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The Highmountain Tribe is a faction of Tauren within Highmountain in the Broken Isles. The Highmountain tauren are descendants of Huln Highmountain, a war hero from 10,000 ago who united the Rivermane, Bloodtotem and Skyhorn tribes under a banner of Highmountain. Huln received a gift from Cenarius: the Horns of Eche'ro, which transformed the horns of Huln and his tribe into moose-like antlers. After the war, Huln used the Hammer of Khaz'goroth to banish Deathwing from the Broken Isles.
The Highmountain tribe has historically been an alliance between three separate local Tauren clans: the Bloodtotem, Rivermane and Skyhorn. In the wake of the the defeat of the Burning Legion, the Tauren of Highmountain sought to rekindle their bonds of kinship with their Kalimdor-based brothers and sisters. After the Horde players, alongside Baine Bloodhoof, root out Old God corruption within Highmountain, Mayla and her coalition opt to join them in the Horde.
Tropes that apply to The other Horde Tauren also tend to apply to the Highmountain Tauren, with few exceptions. Tropes exclusive to them:
- The Alliance: They're a coalition of the different Tauren clans that inhabit Highmountain.
- Animal Motifs: Each tribe is associated with an animal.
- The Skyhorn Tribe is the most overt, being primarily a tribe of Hunters who tame the massive eagles native to Highmountain. They use the feathers for ceremony, ride the eagles as mounts, and use them in their heraldry.
- The Bloodtotem Tribe is the most subtle, but is associated with bears.
- The Rivermane Tribe uses a river otter as their main totem.
- Badass Creed: "Together, we are Highmountain!"
- Cosmetic Award: The Heritage transmogrification armor is unlockable for any Highmountain tauren character that's been levelled up to 50 through normal grinding (110 prior to the Shadowlands level squish).
- Defector from Decadence: Some Bloodtotem members refused Torokk's call to drink the demon blood and join the Legion, while it was assumed they were either killed or tortured, refugees showed up shortly before they became playable to justify playable Highmountain being able to have Bloodtotem tattoos.
- Divided We Fall: The other chieftains ignore Mayla Highmountain's call for aid at recovering the Hammer of Khaz'goroth. Mayla believes they can't be divided if they want to defeat the Legion.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: To the Pacific Northwest Native Americans such as the Tlingit, contrasted with the mainly Plains-inspired culture of the original Tauren.
- Foe-Tossing Charge: The Highmountain Taurens racial ability Bull Rush is this.
- Mark of the Supernatural: The antlers they have in place of horns are the mark of a blessing given to Huln Highmountain and his people by the Wild Gods during the War of the Ancients.
- The Missing Faction: The fact that they live at The Broken Isles meant most Tauren didn't know about their survival.
- Neutral No Longer: While they were neutral during the events of "Legion", they ultimately decide to ally themselves with the Horde at the start of "Battle for Azeroth" expansion, becoming a playable race.
- Our Founder: Huln Highmountain, who rescued Ebyssian's egg and received Cenarius' gift, which gave them their characteristic antlers.
- Our Minotaurs Are Different: They're still Tauren, through-and-through, with the only difference being that they have moose-like antlers instead of normal Tauren horns.
High Chieftain Mayla Highmountain
The current High Chieftain of the Highmountain Tauren, who inherited her position after the murder of her father Ulan Highmountain when confronting Dargrul the Underking. She, as the chieftains before her, is a descendant of the great hero Huln Highmountain who fought in the War of the Ancients.
- Braids of Action: Has two of these, and as chieftain, she's undoubtedly a warrior.
- Blade on a Stick: Wields a spear as her primary weapon, just as Huln Highmountain wielded Talonclaw.
- Distaff Counterpart: Her circumstances make her very similar to Baine Bloodhoof.
- Reluctant Ruler: She's not at peace with her position. She's very young and her father was killed, suddenly placing her in position of leadership. Throughout the questline in Highmountain, she frequently shows signs of uncertainty and nervousness, and in some of her battle-tactics, shows inexperience.
