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"The Wildhammer dwarves are known for their near-reckless courage as well as their unsurpassed gryphon-riding skills. After losing their home of Grim Batol to a Dark Iron Curse, they've spread their dwellings around the Twilight Highlands."
Hill dwarves (aka Wild dwarves or Aerie dwarves) is a subrace of dwarves featured in the Warcraft series. They are members of the Alliance through the Wildhammer clan.
The Wildhammer clan is a dwarf clan currently centered mainly in the Hinterlands and the Twilight Highlands; although many others can be found in Kalimdor and Outland as well. Now a part of the Alliance, the wild dwarves hold the Horde as enemies. The Wildhammer dwarves are hill dwarves. They have founded three kingdoms so far in their history. Renowned for their close bond with gryphons, they treat these animals as equals in battle instead of pets, leading to numerous successes in the Second and Third Wars. They also value nature and have close ties to shamanism.
Members of the clan consist of a race of dwarves known as hill dwarves.
Hill dwarves of the Wildhammer clan are feral and untamed, prone to revelry, shamanism and daring acts of bravery (and stupidity). They eschew technological gadgets in favor of nature magic and straightforward weapons, including their famous stormhammers. Wildhammer dwarves are famous across Azeroth for their unique relationship with gryphons. They treat these noble creatures as equals rather than mounts or pets. The gryphons respond to their handlers’ respect, and are steadfast and resolute in return. This close relationship produces the most famous Wildhammer dwarves: the gryphon riders, heroes of the Second and Third Wars.
Wildhammer dwarves are fearless warriors and unswerving opponents of evil. They take to the skies astride gryphons to combat vile creatures such as harpies, black drakes, and unnatural contraptions like goblin zeppelins. Slightly xenophobic, Wildhammers are content to deal almost exclusively with gryphons and nature spirits. They are distant, even distrustful, toward members of other races. Despite their insular nature, Wildhammer dwarves do not hesitate to come to the aid of their allies when the need arises.
The fanatical archaeological fervor that has seized the Ironforge dwarves does not fall upon the Wildhammers. Perhaps they are descended from these mysterious titans — but what does that matter? Wildhammer dwarves live in the present and do not dwell in the past. Their ambivalence about their titan ancestry denies them the power that their Ironforge brethren have discovered, but the Wildhammers make up for it with bravery, determination and wild spirits.
Like all dwarves, the hill dwarves are descendants of the earthen.
Just prior to the War of the Three Hammers, the Wildhammer clan, ruled by Thane Khardros Wildhammer, inhabited the foothills and crags around the base of Ironforge. The Wildhammer clan was unsuccessful in wresting control of Ironforge from the Bronzebeard and Dark Iron clans. Khardros and his Wildhammer warriors traveled north through the barrier gates of Dun Algaz, and 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 vowed revenge against Ironforge. Thaurissan and his sorceress wife, Modgud, launched a two-pronged assault against both Ironforge and Grim Batol. As Modgud confronted the enemy warriors, she 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.
Once the immediate Dark Iron threat was eliminated, the Wildhammers 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. Khardros took his people north towards the lands of Lordaeron, settling within in a mountainous region of Northeron and in the lush forests of the Hinterlands. Later, the Wildhammers crafted the city of Aerie Peak in the Hinterlands, where the Wildhammers grew closer to nature and even bonded with the mighty gryphons of the area.
Wildhammer clan currently makes its home at Aerie Peak in the Hinterlands. The most immediate threat to their security comes from the east in the form of the Witherbark trolls and Vilebranch trolls. They are most famous for riding into battle atop Gryphons, while wielding powerful Stormhammers.
Wildhammer dwarves have a number of clans, each ruled by a thane. The strongest thane rules Aerie Peak.
The Burning CrusadeEdit
In the Outland within Shadowmoon Valley, Kurdran Wildhammer, chief thane during the Second War and commander of the gryphon riders of the Alliance Expedition to Draenor, founded Wildhammer Stronghold as part of the bulwark against the Burning Legion. Kurdran is thane of the hill dwarves in Outland.
Since they were driven from the keep of Grim Batol, the nature-dwelling Wildhammer dwarves have resided in isolated territories and prized their independence above all else. Yet, when their Bronzebeard cousins and their Alliance allies have found themselves threatened by orcs or undead, the gruff and free-willed Wildhammers have stepped in to help out.
