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The following is intended to provide players with an overview of the current setting from an in-character point of view.

 

The setting takes place two years after the conclusion of The Frozen Throne, before the setting of World of Warcraft meaning certain major events already established by the time of World of Warcraft have yet to happen.  The Forsaken have not yet joined the Horde, The Scarlet Crusade have formed only recently and have yet to fully gain their reputation for brutality and cruelty, Hammerfall has just been founded and the King of Stromgarde has been killed only recently.

 

Each section provides a reference of each major faction’s understanding of the world as it now stands.  While reading each section is advised to gain a full understanding of the setting and to get inspiration for your characters or guild concepts, it’s important to note that fresh characters, unless privy to further information or particularly well read, are likely to know only the current affairs and details covered under their faction section.  For example, a Frostwolf grunt will know little about the internal rumours and politics of the Syndicate and a Stromgarde Lieutenant will know little about the Forsaken’s actions.

 

If you wish to play as a faction not current represented and summarized in this guide, please message a server admin so that we can provide information to help you in planning your concepts.

 

 

 

Stromgarde

It has been two years since the collapse of Lordaeron, in the midst of the chaos that followed the kingdom of Lordaeron was overrun by refugees, bringing with them mass poverty and desperation.  Most of these refugees did not stop long in Arathi’s lands, pushing ever further south over the Thandol Span and away, but from the midst of this multitude, the once dwindling Syndicate forces found many new recruits, willing to work for any cause provided they could rely on receiving shelter and food.

 

With Stromgarde’s armies ever devoted to fighting back Scourge incursions, years of desperation went by as the kingdom’s remaining energy was slowly sapped.  When the Scourge were finally fought to a standstill, the celebrations were short lived as the kingdom began to teeter under the internal threats which had so long been left to fester in the face of the Hordes of undead.  Torn between a renewed push from the Ogres, Trolls and Syndicate on different fronts, the kingdom fell apart - the fields were overrun and the Army went unfed, the troops began to desert, the people began to flee - the first great blow to Stromgarde’s pride came when the wall was abandoned, the second when quarters of the city itself fell entirely to a Syndicate uprising from within.

 

Hope seemed lost when the most recent blow came and word was announced that King Thoras Trollbane had been killed.  Stepping into his shoes shortly after his father’s death, Prince Galen has declared himself ruler - never as popular as his father and known as a somewhat cold man, he has drawn what forces remain of Stromgarde’s army into a single quarter of the city where those who have not deserted still fly the kingdom’s banners.  Unwilling to admit defeat, Prince Galen still orders his men to patrol the crumbling highway, promising to rebuild what was lost.

 

To make matters worse, there’s now talk of Orcs in the East side of the Highlands building a fortified encampment.

 

The only farmlands still standing to feed what remains of the population are those held by the Dabyrie family and their hardened and rough militia - disliked by most of the nobles as peasants acting beyond their station, they remain popular among many of the refugees.  They have a reputation for violence and thuggery and their militia keep a close eye on the fields to prevent theft.  However turbulent times make for upsets to the status quo - their position of control over the fields has made the Dabyrie family an enormous power within Stromgarde and rumor has it that the peasant family is currently pushing for entrance into the ranks of the nobility.

 

The rest of the kingdom’s civilian population are currently garrisoned in Refuge Point - under the guard of Captain Nials, an experienced soldier of the Stromgarde Army.  Food is rationed and hard to come by, equipment a constant struggle to maintain and times deeply uncertain, but the stubborn defenders of Stromgarde who remain are those most dedicated to the Kingdom’s cause.

 

 


The Syndicate

The collapse of Lordaeron provided unexpected advantages to the Syndicate force.  Finding a ready supply of new recruits from the near endless stream of desperate refugees fleeing the lands of Lordaeron ahead of the Scourge and able to take advantage of the instability to profit and fund their own operations the Syndicate has seen a resurgence.

 

Taking advantage of the chaos as the mass upheaval spread further South, Lord Falconcrest lead syndicate forces into the city of Stromgarde disguised and in a night of violent action managed to seize control of an entire third of the city, inflicting enormous casualties on the City’s defenders as he took them entirely by surprise.  

