|Playable races in World of Warcraft e|
|Draenei · Dwarf · Gnome · Human · Night elf · Worgen||Pandaren||Blood elf · Goblin · Orc · Tauren · Troll · Undead|
The Alliance (aka Grand Alliance) is one of two major political factions of the mortal races in Azeroth, its counterpart being the Horde. The Alliance consists of powerful cultures and groups bound not by desperation or necessity, but by their deep commitments to abstract concepts like nobility and honor. The Alliance was once also known as the Alliance of Lordaeron when its leadership was centered in Lordaeron. However, the Alliance was forced to move the bulk of its forces to Kalimdor and to the southern Eastern Kingdoms continents of Khaz Modan and Azeroth after a plague of undeath ravaged the Kingdom of Lordaeron several years ago. It has since lost many members as well as gained new allies.
The major partners in the Alliance are:
- The humans of Stormwind.
- Kingdom of Stormwind: One of the founding members of the Alliance of Lordaeron following Stormwind City's destruction in the First War. The city was restored to prominence after the Second. One of the last few human bastions not affected by the disasters of the Third War.
- Led by King . Formerly, in Varian's absence, led by his son (with as regent).
- Other leaders include: the leader of the Church of the Holy Light and formerly also lady (which was the black dragon in disguise).
- Capital is Stormwind City in northwestern Elwynn Forest, in the continent of Azeroth.
- The Kingdom of Stormwind's influence extends into the surrounding lands, including Sentinel Hill in Westfall, Lakeshire in the Redridge Mountains and Darkshire in Duskwood.
- Other Strongholds and affiliated human towns are Nethergarde Keep in The Blasted Lands, the Rebel Camp in Stranglethorn Vale, Menethil Harbor in The Wetlands, the town of Southshore in Hillsbrad Foothills and Chillwind Camp in Western Plaguelands.
- A sizable naval fleet enables Stormwind to expand across the seas, with outposts in the Borean Tundra, the Howling Fjord, the Grizzly Hills and the Dragonblight in southern Northrend.
- For centuries the humans have been using horses as mounts.
- The dwarves of Khaz Modan.
- The Kingdom of Ironforge consists mainly out of the Bronzbeard Clan of dwarves, which still reside in the ancient city of all dwarven clans. They pledged to the Alliance following the Bleeding Hollow's invasion of Khaz Modan.
- Led by King .
- Capital is Ironforge, located in northern Dun Morogh.
- The Kingdom of Ironforge controls several settlements in Khaz Modan, including Kharanos and Thelsamar. More distant outposts such as Dun Garok and Bael Modan are the result of exploration and service to the Grand Alliance.
- The Explorers' League, a faction set to uncover the dwarfish origins, also has outposts in Northrend including a base camp in the Storm Peaks and a small outpost in the Howling Fjord.
- The Dwarves, living in the high mountains of Khaz Modan, have tamed and befriended the native rams, whom they use as mounts.
- The gnomes of Gnomeregan.
- Cousins of the dwarves, joining with their long-time allies to provide technological wonders to aid the Alliance in its fight against its enemies. Their Long-time capital was Gnomeregan, located in western Dun Morogh, but it was invaded by a race of troggs. The gnomes had to flee and find refugee in their cousins' arms in Ironforge, where they built Tinker Town.
- Led by High Tinker , King of Gnomes.
- Gnomish outposts can be found in Blade's Edge Mountains in Outland and the Borean Tundra in Northrend.
- The highly intelligent and resilient gnomes have devised their own unique robotic mount to use: the mechanostrider.
- The night elves of Darnassus.
- The night elves have lived peacefully for centuries in the shadowy forests of northern Kalimdor until the events of the Third War when they allied with the survivors of Lordaeron and the 's Horde at the behest of in order to defeat at the Battle of Mount Hyjal. However the continuous deforesting actions of the orcs in the forests of Ashenvale have forced them to break away from the Horde and remain allied with the Alliance alone.