- Secret-Keeper: As Chieftains of the Highmountain Tauren, Mayla has been entrusted with one of their most well-kept secrets, that Ebonhorn is the black dragon Ebyssian.
- The Smurfette Principle: She's the first known female High Chieftain of the Tauren.
- You Are in Command Now: Became Chieftain after her father was murdered.
Chieftain Lasan Skyhorn
The chieftain of the Skyhorn tribe, a tribe of hunters and eagle riders. A complete contrast to Torok Bloodtotem (and most of the other rather dour Highmountain), Lasan is a jovial, boisterous fellow and is rarely seen without his eagle mount and companion, Aviash. He is the most eager to reaffirm his loyalties to Highmountain and bring the fight to the Burning Legion.
In Battle for Azeroth, Lasan joins the Horde as the rest of the tribes do, often representing them in the field. He joins Rokhan, Thalyssra, Nathanos, and the player in freeing Princess Talanji and Zul the Prophet from a prison in Stormwind, providing both the transport to Stormwind, and aerial support to the escape. He can later be found in Zuldazar, admiring the Zandalari's pterrordaxes and expressing interest in challenging the Zandalari Pterror-Riders to a race.
- Ace Pilot: The Skyhorn are an entire tribe of skilled eagle riders. Lasan is no exception.
- Big Damn Heroes: In the Stormwind Extraction scenario, the group finds themselves pinned on the docks by enemy forces. Lasan, Aviash, and two other war eagles swoop down, grabbing Alliance soldiers and dropping them into the sea, Lasan laughing the entire time, granting them a new avenue for escape. Talanji comments that she needs twenty of his eagles.
- Boisterous Bruiser: Loud, friendly, and never misses a chance to crack a joke or bellow with laughter.
- Born in the Saddle: The Skyhorn tribe have a special relationship with their war eagles, and are the best eagle riders of all the clans.
- Friendly Sniper: His Weapon of Choice is a crossbow and he uses it to great effect while atop Aviash.
- Loyal Animal Companion: Aviash, his eagle mount and battle partner.
- Stuff Blowing Up: When not shooting crossbow bolts, Lasan likes to drop explosives from height, essentially making himself a flying bomber.
Spirit Walker Ebonhorn — Ebyssian
While Spirit Walkers as a whole are generally reserved, macabre, and strange, something just never seemed right about Ebonhorn, the eldest of the Spirit Walkers and right-hand of the High Chieftain. As it turns out, suspicions were correct.
Ebonhorn is, in actuality, a black dragon named Ebyssian. Born shortly after the War of the Ancients, Huln Highmountain used the Hammer of Khaz'goroth to banish Deathwing from the Broken Isles and hatch a single egg from Deathwing's brood free of its father's corruption. Named Ebonhorn by Huln, Ebyssian swore eternal loyalty to Huln Highmountain and his descendants, and watches over the Highmountain Tribe of Tauren to this day.
The fact that he is a dragon is kept secret from most of Highmountain's inhabitants. Only the High Chieftain is permitted to know, when he leads them into Neltharion's Lair to tell them the secret history of Huln and himself, and names them High Chieftain.
While he was born without his father's corruption, his natural closeness to the Earth element still makes him more vulnerable to their whispers than most. When he leaves Highmountain with Mayla to attend a feast in Thunder Bluff, protective wards installed by Huln weaken, and he becomes comatose. Baine Bloodhoof and the player character spirit him back to Highmountain, and combat the Necrodark, a clan of Drogbar corrupted by N'Zoth. When the final confrontation comes, Ebonhorn sheds his guise to do battle with a giant C'Thraxxi, and slays it. The wards restored, Ebonhorn returns to his post in Highmountain.
- Barrier Maiden: The unlock chain for Highmountain Tauren reveals that Highmountain is a well of especially potent spiritual powers that the Old Gods would love to get their hands on and corrupt for their own goals, but Ebyssian's purity and strength has kept them held back, and an especially dangerous C'Thraxxi general sealed away at the peak. However, his power is reliant on him remaining in the region, when he leaves to go to the revelry at Thunder Bluff the wards break enough for the Old God servants to seep through the wards and he's very nearly corrupted (though saved by players). He then fights alongside the player and Baine Bloodhoof, and together, slay the C'Thraxxi general. Whether he can leave Highmountain now that the general is dead, is not clear.
