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Tauren paladins: More thoughts on Cataclysm

Better late than never, am I right?

So over the past couple of weeks, I’ve had time to think about all I’ve heard about the next expansion. No, I don’t have any juicy new rumors to leak out to everyone. All I have are my opinions on the new content.

One that seems to have caused the most controversy is the new race/class combinations. Now gnome priests and dwarf shamans don’t seem to be that outrageous to a good number of people…but the very mention of “tauren paladins” seem to make everyone foam at the mouth. They cry out “lore rape” and that Blizzard has gone too far and whip themselves up into a frenzy.

I’d have to disagree. It makes perfect sense to me. Here’s my reasoning.

One thing people have pointed out is that taurens have never been paladins, hence the lore rape. But Blizzard isn’t going back and changing the lore to say “Hey, we found this rogue group of tauren paladins in Tanaris and they’ve come to join the Horde.” No, what’s happening here is that tauren culture is evolving. Think about it. After being isolated for who knows how many centuries on Azeroth (with only the centaur to interact with, and fight for that matter), in the last five years or so they have allied themselves with 4 other races and have found their possible ancestors (the Taunka) in Northrend. Any interaction with a new race and culture is bound to change anyone’s views on life.

I’m not saying that the tauren have turned their backs on what they’ve always believed in. They are not the type of people to do that. Nor are they like the blood elves, stealing Naaru for their own purposes. But they are a people always seeking balance, like the balance of nature. Now the taurens worship the Earth Mother, who they see as the creator of everything, including them. She is considered a sort of universal consciousness, a multi-faceted gem whose sides represent different elements or parts of nature. She is also seen in the sky. From Wowwiki:

The sun (An’she) and moon (Mu’sha) are her eyes.

Mu’sha, the moon, is often associated with the tauren druids (Moonglade, moonkin, the night elf druids worshipping Elune, etc.). An’she on the other hand seems to be missing from the various tauren classes. The aspect of the sun is missing from tauren culture. Don’t believe me? If you have a Horde character, travel to Elder Rise in Thunder Bluff and look for Tahu Sagewind and Aponi Brightmane. If you don’t have a Horde character, here is the conversation they have (P.S. the An Injured Colleague quests leads you to this pair as well):

Aponi Brightmane says: I see that thoughtful frown, Tahu.
Tahu Sagewind says: Sorry, sister. It’s nothing to worry about.
Aponi Brightmane says: But something is on your mind, right?
Tahu Sagewind says: I’m thinking about the front to the north. The one you’re so eager to return to.
Aponi Brightmane says: What about it?
Tahu Sagewind says: I know I’m counseling patience, Aponi, but I don’t like remaining here any more than you do. Times are bleak, and failing to act only makes me worry that my idle hand may have been the one to turn the tide.
Aponi Brightmane says: Talk to me, Tahu. Something. Anything! I’m going stir-crazy.
Tahu Sagewind laughs softly.
Tahu Sagewind says: All right, Aponi. I’ve enough on my mind to share. Have you ever spoken to the elves of Moonglade?
Aponi Brightmane says: Not much.
Tahu Sagewind says: The elves speak of a moon goddess, did you know? They put great stock in the light given by the moon.
Aponi Brightmane says: Like Mu’sha.
Tahu Sagewind says: Just like her. The parallels I’ve heard are interesting. And it’s no secret all druids, Shu’halo and elf alike, can call upon Mu’sha’s light.
Aponi Brightmane says: Where are you going with this?
Tahu Sagewind says: I wonder. Hamuul has guided us well, and I’ve learned so much from him. The legends say that our people were druids when time began…
Aponi Brightmane says: I hear the “but” in your voice…
Tahu Sagewind says: …but what Hamuul teaches is what the elves know. The night elves. They put such stock in their moon goddess, as creatures of the night.
Aponi Brightmane says: Do you think his teachings are wrong?
Tahu Sagewind says: No! No, nothing like that. He is an elder for good reason, sister. Mu’sha is one of the Earthmother’s eyes, and she watches over us. That isn’t sinister.
Tahu Sagewind says: But we’re nothing if not people who strive for balance. Our warriors fight only when there is need. Our hunters take only what the tribes require to live, and use all they can when they do. The shaman stand as guide and mediator to the elemental spirits.
Tahu Sagewind says: And while we, as druids, are guardians of nature, I wonder if we’ve overlooked a key aspect of balance in all things.
Aponi Brightmane says: So are you going to bring this up to the elder?
Tahu Sagewind says: No, no. No need for him to trouble about a student’s idle philosophizing while he entertains a friend.
Aponi Brightmane says: I suppose so. It’s not silly, though, what you said.
Tahu Sagewind says: Well, it isn’t exactly a new thought, sister.