It is only recently that the Wildhammer clan has found itself facing the same problems as the rest of Azeroth at precisely the same time. The rampaging of black dragons and maniacal cultists near the Wildhammers' homes in the Twilight Highlands is simply an echo of the devastation occurring in every other corner of the world. As Azeroth quakes, Magni Bronzebeard, the ruler of the mightiest dwarven city in the world, has been rendered unable to govern his people by an ancient ritual.
Not even the reclusive Wildhammers can ignore these signs. They have pledged themselves to the Alliance, and those who champion their cause can avail themselves of mighty enchanted armors and relics unlike any forged by city dwarves.
In order to prevent political turmoil in Ironforge, Falstad Wildhammer will help govern Ironforge as part of the Council of Three Hammers.
Members of the Wildhammer clan have also been admitted into the Earthen Ring. Among those members is Gavan Grayfeather. The shamans of the Wildhammer becomes a great asset to the Alliance in their efforts to prevent the further shattering of Azeroth.
After the Cataclysm, the Wildhammer Clan was featured in the Twilight Highlands as well as a battleground known as the Twin Peaks; where they will battle against their long time enemy, the Dragonmaw clan, who have recently rejoined the Horde.
Mists of PandariaEdit
During the Alliance-Horde War, hill dwarves were sent to Pandaria as soldiers and gryphon riders to fight the Horde.
Wildhammer dwarves are taller, leaner and wilder than their earthier Ironforge cousins. The Wildhammers typically do not share the latter's love of technology and do not care as much about their titan ancestry, although they have been known to help with the excavations from time to time. Because of this difference in outlook, they lack some of the new abilities that dwarves have discovered, such as changing their skin to stone. On the other hand, some Wildhammers practice shamanism, and are augmented by nature-focused divine magic. Wildhammers are larger than Ironforge dwarves and paint themselves in traditional tattoos. They adorn their hair and beards with feathers, beads and other colorful panoply.
Wildhammer dwarves/hill dwarves are similar in appearance to their Ironforge kin, though many shave their heads and they are slightly taller and leaner. Exposure to sun and high winds darkens and toughens their skin. Wildhammers string beads and feathers into their hair and beards as good luck charms, and paint tattoos on their bodies in homage to the totems, ideas and creatures they revere.
The Wildhammer dwarves live up to their names, as their life on the high crags caused them to focus on nature, passion and the wilderness. Their communion with nature and their gryphons leads them to follow a shamanistic path rather than that of the Holy Light. A Wildhammer paladin or priest of the Holy Light is about as rare as an Ironforge druid. They just follow their own paths.
The 200 or so years since the civil war has changed their looks in a surprising way. Life outside a mountain's peak is not gentle. Constant exposure to the elements tans and weathers the Wildhammer dwarves' skin. They dress in heavy skins and furs to protect them from the weather and the wind while riding their gryphons.
In terms of their communities, Wildhammers value three things: independence, family bonds, and their gryphons. Wildhammer children are exposed to fledgling gryphons at a young age. Those who show an affinity for caring for them find one to raise, while others choose another path in life. But the first path choice is always that of the highest honor, the gryphon rider.
They are a story-loving culture; the shaman and priests of the Wildhammer dwarves entertain the people on cold nights with tales of past battles, instructions on gryphon handling, and myths of nature and the Earth Mother. They have three community rituals per year: one holiday where all the marriages are performed, one to honor all children born that year, and one to mourn that year's dead. It seems a bit long to wait if you're born (or die) at the wrong time of year, but it's efficient and has a tendency to strengthen the community as a whole. Children born in the same year grow to be strong friends, as they celebrate their births all on the same day. Wildhammer dwarves commonly marry someone from their same birth year.
The climate is ideal for brewing good, dark beer with some weight to it, to keep you warm on the cold, windy nights. Their other beers are of less quality, and the Wildhammers only export their dark beer. One of their stouts is known as Gryphon's Tears.
The dwarves in Aerie Peak live as they did before the war, untouched by the horrors that happened on the rest of the continent. They have suffered a bit as their suppliers in the towns of Lordaeron are gone, but they still fly south to Stormwind and Ironforge to trade. This frequent contact with the Alliance keeps them abreast of what's happening in the constant struggle with the Scourge and remaining Burning Legion; they have even taken some refugees back to Aerie Peak, attempting to do what they can to strengthen the Alliance to what it once was. Their cousins in the Twilight Highlands however, did not fare so well as numerous wars with the Dragonmaw Clan and the Twilight's Hammer have taken their toll. Some of the most prominent clans have even died off from all the warfare. Making matters worse, the natural upheaval of the Cataclysm had caused the decimation of the icy cliffs of Northeron.
