Stromgarde Keep

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"Stromgarde" redirects here. For the Battle for Azeroth warfront, see Battle for Stromgarde. For other uses, see Stromgarde (disambiguation).
AllianceStromgarde Keep
Stromgarde Keep BfA.jpg
The rebuilt Stromgarde
Type Capital; Stronghold; Citadel[1]
Leader(s)  Danath Trollbane
  Formerly See below
Government Hereditary monarchy
Race(s) HumanHuman Human
DwarfDwarf Dwarf
GnomeGnome Gnome
High elfHigh elf High elf
  Formerly UndeadUndead Undead
Forest trollForest troll Forest troll
OgreOgre Ogre
Faith(s) Holy Light
Affiliation(s) Kingdom of Stromgarde, Church of Light, Alliance
  Formerly Syndicate, Witherbark tribe, Boulderfist clan, Independent, Alliance of Lordaeron, Arathorian Empire
Location Southwestern Arathi Highlands
Status Active

Stromgarde Keep, also known simply as Stromgarde,[2] is the capital city of the kingdom of Stromgarde, located in the southwest of the Arathi Highlands. In ages past, the settlement was a cradle for human civilization, when it served as the capital of the Arathorian Empire under the name of Strom. By the time of the arrival of the Orcish Horde, it stood as a major power center as part of the Alliance of Lordaeron during and after some time following the Second War.

Stromgarde was eventually sacked and left in ruins at some point after the events of the Third War, and remained in this condition for many years to follow. It was divided into three sections — one around the inner keep itself and under the rule of the Syndicate, the former mage district[2] largely under the control of the Boulderfist clan ogres with aid from the Witherbark trolls, while the last section remained under the control of the Stromgarde military and once served as the headquarters of Prince Galen Trollbane, until his death.

The outbreak of the Fourth War brought a revival for the fallen capital. Supported by the Alliance and led by Danath Trollbane, the League of Arathor fully re-established itself in Stromgarde and began restoring the settlement to its former glory. However, it soon became the focal point of the conflict between the Alliance and the Horde for control of the Arathi Highlands. Ultimately, the Alliance managed to defeat the Horde, returning most of Arathi into the hands of Stromgarde after many years of strife.[3][4]


Ancient times


The ruins of Stromgarde after the Third War.

Stromgarde was founded under the name Strom as the capital of the Empire of Arathor, the first human kingdom, around 2,800 BDP.[5] After uniting the human tribes, Arathor's king, Thoradin, set out to found a new capital. According to one legend, his father appeared to him in a dream one night, wearing the pelt of a black wolf, and told him that his people would prosper if he built his capital in an arid land to the southeast. Thoradin sought out the region now called the Arathi Highlands and, as the story goes, saw a black wolf roaming the terrain. On that spot, the king used his sword, Strom'kar, to carve out the boundaries of a city in the dirt and ordered his masons to begin construction of Strom.[6] The semiarid terrain acted as a buffer zone between humanity and their enemies, the forest trolls of the Amani Empire, prohibiting the trolls from launching their feared forest ambushes. Word of the fortress-city soon spread among human tribes across the continent, and many traveled to it for safety.[5][7]

In addition to being their first capital, Strom was also the birthplace of arcane magic for humanity.[8] During the Troll Wars, high elven magi traveled to the city and taught one hundred humans the arcane arts in exchange for Strom's military aid against the Amani Empire. Together the elves and humans went on to defeat the trolls.[7][9]


Although Arathor grew and prospered after the Troll Wars, Thoradin feared that his kingdom would splinter apart if it overextended itself and maintained that Strom was the center of the empire.[10] After his death, Arathor expanded across the Eastern Kingdoms and founded new city-states, the first of which was Dalaran. Many magi ended up moving to the latter to escape growing prejudice and the strict laws governing magic in Strom.[10][11][12] This was followed by the creation of other city-states like Gilneas, Alterac, and Kul Tiras. The rulers in Strom feared that these settlements would become too autonomous, but despite their efforts the cities grew increasingly independent over the decades.[12]

Bound by mountainous terrain and lacking natural resources, Strom could not compete with the economies of the other city-states and steadily declined in power. Circa 1,200 BDP, many of the capital's noble families finally sought to leave the Arathi Highlands in favor of more fertile lands in Lordaeron. Thoradin's descendants, the last of the Arathi bloodline, argued that Strom should not be abandoned, which incurred the displeasure of the greater citizenry who were also eager to leave. The nobles soon left regardless and moved to Lordaeron, where they founded a city-state of the same name. Shortly after, Thoradin's descendants, led by Faldir, also abandoned Strom and sailed south to found the kingdom of Stormwind. Strom was left in the hands of a few ruling families who were too stubborn to leave, including the Trollbanes, the descendants of a famous general of the Troll Wars, who ascend the throne as the ruling family. These families rebuilt the crumbling infrastructure of the capital and renamed it Stromgarde. Although Stromgarde developed into a nation in its own right, the city would never regain its former glory.[13][14]

Second War

WC2-BnetE-logo.png This section concerns content related to Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness or its expansion Beyond the Dark Portal.

