“A History of the Centaur,” by Wiseman Oluran, centaur of the Thundering Steppes — Being a history of the centaurs, as told by one of their own.
In the years after the cataclysms that reshaped Norrath, changes shook the foundations of many societies. Some were forced from ancestral homes, others were reduced to begging and thievery. The centaurs of the Thundering Steppes adapted to the changes in the world in their own way.
A long time ago, when the gods still lived and the moon was whole, the centaurs lived in Karana. Long did we hunt upon the plains of Karana, racing one another in bands several hundred strong! Tails held high, hooves burnished with thin sheets of copper, silver and gold, the centaurs lived as one with the land.
Centaurs have no creation myth, we know we have always existed. Some say that centaurs were formed by the union of a wood elf queen and the god Karana, which is why centaurs always roam, yet love the land so completely. We centaurs feel no such need to explain ourselves; we have always been, and that is enough.
In the long-ago, female centaurs resented the numerous male centaurs that sought to keep them. The males sought to cherish, confine and keep the females from harm. The females appreciated this attention not and battles erupted. To bring peace to the centaurs, Zehadra the Wise decreed that male and female live apart, only to come together at certain times and places. This living arrangement, while not perfect, allowed male and female centaurs to appreciate each other.
Over the years, the Plains of Karana changed, beset by war, by plague, by violent rending of the very earth. At last, the Shattering desolated the lands so loved by the centaur and brought about the ruin of many of our scattered villages.
Centaurs alone did not suffer, of course. All of Norrath was covered in flame and pestilence, bombarded by shards from the once-veiled moon. The violence subsided. The face of Norrath was completely changed. Centaurs returned to what was left of Karana’s plains, brought together by the world’s suffering and loss.
Fortunately, as the Shattering’s destruction lessened and the centaur tribes reunited, there were still bands of female centaurs. Knowing how close they came to civil war, the male and female centaurs agreed to live by the rules imposed by Zehadra all those years past. This is still our way. The females come to the males, then leave again, only to return when they are ready or when they must leave behind a male centaur child.
Still, the destruction of so much we centaurs held valuable was disturbing to both male and female. While we still live mainly apart, our females now live in closer proximity than before. They are strong, courageous and skilled so they do not remain near for protection, but for the surety of knowing that those they love still live. And we are glad to know that they are near, for we love them fiercely in return.
After the Shattering, the Steelhoof centaurs in particular became bitter over the destruction of their homes and forges, turning to raiding as a way of life. No longer do they burnish their hooves with metals simply for the beauty of it, but to use in battle with the hill giants that still live in what is now called the Thundering Steppes.
Alas, though we have been strong and true, no longer does the sound of a thousand hoofbeats shake the grasslands of the plains! The vales are filled with sorrow and our long memories cannot dispell thoughts of the beauty that once filled the lands. And yet, there is hope. For grasses grow, forests return and the gods cannot have abandoned their children. We still have hope.
Know, then, the history of the centaurs of the Thundering Steppes. We are proud and have lineage that reaches back through time before all memory. Do battle with us at your own peril. Blessed be Karana, always.