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Centaurs
CentaurArt
Faction/AffiliationNone, Hostile, Neutral
Character classesBarbarian, Druid, Warrior, Hunter, Warlock, Shaman Necromancer (RPG); Drudge, Impaler, Firecaller, Ravager, Marauder, Deathcaller, Torturer, Khan, Conqueror, War Khan (WC3), Archer
Racial capitalMaraudon
Racial leader(s)Numerous khans
Racial mountNone
HomeworldAzeroth
Primary language(s)Low Common, Common[1]
Secondary language(s)Goblin, Orcish, Taur-ahe, Zandali[1]
Height6'8" - 8' (male), 6'5" - 7'9" (female)
Organization(s)Solitary (1), gang (2-5), tribe
AlignmentUsually lawful evil[2](formerly always chaotic evil[3])

Centaurs are a half-humanoid, half-horse, war-like tribal race. They abound in central and southern Kalimdor, primarily in Desolace and the Barrens, where they engage in constant war against other centaur and tauren tribes. Though rare, the woods of the Blasted Lands in the Eastern Kingdoms were once heavily populated with centaurs.[4] They are savagery and brutality incarnate.[5]

History

Background

For more details, see Origins below.

Centaurs originated from Cenarius and/or from his sons Zaetar and "the centaur". Five centaur clans in Kalimdor are the bastard offspring of Zaetar — a keeper of the grove and the eldest son of the demigod Cenarius — and an earth elemental, Princess Theradras. They are therefore related to the keepers of the grove and the dryads — through their Cenarion lineage — and the element of Earth. The centaurs, ever grateful creatures, slew their father in a bloodthirsty rage and their mother buried his remains in Maraudon, which became a holy place for the centaurs. To this day, she stands guard over Zaetar's remains, holding his spirit prisoner.

Other centaurs integrated into Zaetar's clans, and those that make up other clans are said to be born from Cenarius or by his son "the centaur".

Conflict with the Horde

Centaur3

A centaur as seen in Warcraft III.

Hatred of the Centaur, a tauren myth, tells how the early tauren were driven from their ancestral lands (presumably in Mulgore) and forced to wander the Barrens of Kalimdor. The tauren claim that the centaurs have always existed to scourge the land.

When the orcs first arrived in Kalimdor, they found the nomadic tauren under constant attack from the centaurs. Through the aid of the orcs, the tauren were finally able to reclaim their ancestral lands and live in peace once more. The conflict between the Horde and the centaurs continues, however, particularly in the Barrens. The members of the Horde hate them so intensely that they have taken to skinning their corpses and making rugs out of them. Such decorations are a common sight in cities such as Orgrimmar and Thunder Bluff.

The Horde and the Alliance are both attempting to control the savage centaurs by encouraging inter-tribal conflicts, so as to prevent the centaur from banding together and becoming a dangerous force.

The Pariah

Despite the hostility each centaur clan has traditionally had for the others, recently a centaur known only as the Centaur Pariah, labeled as a heretic by his people, developed plans to unify the clans. Players can aid him in his design by entering the holy tomb of Maraudon and forging the Amulet of Union, which he intends to use to bring his warring people together as one. Whether or not the centaurs would actually be able to consolidate into a unified, civilized people remains unknown.

If redeemed, Zaetar's Spirit will also speak of hope for a more positive future for his offspring. The union of the centuars may be the only thing that can stop the increasing demonic presence of Desolace.

Origins

Centaurkhan

According to information in the Warcraft III manual, Dungeons & Dragons Warcraft The Roleplaying Game, Manual of Monsters, and Horde Player's Guide, there is another myth for the origin of the centaur race. It has been theorized by night elves that the centaurs may have been the direct bastard offspring of Cenarius. However a couple of sources mention this may just be a rumor or legend.

Legend holds that the primitive, barbaric centaurs are actually the bastard off-spring of the night elf demigod, Cenarius. Whether or not this is true, it is certain that they are savagery and brutality incarnate.[6]

It is also widely rumored that he sired the cursed, barbaric centaur that ravage the duty plains of the Barrens — though this claim has never been substantiated.[7]

Cenarius's children are literally the offspring of the demigod Cenarius. Centaur are his bastard children, while dryads are his daughters and keepers of the grove are his sons. Centaur in Azeroth are the bastard children of the demigod Cenarius.[8]

Centaur are the cursed offspring of Cenarius. Centaur somewhat resemble his other children, dryads and keepers of the grove: they have the torsos, heads and arms of humans, and the bodies and legs of horses.[9]

Night elves claim that centaur are the bastard children of the demigod Cenarius. Despite their origins, these primitive, barbaric horsemen are the embodiment of savagery.[2]

According to a night elf legend (as told by a tauren storyteller), it was one of his sons known only as "the centaur" who was also the father of centaurs.;

"Long, ago, the kaldorei god Cenarius bore three children, the centaur, the dryad, and the keeper of the grove. However, one son, the centaur, grew to despise his beautiful siblings, then all other creatures of the world, and challenged Cenarius. The centaur believed that he was the strongest of the three children, and that Cenarius refused to love him and instead doted on his other children.

