A good long Tauren Roleplaying guide

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A good long Tauren Roleplaying guide

Post by Aadaria-Ioanna on Sun Jul 29, 2012 9:05 pm

TAUREN RP GUIDE

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INTRODUCTION
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Throughout my long experience with role playing on WoW, it is noticeable that some races are often chosen over others, be it because the person is personally attached to that race and has a desire to play them, or because one does not know how to portray such a character in-game. One such race, is the Tauren. Without an effective history and lore background, many people have a difficult time trying to role play these creatures. Tauren lore has seemed to literally have been forgotten about during the creation of Warcraft. Though however, I like to think that this isn’t Blizzard’s fault; instead, I see it as though the Tauren have forgotten most of their history over time. After all, there are no records of the Tauren ever written in history, as all of their lore has been passed down from one Tauren to another through legends and myths. This makes most of their lore inaccurate, though unfortunately it is all that we have to go by.

The Tauren pose as a difficult race to portray due to the general persons’ lack of knowledge, but it’s definitely possible to make a good role play out of them. Though many say that Tauren lore is literally non-existent, I can say otherwise. I hope this guide will help many of you current or future Tauren role players to more understand the likes of the Tauren peoples, and thereby increasing your skill as a Tauren role player.

(Please do note that this guide is possibly a little out of date.)






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TABLE OF CONTENTS
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History and Mythology
War of the Ancients
The New Horde
Personality
Appearance
Culture
Faith
Languages
Hierarchy and Titles
Names
Tribes and Clans
Lore Classes
Race Relations
Professions
Alignment
Credits








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HISTORY AND MYTHOLOGY
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Tauren have a long and complex oral tradition that has been handed down for generations. Since almost no written record exists of Tauren history, the accuracy of their tales is unknown. 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 as old as, if not older than, the night elves (there is an argument among the two races who were disciples of Cenarius first) and much like the elves, they have a strong attunement to nature and the elemental spirits. Thus, their society is largely based on shamanism. 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. In addition, elements of druidism, which had been taught by Cenarius and then forgotten over millennia, have been recently reincorporated into tauren society, further highlighting their service to nature. In particular the presence of accounts regarding Cenarius before he was known to the elves (the “War of the Ancients” trilogy refers to the night elves believing Cenarius to be a bedtime story before allying with him during the war) that are confirmed by others sources as being accurate, indicate that tauren were already a civilized presence in Kalimdor before the rise and even maybe existence of elves. In particular, the birth of Cenarius is covered and their version confirmed by night elven mythos, as well as in the book The Sundering by Richard A. Knaak.

Tauren ancestors dwell deep within the Emerald Dream.




Mists of Dawn
Before the Age of Memory, the gentle Earthmother breathed upon the golden mists of dawn. Where the amber clouds came to rest, there were endless fields of flowing wheat and barley. This was the basin of her works – the great basket of life and hope. The Earthmother’s eyes shone down upon the lands she had breathed into creation. Her right eye, An’she (the sun), gave warmth and light to the land. Her left eye, Mu’sha (the moon), gave peace and sleep to the stirring creatures of the dawning. Such was the power of her gaze that the Earthmother closed one dreaming eye for every turning of the sky. Thus, her loving gaze turned day into night for the first dawning of the world. While the right eye shone down upon the golden dawn, the Earthmother’s gentle hands spread out across the golden plains. Wherever the shadow of her arms passed, a noble people arose from the rich soil. The Shu’halo (the tauren) arose to give thanks and prayer to their loving mother. There, in the endless fields of dawn, the children of the earth swore themselves to her grace and vowed to bless her name until the final darkening of the world.





Sorrow of the Earthmother
As the children of the earth roamed the fields of dawn, they harkened to dark whispers from deep beneath the world. The whispers told the children of the arts of war and deceit. Many of the Shu’halo fell under the shadow’s sway and embraced the ways of malice and wickedness. They turned upon their pure brethren and left their innocence to drift upon the plains. The Earthmother, her heart heavy with her children’s plight, could not bear to watch them fall from grace. In her grief, she tore out her eyes and set them spinning across the endless, starry skies. An’she and Mu’sha, seeking to ease the others sorrow, could only chase each others faint glow across the sky. The twins still chase one another with every turning of the world. Though sightless, the Earthmother could not long stray from the world of her heart. She kept her ear to the winds and listened to all that transpired across the fields of the dawn. Her great heart was always with her children – and her loving wisdom never fled from them.



