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Know Your Lore: Current Alliance politics -- the dwarves, part two, page 2

Anne Stickney

Players questing through the Storm Peaks run into the Frostborn dwarves – a faction of frost dwarves that have made their home in Northrend and until Wrath of the Lich King, had never been seen or heard of by their southern cousins. The Frostborn are led by King Yorg Stormheart, a dwarf who doesn't resemble the frost dwarves at all -- in fact, he looks suspiciously like those southern cousins I just mentioned. The story of Yorg's past is unknown but a Frostborn dwarf named Velog Icebellow tells players of the remarkable day Yorg was found:
Years back, my father and several other frostborn were returning from a trek across Dragonblight. There was a heavy blizzard... far worse than we've ever seen since. They crossed a trail of blood-soaked snow and followed it to a dwarf wandering and speaking in a dialect they couldn't make out... and not a dwarf of our kind mind you, but a mountain dwarf - something our kind had not seen before.

The dwarf seemed lost, having no memory of where he came from, or even of his own name. Not being the kind to leave a dwarven cousin to die in the snow, my father's party took him in and continued back towards Frosthold. Not long later, out of nowhere, the snow burst before them and a jormungar the size of Veranus herself came down upon their party... one of them was swallowed whole before they even had time to react.

My father thought they were all doomed... but behind him, a furious roar rumbled across the snow, and he turned to see the mountain dwarf growing in size, his skin taking on a stone-like texture, and his hands sizzling with lightning. The dwarf barreled forward with a sound like rolling thunder and hurled a shining metal hammer, lightning coursing over its surface, directly into the jormungar's throat.

The jormungar collapsed instantly, its head barely still attached to its convulsing body. My father turned to the dwarf in awe and raised a fist in praise... The stranger having no name of his own, my father deemed "Yorg," a name reserved for the champions of legend. Years later, he now stands before us as Yorg Stormheart, King of the Frostborn. King Stormheart has trained us well... turned us into even more fearsome warriors than we could have boasted during the time of our war with the Frost Giants.
Mysterious origins, indeed. Later, players encounter Brann Bronzebeard, who has been looking into the Titan stronghold of Ulduar. After saving him from death at the hands of iron dwarves, Brann and Yorg finally come face to face and meet for the first time:
Brann Bronzebeard says: By all the gods... it can't be... Muradin?!
Yorg Stormeheart says: What's that? You talkin' to me, lad?
Brann Bronzebeard says: Come on boy, there's no mistak'n it -- it's definately you. Don't ya recognize your younger brother?
Yorg Stormheart says: My brother... yes... I do have brothers...
Muradin clutches his head and reels for a moment as the memories rush back to him.
Yorg Stormheart says: ...Brann?
Brann Bronzebeard says: I can't believe this! You were dead! All accounts said so... what happened, Muradin. How did you get here?
Yorg Stormheart says: I... I dunno, Brann. I've been 'ere a long time... all I 'ave of me life before this place are flashes and nightmares.
Yorg Stormheart says: It's good te see you though, brother. More than words can say.
Brann Bronzebeard says: Indeed! Magni will be so happy to see you too! He's gotten nothing but bad news for a long time now, but this changes everything!
Brann Bronzebeard says: He's here in Northrend, brother, looking for you. A seer in Wintergarde brought word that you were not dead, and he left Ironforge immediately to come find you.
Magni Bronzebeard yells: Look, Lagnus, I consider you a capable man, but my patience is wearing thin. I know that Muradin is here, can you point me to him or not?
Brann Bronzebeard says: Speaking of which...
Magni Bronzebeard yells: Brother! There you are! I can barely believe my eyes... you're alive!
Yorg Stormheart says: Magni! Forgive me, the memories are comin' back slowly, brother.
Magni Bronzebeard says: It's so good to see you again, Muradin. And what's this I heard about you being a King in your own right now? The Bronzebeards were always destined to greatness.
Yorg Stormheart says: The frostborn have been very good to me. They're strong people.
Magni Bronzebeard says: So it seems! And you haven't lost any muscle yourself. Do you remember anything of what happened, Muradin? Fate as turned ill in your absence.
Yorg Stormheart says: Not much, Magni. I've had nightmares of a human... tall... light hair... death black armor. His name rests on the tip of me tongue, but...
Yorg Stormheart says: ...Arthas.
Magni nods.
Magni Bronzebeard says: He's not the boy of your memories anymore, Muradin. He's become something else entirely.
Yorg Stormheart says: Aye, I know. I watched him turn... I watched him give up all that was right and I didn't lift a hand... I didn't even consider it until it was too late.
Brann Bronzebeard says: That's in the past, Muradin. Regrets won't change anything.
Yorg Stormheart says: No... no they won't. But I can make this right. I have te. I'm goin' after the boy. I'll make'm answer for everything he's done.
Magni Bronzebeard says: Are you sure Muradin? I just got you back after years of thinking you were dead. I do not want to lose you again.
Yorg Stormheart says: I'm sure, Magni. I'll see this through, don't ya worry.
Magni Bronzebeard says: So be it then. I have to return to my people, brothers. Come back to me in one piece.
Brann Bronzebeard says: Aye, be safe Muradin. I'd join you, but I'm on top of the most amazing discovery the world has yet seen. I can't abandon it now.
Yorg Stormheart says: Go Brann. Bring back an epic tale when we meet again. Farewell for now, brothers...
Magni Bronzebeard says: ...farewell brother.
Muradin joins the Alliance forces in Icecrown, determined to put an end to Arthas. Players encounter him in the Icecrown Citadel raid instance, piloting the gunship Skybreaker during the Gunship Battle. While Muradin is just as strong and healthy as ever, the loss of his beloved friend Arthas to the mind of the Lich King is more than Muradin can bear -- he wants revenge, and he's more than happy to help the Alliance take him down for good.
Meanwhile, Brann Bronzebeard spends his time in Northrend in the thick of whatever historical mysteries he can poke his nose into. Fortunately, Brann has a habit of finding nasty things hidden under the earth, and during the course of his discoveries, ventures into Ulduar and discovers the Old God Yogg Saron, who is nowhere near as sleepy as it would like us to believe. Thanks to Brann's discovery, a team of adverturers are dispatched to destroy the Old God and sever its hold over the world. If it weren't for Brann's discovery, it's certain that the majority of the combined armies of the Horde and Alliance would be fighting for Team Yogg.

