Seven Kingdoms

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The Seven Kingdoms were the human states that became sovereign after the disintegration of the Empire of Arathor, approximately 1,200 years before the First War.[1]

History

The territories of the Seven Kingdoms (and their neighbors) before the First War.

The seeds of the kingdoms of men were Arathorian city-states. First among them was Strom, a mighty fortress city of the Arathi tribe located in the regions south of Quel'Thalas. This bastion became the capital of the nation of Arathor, which saw its number grow as humans from all over the land traveled there to the protection and safety of Strom.[2]

After the Amani defeat at the end of the Troll Wars and the death of Thoradin, the Arathorian king, the younger generations of Arathor — then an empire — sought to expand beyond the borders of the lands surrounding the capital.[3] Among them, a group of magi journeyed north because they felt fettered by the strict laws governing magic in Strom. On the southern shore of Lordamere Lake, these fledgling spellcasters founded Dalaran,[4] the second Arathorian city-state.[3]

During the following centuries, other city-states arose across the continent. Among them were the militaristic Gilneas and Alterac (both strong supporters of the empire), whose mighty armies explored the mountainous southern lands of Khaz Modan and made first contact with the dwarves. On an island south of the imperial capital, Kul Tiras was built and developed a prosperous economy based fishing, shipping, and commerce. Meanwhile, Dalaran became the chief center of learning for magicians throughout the land. Although the four city-states had their own customs and commercial workings, they all held to the unifying authority of Strom, which acted as the central hub of the expansive empire.[1]

As the economy of Arathor flourished, its strongest elements began to disintegrate. The nobles of Strom, seeking lusher lands, purity, and enlightenment, decided to leave the arid surroundings of the imperial capital against the arguments of the royalty. Far to the north of Dalaran, the greater citizenry founded a city-state named Lordaeron after the surrounding region,[5] which became a mecca for religious travelers and all those who sought inner peace and security.[1]

Left within the crumbling walls of ancient Strom, the Arathi descendants decided to travel south past the rocky Khaz Modan. After many long seasons of journey, they settled in the southern region of the continent they would name Azeroth and founded the kingdom of Stormwind, which quickly became a self-sufficient power in its own right.[1]

Meanwhile, in the almost silent Strom, the few warriors still left decided to remain and guard the ancient walls of their city. As Strom was no longer the center of the empire, the soldiers developed it into a new martial nation known as Stromgarde. Though each of the seven city-states became prosperous in its own right, the empire of Arathor had effectively disintegrated. As each nation developed its own customs and beliefs, they became increasingly segregated from one another and humanity lost the unity achieved during the rule of King Thoradin.[1]

In time, the kingdoms gradually developed rivalries, as before the coming of the orcs, the human kingdoms of Lordaeron faced challenges and obstacles from each other as the games of politics played out.[6] Decades before the First War, while Azeroth enjoyed a time of relative peace, villages squabbled with villages, and kingdoms spied on kingdoms. In the Eastern Kingdoms, humans engaged in rigorous trade with dwarves, gnomes, and high elves. Some nations, like Lordaeron, acted as regional leaders and trendsetters, mediating disagreements between smaller kingdoms and used their strong militaries to impose order over the land. Still, others focused their resources on defending themselves from old rivals.[7]

Among the history books in Medivh's library, some mentioned references of genocides, assassinations, and massacres between humans of the seven kingdoms, using claims of nobility, heritage, and honor to justify their conflicts.[8] Among these battles, there were military conflicts between the nations of Alterac and Stromgarde, as the proximity of the two and the apparent ambiguity of their mountain borders had led to several wars and skirmishes. On more than one occasion, King Thoras Trollbane led the armies of Stromgarde into battle against the honorable General Hath of Alterac.[9]

Before the Second War began, King Terenas Menethil II of Lordaeron formed a council of delegates from each of the seven kingdoms, after which the Alliance of Lordaeron was founded.[10]

Post-Arathorian kingdoms

Demonyms

Demonym is a term for the residents of a locality and is usually, though not always, derived from the name of a locality.

The demonyms for the Seven Kingdoms' residents are:

Current status

High King Anduin Wrynn is the current ruler of Stormwind, which maintains its position as the beacon of humanity and the most powerful nation in the Alliance. Turalyon has since become the Regent of Stormwind in Anduin's absence.

Queen Tess Greymane is the current ruler of Gilneas, succeeding King Genn who abdicated his throne following the Reclamation of Gilneas. After twelve years of exile, the Gilnean people drove out the Scarlet Crusade who used Gilneas City as their last stronghold in Lordaeron, and are now rebuilding their kingdom once left in ruins and plagued by the Forsaken after the invasion of Gilneas.

Archmage Khadgar is the current leader of Dalaran City, which was last situated near the Broken Isles. He became the Kirin Tor's leader after Jaina Proudmoore stepped down when the Council of Six voted to re-admit the Horde into the city, their members having previously been expelled in the Purge of Dalaran. The actual lands of the magocracy of Dalaran near Lordamere Lake, however, are contested between remaining Dalaranian forces and the Forsaken.

Lady Jaina Proudmoore is the current Lord Admiral of the Admiralty of Kul Tiras. After reuniting with her family she returned her people into the Alliance as well, lending their formidable naval might to their cause.[15]

Danath Trollbane and the League of Arathor have rebuilt Stromgarde Keep and successfully reclaimed most of its surrounding territories in the Arathi Highlands, finally leading the Kingdom of Stromgarde into the Alliance once again.[16]

The Kingdom of Alterac continues its existence mostly in the form of the Syndicate, a criminal organization hostile to both factions, created by Lord Aliden Perenolde and led by villainous nobles of Alterac. For years, Alterac Valley was contested between the Frostwolf clan and the Stormpike Guard. At the time of the Fourth War, the Syndicate has lost almost all of its territories to the Alliance and the Horde, although their remaining forces continue to operate in the Alterac Mountains.

