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| Tauren
the nomadic people of the Barrens
Classes Druid Druid, Hunter Hunter, Shaman Shaman, Warrior Warrior
Abilities [War Stomp], [Endurance], [Cultivation], [Nature Resistance]
Mount Kodo
Affiliation HordeHorde
Leader(s) Cairne Bloodhoof
Capital Thunderbluff
This article is about the race in general. For the playable race, see Tauren (playable). For the language, see Taur-ahe.
Tauren, guided by the Earthmother
Faction/AffiliationHorde, Cenarion Circle, Grimtotem, Defias Brotherhood, The Earthen Ring
Character classesDruid, Hunter, Shaman, Warrior, Spirit walker, Tauren warrior, Chieftain, Barbarian, Healer, Scout, Runemaster, Beastmaster, Plagueshifter, Holy strider, Ley walker, Spirit champion, Wilderness stalker (RPG); Archdruid, Warden (presumed)
Racial capitalThunder Bluff
Racial leader(s)High Chieftain Cairne Bloodhoof,
formely Tagar (temporary),
first known Elder Bloodhoof (presumed)
Racial mountKodo
Primary language(s)Taur-ahe, Common
Secondary language(s)Goblin, Low Common, Orcish
Height9' 8" - 11'8 (295 to 355 cm) (male),
9' 2" - 11' 2" (279 to 340 cm) (female)[1]

Tauren (shu'halo in their native language of Taur-ahe) are huge nomadic creatures who live on the grassy, open plains of Mulgore in central Kalimdor. Tauren are large, muscular humanoids and bovine in appearance, complete with hooves and horns. Tauren stand anywhere from nine to twelve feet tall and weigh anywhere from 650 to 1000 lbs.[citation needed] Their immense bodies are covered with fine, short fur that ranges in color from black, gray, white, red, brown and tan and any mottled combinations or variations thereof. After generations of nomadic existence, most of the tauren have recently made permanent settlements in Mulgore and the Barrens.



The plains of Kalimdor have long been a home to these gargantuan 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 are why many view 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. This silence may be attributable to 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.[2]


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 presumed to be as old as the night elves since both races are said to have awoken during the creation of the world. 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 was taught by Cenarius and then forgotten over millennia, have been recently incorporated into tauren society, further highlighting their service to nature. In particular the presence of accounts regarding Cenarius before he was known to the elves are confirmed by others sources as being accurate. 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 uses totems in battles

Tauren ancestors dwell deep within the Emerald Dream.[3]

War of the Ancients

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 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 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.

Tauren mythology and culture

The earliest history of the tauren is recorded in a series of myths. 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 meeting with 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.


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.[4]

Spiritual Hierarchy and Tauren Titles

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 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.[5]


Tauren speak Taur-ahe and Orcish. Tauren tend to learn languages for trade or exchanging ideas.[6]


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.[7]

  • Male Names: Azok, Bron, Garaddon, Hruon, Jeddek.
  • Female Names: Argo, Serga, Beruna, Halfa.
  • Family Names: Darkthorn, Thunderhoof, Stormhorn, Quillsplitter, Stonebreaker, Plainstalker, Spiritwalker.[4]


A tauren dancing

Tauren are large, muscular humanoids with bull-like heads. Males average 10 1/2 feet tall, while females are usually slightly shorter and lighter. Tauren are mostly made up of 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.[8]

In World of Warcraft, the playable race of tauren has been visibly downscaled to 7 feet tall. However their realistic height should be around ten and a half feet.


"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."[8]

In Warcraft III:The Frozen Throne, Thunder Bluff is in southern section of Mulgore and there is a huge area to the north, whereas in World of Warcraft it is near northern reachable areas of Mulgore (the northern areas are replaced with a large mountain range). It appears that the reference to "southern regions of Mulgore" is actually a reference to how Thunder Bluff appeared in Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. The lack of northern Mulgore in World of Warcraft may be due to scale issues. Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game also describes Mulgore much like the Warcraft III appearance.

This article or section includes speculation, observations or opinions possibly supported by lore or by Blizzard officials. It should not be taken as representing official lore.

It could also be that the "Thunder Bluff" from The Frozen Throne became Camp Narache either in lore or during the development process. Also, given the fundamentally temporary nature of almost all the buildings in Camp Narache and Thunder Bluff, it's possible that the Tauren chose to move the encampment at some point.