Hill dwarves prefer to stay out of conflicts until the Alliance calls upon them. They do not want to muck about with politics, but will participate in it, as evidence of their role in the Council of Three Hammers, if it will uphold the peace. As long as no one threatens their land or their livelihoods, they are content. They do rise to fight for an ally, and the Alliance is stronger because of them. However, calling in Wildhammer reinforcements certainly isn't enough to win a war; they're great gryphon riders, but they're uncomfortable with technology, and their population wanes.
The few Wildhammer dwarves in Kalimdor are the most affected by the turmoil of the war. They care not for the walls of Theramore, and found no issues to stop them from simply launching into the air and traveling north, avoiding the considerable obstacles, beasts and Horde members on the ground. They had founded two kingdoms in the past 250 years. One more wouldn't matter.
To their credit, before they left, they met with the night elf and Ironforge dwarf delegations in Theramore. The Ironforge dwarves had already started excavating Bael Modan, and the Wildhammer dwarves wanted to know if it would be suitable for settlement. The Ironforge Dwarves thought not, as the Wildhammer preferred colder climates and Bael Modan was baked by the sun. They also expressed polite reservations about the mountain being settled by those who did not share their reverence when it came to the mysteries of the Titans buried there.
The night elves agreed to allow the Wildhammer dwarves into their southern mountain peaks, and the Wildhammer dwarves report to the night elves anything out of the ordinary they see from their vantage point. Most think that dwarves and elves working so well together would be the first odd thing the Wildhammer dwarves would report. But life in the post-Third War world is different.
Wildhammer dwarves have a new home in Ashenvale. It's bitterly cold on their peaks, and they construct homes that are nearly always part cave and part building. Although they do not claim the same love for engineering and architecture as Ironforge dwarves have, their constructions are admittedly impressive. They have a wooded area where they raise their gryphons. The fearsome birdlike creatures prefer the open air, but the natural flying beasts of the land, the hippogryphs and the wyverns, are sensitive to anything intruding on their territory; so the hill dwarves are careful to raise their gryphons where they can be shielded to keep them from the sharp eyes of would be attackers.
Hill dwarves have close ties to nature. Many are shamans, and some are druids. A few Wildhammers revere the Holy Light, but the faith demands too much organization and philosophy for the comfort of most. Some Wildhammer dwarves in Kalimdor have also been studying with the night elves to learn more about Elune, the moon goddess.
For a while the Wildhammer clan was not technically part of the Alliance as they were originally neutral. Though they still kept ties with the Alliance members and even worked with the Alliance, they still valued their independence too much to formalize their relationship. As of the Cataclysm, it appears they have recently rejoined the Alliance fully. Their relationship with the gryphons of the Hinterlands has proven profitable as the Alliance has established an extensive travel network using these flying beasts. In addition to convenient travel the Wildhammer are an important military force. In Outland for example, the Wildhammer clan is supplying select Alliance members with gryphons of their own and perform bombing operations on important legion-controlled points. There are rumors of members of the Wildhammer clan residing in the human city of Stormwind as well as the dwarven city of Ironforge. Wildhammers have a kinship with the high elves due to the fact the Quel'Danil Lodge is nearby. The Wildhammer dwarves' most hated enemy is the Dragonmaw Clan, who they vie for control of the Twilight Highlands.
The Wildhammer Gryphon riders, under Daelin Proudmoore and Kul Tiras attacked Durotar and the Darkspear tribe's home of Echo Isles, though they inflicted damage to the Darkspear, they were ultimately pushed back and driven out. The Wildhammers are still hostile to the blood elves, as the Wildhammer clan considers members of the Horde to be their enemies. Hill dwarf mercenaries helped firebomb the tauren camp of Camp Taurajo. Hill dwarves' are heated enemies with the Dragonmaw Clan, who they vie for control of the Twilight Highlands. They have also had many conflicts with the Revantusk tribe in the Hinterlands.
- Hill dwarves, despite their ties to nature, are often seen eating meat.
- Many players want hill dwarves to be a playable subrace.