- Elderly Immortal: His guise as a shaman is elderly, and Mayla even comments that he had been like that forever.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Ebyssian sounds a lot like "abyss" and he's an adult black dragon, but Ebyssian is a nice guy, experienced Spirit Walker, and patient mentor to each generation of the Highmountain family.
- The Mentor: To each generation of the Highmountain family. Adventurers see him play this role to the current chieftain in particular.
- Meaningful Name: Ebonhorn, for his black horns and being a black dragon.
- Morality Pet: For Wrathion, as he is the only black dragon that Wrathion considers to be his brother, even posting one of his agents to make sure he is safe from N'Zoth.
- My Species Doth Protest Too Much: He's a genuinely kind black dragon, unconcerned with manipulation, dominance or murder and destruction. This is because the Hammer of Khaz'goroth purified his egg of the old god magic, making him a "true" black dragon instead of homicidal and corrupted like the rest of his kind. Being raised from hatching by the kind and honorable Huln Hightmountain probably also had a lot to do with his demeanor.
- Only Sane Man: By the standards of black dragons, Ebyssian is a reasonable, level-headed individual who has no desire to become involved in grandiose schemes or great deeds.
- Our Minotaurs Are Different: Prefers his guise as the Highmountain tauren Ebonhorn, and is the only dragon to be a tauren period.
- Token Heroic Orc: By virtue of being uncorrupted, Ebyssian is the only truly heroic black dragon. Wrathion is too amoral to count.
- Vision Quest: Accompanies each chieftain of the Highmountain Tribe on one in order to anoint them High Chief, always accompanied by a champion. In Legion, the player character is the champion guarding Mayla Highmountain on her quest.
- Wham Line: "So it was that Huln's mercy gained the allegiance of his family's oldest ally: me."
Chieftain Torok Bloodtotem
The chieftain of the Bloodtotem tribe, a Highmountain tribe known to be highly distrusting of outsiders.
During the course of the Highmountain storyline, Torok and his tribe reveal that they have allied themselves with the Burning Legion and transform into the "Feltotem". He's killed by the player with the aid of Drogbar leader Navarogg.
- Black Sheep: The entire Bloodtotem tribe was this to the rest of Highmountain before their HeelFace Turn, having grown ever more distant from the other tribes for years in advance. Their status as this is both due to their belief that theyd make better leaders of Highmountain due to their strength and due their general condescending views regarding the other tribes.
- FaceHeel Turn: Unsurprisingly, he turned to aid the Legion at the first opportunity. Mayla laments that while "the Bloodtotem had been growing more distant for years," she hadn't foreseen his betrayal.
- Fantastic Racism: He and his tribe are known for being quite xenophobic towards anyone not from Highmountain, believing the Hammer of Khaz'goroth should only be used by a Highmountain.
- Jerkass: He's unfriendly and dismissive toward the player, even after the player kills a powerful harpy as a test of strength, and this is before he reveals himself.
- Kick the Dog: In a quest in which you search for some of Navarogg's companions, you find one of them dead. Torok, apparently responsible for the creature's death, mocks the creature's death and gloats that it was "neither quick nor painless."
- Like Father, Like Son: His son Mellok turns to the Legion like his father.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Bloodtotem, like Grimtotem, doesn't inspire much safety.
- Smug Snake: He underestimates the player and Navarogg, never expecting his defeat to come at their hands.
- The Corruption: He and his tribe let themselves be corrupted by the Legion, becoming Feltotem tauren.
- Token Evil Teammate: He and his were this to the other Highmountain Tauren, but them turning to the Legion solidify it even more.
Chieftain Jale Rivermane
The chieftain of the Rivermane Tribe, a Higmountain tribe of farmers and shaman.