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Earthen are stony proto-beings, similar to dwarves, that were created by the Titans to help shape the world of Azeroth. Earthen have at least two physical forms: those primarily seen in Uldaman and those primarily seen in Ulduar. The history of the earthen and their transformation into the race known as dwarves can be found recorded in the Discs of Norgannon in Uldaman. Further history about research conducted in Northrend can be found in Ulduar.
Earthen are the product of modifications to the standard subterranean being matrix used by titans to terraform their worlds.
Titans were experimenting at creating, "earthen", a race of guardians from living stone in many facilities all over Azeroth (Bael Modan, Uldaman, Ulduar etc). Troggs were the mistaken first attempt at crafting earthen due to a matrix destabilization which occured when earthen were utilized in high-stress environments. They sealed the mistakes in vaults all over the world. The titan scientists referred to their "successful" second race experiment as Series Two. ( Series Two earthen were proven to be susceptible to the )Curse of Flesh and over thousands of years of evolution many became dwarves. A new series of earthen were created in Northrend that proved to be immune to the Curse of Flesh.
War of the Ancients
Before the War of the Ancients, technology was rare, and most tinkers and simple technology was found among the earthen.
During the War of the Ancients, most "dwarves" chose to seal the gates of their underground cities, leaving the night elves to face the demons on their own. However, while they didn't have much contact, the earthen fought during the war. They fought an underground war in the shadows to prevent the return of the demons to the world of the living. Another group of earthen were convinced to join the Alliance against the Legion by the dragon-mage Krasus, even while being looked down upon by the night elves. It was a reluctant truce, as the earthen were called in by Krasus, Rhonin, and Malfurion in defiance of the xenophobic commander, Desdel Stareye. They were led by Dungard Ironcutter. The earthen were initially put to the outskirts of the host, but after Stareye's "tragic" demise, their warriors were put to their best use under the new commander, Jarod Shadowsong.
When the world was sundered by the Well of Eternity's implosion, the earthen were deeply affected. Something happened to change them, perhaps the War of the Ancients, and many turned into the mortal dwarves, as they are now.
Reeling with the pain of the earth itself, the earthen lost much of their identity and sealed themselves within the stone chambers of the Titan cities where the earthen first took shape and form. Buried deep beneath the world, the earthen rested in peace for nearly eight thousand years.
Though it is unclear what awakened them, the earthen sealed within Uldaman eventually arose from their self-imposed slumber. These earthen found that they had changed significantly during their hibernation. Their rocky hides had softened and become smooth skin, and their powers over stone and earth had waned. They had become mortal creatures. They had forgotten most of their history before coming out the slumber. The last of the transformed earthen left the halls of Uldaman and ventured out into the waking world. They were encountered by humans who called them "dwarves" a name which they adopted.
Earthen in Northrend
According to information from the Tribunal of Ages, it is understood that the earthen created in Northrend are actually a new version created by the Titans after the discovery of the Curse of Flesh. The Forge of Wills and other systems were institutited to insure they would have an immunity to the Curse, and therefore will never transform. Otherwise, the northern earthen are exactly the same as the ancestors of dwarves and troggs. This fact gives the Explorers' League an invaluable resource in studying dwarven origins, how it relates to modern dwarf branches, and other works by the Titans.
This section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.
The earthen's physical features are that of a smaller stature humanoid, though their composition is that of Azeroth's various stone core compounds. They have stone hides (or "rock skin") and are more "elemental" in nature. Their design maximizes strength and stamina without sacrificing cognitive processing power. Their skin and musculature are nearly impervious to physical damage, and with very minor modifications the earthen display a remarkable resiliency to unwanted magical forces. They do not need to breathe and can tunnel around without shovels or picks. Their beards are actually an intricate series of mineral growths. They are immortal.
Original-type (Series One)
The first generation of earthen (Series One) are the earthen that destabilized into troggs. Their physical appearance is unknown due to the fact that all (or most) of that generation of earthen turned into troggs. However based on information given by the Lore Keeper of Norgannon, they may have had an appearance similar to the Series Two line. The first creation and experiments with this line appear to have occured in the Bael Modan facility (but appear to have also occured in Uldaman). Troggs have been found in other facilities and vaults around the world.
Southern-type (Series Two)
This type was primarily associated with Uldaman. They have appeared mainly in the eastern kingdoms, though a few have been seen in Kalimdor. Although apparently more resilient to magical forces than the first series, they are susceptible to the curse of flesh and, like troggs, can destabilize if utilized in high stress environments, becoming dwarves. Destabilization also occured after the War of Ancients for a group of earthen while they were slumbering in Uldaman. These newly transformed dwarves left the facility to found the nation of Khaz Modan, leaving other unmutated earthen behind.