During this conversation, Tahu summons images of first the moon, then the sun, overlaping them in an eclipse. I believe he has a very valid point. An’she has been overlooked and it’s time to change that. As he says, it’s not a new thought and has probably been in the back of some taurens minds for a long time. And now that the tauren have seen and fought beside the blood elf paladins, why not incorporate that into their lives in their own way?

I’ve heard some argue that paladins use holy energy, which makes a lot of people think of churches and crosses. I’m not going to delve into a religious debate but let’s just say that “holy” is a matter of perception. Taurens believe that the world around them is sacred, and part of that world is the sun. Why would that aspect not give them “holy” power in the form of light? Isn’t that what paladins really are, warriors of the Light?

So as you can see, in my mind tauren paladins are certainly not a stretch, but merely a progression of culture and ideas coming to life. I’d say that it’s about time that they’ve discovered that there was a imbalance in their lives.


  1. Posted September 18, 2009 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    THANK YOU! I’d been meaning to write a little post on this one, but hadn’t yet found the words or time when my brain wasn’t in panic mode to do so.

    That said, GET OUT OF MY HEAD!

    😉 Just kidding, hon. Well put! Brava!
    .-= Kotabear’s last blog… Random Amusements =-.

  2. Posted September 18, 2009 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    Dead on Niqo, dead on. Missing the balance between the Sun and the Moon was something that even I didn’t realize for a long, long time, until I watched part of that conversation. Paladins make sense from a balance perspective. Because nature IS balance.

    Torr chiming in: Most people are not thinking WoW Lore when they are screaming about this, but real world here. As he puts it, Native Americans =/= Christian… and most people think of Paladin/Crusader = Christian. And that Tauren = Native Americans. Even if they are not conciously thinking it, its lurking in the back of their minds. That is the subconsious stumbling block that they are dealing with.

    Tzia : Heck, I’m still linking the Scarlet Crusade to a song by Inkubus-Sukkubus called Church of Madness, which links them to the Crusades period of World History. And that was just because it was crazy fitting.
    .-= Tzia’s last blog… Ragmuffins vs H ToC =-.

    • Posted September 18, 2009 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

      I have every confidence that this is what blizz intended with the whole paladin/crusade schemata. Unfortunately, it’s going to bite them in the butt until folks can pull themselves out of their own preconceived notions and take a look at the bigger picture to find what you, niqo, myself and several others have already realized.

      This is NOT ‘lore rape’. This is cultural evolution at it’s finest. A renaissance of the herd mind, so to speak.
      .-= Kotabear’s last blog… Random Amusements =-.

  3. Posted September 19, 2009 at 2:51 am | Permalink

    The issue I had with the tauren paladins is what paladins have allways been.

    Paladins have allways followed the light, Human & Dwarf long worshipped the light, Dreanei followed the light & Naaru, while blood elves have both long worshipped the light as high elves then abused the Naaru for powers and then later were given the power freely from the Naaru.

    All of the paladins get thier power from the concept of the holy light, for Tauren to get the same power from Muusha seems somewhat strange to me, I totall accept them becomming priests due to that as priests all worship various things, but paladins have allways seemed quite specific in thier powersource.