 

Meanwhile within Alterac itself, Aiden Perenholde has been consolidating the position of his forces.  The Syndicate are now in a position to deploy forces far and wide - while their men for the most part are closer to brigands than a disciplined force, they have fought an effective guerilla war against the forces of Stromgarde and any others who have attempted to interfere in their operations.

 

However, all is not well within the Syndicate’s internal ranks.  Power is currently divided between Lord Falconcrest and Aiden Perenholde and ideological divisions have formed between the two internal factions.  Lord Aiden is the current official leader, but Falconcrest’s ambitions are well known and he has made no attempt to hide that he wishes to lead the organization himself.

 

Personal ambition aside, the two men differ greatly on the Syndicate’s future.  Perenholde believes that the time has come for Alterac to look towards rebuilding their kingdom as it was before his father betrayed them to the Horde - he advocates the re-enslavement of the Orc tribes in the area and a focus on rebuilding the nation’s settlements in order to defeat Stromgarde’s remaining forces in open war.

 

Falconcrest on the other hand was ever more a pragmatist, a man who has always defended King Perenholde’s decision to ally himself with The Horde.  He believes in accepting aid wherever it is offered and using whichever means available in order to achieve victory.  To this end he has recently been seen with Orcish advisors and has been pushing for the further use of fel and shadow magic, believing it grants the Syndicate forces a necessary edge over Stromgarde.

 

With the recent death of Thoras Trollbane, morale has been high but oddly, no Syndicate leaders or forces seem to have claimed credit for his assassination.  It is currently unclear whether he was actually killed by your forces.

 

 

 

Hammerfall Horde

Hammerfall is a settlement established by one of Thrall’s most trusted bodyguards, Drum Fel, as part of The Horde’s attempt to reestablish relations with their Allies in the Eastern Kingdoms and secure the lands kept by The Horde once they first fled the internment camps.  With Stromgarde in complete collapse, the Orcs were able to construct the beginnings of this new settlement safely and without interference until now - seeking to reach out to the various factions in the area, Drum Fel received a friendly response from the Forstwolves, grateful to see their Brothers return.  From the various Troll factions left behind with the disappearance of Thrall’s Horde and Zul’jin, the response was less friendly.  

 

Contact with the Witherbark trolls was immediately violent - once allies of the Horde they apparently now see the Orcs as cowards who fled and abandoned them.  This initial reaction has made Drum Fel wary of any further attempts to reach out to their kind, holding also the view that the forest trolls were always a monstrous and cruel race.

 

The next wary case The Hammerfall Horde must deal with are the Forsaken - as of yet no direct contact has been made with these undead creatures (This setting takes place prior to The Forsaken joining the Horde).  What scouts have travelled North report that the Undead of Lordaeron appear to be acting entirely independently and that their Armies are currently on the march to the West of the Eastern Kingdoms.  The potential threat of a new Undead foe rests uneasily on the minds of most of Hammerfall’s inhabitants.

 

The ruined kingdom of Stromgarde is not considered much of a threat to the survival of Hammerfall, all information gathered suggests their forces are in disarray and being picked apart from within by the many threats ravaging their lands.

 

Within the settlement itself, power is held by Drum Fel and his wife Korin Fel.  A loyal follower of Thrall, Drum Fel provides leadership and advocates unity while his Wife leads the scouts and spies necessary to protect the settlement from outside threats.  A recent new arrival is a Shadow Hunter sent directly by Vol’jin, Zengu, as of now his mission is still unclear to the rest of the settlement, but he is a powerful warrior by reputation.

 

The Defilers

Lead by the Black Bride, the Forsaken are a paramilitary force that are dedicated to the seizing of lands and resources for The Forsaken.  Acting swiftly where the main Forsaken army move slowly, The Defilers often lead the way in opening up new fronts with tactics that focus heavily on swift surprise actions.  The force comprises those Deathstalkers, Deathguard and Apothecaries who support aggressive Forsaken expansion outside Tirisfal, believing that the lands of the Northern Kingdoms remain the rightful inheritance of Lordaeron.

