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Murloc

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Murlocs
MurlocRaneman.jpg
Faction/Affiliation Independent
Character classes Scout, Rogue, Shaman, Barbarian, Hunter, Forager Scout The RPG Icon 16x36.png
Racial leader(s) Tribal Chieftains
Homeworld Azeroth
Primary language(s) Nerglish
Secondary language(s) Common, Dwarven, Nazja, Zandali
RwlRwlRwlRwl (MP3 sound)

The murloc is a bipedal, amphibious humanoid race residing along coastlines, lakeshores, and riverbeds. Murlocs possess bulbous bodies, large mouths lined with rows of sharp fangs, and slime-coated skin. Individuals range in coloration from turquoise to darkish grey, while their heights vary from 3-1/2 feet to 6 feet. Depending on the variety, murlocs may lean towards a closer resemblance to frogs or to fish; the iconic green murloc, for example, has coloration similar to the Cuban tree frog.

Murlocs tend to dwell in amply-populated coastal settlements, and it is unusual to find individuals wandering too far from their compatriots. Players looking to engage murlocs should be wary of their surroundings; the creatures often lurk out of sight beneath the surface of the water. This tendency, coupled with their large social aggro radius, can often lead to larger pulls.

Contents

History

A group of murlocs erupting from the sea at the Westfall Lighthouse.

Though murlocs are relatively new to the Eastern Kingdoms, they are actually a very ancient race of Azeroth. Murlocs originate from an unknown Frog Ancient that spawned the gorlocs which evolved into murlocs, according to Brann Bronzebeard.[1] The murlocs themselves evolved to survive in Azeroth's dangerous aquatic environments.[2] Of course these ancient murlocs lived in the oceans' depths and therefore were never known to the world's early land-dwelling races.[3]

In recent times creatures have been moving in-land steadily from their oceanic dwelling places and inhabiting more areas of Lordaeron. This move in-land has resulted in them adapting to fresh-water lakes and rivers. [4] Several clues point to the fact that their steady infiltration of the world's land masses may be a coordinated effort. Whether or not this enterprise has been undertaken strictly of their own accord is not yet known. In the last few years, the vile naga have begun reemerging from their watery abodes, causing historians to speculate that their migration may have triggered the murlocs' slow encroachment onto land. Some also guessed that the murlocs might be working in concert with the sinister amphibians; the naga may not be the only nightmarish horrors lurking in the seemingly bottomless oceans of the world. Several indicators from the murlocs themselves point to the possibility that the fish-men are but worshippers or underlings of perhaps several deep-sea monstrosities that currently lie sleeping, or at least waiting, in the murky fathoms — and even more disturbing, that the murlocs' emergence is an indication of their incipient awakening.[3]

The murlocs also became unwittingly responsible for the shape of the present-day Horde. Murlocs attacks on the trollish Darkspear tribe spurred the orcish warchief Thrall (at the time waylaid on the Darkspear Islands) and his warriors to drive off the marauding fish-men worshipping the naga Zar'jira and then to form an alliance between the Darkspear and the Horde which lasts to this day. This troll-orc alliance would form the heart of the modern day Horde, which the tauren, Forsaken, Revantusk Tribe, blood elves, Bilgewater Cartel, Dragonmaw orcs, Mok'nathal, Taunka, uncorrupted Mag'har and Stonemaul ogres would later join.

Background

Vicious murlocs.
When faced with the products of a technologically superior culture, the Blacksilt displayed none of the curiosity characteristic of emerging cultures in humanoid species.
- Clopper Wizbang, Explorers' League

The murlocs' background are shrouded in mystery. This is due not only to the fact that these creatures appeared on Azeroth's shores fairly recently but also because murlocs shun mortals,[3] holding little tolerance for other races,[2] and rarely, if ever, speak anything but their own garbled language.[3] Murlocs may appear colorful and simple to the casual observer,[2] and their supposed intelligence has been debated. Some argue that, since their guttural language is impossibly difficult to decipher, they have limited intelligence. However, their use of weaponry and uncanny fighting abilities imply a rather sinister racial intellect.[4] Murlocs may not be as dumb as everyone thinks they are. Several clues point to the fact that their steady infiltration of the world's land masses may be a coordinated effort. Whether or not this enterprise has been undertaken strictly of their own accord is not yet known.[3] If threatened, murlocs are more than willing to help one another.[2]

Murlocs speak Nerglish, a language shared by the makrura. There are recorded instances of murlocs capable of more structured speech, as evidenced by the conversations held by the Murloc Sorcerer and Thrall during the Horde's stopover in the Broken Isles.[5] Murlocs pass down their history orally, which given how incomprehensible their language is to other races, adds to the mystery surrounding them.[2] Nonetheless, most of the currently accepted knowledge of murlocs comes from outside observation. Additionally, D.E.H.T.A. representative King Mrgl-Mrgl discovered, after he had learned their language, that the Winterfin tribe of murlocs in the Borean Tundra of Northrend are as intelligent as any of Azeroth's more "civilized" races.