    On the otherhand this could be a cultural change brought on by meeting the Naaru, the two races to share a lot of kind-heartedness, perhaps the tuaren will gain thier power from the naaru

    • Posted September 23, 2009 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

      I looked at what it said on Wowwiki about paladins and it appears that they don’t worship any god in particular. It’s not a religion, more of a lifestyle. The Light is a concept, not a god so to say. So I think taurens could adapt this to their own culture. Their lifestyle choice would be to follow the Light, which in their case they consider as another aspect of the Earthmother.

      • cowfobia
        Posted January 28, 2010 at 3:10 am | Permalink

        The problem is not in what they believe but in the way they acquire the “Light” remember that paladins didn’t appear from no where, they where clerics or warriors that learns from clerics in the ways of the paladin and the Light.

        And suddenly a Cow acquire all of that plus their abilities that Alliance pallys got from years of practice whit the Light.
        Its fine if the can become priest but pallys nop it just … lazy lore lol.
        But people wont care much they will get a pally whit aoe stun anyways xD.
        Oh and for some reason Blizz is turning the Light in to some rip off of The Force (haa jedi wont like this).

        • Posted January 28, 2010 at 8:15 am | Permalink

          It probably wouldn’t be the best idea to learn how to be a paladin from the blood elves but using your logic, why couldn’t taurens have learned it from the priests of the Horde and integrated it with their pre-existing beliefs? Certainly if they can become instant priests, they can become instant paladins.

          And one could argue that the Force is a rip-off of an number of spiritual beliefs. 😉

          • cowfobia
            Posted January 29, 2010 at 12:12 am | Permalink

            yayy more ways to be instance anything.
            Because people want war stomp cow pallys at this rate both faction will look to similar and they will merge them to be one faction:


            Wait I though u guys said that the Light is a way of living and not a spiritual belief 😛

            • Posted January 29, 2010 at 8:14 am | Permalink

              I’m going to put aside what people want, because it’s moot point when it comes to lore. Now the Light is, and I quote from WoWWiki:

              “The followers of the Holy Light do not worship any gods. Instead, it is a philosophy, training its followers to seek perfection within themselves. It is very much an active practice of virtue rather than a passive worship. Those who follow it closely gain spiritual awareness and guidance, allowing them to lead others.”

              I think you’re confusing spirituality and morality with religion. To use a modern day example, you don’t have to believe in Christianity and their God in order to think that at least some of the Ten Commandments are a good idea. Paladins believe and carry out acts of good because they believe in the acts themselves, not because a god told them to.

              But just because paladins as a whole do not follow a particular god does not mean that each individual cannot worship their own deity. So in this case, the tauren paladins could still worship the Earth Mother in the form of the sun An’she.

              Oh, and I never said the Force was anything like the Light. Especially since the Force has both a light and a dark side. I was just saying that it’s a rip off as well. 😉

  4. Dj
    Posted October 22, 2009 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    I like the idea of Tauren Paladins now…..nuff said

  5. _ _ _
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    Blizzard are slowly killing WoW… But hey its been a good run. Make way for Diablo 3 and Starcraft 2.

    Proof? Here you go — — >> Human Shaman – Thats cultural De-Evolution. No human would be a shaman if you want lore. Nor would a Dwarf or Gnome..;. Point made

    • Posted February 17, 2010 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

      *blinks* According to Wowwiki, the only new class humans are getting is hunter. And gnomes aren’t becoming shamans either.

      Considering the Wildhammer dwarves are already known for their shamanistic practices, it’s not a far stretch to be able to play dwarf shamans.

  6. Tut
    Posted February 22, 2010 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    I’m sorry that you just got bored of the game… I personally think it’s still a great game. So go ahead. Move on. I’m sure no one will miss you.

    • Posted February 24, 2010 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

      I hope you’re not referring to me because I am by no means bored of WoW.