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"Ironforge has need of our sorcery, as well as our strength."
Dark dwarves (aka Dark Iron dwarves) are a subrace of dwarves featured in the Warcraft series. They are members of the Alliance, but some join other organizations.
The dark dwarves were formerly ruled by Sorcerer-thane Thaurissan and vied for control of Ironforge with the Bronzebeard clan and the Wildhammer clan during the War of the Three Hammers. Now ruled by Moira Thaurissan, daughter of Magni Bronzebeard and widow of the late Emperor Dagran Thaurissan, the Dark Iron clan seek to forge a new future for themselves independent of the tyranny of Ragnaros and his minions, which has long been imposed upon them in their home of Blackrock Mountain. Under Moira's guidance, some of the Dark Iron clan have even moved into Ironforge to train the local dwarves in the ways of warlocks and mages.
Like all dwarves, the dwarves of the Dark Iron clan are descendants of the earthen.
Just prior to the War of the Three Hammers the Dark Iron clan, ruled by the Sorcerer-thane Thaurissan, inhabited the darkest, deepest crevices of Ironforge. The Dark Iron clan was unsuccessful in wresting control of Ironforge from the Bronzebeard clan and Wildhammer clan during the War of the Three Hammers.
Thaurissan and his Dark Irons vowed revenge against Ironforge. He took his followers south and founded a city (which he named after himself) within the beautiful Redridge Mountains. Despite years of prosperity, Thaurissan and his sorceress wife, Modgud did not soften in their desire to defeat the Bronzebeards and Wildhammers; they launched a two-pronged assault against both Ironforge and Grim Batol. Thaurissan was routed by Madoran Bronzebeard at Ironforge, and retreated back to the Redridge Mountains. Modgud's assault on Grim Batol was marginally more effective, though she herself fell in battle to Khardros Wildhammer.
As the combined forces of Ironforge and Grim Batol marched on Thaurissan, he attempted to summon an ancient power sleeping beneath the Redridge Mountains. 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, became 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 Spire to this day.
Modern Dark IronsEdit
The modern Dark Iron clan serves Ragnaros. They are centered in the depths of Blackrock Mountain, in their dark capital of Shadowforge City. A great deal of Dark Iron activity can be seen in the Searing Gorge and in the Badlands. There have also been sightings in the Wetlands, Loch Modan, the Burning Steppes, and Dun Morogh.
Dark Irons are enemies of both the Alliance and the Horde. They seem to have helped Sicco Thermaplugg in the invasion of the Troggs in Gnomeregan, as some Dark Iron dwarves and even the Dark Iron Ambassador can be found in the poisoned gnome capital. It's unclear what exactly they did, though.
Some Dark Irons have broken ties with the clan in order to seek out business relations with the Alliance and Horde. This group is known as the Thorium Brotherhood. The Dark Irons have proclaimed the Brotherhood an enemy of the clan for their relations, and the two groups are now at war.
In the power vacuum that followed the Cataclysm, the petrified King Magni Bronzebeard's estranged daughter, Moira, who had married into the much despised Dark Iron clan, briefly claimed Ironforge’s throne and effectively locked down the city. If not for the intervention of King Varian Wrynn of Stormwind and his son, Prince Anduin, her brash actions might have sparked another civil war. With Varian’s guidance, control of Ironforge has since been divided equally among the Bronzebeard, Wildhammer and Dark Iron clans through the Council of Three Hammers. Yet as bitterness and prejudice fester among the clans, the council’s ability to govern as one remains uncertain.
After the Cataclysm, the Dark Iron Clan is no longer united. One group of Dark Irons has joined the Alliance with their leader Moira Thaurissan, while the other group has followed Ragnaros into alliance with Deathwing and joined the Twilight's Hammer. Moira's hold over the Dark Iron clan is tenuous at best and there are in fact Twilight's Hammer agents within the faction that proclaim loyalty to Moira. In secret these traitors gather information on not only the other Dark Irons but also the Alliance as a whole for their Twilight Hammer masters.
It appears that Shadowforge City remains the capital of the faction that has proclaimed loyalty to Moira.
Mists of PandariaEdit
Numerous dark dwarves followed the Alliance and took the part on their campaign against the Horde attacking them in Domination Point.
The Dark Iron Forgeguard lead by Queen-Regent Moira aided in the defense of Ironforge against the Frostmane tribe and the Zandalari ambassador, Hekima, on Shimmer Ridge in Dun Morogh. They defeated their enemies and gained the respect of King Wrynn and the other members of the Council.