 

Lacking the full backing of the Forsaken military, the Defilers rely on volunteers to fill out their ranks and make use of creative and aggressive tactics such as espionage and guerilla warfare.  With their initial expansion into Silverpine, the Defilers have been leading the assaults against the Rothide Gnolls, driving them back from the land they occupied after Lordaeron’s collapse.  Early skirmishes have already broken out with local Dalaran forces driven by nationalistic hatred of the lower ranks and strategic wishes to occupy the important border settlements of South Silverpine.

 

At the top of the hierarchy of the Defilers sits the Black Bride. Little is known about the Battlemaster’s past, some say she was infected with the Plague prior to her wedding, devouring her groom in mid ceremony. Others say she made a personal vow, swearing herself to serve the Forsaken and take no other companion in unlife. Regardless, she has proven to be a pragmatic yet compassionate leader and rigid military organizer, overseeing the military and logistics operations. Her true motives behind her actions are unknown, but the Forsaken under her are firmly dedicated to her and the Banshee Queen. Notably, she is quite the stout follower of the Cult of the Forgotten Shadows, often relying on its core tenets to influence her decisions and orders.

 

Under the Black Bride is Deathmaster Dwire, commander of the Deathstalker unit within the Defilers. A bold, stubborn field officer that handles the day-to-day affairs of the Defilers, Dwire has a personal vendetta against the Alliance and she is not afraid to express her zeal. Most volunteers are directed to her for orders. While the pay is not grand, the Defilers rewards their volunteers with the spoils of war gained from their efforts.

 

Alongside the forces, The Cult of Forgotten Shadows has driven forward, seeking to spread the way of the Shadow as quickly as the Forsaken can expand their lands as they erect new chapels and attempt to win over those who do not yet practice.

 

Relations as they stand with the rest of the Forsaken military are somewhat strained.  Currently based in The Sepulcher, frequent disputes have broken out between The Defilers and the main Forsaken military forces lead by the conservative High Executor Hadrec, who believes that the aggression used by the Defilers places the Forsaken’s current position at risk by making too many enemies and opening new fronts to stretch his forces.  He has raised frequent concerns that The Forsaken will overreach and collapse if they continue to expand so aggressively alone.

 

 

 

The Wildhammers & Quel’Danil

When Lordaeron collapsed, The Wildhammers did what they could to assist their allies, but what remained of the resistance and reasonable attempt to reclaim Lordaeron fell apart with the death of Grand Marshal Garithos at Lordaeron city and the subsequent dissolution of the Northern Army.  The Wildhammer forces quickly withdrew to defend their own territory while what remained of the human forces fled South or joined the newly formed Scarlet Crusade.

 

Cut off from what remained of their close Allies, Quel’Thalas, the Wildhammers under Thane Falstad extended a firm hand of friendship to the Elves of Quel’Danil lodge who have joined forces to come under the protection of the larger Wildhammer military forces.  While the homeland remained untouched, the casualties suffered by the miltary forces sent to aid Garithos were substantial and the ultimate failure demoralizing.  As a result of this the Wildhammers as a whole are wary of aiding the new Southern Alliance and the Thane has adopted a strategy of defending the homeland while training new generation of Gryphon riders.  If threatened or called to serve, the Wildhammer can defend their home garrison and deploy quick moving Gryphon riders far from home.

 

Split into various family clans such as the Thundermars, The Mullans, The Doyles and the Firebeards, the Wildhammers are intensely proud of each clan’s heritage.  When outside threats loom, the clans have historically united to stand side by side while falling back into minor feuding and arguments in the absence of any external concerns.  The recent months have seen a resurgence in Clan bickering as barring the Troll tribes there have been few threats to unite against.

 

While reluctant to form any new Alliances, the Wildhammers continue to honour the two remaining Allies they have - the Elves of Quel’Danil who, cut off from their homeland, have come to join forces closely with the Wildhammers in the region.  Under Jalinde Summerdrake the small force of Elves provide what aid they can.  Notably, the Elves have been outspoken and angry about the Kirin Tor in particular following the Magi’s complacency in the arrest and attempted execution of their kin serving under Prince Kael’Thas.  Wildhammer sympathy for their Elven Allies has lead to a cold reception for any Kirin Tor delegates in recent years.

