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War of the Three Hammers

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See also : War of the Three Hammers (History of Warcraft).

The War of the Three Hammers was a civil war between the Bronzebeard clan (Ironforge clan), Wildhammer clan, and Dark Iron clan. The conflict began with the death of Modimus Anvilmar and exile of the Wildhammer and Dark Iron dwarves from Ironforge.[1] It continued when Emperor Thaurissan, leader of the Dark Iron clan, launched simultaneous assaults on the Bronzebeard city of Ironforge and the Wildhammer city of Grim Batol.

Both attacks were defeated, with King Madoran Bronzebeard defending Ironforge against Thaurissan and Thaurissan's wife Modgud slain by King Khardros Wildhammer. The combined Bronzebeard and Wildhammer armies marched south to the city of Thaurissan in the Redridge Mountains, the Dark Iron capital.

Sensing impending defeat and unaware of the consequences that would result, Thaurissan accidentally summoned Ragnaros the Firelord into Azeroth, which resulted in the sorceror-thane's immediate death. Rather than destroy the Dark Iron Dwarves' enemies as hoped, the Firelord's raw power caused a cataclysm that formed Blackrock Spire and halted the advance of the Bronzebeard and Wildhammer armies.

The death of the high king

Previous: War of the Shifting Sands
Next: First War
War of the Three Hammers (Part One)
Place: Khaz Modan
Outcome: Taking of Ironforge by the Bronzebeard clan, exodus of Wildhammer clan (to Grim Batol) and Dark Iron clan (to Redridge Mountains)
Combatants
Commanders

There was originally one main clan of dwarves, the Ironforge clan. Under this clan were three other clans of dwarves, the Bronzebeard clan, Wildhammer clan, and Dark Iron clan. The Dark Iron dwarves were ruled by the sorcerer Thaurissan and lived in the darkest shadows of the Ironforge Mountain. The mountain was shared by all three factions. Tensions were held to a reasonable amount until the high king of the dwarves, Modimus Anvilmar, died.

All three factions fought for supremacy, embroiling the dwarves in a civil war. The civil war raged on for many years all over Dun Morogh, until one day the Bronzebeard appeared to be victorious. In their victory, the Bronzebeard banished their Dark Iron and Wildhammer brethren from the mountain.

The Wildhammers went north to Dun Algaz and began to rebuild their kingdom with their own mountain city of Grim Batol. The Dark Irons, however, humiliated and enraged by their defeat, travelled to the Redridge Mountains and founded a city, which their leader Thaurissan named after himself.

The war continues...

Previous: War of the Shifting Sands
Next: First War
War of the Three Hammers (Part Two)
Warofthethreehammers
Place: Khaz Modan
Outcome: Apparent stalemate, formation of Searing Gorge and Burning Steppes, Wildhammer exodus to the Hinterlands
Combatants
Commanders

Years later, the Dark Irons maintained a grudge and launched a two-part attack on Ironforge and Grim Batol with the intention of obtaining ultimate supremacy over all dwarves. He attacked both of the cities at the same time because the Dark Irons were afraid that when either city were attacked, the other city would come to their aid.

Thaurissan went with the army that marched on Ironforge and sent his wife Modgud to Grim Batol. Thaurissan's forces fought valiantly against the Bronzebeard defenders but were ultimately routed. Defeated, Thaurissan and his forces fled back to their city but did not know the status of Modgud and her forces.

Modgud used her own dark magic against the Wildhammers' fortress, causing shadows to stir at her command and dark things to rise up and stalk the Wildhammers in their own halls. Finally, Modgud broke through the gates of Grim Batol and her army began to lay siege to the fortress. Khardros Wildhammer, the leader of the Wildhammer clan, waded through the battle and slew the Dark Iron queen. With their queen lost, most of the Dark Irons fled towards their home city only to be intercepted by an army from Ironforge that the Bronzebeards had sent. The Dark Iron army was utterly destroyed. There were rumors (that would persist to the modern day) that some Dark Irons escaped the Wildhammers by fleeing into Grim Batol, but at that time no one wanted to hunt for any possible foes left in a place blackened by magic.[2]

The summoning of Ragnaros

The army from Ironforge turned south to destroy Thaurissan once and for all; they hadn't travelled long before Thaurissan tried to summon a minion to ensure victory. He meant to call forth a demon, but it was not a mere demon that rose forth. Instead he accidentally summoned Ragnaros the Firelord, immortal lord of fire elementals whom had been banished by the titans when Azeroth was young.

Thaurissan's spell broke his chains and caused an army of fire elementals to pour forth. The force resulting was enough to kill Thaurissan and, in his rage, Ragnaros enslaved the Dark Irons dwarves in Blackrock Mountain and the crater which was caused by his sudden return. The crater is now divided into two (northern and southern) areas, the Searing Gorge and Burning Steppes, respectively.

The army of Ironforge, seeing the awesome fury of Ragnaros, quickly turned and fled home. The Bronzebeards began to rebuild Ironforge, and the Wildhammers returned to Grim Batol. The Wildhammers discovered that Modgud's taint had left their city uninhabitable, and refused an offer from the Bronzebeards for a safe haven in Ironforge.

Instead, the Wildhammers turned north to the Aerie Peak in Lordaeron and built their own kingdom on the slopes of the mountain, where they made a special bond with the gryphons of the mountains.

The statues of Loch Modan

After the leaders of both Ironforge and Aerie Peak died, their sons erected statues of their fathers in southern Loch Modan, facing the tunnel to the Searing Gorge, to serve as a warning to all of the wrath of dwarves and to remind the Dark Iron dwarves of the price that they had paid the last time they tried to test their cousins.

Rumors from the past

It was some time during the Burning Crusade that a group from the Bronzebeard clan was sent by King Magni Bronzebeard to investigate Grim Batol, headed by Rom. Shortly after arriving, they had the misfortune of discovering that the long-held rumors were true; the survivors had descendants, but they little resembled dwarves now. Being constantly exposed to Modgud's dark magic for generations had warped the descendants into something more reptilian than humanoid, called the Skardyn.[3]

References

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