The Council of Three Hammers officially entered a full government shutdown yesterday, after months of long-running disagreements between High Thane Muradin Bronzebeard, High Thane Falstad Wildhammer and Queen-Regent Moira Thaurissan.
The stalemate came about after the shocking discovery that Zandalari trolls had infiltrated Dun Murogh, seeking to rally the Frostmane trolls against Ironforge. King Varian Wrynn delivered the urgent news himself, requesting the Council take immediate action to protect the city from their ancient foes.
However, after hours of discussion the Council could not reach an agreement. High Thane Muradin Bronzebeard would not authorize any military action, refusing to entrust the security of the city to either the Wildhammer or Dark Irons in his absence.
"We cannot help, for if we turn our back on the Dark Irons, they will defeat the Wildhammer and take over Ironforge!" said Bronzebeard, looking askance at the other two Council representatives.
High Thane Falstad Wildhammer called Bronzebeard's words "ridiculous", but also would not commit any soldiers to an assault on the Frostmanes.
"We cannot help, for if we leave Ironforge in the hands o' the Bronzebeard, the Dark Irons would stomp 'em and then take over the city!" said Falstad.
"You think the Bronzebeard would lose, you feather-wearing, bird-hugging ingot?" responded an angry Muradin.
"Ye think the Wildhammer would lose, ye rock-headed, pig iron piece o' gryphon dung?" shouted back Falstad.
After many more minutes of insults and heated argument, the enraged Bronzebeard and Wildhammer representatives stormed out of the chamber, declaring the Council "stupid", suspended and shut down until further notice.
The move has forced over 1000 city workers off the job, as well as halting all non-essential city services, such as the Deeprun Tram, the Great Forge, the Auction House, and the Gnomes. Meanwhile, Ironforge citizens classified as essential city employees - such as military guards, Gryth Thurden and Myra Tyrngaarde - will continue working, but would not be paid during the shutdown.
Ironforge citizens were deeply concerned and appalled by the decision, calling the move "incredibly juvenile."
"Aren't they supposed to be working together? For us?" said Ingethal Boozehammer, a Hall of Explorers researcher who found herself without a job this morning. "It's the rest of us who are suffering and in danger because they're too arrogant to cooperate."
The frustration isn't limited to Ironforge natives, either. Lyestra Wellbright, a visiting night elf warrior, called the shutdown "totally unacceptable."
"I desperately need to find out the identity of the unusually large ram skeleton in the library for Evelyna, but the library is closed!" wailed Wellbright, gnashing her teeth. "What am I supposed to do now??"
"Is this even happening?" asked Wrynn, as he watched the negotiations deteriorate. "Am I dreaming? This cannot be real. The Zandalari are HERE. The Frostmane are coming! By the Light, I was a better King than you idiots when I had amnesia and was being kidnapped by naga!"
Tensions remain high, with lawlessless and displays of petty crime reaching all-time highs. However, so far the shutdown has escaped major incident, with one exception. When the annual Brewfest celebrations were deemed non-essential, riots erupted throughout the city. Within minutes, a horde of furious, drunken dwarves stormed the festival grounds, trampling the barriers and tapping dozens of kegs in a defiant mass display of intoxication.
When asked for comment, Queen-Regent Moira Thaurissan of the Dark Irons rolled her eyes.
"I don't have time for political posturing, or saying who's right or who's wrong," she said with annoyance. "I'm headed out into the field with King Varian. Those two can go ahead and have their hammer-measuring contest, but somebody has to think about the welfare of the people."