- This article is about the race in general. For the playable race, see Dwarf (playable). For the language, see Dwarven.
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Dwarves are small, but strong beings for their size mostly inhabiting the snowy, mountainous Khaz Modan region of central Eastern Kingdoms. They are shorter than humans, but taller than gnomes, taking advantage of their size when possible and relying on their robustness and strength when not. The average dwarf is steady, observant and composed both during work and combat, yet able to rage with fierce zeal and persistence when the situation calls for it. While a dwarf prefers to plan forward to overcome challenges, many of them easily lose their temperament and self-restraint when exposed to conditions stirring their feelings and concerns. Dwarves are treasure seekers, explorers, and courageous fighters.
In past ages, the dwarves rarely left the safety of their mountain fortresses, spending their time on refining metal and stone into powerful weapons and beautiful jewelry. However, when the call to battle sounded, they rose up to defend their friends and allies with unmatched courage and valor. Dwarves are fond of drinking, Mining, and finding treasure. However, they are most interested in their past and their relationship with the Titans.
Origin and evolution
- Main article: Earthen
The dwarves derive from the earthen, a prototype race of humanoid creatures consisting of living stone. The earthen were one of the races created by the titans in order to help shape Azeroth after the titans were gone, a so-called "Subterranean being matrix". As creations by the Vanir-titans (probably Khaz'goroth), the part of Azeroth the earthen were to shape was the earth and underground. Although the earthen was a successful creation at first, things would soon change. The Curse of Flesh created by the Old Gods affected the earthen, causing them to mutate into the vicious troggs. As the troggs had a very reduced cognitive ability compared to the original earthen (and other unfortunate aspects the titan's didn't find pleasing, such as cannibalism) the troggs were sealed away, primarily within the ancient Titan city of Uldaman.
Although the earthen were susceptible to the Curse of Flesh, the Titans chose to modify the prototype rather than begin all over again. This modification created earthen referred to as "Series Two". These earthen did not transform into troggs, but into dwarves. While the transformation turned their physical bodies mirroring the stone found on Azeroth into weaker flesh, they still maintained their mental affinity for it, along with their cognitive abilities. The dwarves were actually akin to a return to the default subterranean being that the Titans typically created. This had not been the titan's intentions and they would continue to modify the earthen, but they were satisfied with this outcome, seeing the dwarves acceptable to carry out their task in their own right.
When the Well of Eternity imploded at the end of the War of the Ancients 10,000 years ago, causing the Sundering, the transforming Series Two-earthen were deeply affected, feeling the pain of the earth as if it were their own. They retreated to the places of their origin — the Titan cities of Uldum, Uldaman, and Ulduar — and hibernated for almost eight thousand years. When they awoke, many of them found that their powers over stone and earth had waned and that their rocky hide had softened to smooth skin. Emerging from their Titan-homes, the dwarves from Uldaman made their way out of the Titan city and eventually built Ironforge in Dun Morogh.
This transformation along with other factors have created several different kinds of dwarves. Sometimes the differences derive from different ways of living and philosophy, but often they manifest themselves in the amount of change a dwarf has evolved from the earthen. Some dwarves, like the ones living in Ironforge, has undergone a rather complete transformation (with the exception of Stoneform, see The Explorer's League below), becoming fully fleshy creatures. Others seems to have undergone a semi-change, having aspects of both a fleshy creature and the traits of the earthen, like the Frostborn. The Titans eventually found a way to make earthen that were immune to the Curse of Flesh, which became newly produced by the Forge of Wills and other systems. These earthen never experienced being affected by the Curse of Flesh, still consisting of soil and stone, such as the few remaining Eastern Kingdoms earthen found in Uldaman and the earthen of Ulduar found in Northrend.
Although the titans marked their presence all over Azeroth, dwarves evolving from earthen are limited to Northrend and the Eastern Kingdoms. In Northrend, the original earthen from Ulduar evolved into the Frostborn while in the Eastern Kingdoms, the original earthen from Uldaman evolved into Ironforge dwarves (which later split into the Wildhammer-, Dark Iron- and Bronzebeard-clans, see War of the Three Hammers below).
