The Bronzebeards have held power over the Throne of Ironforge for as long as any dwarf could remember… but it always wasn’t so.
The dwarves of Ironforge Mountain lived in peace for many long centuries. However, 2500 years ago, their society grew too large within the confines of their mountain cities. Though the mighty High King, Modimus Anvilmar, ruled over all dwarves with justice and wisdom, three powerful factions had arisen amongst the dwarven society.
The Bronzebeard clan, ruled by Thane Madoran Bronzebeard, held close ties to the High King and stood as the traditional defenders of Ironforge Mountain.
The Wildhammer clan, ruled by Thane Khardros Wildhammer, inhabited the foothills and crags around the base of the mountain and sought to gain more control within the city.
The third faction, the Dark Iron clan, was ruled by the sorcerer-thane Thaurissan. The Dark Irons hid within the deepest shadows under the mountain and plotted against both their Bronzebeard and the Wildhammer cousins.
For a time the three factions kept a tenuous peace, but tensions erupted when High King Anvilmar passed away from old age. The three ruling clans went to war for control of Ironforge itself. The dwarf civil war raged under the earth for many years. Eventually the Bronzebeards, who had the largest standing army, banished the Dark Irons and Wildhammers from under the mountain.
Khardros and his Wildhammer warriors traveled north through the barrier gates of Dun Algaz, and they founded their own kingdom within the distant peak of Grim Batol. There, the Wildhammers thrived and rebuilt their stores of treasure. Thaurissan and his Dark Irons did not fare as well. Humiliated and enraged by their defeat, they vowed revenge against Ironforge. Leading his people far to the south, Thaurissan founded a city (which he named after himself) within the beautiful Redridge Mountains.
Prosperity and the passing of years did little to ease the Dark Iron's rancor toward their cousins. Thaurissan and his sorceress wife, Modgud, launched a two-pronged assault against both Ironforge and Grim Batol. The Dark Irons were intent on claiming all of Khaz Modan for their own.
The Dark Iron armies smashed against their cousins' strongholds and very nearly took both kingdoms. However, Madoran Bronzebeard ultimately led his clan to a decisive victory over Thaurissan's sorcerous army. Thaurissan and his servants fled back to the safety of their city, unaware of the events transpiring at Grim Batol, where Modgud's army would fare no better against Khardros and his Wildhammer warriors.
As she confronted the enemy warriors, Modgud used her powers to strike fear into their hearts. Shadows moved at her command, and dark things crawled up from the depths of the earth to stalk the Wildhammers in their own halls. Eventually Modgud broke through the gates and laid siege to the fortress itself. The Wildhammers fought desperately, Khardros himself wading through the roiling masses to slay the sorceress queen.
With their queen lost, the Dark Irons fled before the fury of the Wildhammers. They raced south toward their king's stronghold, only to meet the armies of Ironforge, which had come to aid Grim Batol. Crushed between two armies, the remaining Dark Iron forces were utterly destroyed.
The combined armies of Ironforge and Grim Batol then turned south, intent on destroying Thaurissan and his Dark Irons once and for all. They had not gone far when Thaurissan's fury resulted in a spell of cataclysmic proportions. Seeking to summon a supernatural minion that would ensure his victory, Thaurissan called upon the ancient powers sleeping beneath the world. To his shock, and ultimately his doom, the creature that emerged was more terrible than any nightmare he could have imagined.
Ragnaros the Firelord, immortal lord of all fire elementals, had been banished by the Titans when the world was young. Now, freed by Thaurissan's call, Ragnaros erupted into being once again. Ragnaros' apocalyptic rebirth into Azeroth shattered the Redridge Mountains and created a raging volcano at the center of the devastation.
The volcano, known as Blackrock Mountain, was bordered by the Searing Gorge to the north and the Burning Steppes to the south. Though Thaurissan was killed by the forces he had unleashed, his surviving brethren were ultimately enslaved by Ragnaros and his elementals. They remain within the depths of Blackrock to this day.
Witnessing the horrific devastation and the fires spreading across the southern mountains, King Madoran and King Khardros halted their armies and hastily turned back towards their kingdoms, unwilling to face the awesome wrath of Ragnaros.
