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The tauren are huge creatures who live in the grassy, open plains of Mulgore in central Kalimdor. They are bovine in appearance complete with hooves and horns, and stand anywhere from six and a half to nine feet tall, and can weigh anywhere from 400 to 700 pounds. Their immense bodies are covered with fine, short fur that can range in color from black to gray to white to red to brown to tan and any mottled combinations or variations thereof. Males make up the tallest and heaviest of the tauren. Their deep, resonant voices are distinctive. Females are shorter and weigh less than the males. Both genders sport horns, but the females' are much shorter than those of the male.
Until recently, they were a nomadic people wandering the vast reaches of Kalimdor. Their race is nearly as old as the Night Elves and like the elves, they have a strong attunement to nature and the spirits of the earth. Thus, their society is largely based on shamanism. They live to serve nature and maintain the ever-so delicate balance between the wild things of the land and the restless spirits of the elements. In addition, elements of druidism have been recently reincorporated into tauren society, further highlighting their service to nature. For those not in tune with the spirits, the life of the warrior is also a desirable one where young tauren can acquire great honor for themselves and for their tribes. 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. The tauren brave 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 turn.
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. The Bloodhoof tauren tribe under the leadership of their chieftain, Cairne Bloodhoof, are undoubtably the most influential tribe among the tauren. These tauren allied themselves with the orcs during the invasion of the Burning Legion. After the war, the Horde aided the tauren in reclaiming their ancient pasturelands of Mulgore from the centaur. Over a short amount of time, Cairne was able to consolidate most of the tauren tribes of Kalimdor and together they established their first permanent settlements in millenia. The two races have remained steadfast allies ever since. Like the orcs, the tauren struggle to retain their sense of tradition and noble identity.
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