Dwarves, clans and role in the Alliance: modern times

Continuing my earlier lore post as requested by several commenters. This time I will describe the role of the dwarves, their main clans and the role of the race as part of the Alliance in more modern times.

Last time I described the War of the Three Hammers and events leading up to the Second War, and the dwarves joining the first version of the modern Alliance.

This time I will go into more detail about the aftermath of the Second War, what the dwarves were up to in the Third War, notable dwarven characters in important world events, and what happened after the Third War up to today from a dwarven perspective.

Feel free to comment, correct mistakes and suggest further topics! This will be a rather long post, but I hope you will enjoy it!

Second War and Aftermath

As both the Wildhammer and Bronzebeard clans joined the Alliance in the Second War, they took part in the efforts to drive back the Horde from Khaz Modan and the Kingdom of Stormwind (then known as Azeroth). Cast back through the Dark Portal, the Horde was still a threat, for the somewhat sub-standard Wizard Khadgar failed to close the portal itself, only destroying the stone arch surrounding it.

After the death of Anduin Lothar at the hands of Warchief Doomhammer, the young paladin Turalyon, Lothar's second-in-command, picked up Lothar's broken sword and took charge of the Alliance army. He led an expedition force through the Dark Portal in order to find a way to close it for good.

The expedition force was made up of brave volunteers who set out on the mission knowing they might never return to their homeworld again. They came to be known as the Sons of Lothar. The dwarven representative in this expedition came to be none other than Thane Kurdran Wildhammer, leader of the Wildhammer clan.

And so it came to be that the heroes managed to seal the portal, but not without trapping themselves on Draenor, which was at that point quickly unraveling and turning into Outland.

Prelude to the Third War

With their iron-bound honor code, the Wildhammers and Bronzebeards stood fast in their commitment to the Alliance after the war, even though the Alliance itself was fracturing. Ironforge assisted in the rebuilding of Stormwind, but the mountains made the path between the two cities long and treacherous, so the great Deeprun Tram was constructed between the cities to further speed up the transport of goods and troops between the cities. A Dwarven District was even constructed in Stormwind for the allies to conduct trade and business in an easier manner.

To further strengthen ties within the Alliance, Magni sent one of his younger brothers, Muradin, to act as ambassador to King Terenas Menethil's court in Lordaeron. Muradin had earlier served as liaison between Ironforge and Lordaeron during the Second War, so the choice was a natural one. In Lordaeron, Muradin befriended the young crown prince, Arthas Menethil, whom he trained in fighting.

Sometime after the Second War, the first clues to the mysterious origin of the dwarves was discovered at Bael Modan. Intrigued by the find, King Magni founded the Explorer's League in Ironforge to continue investigating, sending surveyors and explorers to find other possible sites. Both his younger brothers, Muradin and Brann, became avid explorers and members of this institution.

When Prince Arthas chased the Dreadlord Mal'Ganis to Northrend, Muradin was already there, as part of an expedition by the Explorer's League, searching for titan relics. The dwarven expedition was beset by nerubians and undead, and they were happy join forces with Arthas and his troops. This co-operation ended in tragedy, when Arthas claimed Frostmourne from its pedestal. The ice that encased the blade exploded, and Muradin was struck down by some of the larger shards. Arthas, believing his friend dead, left him where he lay and went to hunt Mal'Ganis once more.

Third War

The dwarves fought together with the Alliance against both Arthas' Scourge and the Burning Legion all over Lordaeron, some even traveling with Jaina to Kalimdor, taking part in the final battle against Archimonde and the Burning Legion. They took part in some of the final battles for control over Lordaeron, fighting Scourge, Forsaken, and Kael'thas' Blood Elf rebellion.

Aftermath of the Third War & Dark Iron Shenanigans

When the Legion's invasion was thwarted, most dwarves returned to their homes in Khaz Modan and the Hinterlands. Explorer's League expeditions continued to scour all continents for dig sites and relics. But what about the Dark Irons?

The Dark Irons had, as I mentioned in the previous post, been enslaved by Ragnaros beneath Blackrock Mountain. As their numbers grew, they began expanding their slave-kingdom. Still ruled by the Thaurissan family (who now styled themselves Emperors), they were granted significant autonomy as vassals of the Firelord, who rested deep below in the Molten Core. The Dark Irons worked together with many of the Firelord's other minions, fire and magma elementals, flamewakers, core hounds, lava giants, etc. They crafted mighty war-golems, powerful weapons and sturdy armor using the magic-infused heat of the Molten Core.

They had built a grand city, Shadowforge City, in the depths of Blackrock Mountain. From it, they spread outward, fighting against the Blackrock Clan orcs for control of the mountain itself, and spilling out to claim most of the Searing Gorge, and also the ruins of their previous city of Thaurissan.