The White Stag and the Moon
Into the brave hearts of her pure children, the Earthmother placed the love of the hunt. For the creatures of the first dawn were savage and fierce. They hid from the Earthmother, finding solace in the shadows and the wild places of the land. The Shu’halo hunted these beasts wherever they could be found and tamed them with the Earthmother’s blessing. One great spirit eluded them, however. Apa’ro was a proud stag of snow white fur. His antlers sc%@*@d the roof of the heavens and his mighty hooves stamped out the deep places of the world. The Shu’halo hunted Apa’ro to the corners of the dawning world – and closed in to snare the proud stag. Seeking to escape, the great stag leapt into the sky. Yet, as his escape seemed assured, his mighty antlers tangled in the stars which held him fast. Though he kicked and struggled, Apa’ro could not loose himself from the heavens. It was then that Mu’sha found him as she chased her brother, An’she, towards the dawn. Mu’sha saw the mighty stag as he struggled and fell in love with him immediately. The clever moon made a bargain with the great stag – she would set him free from the snare of the stars if he would love her and end her loneliness. Mu’sha loved Apa’ro and conceived a child by him. The child, a demigod some would claim, was born into the shadowed forests of the night. He would be called Cenarius, and walk the starry path between the waking world and the kingdom of the heavens.





Forestlord and the First Druids
In time, the child, Cenarius, grew to the stature of his proud father. A brother to both the trees and the stars, the great hunter roamed the far places of the world, singing the harmonious songs of the dawning. All creatures bowed before his grace and beauty – there were none so cunning as the son of the moon and the white stag. Eventually, Cenarius befriended the Shu’halo and spoke to them of the turning world. The children of the earth knew him as brother and swore to help him care for the fields of life and the favoured creatures of their great Earthmother. Cenarius taught the children of the earth to speak to the trees and plants. The Shu’halo became druids and worked great deeds of magic to nurse the land to health. For many generation the Shu’halo hunted with Cenarius and kept the world safe from the shadows that stirred beneath it.


Hatred of the Centaur
As the mists of dawn faded and the Age of Memory advanced, the demigod, Cenarius, went his own way through the fields of the world. The Shu’halo were sorrowful at his passing and forgot much of the druidism he had taught them. As the generations passed, they forgot how to speak with the trees and the wilde things of the land. The dark whispers from the deeps of the world drifted up to their ears once again. Though the children of the earth closed out the evil whisperings, a terrible curse befell their roaming tribes. Out of the black lands of the west came a horde of murderous creatures – the centaur. Cannibals and ravagers, the centaur fell upon the Shu’halo like a plague. Though the braves and hunters fought with the Earthmother’s blessing in their hearts, the centaur could not be defeated. The Shu’halo were forced to leave their ancestral holdings behind, and roam the endless plains as nomads forever after. It was held that one day hope would return – and the scattered tribes of the Shu’halo would find a new home under the loving arms of the Earthmother.






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WAR OF THE ANCIENTS
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In the primary timeline, the tauren did not take part in the War of the Ancients, the battle against the first demonic invasion approximately 10,000 years ago. However, in the altered history created by the intervention of Krasus and his companions, they were convinced to join the alliance against the Burning Legion by the 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. They were led by Huln Highmountain. After the “tragic” loss of the commander, the tauren were re-deployed to extreme effectiveness by his replacement, Jarod Shadowsong. The tauren who survived the war maintained fairly good, or at least cordial, relations with the Sentinels.

The Sentinels are an elite groups of Night Elven warriors and hunters who protect Darnassus and the homelands of their people. They remain as Darnassus’ military and can be seen throughout nearly any Night Elven town or city. Some Tauren, as mentioned above, are on good terms with the Sentinels, which makes more role play ideas possible.





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THE NEW HORDE
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For countless generations after the war, the tauren roamed the plains of the Barrens hunting the mighty kodo, and sought the wisdom of their eternal goddess, the Earthmother. Their tent cities were scattered across the landscape and changed with the seasons and the weather. The wandering tribes were united only by a common hatred for their sworn enemy, the marauding centaur.

At the brink of extinction, the chieftain Cairne Bloodhoof, desperate for help, turned to the strange green-skinned warriors from over the sea. Cairne quickly befriended the Warchief Thrall and the other orcs, and recognized that they shared 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 of these races wanted to achieve a more shamanistic culture, and the 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 and his Bloodhoof tribe were able to drive back the centaur and claim the grasslands of Mulgore for themselves. For the first time in millennia, the tauren had a land to call their own. For this alone they were forever indebted to their orcish allies. Upon the windswept mesa of Thunder Bluff, Cairne built a refuge for his people, where tauren of every tribe were welcome. Over time the scattered tauren tribes united under Cairne’s rule. 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 the mighty Cairne in the duties of ruling his race are the Archdruid Hamuul Runetotem and the elder crone Magatha Grimtotem.

Although the tauren have reclaimed their lands and battle alongside the Horde, not all is peaceful. The Grimtotem tribe tries to this day to usurp the rule of Cairne, plotting to overthrow his leadership. At the same time, the Emerald Dream, realm of the green dragonflight, is tainted with a strange evil. 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.

The idea that Tauren lived in “tent cities” suggests that the Tauren are a hardy race, meaning they can survive in harsh climatic conditions without much shelter or protection. A typical Tauren home/tent would most likely be filled with animal skins and hides for blankets and clothing, and many other animal parts used to make their wares (bones for necklaces and charms and animals hooves for bowls, for example). No part of a hunted animal went to waste.