- Led by High Priestess and (with the absence of archdruid ) Archdruid .
- Other leaders include: General commands the Sentinel Army.
- Capital is Darnassus, located on the new (failed) World Tree of Teldrassil, off the coast of northern Kalimdor.
- The sentinels control directly several larger outposts, including Astranaar and Forest Song (jointly with the draenei) in Ashenvale, Feathermoon Stronghold in Feralas, the port of Auberdine in Darkshore, and Sylvanaar in Blade's Edge Mountains.
- The forest dwelling night elves have befriended many beasts and magical creatures over the centuries, including Nightsabers and Hippogryphs (whom they use as mounts) and other magical creatures that helped them in their conflicts like mountain giants, chimaeras and faerie dragons.
- The draenei of the Exodar.
- Refugees of the eredar race fleeing their corrupted brethren, seeking allies to fight against the Burning Legion. They lived on Draenor until the orcish onslaught, and fled from the Legion and the forces of by stealing the Exodar, one of the satellites of Tempest Keep.
- Led by the Prophet .
- Draenei outposts include Azure Watch on Azuremyst Isle, Blood Watch on Bloodmyst Isle, Forest Song (jointly with the night elves) in Ashenvale, the Harborage in the Swamp of Sorrows, the Temple of Telhamat in Hellfire Peninsula, and Telredor in Zangarmarsh.
- The draenei have brought with them from outland their huge elekk beasts, whom they use as mounts.
- The worgen of Gilneas.
- Led by .
- Capital is Greymane City in central Gilneas.
- Formerly one of the strongest of the human nations, Gilneas was one of the founding members of the Alliance of Lordaeron, sealing itself off from the world after the Second War to avoid being brought into "other people's conflicts". People and lands transformed by the worgen plague that resulted in civil war engulfing Gilneas. They will officially rejoin the Alliance in World of Warcraft: Cataclysm.
- Only other known settlement is Duskhaven.
- Led by .
The uneasy truce between the Alliance and the Horde in the aftermath of the Third War was soon broken when several battlegrounds between various forces of the factions have erupted:
- League of Arathor - The main force of the nation of Stromgarde. In order to supply their war to reclaim the Arathi Highlands (and help supply themselves and the alliance with valuable resources) the league has invaded the Arathi Basin along with Forsaken forces, with whom they fight vigorously over the rich land.
- Stormpike Guard - A dwarven expedition to the Valley of Alterc in order to search for relics and treasures from the past, have led to open war with the orcs of the Frostwolf clan that resides in the southern parts of the same valley.
- Silverwing Sentinels - The continuous defrosting efforts of the Warsong Orcs that have settled in southern Ashenvale have left the sentinels no choice. The Silverwing sentinels wing was appointed to begin a massive push of the orcs out of the elfish homelands.
- Outland Forces
- The Sons of Lothar – Remaining members of the former Alliance Expedition to Draenor following the Second War, who were joined by the new forces of the Alliance with the re-opening of the Dark Portal.
- The Kurenai, or "Redeemed", a surviving clan of Broken draenei residing in Outland, Nagrand.
- Northrend Forces (Alliance Vanguard)
- Valiance Expedition - The main forces of the Alliance expedition to Northrend, led by .
- 7th Legion - A group of Alliance veterans from past wars bent on fighting the threat of Naxxramas in Dragonblight.
- The Silver Covenant - A militant core of high elves that have united under the banner of who opposes Dalaran's acceptance of the horde races. They join the Alliance forces in Northrend.
- The Frostborn - They reside in the Storm Peaks, a lost race of dwarves led by (who is actually with a serious amnesia).
- The Explorers' League, led by , searches for rare artifacts and digs into dwarven history.
- Valiance Expedition - The main forces of the Alliance expedition to Northrend, led by .
Other members, factions and allies of the Grand Alliance
- The human nation of Theramore, based in Theramore Isle, Dustwallow Marsh.
- Led by the Third War hero of the alliance, Lady .