Murlocs have been known, in certain instances to worship enigmatic sea-deities (sometimes including naga). The Rockpool tribe of the Blasted Lands worships Neptulon the Tidehunter as a god.[6] And they seem to care little for the mortal races.[3]

According to Apothecary Renzithen, murlocs retain their free will in undeath, though it is unclear whether this is caused by a natural resistance to the will of the Lich King or if the undead murlocs, like the Forsaken, broke away at some point from the greater Scourge. Despite this the Scourge were able to bolster their ranks with the Mur'ghoul: a group of undead murlocs.[7][8]

Territories, villages and tribes

Main article: Known murloc territories and villages

Murlocs congregate on shorelines in tribes and villages.[3] In recent times, the murlocs have spread to many regions in both the Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor. On Kalimdor, the murlocs are most commonly found inhabiting inland lakes and the eastern shores, though a few tribes do prowl the long beaches between Teldrassil and Darkshore. Additionally, probably the highest level murlocs live Quel'Danas. In the Eastern Kingdoms, murlocs can be found terrorizing almost every coastal shore and inland body of water. In Northrend, the Winterfin murlocs tolerate the presence of outsiders, although their trust must be earned before one is truly accepted.

Subraces

There are several subraces of murlocs, whom themselves originate from the Gorlocs. The jinyu originated from murlocs who were fortunate enough to live near the enchanted pools of the Vale of Eternal Blossoms. The magic of the pools expanded their minds and grew their bodies, until they became one of the great ancient cultures of Pandaria. The deep sea murlocs live in the ocean depths strongly resembling to an anglerfish, with sharp fangs and bioluminescent growths protruding from their foreheads. The mur'ghoul are a group of undead murlocs found at the Chillmere Coast in the Howling Fjord. Not a true subrace, the mur'gul are a kind of murloc with larger teeth and spikes on their backs, enslaved by the naga as both cannon fodder and a labor force.

Named

An older, more fish-like murloc model.
Name Role Condition Location Allegiance
Mmmrrrggglll Chief of the Grimscale tribe Golden Strand, Eversong Woods
Murgurgula Azuremyst Isle
Cruelfin Bloodmyst Isle
Slark Longshore, Westfall
Murkdeep Darkshore
Brack Longshore, Westfall
Whitefin The Loch, Loch Modan
Cookie Captain of Edwin VanCleef's ship in the Deadmines Deadmines
Old Murk-Eye Westfall
Gobbler Bluegill Marsh, Wetlands
Mutanus the Devourer Wailing Caverns
Gelihast Blackfathom Deeps
Scargil Western Strand, Hillsbrad Foothills
Gluggl Kal'ai Ruins, Northern Stranglethorn
Burgle Eye Dustwallow Marsh
Swamp Talker Stagalbog Cave, Swamp of Sorrows
Old Icefin Chillmere Coast, Howling Fjord
Rotgill Chillmere Coast, Howling Fjord

Murloc items

King Bagurgle commanding some of the warrior baby murlocs

As a Companion

Other

Popularity

Murloc plushie

Outside of the game, Murlocs have been used as a mascot for Blizzard Entertainment, given away as in-game pets at BlizzCon. The Murloc has also been used to advertise products outside of the Warcraft series, such as a Murloc Marine advertising StarCraft II. A song has also been written, with Murlocs as the subject, named "I am Murloc" by Samwise Didier. The Korean player Jang Min Chul sometimes wears a Murloc suit after winning a game.[9] In addition, J!NX has created a murloc plushie which can be bought here.

Murlocs have spawned a large following of fans in the Warcraft community. This had led to the creation of websites, fan fiction, videos, and games like the ones below!

Notes

Their females look somewhat like this.
  • Murlocs in World of Warcraft have red blood, whereas they formed pools of green blood when killed in Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos.
  • So far, murloc females have neither appeared ingame, nor were mentioned, but in 2011 Hallow's End, new masks were added to the game, including an  [Murloc Female Mask].
  • Hunting (i.e. grinding) murlocs can be profitable, given that murloc fins are an essential ingredient in a common broth. Slimy Murloc Scales are required expert leatherworkers for use in crafting fine armor. Murlocs carry clams consistent with their level, as do most aquatic creatures, which can contain various grades of clam meat and pearls. It is possible that all murlocs use clams as currency, as the Winterfin murlocs do. In addition, certain murlocs command hefty bounties because of their tendencies to terrorize coastal commerce and fishing locations.
  • Their voice actor is Tracy W. Bush.
  • Level 80 Elite Tauren Chieftain performed the song I Am Murloc on July 16, 2007, at that years' annual blizzcon. The song appears on the band's fictional album 'Udder Chaos'.
  • Before the draenei were announced as the new Alliance race in World of Warcraft's first expansion, the Burning Crusade, murlocs were among the rumored choices for a new player character race. This was not taken particularly seriously however.
  • As an April Fools joke, during April 1, 2005, Blizzard changed all the avatars on the US World of Warcraft forums into Murlocs, and the Murloc attack sound from the game was played in the background.

RPG

The RPG Icon 16x36.png This section concerns content exclusive to the Warcraft RPG and is considered non-canon.