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PERSONALITY
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The plains of Kalimdor have long been a home to these tremendous nomads. The tauren are a race of shamans, hunters, and warriors who long ago developed a complex culture and system of living without the aid of stonework, steel or conquest. This is not to say that the tauren are a race of pacifists, for when they are angered they are capable of retaliating with swift and decisive brutality. Tauren are, in a word, stoic, embodying the strong and silent type with their quiet contemplation. This introspective air combined with their immense size can lead a person to understand as to “why” many regard the tauren as a wise and dangerous race.

Tauren rarely speak unless there is a true reason to, preferring to act instead of talk. However, once a tauren has learned to interact with a companion, there seems to be a more open and enthusiastic exchange of words. 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 have no love for bloodshed, as their deep spiritual beliefs do not have a place for warfare. The elders of a tribe solve most issues, or two tauren might resolve a conflict with a ritual challenge resembling a duel. Having become members of the Horde, the introspective race has been involved in more and more conflict, creating a demand for 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.

All tauren have some respect for life, though to what extent is entirely up to you. Some tauren (specifically shamans, hunters, and druids) have great empathy of all living things, while more battle-attuned classes like warriors may not be so sympathetic. Though on some level, your Tauren should feel for the living.






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APPEARANCE
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Tauren are large, muscular humanoids with bull-like heads. Males average 7 1/2 feet tall and 400 pounds, while females are usually a bit shorter and lighter. Tauren are mostly muscle, having incredibly developed physiques and brawny frames most suitable for combat. Soft, downy fur (usually quite short) covers the tauren body, with manes growing along head and neck, the lengths of the arms, and the shins. Tauren men and women almost always wear their hair long, and the males prefer braids to any other style. Coloration can range from solid black to blond and even to white, or mottled pelts with a range of spots and different colors. They have three fingers on each hand.

Horns are most prominent on males, although all tauren have horns. Tauren wear natural clothing — leather or hide, and some cloth. They prize jewelry, designing fine trinkets of ivory, bone and amber. From these materials they make bracelets or necklaces, and sometimes adorn their horns or locks with such beautiful displays of artistry.

Some things one might bring upon their role play character for example, is the length of horns. For RP reasons, a person may choose for their female to have short horns, and their males to have the largest horns possible. Though in a normal realm one might not consider these aspects, it is definitely more effective in role play. However, this isn’t to say that all females must have short horns and all males must have longer ones, though it is a thought to consider if you want to portray a realistic tauren, or perhaps one that’s different from his brethren (maybe your male is teased about having shorter horns, for example). The same can be said about size and weight. (Generally, bull cattle have larger horns than cows, and are heavier; this is just the way genetics work)

And though hairstyles are normally seen as long and braided on most Tauren, this is not a requirement. For example, fighter classes such as the warrior or hunter may not want long hair getting in the way while engaging in combat or warfare, and so decide to crop their hair short. Little things like these are what make your character more believable.






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CULTURE
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The earliest history of the tauren is recorded in a series of myths (see: HISTORY AND 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 study of druidism under Cenarius, and the coming of the centaur.

Though the noble tauren are peaceful in nature, the rites of the Great Hunt are venerated as the heart of their spiritual culture. Every tauren, warrior or otherwise, seeks identity as both a hunter and as a child of the Earthmother. Tauren, young or otherwise, seek to prove their bravery by setting themselves against the creatures of the wild. Despite killing the animals, the tauren are taught never to waste anything given to them by nature and to give back what they can. They learn the fine balance that exists in nature and that if they honor the Earthmother, she will bless them in return.

Despite their enormous size and brute strength, the remarkably peaceful tauren cultivate a quiet, tribal society. However, when roused by conflict, tauren are implacable enemies who will use every ounce of their strength to smash their enemies under hoof. They are noble and proud and have never, despite significant adversity in the past, succumbed to their enemies. Like the orcs, the tauren now struggle to retain their sense of tradition and noble identity.

In a growing and aging world, the Tauren are finding it difficult to keep their sense of tradition. As they continue to mingle with other races, some traditions and ways of life get lost. The Tauren you role play is on either one side of the fence, or sitting on top. He may have given up his traditional beliefs to adapt to the ever changing world, or he may be a conservative who is against all change and retains traditional belief. He may even be confused of his position, lost in Azeroth fence-sitting. Perhaps he has beliefs in the old ways and wishes to continue this path, but finds it difficult to do so in this new world. He may have therefor adopted some of these changes into his lifestyle. See ALIGNMENT for more details on this.






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FAITH
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For the tauren, nature is the mother of the world, and their faith holds a deep and resonant tone within their hearts. Tauren are connected to the ebb and flow of the world. They revere the spirits of the land and of their ancestors, and they turn to these spirits for wisdom and guidance. 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 the veneration of nature and the hunt; to hunt is to honor the spirits of nature.

Any animal killed during the hunt is honored by the hunter.




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LANGUAGES
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Tauren speak Taur-ahe and Orcish. Tauren tend to learn languages for trade or exchanging ideas.

A tauren may learn other languages as they meet other races along the way, if interested in trading or for sharing ideas and opinions.






