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Earthen (aka Earthen dwarves) are the progenitor race of the dwarven race featured in the Warcraft series. They are entirely made of stone and two versions exist, version one is more stony in appearance, while version two is more rocky. They are neutral and serve the Titans, primarily residing in and around titan facilities.
To help them dredge out the fathomless caverns beneath the earth, the titans created the dwarves from magical, living stone. The earthen were created to aid the titans' efforts in shaping the deep regions of Azeroth.
The titans created two caretaker races to watch over and help reshape the world. The dwarves are placed in charge of maintaining the earth, while the sea giants watch over the waters. The titans created the earthen to watch over the realms deep within the ground.
Design & CompositionEdit
The earthen are a modification of the standard subterranean being matrix used on other worlds that the titans have seeded. A subterranean being matrix is one of the synthesis matrices the titans use when seeding a world. Each synthesis matrix is used to achieve the titans' goals. For Azeroth, a subterranean being matrix was modified to create a being with increased durability with an affinity for deep region shaping; the Earthen are the product of this modification.
The Earthen represent the Creators' attempt at improving the survivability paradigm of the standard subterranean being matrix. This was done by incorporating a resilient foundation of construction inherent to the world into said matrix. A resilient foundation of construction is the baseline material used in race synthesis. A cross-section of Azeroth's crust was used as the foundation for the Earthen's synthesis rather than the typical biomass construction foundation used by the titans. The subterranean beings were made of stone for use on Azeroth.
The troggs were the mistaken first attempt at crafting a mortal race of guardians from living stone for Azeroth. When the titans saw how brutal and misshapen the troggs were, they buried them in the northern vault of Bael Modan (and other locations). The titan scientists referred to the successful second race experiment as Series Two. Series Two were the successful conclusion of the titan's experiments, called "earthen" in ancient times.
Long thought to be merely myth, the troggs were the titans' first attempt at creating a race. The second attempt, entirely successful, produced the dwarves. Rather than destroy the troggs, the titans locked them deep beneath the earth where they slept for untold generations.
Created by the titans themselves, Val'anyr, Hammer of Ancient Kings was given to the first earthen king, Urel Stoneheart. With the hammer he was to create and give life to the rest of his brethren.
The construction of this prototype race created various anomalies that were observed after initial synthesis. The Earthen's only anomaly in synthesis is the tendency for matrix destabilization while being utilized in high-stress environments. Deep earth sculpting is not a high-stress environment. Destabilization was not discovered until well into the Earthen's primary service cycle for the Creators. When earthen destabilize, they become dwarves or troggs.
These events' relation to the War of the Ancients is unknown.
After the titans defeated and imprisoned the Old Gods, the Forge of Wills and other systems were instituted to create new earthen. The old earthen, after a war involving the Aesir, Vanir, and prime designate Loken, were put into stasis by Loken along with several other seed races at designated holding facilities. It has been mentioned that the titans also began work on post-synthesis modification of earthen, rather than recall and re-synthesis of earthen. What this refers to is unknown, but it implies that existing earthen were modified in response to the destabilizations, rather than making new ones.
War of the AncientsEdit
Another group of earthen were convinced to join the Alliance against the Legion by the dragon-mage Krasus, even while being looked down upon by the night elves. It was a reluctant truce, as the earthen were called in by Krasus in defiance of the xenophobic commander, Desdel Stareye. They were led by Dungard Ironcutter. The earthen were initially put to the outskirts of the host, but after Stareye's "tragic" demise, their warriors were put to their best use under the new commander, Jarod Shadowsong.
Before the War of the Ancients, the dwarves are just beginning to develop their traditions and make the earliest of the technological innovations that will revolutionize the world. Tinkers and even simple technology (phlogiston and gunpowder have yet to be discovered) are exceedingly rare in these days, found mostly among the dwarves.
