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This article is about the lore of the clan. For the lore of the race, see Dark Iron dwarf. For the playable race, see Dark Iron dwarf (playable).
AllianceDark Iron clan
Dark Iron crest
Main leader IconSmall Moira Queen Moira Thaurissan
  Formerly IconSmall Thaurissan Emperor Dagran Thaurissan †
IconSmall DarkIron Female Empress Zoe †
IconSmall DarkIron Male Sorcerer-Thane Thaurissan †
Secondary leaders IconSmall DwarfBaby Prince Dagran Thaurissan II
Dark Iron dwarfDark Iron dwarf Shadowforge Senate
IconSmall DarkIron Male Chief aid Drukan
Race(s) Dark Iron dwarfDark Iron dwarf Dark Iron dwarf
Capital Shadowforge City
  Formerly City of Thaurissan †
Language(s) Dwarven, Common, Kalimag
Sub-group(s) Dark Iron's military
Dark Iron's organizations
Affiliation Kingdom of Ironforge, Alliance
  Formerly Twilight's Hammer, Ragnaros
Status Active

The Dark Iron clan or Dark Iron Nation[1] (also capitalized Dark Iron nation),[2][3][4] formerly known as the kingdom of Thaurissan or simply as the Dark Iron kingdom during Sorcerer-Thane Thaurissan's rule,[5] is a clan of Dark Iron dwarves. These dark skinned dwarves were formerly ruled by Sorcerer-thane Thaurissan and vied for control of Ironforge with the Bronzebeard clan and the Wildhammer clan during the War of the Three Hammers.

Now ruled by Queen Moira Thaurissan, widow of the late Emperor Dagran Thaurissan and daughter of King Magni Bronzebeard, the Dark Iron clan seek to forge a new future for themselves independent of the tyranny of Ragnaros and his minions, which has long been imposed upon them in their home of Blackrock Mountain, so they have become part of the Alliance. Under Moira's guidance, some of the Dark Iron clan have even moved into Ironforge to train the local dwarves in the ways of warlocks and mages.


Early history[]

Chronicle3 Majordomo Executus

Majordomo Executus lording over the Dark Irons.

Like all dwarves, the Dark Iron dwarves of the Dark Iron clan are descendants of the earthen.

Just prior to the War of the Three Hammers the Dark Iron clan, ruled by the Sorcerer-Thane Thaurissan, inhabited the darkest, deepest crevices of Ironforge. The Dark Iron clan was unsuccessful in wresting control of Ironforge from the Bronzebeard clan and Wildhammer clan during the War of the Three Hammers.

Thaurissan and his Dark Irons vowed revenge against Ironforge. He took his followers south and founded a city (which he named after himself) within the beautiful Redridge Mountains. Despite years of prosperity, Thaurissan and his sorceress wife, Modgud did not soften in their desire to defeat the Bronzebeards and Wildhammers; they launched a two-pronged assault against both Ironforge and Grim Batol. Thaurissan was routed by Madoran Bronzebeard at Ironforge, and retreated back to the Redridge Mountains. Modgud's assault on Grim Batol was marginally more effective, though she herself fell in battle to Khardros Wildhammer. Some say Modgud was manipulated to ruin by Xal'atath — a dark magical artifact she had acquired.[6] As for the Dark Iron dwarves that fought for Modgud at Grim Batol, they were consequently cursed at the end of the conflict and became skardyn.

As the combined forces of Ironforge and Grim Batol marched on Thaurissan, he attempted to summon an ancient power sleeping beneath the Redridge Mountains. Ragnaros the Firelord, immortal lord of all fire elementals, had been banished by the Titans when the world was young. Now, freed by Thaurissan's call, Ragnaros erupted into being once again. Ragnaros' apocalyptic rebirth into Azeroth shattered the Redridge Mountains and created a raging volcano at the center of the devastation. The volcano, known as Blackrock Mountain, became bordered by the Searing Gorge to the north and the Burning Steppes to the south. Though Thaurissan was killed by the forces he had unleashed, his surviving brethren were ultimately enslaved by Ragnaros and his elementals. They remain within the Spire to this day.[7]

First and Second Wars[]

