Faction Relations: Thoughts on Warcraft’s races…

… From the perspective of Durkon Kell.

PART ONE: The Alliance

I have a pretty clear idea about what I think of each race and faction, but my opinions are drawn from a privileged position as the player. One thing I really don’t get is why there’s such animosity between Alliance and Horde players – Oh, I suppose there are lots of reasons for Alliance and Horde characters to hate each other, but at the end of the day, players on the opposite side are still playing almost exactly the same game.

Naturally, Durkon doesn’t see it that way. If he were to describe his thoughts on those he shares Azeroth with, his perspective would be limited by what he can reasonably perceive and his experiences of individual members of those factions.

I’ve taken the liberty of cleaning up the following. Dwarvish is somewhat different to Common, and Durkon tends to transliterate his accent if he’s not concentrating. (The next bit is, of course, in character)

Dwarves and Ironforge
Stout, honourable and with a keen sense of what’s good and important in life. Duty. Good food and good brew. Our tradition of delving deep into the ground has provided us with great mineral wealth and our exceptional arms and armour craftmanship has brought military strength. While the magnificence of cities like Stormwind and Dalaran cannot be understated, Ironforge is something that these other places are not: Home. Nowhere in Azeroth or beyond do I feel safer.

The Dwarvern people are not without their problems, however. King Magni Bonzebeard has accomplished much that is worthy of song, but of late he has allowed the grief of his daughter’s desertion to consume him. He does little but follow in the path of Stormwind, now, particularly since Varian Wrynn’s return. I am also concerned that certain priests of the Holy Light seem to wish to dissuade worship of the Titans which has the potential to create schism. We cannot afford this when we are threatened on all sides.

Humans and Stormwind
The problem with Humans is that they are short lived. And ambitious. I will not question the heroism and dedication possessed by many of them, but their drive to accomplish something or make their mark on the world can sometimes have disastrous consequences. They tend to think in the short term. King Varian’s current offensive against the Horde is such an example; it is a war we cannot afford to divert our attentions to while Arthas and the Scourge still threaten to reduce all to ruin. Arthas, of course, is another example of human ambition and arrogance. If they do not rein in their rash tenancies, I am certain it will be a Human that will be responsible for the final doom of this world.

With that said, their boundless energy and drive has led them to accomplish much, and they are counted among many of the Alliance’s greatest heroes. Such men as Uther Lightbringer have been powerful forces for good and have changed the course of history. I will never forget, though, that Uther was slain by Arthas and he too has changed the course of history.

Stormwind is a magnificent city, seen by many as the Capitol of the Alliance. It stands representing all that Humans have accomplished, and what a monument. I like Stormwind, although I tend to find it a little crowded. Despite my misgivings, I find I like the people too (on a personal level) although with the exception of some of their paladins I don’t really trust them not to… go off and destroy the world or something.

Lord Fordragon was one of the most inspirational men I have had the fortune of encountering and I lament his passing. It seems that King Varian blames the entire horde for his demise; someone should tell him that Orcs and Tauren perished fighting alongside Men and Dwarves in that battle.

The Kaldorei (Night Elves) and Darnassus
It wasn’t long after setting out from Dun Morogh that I found myself on Tel’drassil in the company of the Night Elves. I stayed out there for many months, such was my love for the people and their new world tree. How do I describe the kaldorei? Peaceful, but accomplished warriors. Writers, poets, tenders of nature, blessed of Elune. Thoughtful, cautious, but not indecisive. I don’t think I can adequately describe them. I adventured here for a time, helping out where I could. I met My Lady Tyrande Whisperwind more than once and during our last meeting she granted me a rare honour in exchange for my service: The right to train with and eventually take into my keeping a Darnassian Sabre. So it was that I gained my first steed, Sithala the Snowsabre.

Darnassus is a wondrous place. The kaldorei know little of industry compared to the Dwarves or even Humankind. Their entire city – every settlement, in fact – appears crafted primarily through their command of natural magic; that granted to the druids by my lady Ysera, Aspect of the Green Flight and the power that the elves seem to naturally possess. Where something must be crafted by hand, it is done so with exquisite care and detail.

I consider my home to be Ironforge, but I also consider it to be Darnassus. I would not like to be asked to choose between the two.

The Gnomes, exiles of Gnomeregan
I have great respect for the Gnomes. I am an engineer by trade and preferring not to blow myself to tiny pieces every time a minor malfunction occurs I follow the path of Gnomish engineering. I have trained under some of the greatest master engineers of our time.

If we consider merely their engineers, the Gnomes have had a profound effect on the Alliance. Dwarvern engineering is by no means terrible, but it is simple and practical. We would never have thought of building flying machines, a tram to link two cities and certainly not some of the Gnomes’ more inventive devices. There are many mages, warriors, even warlocks who have contributed greatly to our offensive. Accursed warlocks. I have to say, I find the notion of Gnome warriors mildly absurd too. I try not to hold it against them, they seem to do a good job all things considered.

It’s a pity that their city has fallen into its current state. Although with that said… I can imagine even before the disaster that the place was pretty dangerous, particularly for non-engineers. Still, I’m happy that we were able to help them out even though it’s pretty crowded in that mountain now.

Draenei of the Exodar
I have’te say… I have a bit of a thing for those Draenei lasses. [Nervous laughter. Probably blushing under the beard]

But seriously… We think we’ve had a hard time of it, the Draenei have had their entire world shattered and cast into the twisting nether, a pretty fair portion of their people broken and changed and their new home sabotaged and smashed to pieces on some isolated islands on an unfamiliar world. A world filled with enemies and in a near-constant state of war! Yet the Draenei are fiercely loyal to their friends and utterly dedicated to the downfall of their enemies. What surprises me most, I think, is that despite all they have been through they are able to retain their quirky sense of humour and warmness towards those who have made themselves their allies.

They are most spiritual, possessing to an individual a reverence for the Holy Light and the Naaru to challenge even that of the Argent Crusade. They are also the most responsible users of arcane magic that I have encountered – they use it in their day-to-day lives like dwarves might use physical mechanisms. I cannot imagine a Draenei mage falling to the corruption that Dwarven, Human and Gnomish mages must guard themselves against and that the Kaldorei fear so much.

The Exodar is, I suppose, as a giant inhabited shipwreck. But it is the strangest, strangest city or ship that I have ever seen or am likely to see. I find the entire structure deeply confusing. It has a unique crystalline beauty all of its own however and I feel certain that the Draenei will rebuild their ruined ship into a grand city in their own time.

Soonish: The Horde races!


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