Many a times, people have accused Baine of being a coward, or worse, an Alliance bootlicker. Some even have the audacity to claim the Tides of War novel as their reason for saying so. Here I will make a case for Baine Bloodhoof as a good leader to the Tauren.
Baine regarded the goblin. He did not dislike goblins on principle, as some did. Indeed, he owed a great debt to Gazlowe, the goblin leader of the port town of Ratchet. Gazlowe had been of tremendous help to Baine during Magatha’s attack on Thunder Bluff, providing zeppelins, weaponry, and warriors of a sort for (by goblin standards) a paltry fee.
“We are rebuilding our capital and fighting back the quilboar who are encroaching on our territory. The Alliance recently destroyed Camp Taurajo. We have erected the Great Gate so that they will come no farther,” Baine said.
1 ) Reminder of the fact Baine personally killed and drove out the Grimtotem who invaded Thunder Bluff. It also bears reminding that Jaina was the one who lent him the gold to do so because Garrosh had abandoned the Tauren and left them to their own lurches.
2) Baine is not shy to bring up the fact the Alliance destroyed Taurajo. He does not defend their action or call it justifiable, he says it as it is to the other Horde leader present. Also, it's a reminder here Baine and the tauren took the immediate action of erecting the Great Gate to keep out the Alliance.
The tauren had not been untouched by the recent changes. The Alliance, expanding from Northwatch Hold under false information that the tauren were planning an attack, had razed Camp Taurajo. The only residents it now had were looters. Many tauren died in the battle; others fled to Vendetta Point, where they sporadically attacked Northwatch Hold scouts, or to Camp Una’fe—the “Camp of Refuge.”
In response to the aggression, Baine did what he felt was best to keep his people safe. The road to Mulgore had once been open; now what had been dubbed the Great Gate shut out any possibility of a massive Alliance incursion. Most tauren were content with the erection of the gate and did not burn for revenge. Others were still aching from the attack. He could not condemn these people.
Baine did not rule with a tight grasp; the tauren followed him willingly and with love—perhaps mostly out of respect for his father, but with openness in their hearts nonetheless. Those who disagreed with Baine’s decisions, like many Grimtotem, or the tauren who chose to strike back at the Alliance from Vendetta Point, were expelled from Thunder Bluff but otherwise suffered no repercussions.
3) Most of the Tauren do not want revenge. It's simply not in their nature. Taurens have always been the most peaceful of the Horde, and Baine's philosophy not to pursue Taurajo's attackers is keeping with most of the Taurens' decision.
4) Baine's disdain for the Grimtotem is known, so it's little surprise most were kicked out. There is no action taken against Taurens fighting back against the Alliance; Baine makes it clear he ONLY expels the ones attacking from Vendetta Point, and that they suffer no repercussion beyond being kicked out of Thunderbluff.
(In regards to Garrosh ordering the Horde to destroy Theramore)
“She has behaved with fairness time and again, when she could have responded with force or deceit!” Baine shouted. “Her diplomatic efforts and her decision to work with Warchief Thrall have saved countless lives! To storm her realm with no provocation does not give honor to the Horde, and it is foolish besides!”
There were many murmurs of agreement. Other Alliance leaders were far less favored, and the lady Jaina had those who respected her among the Horde
5) Jaina stuck out her neck to give refuge to Baine, let him meet Anduin and even lent him gold at a time when Varian was known for his blatant hatred of the Horde. Baine is an honorable tauren and his father fought alongside Jaina in the 2nd war against the Legion. Plus, she is ridiculously powerful. It's little wonder why Baine wouldn't want to destroy the kingdom that saved his tauren.
“Baine Bloodhoof!” snarled Garrosh, closing the distance between himself and the tauren high chieftain in a few strides. Baine towered over him, but Garrosh was not cowed. “If you do not wish to share your father’s fate, I would advise you to watch what you say!”
“You mean dying betrayed?” Baine shot back.
6) Do not bring up Cairne, because Baine would kick your ass if you test him.
The crowd began to disperse. Baine saw the blue-skinned, red-haired troll leader moving toward him and slowed his own steps.
“Ju baited him,” said Vol’jin without preamble.
“I did. It… was not wise.”
“No, it wasn’t. Dat why I stay quiet. Gotta tink about my people.”
7) Vol'jin reminding Baine to think of his people first and foremost. His pride should come second.
It was not long before the explicit directives came. Baine hated what he was about to do, but if he refused, Garrosh would turn on him—and the tauren—with the full force of the rest of the Horde behind him. Baine harbored no illusions of the idealism of the Forsaken, the blood elves, or the goblins; they had their own agendas. The orcs were traditional friends to the tauren, but there were few malcontents. And the trolls simply couldn’t risk it. If the tauren defied Garrosh so blatantly as to refuse this order, they would stand alone.
Baine crushed the missive in his hand and turned a bleak expression to Hamuul Runetotem. “Let us prepare,” the high chieftain said. “At the very least, this part of the war Garrosh is getting us into has some scent of justice behind it.”
8) This is why Baine obeys Garrosh despite his anger. He has the survival of his people at sake.
9) Also, Baine once again does NOT ignore Camp Taurajo's burning. He acknowledges that the attack on Northwatch Hold bears justice.
“Then… there is no stopping him. No reaching him, no reasoning. And insanity abounds.”
“Dat’s about da size of it, mon.”
Baine growled softly, looking over his troops. An idea was forming. It was audacious; it was risky; and it might cost him dearly.
But it might save the tauren people.
It might even save the Horde.
(This is in regards to warning Jaina of the coming invasion)
10) Baine reaffirms his primary concern is to save the tauren. It's not about being an Alliance laptop or being a betrayer, his priority even now in BFA has always been to help the tauren, and to an extension, the Horde.