The dwarves and their progenitors' (the Earthen) interaction with other races and factions (except from with the titans) has been most related to the Alliance. Albeit the dwarves are the major actors in this event, earthen were also called upon to join the Alliance during the War of the Ancients. While the Alliance did not actually exist during this time (the name is probably referring to the gathering of various leaders whose races later would join the future Alliance, some of the leaders were actually sent from the future when the Alliance did exist, such as Rhonin) this event was probably the first time the earthen encountered races like humans and dragons.
As said, the now-flesh dwarves have played a much greater role in the Alliance. While the dwarves in Northrend have stayed rather inactive and never ventured far away from Ulduar, the dwarves emerging from Uldaman have traveled across much of the world and interacted with many other races. They encountered the humans, perhaps their most important allies, ca. 1800 years before the First War and at the same time the high elves as the elves and humans were already allies. Interaction between the dwarves and the humans increased, and the two races soon became allies. For instance, it was the humans who taught the dwarves how to write in common. The humans also introduced the dwarves to the Holy Light. The dwarves on their side used their knowledge to craft powerful weapons for the humans (such as the Ashbringer). Apparently, it was also humans who came up with the name "dwarf", although the night elves had already used it as a derogatory term for earthen before the War of the Ancients. One of the few humans against this union of dwarves and humans was Lord Garithos who discarded all other races than humans as freaks, calling the dwarves idiots and the like. He was however killed by the forsaken at the end of the Third War.
Around 200 years ago, a dwarven explorer set out into the bitter wilderness of Dun Morogh and discovered the gnomes, situated in their small villages west of Ironforge. Both races have a fascination in technology and exchange their creations with one another. Since this union began, the gnomes and dwarves have often been treated as one faction instead of two. By helping each other build amazing devices and weapons, this union has served the Alliance well, supplying the front lines with heavy artillery and explosives. One of the most important events deriving from this friendship was the building of Gnomeregan where both races built the city of gnomes together. When Gnomeregan later was overtaken by troggs during the Third War, the gnome refuges fled under the dwarves protection in Ironforge in order to plan a counterattack. They still remain there, in Tinker Town.
These four races were further joined together during the Second War (which occurred after the War of the Three Hammers, see next section below), when the humans sought the aid of the various kingdoms inhabiting Lordaeron in the battle against the Horde. Originally only the humans were invited, but races such as the dwarves (with the gnomes) and the high elves applied as well when they saw their lands being ravaged. Political leaders like King Terenas and Anduin Lothar gathered the dwarves (of the Ironforge- and Wildhammer-clans), gnomes, high elves and humans into the Alliance of Lordaeron which ultimately defeated the Horde and laid ground for the present-day Alliance. Although this organization has changed much since then, with the departure of some members like most of the high elves (now blood elves) and the gaining of new members like the draenei and the night elves, dwarves still stand as one of the core parts of the Alliance.
War of the Three Hammers
- Main article: War of the Three Hammers
The dwarves of Ironforge were originally a part of the Ironforge clan. They later were divided into three factions: the Bronzebeard clan who controlled the city, the Wildhammer clan who controlled the foothills of the mountain, and the Dark Iron clan who lived in the shadows of the mountain. When the high king of all the dwarves, Modimus Anvilmar, died, violence broke out into a civil war which resulted with the victorious Bronzebeard clan keeping Dun Morogh, the Wildhammers settling in Grim Batol in the Wetlands, and the Dark Irons settling in the Redridge Mountains and founding the city of Thaurissan — named after their leader.
The Dark Irons were bitter about their loss and attacked both kingdoms all at once to prevent one to come to the other's aid. Thaurissan led his army to Ironforge and was ultimately defeated. Thaurissan's wife, Modgud, invaded Grim Batol and used her magic to break through the gates and lay siege to the Wildhammers. Khardros Wildhammer, ruler of Grim Batol, slew the dark queen and was victorious. The clan of Ironforge then went on the offensive and marched onto the Dark Iron clan's capital. But the Dark Irons had accidentally summoned Ragnaros, the lord of fire. Ragnaros ravaged the Redridge Mountains and enslaved the Dark Iron clan. Seeing this terror those of Ironforge turned back to their homes. Unfortunately, Modgud's magic had made the Wildhammer homeland uninhabitable, so they left and migrated north and settled in the Hinterlands and founded the city of Aerie Peak. There, the Wildhammers became more bonded with nature and learned to ride the mighty gryphons. However, some Dark Iron dwarves who had survived the end of the war fled into Grim Batol. They were transformed by the Modgud's dark magic and became something more reptilian than humanoid, called the Skardyn.
