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The murloc is a bipedal, amphibious humanoid race residing along coastlines, lakeshores, and riverbeds.
Murlocs tend to dwell in amply-populated coastal settlements, and it is unusual to find individuals wandering too far from their compatriots. Adventurers looking to engage murlocs should be wary of their surroundings; the creatures often lurk out of sight beneath the surface of the water. They usually randomly attack, and it's usually in groups.
According to Brann Bronzebeard, murlocs are smarter than the other races think--smart enough to not let anyone know.
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. The murlocs themselves evolved to survive in Azeroth's dangerous aquatic environments. Of course these ancient murlocs lived in the oceans' depths and therefore were never known to the world's early land-dwelling races.
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. 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 re-emerging 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.
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 goblins, Dragonmaw orcs, Mok'nathal, Taunka, uncorrupted Mag'har and Stonemaul ogres would later join.
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 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, holding little tolerance for other races, and rarely, if ever, speak anything but their own garbled language. Murlocs may appear colorful and simple to the casual observer, 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. 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. If threatened, murlocs are more than willing to help one another.
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.
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. And they seem to care little for the mortal races.
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. Murlocs pass down their history orally, which given how incomprehensible their language is to other races, adds to the mystery surrounding them. 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 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.
Some of the larger murlocs consider some cats to be a delicacy, stealing them from human settlements to cook as a treat.
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.
Murlocs congregate on shorelines in tribes and villages. 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.
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.
- Murloc fins are an essential ingredient in a common broth. Slimy Murloc Scales are required expert leatherworkers for use in crafting fine armor.