When the Shadow Council moved into Blackrock Mountain during the First War, they were confronted by the fire elemental and Dark Iron dwarf minions of Ragnaros. Cho'gall used his fledgling connection to the Old Gods to convince the dwarves and Ragnaros's lieutenants, who also served the Old Gods, to let the Shadow Council stay in the upper reaches of Blackrock Mountain, Blackrock Spire. If the warlocks remained there, they would not be disturbed by Ragnaros or his followers.[8]

When Orgrim Doomhammer and the Old Horde marched to Blackrock Spire to destroy the Shadow Council shortly before the start of the Second War, Orgrim was introduced by Cho'gall to the Dark Iron dwarves. The dwarves, at Ragnaros' secret behest, allowed the Horde to use Blackrock Spire as its headquarters.[9]

After the Second War, the Blackrock clan led by Dal'rend Blackhand and Maim Blackhand snuck back into the Spire once the Alliance left the area,[10] and the Blackrocks struck a deal with the Dark Irons, with the dwarves descending even deeper into the mountain, while the orcs occupied the higher levels. The bargain was never intended to be kept,[11] and they eventually went on to fight each other.[12]

World of Warcraft[]

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

Emperor Dagran Thaurissan.

For many years, Dark Iron clan served Ragnaros. They were centered in the depths of Blackrock Mountain, in their dark capital of Shadowforge City. A great deal of Dark Iron activity could be seen in the Searing Gorge and in the Badlands. There had also been incursions into the Wetlands, Loch Modan, the Burning Steppes, and Dun Morogh.

While Emperor Dagran Thaurissan delighted in the power that Ragnaros had bestowed upon him he bristled at his servitude to the Firelord. When Ragnaros ordered Thaurissan to prepare the Dark Irons for a new war, the emperor was overjoyed. He had long dreamed of conquering the other dwarf clans, not only to rule over them but also to wield their combined power to break free of the Firelord's control.[13]

Dark Irons are enemies of both the Alliance and the Horde. They seem to have helped Sicco Thermaplugg in the invasion of the troggs in Gnomeregan, as some Dark Iron dwarves and even the Dark Iron Ambassador can be found in the poisoned gnome capital. It's unclear what exactly they did, though.

Some Dark Irons broke ties with the clan in order to seek out business relations with the Alliance and Horde. This group is known as the Thorium Brotherhood. The Dark Irons proclaimed the Brotherhood an enemy of the clan for their relations, and the two groups were sent into conflict.

King Magni Bronzebeard sent a team to kill Emperor Thaurissan, and retrieve his abductee — the previously thought to be ensorcelled Moira Bronzebeard — back to Ironforge. Yet Moira refused to come home and announced that she was pregnant, and that the death of her husband has left a terrible, fiery rage within her heart.[14] Once Emperor Dagran Thaurissan died in his throne room at Blackrock Depths, the Dark Iron clan's leadership was transferred over to his wife Moira Bronzebeard. Moira would rule as the Queen-Regent until her son comes of age to be crowned emperor.

The split[]

Cataclysm This section concerns content related to Cataclysm.

Queen Moira Thaurissan.

In the power vacuum that followed the Cataclysm, the petrified King Magni Bronzebeard's estranged daughter, Moira, who had married into the much despised Dark Iron clan, briefly claimed Ironforge's throne and effectively locked down the city. If not for the intervention of King Varian Wrynn of Stormwind and his son, Prince Anduin, her brash actions might have sparked another civil war. With Varian's guidance, control of Ironforge has since been divided equally among the Bronzebeard, Wildhammer, and Dark Iron clans through the Council of Three Hammers.[15] Yet as bitterness and prejudice fester among the clans, the council's ability to govern as one remains uncertain.

The Dark Iron clan thus was no longer united. One group of Dark Irons has joined the Alliance with their leader Moira Thaurissan, while the other group has followed Ragnaros into an alliance with Deathwing and joined the Twilight's Hammer.[16] Moira's hold over the Dark Iron clan is tenuous at best and there are in fact Twilight's Hammer agents within the faction that proclaim loyalty to Moira. In secret, these traitors gather information on not only the other Dark Irons but also the Alliance as a whole for their Twilight Hammer masters. Non-Alliance Dark Irons have a presence primarily in Searing Gorge, with other camps at the Ruins of Thaurissan in Burning Steppes, at Angor Fortress in the Badlands, throughout the Wetlands and Dun Morogh, and small numbers scattered across Loch Modan.