The Explorer's League
- Main article: Explorers' Guild
The Explorer's League, or Explorer's Guild as it is also called, is a recent organization founded by dwarves seeking to uncover their past and relation to the titans. Searching for titan (and all other kinds as well, for that matter) artifacts and ruins, their dig sites and camps can be found all over Azeroth - some are even stationed in Outland. Information recovered is carefully analyzed and stored in the Hall of Explorers in Ironforge. The shared duties of either being out on adventure, digging in the ground for lost treasures, or sitting home in Ironforge while filing reports and schedules have given the Explorer's League an effective system with a rapid development. Information recovered increases all the time, and so does the league's members.
The Explorer's League was founded shortly after the Third War. The dwarves had followed the humans to Kalimdor as soldiers against the Burning Legion, and in the aftermath of this war the dwarves discovered they might have been created by powerful beings to shape the earth.
Ruins in Kalimdor suggested that the dwarves' past may have been connected to the titans, and teams of prospectors, excavators and archaeologists were quickly assembled and dispatched to all corners of the world in order to investigate. Additionally, a new area of Ironforge was financed in order to house the league's work. As much of the information about the titans was lost during the earthen's slumber after the Great Sundering, the information has to be gathered all over again from relics and data the titans left behind.
Becoming a member of the league is not an easy task. It requires the applicant (which nearly always is a dwarf) to possess supreme skills in everything from the recognition of mines and herbs to map-making and geography. The league's most profound member is Brann Bronzebeard, a Dwarven explorer who has seen nearly all corners of the world, which has granted him quite the insight in the dwarves' past.
While the dwarves' allies (such as the humans and the gnomes) do not share as much motivation for this project as the dwarves do, they still support and aid the organization. Not only does the league provide much information about distant areas and cultures, several goldmines have also been found during the league's excavations. The humans have also found a greater interest in the league's activity as result from encounters with the vrykul in Northrend, which are the progenitors of humans. Apparently, humans seem to (although somewhat indirectly) derive from the titans as well.
The league's struggle to gain knowledge of the titans has not only resulted in a better understanding of the world, it has also unlocked one of the dwarves' ancient abilities - Stoneform. This ability lets the dwarves turn their skin into stone, becoming similar to the earthen for a short period of time. While this ability is already useful against effects such as poison, the dwarves believe that this is only the first step in reclaiming their earthen-powers.
The dwarves today are spread over all of Azeroth, Outland and Draenor, helping their friends with everything from slaying monsters to seeking for treasures. Their talent of forging metals and ore have had a large impact on their culture and style of living - their cities consists of enormous forges and seething foundries accompanied by enchanted anvils and tools for handling molten ore. Runes and various shapes creates intricate borders and ornaments adorning their constructs and architecture, possibly inspired by the runes passed down to them from the titans.
Dwarves are aligned with all kinds of organizations and associations. One may divide them into two groups; those who serve the Alliance one way or the other, and those who do not.
The majority of dwarves serve the Alliance. This includes the Ironforge, Wildhammer and Frostborn dwarves. The Ironforge ones are those most populous, found as everything from guards within Ironforge to soldiers on the frontlines against whatever the Alliance is fighting. The wildhammer dwarves are also often found as soldiers for the Alliance, but many of them spend their time at their home in the Hinterlands. The frostborn dwarves are the least active kind of dwarf within the Alliance, only found at their home, Frosthold, in the Storm Peaks where they seem to be doing next to nothing. A large part of the Alliance's dwarves are also as mentioned dedicated to the Explorer's League, differing from many of the other dwarfs in the Alliance as the goals of the league (discover the secrets of the titans) and the Alliance (kill whatever threatens the nation of humans and their allies) are rather different. Still they work together, suppressing their enemies and aiding their allies while revealing the secrets of the world. The Alliance has been deeply affected by their dwarf-members since the humans began it - known for firing flaming gunshots and cannonballs at the enemy during war, while drinking ale and beer in surplus amounts during peace, dwarves have affected the Alliance's style of warfare and culture.