The Bronzebeards returned to Ironforge and rebuilt their glorious city. The Wildhammers also returned home to Grim Batol. However, the death of the Modgud had left an evil stain on the mountain fortress, and the Wildhammers found it uninhabitable.
They were bitter in their hearts over the loss of their beloved home. King Bronzebeard offered the Wildhammers a place to live within the borders of Ironforge, but the Wildhammers steadfastly refused. Khardros took his people north towards the lands of Lordaeron. Settling within the lush forests of the Hinterlands, the Wildhammers crafted the city of Aerie Peak, where the Wildhammers grew closer to nature and even bonded with the mighty gryphons of the area.
Seeking to retain relations and trade with their cousins, the dwarves of Ironforge constructed two massive arches, the Thandol Span, to bridge the gap between Khaz Modan and Lordaeron. Bolstered by mutual trade, the two kingdoms prospered. After the deaths of Madoran and Khardros, their sons jointly commissioned two great statues in honor of their fathers.
The two statues would stand guard over the pass into the southlands, which had become volcanic in the wake of Ragnaros' scorching presence. They served as both a warning to all who would attack the dwarven kingdoms, and as a reminder of what price the Dark Irons paid for their crimes.
The two kingdoms retained close ties for some years, but the Wildhammers were much changed by the horrors they witnessed at Grim Batol. They took to living above ground on the slopes of Aerie Peak, instead of carving a vast kingdom within the mountain. The ideological differences between the two remaining dwarven clans eventually led to their parting of ways.*
Even though thousands of years have passed by, the Bronzebeards still watch vigilantly over their lands, making sure that nothing but the Bronzebeards themselves would hold that seat of power.
However, in the past 100 years, public opinion has slowly wavered. No longer do the Dwarves stand steadfastly to the defense of the King’s Lands, as their enemies slowly chip away at their armies’ numbers, pushing them back inch by inch. The Bronzebeard Royal Family themselves would surely act to boost the morale of the people by fighting on the front line, but to leave the Throne was now unthinkable as the Dwarven numbers thinned. Any sort of rebellion within their own ranks would surely bring an end to the power of the Bronzebeards. A constitution monarchy was created in order to appease the people, but it wasn’t enough. Long arduous lives were the only ones left for the Dwarves. They either mined for more minerals, fought a war they couldn’t win or drank their worries away (Which lead to the rise in breweries in Khaz Modan).
It was only until the Three Bronzebeard Brothers came into power, and formulated a plan. They decided that they would come into secretive contact with any Dwarf that required dire aid, and promised that they would aid them (Those requiring aid) the best they could….
However, those who did agree to the offer had to ‘sign into the Razdan Baraz, ‘The Blood Promise’. They were told that they were to serve the King the best they could…. without actually knowing what they were to do.
Almost every Dwarf that had been contacted by the Bronzebeards had showed up where they were told to appear, the pit of Old Ironforge.
Searing heat stirred above and below the recruits’ heads, both from the Great Forge and the fires below. The sounds of hammering and steel had long been drowned out by the Cavern’s walls. The Cavern itself was as barren like any other, nearly an empty expanse… save for a few unquie features. A great platform rose triumphantly in the center of this massive dome, while the emblem of the Dwarves was carved into the platform. Just above the platform were crystals, hundreds that held precariously onto the rock veiling. Brilliant and perfect were those magnificent minerals, each sparkle awing the greenhorns below. The only light that appeared in this dark place was from their lanterns and the eerie red glow from the magma below.
“Right then, now that your curiosity has been piqued and since you all seem to be in good spirits…” said a thundering voice, shaking the Cavern’s walls with slight vibrations, “It is now time for you all to do your service!”
As booming steps from the darkness slowly crept up the stairs towards the platform, the recruits quivered in fear. Any small sound made in this place was heard as easily as a foghorn.. The footsteps sounded like the crashing of drunken Tanks into nearby walls, if that analogy could suffice. The recruits backed away from the staircase, frightened to see what may appear. Each dwarf was here for a reason, all of them in debt of the Bronzebeards. All were of different heritages, calluses and lines of work, whether shady characters or emboldened Iron workers. Three dark figures appeared at the top of the staircase, slowly rising over the stone horizon. Most of the Dwarves surrounding the edges of the group fought to hold the retreating mob back, lest they fell to their deaths. There were not any rails or anything of the sort to hold back the unfortunate.