Northern-type ("earthen dwarf")
These are a new type of Earthen that were created in Ulduar (via the Forge of Wills) to replace previous generations of earthen that were succeptible to the curse of flesh. While they are simply called earthen there is some association with the term, earthen dwarf (see notes below). Most currently known northern-type earthen were exiled from Ulduar. These earthen are made from the Enchanted Earth located in Northrend, giving them their unique look. They are able to use this earth to heal their wounded as well. These earthen are incapable of bleeding. They can speak many dialects very clearly, unlike the other earthen located around Azeroth.
Khaz'Goroth was the facility overseer of the facility near Bael Modan nearly 100,000 years ago. His scientists began the first series of experiments to create a race of stone, known as the "earthen". Mirroring the events at other titan facilities, the earthen destabilized turning into troggs. When the titans saw how brutal and misshapen the troggs were, they buried them in the northern vault of the facility. ( Bael Modan is noted as being one of the facilities where the first series of earthen were developed, implying it represents the earliest research into the creation of earthen (it is unclear if any Series Two were developed there). )
The Uldaman facility was apparently used to produce Series Two earthen (and to contain previous failed experiments such as troggs). Uldaman once contained earthen that had destabilized into dwarves. Following the events of the War of the Ancients some of the earthen went into deep slumber. Some time later they were awakened by an unknown cause. During their slumber they had evolved into dwarves. The dwarves left Uldaman and founded the civilization of Khaz Modan and the great city of Ironforge. ( Uldaman is still guarded by earthen which have not yet succumbed to the Curse of Flesh. )
The Ulduar facility appears to have been used for a new generation of earthen. At this facility the Forge of Wills and other systems were implemented to prevent the Curse of Flesh. A group of troggs called Forged Iron Troggs were also kept there.
Uldum is one of the ancient titan cities where the earthen first took shape and form. It is said that after the War of the Ancients earthen reeled with the pain of the earth itself and lost much of their identity and sealed themselves within the city's stone chambers.
The "earthen" set of names was chosen by the Creators, based on the earthen's composition, that of Azeroth's stone core materials.
According to the Lore Keeper of Norgannon, "Dwarf" is the term used for the second variant of Earthen destabilization (aka Series Two). Before the War of the Ancients, the term "dwarf" appears to have been used as a derogatory term by the night elves towards non-mutated earthen. In the present dwarf has also retroactively been used by dwarves and others to refer to all non-mutated earthen.
Most pre-sundering history was later forgotten as the earthen entered their slumber, and changed into the beings they are now. Brann Bronzebeard states in one of his books that when the humans first met the dwarves they just simply called them dwarves.
Back when we created Ironforge we had no idea that anyone else existed in the world. We didn’t even have a written language — everything was handed down by word of mouth. Naturally, facts became legends and legends became forgotten. The early dwarves were so busy mining and smithing their little hearts out that remembering the past just didn’t seem all that important. They got very, very good at smelting ore and making things, but that was about it. However, from what we know of those early days, my people were happy. Then, one day, a couple thousand years ago or so, the first humans appeared at the gates of Ironforge. We know this because human written tales of the day tell of the race of short, stocky, bearded master smiths who shared a great love of crafting and storytelling. Dwarves, they called us, and thus we are known today, even though at the time we didn’t know the word literally meant “diminutive.” Ah well, it could be worse — they could’ve called us “beard-men” or “rockheads” or something like that.
Since then the dwarves have kept this name. It should be noted that its unclear when humans first met the dwarves (it appears to be after the War of the Ancients), and that humans had been around since before the Sundering, then known as the Azotha. However, the fact that humans met dwarves who didn't realize there were other races around implies either that this occurred millennia before the War, or at some point after the Earthen's transformation.
- As noted above, the term "earthen" was chosen by the "Creators" in reference to the material that the race is composed of — stone and earth.
- The term "trogg" is the term used by the "Creators" to refer the first variant of destabalized earthen ("Series One").
- The term "dwarf" by itself when when used by "Creators" more properly refers to the second variant of destablized earthen ("Series Two").
- Quest titles refer to Northrend-type earthen as the "" or "The Earthen of Ulduar (for their place of origin) but are only referred to as earthen within the quest text.
- Northern-type earthen are associated with term "earthen dwarf", Earthen Dwarves are NPCs in the Halls of Stone, and earthen dwarf is also the name for the model in the files. It is unclear why northern-type earthen would be referred to as "earthen dwarves", since the term "dwarf" seems to more approprietly refer to the mutated Series Two earthen.
