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Murlocs
MurlocRaneman
Faction/AffiliationIndependent,Underworld Minions,Illidan's naga (Mur'gul) Various tribes
Character classesScout (WRPG); Rogue, Shaman, Murloc, Barbarian, Hunter, Scout (WoWRPG)
Racial capitalNot applicable
Racial leader(s)Of larger tribes Shlur, Mimmil, Yshmeel, Lilki (RPG)
Racial mountTurtle
HomeworldAzeroth
Primary language(s)Nerglish (Murloc)
Secondary language(s)Dwarven, Nazja, Zandali
Average height6 ft, but walk with a hunch.[1]
AlignmentUsually chaotic neutral;[2] (formerly "Always neutral evil")[3]
Aaaaaughibbrgubugbugrguburgle! aka RwlRwlRwlRwl (Blizzard spelling) (MP3 sound, local Ogg-Vorbis sound)
See official info section.

The murloc is a bipedal, amphibious humanoid race residing along coastlines, lakeshores, and riverbeds. Murlocs possess bulbous bodies, large mouths lined with rows of sharp fangs, and slime-coated skin. Individuals range in coloration from turquoise to darkish grey, while their heights vary from 3-1/2 feet to 6 feet. Depending on the variety, murlocs may lean towards a closer resemblance to frogs or to fish; the iconic green murloc, for example, has coloration similar the Cuban Tree frog.

Though murlocs are relatively new to the Eastern Kingdoms, it is increasingly believed that they are actually a very ancient race of Azeroth. These creatures have been moving in-land steadily from their oceanic dwelling places and inhabiting more areas of Lordaeron. This move in-land has resulted in them adapting to fresh-water lakes and rivers. Their supposed intelligence has been debated. Some argue that, since their guttural language is impossibly difficult to decipher, they have limited intelligence. However, their use of weaponry and uncanny fighting abilities imply a rather sinister racial intellect.[4] Additionally, D.E.H.T.A. representative King Mrgl-Mrgl discovered, after he had learned their language, that the Winterfin tribe of murlocs in the Borean Tundra of Northrend are as intelligent as any of Azeroth's more "civilized" races.

Murlocs tend to dwell in amply-populated coastal settlements, and it is unusual to find individuals wandering too far from their compatriots. Players looking to engage murlocs should be wary of their surroundings; the creatures often lurk out of sight beneath the surface of the water. This tendency, coupled with their large social aggro radius, can often lead to larger pulls.

Murlocs organize into small tribes and larger clans. The clans can muster their tribes into a fighting force when needed for invasion. Rarely, clans may join each other to form larger forces.[3]

Hunting (i.e. grinding) murlocs can be profitable, given that murloc fins are an essential ingredient in a common broth. Slimy Murloc Scales are often in demand with expert leatherworkers for use in crafting fine armor. Murlocs carry clams consistent with their level, as do most aquatic creatures, which can contain various grades of clam meat and pearls. It is possible that all murlocs use clams as currency, as the Winterfin murlocs do. In addition, certain murlocs command hefty bounties because of their tendencies to terrorize coastal commerce and fishing locations.

Their voice actor is Tracy W. Bush.

History

Murloc history is largely unknown since most of their lore consists of their own oral tradition, which itself seems to be rote repetitions of unpronounceable forefathers. Murlocs speak Nerglish, a language shared by the makrura. There are recorded instances of murlocs capable of more structured speech, as evidenced by the conversations held by the Murloc Sorcerer and Thrall during the Horde's stopover in the Broken Isles. Nonetheless, most of the currently accepted knowledge of murlocs comes from outside observation.

Much of what is known about Murlocs is readily observable by any traveler. As noted earlier, murlocs tend to congregate on shorelines in densely-populated camps and villages. They have been known, in certain cases, to worship enigmatic sea-deities (including naga). Most importantly, the majority of murloc tribes seem to harbor very little tolerance for most other sentient races.

Though known to the night elves on Kalimdor for some time, the murlocs are relatively new to the eastern continents of Lordaeron and Azeroth. It is purported that murlocs are actually a very ancient race of the world, at least as old as the first Naga, since the serpentine creatures are known to have enslaved a group of deep sea-dwelling murlocs known as the mur'gul.

In recent times, the murlocs became unwittingly responsible for the shape of the present-day Horde. Murloc attacks on the trollish Darkspear tribe spurred the orcish warchief Thrall (at the time waylaid on the Darkspear Islands) and his warriors to drive off the marauding fish-men and then to form an alliance between the Darkspear and the Horde which lasts to this day. This troll-orc alliance would form the heart of the modern day Horde, which the tauren, Forsaken, and blood elves would later join.

Culture

Murlocandbaby

A murloc and a baby murloc.

When faced with the products of a technologically superior culture, the Blacksilt displayed none of the curiosity characteristic of emerging cultures in humanoid species.

- Clopper Wizbang, Explorers' League

Faith

Murloc

An older, more fish-like murloc model.

