This page is intended as an extension to the page on the Xarantaur NPC, providing 'behind the scenes' info. Unfourtunately, as Blizzard have yet to actually hire me it's down to you if you consider info from this page as 'official'.
Xarantaur started life as a character created as a 'front man' for my Lore Q&A threads on the WoW Europe forums where I would answer lore questions (usually in character). This lasted several years and five volumes (threads), but ultimately ended due to my desire to avoid spoilers for WoW which were growing increasingly frequent in the threads. When I ended the threads I posted a farewell short-story which was the first time the connection between Xarantaur and the Bronze Dragonflight was revealed.
Some time after the Q&As ended I further developed the character of Xarantaur, trying to come up with a feasible explanation for why a single Tauren would have so much knowledge of the history of Azeroth. Eventually this led to the idea of Xarantaur as a character similer to 'The Watcher' of Marvel comics; an immortal being tasked with recording history, which lead to Xarantaur being one of the original Tauren druids. When I discussed this concept with Metzen he liked it and one thing led to another, eventually resulting in Xarantaur entering Warcraft lore.
Below are extracts from the document I sent to Metzen with information concerning Xarantaur.
Xarantaur <The Witness>
Description Appearance: See accompanying picture. Eyes: Brown
Xarantaur is surrounded by books, scrolls and various trinkets from all over the world which he has collected in his travels. Perhaps when idle and not interacting with players he could be walking between the different bookcases and scrolls, studying them. (Perhaps playing his stand work animation so it looks like he is actually doing something).
Xarantaur is patient, always willing to hear others’ tales and always willing to share his own to those willing to listen. He will not share knowledge that would do others harm unless it is against a truly evil force such as the Scourge or the Legion. For instance, he would not tell an Alliance general defensive secrets of Orgrimmar. Others find him easy to talk to and open up to him, this is due to no enchantment but simply his personallity.
He asks questions nobody else thinks of.
"I am Xarantaur, the Witness.”
“Would you like to hear a story?”
“Do you have a story for me?”
“Ah yes, I have read of you [playername]”
Xarantaur’s story as told by Xarantaur himself. ‘Next page’ text has been provided in italics if this was to be used directly in game.
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 bests I hunted stories, I had been drawn to the druidic arts by this hunger, this lust for knowledge and for a time that hunger was sated as I learned to talk to the trees and the rocks and the beasts and heard 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, 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 wonders and meeting more strange and mysterious races than any of my people before me, travelling across the length and bredth 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 they found me.
The Bronze Dragonflight. They snatched me from the brink of death and took me before their master, Nozdormu. He said he had been watching me and wanted me to continue my hunt. He granted me immortallity as a watcher, tasked to bear witness to the history of Azeroth as one of his agents.
I am Xarantaur the Witness, it is my duty to preserve the true history of Azeroth lest it be forgotten.
- The Lorehammer
- Not actually equipped, perhaps sitting on a table nearby.
- A gift to Xarantaur from the Bronze Dragonflight. It is a chronally charged one handed hammer which lets him reveal the true course of events in a localised area.
- Draconic staff of the Eternal Witness
- Dreamer’s dragonstaff model but with bronze/gold in place of the green parts.
- An enchanted staff that allows Xarantaur to speak and understand any language as well as know if someone is telling the truth. It also allows him to scry on events, past or present as well as letting him read the minds of others, though he much prefers to simply have them tell him their story.