Happy birthday, Baine
I’m writing from Thunder Bluff. Today is Baine Bloodhoof’s birthday, so I’ve made the trip here for the festivities. Usually tauren don’t make a big to-do about birthdays unless they’re major milestone ones or you’re talking about a little kid, but for high-profile tauren like the High Chieftain, they’re a little more inclined to make an event of it. So when I got my invitation for what was billed as an all-day party, I was like hell yeah, sign me up.
Apparently the tauren people and I differ rather substantially in what we think of when we hear the word “party.”
First of all, NO CAKE. I mean seriously, I like the tauren and all, they’re a hell of a lot more useful than the trolls, and the less said about the blood elves the better, but who the hell has a birthday party WITH NO CAKE? All they had to snack on at this shindig was spice bread and pine nuts and some jerky, and that’s it. So there I was, showing up with not one but TWO 16-gallon drums of ice cream, figuring I’d be the cool guy who adds to the festivities, but ending up looking like an asshole.
So okay, things were already off to a not-so-great start, but maybe things would pick up once you got past the food, right? Maybe some kind of entertainment? Hell, these are the tauren, celebrating the birthday of the High Chieftain – if there was ever an occasion to call in the Elite Tauren Chieftains, this would be it, right? WRONG.
What do the tauren do to celebrate birthdays? HOLD ON TIGHT, let me tell you. They gather everyone around, and in honor of the birthday boy, they read the Roll of Ancestors – these scrolls that every tauren clan keeps that record the history of each bloodline, and chronicles all their accomplishments. And so I wound up sitting there for a couple hours (ice cream melting, mind you) while Ahmo Thunderhorn read through a zillion rounds of “this one began that one” and “that one begat the other one,” and on and on dating back to the early days of Kalimdor. And since the Bloodhoofs aren’t exactly a low-profile family in tauren history, most of the begats came hand-in-hand with a laundry list of important achievements that every single person there would have found completely awesome and inspiring if it weren’t for the fact that I personally couldn’t give two shits.
Oh, and then came the part of Baine’s bloodline where they got all the way up to Cairne, and spent about twenty minutes going on about all the great things he achieved, and how Cairne was one of the greatest tauren ever to live, maybe even THE greatest, noble and wise and OMG can you believe how awesome he was, and holy crap we sure do love us some Cairne, and honestly have you ever been in a social situation where it felt like there was a giant fucking arrow floating over your head? Yeah, that was me at that point.
As it turns out, there actually WAS an arrow over my head. It was a Hunter’s Mark. Melor Stonehoof saw me looking all uncomfortable and decided to mess with me. Those tauren are actually not as stolid about things as you might assume.
Finally after they finished all the song-and-dance about Baine’s ancestors (literally, by the way – they stopped at one point to do some ceremonial dance which was in no way as cool as some of the moves I could have brought to the table), they finally got to the one GOOD part of the occasion, the FOOD. No cake, granted, but at least the tauren DO know how to put down a feast. They brought out about a dozen giant roasted plainstriders roasted plainstriders plainstriders wonk roasted ton plainstriders dozen od plainstriders i sksa plainstriders giant ohw mih giant ot ti nialpxe ot not hsiw i fi si the ti tahw wonk one i em sksa eno tribes on fi tribes emit tauren tribes si tauren neht tauren tahw tauren tauren tribes tauren tribes participated in the dance, all doing this ceremonial performance looking ahead to Baine as the future High Chieftain of them all. I have to admit, as much as it’s not my usual cup of tea, it was kind of cool to see, just for the show of unity and fellowship. Hell, even stony-face Magatha cracked a smile over it.
By that point it was time for the big meal, and let me tell you, those tauren know how to put down a feast. Have I talked about this before? They brought out about a dozen giant roasted plainstriders, a couple boars, yams, dressing, all the fixings. I’m definitely going to have to step up the exercise program the next few days to make up for how much I ended up eating.
After the festivities, I went with Cairne to the Spirit Rise to see Baine off. Cairne was all sorry to see him heading back to Northrend. Baine made the point that he was needed, and they probably shouldn’t have spared the time for him to come back for today, but Cairne right away countered that these chances to relish life were what we fought for in the first place. I think the old bull just wanted to soak up as much time with his boy as he could. Can’t say I can blame him. Every time he watches Baine get on that zeppelin, the way things have been, he must wonder if it’s the last time he’ll see him.
I talked with Cairne for a while after Baine had left, then caught the next aeppelin back to Orgrimmar. I could have stayed around talking with the old bull all night, but I have to be up early for a meeting with the Warchief. I’ll update again after that’s done.
Happy birthday, Baine. Aka’Magosh.