Dwarves not allied with the Alliance includes the Dark Iron dwarves and various dwarves working for different organizations such as the Venture Co, pirates, the Argent Dawn and the Twilight's Hammer. Of these, only the dark irons resemble a "true" faction of dwarves. In the other cases, the dwarf could be swapped out with any random creature also aligned with the said faction, such as a gnoll or a tauren, without any relevant change occurring. Their goals and desires differs from most other dwarves, making them freelancing individuals following whatever seemed more profitable.
Dwarves in nature are masters in the arts of blacksmithing, metalwork and mining. They are also superb at developing and constructing machinery, and they have developed several different types of Siege weapons, such as Siege engines and Steam tanks and flying machines, such as Gyrocopters and Dwarven flying machines. As for blacksmithing, the Dwarves are masters at creating new weaponry and armor. There are some who believe that Dwarves have the capability of imparting their emotions directly into the weapons and armor they craft. With the example of Magni Bronzebeard, who did not believe much in the notion that his race could possess such an incredible capability, but when he was creating the Ashbringer at the The Great Anvil, he held so much pain for the loss of his brother, and when he struck down his hammer on the blade he harnessed all of his fury and vengeance and imbued it into the weapon.
Dwarves are 4-5 feet tall, stocky, and muscular. Males prize their elaborate beards; females, their decorative hairstyles and piercings.
Most female dwarves do not appear to have beards. However, Falstad's grandmother, a wild dwarf is described as having a beard and female hill dwarves are described as having beards. A female dwarf with a beard is referenced in a quest in World of Warcraft as well, during the Blump fishing challenge. Graun Blump is said to have a beard. Beards owned by female dwarves appear to be rare (especially in Ironforge dwarves) however, female dwarves who sported strong beards are considered a sign of beauty among members of the race. Two bearded sisters fought in the battle to retake Grim Batol. It is unknown if other female dwarves grow beards, but then chose to shave.
- Ironforge clan; The original dwarven clan which evolved from the earthen. They ruled the other clans until the death of Modimus Anvilmar. The last of the Ironforge clan, the Bronzebeard clan fought during the War of the Three Hammers.
- Bronzebeard clan; The leaders of Ironforge after the death of Modimus Anvilmar. Their capital is Ironforge. They continued to have control of Ironforge following the War of the Three Hammers.
- Stonefist clan; Small clan belonging to the Ironforge dwarves.
- Wildhammer clan; An Alliance non-playable faction who was once united with the other clans by the Ironforge clan.
- Stormpike clan; A clan found primarily living in the Alterac Mountains within the "valleys of Alterac". They have ties to Ironforge and the Wildhammer dwarves.
- Dark Iron clan; A hostile non-playable faction that was once united with the other clans by the Ironforge clan.
- Frostborn; a newly discovered faction. They make their home in Northrend's Storm Peaks and have befriended the Explorers' League.
- Iron dwarves
Hill dwarf is a term to describe dwarves living in the hills. Mountain dwarf is a term used to describe dwarves living in the mountains. Characters described as being hill dwarves include; Rom, Gimmel, Joj, Narn. Characters described as mountain dwarves include; Falstad Dragonreaver, Glodin, Molok, Tupan and Yorg Stormheart. The Bronzebeard clan and the Wildhammer clan have both been described as having hill dwarves and mountain dwarves.
Note: Also referred to as Ironforge dwarves.
- Modimus Anvilmar - Former high king of all dwarves.
- Magni Bronzebeard - King of Ironforge.
- Muradin Bronzebeard aka Yorg Stormheart - Younger brother of Magni, founding member of the Explorer's League, king of the Frostborn, Bronzebeard representative of Council of Three Hammers.
- Brann Bronzebeard - Youngest Bronzebeard brother, Azeroth's most famous explorer.
- Thargas Anvilmar - Descendant of high king Modimus Anvilmar and current wearer of the Helm of the Anvilmars
- Hjalmar Anvilmar - Thargas's older brother and former wearer of the Helm of the Anvilmars
- Moira Thaurissan- Princess of Ironforge, widow of Dagran Thaurissan, Dark Iron representative of Council of Three Hammers.
- Madoran Bronzebeard - King of Ironforge during War of the Three Hammers. Ancestor of Magni, Muradin, and Brann.
- Baelgun Flamebeard - Watcher of Doorward. Former second of Muradin's expedition.
- Rom - Dwarf who fought during the Battle of Grim Batol
- High Priest Rohan - Priest Representative of the New Council of Tirisfal.
