Lore Spotilight: Meritha and the Centaur
The zone Ohn'ahran Plains is home to the Maruuk centaur, who are made up of several clans. We take a look at the history and culture of these Maruuk, as well as their relationship with Merithra and the Green Dragonflight, whose ancestral home also lies within the zone.
History of the Maruuk
The various centaur clans of Ohn'ahran Plains play a major role in the
main story of the zone
. Among the centaur are storykeepers, who tell tales that are handed down through centaur generations. One of these, Storyteller Jaru, describes the history of the Maruuk centaur in the story 'Maruuk and Teera'.
According to Jaru, the Maruuk are decendents of Maruuk Thousandbones, a great centaur warrior who fought in the War of the Ancients, and his partner, Teera. After the leaders of the other centaur clans attempted to have Maruuk assassinated out of jealousy, he and Teera rejected the other clans, and travelled across Azeroth in search of a new home, until finally the Wild God Ohn'ahra led them to Ohn'ahran Plains. Here, satisfied that his people now had a home, Maruuk finally died of his wounds, leaving Teera to lead the clans.
The centaur have remained in Ohn'ahran Plains ever since, even through the Sundering and the disappearance of the Dragonflights from the Isles.
Storykeeper Jaru says: Ten thousand years ago, the demons invaded our world. Through portals ripped through our reality, they marched. Endless. Unstoppable. Unyielding.
Storykeeper Jaru says: Ancient clans of centaur fought and died, hungry for war and blood. Then rose Maruuk Thousandbones, the Slaughterer of the Endless, to cut through these invaders.
Storykeeper Jaru says: When he arose for breath, he stood upon a pile of demon corpses one thousand strong, earning his name. He returned to his clan, limping and wounded, to heal.
Storykeeper Jaru says: But the other clans were not sated by the demon blood. Maruuk was too strong a warrior to live. They spread rumours that his wounds left him too weak to lead, then sent assassins in the night to murder him in his sleep.
Storykeeper Jaru says: His partner, Teera, the Guidemother, took up her bow and slayed the assassins. She charged into the tents of the other clan leaders, claiming their cowardly heards, as they were, in turn, too weak to lead.
Storykeeper Jaru says: With the sun's rising, Teera exposed this treachery against Maruuk. Though her actions deemed just, she rejected the clans. She and Maruuk set off to forge a new path for the future. Behind them formed a new clan, inspired by their honor.
Storykeeper Jaru says: They traveled across Kalimdor in search of a new home. The winds seemed to bless them, traveling alongside them and guiding their hooves.
Storykeeper Jaru says: They walked for many moons before arriving in our blessed plains. Then, Ohn'ahra appeared before them, singing her song of a new beginning: a new home.
Storykeeper Jaru says: After seeing his peoples' new home, Maruuk was at peace. The infections in his wounds took him, his spirit guided to the sky by his peoples' chanting. They took his name upon themselves.
Storykeeper Jaru says: To Teera they turned to direction. She led with strength, never faltering. She led the centaur to solidify themselves as a strong force in these lands, striking a deal with the dragons herself.
Storykeeper Jaru says: Time passed. Though the world sundered and the dragons left the isles, the centaur remained steadfast.
With the guidance of Teera, by the grace of Ohn'ahra, the wind, they harnessed the powers of their new home, creating a legacy that lasts to this day.
Interestingly, this story suggests the centaur are a much older race than was previously believed. According to legend, the centaur that we know of in Kalimdor today were the result of a forbidden union between Zaetar, son of Cenarius, and the earth elemental princess Theradras. According to
Chronicle Volume 1
, this union only occured around 1100 years ago.
While it's possible that this means the legend about the origin of the Kalimdor centaur simply isn't true - or has been retconned - we suspect the far more likely implication is that all centaur are created as a result of a union between a Cenarius-like deity and an elemental ruler, and that Theradras and Zaetar's was not the first forbidden love.
Maruuk and Merithra
As we journey with a centaur caravan to a gathering of the Maruuk clans, we are invited to listen as the centaur share stories, granting us further insight into their history and culture. During this journey, we see a great horn in the distance, and the centaur that we are journeying with explain the significance of the horn: it represents an ancient pact between the Maruuk and the Green Dragonflight.
According to the story, when the centaur clans first settled in Ohn'ahran Plains, the Maruuk and the Green Dragonflight were enemies at first. However, Teera, leader of the Maruuk, and Merithra, daughter of Ysera, developed a friendship that led to peace between the two races. The Horn of Drusahl represents an oath that they made to each other, to help one another in time of need.
Aru says: The Horn of Drusahl will be visible once we cross the bridge. You must see it, two-foot!
Okir says: Ah, yes. The horn represents the ancient pact formed by Teera and a green dragon named Merithra. their friendship ended a long enmity between dragons and Maruuk.
Okir says: Afterward, the centaur hunted the plains, and the dragons tended the gardens. But they agreed to help one another in times of need. The Horn of Drusahl was built as a physical manifestation of their oath.
Scout Tomul says: But then, the dragons left. And after ten thousand years, they return to these lands! I am interested to hear what the Khanam Matra says about that.
Ohn Seshteng says: We are guided by Ohn'ahra, Tomul. It was she who granted us these lands, who arbitrated with the dragons. She knows the way.
Ohn Seshteng says: Ohn'ahra, the Skymother, ancestor of all ohuna. She who led our founders, Maruuk and Teera, to the plains. My clanmates interpret her songs to advise our people.
Later, an emissary from the Green Dragonflight who visits the centaur tells us a little more about this story - explaining that Merithra hopes the Maruuk will still be willing to honor their ancient oath.
Over ten thousand years ago, the centaur came to the dragon isles, looking for a place to call home. They laid claim to the vast, open plains near our gardens. At the beginning, centaur and dragon were foes, hunting each other and fighting over territory.
It was the centaur's first matriarch, Teera, and Merithra herself who were the first to fight alongside each other. They proved the strength of centaur and dragon together, that it would only be beneficial to their people to to lay down their arms against each other. They made a pact of respect to stay out of each others' way, but to provide aid to each other when their livelihoods were threatened.
Though it has been generations for the centaur, Merithra hopes that the pact may still stand.
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