- Founded by various human refugees that ventured to Kalimdor in the midst of the scourge onslaught of the third war, coming from all the human nations.
- The nation is affiliated with the faction of Stormwind.
- The human nation of Stromgarde, based in Stromgarde City and Refuge Pointe camp, Arathi Highlands.
- Led by Prince .
- Stormgarde was the first great nation of the humans (known as Arathor) from which all other nations developed. However, the nation rapidly declined after the Third War, losing it's capital city and many other territories.
- The nation is affiliated with the faction of Stormwind and the forces of the League of Arathor.
- The human nation of Kul Tiras, based in the capital of Boralus, Kul Tiras Isle and Crestfall Island.
- Led by Lord . Formerly led by his father, hero of the Second War, the Lord Admiral .
- An old human kingdom of merchants and sailors. Sustained a heavy attack of the horde forces during the second war, but largely avoided and survived the third war. Many of its citizens joined the expedition forces of Jaina to Kalimdor where they founded the nation of Theramore (which has the same banner as Kul Tiras what may idicate it being a sub territory of Kul Tiras).
- The Wildhammer clan of dwarves, led by High Thane , based in the Aerie Peak, Hinterlands. Formerly they lived in Ironforge and their own capital of Grim Batol; both were abandoned after a series of civil wars with the other dwarven clans.
- Though not always enthusiastic members of the Alliance, the Wildhammer clan has never failed it and always pledged their precious gryphons and heroes to the alliance's causes.
- The High Elves that remain untouched by fel magic are loyal to the Alliance and who are currently scattered in many Alliance's settlements, such as those led by at Quel'Lithien Lodge in the Eastern Plaguelands, those under and her forces at Quel'Danil Lodge, the ones in Theramore under , or the ones in Dalaran as part of the Silver Covenant among other places.
- Some half-orcs are members of the Alliance (with others being members of the Horde).
- The children of Cenarius, working closely with the night elves throughout Kalimdor.
- The furbolgs of Stillpine Hold, led by , have been cooperating with the draenei, an outgrowth of their good relations with the night elves.
- The Wintersaber Trainers in Winterspring are a night elven group of elite saber riders that provide their mounts to members of the Alliance who prove themselves worthy.
Alliance of Lordaeron
- Main article: Alliance of Lordaeron
The modern Alliance is the successor to the Alliance of Lordaeron, which was created at the behest of King of Lordaeron and Lord of the kingdom of Stormwind following the First War, five years after the reckoning. The human, dwarf, gnome, and high elf races allied together to fight off the orcish Horde.
Aftermath of the Second Invasion
Events of the Second Invasion led to an alliance with both the night elves and the Horde. The former became permanent, while the latter did not.
Following the Second Invasion, many of the surviving high elves rebranded themselves as blood elves and rejoined the Alliance shortly after the invasion, only to leave it again following an attempted purge by Grand Marshall . The true high elves remain loyal to the new Alliance, most notably the ones dwelling in Theramore under Lady and in the Hinterlands at Quel'Danil Lodge. More recently, high elves have grouped together in Northrend as the Silver Covenant.
A few years later, the draenei joined the Alliance. Stranded a world away from home, they are trying to establish a new base on Azeroth from the wreckage of the Exodar as well as gain the trust and cooperation of the Alliance.
During the events of the Cataclysm, another race joined the ranks of the Alliance; the worgen of Gilneas.
The Alliance is not a uniform governmental body, but is a coalition of mutual military and economic aid. Housing the Alliance Assembly, Theramore can be considered the official home of the new Alliance, but both the people and the leadership of Stormwind find it hard to accept. The inability of Stormwind to act forced both Theramore and the night elves to step in, resulting in a growing gap of cooperation between the two continents. This, however, is no longer the case with King Varian's return and the death of Onyxia. Varian's direct aid to the Night Elves has won their trust, and Jaina's constant presence with him as an advisor (and to temper his edges) has brought firmly reunited Theramore and Stormwind.