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HIERARCHY AND TITLES
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The tauren possess a structure of spiritual hierarchy. The most talented and powerful shaman traditionally hold positions of power, though rulership is not limited to spellcasters. Shaman interpret the voice of the Earth Mother and the wishes of the ancestors; sometimes these interpretations lead to the rise of hunters and warriors in the tribe. Such is the case with Cairne Bloodhoof, the current chieftain. The leader of a tribe uses the title “chief” and/or “chieftain.” The three most powerful healers in the tribe support the chief, the most powerful of whom takes the title “seer.” A chief generally consults his seer and her two contemporaries before making a decision, but this consultation is not required. The leader of the United Tauren Tribes — Cairne Bloodhoof, these days — also uses the title “chieftain.” During council meetings, chiefs make recommendations to the chieftain, but again the final decision is the chieftain’s alone to make. “Chief,” “chieftain”, and “seer” are genderless titles. Aged female shaman sometimes take the title of “crone” or “elder crone”, which others use as a sign of respect.



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NAMES
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The language of the tauren is often harsh and low sounding, which is reflected in the names of their children. The last name of a tauren is usually a family name, handed down through the generations. If the tauren has performed some act that has made an impression on the elders of his tribe, however, he may choose to take on his own last name to commemorate that act.[4] Tauren have several names. They receive a name at birth and another during a ceremony to celebrate reaching adulthood. This adult name describes some event in their lives or some notable individual characteristic: for instance, Blackhide, Earthborn, Halfhorn, Hidemaker, Riverwatcher, Scar, Splithoof, Stormchaser, or Windrunner. A tauren may also acquire a third name that he uses when dealing with outsiders.

Male Names: Azok, Bron, Turok, Garaddon, Hruon, Jeddek.
Female Names: Argo, Serga, Bessey, Beruna, Halfa.
Family Names: Darkthorn, Thunderhoof, Stormhorn, Quillsplitter, Stonebreaker, Plainstalker, Spiritwalker.

There is no way of picking a “real” name for your Tauren. I base all my Tauren names loosely off of various Native American names and tribes, as they closely resemble Tauren names in general. If attempting to create your own name from scrath, try to stick to hard consonants such as “T”, “K”, “G”, “R”, “D”, and “L”.






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TRIBES AND CLANS
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Bloodhoof – The Bloodhoof tribe of Cairne Bloodhoof is the leading tauren tribe within the Horde.
Dawnstrider – The Dawnstrider tribe are experienced enchanters and skilled shaman.
Grimtotem – The Grimtotem tribe does not wish to join the Horde for reasons unknown. It is rumored that they have shady contacts with either the Scourge or Forsaken.
Mistrunner – The Mistrunners tribe is dedicated to the druidic path and seeks to heal the earth and ease the suffering of the Earthmother.
Ragetotem – The Ragetotem tribe is home to some of the fiercest warriors and finest smiths among the tauren.
Runetotem – The Runetotem tribe has only recently rediscovered the ways of the druid.
Skychaser – The Skychaser tribe are the spiritual leaders of the tauren shamans.
Stonehoof – The Stonehoof tribe has its people in all corners of tauren society.
Thunderhorn – The Thunderhorn tribe is home to some of the greatest hunters among the tauren.
Wildmane – The Wildmane tribe has largely joined the Runetotem tribe in seeking the ways of the druid.
Winterhoof – The Winterhoof tribe represents some of the greatest herbalists and alchemists the tauren have to offer.

Other tauren tribes include: Clawhoof, Cloudmane, Darkmane, Eagletalon, Icemist (Taunka?) Longstride, Oatwind, Raincaller, Rivermane, Stormsinger, Strongbash, Swiftwind, Whitecloud, Wildrunner, Younghoof.

These are just a few of the common Tauren clans found within Azeroth. You may join one, or create your own for more independance and freedom. Note that if you chose to create your own clan, remember that you are being responsible for your entire tribe’s way of life and personality. You should remember to loosely base your clan off the traditions and ways of life of most common Tauren.






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LORE CLASSES
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Tauren characters may play as a druid, hunter, shaman, warrior, paladin, priest, or a death knight.

Previously, the tauren were the only Horde race that could play as a druid, until the addition of trolls in the release of Cataclysm. While tauren druids can perform in Cat Form, they are, for both philosophical and anatomical reasons, generally not rogues.

The renegade Grimtotem tribe possesses the rogue and sorcerer classes, however.

Note: if you chose to roleplay a Tauren acting on behalf of the Grimtotem tribe (which attain titles such as “rogue” and “sorcerer”), it is still impossible to assume the role of the “rogue” class, unless you consider it simply a title. For example, you may be a warrior or hunter but specialize in assassination, and so therefor assume the title of “rogue”. The same rule applies to “sorcerer”; you cannot be a mage, but can assume the title as a say, a druid or shaman (spellcasters).