Notable Tauren

Name Role Condition Location Allegiance
IconSmall Cairne.gif Cairne Bloodhoof Former Chieftain of the Bloodhoof tribe and leader of the Confederated Tribes of the Tauren. Alive Red Rocks(Quest for children's week) Horde
Tauren male Baine Bloodhoof Son of Cairne; Quest Giver Alive Bloodhoof Village Horde
IconSmall Hamuul.gif Hamuul Runetotem Archdruid of the tauren and student of Malfurion Stormrage Alive Mount Hyjal Horde, Cenarion Circle, New Council of Tirisfal
IconSmall Magatha.gif Magatha Grimtotem Elder Crone of the Grimtotem tribe. Alive Banished, Thousand Needles Grimtotem tribe
Tauren male Muln Earthfury Main Leader of the Earthen Ring Alive the Rift Earthen Ring
Tauren male Perith Stormhoof One of the oldest Holy Striders, who works only for Cairne Bloodhoof. Alive Unknown Holy Striders, Horde
Tauren male Bovan Windtotem Helped Rexxar save Baine Bloodhoof. Alive (Presumed) Unknown Horde

Tauren tribes / clans

Icon of the Earth Mother

Note: These may not all represent clans, but only special names given later in life or surnames.

  • 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. They are also attemping to send ambassadors to the Alliance.
  • 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,[9] Longstride, Oatwind, Raincaller, Rivermane, Stonespire, Stormsinger, Strongbash, Swiftwind, Whitecloud, Wildrunner, Younghoof.


Tauren characters may play as a druid, hunter, shaman and warrior.

Tauren is the only Horde races that can play as a druid. While tauren druids can perform in [cat form], they are, for both philosophical and anatomical reasons, generally not rogues.[10]

The renegade Grimtotem tribe possesses the rogue and sorcerer classes, but they are not available to players.

Tauren lore classes

  • Tauren chieftain
  • Spirit walker
  • Spirit champion
  • Wilderness stalker
  • Plagueshifter
  • Holy strider

Tauren relations

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.[4]

Tauren have an extremely close relationship with the orcs with whom they share a similar culture. The late Cairne Bloodhoof was also extremely close friends with Thrall.[11] 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.[12] There are tauren that wish to cure the Forsaken like the Elder Council.[13]

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.[11]

Minotaur origin

In the initial stages of Warcraft III's development, Blizzard intended to create the Minotaur as a unit for the Orcish Horde. This was later changed to Tauren.[14]


The official site had the following description of the minotaur:

Steeped in mystery and lore, the Minotaurs of the Barrens crush their enemies beneath their hooves. Legend has it that for every kill a Minotaur warrior makes in battle, he braids a section of his rough-haired coat as sign of his prowess, strength and courage.[15]





  • The tauren name and appearance is based upon the Minotaur of Greek mythology. The Minotaur was a creature that was part man and part bull. "Tauros" is Ancient Greek for "bull". (See the article about myth references for more information.)
  • The tauren culture - their nature-based religion, their preference for wood and leather as building materials, and their nomadic lifestyle - is based on a conglomeration of Native American tribes from the Southwest, Northwest, and most noteably The Great Plains regions of the United States and Canada.
  • The word "tauren" is an anagram of "nature", though whether this was intentional is unknown.
  • In the Beta, tauren did not have mounts, but instead had a racial skill called Plainsrunning to move fast over distances.
  • The last name of the alter-ego of Marvel Comics super-villain, Man-Bull, was Taurens.
  • Tauren are the only race that produce the proper sound effects when you use the '/moo' emote.
  • Tauren do not have belly buttons.[citation needed] Whether or not this is intentional is unknown.


  1. 0. RP Age/Height/Weight Starter Guide | 11/03/2007 11:41:21 PM PDT
  2. World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, 46-47
  3. Magic & Mayhem, 48
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, 48
  5. Horde Player's Guide, 149
  6. World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, 49
  7. Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, 52-53
  8. 8.0 8.1 World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, 47
  9. Lands of Mystery, 99
  10. World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, 80
  11. 11.0 11.1 Horde Player's Guide, 181
  12. Lands of Mystery, 147
  13. Compendium of the Fallen
  15. Blizzard Entertaiment. Warcraft III official site (English) (HTML). Concept Art Gallery. Archived from the original on 2000-06-21. Retrieved on 2009-12-23.

See also

  • Tauren technology

External links