Emperor Dagran Thaurissan continued the scheming traditions of his ancestors. He sent spies to infiltrate Khaz Modan, and emissaries to back the new self-proclaimed ruler of Gnomeregan, Sicco Thermaplugg, hoping to capitalize on the gnomish schism. His probably greatest political achievement was the kidnapping of Moira Bronzebeard, King Magni's daughter, Princess of Ironforge and heir to the throne. He treated Moira with respect, even with kindness and fondness, even taking her advice in matters of state. Moira came to fall in love with her captor. They got married, and Moira Thaurissan ruled Shadowforge city as its Empress alongside her husband.

Magni, enraged by the kidnapping of his daughter and thinking that Thaurissan had used some form of magic to bend Moira to his will, sent teams of adventurers to get her back and slay the Dark Iron Emperor. A kill team managed to penetrate the depths of Blackrock Mountain, cross the many dangers of Shadowforge City, and assassinate Emperor Thaurissan. Moira, however, refused to return home with them. She announced she was pregnant with Dagran's child, and would remain in Shadowforge City to rule her people, the Dark Iron clan. The assassination of her husband left her with a terrible rage smouldering in her heart, and she would not be heard from for quite some time.

Burning Crusade

When the Dark Portal opened once more, the dwarves went exploring on Outland in hopes of finding their lost kin. They were overjoyed when they indeed found Kurdran Wildhammer and his remaining warriors in Wildhammer Stronghold. The Wildhammer clan played an important part in the fight against Illidan's forces in Shadowmoon Valley.

Wrath of the Lich King

When Arthas, now the Lich King, sent his forces against the living, the dwarves once more returned to Northrend. In the Storm Peaks, they encountered the Frostborn, a previously unknown dwarf subrace. Their leader, Yorg Stormheart, however, looked conspicuously like a Bronzebeard dwarf. Adventurers managed to find out that he was in fact Muradin, who had survived being impaled by the shards of Frostmourne's prison, but had lost his memory. He had been rescued by the Frostborn, but when returning to their town the party had been attacked by a jormungar. Muradin had slain the ice-worm single handedly, and the Frostborn thus named him after one of their greatest heroes. Eventually he rose in the Frostborn society, all the way to becoming named their King.

Yorg befriended the Alliance and the Explorer's League, and eventually brought the Frostborn into the Alliance. They fought side-by-side with the other allied races against the Lich King. During the campaign, Brann and Magni were reunited with their lost brother, and at that point Yorg recalled his true name and past. He then left the Frostborn to fight Arthas. After Arthas was defeated, he returned to Ironforge.

Brann and the Explorer's League were able to learn much of the Titans and their people's origins from their expeditions into Ulduar and other Titan sites in Northrend.

Cataclysm

The Cataclysm was preceded by tumultuous elemental events all over the world. Magni descended to Old Ironforge to perform a ritual, attempting to calm the elements. He succeeded, but in the process became "one with the mountain", turning into a petrified, crystalline statue.

Following Magni's sudden petrification, a succession crisis was once more at hand. Moira Thaurissan reutrned to Ironforge, to claim the throne. She arrived with her Dark Iron forces, quickly subduing any resistance in Ironforge. She ruled with an iron fist, as she had the Dark Irons before.

King Varian Wrynn sent an intervention force along the Deeprun Tram to unseat Moira, but despite her tyrannical tendencies, she was still the legitimate heir to the throne. Killing her would only cause further unrest and confusion over the succession, and once her infant son, Dagran II Thaurissan, one day would rule, he would unite the entire dwarven people once more.

Varian then called for the formation of the Council of Three Hammers. Moira agreed, and thus the power was divided between representatives from each clan. Muradin for the Bronzebeards, Moira for the Dark Iron, and Falstad, who had succeeded Kurdran as Thane, for the Wildhammers. Old rivalries, bitterness and prejudice still cast shadows over the dealings of the council, as the Bronzebeards and Wildhammers still did not feel like they could trust the Dark Irons.

Mists of Pandaria

During the Zandalari invasion, Varian asked the Council to help repel the invading trolls, who had rallied the Frostmane trolls of Dun Morogh to their cause. Both Falstad and Muradin declined, believing Moira and the Dark Irons would once more take over Ironforge if they sent out any of their own forces. Moira, however, offered her aid and pledged her Dark Iron forces to the task, intending to prove her loyalty to the Council, Ironforge, and the Alliance. Upon her success, the remaining councilors were ashamed of their lack of trust and vowed to never again be ruled by such fear and distrust. United now, the dwarves pledged their full support to the Alliance.

Legion

Upon the Burning Legion's return, Magni suddenly awakened. Still crystalline, he had become the conduit of Azeroth's world soul. It was he who led adventurers to learn of the Pillars of Creation, which were instrumental in defeating the Legion invasion. He also traveled to Argus, and managed to commune with the world soul there, finding out what was going on in the heart of the enemy citadel, Antorus.

This concludes the second part of my dwarf lore posts. Thanks for reading!

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