Tauren Lore Classes

Tauren chieftain
Spirit walker
Spirit champion
Wilderness stalker
Plagueshifter
Holy strider





Tauren Chieftain
The tauren chieftains, or tauren chiefs, are elder Tauren warriors that lead their Tribes in daily life as well as in battle. Ceremoniously decked with the ancient totems of their Tribes, Chiefs uphold the honor and simplicity of Tauren culture. When roused by battle, the gigantic Chiefs employ enormous warblades which are capable of tearing through solid trees with one mighty swipe. The Chiefs are fascinated by the Orcs, especially their young leader, Thrall. The Chiefs see an opportunity to help the Orcs return to their traditional roots by providing a strong example of honor and courage through all Tauren warriors. Tauren chieftains possess impressive battle skills combined with a knowledge of tactics, geography and current affairs. A tauren chieftain knows where alliances are strongest and where they are likely to break down; he also knows where best to stage a mass battle and what location works for a small ambush. A tauren chieftain’s competence and wisdom inspires his troops. It is unknown if all chieftains practice shamanism, but Cairne Bloodhoof is known to practice it.





Spirit Walker

Spiritwalkers (aka spirit walkers) have a powerful connection with tauren ancestral heritage. Capable of channeling ancient tauren heroes, these champions of the spirit are valued in tauren society for the wisdom and history they carry within them. Tauren also fear the spiritwalker as a potent sign of the coming age; while many of this powerful race look upon the spiritwalker with some apprehension, the spiritwalkers still receive respect from their brethren. Tauren ancestors dwell deep within the Emerald Dream. The energies of that plane change the spiritwalkers pelt to pure white over time (though some are born with white pelts, destined to walk the path of spirit). A spirit walker’s ancient eyes shine with the light of a thousand souls. His body is a vessel, a conduit from the land of the dead to the land of the living. Through him rushes the power and the knowledge of his tribal ancestors, a rush that both intoxicates and disorients. The spirit walker wields the power of countless minds if he proves strong enough to bear the weight of so many souls.


Spirit Champion

A spirit champion is a mighty warrior who embraces the spirits, to assist him in his battles. He strengthens his spiritual connection until he can feel the spirits flowing within his body and thoughts, strengthening his arms and quickening his mind. Whispered fragments impart insight into battle as ancestors speak of ways to overcome all foes. The spirit champion ceases to fight for his own reasons; he battles to honor the spirits and to further their wishes. Often these wishes coincide with his own, but occasionally the spirit champion embarks on a path for reasons that are unclear to him. He does so faithfully, trusting in the spirits to point him in the right direction. The spirit champion is a deadly melee combatant. His spiritual nature strengthens his mind in ways that most warriors ignore. Insight grants him speed and accuracy, and he can call upon native spirits to lend him aid. He is a contemplative warrior, likely to meditate through the dawn before silently lifting his sword or totem and walking calmly into battle. Spirit champions rely on the spirits to protect them, through insight and wisdom as well as direct intervention. To wear heavy armor is to insult them. They focus on the mind, and with their focus they can transcend physical limitations. The spirits protect the spirit champion, providing him with instinctual insights to avoid blows. He swings his weapon up and steps to the side, not really knowing why, and an instant later he parries a blow from an unseen source. Ancestral spirits whisper in the spirit champion’s mind. Since the spirit champion is a being of combat, many of these ancestors are mighty warriors, perhaps spirit champions in their day.

They speak of maneuvers and tactics, of feints and cleaving blows, and their whispers bypass the normal means of understanding and bleed into the spirit champion’s subconscious mind. Spirit champions meditate, especially before battle. They prefer quiet places of natural beauty, such as mountaintops and forest glades, but they can meditate anywhere as long as they are undisturbed. They use this time to renew their bonds with the spirits and focus themselves on the tasks that lie ahead. The spirit champion’s mind is at peace and is difficult to disturb. A skilled spirit champion can request certain spirits to enter his weapon and lend their fury to his strikes. The experienced spirit champions can contact the spirits and ask a question of them. The spirits usually answer, but often do so in cryptic ways meant to improve the spirit champion or reveal to him something about himself. A highly skilled spirit champion has such an understanding of the spirits, and has established such a strong relationship with them, that he has both the ability and the permission to join them to a small degree. The spirit champion can turn himself and everything he carries incorporeal. He remains incorporeal until he chooses to end this effect or a amount of time that depends on the spirit champions skill.

Note: Commonly, only warriors may be a Spirit Champion. It may however be a path taken by melee shamans.






Wilderness Stalker

A wilderness stalker uses stealth to slip unseen and unheard through the woods and sneak in close to her prey. Born of instinct among the tauren and the trolls in ancient times, the way of the wilderness stalker has become a set of skills passed from one generation to another – and to the occasional ally, such as the orcs of the Horde. The mok’nathal have also developed the techniques of becoming wilderness stalkers – claiming the wilds of Azeroth, becoming true people of the land. A wilderness stalker emphasizes thrown weapons as well as bonding with the world around her. Their Alliance counterparts, elven rangers, may be guardians and hunters as well, but wilderness stalkers are true creatures of the wild. They gain mastery over the terrain in which they battle, learning how to use the environment to their best advantage.