Note: Also referred to as wild dwarves.
- Falstad Wildhammer — Current high thane.
- Khardros Wildhammer - High thane of the Wildhammer dwarves during the War of the Three Hammers.
- Kurdran Wildhammer - Chief thane of the Wildhammer clan during the Second War, commander of the gryphon riders of the Alliance Expedition to Draenor, Wildhammer representative of Council of Three Hammers. Currently located in Wildhammer Stronghold in Shadowmoon Valley.
- Maz Drachrip - Thane before Falstad Dragonreaver.
- Dagran Thaurissan - Former Emperor of the Dark Irons.
- Sorcerer-thane Thaurissan - The leader of the Dark Iron clan of dwarves during the War of the Three Hammers.
- Modgud - Sorceress wife of Thaurissan during the War of the Three Hammers.
- Franclorn Forgewright - Once was the chief architect and designer of the Dark Iron dwarves and inventor of the "Stonewrought" method.
Note:Earthen are often called "dwarves" by other races, and by Brann Bronzebeard when speaking of his ancestors.
Note:Frostborn are also referred to as Frost Dwarves.
As in most modern fantasy, the dwarves in the Warcraft universe draw parallels to those in Tolkien's legendarium as well as the original race in Norse mythology. Most notably, and common to both sources, are their facility with and affinity for mining and other crafts of earth and stone. Their short stature and general appearance are common throughout mythology as well as fiction. The Warcraft dwarves' descent from the earthen also mirrors both sources.
The Warcraft dwarven affinity for mechanical engineering may derive in part from the Warhammer games' depiction of dwarves as technologically apt or may itself simply be an extension of their affinity for mining and metalcraft. This also relates to Norse mythology where they are the creators of many of the gods' artifacts and weapons, such as Thor's hammer Mjollnir.
- Apparently, dwarves were the ones who invented the gun. While members of any race can learn to use a firearm, the dwarves still possess a certain knack for it.
- With the recent discoveries of their past, it is now possible that the dwarves might in fact be the eldest race on Azeroth, alongside the Sea Giants, having been created by the titans (as Earthen) to develop the world before the titans' departure.
- Since time before the War of the Three Hammers, the dwarves of the Eastern Kingdoms have had a love for the pipe, and they go nowhere without their personal pipes. They'll even smoke something else if they have to make do. Rom's scouting group inside Grim Batol in Night of the Dragon made a substance from ground brown mushrooms and a red weed found near water. Rom considered the stuff foul, but he smoked some anyway.
- Also long in use before the War of the Three Hammers is the ritual of Gwyarbrawden between the common warriors of the Eastern Kingdoms. It isn't spoken of publicly by the dwarves, let alone to their allies. As such, very few outsiders even know about this part of dwarven society.
- Dwarves are one of the few races that use two death animations.
- Dwarves, like the Earthen, have a connection to the earth. It is very highly assumed that they share this from the earthens, who also have a connection with the earth. This could mean that they maybe can control the earth in some way, and use it to their advantage. (This is indicated in the pre-Catalyscm event when King Magni Bronzebeard says: "We dwarves have a connection to the earth. We can feel her pain. And right now the earth is crying out. These earthquakes... they are both natural and not. I wanted to gather you all together and discuss them.")
- ^ World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, 174
- ^ Lore Keeper of Norgannon
- ^ Series Two
- ^ Earthen
- ^ Earthen
- ^ High elf#New world patterns and the Thalassian kingdom
- ^ Dwarven
- ^ Paladin
- ^ Earthen
- ^ Alliance of Lordaeron
- ^ Alliance technology
- ^ Gnome
- ^ Alliance of Lordaeron
- ^ Second War
- ^ Dwarven relations
- ^ Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, page 43
- ^ Mystery of the Makers
- ^ Great Forge
- ^ Blackrock Mountain
- ^ Dwarven
- ^ Titan
- ^ World of Warcraft: Ashbringer pg 18
- ^ World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, pg. 34
- ^ Day of the Dragon, 264
- ^ Alliance Player's Guide, 166, 168
- ^ Lands of Conflict, ??
- ^ Day of the Dragon, ??
- ^ Night of the Dragon, ??
- ^ Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, page 44
- ^ Dwarf (playable)
- ^ Night of the Dragon pg. 14-17, 130
- ^ Night of the Dragon pg. 17-18