The inner keep of Stromgarde, ruined and penetrated by ballista bolts.

After several battles against the forces of Stromgarde, the Horde eventually attacked the capital of the kingdom with a maritime assault.[15]

World of Warcraft

WoW Icon update.png This section concerns content related to the original World of Warcraft.

Following the Third War, Stromgarde Keep fell into ruin and became a battlefield between the remaining humans of Stromgarde, the Boulderfist ogres, and the criminals of the Syndicate.[16][17] Lord Falconcrest commanded the Syndicate efforts in the Arathi Highlands from the ruined city, and the Stromgarde Militia placed a bounty on his head.[18] The Argus Wake, which secretly controlled the Syndicate, also planned to take over the city and use it as a power base from which they could prepare the way for the Burning Legion's next invasion of Azeroth.[16] The nearby town of Southshore was sending supplies to Stromgarde's defenders, but the shipments were difficult to receive while the Syndicate held territory between them such as Northfold Manor.[19]

During the conflict, Archmage Trelane attempted to defend the Tower of Arathor, but was unsuccessful and exiled himself to Stormwind City. There he asked his former apprentice, Archmage Malin, to help him recover some belongings he had left behind at the mage tower.[20] The latter accepted and sent his agents, Skuerto and Apprentice Kryten,[21] who gathered the artifacts with the help of the Alliance adventurer.[22]

The sword Trol'kalar, the legendary bane of trolls and heirloom of the Trollbane family, was sealed away in the Trollbane Family Crypt and protected by Prince Gallen Trollbane until adventurers of the Horde killed him, unsealed the tomb, and took the sword to Zengu.[23] Zengu tasked the adventurers to retrieve the sword so that it could be used against the trolls of Zul'Gurub.[24] When he got the sword he quickly took off alone, but was killed by the humans of Stromgarde. They returned the sword to its proper place, resealed the tomb, and once again split the sigils among their people, under Galen's successor's orders.[25]


Cataclysm This section concerns content related to Cataclysm.

By the time of the Cataclysm, Galen Trollbane was raised by the Forsaken and aided them in reclaiming the sigils and ultimately Trol'kalar in the city, this time for their own use.[26] The Forsaken and the League of Arator sent adventurers to continue fighting against the Boulderfist ogres[27] and Syndicate criminals.[28]


Legion This section concerns content related to Legion.

Stromgarde Keep, occupied by its undead citizens.

Some time before the third invasion of the Burning Legion, Galen was finally able to reclaim Stromgarde Keep for himself before or after he broke off from the Forsaken. The city was now almost completely under the control of undead Stromic people, including Stromgarde Defenders, cavalrymen, troll hunters and citizens. Only a group of Witherbark tribe trolls remained in the former mage district.[2]

When the Knights of the Ebon Blade came to resurrect his father, Galen tried to double cross them and made a last stand in the Sanctum, where he died a second and probably final time.[29]

Before the Storm

WoW-novel-logo-16x62.png This section concerns content related to the Warcraft novels, novellas, or short stories.

As agreed by King Anduin Wrynn and Warchief Sylvanas Windrunner, Stromgarde Keep was taken by the Alliance to act as the base for the Stormwindian people participating in the Gathering. The Conclave priests, Alonsus Faol and Calia Menethil, gave them blessings in its chapel. During the Gathering, Alliance leaders stayed atop the ruined ramparts to observe the meeting.[30]

Battle for Azeroth

Battle for Azeroth This section concerns content related to Battle for Azeroth.

Main article: Battle for Stromgarde
Stromgarde Keep during Battle for Azeroth.