No one can match a wilderness stalker for her ability to survive in harsh environments. Wilderness stalkers claim that that the lands speak to them, aiding them in their hunting and protecting them. Though a wilderness stalker excels at closing on unaware prey, she knows that their prey will occasionally sense her before she can get within reach and thus, many wilderness stalkers are also skilled at throwing weapons at a bolting target. A wilderness stalker may move through any sort of nonmagical undergrowth (such as natural thorns, briars, overgrown areas and other similar terrain) at her normal speed without taking damage or suffering any other way. A wilderness stalker gains the ability to cast a small number of divine spells. Wilderness stalkers call upon the spirits of the land and nature to help them. Their spells deal with hunting and surviving in the natural world. In time the wilderness stalker learns the languages of the animals and trees around her, and may speak with any animals or plants. The wilderness stalker learns to become one with the world around her and blend into it. The wilderness stalker learns how to call upon the spirits of trees for help in battle. The highly skilled wilderness stalker can move entire forests to fight for her.

Note: Though Wilderness Stalkers are mostly Hunters and Rogues, Shamans and Druids have also been known to take up this path, though any class can assume this title.






Plagueshifter

Few forces have devastated the world as badly as plague. Though magic is partially to blame as well, the Plaguelands of Lordaeron are a testament to the ravages that disease can bring to the world. While other people perpetually bemoan their dead and portray themselves as the sole victims of the pestilence of the age, the stoic races of the Horde soldier on, accepting life’s misfortunes without feeling a need to complain.

Unlike others, the wise races of the Horde realized that the plague must be fought intelligently and skillfully, through knowledge and not with wild sword strokes. After long and careful deliberation the Horde formed a new order of druids, the plagueshifters, who were charged with reclaiming the Plaguelands and other stricken areas for the Horde. Plagueshifters fill a specialized role, one typically taken by tauren druids, who are willing to leave Kalimdor and walk in far lands. To become a plagueshifter, one must risk exposure to the deadliest diseases and poisons, and learn to master them. It’s a dangerous profession, but just as the mastery of sharp steel has its rewards, so too does the victory over the most insidious enemies of the natural world. The plagueshifter’s body and mind are strong enough to resist the effects of poison, disease and similar effects. The plagueshifter can recognize any natural or magical disease. The plagueshifter’s mystical forces protect her not only against disease, but also against the creatures that carry them. The plagueshifter can enchant four stones and place them in a square to protect an area from harm. All vermin are unable to enter the area, likewise natural diseases are also barred. All diseased creatures within the area do not spread their illness, nor do they suffer the disease’s effects. The effects last for as long as the plagueshifter cares to leave the stones in place, other effects and creatures cannot move them.

Plagueshifters are capable of summoning creatures to their aid. They can summon strange creatures called white hounds, that can understand the plagueshifter’s speech and obey to the best of their ability. White hounds can cure by touch, and their bite releases divine magic.They are also able to summon water elementals. The elemental must stay in fresh water, and cannot venture far from where it was summoned. All waters near the elemental are made free from corruption and disease and are drinkable, even the polluted filth of the Eastern Plaguelands is cleansed. The elemental remains until the plagueshifter dismisses it. The water can be polluted again. The plagueshifter may plant a magical garden that yields an incredible bounty of fruits, grain and nuts. Even normally carnivorous creatures may eat from this garden and be content. Regardless of pestilence, blight or frost, the harvest cannot be diminished. However, fire (or flooding with befouled water) destroys the garden. The plagueshifter can use purify food and drink as a spell-like ability at will. The plagueshifter can touch a living creature and infect it with a short-duration, low-grade fever that puts it into a berserker state.

Note: Plagueshifters and more often then not, druids, but shamans may take up this role as well. Orc shamans work with many tauren as Plagueshifters.






Holy Striders

The nomadic tauren gave the world the first holy strider. Constantly on the move, the tauren had to have reliable scouts able to go far ahead and return swiftly. If they ran into trouble, they had to take care of themselves, either talking their way out of things, fighting their way out, or simply running and hiding. The holy strider tapped into the world’s readily available energy and began harnessing that magic to aid their travels. Now, although the tauren have their own well-fortified homeland and capital, the holy striders still find themselves in high demand as messengers, diplomats, spies and explorers.

Lanky and tall, nearly all holy striders carry minimal equipment, relying on nature, their own resourcefulness, and the kindness of strangers to aid them. Along with shamanistic traditions, the tauren brought the secrets of the holy strider to the Horde, and its followers have spread. Once dominated by the tauren, the holy striders are now represented by trolls and, to a lesser extent, orcs and a handful of Forsaken. Now that they have been trained in diplomatic endeavours, the holy strider has become a vital resource to any court in the Horde. It is quite useful to get a message – as well as a persuasive messenger – to its destination quickly. If the message is not well received, the holy strider has ways to remove himself from the situation quickly. Sometimes called spies, the holy striders claim that they are only gathering information for their employers.