The Kingdom of Lordaeron remains mainly destroyed after the Fourth War. Although Sylvanas Windrunner's use of the Blight during the Battle for Lordaeron has rendered Undercity uninhabitable to both her people and the living, the Forsaken were able to regain control of their outposts in Tirisfal Glades and the Ruins of Lordaeron with techniques learned from Maldraxxus. The remaining lands of Lordaeron remain largely divided between the Forsaken, the Alliance, the Argent Crusade and the Scourge.

The Seven Kingdoms First War Second War Interim Third War Interlude Alliance-Horde war Third Burning Legion Invasion Fourth War Aftermath Current status Current affiliation
Lordaeron - Damaged[17][18] Rebuilt Destroyed[19] See Scourge and Forsaken Ruined - See Battle for Lordaeron - In ruins, defunct Contested/Forsaken[20]
Stormwind Destroyed - Rebuilt - - - Damaged Rebuilt - Active Alliance
Dalaran - Damaged[21] Rebuilt Nearly destroyed[22] Rebuilt Rejoined Alliance Damaged and neutral Rebuilt - Capital healthy
(other territories ruined)
Neutral[23]
Kul Tiras - Damaged[24] Rebuilt - Fell silent[25] - - Rejoined Alliance - Active Alliance
Stromgarde - Damaged[26] Left Alliance - Damaged Damaged[27] See Stromgarde See Battle for Stromgarde - Active Alliance
Gilneas - - Left Alliance - See Civil war and Worgen Rejoined Alliance - - See Reclamation of Gilneas Active Alliance
Alterac - Subjugated by Alliance[28] Rebuilt[29] - See Syndicate Damaged - See Alterac City - In ruins, defunct Contested (Horde/Syndicate)
Other Human Nations
Theramore - - - - Founded Destroyed - - - In ruins, defunct Alliance
Arathor - - - - - - - - - Defunct Independent

Notes

  • Despite being called "kingdoms", both Dalaran and Kul Tiras never evolved into states ruled by royalty: the former became a magocratic nation, while the later remained a city-state ruled by a noble.
    • However, Boralus would later be known as the capital of Kul Tiras.
  • In Day of the Dragon, Tol Barad is described as an "island kingdom", and in Of Blood and Honor, Hearthglen was said to have been a "principality" in the past.
  • Though most of the human kingdoms held a sphere of influence restricted to the lands surrounding the original city-states, some — notably Stormwind and Lordaeron — came to control vast territories in the continent that would be known as the Eastern Kingdoms.
  • In older lore accounts, such as  [The Guardians of Tirisfal], Dalaran was said to have been founded by non-magi. Those citizens tolerated the wizards arriving to their city-state because of the magic-based protection granted by them to the local economy. However, in more recent accounts, like The First Guardian, Dalaran was initially founded by magi and non-magicians moved there later in order to provide necessary services for the residents of the thriving magocracy.
  • Currently, four out of the Seven Kingdoms have a playable race. The humans of Stormwind; the worgen, cursed humans of Gilneas; the Forsaken, former living citizens of Lordaeron; and the humans of Kul Tiras.

Gallery

Fan art

See also

References

 
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l  [The Seven Kingdoms]
  2. ^  [Arathor and the Troll Wars]
  3. ^ a b  [The Guardians of Tirisfal]
  4. ^ The First Guardian
  5. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 141
  6. ^ Arthas: Rise of the Lich King, pg. 27 & 31
  7. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2, pg. 105 - 106
  8. ^ The Last Guardian, chapter 12
  9. ^ Tides of Darkness, chapter 16
  10. ^ Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness manual, A Brief History of the Fall of Azeroth, The Alliance of Lordaeron
  11. ^ a b c d e Sean Copeland on Twitter: "Lore from Chris Metzen and Micky Neilson! Alteraci (“alterackee”), Lordaeronian, Stromic, Dalaranian, Stormwindian. BOOM." March 10, 2014
  12. ^  [Gilnean Ring of Ruination]
  13. ^ Sean Copeland of Twitter
  14. ^  [Scavenged Tirasian Plate]
  15. ^ A [50] A Nation United
  16. ^ Turalyon#Stormwind Keep
  17. ^ "Quel'Thalas: The Razing of Tyr's Hand", Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness. Blizzard Entertainment.
  18. ^ "Quel'Thalas: The Destruction of Stratholme", Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness. Blizzard Entertainment.
  19. ^ Archived page
  20. ^ Ultimate Visual Guide, pg. 17 & 125
  21. ^ "Tides of Darkness: The Siege of Dalaran", Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness. Blizzard Entertainment.
  22. ^ Ultimate Visual Guide, 20.
  23. ^ Exploring Azeroth: Northrend, pg. 65
  24. ^ "The Great Sea: Assault on Kul Tiras", Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal. Blizzard Entertainment.
  25. ^ Ultimate Visual Guide
  26. ^ Khaz Modan: The Fall of Stromgarde", Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness. Blizzard Entertainment.
  27. ^ Rejoined Alliance, See League of Arathor
  28. ^ "The Northlands: Betrayal and the Destruction of Alterac", Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness. Blizzard Entertainment.
  29. ^ "Prelude to New Worlds: Alterac", Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal. Blizzard Entertainment. "Alterac Keep" is intact by the time of Ner'zhul's Horde invasion of Lordaeron.