Shadowforge City was in flux during the era due to Moira's duties in Ironforge, and she hasn't had the chance to ensure the security of her son's future kingdom; however, should she have spare time, Shadowforge City would likely rise.[17] Nevertheless, Shadowforge City remained the capital of the faction that has proclaimed loyalty to Moira.

With Ragnaros' permanent death in the Firelands, the clan was finally freed from his enslavement,[18] although there are those that still worshipped him regardless.


Mists of Pandaria This section concerns content related to Mists of Pandaria.
Forgeguard 1

The Forgeguard at Shimmer Ridge.

During the Alliance-Horde war on Pandaria, many Dark Irons followed the Alliance and took the part on their campaign against the Horde attacking them in Domination Point.

Blood in the Snow[]

The Dark Iron Forgeguard led by Queen-Regent Moira aided in the defense of Ironforge against the Frostmane tribe and the Zandalari ambassador, Hekima, on Shimmer Ridge in Dun Morogh. They defeated their enemies and gained the respect of King Wrynn and the other members of the Council.[19]

The Jade hunters[]

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

To help promote the union of their clans the Council of Three Hammers combined Fenella Darkvire, Carrick Irongrin and Fendrig Redbeard as a team to help rebuild the Jade Serpent statue.[18]

Warlords of Draenor[]

Warlords of Draenor This section concerns content related to Warlords of Draenor.

As of the war in Draenor, the Thorium Brotherhood appears to have united with the majority of the Dark Iron clan once again, with Hansel Heavyhands and Burrian Coalpart assisting the invasion of Draenor on the Alliance side. Thaelin Darkanvil was also an important part of the invasion. A Dark Iron expedition was sent into Gorgrond to spy on the Blackrock clan, as they knew the Blackrock orcs better than anyone else in the Alliance expedition. They established Bastion Rise in the savage jungle. The Dark Irons continued participating in the war effort for its remaining duration.


Legion This section concerns content related to Legion.

Several units of the clan led by Moira participated in the defense of Dun Morogh alongside other defenders against the Burning Legion during their invasions.

Several members, including Moira, joined the Conclave. Alonsus Faol was helping them find and gather other priests for the Netherlight Temple.[20]

Battle for Azeroth[]

Battle for Azeroth This section concerns content related to Battle for Azeroth.
New Allied Races Ready to Recruit

Dark Iron dwarf vs a Mag'har orc.

The Dark Irons work alongside the Explorer's League in a dig at Xibala on Zandalar. A force of the Dark Irons fought in the Battle of Dazar'alor.

After the Dark Iron dwarves were experimenting with Azerite on the Black Anvil, Shadowforge City was attacked by the Venture Company. After fending off the goblin incursion, they returned to discover the Black Anvil was destroyed and the Venture Company stole Ironfoe.[21] Alliance adventurers recovered Ironfoe after killing Mogul Razdunk.[22] To repair the Anvil, a Fragment of the Molten Core[23] was taken to the Firelands to re-energize, during which the Cult of Ragnaros was discovered to exist who aimed to bring back Ragnaros.[24] The Fragment of the Molten Core was then used together with some Azerite to remake and upgrade the Black Anvil.[25]

Afterward, Moira and Anduin officially declared the Dark Irons members of the Alliance, as it had not been official before due to an oversight, what Moira only describes as a formality.[26]


War Golem

A Dark Iron war golem.


Dark Iron technology is about military and manufacture.