- The term "earthen dwarf" was mentioned in previous literature, such as the writings of Thomas Lovell Beddoes, the Bride's Tragedy, published in 1822, "Love as a blindfold imp, an earthen dwarf".
- Earth dwarves were also a variation of dwarf found in Dungeons and Dragons Roleplaying Game.
- It is unclear if Blizzard's use of the term earthen or earthen dwarves is a coincidence. It is unknown if they invented the terms on their own or were inspired by references in previous literature, mythology, or fantasy.
- One curious note is that the earthen are the only race that are definitively known, so far, that the Titans made a version immune to the Curse of Flesh. Why they would choose the earthen is unknown. Whether other Titan seed races have Curse-immune versions also remains to be seen.
Curse of Flesh
It is revealed in the Wrath of the Lich King expansion by Gearmaster Mechazod that, like the gnomes, a catalyst for their transformation into dwarves may have been the "Curse of Flesh" turning their stone skin into soft flesh. However, the source of this information seemed clearly dubious as Mechazod is quite obviously mad, but many mechagnomes have been found in the Storm Peaks amongst the titan ruins surrounding Ulduar, who serve as guardians of the titans work.
Perhaps something similar to the curse of flesh turned northern-type earthen into iron dwarves (see below).
Frostborn & Iron dwarves
Perhaps frostborn are earthen made of ice or are earthen who had adapted to the harsh cold of Northrend. An interesting note that can be taken from Northrend earthen's physical appearance is that while frostborn resemble the northren-type Earthen's cousins from the Eastern Kingdoms, only Iron dwarves resemble the northern-type, even having a blue internal glow. This would point to Ulduar as being the origin (or the only one known) of the Iron dwarves' progenitors, the first version of this kind of earthen, which means that similarly to the Earthen of Uldaman who became the first dwarves, a group of Earthen from Ulduar could have ventured out due to a possible high stress enviorment they became the first Iron dwarves. If this theory is correct then it is somewhat ironic how Loken is leading the Iron dwarves against their progenitors.
It is of noteworthy interest to mention that northern-type earthen are made from stone and do not bleed (as per the quest text from a dying nothern-type earthen in Thor Modan), frostborn do bleed (as per quest text from a dying frostborn in the valley below Frosthold). It has not been confirmed if southern-type earthen can bleed or not, but it is most likely they do not.
Alternatively, since "earthen" is a term that refers to the physical composition of the race (i.e. made out of stone and earth materials), then frostborn would imply a separate race made out of ice. This would suggest that "frost dwarves" may be secondary evolution of the original frostborn. However it is possible that the frostborn have never evolved (or cursed as the case may be). However it is possible that both types of earthen were once created in Ulduar, Southern like Uldaman and Northern like Ulduar, but due to the harsh enviorments of Northrend, the Southern type of Earthen could have succumbed to the Curse of Flesh overtime, the High-stress enviorments of the north rather then those of warmer climates causing their frosty pigmentation.
This latter interpretation might also explain the use of the term "earthen dwarf". It is possible that the term may be a term generated by Brann Bronzebeard (the main individual to encounter/spawn the "Earthen Dwarf" npcs in Ulduar) to describe them, much in the same way he used frost dwarf to describe the frostborn.
Uldum is a research facility for the titans in their continuing efforts to enhance the biosphere of Azeroth. Specific information regarding their work as it relates to Uldum is unknown. The facility is believed to contain earthen, but also appears to be associated with mountain giants. Although earthen may be associated with the facility in some form, if so, it is still unclear what types of earthen were constructed or are contained there. The information mentioned by Lore Keeper of Norgannon and contained on the Discs of Norgannon may imply that the facility contains further research beyond that kept in Uldaman. However it is unclear if research conducted there predates or post-dates the research commited at the Ulduar facility.
- ^ a b c Lands of Conflict, 17
- ^ Earthen Warrior
- ^ a b HPG, 242
- ^ a b Tribunal of Ages
- ^ a b c d e f Alliance Player's Guide, 140
- ^ Alliance Player's Guide, 169
- ^ Lands of Conflict, 14
- ^ The Sundering
- ^ Lands of Conflict
- ^ a b c Ironforge - the Awakening of the Dwarves
- ^ a b c d e Lore Keeper of Norgannon
- ^ Lands of Conflict, 16
- ^ The Sundering, 14
- ^ APG, #
- ^ The Sundering, 15
- ^ http://www.rc.umd.edu/editions/beddoes/act2.html