A CASE FOR THE WILDHAMMER CLAN
(and why they should be made an (allied) race)
Gradha Stormheart, a loyal Thane to Kurdran Wildhammer and leader of his own Clan in the Twilight Highlands
1. Last of the Three Hammers
• " The Council of Three Hammers requires me presence, but I'd rather be riding me gryphon." – Falstad Wildhammer
This greeting from
Falstad Wildhammer, representative of the Wildhammer Clan in the Council of Three Hammers and currently out on mission with the 7th Legion in and around Kul Tiras, says a lot of the freespirited nature of the Wildhammer Clan. While we have had the ability to enjoy the Wildhammers and their way of life in the Hinterlands questlines since Vanilla, little to no thought seems to have been given by Blizzard to their role in the Alliance as a whole since before the timeline of the game itself until very recently, which is still a very minor show of what the Wildhammers can truly do.While we are all enjoying or loathing the aspects of BfA (Each to their own!), it has irked me since the very start that for some odd reason the Dark Iron Clan, while exceptionally great looking and powerful, has gotten to be a playable race for the Alliance sooner than their old allies of the Wildhammer Clan. Going back years, High Thane Kurdran Wildhammer was the first of his kind to respond to the Orcish Horde during the Second War, fighting valiantly alongside the Alliance ever since as a Scout and loyal ally. (Not to mention killing nine of the dragons the Horde brought.)Since then, Kurdran and the Wildhammer Clan have aided in chasing down Deathwing through the Dark Portal, sacrificed themselves along with champions such as Khadgar, Alleria, Turalyon and Danath to keep Azeroth safe by remaining on Outland, while Falstad took over business in the Hinterlands capital of Aerie Peak. We all know the stories of the zone and the introduction of Twilight Highlands (formerly Northeron before the Cataclysm) in the third expansion pack: Cataclysm. So I won't expand on that much, other than the fact that Kurdran Wildhammer made it his mission to bring the freespirited and stubbornminded Clans of the Twilight Highlands into the Alliance proper during Cata.Still, the Wildhammer Clan remains the last clan of the Coucil of the Three Hammers to not be playable, something I will try to pull attention to proper in this post on both r/wow and
r/warcraftlore in an attempt to explain how utterly badass and unique this clan is as opposed to Bronzebeard, Dark Iron and even the likes of Stormpike or the Frostborne.
A hearth in Aerie Peak, a place for the Wildhammer to share stories and drink ale
2. The Wildhammer way
• "We must unite the Wildhammer Clans!" – Kurdran Wildhammer
Gear up, this will be a long one.
The Wildhammer Clan has always been the odd one out in Dwarven society. Before the War of the Three Hammers some 260 years ago their people often chose to live on the slopes of Ironforge mountain and in the hills surrounding it, rather than inside the mountain home of the Dwarves itself. Not that they hated the rowdy and hot interior, but their deeper connection with the nature of the land probably flourished more in such conditions. Their society has always been known to have a deeper and more peaceful relationship with their surroundings, even if their minds and bodies were as sturdy as that of the other clans. While it isn't certain exactly when they started to truly set themselves apart from the other clans in a more distinct way, many people (including myself) see their forced exile from their new home of Grim Batol as the point where they started to divert from classical Dwarven behavior and truly dared to go where no Dwarf had gone before: The skies of Azeroth.Already having had a keen interest in the Gryphons of the world for many years, it was around the time of the Dark Iron Modgud Thaurissan's cursing of Grim Batol that the Wildhammer probably started getting the ropes of Gryphon-husbandry and/or taming. Their architecture incorporates the Gryphon's destinct shape more often than not, along with dwarven runes which would grow ever more shamanistic in nature to coincide with their newly found fear of the deep places of the earth thanks to the living nightmares Modgud had wrought. This is most probably all to do with the descision to make their new home different from others: A mountainside fortress, built on the slopes instead of being hew from the very core of their chosen mountain which would come to be known as Aerie Peak.Their shamanistic ways would continue to set their route apart from the other two clans when the Stormhammers were introduced, signature Wildhammer weapons which work very much like Mjolnir in the Marvel movies: Calling on the force of wind and thunder to smite their enemies with exceptional might, often from Gryphon's back.