Holy striders are well-respected among the Horde. Although they are not spellcasters, their mastery of the environment is said to be inspired by nothing less than the divine. Thrall himself employs four: two orcs, one troll, and one tauren. Rumor has it that he is looking for a neutral holy strider to make Horde negotiations with other races go more smoothly, but there are no holy striders outside the Horde at present. Cairne Bloodhoof employs only tauren, out of respect for the long heritage of the holy strider. Although his demeanour does not suggest a covert mind, Cairne does not disclose how many holy striders he employs, only that they are all tauren. The orcs have followed the tauren lead and record the farthest each holy strider has travelled. The Horde has created its own maps of Kalimdor based on its holy striders’ reports, and it rewards them well. It is not difficult for a holy strider to receive work, whether it be from a noble lord or a goblin merchant. She has only to bear a letter confirming her longest run, and most employers will be satisfied.

Holy striders commonly work alone, as few can keep up with them, but they serve as exemplary party leaders with their natural charm and diplomatic skills. Their genial manners allow them to talk a party out of tense situations, and they are certainly useful for checking out a dangerous area quickly. There is no centralized training center on Kalimdor for holy striders, but most major cities have apprenticeship programs. Often a holy strider who has been injured or is past her prime will train some new recruits. Apprentices approach the mentors with great honor and reverence, as they hope to someday be as great as those who have seen the different corners of the world. The kind of person who takes up the mantle of the holy strider has a never-ceasing curiosity – someone who will never be satisfied with stopping before the next hill. She must always see what comes next. Her eclectic skills turn her into a well-rounded character.

The holy strider can cover vast distances by meditating while running. Her meditation moves her mind into the ground beneath her feet, where she coaxes it to fold upon itself while she is running. This effect only works for the holy strider herself; no party members can benefit from these abilities. The meditation cannot be used during combat. After settling into a comfortable, meditative run (1-1/2 times her walk speed), the holy strider can begin manipulating the terrain under her. This causes her to run at twice her maximum run speed while still managing to keep the easy run. She can keep this up for a number of hours before she becomes fatigued and must stop the creasing run. To the observer, she seems to move in unnaturally long strides or jumps. The holy strider cannot attack and maintain the run. While creasing the mountain, the holy strider can run at her normal run speed up or down any grade of 90 degrees or less as if it were 45 degrees. If she fails, her meditation ends and she must make a Climb check to find something to grab onto, else she falls.

Once she has mastered solid land, the holy strider can reach beneath the waters of the seas and crease them, creating a solid foothold. After achieving the necessary meditative state, she run across water, though she moves only at her normal run speed. If she stops her meditation, she falls into the body of water. If she takes damage while creasing the sea, she must make a Concentration check or her meditation ends and she falls into the water. When the holy strider wishes to enter a room with flair, she can easily get the attention of anyone she likes with the force of her personal charm. She is a powerful negotiator and no one can rival her persuasive skills. The holy strider’s job is part scout, part diplomat, part spy. Her job is to reach her destination as quickly as possible and then meet with — or spy on — her target. She is highly trained, but sometimes things don’t go as well as hoped. In these cases, the holy strider must rely on her skills to get out of the situation as quickly, efficiently and safely as possible. A holy strider can use shadow meld as a spell-like ability.

Note: It is unsure which classes may be holy striders, but it seems that the hunter (for the Tauren) would be the most likely candidate.






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RACE RELATIONS
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When the tauren first encountered the orcs of Thrall’s Horde, the tauren recognized the orcs as spiritual brethren. No other race shared such a similar outlook on the world, and the shamans of both races met frequently to discuss the matters of the spirit world. The tauren allied with the orcs out of a shared vision, one of a collective of allies keeping each other well guarded. While the tauren see the orcs and trolls as potential friends to welcome, they rarely trust the Forsaken with more than a nod and a place to set their withered feet.

Tauren also bear no ill will to the members of the Alliance unless threatened by them, although they do make an exception for high elves. The taint of magic on the high elven spirit is a poisonous air to the tauren, a stench of the soul that they cannot tolerate for long. Night elves are quite the opposite; tauren sometimes view them with awe and fear. Tauren and night elves have coexisted on Kalimdor for centuries, and tauren have long seen the Kaldorei as a mythic race of demigods, possessed of great magic and steeped in natural powers.

Tauren have an extremely close relationship with the orcs with whom they share a similar culture. Cairne is also extremely close friends with Thrall. They are less thrilled at the presence of the Forsaken at Thunder Bluff, who they grudgingly tolerate due to their alliance. The tauren place a strong emphasis on the value of life, and the unlife of the Forsaken stands as an affront to their beliefs. Some tauren, like Mani Winterhoof, pity them. There are tauren that wish to cure the Forsaken like the Elder Council.

In general, however, the tauren get along with the orcs well and the trolls almost as well; there’s still a bit of distrust for the Darkspears, knowing that they only recently abandoned voodoo and cannibalism.

Race relations plays a very important part in Tauren roleplay. It is considerably a priority to figure out how your character will react to other players and other races, and also plays a part in determining which factions to gain reputation with.






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PROFESSIONS
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For the serious role player, sometimes choosing professions even becomes a decision based on lore.