In embracing his hatred and savagery, he struck his father in blind rage, trying to force his father to love him above all other creatures. In retort, the god cursed the centaur, stripping him of his beauty and powers, leaving him only with his hatred and anger. The centaur fled in rage, and swore a blood feud on all the creatures of the world. He reserved most of his hatred for Cenarius' favored children, and thus the night elves drew his ire as well. We tauren too drew his anger, as he was jealous of our strength and power with the world, the same power he lost.

His children carry his anger, and destroy everything they touch, bearing their father's hatred of all things of the world.[2]

The origin of the centaurs mentioned in the Warcraft III manual was likely originally referring to all centaurs. However, it is now known that Zaetar fathered five centaur tribes who live in Southern Kalimdor, as stated in the Warcraft The Roleplaying Game core rule book (though it also states Cenarius may have fathered some in the Barrens), World of Warcraft, and Lands of Mystery. Although, some of Cenarius' centaurs may have integrated into those clans. Cenarious has in fact, fathered at least one centaur according to legend, and may have fathered other centaurs as well.

While the five centaur tribes (Kolkar, Magram, Maraudine, Gelkis, and Galak) being fathered by Zaetar is explained by a separate legend, there appears to be some truth to this other legend. It is also implied that some of these children may have integrated into Zaetar's clans as well. It also explains the existence of other tribes found in the Eastern Kingdoms, the Stonetalon centaurs, Centaur Marauders, and the Krenka. For it is said that "the centaur" became the father of many tribes.[2]

"The centaur"

It may also be possible that the two legends are one in the same in which the son called "the centaur" may in fact be Zaetar, for full speculation see: Zaetar#Speculation

Appearance

Centaur

A centaur appears as a creature with a horse's body and legs and with a humanoid's torso, arms, and head extending from the front part of where a horse neck and head would normally be placed. A full grown male centaur can stand over seven feet tall from hooves to head and weighs over a ton. Kalimdor centaurs can actually suffer the effects of undeath.

Culture

The nomadic centaur culture and the term "khan" have their roots in the culture of the Mongols. Centaur villages resemble traditional Mongol yurts.

Each tribe of centaurs is lead by a khan, who is generally a leader of above-average strength and intelligence. Some of the clans, if not all, practice cannibalism and will eat the flesh of other sapient races as well, such as the tauren.

Centaurs follow a shamanistic faith, but their brand of shamanism is far different from the more gentle practices of the Horde. Curiously, most centaur shamans are female.

Centaurs are savage and brutal, and they often take prisoners. These prisoners are usually eaten. However, rumors tell of centaurs dragging humanoids of all sorts off to become slaves, forcing them to work in hardscrabble opal mines. Opals are used to make crude trinkets or are thrown into sacrificial offerings to the spirits. Young tauren have made something of a game out of this tradition, snatching away the centaur's offerings and leaving insulting totems in their place. They must be swift, lest they be caught by the centaur, who leave their gutted remains as a warning to others who would consider doing the same.

Filthy creatures, centaurs are always followed by swarms of flies, which are attracted by the centaur's repellent odor. Centaurs have no qualms about leaving piles of dung strewn about their encampments, and no concept of privacy.

Each of the five tribes in Desolace had their own unique tribal color: black, brown, green, red, and yellow. Members used the colors to mark their weapons and their faces. These colors are literally the names of centaur tribes fathered by Zaetar, but likely refer to the five main centaur tribes (Kolkar, Magram, Maraudine, Gelkis, and Galak). The Red tribe for example lived in Spearhold.[10][11][12][13] Additional tribal colors found in modern Desolace include blue and purple.WoW

Languages

Centaurs speak Low Common and Common. The Krenka clan speaks Krenkese and Low Common. A few centaurs learn the languages of their enemies.[1][14] Taur-ahe is learned as a secondary language[1], though a few centaur primarily speak Taur-ahe.[8]

Centaur remains

Centaur Rug

Some interior decorators might consider this a tad morbid...

Centaurskinblackrock

It fits the decor of Blackrock.

Centaur skins can be found in many places around Azeroth, even other centaur camps.

Centaur skins are all over lower Blackrock Spire, perhaps having come from the rare Eastern Kingdom's breed. If it is the case, then the Blackrock clan may have brought the eastern centaurs to near extinction by the time of World of Warcraft.

Centaur skins can also be found in some locations in Outland, such as in the ogre leader's hut in Ango'rosh Stronghold.

