Cairne is the fearless leader of the Bloodhoof Tauren. His former home was near the shores of the Great Sea in the Barrens. He planned to relocate his and his people's home to the verdant lands of Mulgore so the Tauren wouldn't face extinction from the centaur attacks. Cairne is a great warrior and wise leader of his people. As old as he is, Cairne still possesses great strength. Cairne can be seen in-game in the Tauren capital city, Thunder Bluff.
Under Cairne's guidance, the Tauren eventually joined the Horde led by Thrall. This was influenced strongly by Thrall and Cairne's sharing a common enemy in the form of the centaurs. Cairne helped Thrall throughout his journey in Kalimdor and ultimately joined Thrall.
During the events that lead up to the Cataclysm expansion to World of Warcraft, Cairne is killed in a duel against Garrosh Hellscream, who did not know that one of Cairne's enemies had poisoned his axe. After his death, the role of Chieftain of the Tauren went to his son, Baine Bloodhoof.