done much and we owe much to it, but you must admit that their sentiments are not completely without merit."

Hammul does not pretend to perfection, and while he is wise, he admits to all the shocks that flesh is heir to and all the emotion a shu'halo can face dealing with the chaos of the world while attempting to honor the Earthmother.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Know your Lore, Cataclysm

Know Your Lore: The shu'halo

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.

We talked about their origins last week (although that was primarily speculation), and we've talked about their politics and how they fit within the Horde. We've discussed Cairne and his son Baine, the great leaders of their people, and Magatha, the greatest living villain. But what of the shu'halo, the tauren people themselves? Who are they?

The tauren today are in a very unusual position. They revere the Earthmother and yet are allied to people who stripmine her very flesh to plunder her resources, chop down her forests, and poison her creatures with plague. Former nomads, harried by enemies, they now reside in their ancestral homeland due to those same alliances. The Horde gave them much and now asks for much. For the tauren, the shu'halo, the debt owed when Thrall and his people helped them reach their promised land has never faded. But who were they before it?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Know your Lore

Know Your Lore: Tauren origins and tinfoil hats

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.

Where, exactly, do tauren come from? Yes, there's the old standby about a mommy tauren and a daddy tauren -- but in a world where some beings trace their origins back to stone constructs and ancient curses while others are native and still others were altered by the Well of Eternity, the question of where a people originated can be an important and convoluted one.

The most recent Ask Creative Development thread from the official forums managed to cover a lot of subject matter, from Elune and her relationship with the Naaru to whether Forsaken priests could actually blow themselves up by channeling too much of the Holy Light. But the question and answer that most interested me was the following:

Q: What races were on Azeroth before the coming of the titans?

A: Besides the elementals, the only known sentient races on Azeroth when the titans' forces arrived to subdue the Old Gods were the trolls, the race known as "faceless ones," and the aqir. Due to the Old Gods' war against the titans, as well as the extensive terraforming that followed the war's conclusion, records of what races existed before even the Old Gods' arrival have likely been lost forever.

Anne already discussed this to a degree, but I wanted to take a longer look at the tauren, their history and mythology, what they seem to believe about their origins, and why it might matter to this question. Where did the tauren come from?

Please remember the rules. This is all speculation, and while I try and build it on the framework of the lore we're supplied in game, I'm going to end up somewhere that is absolutely not at all in game.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Know your Lore

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