Minipost: Atramedes' dead Dark Iron dwarf guardians

Didn't you guys hear the news? Crowns of fire are totally in this year.

Before fighting Atramedes in Blackwing Descent, you have to dispatch some incredibly annoying and troublesome trash - the pissed off ghosts of former Dark Iron leaders. While I hate fighting these guys (I once got targeted for the "Execution" insta-kill, died, got brezzed, then got insta-killed again!), I was intrigued because I only recognized a few of their names off the top of my head.

The ghosts are: Angerforge, Burningeye, Thaurissan, Ironstar, Moltenfist, Anvilrage, Shadowforge, and Corehammer.

Thaurissan should be well-known to most players as the infamous Dark Iron Sorcerer-Thane who led the Dark Irons against the Bronzebeards and Wildhammers in the dwarven civil wars. He later launched coordinated simultaneous attacks on his enemies, personally leading an army to siege Ironforge while his wife Modgud led the attack upon Grim Batol, new home of the Wildhammers. After failing to defeat either faction, Thaurissan foolishly summoned Ragnarok into Azeroth to serve him. In return, the Firelord destroyed Thaurissan, many of his people, his kingdom and the entire surrounding countryside.

Sidenote: though Modgud failed to take Grim Batol, she did curse the city upon her death with an evil taint, making it uninhabitable. The Wildhammers were forced to flee and seek a new home. Today, Modgud's Blade is a drop from General Umbriss in Grim Batol, a fight in which controlling the spread of Modgud's Malice is crucial for success.

So that's Thaurissan, but what about the others? Off the top of my head, I only recognized Shadowforge because of Blackrock Depths' Shadowforge City/Key/etc, and Angerforge because our raid team had recently received the Bind-on-Equip Fury of Angerforge trinket.

There's not a lot of information about these dead Thanes, but they do show up somewhere else outside of slaughtering countless raiders - you can find common-quality relics belonging to each one through Archaeology! There is even an achievement for finding each Thane's artifact (not counting Thaurissan, as the Staff of Sorcerer-Thane Thaurissan is epic quality)

Here's the flavor text for each artifact, sorted from least to most interesting (in my opinion).

Moltenfist's Jeweled Goblet - Even among Dark Iron dwarf kings, Moltenfist's avarice was legendary. This goblet, while once of high craftsmanship, has seen better days. It has been partially melted by exposure to lava or dragon fire.

Ironstar's Petrified Shield - According to legend, Thane Ironstar of the Dark Iron dwarves carved this shield from a sacred high elven tree and then enchanted the item to turn it hard as stone.

Spiked Gauntlets of Anvilrage - Anvilrage was one of the most powerful generals in Blackrock Depths. His flaming anvil insignia is visible on tabards and shields beneath Blackrock to this day. While he no longer lives to command the Dark Iron army, many soldiers still bear his name.

Warmaul of Burningeye - Iron Thane Burningeye delighted in battle. He was known to wield a pair of great warhammers. You have reassembled one, long drained of magic. That means the other may be out there somewhere and possibly still a potent weapon.

Mithril Chain of Angerforge - The Angerforge family has a long lineage in Dark Iron dwarf history. This is a chain worn by Thane Angerforge, the ancestor of General Angerforge, who still commands the Dark Iron armies of Blackrock Depths.

Skull Staff of Shadowforge - The Shadowforge family has left a long stain on Dark Iron history. Iron Thane Shadowforge was by all accounts a cruel despot who tortured and killed many of his own people. While it is generally held that he was a warlock, some accounts cling to the rumor that he was one of the first dwarven shaman.
(First dwarf shaman?! I'm sure this is nothing, but still! Surprising and intriguing.)

Winged Helm of Corehammer - Judging from the size of this helm, Thane Corehammer of the Dark Irons must have been enormous, or possibly just enormously fat.
(HAHAHA, one of the best artifacts ever.)

Just a little lore to think about next time your raid is dying more to these dead Thanes than to the actual bosses. ;)

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    I'm betting the Wildhammers would have something to say about the idea that a Dark Iron thane was the first dwarven shaman. Something good little children should not repeat. Unless, of course, the idea is that there were plenty of dwarf shaman when all three clans were one, but the Ironforge dwarves didn't have much interest in magic and the Dark Irons turned to more sinister sorcery, so the Wildhammers were the only ones to keep with it all this time... more of a "these guys stuck with it" than "these guys started it".

    Since there really have been dwarf shaman all along, just not as a playable class, I really wish they had done more to bring more of the lore behind it into the game when they made it playable.

    May 1, 2011 at 1:36 PM