 

Meanwhile, to the South, The Wildhammers continue to honour their Alliance with Stromgarde.  While Falstad Wildhammer believes that the Syndicate threat is a human matter which the Dwarves should not become involved in, he values the Alliance between the two.  A current sticking point in this is a sense amongst the Wildhammers that Prince Galen is not the man his father was, although most of the Clan heads hold that he deserves a chance to prove himself before being judged.

 

 

 

The Stormpike Expedition

Vanndar Stormpike is a recent arrival in Alterac - leading what is currently an archaeological expedition to uncover the relics and heritage of the Stormpike Clan.  With only a small contingency of guards, the expedition has arrived only extremely recently and is still currently in the process of scouting for appropriate dig sites and arranging their camp properly.  Prospector Stormpike currently leads the archaeological team in their initial surveying and plans to begin digging very soon.  The area is also rich in natural resources, fit for mines to be dug and ores to be refined.

 

While the clan have no intention of seeking battle, Vanndar and his forces have seen worrying numbers of Frostwolf scouts in the area keeping a close watch on their camp.  Wary of being caught unawares, Vanndar is currently considering how best to ensure the Stormpikes can carry on their work uninterrupted.  As things stand he is considering whether to send South for reinforcements or whether to try and seek some aid from the local WIldhammer tribe - while relations between the Stormpikes and Wildhammer are not strong, they could be a valuable ally if properly handled.

 

In the meantime, the Mountaineers with the expedition have begun scouting the area for any further threats.  There have been some early skirmishes with the local Trolls who seem intent on driving the Dwarves out, Vanndar for his part is unsure where precisely the trolls have come from.  He intends to warily investigate the sources of the Troll attacks.

 

The Syndicate forces in the area give the clan further reason for concern, although for now they have adopted an uneasy truce, as the goals of the two factions do not cross, the Syndicate for now seem happy to leave the Dwarves be if they in turn are not interfered with.

 

The Frostwolf Clan

Under Drek’Thar, the Frostwolves have built themselves a new home in the mountains, upholding the clan’s traditions of close bonding with their kindred wolves, respect for nature and Shamanism, and a stoic rejection of bloodlust and rage.  Riding out the collapse of the Northern Kingdoms, the Frostwolf clan’s territory is secure and well guarded by their warriors and their scouts roam far and wide across the North, keeping a close eye on potential threats to their way of life.

 

The recent founding of Hammerfall has given the clan some hope of reuniting more completely with their kin who sailed across the sea, although proper contact has yet to be made with the leaders of the new settlement.  Drek’Thar intends to send words of friendship as soon as possible and to reconnect with their brethren.

 

More worrying news comes from the Northern borders of the mountains - the Frostwolf clan watched closely as the Lordaeron situation developed and learned very quickly of the death of Garithos and the rise of the new Forsaken forces.  Relying on the scouting reports and what information he can gather about the tactics the Forsaken have adopted, Drek’Thar has come to the unhappy conclusion that this force of independent undead are driven by a vile and merciless military machine with little respect for the rules of honourable warfare.  What word has come back to the Frostwolves from the North tells tales of the Forsaken slaughtering what few human farmers remain in Lordaeron, making free use of the dark magic the Orcs themselves have since rejected and beginning to skirmish with the Kirin Tor survivors to the West.

 

A further worry are the Dwarves moving into the foothills - wary of their reputation for industrializing areas, carving out enormous mines and plundering regions of their natural resources, the Shamans of the Frostwolf clan fear for the damage that could be inflicted on their home by the careless actions of the Stormpikes.  Dispute rages between the various clan members over whether the Dwarves should be driven out now before they are able to settle into the mountains while Drek’Thar holds his forces back, hoping these actions will not be necessary.

 

The Frostwolves have for the most part stayed well clear of the Syndicate forces in the area, seeing no advantage in a new foe.  However, worrying reports indicate that the Syndicate have begun practicing dark magical rituals - hunters tell of dark magic chanting into the night and unknown Orcs mingling with some of the Syndicate forces.  Mercenaries?  Or agents of the Burning Legion?  While reluctant to seek battle with the humans again, no Orc can easily forget the threat these agents can pose to all of Azeroth or neglect their duty to defend against them.