At the time of the Fourth War, the citizens of Stromgarde returned home, along with the Stromgarde army and the League of Arathor. The city was rebuilt and supported by engines of war and barracks for soldiers.[31] After their construction, both Highlands Mill and Galson's Lode became the primary source of lumber and iron for Stromgarde Keep.[32] During the Battle for Stromgarde, the capital served as the Alliance's base of operations, as holding a firm line in Arathi was critical to the Alliance's continued occupation of Lordaeron.[33] In order to keep the army funded, fed, and ready to fight for Stromgarde, the Alliance coffers funded most of the war effort with money, food, and supplies, while the rest was paid for by the hard work of its citizens and through donations.[34]

Meanwhile, the Horde forces of Ar'gorok sought to destroy the city and conquer the Arathi Highlands. Their engineers notably built a Azerite-powered war machine, which was neutralized by the adventurers sent by High Commander Halford Wyrmbane.[35] Thenceforth, when Stromgarde Keep temporarily fell to the Horde, the capital apparently laid in ruins with the Vengeful Ghosts of the Alliance's dead haunting it.[36] The Alliance then needed to gather enough resources to restore the base and continue their bid to conquer Arathi. At the same time, portal access from Boralus was also stopped, since Arathi was too dangerous to travel there, until the allied forces regained control of Stromgarde Keep.[37]

The battle ultimately ended in the Alliance's favor, with Stromgarde victorious,[38] thanks to the leadership qualities of Muradin Bronzebeard, Danath Trollbane, Turalyon, and the tenacity of all the soldiers who fought. Their victory restored Stromgarde Keep as the capital of its eponymous kingdom, leaving the Horde stronghold of Ar'gorok in ruins and the various settlements of the kingdom in the hands of the Alliance once more.[4] Following the Alliance victory, the soldiers returned home, leaving only a few guards behind as a precaution.[31]

After the end of the Fourth War, Alleria Windrunner, Turalyon and over 20 soldiers were searching for Horde refugees fleeing Stromgarde Keep.[39]

Although not visible in-game, the Sanctum and the Crypt are still present in the capital, lorewise, and have been inspected by Mathias Shaw with Danath Trollbane's blessing.[40]


House of Trollbane
Under occupation


Battle for Azeroth

Stub.png Please add any available information to this section.

Battle for Azeroth This section concerns content related to Battle for Azeroth.


Alliance NPCs

Alliance mobs

Horde controls Arathi


Legion This section concerns content related to Legion.

Post-Third War

WoW Icon update.png - Cataclysm

In the RPG

Icon-RPG.png This section contains information from the Warcraft RPG which is considered non-canon.

Once called simply Strom, the city formerly served as the capital of the ancient Arathorian Empire. Currently, the former Arathi Highlands's capital of Stromgarde is still held (barely) by its rightful leader, Prince Galen Trollbane. The city is the center of a power struggle between the city's defenders, the Syndicate and the Boulderfist ogres. A mysterious man called Lord Falconcrest commands the Syndicate in the city.

Stromgarde's ruins include the Trollbane Family Crypt.[41]



This article or section includes speculation, observations or opinions possibly supported by lore or by Blizzard officials. It should not be taken as representing official lore.

Like with Dalaran during the Second War, the Horde's attack on the keep hasn't been mentioned in any other sources besides Warcraft II. Tides of Darkness actually presents Stromgarde when the betrayal of Perenolde was revealed. No attack on the keep has been mentioned there, and Thoras's guard captain only complained about not having enough soldiers to move into Alterac because the soldiers were with the main Alliance army. That would mean that if the Horde attacked, Stromgarde would probably have fallen without the relocated soldiers.

  • Despite this, N Rogue [35] To Ravenholdt probably hints at a battle in Arathi Highlands. If so, it could be possible that the Horde never reached Stromgarde but only kept fighting in the open area, a thing also alluded to in Ultimate Visual Guide which mentions that the first Horde offensive was pushed to the bridges of Thandol Span.
  • Alternatively, a potential attack on Stromgarde by sea, which would be repelled, could have happened at the start of the Second War given the facts that the Perenolde's betrayal was revealed much later, when the Horde marched on the Capital City, and that the "port part" of the city described in Warcraft II is not depicted in World of Warcraft. South of Stromgarde there seems to be a "port" called Faldir's Cove accessible by two paths through the past of Stromgarde but this seems to be a natural cove rather than a city harbor, so it is also probable that Stromgarde being a port city was also retconned.


Patch changes

  • Battle for Azeroth Patch 8.0.1 (2018-07-17): Revamped as an Alliance hub. Flight master and profession trainers added.
  • Bc icon.gif Patch 2.3.0 (2007-11-13): Many of the Syndicate mobs have had their elite tag removed.


External links

Arathi Highlands BFA Alliance warfront Horde warfront