One brave dwarf (Oh foolhardy, as you may think) fired off a flare high above the marauding shadows. Many eyes followed the lazy path of the red object in the air, and many sighs of relief (Some in surprise) as it landed by the formerly hidden pairs of boots.
Magni, Muradin and Brann Bronzebeard, the three brothers that conducted the inner-workings of the Government stood before the Dwarven group. They motioned everyone to remain silent, for each greenhorn has many questions varying on why they were here, why they everyone else was here… “You all have been brought here your own reasons… but you all have required some fire assistance from us one way or another,” Magni gravely stated. “To ensure that the Dwarves are still loyal to us, we have gathered those who borrow a great favor of us… To be ready to face lives of strife, death, carnage--”
Brann quickly interrupted in order to bring the hearts of the recruits back, “For a new age of Exploration, Prosperity and Adventure!” All the Dwarves were still unsettled by Muradin’s brutal honestly, taken aback by what they would be forced to do.
Magni bellowed in order to halt the bickering that had broken out in the crowds before him. “ENOUGH! You have sworn the Blood Promise! There is no turning back now.”
A silence fell upon the recuits, much like a wave of realization. There really was no turning back now. They were damned if they did, damned if they didn’t.
Muradin rubbed his hands in glee. He grined wickedly, and with that toothy grimace he roared, “LET THE CEREMONY BEGIN!” Darkness fell as the torches suddenly went out.
There was a terrible stillness.
Many years have passed since that moment. It has been almost 30 years. In that time, members helped the Brothers create and maintain organizations such as the Explorer’s Guild, constantly working behind the scenes. Others were sent out to explore …. and eventually fight for the King. (The Black Morass Incident is one that very few wish to talk about.) Others had found themselves in the political and diplomatic business of the King, weeding out any trouble that may have appeared. Many great things discovered were often assisted by the Razdan Baraz, often without acknowledgement of those who claimed the discovery.
However, these great things came at a terrible price. There were well over a hundred Dwarves in the beginning. The losses began after the Black Morass Incident, and only got worse from there. During the Second War, when Magni believed that Ironforge was in trouble and that the humans required aid, those of the hundreds became dozens. With the arrival of the Third War, those dozens became even fewer. Those who did survive live their own life now, granted by the horrified brother that remained. They have not been seen since.
Did I mention only one brother? It is no mistake, for it is fact! Muradin, during a mission of exploration went missing in Northrend. Nothing is known about his disappearance. Brann went on his own expedition, only to be lost in the shifting sands of Silithus. Magni is the only one that remains, alone on his Throne.
One Dwarf did come back after 30 years. Only one.
He was excused from service, after Magni had saw what destruction and havoc this plan of his had created. Hundreds of Dwarves lost! His only brothers dead! He nearly disbanded the organization of the Razdan Baraz, saying that enough blood had been spilled for the promise. As a final act of gratitude, he attempted to dismiss the Dwarf before him.
This Dwarf declined that offer readily. He was ready to give his life for the King. The King had given him a home, food… and a family.
Magni granted him leadership over the Razdan Baraz, retaining control over the organization however.
He was to rebuild this organization to its former, secretive glory.
His name was Dalin Bronzebeard.
Contact Information: Edit
Guild Leader/Contacts: Dalin / Saraich
Application: This is fairly interesting…
1. You must send Dalin a letter entailing why you require a great service from the Bronzebeards. 2. If you are accepted, we will have an IC Interview… 3. If you will pass this interview, ‘The Ceremony’ …
Requirements & Restrictions: To be honest… All levels and classes are best to serve in the Razdan Baraz… Except that you must be a Dwarf.
Role-playing Experience: Not so much experience… than the results of the IC letter and interview.
Guild Focus: Heavy RP, with some PvP (World and BG) going on.
- --- * - Can be found here: http://www.blizzplanet.com/content/132/