Murloc faith is strange.[5] Some accounts report that religion plays a dominant role in their society, though they do not revere a single, common deity (to our knowledge, at least). Their religion is then polytheistic, animistic, and even a bit shamanistic. They have rituals involving communication with the sea and its powers, and they worship the water and the powerful entities within it.[6] Murloc beliefs incorporate powerful creatures that live around them, and their pantheons are dynamic, changing to include new creatures they encounter. They may add or remove creatures to their worship structure to reflect recent events.[6] [5] A tribe may venerate a whale (or may even raise its status to whale-god) until a giant sea serpent drives it away, at which point their beliefs change to center on the sea serpent as the chief object of their reverence.[5] Another tribe may worship a naga sea witch until she is killed by sharks, at which point she is replaced by the sharks.[6] A nearby creature that exemplifies murloc values — such as a strong shark or a quick fish — becomes a living symbol of the murloc faith. As the animals die or move on, the murloc faith mutates to find new symbolism in their surroundings.[7] Some are known to revere the Deep Mother, a representation of the ocean. All things in the water are her children.[8] Though murlocs have not been observed to unite behind a single deity, some rumors claim that all murlocs revere an entity called "the One in the Deeps". However, it is unclear whether this is also a representation of the ocean or if it is even an entity at all.[5]

Villages

Murloc villages consist of a collection of rough mud-and-twig huts strewn about without pattern. These villages typically have no fire, no clear walkways, and no fortifications. The huts are crude and plain, and the settlement is otherwise featureless except for the shallow basin often found behind the shaman's hut. Most huts stand on stilts to protect them from the tides and flooding.

In sharp contrast to their primitive exteriors, the interior walls of most murloc huts are often elaborately decorated. Some depict branching coral while others contain mosaics of shell and stone and yet others possess surprisingly delicate tapestries of shaded seaweed. The huts are usually open to the air, with small wooden pillars to hold the roof. Murlocs sleep in the water or on woven mats of seaweed, tied firmly enough to maintain their shape but still loose enough to look like small rectangular nets. Hooks of coral hold weapons and other items on the walls or pillars.[9]

Artisans

Murlocs rarely work in metal and almost never touch fire. They are expert carvers, however, and can work stone, shell, coral, or wood into fabulous shapes and amazing scenes and designs. One such example is a lifelike piranha carved from a short piece of coral. Shaman staffs are also works of art, carved to hold bone and shell chips as well as teeth, flippers, and claws of various sea creatures not seen by most land dwellers. The Blacksilt murlocs of the Bloodmyst Isle are also known for their stone-carved idols.

Murlocs don't trade these items, though; they typically trade only shells and seaweed and other raw materials (in the case of the Winterfin murlocs, unopened clams). It is claimed that they sometimes award traders with their artwork after particularly good trades.[9]

Languages

Murlocs speak a dialect of Nerglish (aka Murloc) and usually no other languages. However, some do learn other languages in order to trade shells and seaweed and other raw materials with other races.[10]

Tactics

Murlocs are pack fighters, preferring to swarm opposing forces with overwhelming numbers. When pressed, the pack breaks and murlocs run back to the safety of water, often leaving their allies behind. Some warriors view murloc tactics as cowardly. More experienced warriors know better.

Those who pursue the murlocs to the water are crushed without mercy. Despite their monstrous appearances and weak bodies, murlocs are cunning foes with sharp senses and sharper reflexes. Naturally, murlocs are incredible warriors underwater. All too often, when a murloc group retreats to water, it’s to draw enemy forces into the numerous hidden murlocs waiting claws. Underwater, murlocs use their aquatic skills and numbers to decimate enemy forces.

When engaging in battle underwater, murlocs attack from all directions, using their numbers and amphibious bodies well. Like a swarm of piranhas, murlocs dart out of the swarm and attack quickly, then retreat back into the safety of the swarm. Even trivial wounds are considered great hits, as the more the swarm attacks, the weaker the enemy becomes. Furthermore, the swarm does not allow the victim to escape. The strongest combatants can die of drowning or blood loss when engaging in underwater combat with a murloc army.

On land, murlocs are not nearly as dangerous. Despite their agility, most murlocs are slow and clumsy on land, ill-equipped for the rigors of dry worlds. Murloc forces rarely move far inland (except to find large bodies of water), preferring to stay near the safety of water. When forced to battle on land, murlocs employ similar hit and run tactics, attempting to weaken the foe before going for the kill.[11]

Undeath

According to Apothecary Renzithen, murlocs retain their free will in undeath, though it is unclear whether this is caused by a natural resistance to the will of the Lich King or if the undead murlocs, like the Forsaken, broke away at some point from the greater Scourge.

Despite this the Scourge were able to bolster their ranks with the Mur'ghoul: a group of undead murlocs. [12][13]

Known murloc territories/villages

Merloc

Murloc in-game at Northrend quest line

Main article: Known murloc territories and villages

In recent times, the murlocs have spread to many regions in both the Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor. On Kalimdor, the murlocs are most commonly found inhabiting inland lakes and the eastern shores, though a few tribes do prowl the long beaches between Teldrassil and Darkshore. Additionally, probably the highest level murlocs live on the coasts of northern Azshara. In the Eastern Kingdoms, murlocs can be found terrorizing almost every coastal shore and inland body of water. In Northrend, the Winterfin murlocs tolerate the presence of outsiders, although their trust must be earned before one is truly accepted.