During the War of the Ancients, the dwarves sealed the gates of their underground cities, leaving the Kaldorei to face the demons on their own. However, the night elves remember the dwarf race from their most ancient days, back before they were called "dwarves." They know that although their two races never had much contact, the earthen fought against the demons in both the War of the Ancients. An underground war was fought by the earthen in the shadows to prevent the return of the demons to the world of the living. The Kaldorei were known to the earthen. In the early histories of dwarves, the Kaldorei are shadowy figures of dark perfection wielding incredible god-like powers.
When the world was sundered by the Well of Eternity's implosion, the earthen were deeply affected. Reeling with the pain of the earth itself, the earthen lost much of their identity and sealed themselves within the stone chambers where they were first created. Uldaman, Uldum, Ulduar... these were the names of the ancient titan cities where the earthen first took shape and form. Buried deep beneath the world, the earthen rested in peace for nearly eight thousand years.
However, it is later revealed that the earthen were made fleshy by the Old Gods, and went into hibernation on Loken's orders.
When the Well collapsed, it took the world with it. Even in their distant fortresses, far from the Well, the dwarves feared for their lives as the very rocks around them shifted and crawled as though they were living creatures.
Something happened to change the earthen, though, and they turned mortal, as they are now. Maybe it was the result of the War of the Ancients.
Though it is unclear what awakened them, the earthen sealed within Uldaman eventually arose from their self-imposed slumber. These earthen found that they had changed significantly during their hibernation. Their rocky hides had softened and become smooth skin, and their powers over stone and earth had waned. They had become mortal creatures.
Calling themselves dwarves, the last of the earthen left the halls of Uldaman and ventured out into the waking world. Still lulled by the safety and wonders of the deep places, they founded a vast kingdom under the highest mountain in the land. They named their land Khaz Modan, or "Mountain of Khaz", in honor of the titan shaper, Khaz'goroth. Constructing an altar for their titan father, the dwarves crafted a mighty forge within the heart of the mountain. Thus, the city that grew around the forge would be called Ironforge ever after.
They emerged into the world and wandered about, searching for a home.
The race of dwarves awakened and emerged from the expansive titan-created city of Uldaman, located deep beneath the earth. They call their new civilization Khaz Modan.
At this point, the dwarves have "awakened" from ancient times, shaken deeply by the Sundering and forgetting much of what they were as a race. Emerging from beneath the earth, they begin to explore their surroundings. Yet they no longer have skin of stone, but are flesh like other races — losing all knowledge of their racial heritage, especially knowledge of the titans who created them and of their purpose (to shape the world).
Dwarven history tells little of this period. Except for occasional armed expeditions from one clanhold to another, they sealed themselves underground. They neither knew nor cared what went on outside their mountain homes.
Wrath of the Lich KIngEdit
Ulduar is one of the ancient titan cities where the earthen first took shape and form. It is said that after the War of the Ancients earthen reeled with the pain of the earth itself and lost much of their identity and sealed themselves within the city's stone chambers. They were forced out of their home by the iron dwarves, with whom they are at war. Kurun, a stone giant leads the earthen in Grizzly Hills in their war.
A group of earthen dwarves are seen in Deepholm combating the stone troggs.
Earthen have stone hides (or "rock skin") and are more "elemental" in nature. They do not need to breathe and can tunnel around without shovels or picks. Earthen are immortal.
Earthen dwarves seem to be made of Enchanted Earth and have a more rocky appearance. These earthen are incapable of bleeding and it is speculated that these earthen are the ones made by the Forge of Wills, and are immune to the Curse of Flesh.
The earthen's design maximizes strength and stamina without sacrificing cognitive processing power. Their skin and musculature are nearly impervious to physical damage, and with very minor modifications the earthen display a remarkable resiliency to unwanted magical forces. The earthen's physical features are that of a smaller stature humanoid, though their composition is that of Azeroth's various stone core compounds. Their beards are actually an intricate series of mineral growths. They are also capable of smoking pipes.
- The name "earthen" was chosen by their Creators (Titans), based on the earthen's composition, that of Azeroth's stone core materials.
- Most earthen are hostile in-game, except the earthen dwarves.