Examples of known technology developed by the Dark Iron:


Minor clans and families[]

People and culture[]


Name Role Condition Location Allegiance
Alliance IconSmall DarkIron Male Drukan Chief aid of Moira Thaurissan Alive Shadowforge City Dark Iron
Neutral IconSmall Thaurissan Sorcerer-Thane Thaurissan Emperor of the Dark Iron during the War of the Three Hammers; summoned Ragnaros to Azeroth Ghost Athenaeum, Blackwing Descent Dark Iron
Neutral IconSmall DarkIron Female Modgud Sorceress wife of Sorcerer-Thane Thaurissan Deceased Unknown Dark Iron
Boss IconSmall Thaurissan Emperor Dagran Thaurissan Former emperor of the Dark Iron, killed in Blackrock Depths Deceased-Killable The Imperial Seat, Blackrock Depths Dark Iron, Ragnaros' forces
Neutral IconSmall DarkIron Female Empress Zoe Little-known Dark Iron ruler Deceased Unknown Dark Iron
Neutral IconSmall DarkIron Male Franclorn Forgewright Former chief architect of the Dark Iron; oversaw construction of Shadowforge City and the Stonewrought Dam Ghost Forgewright's Tomb, Molten Span, Blackrock Mountain None, formerly Dark Iron
Boss IconSmall DarkIron Male General Angerforge Leader of the Dark Iron armies Alive[30] West Garrison, Blackrock Depths Dark Iron
Boss IconSmall DarkIron Male Fineous Darkvire Chief architect Deceased-Killable Hall of Crafting, Blackrock Depths Dark Iron
Boss IconSmall DarkIron Male Golem Lord Argelmach Deceased-Killable The Manufactory, Blackrock Depths Dark Iron
Boss IconSmall DarkIron Male Galgann Firehammer Shadowforge senator, guards the Inv misc rune 01 [Tablet of Will] sought by Advisor Belgrum Killable Dig Three, Uldaman Dark Iron
Neutral IconSmall DarkIron Male Gunnar Flyntrock Deceased Unknown Dark Iron
Alliance IconSmall DarkIron Male Onin MacHammar Alive Shadowforge City Alliance
Alliance IconSmall DarkIron Female Fenella Darkvire Grand Dark Iron architect, daughter of Fineous Darkvire Alive Shadowforge City Dark Iron, Alliance
Alliance IconSmall DarkIron Male Thaelin Darkanvil Dwarf accompanying the Alliance throughout the war in Draenor Alive Draenor Dark Iron, Alliance
Boss IconSmall DarkIron Female Frida Ironbellows Part of the Alliance's assault on Dazar'alor Killable Battle of Dazar'alor Dark Iron, Silver Hand, Alliance
Alliance IconSmall DarkIron Female Nella Slagheart Paladin who fought against the Horde during the Brawl: Comp Stomp Killable Arathi Basin Dark Iron, Silver Hand, Alliance

Notable leaders[]

History High Kingdom War of the Three Hammers Empire Three Hammers re-unification
Ruler Modimus Anvilmar Thaurissan Dagran Thaurissan Moira Thaurissan
Dagran Thaurissan II

In the RPG[]

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

In Lands of Conflict the Dark Irons are part of the "Dark Iron nation", also called the "kingdom of Thaurisan".[31]

Notes and trivia[]

  • After the Fourth War, Mathias Shaw in his report mentioned that contentions and disagreements between the Dark Iron clan and the Alliance are subsiding, although he considers that the Alliance could find in them new loyal allies.[32]
  • Prior to World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2, Tides of Darkness described the Old Horde fighting against a handful of dwarves dwelling in Blackrock Spire before taking it.[33] Chronicle changed it to not fighting the dwarves at all, instead coming up with an agreement.
  • Due to development decisions, the Blackrock Depths and Shadowforge have not been updated to reflect the lore changes since vanilla. As such, visiting the city in game would show old or inaccurate lore such as Dagran still being alive, and Moira as a princess, resulting in any actions within the instance as non-canon.
  • Several Dark Iron units used the spell called Gift of Ragnaros.
  • The Dark Iron drew from more specific details of the same body of myth and fiction as dwarves generally. For dwarf cultural inspirations generally, see Dwarf#Notes and trivia.
    • The themes of Dark Iron dwarves as black-skinned and in a mountain that engage with the Firelands may be based on how Norse dwarves are Svartálfar ("Black Elves"), where Svartalfheim is often synonymous with Nidavellir, and also the realm of Muspelheim, home of the fire giants.
    • The use of the title "Thane" for Sorceror-Thane Thaussarian refers to the Scottish title.
    • The Seven are a parody of the Seven Dwarfs.
    • The Dark Iron dwarves bear much resemblance to the duergar from Dungeons & Dragons, including appearance, habits, and origins.


See also[]