Murloc subraces

Murloc tribes

Main article: Known murloc territories and villages

Named murlocs

Murloc goodies

Official info

World of Warcraft lore about "The Murlocs"[14] from the old official sites.

Murloc origins are shrouded in mystery. This is due not only to the fact that these creatures appeared on Azeroth's shores fairly recently (as far as world history goes, anyway) but also because murlocs shun mortals and rarely, if ever, speak anything but their own garbled language.

What's been known up until now about the fish-men is the following: they are not the most intelligent creatures. They congregate on shorelines in tribes and villages. They have been known, in certain instances to worship enigmatic sea-deities (sometimes including naga). And they seem to care little for the mortal races.

However, recent accounts by select individuals who managed to gather information — either by spying, torturing or surreptitiously gaining the murlocs' trust, have brought some interesting details to light…

First, murlocs may not be as dumb as everyone thinks they are. Several clues point to the fact that their steady infiltration of the world's land masses may be a coordinated effort. Whether or not this enterprise has been undertaken strictly of their own accord is not yet known.

Also, the murloc race may be far older than most believe. Several accounts and clues seem to substantiate this. In fact, it is now believed that murlocs (or, more appropriately, their ancestors) may even pre-date trolls. Of course these ancient murlocs lived in the oceans' depths and therefore were never known to the world's early land-dwelling races.

In the last few years, the vile naga have begun reemerging from their watery abodes, causing historians to speculate that their migration may have triggered the murlocs' slow encroachment onto land. Some also guessed that the murlocs might be working in concert with the sinister amphibians.

But perhaps the most startling revelation to come from recent intelligence-gathering efforts was this: the naga may not be the only nightmarish horrors lurking in the seemingly bottomless oceans of the world.

Several indicators from the murlocs themselves point to the possibility that the fish-men are but worshippers or underlings of perhaps several deep-sea monstrosities that currently lie sleeping, or at least waiting, in the murky fathoms — and even more disturbing, that the murlocs' emergence is an indication of their incipient awakening.

If that is the case, the mysterious and somewhat underestimated murlocs may be the world's first glimpse at something far more terrifying.

I Am Murloc

Level 80 Elite Tauren Chieftain performed the song I Am Murloc on July 16, 2007, at that years' annual blizzcon. The song appears on the band's fictional album 'Udder Chaos'.

Popularity

Jinx murloc

Murloc plushie

Murlocs have spawned a large following of fans in the Warcraft community. This had led to the creation of websites, fan fiction, videos, and games like the ones below!

In addition, J!NX has created a murloc plushie which can be bought here.

On the other hand, there is a group of fans that wishes nothing more than to see Murlocs exterminated once and for all from the face of Azeroth. These players tend to be Alliance as it is the Alliance that runs into them more often then not.

Trivia

  • Before the draenei were announced as the new Alliance race in World of Warcraft's first expansion, the Burning Crusade, murlocs were among the rumored choices for a new player character race.
  • Murlocs are tough for new players to kill due to their ability to use potions and their great numbers.

Inspiration

  • Murlocs are another one of the numerous references to H.P. Lovecraft found in World of Warcraft. In his story The Shadow Over Innsmouth, a man encounters an ancient, fish-human hybrid race known as "The Deep Ones." The story implies that they have been living in the ocean for centuries, and slowly advancing to land, where they will claim it as their own by breeding with coastal humans. Furthermore, the Murlocs' implied worship of deep-sea monstrosities is reminiscent of "The Deep Ones"' fervent worship of their Deep-Sea god, Dagon.

References

  1. ^ Dark Factions, pg 10
  2. ^ Lands of Mystery, pg. 139
  3. ^ a b Manual of Monsters, pg. 63
  4. ^ Warcraft III — manual, pg. 139-140
  5. ^ a b c d Dark Factions, pg. 11
  6. ^ a b c Lands of Mystery, pg. 134
  7. ^ Dark Factions, pg. 88
  8. ^ Lands of Mystery, pg. 140
  9. ^ a b Lands of Mystery, pg. 136
  10. ^ Lands of Mystery, pg. 134-138
  11. ^ Dark Factions, pg. 180
  12. ^ And You Thought Murlocs Smelled Bad! (Horde)
  13. ^ And You Thought Murlocs Smelled Bad! (Alliance)
  14. ^ Blizzard Entertainment. The Murlocs (archived from the old official US site). Web.Archive.org. Archived from the original on 2010-11-07. Retrieved on 2012-04-06.
       Blizzard Entertainment. The Murlocs (archived from the old official US site). Web.Archive.org. Archived from the original on 2010-06-24. Retrieved on 2012-04-06.

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