To help promote the union of their clans the Council of Three Hammers combined Fenella Darkvire, Carrick Irongrin and Fendrig Redbeard as a team to help rebuild the Jade Serpent statue.
Warlords of DraenorEdit
An expedition of dark dwarves went back in time, through the Dark Portal and established an expedition in Gorgrond.
Dark dwarves have darkish gray or black skin, with red glowing eyes. They have a resistance to fire.
Dark dwarves easily stand out from the other two clans. They physically resemble Bronzebeard dwarves, but they are less stocky and more dexterous. Their skin is pale white to sickly gray, and their hair and beards are white, black, or orange. Their eyes glow with orange flame - one of many gifts from their fiery master, Ragnaros.
Dark Iron dwarves are known for being manipulative, underhanded, greedy, cruel, and despotic but Franclorn Forgewright states that they were not always that way and that these evil traits may have been caused by the influence of Ragnaros. This may be true as certain individuals such as General Angerforge, Franclorn Forgewright, and the Thorium Brotherhood have shown themselves to be stalwart, valorous, and even honorable. Even so, Dark Iron politics is both treacherous and brutal. There is only one punishment for crimes committed against the Dark Iron dwarves: death. Ancient tradition calls for the guilty to pay the blood price in the Ring of the Law by battling savage creatures gathered from across Azeroth. To date, it is unknown if anyone has ever survived this brutal crucible. Dark Iron dwarves are also known for their craftsmanship, their sorcery, and their sturdy architecture.
Dark dwarves have a habit of bringing their own food and drink with them when traveling. This developed from the fact that among their clan, poisoning is not uncommon.
Dark Iron dwarves avoid straight combat, preferring ambushes and ranged assaults. Dark Irons are self-serving, with little of the clan loyalty so dominant in the other two dwarven clans. A Dark Iron willingly flees or betrays his allies in order to save his own life.
Like most dwarves, Dark Iron dwarves follow a rigid and militarized organization. Every Dark Iron dwarf soldier is well trained and well armed, often with the finest equipment he can afford. However, the years under the dirt, as well as a diabolical outlook on life, change the Dark Irons’ tactics. Skullduggery and backstabbing are just as potent as a good line formation. Even better, in some cases.
Dark Iron dwarves are cunning, and quicker than other dwarves. Whereas a unit of Bronzebeard dwarves would march straight into enemy lines, Dark Iron dwarves prefer setting up ambushes, or sending lightning fast strikes. Dark Iron dwarves grew comfortable in the shadows over the many years of their exile and enslavement, and are not above petty tricks such as traps and assassination.
Most Dark Iron dwarves form smaller units than their Bronzebeard cousins, to spread their numbers and allow for flanking and pincer maneuvers. Rogues and assassins mix evenly with warriors and marksmen.
Dark Iron dwarves are also well versed in arcane magic, more so than any other dwarven race. Due to untold years of living next to molten lava and fire, the Dark Iron clan developed a strong link to flames and fire magic. Fire-aligned elementalists battle alongside elite marksmen and stealthy skulkers, raining death on Blackrock Depths’ enemies. Battles against Dark Iron dwarves are often hellish, taxing both sides as the Dark Iron elementalists grow overzealous.
Dark Iron dwarves are still dwarves, and bring heavy firepower to the field. However, as in all elements of Dark Iron warfare, the dwarves prize subterfuge and sneak attacks over direct confrontation. Dark Iron snipers lie in wait for incoming enemies, while dwarven bombardiers place bombs in strategic places. Great siege engines rumble softly, set to ambush tight passes or simply mow over enemies with great disregard. Occasionally Dark Iron tinkers unleash entire payloads of flame and brimstone on opposing forces.
Dark Iron dwarves have unconventional backup as well. Fire elementals, servants of Ragnaros, appear intermittently with dwarven forces. Unlike the dwarves, fire elementals have no care for the art of subtlety. Lava elementals and flamewakers roar through battle, burning anything that gets in their way.
Most dark dwarven technology consists of military-used inventions and manufacture. They are commonly known for creating golem and mole machines. Some dark dwarves even make their own ammunition.
- Moira Thaurissan was almost killed by SI:7 agents following an incident in Ironforge.
- Most players want dark dwarves as a playable subrace.