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Who were the First Druids? Kaldorei or Shu'Halo

Note: this is a subjective post designed to get a reaction. I'm new to Druids and therefore merely a journeyman on the way to true enlightenment.

What we know so far.....

In the beginning there was Cenarius the Forest Lord. Cenarius is the Patron God of all Druids, regardless of race. Allegedly he is the offspring of Mu'Sha (the moon) and the White Stag Apa'Ro. This is part of the Tauren legend The White Stag and the Moon which can be found as a banner hanging in the Archdruid's tent (Hamuul Runetotem) in Thuder Bluff. The legend states....

 

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.

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One great spirit eluded them, however. Apa'ro was a proud stag of snow white fur. His antlers scraped 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.

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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.

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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.

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According to this post 

Quote

Elune birthed Cenarius, but gave him up to Malorne because Cenarius was more a creature of the mortal world and could not be with her. Malorne, who had relations with both Elune and Ysera, knew that he could not properly care for his son, but Ysera's love was so great for Malorne that she took Cenarius as her own. Hence being his mother (or adoptive mother).

So anyhow, Cenarius walks the lands and gets involved with all elements of producing as many offspring as he could (as per standard Faerie modus operandi) including dryads, keepers and centaurs. 

Moving things along....

Also hanging up at Hamuul Runetotem's tent is another Tauren legend that goes by the way of Forestlord and the First Druids which gives us the following:

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.

It's pretty clear from this lore that The Tauren were the first Druids, particularly when you take into account that both of these banners were in vanilla WoW from the very start. It's also clear that Tauren are at least as old as Night Elves unless you want to go back in time to their troll ancestry.....

 The Night Elf perspective....

So while all of this occurs before the Night Elf empire it certainly predates the existence of Malfurion Stormrage. Now Malfurion Stormrage is cited over and over again as being the first mortal Druid and the most loyal of Cenarius' disciples. It is also cited that he taught the Tauren the arts of Druidism including Hamuul Runetotem. Night Elves are incredibly touchy on this subject insisting that they, and they alone are the first Druids. The explanations given in relation to the Tauren banners in Thunder Bluff are that they are just myth and nothing more than that. It's postulated that the Tauren were taught by Cenarius art resembling or identical to Druidism, but that this lore was forgotten and only 'remembered' thanks to the teachings of Malfurion.

Enter Xarantaur the Witness....

Xarantaur is a Tauren NPC found in The Storm Peaks here. His claim to fame is that in the dialogue with the NPC he explains his origins as follows:

Quote
Xarantaur: Do you have a Story for me?/Ah yes, I have read of you, <Name>./I am Xarantaur, the Witness.

Tell me of yourself, Xarantaur. Why are you called The Witness?

Xaurantar: I was one of the first tauren druids, of the last generation taught by Shan'do Cenarius, before the legion, before the sundering, when the world was still young. Before everything changed.

While my brethren hunted great beasts, I hunted stories. I had been drawn to the druidic arts by this hunger, this lust for knowledge. For a time, that hunger was sated as I learned to talk to the trees, rocks, and beasts, and learned their stories.

But then, the time came when Cenarius walked among us no more and my brethren began to forget what he had taught us. I could not forget, though, and I still needed to learn more about our world.

So I said my farewells and travelled beyond the lands of my people.

Please, go on.

I wandered for the rest of my natural life in search of knowledge, seeing more wonder and meeting more strange and mysterious races then any of my people before me. I traveled across the length and breadth of ancient Kalimdor until there was no more to see, no new lands across the horizon. 

Yet... there was still so much I did not know as I felt my final journey approaching and I wept for the things I would never know.

As I fell, my life at an end, that is when the found me.

They?

The Bronze Dragonflight. They snatched me from the brink of death and took me before their master, Nozdormu. He said they wanted me to continue my hunt. He granted me immortality as a Watcher, tasked to bear witness to the history of Azeroth as one of his agents.

So there you have it, Xarantaur was one of the first Tauren Druids, of the 'Last Generation' taught by Cenarius (indicating there were previous generations). That over time, Cenarius came no more and the Tauren forgot these skills until Malfurion re-taught them and brought them into the Cenarion Circle. The fact that the lore of both legendary banners in Thunderbluff are reinforced by an existing NPC gives clear credence to this philosophy.

So QQ Kaldorei fanboys, we, the Shu'Halo are first.  

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Not surprising, Metzen has a Horde hard-on the size of a Tauren.

Though the story of the first druids doesn't specifically state a race, I've seen it bandied about that Dryads were the first Druids, since they were daughters of Cenarius, along with Keepers of the Grove, who are supposed to be his sons. Either way, We know for a fact that goes such as Elune and the Earthmother creating the races are in fact false and just in mythos legends, since we know that all the fleshy life on Azeroth that wasn't already there when the Old God infestation set in was created by the titans as Earthen before being corrupted by the curse of flesh. Unless of course, you want to say Elune/Earthmother are in fact old gods...

Yeah. Can't put too much stock in what is in game, since it all comes from the perspective of the race/faction that is telling it. There is not a single neutral source that falls on one side or the other.

Though that goes for the Troll descendant theory as well in some respects. Metzen wrote that in the fan magazine while retconning a load of old lore, like establishing the Tauren and Panadren to be a pre-titan races, even though it was originally established that Trolls were the only non-titan playable race on Azeroth. This was during the Cataclysm clusterfuck, while they were busy trying to legitimise the Pandaria expansion to stop it flopping. Considering the old RPG's say Pandaren are descended from Furbolgs, you've got to wonder how far they will go retconning the lore.

I suppose it all comes down to where do you like to follow the lore to. Metzen was pretty good until Cataclysm, where he went full retard and retconned a decades worth of material.

Edited by Elicas
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Cata was where lore just hit rock bottom, it really started to go down hill during the Burning Crusade, quite a few things in the lore didn't match what was outlined in the WC3 series. There aren't that many discrepancies in WotLK, they did quite good with the lore during that expansion...then the release of Cata just threw everything out of whack...to add insult to injury and kick the lore while its down they decide to obfuscate the entire series with one huge time travelling expansion...and that was pretty much it. They werent just happy about spoiling future lore...they had to go back and render, the well-written and thorough past that built the series, utterly useless. 

 

Dont get me wrong, what they have written (despite the path they decided to go down) is exciting and rich...on it own...when you bring the 12 years of world building into focus...it just fuzzles all new lore. Its such a shame. 

 

Edit: And thank you Outstanding, for detailing a piece of WoW history I wasn't familiar with. I have now learnt something new!

Edited by Struckd
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Yeah, he's spent so much time Retconning stuff it barely even resembles what they established between W1-W3. Oh how I yearn for those old days when Panadren were just an April Fool's joke.

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My guess is that each race says they were the first druids because they want to be cooler.

I generally prefer the Horde, but then NE druids have bettter looking moonkins :/

 

On 17/08/2016 at 9:30 AM, Elicas said:

Yeah, he's spent so much time Retconning stuff it barely even resembles what they established between W1-W3. Oh how I yearn for those old days when Panadren were just an April Fool's joke.

I don't know what is true or not at this point with all the retconning going on lol

Seeing a Pandaren triggers my orc racial IRL.

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Probably Night Elf because they have history going back hundreds of thousands of years with immortality, before the other races even existed. I bet the next one in line would actually be Troll, because that's another ancient race. I don't know if Tauren goes back as far as these.

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