[Guide] How to roleplay tauren?

Role-Playing
    How to roleplay tauren?
    ____________________________________________

    Tauren are in my opinion some of the most interesting races in the game. While their physical appearance can be intimidating, the philosophy behind their actions is much different than simple violence. They are loyal to the Earthmother, the world, and care for it and the balance is very important to them, so they would never slay an animal and leave its carcass behind.

    They are not always peaceful, they are not vegetarians; everything they do, they think it through, slow as they may be at the latter. While they prefer peace over anything, they are fierce fierce foes on the battlefield. I would like to explore the tauren culture with this guide.



Disclaimer:
This is a guide written to help new players start out with Tauren roleplay. It is largely a compilation of information provided by other sources (most of which I try to indicate in the last post). The guide is not meant to represent the ultimate - one and only - way to roleplay a tauren. You can use as much of it or as little as you want. Some of this is fan fiction, such as the namegiving rituals. Use at your own accord.
You can copy the guide for your own community's use, provided you make it clear who originally wrote it.
    Best regards,
    Aenokhe


Table of Contents
    - HISTORY
    - CULTURE
    - MISCELLANEOUS
    - SOURCES
    HISTORY
    ____________________________________________

Tauren do not really write down their history. They don't write down history the way other civilised races tend to. Instead, most of a tribe's past is told through tales and myths spoken by tribal elders. It is continuously transferred orally which means that the original story might get malformed throughout generations.
However, it is the primary way tauren learn of the ways of their ancestors and the primary way children are raised. The creation of the universe and the coming of the tauren race is told throughout a series of myths; some of which are among the few stories written down, leaning on the walls of the Elder Rise tent.
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 accross the endless, starry skies. An'she and Mu'sha, seeking to ease the other's sorrow, could only chase each other's 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 saveage 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 favored 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.

The New Horde
    At the brink of extinction, the chieftain Cairne Bloodhoof, desperate for help, turned to the strange green-skinned warriors who came from over the sea. Cairne quickly befriended the Warchief Thrall and the other orcs, and recognized that they shared a love for honour 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, and with the Lich King’s most recent invasion, each day becomes a greater peril than the former.
    CULTURE
    ____________________________________________

Introduction
    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 how 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, however, they are usually silent, and 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 don’t 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 has led the introspective race into 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 to the tauren.

Appearance
    Tauren are very large and muscular. Males average 7 1/2 feet tall and typically weigh 350 pounds or more, most of which is muscle; females are a bit shorter and lighter. Tauren are terrifically strong, but they lack much fine coordination. Their bodes are covered in a shaggy coat of hair that varies greatly depending on the individual's family line.
    Hair can range in colour from black to brown to white, with even some multicoloured pelts. Their eyes are generally black or brown.
    Tauren wear natural clothing such as animal hides and furs, partly from tradition but also because finding more refined clothes or armour that fits proves difficult. They prize jewellery of all kinds and often twine gems into their coats or wrap bracelets around their horns.

Aging
    Tauren have relatively short life spans, reaching adulthood at age 50 and rarely living for longer than 100 years.
    Explanation:
    There are two official ages in the Warcraft RPG and World of Warcraft RPG books. The former says they become adults at 15 while the latter says the adult age is 50. It is wholly up to you which age do you intend to use, but I will be using the World of Warcraft RPG version because it was published later than the Warcraft RPG and thus seems more up-to-date, despite age 50 being quite a high age for adulthood.

The Rite of Vision
    At a certain point in life, each tauren is sent into the wilderness, naked and without any signs of civilisation. For several days he has to survive and meditate in the wilderness, until he meets his totem animal, which represents his personality and what he will try to become like in his future life. Often, this happens when a tauren joins a new tribe, or simply upon reaching adulthood.
    http://kindred.7.forumer.com/viewforum.php?f=18&sid=5cb8ec3baa2d8a8b09bc25f21199d288



Celebrations
    Most tauren tribes engage in the following celebrations once a year, but not limited to:
    Dance of the Earth Mother: This four-part celebration marks the change of the seasons. Performed at the start of spring, summer, fall and winter, the ritual involves burning scented grass and herbs to ease the Earth Mother’s transition into her new form. At this time tauren feast on the traditional staples from the previous season; for instance, to usher in spring, tauren consume the last of their winter stores, such as dried meat and preserved vegetables.

    Renewal of the Sun: This ritual, performed at the height of summer, celebrates the continued rising and setting of the sun. Tauren view this ceremony as a celebration of the possibilities of a new day, and use it to motivate them to change over the following year. At the Renewal of the Sun, all tauren dress in shades of red and orange and wear gold or copper jewelry. Corn, carrots and other sun-hued vegetables make up most of the feast.

    Kodo Drum Circle: Despite its name, this festival celebrates the sacrifice all animals made to the tauren tribe over the last year. A drum circle, in which a tauren constantly beats a drum until another tauren takes her place, forms and lasts all of a day and a night. The drumming honors the slain animals and asks the blessing of living animals who will give their lives.