It's Brann's discoveries however that have had the largest impact on the dwarves and their relation to the Alliance, arguably even more so than their military support, or the squabbles with the Dark Iron. From a race that knew nothing about their origins, thanks to Brann they now know where they came from -- and Brann's near insatiable thirst for information seems to be just as good as uncovering threats as it is gathering that information. It ought to come into play quite well in Cataclysm, as there are still places yet undiscovered like the Titan stronghold of Uldum. Brann's penchant for hunting down the unknown inadvertently gives the Alliance a major upper hand in intelligence, but Brann himself isn't terribly concerned with allegiances. In a letter to King Magni, found in the Lands of Mystery RPG source book, Brann writes:
What I found is ferociously interesting but disconcerting for our plans. The orcs, tauren and trolls of the Horde are firmly established on Kalimdor and (boil my beard) they could be staunch allies against the Scourge and the Burning Legion. They certainly have every reason to hate the demons and the undead. Yet instead of working with them, the Alliance forces on Kalimdor (and the rest of the world, for that matter) squabble with the Horde over petty conflicts, mostly for tradition's sake. I say "squabble," but the situation is escalating toward outright war again, my friends. I can't think of anything the Scourge and the Legion would like better than to watch the mortal races chop each other to bits so they can inherit whatever's left when we're done. We need diplomacy and handshakes, Magni, not swords and guns.
For being so apparently absent-minded, Brann seems to have a good head on his shoulders, and his ideals match up quite nicely with those of Lady Jaina Proudmoore and Warchief Thrall, among others. Brann seems to be a proponent of peace in the name of discovery, exploration, and the eradication of threats not to the Alliance or Horde, but the world itself -- and he has a firm understanding of the concept of saving one's aggression for the things that are true threats, rather than those that only seem to be.
Oh wait.

King Varian Wrynn has been known to show mercy and diplomacy when the situation calls for it -- but with the introduction of Garrosh Hellscream as the new Warchief of the Horde, his patience may be wearing excruciatingly thin. Will Brann's attitude, shared by Jaina Proudmoore, be able to sway Varian into a kinder, gentler, more forgiving ruler, or will Varian's mild irritation with Garrosh erupt into full-blown war, regardless of Jaina or Brann's reasonable outlook? We'll have to wait until Cataclysm to see -- but one way or another, the dwarves are going to play a larger part than previously thought.

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