While the Bronzebeard and Dark Iron receeded into their mountain homes, the Wildhammer Clan freed themselves from the bounds of rock and lava to find the open air of the Hinterlands and, indeed, Northeron. Instead of raw power of rock and iron they also harnessed the storms themselves to be their allies in battle, possibly producing the Dwarven society's most potent of Shaman. This is probably the reason why especially places such as those in the Twilight Highlands/Northeron
look so different to all other dwarven architecture; more open, breathable, one with nature. This is also shown in their almost tauren-like totems, dreamcatchers and usage of more simple leathers and bones over steel. (e.g. Kurdran's Bone Dice which he used to try and rig the Dark Irons leaving second or third from a Darnassus meeting regarding the Gilneans or the feathery and almost tribal outfits of many of the Highlands' denizens as opposed to the earlier iterations in Aerie Peak from Vanilla, which often had thick armor still.)The Wildhammer Clans, especially those in Twilight Highlands truly set themselves apart from all other Clans in their way of life, architecture and mindset. Fiercly independant, yet extremely loyal to their High Thane's will since his aid in the Cataclysm especially. They have been wronged by the Dark Iron of old, something which isn't yet forgotten and still drives as a point of contention to recent history, such as Moira's attempt to astrange them from Ironforge during the troubled times surrounding the creation of the Council of Three Hammers. While their own history is not devoid of fault, the War of the Three Hammers has possibly changed this clan and its sub-clans more than any other.________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
3. Why Dark Iron was an odd choice
" In time, my son shall rule the Dark Irons, and perhaps all of Ironforge as well. " – Moira Thaurissan
Pain, hatred, agression, conquest. Four words that can classically be connected to the behavior of the Dark Iron. While most of them have been enslaved by Ragnaros in recent history, their behavior even before
Sorcerer-Thane Thaurissan summoned the Firelord at the end of the
War of Three Hammers was one of often volatile nature. Their agression was only fueled by their exposure to the powers of the Firelord, their physical forms changing to resemble that of flame-infused dwarves with ashen skin. Their will to dominate has had a long history, but even recently it was the Dark Irons that were a serious threat to the Kingdom of Stormwind due to their presence in Blackrock Mountain. Luckily with the Thorium brotherhood and their allies, some semblence of normality was returned to their pained race, later being set free by the heroes of Azeroth during Vanilla. Even then: the Dark Iron had been responsible for the irreversable cursing of Grim Batol, hundreds if not thousands of their kind still lingering there in degenerated form presented as Troggs, but originally being twisted and nightmarish creatures named
Skardyn. The Dark Iron Clan as a whole has, as we all know, been a thorn in everyone's side for years on end. Only recently they started to come back around under the leadership of Moira Thaurissan, Magni's daughter and originally from Bronzebeard origin. It took a Bronzebeard to get them into the Alliance. Even if her form has started to resemble that of a Dark Iron due to her time with Emperor Thaurissan in Blackrock Mountain.The Dark Iron has done scarcely a thing of good for the Alliance since its inception, I'm sure there's many more things I could note on the topic. Only really coming in the picture during the Cataclysm before suddenly being decided to be an Allied Race in BfA. Now, I love the Dark Irons as a playable race to be clear. They look awesome, Shadowforge City is a lovely place to walk around in even if it is a repurposed part of a dungeon. I applaud their formal admission into the Alliance, but seeing their past of causing trouble it just doesn't make sense to me why they would be playable sooner than the Wildhammer Clan, whom have never been hostile to the Alliance to begin with. All in all: The Dark Irons are a much needed badass and morally questionable bunch to be part of the Alliance, something the faction has sorely needed for a long while. Their arc is one of redemption and effort now, but they have not deserved their place in playable form as much as the Wildhammers have purely from a story perspective.
Grondrim Steelcore marching out of Shadowforge City after the Alliance's approval of his kin.
4. In conclusion
I feel like a Wildhammer Kurdran sellout shill pls unsub Falstad shill-boy. Honestly though, I have no regrets for it. The Wildhammer Clan and its followers such as the headcanon of Clan Stormheart made by one of my amazing friends on Argent Dawn, the Firebeard clan of the Highlands, McMullen etc… Their ways, their shamanistic nature, their free-spirited society and last but not least of all unique role as often flying combatants in the Alliance since the 2nd War is what made me feel so sad to see that the Wildhammer seems little more than an afterthought in the lore of World of Warcraft. They pop up here and there, often as some sort of odd off-shoot such as Boss Tak in Tiragarde. Since they were apparently scattered from the Highlands by the Burning Legion in Legion according to 1 single line of text by
Stormcaller Myrla during the expansion pack, there is a wide possibility for the Clans to be called to arms once again to, for example, retake at least *part* of Grim Batol. With the ridiculous amount of Twilight Dragonflight eggs having been found under the mountain, we're sure to be returning there sooner rather than later story-wise. Another option could be a revamped or otherwise unseen part of Aerie Peak becoming their Race "capital" like Shadowforge City is for the Dark Iron.
All this and more are reasons why I think the Wildhammer Clan should become a playable race as opposed to simply adding a tattoo-option to the normal Dwarves. (Whom already had a grey-skinned, red-eyed type since vanilla might I add!)
I hope someone from Blizzard reads this, please complete the Council of Three Hammers' representation in the Game and give us players an amazing race to work with. Perhaps even a Gryphon mount that isn't a reskin to be bought for 70k each. Oh, and feathers braided into beards. Yes, I like that notion.
TL;DR – Wildhammer Clan are wildly (hehehe) underaprecciated in the game, they deserve more love than they're given in both lore and gameplay.
• "Clan Stormheart" was used to represent a possible show of what Wildhammer Clans could be like. This Clan is not canon and made specifically for roleplay purposes on Argent Dawn EU in an attempt to give Wildhammers a presence in at least headcanon lore on that server. I am aware of the Stormhearts in Northrend, these have nothing to do with them.
• Links to Gamepedia are purely for your own purposes to be able to read up on some things you may not be aware of, I have used knowledge of canon novels, gameplay and short stories to make this post.
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