Affiliation
    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 part of the Cenarion Circle have a truce with the night elves whom they sometimes view with awe and fear, as mythic race of demigods possessed of great magic and steeped in natural powers. With the rest of the Alliance they are not on the best terms, because they are after all part of the Horde. While trying to avoid conflict, they have been forced to battle the Alliance frequently as of late.



Region
    After living as nomads for generations, the tauren have formed a new home amid the mesas of the vast plains of Mulgore. Thunder Bluff is the single largest tauren camp, a permanent settlement built atop a nearly impenetrable mesa deep in the southern regions of Mulgore.

    Most younger tauren travel there after questing for a time in Redrock Mesa, a place reserved for training youths to hunt, fight and commune with the spirits.


Names
    Tauren names are often low sounding alike their language and would in many examples sound odd or illogical to outsiders, as they usually have meanings to them. Thus a tauren could be literally calling "The bird who chirps at night", "the hunter who never tires" and the list goes on and on... of course, to outsiders, the names wouldn't really have a meaning unless taurahe was known to them.

    Namegiving
    Names are given to a child quite a long time after its birth, usually when the child is weaned (which in fact happens pretty late, commonly at the age of two to four). While sometimes the parents may give their child its name, in the usual occurrence it is the elder member of their family that does it, or in the absence of such, an elder of the tribe, or sometimes another relative. The parents are of course always asked if they find the name acceptable.

    For a name to be actually bestowed upon a child, a special feast is held for it, which is oft delayed if the father of the child is unable to gather the food needed for it.

    Types of names
    There are several types of names a tauren may receive throughout his life.

    • Dream name, the name given to the child by the namer (at the namegiving feast).

    • Dream name that the tauren can acquire through actions.

    • Namesake name, given to the child by its parents.

    • Nickname, what he is commonly called.


    However, only the dream name is given formally.
Faith
    Tauren believe in natural spirits and entities. Religion is very important in their society and prayers and religious dances are part of their daily life. The most important entity in their society is the Earthmother, who represents everything that lives and breathes on Azeroth, as well as nature itself. She is very respected and prayers are often done in her honour. Tauren are thankful to the Earthmother for the world she gave them to live on and the game to hunt.
    Part of the Earthmother are also various spirits. Tauren believe most every thing has a spirit, which is why they treat every natural thing with special care and empathy. It is believed that disturbing the balance between the spirits brings storms and bad times as punishment.
    Tauren also greatly revere their ancestors, whom they try to take example from and preserve their heritage.

The Great Hunt
    Hunting makes up a big part of a tauren's life. Contrary to popular belief, tauren are indeed not vegetarians. They hunt often, both to survive their families and for ritualistic purposes. Hunting is a ceremony in itself and the children go after their first game (mostly boys, though female hunters are not rare) when they are only twelve or fourteen.
    When an animal is slain, prayers are said and then its body is taken care of to the last bit. No part of the carcass is left behind or discarded; that is believed to be an insult to the Earthmother.

Lifestyle
    The nomadic shu'halo do not like war and prefer to keep to their quiet, peaceful ways of hunting and survival in the ever changing nature. However they are fierce when angered and are a force to reckon with, what with their stoic endurance, being able to defeat hordes of enemies before succumbing. A tauren war stomp has been described as a move that would momentarily stun their foes for a second.
    There is a celebration and feast for almost any event in the tauren daylife. Prayers are said to the rising of the sun or the moon, for the start and end of seasons, for the summer and winter eclipses and others. As such, dancing and music is also a very important part of their lifestyle.
    Their life is often found harsh by outsiders as most of the food they get is from nature itself and there is rarely an abundance of it. They are toughened as such. Children aren't raised in overstrict manners; instead, they are taught to follow their ancestors' steps through the stories they are told. They begin to hunt and become grown ups at the early age of twelve, though that are oddly enough only considered adutls when they are fifty. While a great chunk of time is spent playing among children, there are also numerous rites and tests they have to do.

Language
    The language of the Shu’halo is called Taur-ahe (pronounced as taur-AH-heh), and is low and harsh sounding. While the tauren can write, the writing consists of drawings and pictograms rather than letters as we know them.

    Shortenings don't happen often among tauren, thus "I am" is used more than "I'm" and "you are" before "you're". Accents are also unusual, they seem to keep a formal tone at all times, no matter who they are speaking with.
    MISCELLANEOUS
    ____________________________________________

Existing Tribes
    Note: These may not all represent tribes, but only special names given later in life or family names.
    - 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.


