Bragus Splithoof, son of the fallen Darlantan Splithoof, child of the Earthmother. Rather ordinary at first glance, unless of course you do not have extensive dealings with the Tauren, in which case it is very likely that an grinning eight-foot tall man covered in fur, with hooves, horns, and a tail is quite out of the ordinary. But apart from his heritage, rather plain looking.
Bragus idolized his father as a child. He couldn't help it, everyone else in the village did too. Darlantan Splithoof was a bred-in-the-bone Hunter. He and his partner, an unusually large wolf named Silver, managed to keep the village fed and relatively safe no matter how scarce food was, no matter how cold winter became. Darlantan had been singled out for special treatment even as a child; his horns were black. This was a very rare phenomenon in those parts, and Darlantan was allowed to get away with an awful lot. Unusual among Tauren clans at the time, the Splithoofs rarely moved around, usually content to live in a secluded corner of Mulgore. Darlantan, in fact, was one of the only members of the village who'd ever been outside of Mulgore, and his wanderings only took him to the Barrens. Bragus' horns were white, a rather ordinary colour, but he was the only son of the town hero, so he was also held in high esteem. Although he was not immensely popular with the other children (who were either jealous of his father's position or just plain thought he was a "loser") he was always able to draw on his own supply of inner strength to get through their taunts. He did have a best friend in the form of Kymmet, who was in a similar situation: as the daughter of the village Shaman, she was expected to both act civilized, and follow in his footsteps. It was widely assumed amongst the gossip-mongers (yes, even amongst a relatively primitive people such as the Tauren, folk like this are everywhere) that one day, Kymmet would take her father's place as Shaman, and marry Bragus.
Then the young man's life came very close to total collapse.
Darlantan did not return from a hunt on the appointed day. Nor the next. Nor the next. When a week had passed, the only conclusion was that something was very wrong. The search party found what they had expected, but not hoped to find: Darlantan was dead. The elder Splithoof lay slain in a clearing in the forest. When the news reached town, half the village ran to see. Bragus forced his way through the crowd, past those who insisted he didn't want to see his father this way.
The grass was trampled nearly flat. Darlantan lay on his back, one arm resting on his stomach, small cuts and slashes all over his body. The one that had killed him was the large puncture wound over his heart. Silver lay against his master, covered in wounds of his own. He only lasted a few moments after Bragus arrived, only long enough to look his master's son in the eye, give a mournful howl to the stars above, and lay his head down on Darlantan's chest. It would later be agreed upon that Silver may have yet survived, but allowed himself to die, so that he could join his master.
It wasn't the fact that his father was dead that hit Bragus hardest. It was the circumstances of his death. Darlantan was naked from the waist up. All his money was gone. His favourite bow, and the axe and knife he used together so well were gone. And the wound to his heart had been inflicted by a spear.
Darlantan Splithoof didn't die on a failed hunt, he was murdered, and then his body was looted.
Worst of all, his right horn was half gone. It hadn't snapped off in combat, the stump was relatively flat. It had been hacked off afterward.
Whoever had killed Bragus' father had taken a trophy.
Bragus felt an uncontrollable rage build up inside him. The only other intelligent beings in the area were the Centaur, and their hatred for the Tauren was legendary. They hadn't been so open or so couragous as to attack the Tauren so close to their home before. And they were exactly the type to take trophies.
At that moment, Bragus swore a blood oath to avenge his father. He would find the one, centaur or not, who had done this, and he would kill them. It was as simple as that. If it took one day or one thousand years, the killer would pay. It would make no difference if the killer was a dirty centaur warrior or an old woman who raised orphans, their life was forfeit. If the killer was the king of the demons, he would find a way to bring them hard justice.
Bragus very nearly let his rage consume him, let it guide his mind. Until he remembered the look in Silver's eyes right before he died. A look of extreme sorrow and grief. Silver hadn't wanted vengeance of any kind, he just wanted to find peace with his master.
At that moment, Bragus felt the inner strength he had prided himself on all his life flow through his body, far more powerful than he had ever felt it before. He realized at this point that there actually was a palpable energy flowing through his body, energizing him. It was coming from all around him, flowing into his body from the trees in the grove, from the wind in the sky, from the Earth itself.
He didn't need the rage. If he let the rage guide him, he would be a monster, no better than the scum who had taken Darlantan's life. What he needed was peace. Calm. Exactly what he felt flowing from the land around him.
And that was the first step Bragus Splithoof took on the Path.