 

Lordaeron Remnants

In the recent Second War, Hillsbrad and Southshore were once bases of operations for the combined Alliance forces standing against the orcish Horde. It also provided a refuge for arriving survivors of the fallen Kingdom of Stormwind, however both townships were razed by the forces of the Horde. Despite such destruction, reconstruction finished just before the Third War.

 

As part of the Duchy held by the powerful Barov family of Lordaeron, Hillsbrads Foothills stand as the only region of the kingdom not to be completely devastated by the events of the Third War. While most of  the Alliance Remnants gathered in the north to form the zealous Scarlet Crusade, many gather in Southshore and recognize it as the last legitimate bastion for Lordaeron and a forward base of operations for Stormwind interests in the area. While the origins of their citizens may differ, the people of Hillsbrad remain dedicated to the Alliance.   

 

With the collapse of the Barov family, the two townships have split themselves in governance. In Hillsbrad, Magistrate Rutherford Burnside resides as the sole leader of the farmstead after the Council was assassinated, presumably by Syndicate forces. Hillsbrad stands notably weaker with a lack of centralized military forces, mainly relying on citizen militia. This is offset by the fact that the farmstead provides most of the food supply in the entire Hillsbrad region, making it an extremely valuable objective. Furthermore, the township holds the Azurelode Mine under Foreman Bonds control, allowing their blacksmiths to forge equipment for the militia and making a profit on exporting the rest. As of late, the Syndicate are become increasingly more bold and brazen in their raids against the farms from their seat of power in Durnholde. Furthermore, the undead Scourge encroach further and further out of the ruins of Tarren Mill.  

 

Magistrate Henry Maleb, a frequent target of Syndicate assassins, serves as the civil ruler of Southshore. As the only link between northern Eastern Kingdoms and Stormwind, the port town has seen itself reinforced by Stormwind interests. Marshal Marcus Redpath serves as the commander of the town’s military, centering his efforts on improving security and eliminating threats to the region. In addition to fielding citizen militia, Stormwind guard aid in the protection of the harbor as well as providing military advisors to help coordinate Redpath’s operations, rather than directly commit soldiers. Many refugees seek to use this port to travel to safer lands, however plenty of others stay behind and commit themselves to reclaim Lordaeron.

 

While govern separately, the two townships foster a relationship out of survival against a tide of enemies that seek their destruction. The costly defeats of the Second War will not be repeated, and by the Light’s will Lordaeron will be restored soon enough!

 

The Kirin Tor

The razing of Dalaran in the Third War has crippled the once great city-state. Many of their predominant Archmages have fallen in battle or madness, their magi-armies and arcane guardians in shambles. Only once the Scourge finally moved on from the ruined city did the Kirin Tor re-emerge to begin reconstruction, saving what precious few artifacts and knowledge that the looting undead left behind. While they pledged what support they had to the Alliance Remnants, they were widely accused of complacency as Lord Marshal Garithos alienated their elven members by the imprisonment and attempted genocide of the forces under Prince Kael’thalas Sunstrider. Such an act committed in the name of the old Lordaeron Alliance has led the Kirin Tor to adopt a policy of isolationism. Erecting a massive arcane barrier over what remains of their city, Kirin Tor agents move to occupy their state territory in an attempt to safeguard the restoration efforts as well as to locate additional resources to fuel the reconstruction.

 

One outpost has been established at the old Lordamere Internment Camp, led by Warden Belamoore. From the secured location, she intends to study the condition of the undead in an attempt to find a weakness to defeat the Scourge. Furthermore, the Warden seeks to uncover the purpose of a mysterious set of Artifacts that could potentially provide a new weapon for the Kirin Tor.

 

A secondary force has been sent to Ambermill under the command of Archmage Ataeric, securing the abandoned Gilnean settlement. Efforts have already gone underway to ignite the lumber mill once more for the reconstruction process. Meanwhile, several Kirin Tor Ley Walkers have been reported to committing extensive research into the area, however their mission remains on a need-to-know basis, enforced by high ranking Kirin Tor agents.

 

While Dalaran seeks neutrality, most of their members are still friendly and open to the efforts of the old Alliance, if only in moral support. For now, their entire focus is securing what remains of the vital location of Dalaran and preserving the powers contained there.

 

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