Murlocs organize into small tribes and larger clans. The clans can muster their tribes into a fighting force when needed for invasion. Rarely, clans may join each other to form larger forces.[10]

Tactics

Murlocs are pack fighters, preferring to swarm opposing forces with overwhelming numbers. When pressed, the pack breaks and murlocs run back to the safety of water, often leaving their allies behind. Some warriors view murloc tactics as cowardly. More experienced warriors know better.

Those who pursue the murlocs to the water are crushed without mercy. Despite their monstrous appearances and weak bodies, murlocs are cunning foes with sharp senses and sharper reflexes. Naturally, murlocs are incredible warriors underwater. All too often, when a murloc group retreats to water, it’s to draw enemy forces into the numerous hidden murlocs waiting claws. Underwater, murlocs use their aquatic skills and numbers to decimate enemy forces.

When engaging in battle underwater, murlocs attack from all directions, using their numbers and amphibious bodies well. Like a swarm of piranhas, murlocs dart out of the swarm and attack quickly, then retreat back into the safety of the swarm. Even trivial wounds are considered great hits, as the more the swarm attacks, the weaker the enemy becomes. Furthermore, the swarm does not allow the victim to escape. The strongest combatants can die of drowning or blood loss when engaging in underwater combat with a murloc army.

On land, murlocs are not nearly as dangerous. Despite their agility, most murlocs are slow and clumsy on land, ill-equipped for the rigors of dry worlds. Murloc forces rarely move far inland (except to find large bodies of water), preferring to stay near the safety of water. When forced to battle on land, murlocs employ similar hit and run tactics, attempting to weaken the foe before going for the kill.[11]

Faith

Murloc faith is strange.[12] Some accounts report that religion plays a dominant role in their society, though they do not revere a single, common deity (to our knowledge, at least). Their religion is then polytheistic, animistic, and even a bit shamanistic. They have rituals involving communication with the sea and its powers, and they worship the water and the powerful entities within it.[13] Murloc beliefs incorporate powerful creatures that live around them, and their pantheons are dynamic, changing to include new creatures they encounter. They may add or remove creatures to their worship structure to reflect recent events.[12][13] A tribe may venerate a whale (or may even raise its status to whale-god) until a giant sea serpent drives it away, at which point their beliefs change to center on the sea serpent as the chief object of their reverence.[12] Another tribe may worship a naga sea witch until she is killed by sharks, at which point she is replaced by the sharks.[13] A nearby creature that exemplifies murloc values — such as a strong shark or a quick fish — becomes a living symbol of the murloc faith. As the animals die or move on, the murloc faith mutates to find new symbolism in their surroundings.[14] Some are known to revere the Deep Mother, a representation of the ocean. All things in the water are her children.[15] Though murlocs have not been observed to unite behind a single deity, some rumors claim that all murlocs revere an entity called "the One in the Deeps". However, it is unclear whether this is also a representation of the ocean or if it is even an entity at all.[12]

Villages

A murloc and a baby murloc.

Murloc villages consist of a collection of rough mud-and-twig huts strewn about without pattern. These villages typically have no fire, no clear walkways, and no fortifications. The huts are crude and plain, and the settlement is otherwise featureless except for the shallow basin often found behind the shaman's hut. Most huts stand on stilts to protect them from the tides and flooding.

In sharp contrast to their primitive exteriors, the interior walls of most murloc huts are often elaborately decorated. Some depict branching coral while others contain mosaics of shell and stone and yet others possess surprisingly delicate tapestries of shaded seaweed. The huts are usually open to the air, with small wooden pillars to hold the roof. Murlocs sleep in the water or on woven mats of seaweed, tied firmly enough to maintain their shape but still loose enough to look like small rectangular nets. Hooks of coral hold weapons and other items on the walls or pillars.[16]

Artisans

Murlocs rarely work in metal and almost never touch fire. They are expert carvers, however, and can work stone, shell, coral, or wood into fabulous shapes and amazing scenes and designs. One such example is a lifelike piranha carved from a short piece of coral. Shaman staffs are also works of art, carved to hold bone and shell chips as well as teeth, flippers, and claws of various sea creatures not seen by most land dwellers. The Blacksilt murlocs of the Bloodmyst Isle are also known for their stone-carved idols.

Murlocs don't trade these items, though; they typically trade only shells and seaweed and other raw materials (in the case of the Winterfin murlocs, unopened clams). It is claimed that they sometimes award traders with their artwork after particularly good trades.[16]

Inspiration

A baby murloc from TCG.

Murlocs may be another one of the numerous references to H.P. Lovecraft found in World of Warcraft. In his story The Shadow Over Innsmouth, a man encounters an ancient, fish-human hybrid race known as "The Deep Ones." The story implies that they have been living in the ocean for centuries, and slowly advancing to land, where they will claim it as their own by breeding with coastal humans. Furthermore, the Murlocs' implied worship of deep-sea monstrosities is reminiscent of "The Deep Ones"' fervent worship of their Deep-Sea god, Dagon.

References