In the past, certain rules, customs, and regulations were a constant hindrance to mutual actions across the entire Alliance. This made cooperation sluggish, and considerably slowed the rate at which the Alliance was able to reclaim its former lands and glory. Despite the problems and intrigues within their leadership, all parts of the Alliance are steadfast in their desire to reclaim and rebuild, and all members share a distrust of the Horde. Approximately 800,000 souls belong to the allied races spanning two continents (based on membership numbers of the Church of Light). The Alliance is a great and peaceful body overall, their might being legendary, but their desire for peace, even stronger. Above all, where and are good at coordinating their efforts on Kalimdor, Lady of Stormwind was doing a fine job of undoing the Alliance in the Eastern Kingdoms, however she has been slain in lore and King has now taken his rightful place as king.
Even now, as always, humans are the glue that hold the Alliance together, being the most numerous and diplomatic of the member races. The armies of Stormwind are stationed through out the Eastern Kingdoms, trying to retake regions such as Duskwood, Westfall, and The Redridge mountains. The armies of Ironforge are mainly stationed in Khaz Modan along with their Gnome allies, and the Night Elven armies are mainly defending northern Kalimdor from Horde's deforestation of the Ashenvale. The remaining Draenei forces are still trying to secure they're new home on Azuremyst Isle, and are also stationed in Outland. The recently brought in Gilnean armies are defending themselves from the endless onslaught of the Forsaken.
- Main article: Alliance technology
Technologically speaking, the Alliance is strong, with gnomish and dwarven inventions.
Heavily armored vehicles with massive guns often help take well-defended structures, or even serve to simply destroy an enemy’s morale. The appearance of three or four armored vehicles can often break an enemy’s morale without ever firing a shot. However, they are well armed in case they do need to fire.
All too frequently, war is the primary driver of technological advancements. The Ironforge dwarves spearheaded this trend, developing gunpowder and firearms as a way to achieve an edge against their foes in combat. Flying machines, originally just curiosities or at best scouting tools, are now being outfitted with flak cannons and bombs. Who knows where these advancements will lead? Technology is the system by which an entire society provides for the wants and needs of its population.
Thus, the dwarves of Ironforge are said to be more technologically advanced than the tauren of Mulgore, who are themselves far more advanced than, say, kobolds or troggs. The Alliance views technology as an extension of a new way of thinking. Humans view technology as a powerful tool, as gnomes and dwarves invent new weapons, devices, and vehicles of war that the humans can benefit from.
Dwarves and gnomes are the true masters of steam and brass; for them, forge and artifice has always been a way of life. The ability to craft magnificent weapons of destruction appeals to the dwarven sense of war, and firearms have become a respected aspect of their culture. Dwarven riflemen are feared, and their steam tank crews are also given tremendous respect for their skill in guiding their magnificent weapons of war.
It is clear to all of the Alliance races that the battlefields are changing thanks to technology. Firearms are a tremendous equalizer, and a trained sniper can be as deadly to a knight as a dragon’s breath. The machines of war provide protection and weapons that level the field even against the mightiest of monsters. That the Alliance is aware of this bodes well for their future. Also, with the inclusion of the draenei into the Alliance, the advanced technology of the draenei is now available.
Strategy in combat is the first step toward winning, and the Alliance uses to its fullest. They take advantage of their typical numerical advantage, to overwhelm opposition with shield and sword. They posses great Arcane spell casters which can be seen taking out many troops single-handedly from behind the front line. They have some great shock infantry with the dwarves and draenei, who prove very resilient on the battlefield. The Alliance is also known for its heavy cavalry where mounted human knights and paladins have more than once broken through ranks of Orcs, demons and undead. These mounted warriors have long symbolized the strength of the Alliance armies.
Typically they will utilize flanking tactics, night elven and high elven archery, combined with superior technology and maneuvers to turn battles in their favor allowing heavier troops like human knights and dwarven riflemen to finish their enemies off with the blade and shot. Their commanders are very smart, studying the art of war from a young age, and are able and adept commanders who will utilize their armies to the fullest, on the battlefield.
