Two races were equally shaken up with the Shattering. The first are the Tauren, who lost their beloved leader Cairne Bloodhoof when he challenged Garrosh Hellscream to a duel that he subsequently lost. The second are the Dwarves of Ironforge, who also lost a leader -- though it wasn't because of duels, political tensions, or anything of the sort. Instead, the Dwarves lost Magni Bronzebeard when he attempted to try and save the world.
The crux of the problem with the Tauren was that their leader was killed in a duel due to interference from the Grimtotem tribe. With the Dwarves, the crux of the problem began after Magni's death. After all, Cairne had Baine to step up and take charge after his father's death; but Magni Bronzebeard ... well. He had a daughter and a grandson, but both were sided with the "enemy" -- the Dark Iron Dwarves. What does all this mean to Dwarven roleplayers? Plenty.
What happened Magni Bronzebeard perished ... sort of. He was petrified, turned to diamond by a ritual meant to try and discern the issue with the elemental uprising. The ritual was recorded on a tablet that was found in the depths of Ulduar, home to the Old God Yogg-Saron. Though Magni is technically gone, his diamond body is viewable in Old Ironforge, below the throne room.
How this affects your character Magni Bronzebeard, much like Cairne Bloodhoof, was a beloved and cherished leader. His loss was a tragedy that affected every Dwarf in Ironforge, and even the hardest of hearts felt some shred of grief. His demise is on record and well known by the Dwarven people, since his body is on full display for anyone to see.
What to consider Was your character affected by Magni's death? Did he cherish Magni as a leader? Or was he perhaps unmoved by Magni's death, instead wondering why exactly a ruler would risk himself performing a strange ritual, instead of letting someone else do it? Does he think the ritual was a foolish decision, given the origins of the tablet? Does he wonder how he would have handled the situation, or does he simply grieve?
What happened After Magni's death, Ironforge had no ruler -- until Magni's errant daughter Moira appeared, baby in tow, and demanded the crown. This led to a coup that held Ironforge in a state of martial law until the Alliance intervened. But Moira couldn't be killed for her trangressions, because she did have a legitimate claim to Ironforge's throne. Instead, Varian Wrynn called for the Council of Three Hammers to come together, with representatives from the Dark Iron, Bronzebeard, and Wildhammer Dwarves to speak for their individual clans.
How this affects your character Any Dwarf who is Dark Iron, Wildhammer, or Bronzebeard is going to be affected by this -- the Dwarves just experienced a political reformation. Instead of simply being led by one king, Ironforge is now led by council. The Dark Iron Dwarves have long been enemies of the Bronzebeard and Wildhammer clans, so having a Dark Iron representative on the Council may be frustrating, to say the very least.
What to consider Is your Dwarf upset at the political change? Would he have preferred Moira to meet her early demise? Does he think one king should run Ironforge, or does he think the idea of a Council is a good one? How does he feel about the Alliance's interference in Moira's attempted coup? Does he appreciate the Alliance stepping in, or does he feel they should have kept their noses out of Dwarven affairs? How does he feel about Varian Wrynn setting up the new political leadership of the Dwarves?
What happened Since the Dwarves now have a Council that includes all three Dwarf clans, members of all three of those clans now have a much larger presence both in Ironforge and beyond. As far as the Dark Iron clan is concerned, both Wildhammer and Bronzebeard would rather not have them around at all. Reviled by both clans due to their actions during the War of the Three Hammers, the Dark Iron Dwarves aren't trusted, or even particularly liked. The Wildhammer, on the other hand ... the Bronzebeard clan and the Wildhammer clan aren't really enemies, but they aren't exactly friends, either. The Wildhammer Dwarves have long been known to be wild, untamed, and almost feral -- their acts of "bravery" often viewed by other clans as being stupidity rather than being brave.
How this affects your character If your character calls Ironforge home, it means that the enemy has not only invaded, but they've been given food, a warm bed, ale, and a place to stay. Depending on how he feels about the other Dwarven clans, this may create a rift in whether or not he views Ironforge as safe -- or even whether or not he still thinks of the city as home. Moira's coup was unsettling enough for most Dwarves, the addition of Dark Iron and Wildhammer to the cities is apt to be even more so.
What to consider Does your character call Ironforge his home? What does he think about Dark Iron Dwarves being present in the city? Does he feel Ironforge is less safe than it used to be? How does he feel about the Wildhammer Dwarves? Does he view them as noble allies or as flighty, arrogant pests that have had their heads in the clouds for far too long? Does the presence of other clans affect how long he spends in Ironforge? Does he call another city his home now?
Exploring your roots
What happened Throughout vanilla and Wrath of the Lich King, the Explorer's Guild has been an important part of Dwarven society, intent on researching the origins of the Dwarven race. In vanilla, much of this was discovered in Uldaman when it was revealed that the Dwarves originated from Earthen that were created by the Titans. In Wrath, more information was found regarding these Titans and the creation of Azeroth in the Tribunal of Ages even in Halls of Stone. In Cataclysm, the Dwarves continue to look for information regarding the creation of the world and the races upon it, but they now have rivals in the form of the Reliquary, a blood elf organization seeking out artifacts for themselves.
How this affects your character Dwarves have an almost natural interest in the history of their race and in the history of their world. Whether or not this is a passing interest or something your Dwarf character is really interested in is up to you -- but the amount of information we have regarding the Titans, and zones like Uldaman, Ulduar, and Uldum all provide interesting bits and pieces for random roleplay.
What to consider Is your Dwarf interested in his past? Is he an avid explorer, constantly on the lookout for more artifacts and information, or is he slightly less enamored with the idea of digging into his roots? If he doesn't really care for exploration, how does he feel about the Explorer's Guild -- does he view it as a waste of time? Does he view the members as delightful crackpots or raving lunatics? How does he feel about the blood elves and their sudden interest in archaeology?
While Dwarven characters received a shakeup in the form of Magni Bronzebeard's untimely demise, this shouldn't be the be-all and end-all focus of a Dwarven roleplayer. Racial tensions, a rising number of Wildhammer and Dark Iron representatives, and even the Alliance's influence in choosing to establish the Council of Three Hammers are all points to consider. There's also the little matter of the addition of the warlock and shaman classes -- Dwarven warlocks may have to deal with a wary reception by others of their kind.
Dwarven shaman have a couple of different things working against them. Most likely they are Wildhammer, or trained by Wildhammer, and as we mentioned previously, the Wildhammer clan isn't exactly well-received in social circles. On top of this, shaman commune with the earth -- the self-same earth that claimed King Magni Bronzebeard. This not only gives them an added level of sympathy for Bronzebeard's untimely demise but may have them looking at that event in a wholly different light than most. After all, shaman commune with the earth on a daily basis, without need for strange rituals. Why didn't Bronzebeard simply approach a shaman, instead of indulging in a foolish ritual?
All in all, Dwarven roleplayers have plenty to think about when it comes to character development and how their character interacts with the rest of the world. Cataclysm wasn't just a physical upheaval for the Dwarves -- it represented a wholly new way of thinking from a political standpoint, and the return of enemies at the hands of friends. While some may simply view Dwarves as drunken explorers obsessed with beer and trinkets, the Dwarven race has the potential for some truly interesting and well thought-out characters.
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