Tauren Guilds/Tribes
    Argent Dawn
    The Spirit Wolves
    thespiritwolves.wowstead.com
    Defias Brotherhood
    Mistrunner Tribe
    http://mistrunnertribe.wowstead.com/
    The Sechalo
    http://eu.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/900640904?page=1
    Scarshield Legion
    The Windtotem Tribe
    http://forums.wow-europe.com/thread.html?topicId=14250215851&sid=1


Tribal Hierarchy
    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 €œchief€ and/or €œchieftain.€ The three most powerful healers in the tribe support the chief, the most powerful of whom takes the title €œseer.€ 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 €œchieftain.€

    During council meetings, chiefs make recommendations to the chieftain, but again the final decision is the chieftain’s alone to make. €œChief, €œchieftain€, and €œseer€ are genderless titles. Aged female shaman sometimes take the title of €œcrone€ or €œelder crone€, which others use as a sign of respect.
Classes
    In the in-game character menu, players can create tauren of the following classes:
      Druid – A venerable rank among tauren, druids are like shamans the leaders of their society, or otherwise healers, alchemists... They complement shamans in that they instead of the elements seek power in nature itself. Druids strive to establish balance in the nature. Tauren believe their race was the first to become druids, though it is not confirmed. It's however believed that at some point tauren had forgotten the druidic art and were not too long ago taught again of the art.

      Shaman – Shaman are the spiritual leaders of the Tauren society. They foresee the future throughout communing with the Spirits and Ancestors and lead their people with the spirit's guidance. They are respected and sometimes feared individuals and other than being healers, they often become tribal elders.

      Hunter – Though every tauren is basicallyy a hunter [to survive], there are also those who spend all their life with animals. They often befriend animals and those accompany them. A hunter puts great value in establishing a natural balance between animals.

      Warrior – The Tauren braves have defended their country and people for many ages, their bulky nature springing fear into the enemy as they charge into the middle of enemy and pulverize their surroundings.

      Death Knight – Death Knights are victim to many controversial debates in tauren society. Generally frowned upon, they are not easily accepted into the Tauren society, despite their peacefulness. Tauren are distrustful towards the dead, as they believe the philosophy of “what dies, should stay dead”. With the Fall of the Lich King, death knights are likely going to get accepted in tribes on a larger basis.

      Paladins / Priests – While the recently arisen Sunwalkers, as paladins and priests are called among the tauren, are still subject to some controversy and their philosophy is still being debated, it is largely believed that they are druids who instead of channelling the Moon's (Mu'sha) power into their spells and abilities, they call upon the Sun (An'she). As such, they also tend to act more and sooner than their lunar counterparts. While no evidence claims that the sun's energy is not The Light as the humans know it, it hasn't been referenced to in that form either.



    The following classes cannot be chosen in game, but are found in the World of Warcraft RPG. These are only a few of them.
    • Spiritwalkers (aka spirit walkers) More info: http://www.wowwiki.com/Spirit_walker
    • Spirit Champion More info: http://www.wowwiki.com/Spirit_champion
    • Wilderness Stalker More info: http://www.wowwiki.com/Wilderness_stalker
    • Plagueshifter More info: http://www.wowwiki.com/Plagueshifter
    • Holy Strider More info: http://www.wowwiki.com/Holy_strider


Short guide to creating a tauren character
    What do you have to know when creating a character? What is useful knowledge? What can my character be in the start? I hope to help you with creating your first tauren character in a few simple guidelines.

    1. Read this guide. No, really, read it. It's not the best, it hasn't got everything about tauren, but it has a lot and often in a much simplified version.

    2. Choose your class. You can swap this with the next step, but I think it's really easier to model your character's personality on your class rather than vice-versa. Read the short descriptions I wrote for every class and try to make up your mind. Be aware of the cons and pros if there are any described. I.e. before you rush off making a death knight because you can't be bothered to level, be aware of the fact you'll likely get shunned in the start when entering a roleplaying community (especially traditional ones).

    3. Write a character hook. A character hook is a really short description of your character, usually no longer than 20 words. Describe the goals you want your character to have, or his job, what does he strive for, what does he value etc. E.g.: Rahege, a grumpy Druid who left the Cenarion Circle to wage war on the Alliance.

    4. Choose a name. You could do that earlier, but anyway, choose a suitable name. Real life and human names usually don't fit. In the guide, you can find a paragraph dedicated to naming.

    5. Roll your character. Once you've got everything set up, you can enter the world and level or roleplay out of your heart. I suggest you find a guild that would fit your character, because it'll be much easier to get known to the server then.



    SOURCES:
    ____________________________________________


     www.WoWWiki.com
     World of Warcraft RPG: Core Book
     World of Warcraft RPG: Horde Player’s Guide
     http://kindred.7.forumer.com/index.php
     World of Warcraft: Massively Multi-player Game
     The fantastic roleplayers who are contributing to roleplay and motivating people to write guides.

Sodding heck that is long. Still! I believe this deserves a sticky.
Hah, it didn't look that long on the old forums, but alas, the max characters limit was decreased here, so it looks even longer.
Definitely well worth the sticky it had before. Have a bump at the very least =3
Yay, I got my sexy avatar! Thanks for the bumps.
Very nice i am definitely going to read this more thouroughly
Also, Go Windtotem Tribe!

Edit: Ah, i have no achievement points!
Excellent guide, thanks for posting.
Excellent guide. :)
Bump because this is a fantastic amount of effort, and it shows!
Lovely guide. I'm sure a sticky would be helpful for those planning to roll a Tauren on an RP server or in need of some information about the race. :)

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