Some suitable choices include:

Herbalism: the Tauren are revered cultivators and herbalists.
Skinning: no part of the hunted animal should go to waste.
Leatherworking: hides of the animals shall be used for clothing and other necessary wares.
Alchemy: the use of the herbs gathered to make goods for the gatherer.

If you are choosing professions based on role play, mining is generally not a good choice, as Tauren frown upon miners for “disturbing the land”. Along with this is blacksmithing and jewelcrafting, as the materials used for such professions are gathered from mining.

Enchanting may be a profession that is also looked upon in distaste, for it uses the power of the arcane. The status of Inscription in unknown, though I suspect that it belongs somewhere with the status of herbalism and alchemy.




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ALIGNMENT
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Yes, I do realize that one type of alignment is mentioned more than once. This is because those particular alignments can fit into one or more categories. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide which best fits your character based on his or her history, family, and lore class.

Good-Aligned

Lawful Good: The best of the best, the lawful good character acts on the side of goodness, righteousness and order. The warrior who is beholden to a lord or a church, the priest dedicated to healing the wretched – anyone who cannot stand by while others suffer. They will chase evil to the end of the world.

Neutral Good: Ultimately a giver, the neutral good character will do what they can to help, working within law or chaos; but ultimately they prefer their own counsel.

Chaotic Good: The hero of the downtrodden, the chaotic good character cares not for laws and order but only for doing good. If they must break the law to help others, they will do so without compunction. This character will steal to feed a poor family or stand up to their own master to defend a falsely accused servant.


Neutral-Aligned

Lawful Neutral: The hater of chaos, a lawful neutral character will stick to the letter of the law, whether it is their personal code of rules, their king’s, or their religion’s. This character finds chaos as abhorrent as evil and will not bend their personal guidelines even to help another if it will contribute to chaos.

Neutral Good: Ultimately a giver, the neutral good character will do what they can to help, working within law or chaos; but ultimately they prefer their own counsel.

True Neutral: A middle-of-the-road character, a neutral character finds it difficult to fit into any other distinction. They do what seems to be a good idea, whether it flows with law or chaos, good or evil. Often a follower and at times superb leaders, they’ll rarely go against the group.
Neutral Evil: A neutral evil character serves only their own needs/ends. They follow no law but also have no drive toward chaos. They kill or steal as they see fit to get what they want.

Chaotic Neutral: The true individual, the chaotic neutral character prizes their own freedom above all else. They do not want ties to either good or evil to influence them, preferring to make their own way as they see fit. Most chaotic neutral care nothing for people in their groups, have little to no allegiances, caring only for themselves.


Lawful-Aligned

Lawful Good: The best of the best, the lawful good character acts on the side of goodness, righteousness and order. The warrior who is beholden to a lord or a church, the priest dedicated to healing the wretched – anyone who cannot stand by while others suffer. They will chase evil to the end of the world.

Lawful Neutral: The hater of chaos, a lawful neutral character will stick to the letter of the law, whether it is their personal code of rules, their king’s, or their religion’s. This character finds chaos as abhorrent as evil and will not bend their personal guidelines even to help another if it will contribute to chaos.

Lawful Evil: A being who gains power through methodically destroying others is lawful evil. Power comes through order, but one can be orderly about slaughtering innocents. Tradition is important, but goodness is not.


Chaotic Aligned

Chaotic Good: The hero of the downtrodden, the chaotic good character cares not for laws and order but only for doing good. If they must break the law to help others, they will do so without compunction. This character will steal to feed a poor family or stand up to their own master to defend a falsely accused servant.

Chaotic Neutral: The true individual, the chaotic neutral character prizes their own freedom above all else. They do not want ties to either good or evil to influence them, preferring to make their own way as they see fit. Most chaotic neutral care nothing for people in their groups, have little to no allegiances, caring only for themselves.

Chaotic Evil: With the drive of pure hatred, the chaotic evil character will do whatever they can to attain their goals. They are bound by no laws, no master and no compassion. While unlikely to run down the street slaying innocents (chaotic evil does not mean stupid), this character would have no regrets about doing so.




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CREDITS
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I’d like to give credit where credit is due, though most of this information came all from one source, WoWWiki. However, I completely fished out WoWWiki to find as much possible information on Tauren lore, culture, and history so that I could help others (and myself) to better understand Tauren role play. I hope this guide has helped you as much as it helped me in the long run.

http://www.wowwiki.com/Tauren

http://www.wowwiki.com/Tauren_mythology

http://www.wowwiki.com/Tauren_chieftain

http://www.wowwiki.com/Spirit_walker

http://www.wowwiki.com/Spirit_champion

http://www.wowwiki.com/Wilderness_stalker

http://www.wowwiki.com/Plagueshifter

http://www.wowwiki.com/Holy_strider

http://www.wowwiki.com/Alignment

Various WoW RPG books.
A few personal opinions and ideas.

This guide is made by:
http://amethystnightfall.wordpress.com/tauren-guide/


_____________________________________________________
A grain of sand leaves an invisible trace upon the face of a rock, a million grains of sand and thousands of years reduce a mountain to nothing. So shall every good deed count towards the Greater Good.


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