Most Alliance races are well-versed in the ways of the Holy Light, making their paladins and priests formidable opponents. The power of the holy light is also advantageous against the Forsaken as well as other forms of undead due to their extreme weakness against the power with spells such as Exorcism. While the Third War witnessed the deaths of many paladins at the hands of the Scourge, the arrival of the Draenei on Azeroth provided a new force of Light-wielding warriors for the Alliance.
The Alliance has strong unity between its races since its core members have been allied together since the beginning, excluding the night elves and the draenei. The humans, dwarves, high elves, and gnomes have been allies since the Second War and are often tied together. The Alliance has also never truly fallen apart, although there is often disagreements between the Alliance on Kalimdor, led by Jaina Proudmoore and Tyrande Whisperwind, and those traditionally based out of the Eastern Kingdoms, now led by King Varian Wrynn.
The Alliance represents older bonds of brotherhood than the Horde, especially between the Humans, Dwarves, High Elves, and Gnomes. And while the Draenei are new to Azeroth, the other races retain ancient holdings. This stands in stark contrast to the Horde, all of whom, with the exception of the Blood Elves, have undergone significant migrations in the past decade. This gives the Alliance more established infrastructure and generally more territorial control, if not a higher level of dedication — Orgrimmar and Thunder Bluff, and the Forsaken squatting in Lordaeron's sewers and ruins, stand in stark contrast to the strong walls of Stormwind and Ironforge.
Although the Alliance has built an impressive army in the past years, finding strength in its diversity and numbers, weak points still exist that the Alliance’s enemies can take advantage of when fighting. For example, some lackluster commanders exist within the ranks. Though through this they still maintain a very impressive army.
The Alliance is proud of itself. Their people are sophisticated and learned, and they excel in the intellectual pursuits such as arcane magic and engineering. Even after three bloody wars, they still view themselves as overall smarter than the Horde, and believe that greater brain power wins out over primal force. This is even after they fought alongside the Horde in the Third War and saw how they had changed. They underestimate the Horde, especially the new Horde under Thrall, and could easily be guilty of underestimating their enemies’ abilities.
- Main article: Alliance magic
Though their powerful command of the arcane is a point of strength in the Alliance’s arsenal, it also shows a weakness. The magi are weak and easy to kill, if an enemy can break through their protections. The benefits of these spellslingers in combat are very rich, causing destruction from a distance unchecked by the enemy.
The front lines of the Alliance’s armies are always in danger against the physically stronger Horde, especially the orcs and tauren. Draenei are the strongest Alliance race, and the arrival of the Worgen in Cataclysm will probably add another brute force to Alliance aswell.
Though the Alliance has a vast amount of territory, its distribution is almost one sided, most of the Alliance territory is in the Eastern Kingdoms. The Alliance presence in Kalimdor is weak, confined mainly to Teldrassil, the islands of Azuremyst and Bloodmyst, and Darkshore (the only mainland Alliance territory in Kalimdor). Though they have also made a strong establishment in Dustmallow Marsh on Theramore Isle. It should be noted that there is a rapidly growing revanchist movement among the Alliance ranks, fueled increasingly now that Varian Wrynn has returned to Stormwind; should the Horde attempt to overwhelm any of the vulnerable Alliance holdings, then it would likely spark all out war, and thus this weakness would prove to be a strength.
- ^ Alliance Player's Guide, 167
- ^ World of Warcraft manual, p.171
- ^ "Beginnings and Ends"
- ^ The gnomes and Wildhammer dwarves are members of the Alliance. The furbolgs and pandarens are Independent though friendly to the Alliance.
- ^ Alliance Player's Guide, ???
- ^ Alliance Player's Guide, 163
- ^ World of Warcraft: Issue 14
- ^ Alliance Player's Guide, 100, 181
- ^ More Magic and Mayhem, 164
- ^ World Of Warcraft: Paladin Spells
- ^ a b c d Alliance Player's Guide, 182