Vol’jin peered up at him from his raptor. “Dey destroyed Camp Taurajo, mon,” he said.
“Yes,” said Baine. “They took down a military target. And their general refused to slaughter civilians. He could have given the order to massacre everyone. But he didn’t.”
Vol’jin’s eyes narrowed. “Will you be showin’ da same courtesy to dese Alliance?”
“I do not think there are any civilians in Northwatch Hold,” Baine said.
11) For the countless time, it has been mentioned that Taurajo is a military target, and Baine acknowledges that the civilians were spared. (Horde players are aware many civilians ran straight into Quillboar territory, but many more civilians survived.)
12) Read between the lines. This is as close to a show of "revenge" as you are going to get from Baine. He would take no prisoner. There are no… civilians there.
“We have not only defeated the Alliance,” said Garrosh, stepping beside Malkorok and clapping him on the back, “we have shown our mastery over the very elements!”
“What you have shown,” said a deep, rumbling voice that was rich and cold with fury, “is that you are reckless, Garrosh Hellscream!”
Both orcs whirled to see Baine Bloodhoof and one of his shaman. Baine was in full war regalia, his face decorated, but not with war paint. His armor, too, was spattered with blood. But he was not reveling in victory.
Baine continued. “Kador Cloudsong tells me that the Earthen Ring has specifically forbidden the sort of thing you have meddled with, Hellscream.”
13) This is after the Cataclysm where the elements are especially sensitive. Baine is not afraid to scold Garrosh in front of the entire Horde like the warmongering id*ot he is.
Baine felt as if his own core were molten with outrage. It was with the greatest of efforts that he had kept from exploding in anger when Malkorok had challenged him. He was not afraid Malkorok could defeat him—by all accounts, Cairne had been winning the battle against Garrosh, before Magatha’s poison had claimed him. Baine bore his father’s blood and he had youth on his side. No, he had declined because there was no way to truly win. Poison would be used again, but better hidden this time. Or even if he slew Malkorok, there would be an ambush waiting in the shadows. And then, what would happen to his people? There was no clear successor yet. Garrosh would somehow see to it that a tauren was appointed whose thinking was more in line with his own—or who could be persuaded to think so.
No. His people needed him alive. And so, Baine would live, and do what he was ordered to do. Exactly, and only, what he was ordered to do.
14) Why does Baine back down from a Mak'gora? Because he knows what's at sake. The first time Cairne died to a Mak'gora, the tauren race was nearly torn apart. It might not survive a second chieftain's murder.
“Yes, it be you who will suffer, mon, but not from the elements!”
The deep, rough voice came from nowhere. At once Baine leaped to his hooves. The others assembled did likewise, many of them drawing weapons. But Baine recognized that voice and shouted, “Lay down your weapons! Lay them down!”
“The bull speaks wisely,” said Malkorok, stepping forward so he could be seen by the campfire’s light. “If I see any weapons in the next three heartbeats, I will slay their owners.”
The threat was not bellowed, but it did not need to be to chill the blood of everyone who heard it. Slowly, those Horde members who had drawn daggers or swords or who had nocked their arrows complied.
“I did not believe it,” said another voice. This one was not calm but angry. And, Baine realized, wounded.
Garrosh Hellscream strode forward, regarding the gathering with disgust. Baine could now see the two had not come alone; shapes were shifting about in the darkness. Kor’kron.
15) Another example of Baine's ability to hold his cool. If he had responded as any other Horde would, he, Vol'jin and other leaders would've been slew or imprisoned by Garrosh and the Kor'kron. Other people might deem this as cowardice. Anyone who can think knows that Baine was wise.
“Garrosh!” The roar of the normally calm bull silenced any other conversation and caused heads to whip around. Followed by Hamuul Runetotem and, hanging back slightly, Vol’jin, Baine marched up to where the warchief stood on the far west side of the bridge over Dustwallow Bay, arms folded, gazing at Theramore. He did not turn when Baine called his name. Heedless of any repercussions to himself,
Baine grabbed Garrosh’s arm and whirled the orc about to face him. At that moment the Kor’kron surged forward, Malkorok in the forefront, but Garrosh shook his head before they could move to slice the angry tauren into so much meat.
Baine shoved a bloody piece of cloth into Garrosh’s face, growling furiously. This did get a reaction out of Garrosh, who snatched away the cloth and snarled at Baine.
“That, Garrosh, is the blood of a young tauren who died obeying your orders! Your commands! The commands that have left far too many stiffening in these muddy waters for no purpose!” shouted Baine. “It is a more fitting decoration than your tattoos, Garrosh!”
16) Baine does not like marching to war against a kingdom that saved the tauren, but he obeys because his Warchief commands it. Waste the life of any tauren however, and Garrosh would answer for it.
“Garrosh Hellscream,” said Baine calmly, “I ride now for Mulgore with my braves. There are far fewer of them than when I rode out to answer the call of the warchief of the Horde. My loyalty to the Horde is deep, and you cannot gainsay me on that. But know this: I fight for the true Horde, not one that utilizes methods both unnecessary and shameful. There must never be another Theramore—not if you wish the aid of Baine Bloodhoof!”
17) Baine would fight the enemies of the Horde. He would kill the Alliance. But he would never fight for a leader that resorts to dishonorable and shameful methods to defeat its enemies. This is why he has cold feet under Sylvanas' rule too, because she is just another version of Garrosh.
I rest my case.
Wanting peace isn't being an Alliance apologist. Taurens have always been a nomadic race of low numbers, and so Baine must make the hard decisions that ensure their survival, no matter what others might think of him.
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