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 ambiguous. 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 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 taurens 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.
War of the Ancients In the timeline (prime), 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. 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 New Horde 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, attacking all who pass near. Both elven and tauren druids are researching these events, as the Emerald Dream, home of Ysera the Dreamer, the Green Aspect, must be kept safe.
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