Notable centaur

Centaur clans

Kolkar
Maraudine
  • Location: Desolace (Maraudon)
  • Levels: 33-42
  • Classes: Bonepaw, Khan Advisor, Khan Guard, Marauder, Mauler, Priest, Scout, Stormer, Windchaser, and Wrangler
  • Famous/Named: Khan Hratha (level 38-42, elite); Spirit of Maraudos <The Fourth Kahn> (level 46, elite, founder of Clan)
Magram
  • Location: Desolace
  • Levels: 31-39
  • Classes: Body Guard, Bonepaw, Marauder, Mauler, Outrunner, Pack Runner, Scout, Stormer, Windchaser, Wrangler, and Spectre
  • Famous/Named: Warug (level 44, quest); Khan Jehn (level 37, quest); Spirit of Magra <The Third Kahn> (level 43, elite, founder of Clan)
Gelkis
Galak
GalakVillage

A Galak Village showing centaur buildings

  • Location: Mulgore and Thousand Needles
  • Levels: 5-37
  • Classes: Assassin, Flame Guard, Marauder, Mauler, Messanger, Outrunner, Pack Runner, Scout, Stormer, Windchaser, and Wrangler
  • Famous/Named: Achellios the Banished (level 31, rare); Spirit of Veng <The Fifth Kahn> (level 47, elite, founder of Clan)
Outcasts
  • Location: Desolace
  • Levels: 38-40
  • Classes: Necromancer
  • Famous/Named: Centaur Pariah (level 42, quest, friendly)
Krenka The RPG Icon 16x36
Krenka

The Krenka are easily identified for their bronze skin covered in garish and distinctive blue tattoos.

  • Location: Barrens
  • Classes: Shamans, Warriors, HunterHPG 226
  • Famous/Named: Forgol, Krenka (founder of the clan)
Marauders WC3RoC logo 16x32
  • Location:Barrens
  • Classes:Archer, Sorcerer, Outrunner, Champion, Drudge, Impaler
  • Famous/Named: Khan Bloodhoof
Stonetalon

Desolace tribes

Five barbarous centaur tribes dominate the entire region with the strength of overwhelming numbers and unequaled ferocity. each tribe is led by one of the dreaded khans and is known by a distinctive tribal color — Black, Brown (Gelkis clan), Green (Magram clan), Red (Kolkar clan) and Yellow. Members use the color to mark their weapons and their faces. The khans who lead each tribe rarely have contact with each other except in times of war.[15]

Centaurs from the Eastern Kingdom

Dalarancentaurs

Garithos unleashes a squad of mercenary centaur khans on the forces of the blood elves as they escaped Dalaran.

Centaurs dwell in the forests of the Eastern Kingdoms[9] and the Blasted Lands.[4] Since the centaurs in the Eastern Kingdoms are rare, a traveling centaur is more likely to draw curiosity than arrows.[9]

Garithos unleashed a squad of mercenary centaur khans in Lordaeron in the Eastern Kingdoms to try to stop the blood elves from escaping Dalaran in The Crossing.

Other centaurs that live in the continent of Azeroth are described in Appendix Three of Manual of Monsters, however the validity of the source is disputed.


Questionmark-medium
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.

Even though Manual of Monsters states that the centaurs in the book are the bastard sons of Cenarius,[8] it is unknown as to whether the centaurs found in the Eastern Kingdoms have a connection to the five tribes in Kalimdor — who are the offspring of Zaetar. A posibility is that they are in fact the offspring of "the centaur", the other son of Cenarius. Another explanation is that they may have been a group or groups of centaurs that splintered from the original five tribes and made it across ancient Kalimdor before the Sundering, arriving in the present day Eastern Kingdoms.

Myth

The centaurs (Greek: Κενταυροι) are fairly popular beings in Greek mythology, but myths pertaining to them directly are not plentiful. The handfuls of tales that survive relate the nature of a boisterous race of horse-men who care only for drinking and numerous other vices. They were the children of Nephele (a nymph formed out of clouds in the shape of Hera by Zeus). The lustful and devious Lapith king Ixion raped Nephele (thinking it was Hera), thus impregnating her. She promptly gave birth to a clan of horse-men (the Centaurs). Though there are sparse references to female Centaurs from antiquity, they only appear in later art and literature of other cultures. Despite the barbaric nature of centaurs in general, certain centaurs were renowned for their wisdom. Kheiron (Chiron), for example, was the teacher of some of the greatest of Greek heroes, including Achilles, Herakles, Jason, and Theseus.

Blizzard took a distinctly central Asian influence for their centaurs, borrowing cultural elements from peoples such as the Mongols. Most notably, they are led by khans and live in collapsible huts.

See also

References


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