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For the quest chain, see Defias Brotherhood quest chain. For the RP-PVP server, see Server:Defias Brotherhood.
NeutralDefias Brotherhood
Edwin VanCleef TCG3
Main leader IconSmall Human Male Duncon Ratsbon
  Formerly IconSmall Vanessa Vanessa VanCleef
IconSmall EdwinVanCleef Edwin VanCleef †
Secondary leaders IconSmall Human Male Avarice
  Formerly See below
Race(s) HumanHuman Human
GoblinGoblin Goblin
TaurenTauren Tauren
Blood elfBlood elf Blood elf
Night elfNight elf Night elf
ForsakenForsaken Forsaken
WorgenWorgen Worgen
OgreOgre Ogre
Hobgoblin Hobgoblin
  Formerly Gnoll Gnoll
Kobold Kobold
MurlocMurloc Murloc
Character classes Rogue, Bandit, Blood mage, Conjurer, Enchanter, Engineer, Evoker, Mage, Pirate, Thief, Trapper, Warrior, Wizard
Capital The Deadmines
Theater of operations Elwynn Forest, Westfall
  Formerly Broken Isles, Argus, Stormwind, Duskwood, Dustwallow Marsh
Former sub-group(s) Riverpaw pack, Kobolds of Elwynn Forest
Affiliation Independent
  Formerly Uncrowned
Status Active

“Lies, greed, and deception—these are the things that my father stood against. For years, he worked tirelessly, helping to rebuild your devastated city, and what thanks did he or anyone else get for it? Nothing. What choice did they have but to turn on those who the crown favored to get payment, one way or another? Fate, it would seem, has led me down this path. Even with the murder of my father, your foolish attempts to destroy the Defias have been in vain. I am, now more than ever, my father's daughter, and the Defias Brotherhood will rise once more...”

Vanessa VanCleef, leader of the Defias Brotherhood[1]

The Defias Brotherhood (or the Defias Gang,[2][3] Defias Thieves,[4] or simply The Brotherhood) is an order of bandits[5] founded by Edwin VanCleef, and made up of former stonemasons, assassins, thieves, brigands and pirates that once sought to overthrow the Kingdom of Stormwind, defying the corrupt nobility by wearing red bandanas in order to symbolize the blood shed by the oppressed.[6]

Once based in the Deadmines of Westfall, an area deeply impoverished and not easily protected by the Stormwind Army, they began to prepare their revenge with the construction of a massive Juggernaught to destroy Stormwind, while acting and scheming in the shadows. However, they were defeated by adventurers sent by Gryan Stoutmantle before they could accomplish their goals.

Years after Edwin's death, at the time of the Cataclysm, Vanessa VanCleef succeeded him as the Kingpin of the Brotherhood and intend to continue her father's plan until her defeat by adventurers and the Westfall Brigade. She faked her death and reappeared to join the Uncrowned during the third invasion of the Burning Legion, pledging the allegiance of the Brotherhood to the rogue order.

In the wake of the Legion's defeat, Vanessa struggled to keep the organization focused on aiding the people of Westfall rather than simple thieving and banditry, especially of innocents. She eventually realized that all of the principled Defias had either died, or retired after receiving the royal pardon and reparations from King Anduin Wrynn, leaving only the thugs and bullies. After they were manipulated into attacking Northshire Abbey by a disgraced noble, Vanessa helped Mathias Shaw defeat her former compatriots before determining to find her own legacy. During the battle, the bandit Duncon Ratsbon announced that the Defias were now answering to him, and fled before being defeated, stating that the organization could not lose its new leader.



Main article: Stonemasons Guild
Edwin VanCleef TCG2

Edwin VanCleef, founder of the Defias Brotherhood after the riots of the Stonemasons Guild.

Following the Second War, the Stonemasons Guild was hired to rebuild Stormwind City after the city was occupied and devastated by the orcs. They restored Stormwind to its former majesty, but when they asked for payment for their honest work, the House of Nobles refused to pay due to an already-existing debt and the machinations of Lady Katrana Prestor, who played both sides. Her secret meddlings in the rebuilding of Stormwind City left the nobility unsatisfied with the craftsmanship of the Stonemason Guild; SI:7 notes that the nobles of Stormwind ran up a huge debt by expanding the kingdom's military presence through Elwynn and into Stranglethorn. The massive debt crippled the kingdom's economy and stripped VanCleef and his Stonemasons of their promised rewards.[7]

Meanwhile, the workers were enraged that the nobility were threatening to withhold payment for honest labor.[5] Edwin spoke out, demanding restitution for their works, which outraged the nobles. In response, the Stormwind House of Nobles ordered the Stonemasons' Guild disbanded, which, understandably, infuriated VanCleef and the other workers.

Edwin and the Stonemasons started a riot in the streets of the newly-rebuilt Stormwind. The riot was dangerous and chaotic, and resulted in the confusion by the accidental death of Queen Tiffin Wrynn when a thrown stone hit her in the head while she was attempting to calm the rioting stonemasons. This caused the enraged and grief-stricken King Varian to deal harder with the rioters, driving the Stonemasons from the city.[8] Knowing Varian's anger would never fade, many were forced to remain in hiding.[5] Edwin VanCleef fled Stormwind with the Stonemasons, and hid in rural areas like Westfall until the situation settled down. There, the respected guildmaster, with secret support from Lady Katrana, united the angry stonemasons and formed the Defias Brotherhood, using his training in the arts of stealth and subterfuge. The Stonemasons subsequently became bandits, collecting their promised payment by robbing travelers. Banditry and thievery quickly became a way of life for the exiles, who banded together under VanCleef's leadership.

Over the years, the ranks of the Brotherhood grew to include the skilled, the desperate, and the outcast; allowing them to essentially become a small army.

World of Warcraft[]

WoW Icon update This section concerns content related to the original World of Warcraft.
See also: Record of Defias Activity
Manhunt TCG

Defias agents in the Trading Card Game.

Needing a secure location from which to plan their revenge against Stormwind, Edwin VanCleef chose the Deadmines, an abandoned mining network hidden beneath a barn in Moonbrook in Westfall, as his base of operations. From there, he sent his forces out into Westfall, Elwynn Forest, and Duskwood to sow chaos and keep Stormwind's militia - already stretched thin - occupied while he oversaw the construction of a massive Juggernaught naval vessel deep within the Deadmines. Once complete, he planned to use it to lay waste to Stormwind from the sea.

Having long forsaken those noble virtues on which their brotherhood was founded, the mysterious Defias faction is now composed of thieves, bandits, and vicious mercenaries. This vile group is determined to wreak havoc upon, and ultimately destroy, the House of Nobles in Stormwind City. Convinced that the nobles are corrupt and villainous, the Defias Brotherhood has waged an underground war in a quest to rid the land of their hated enemies.[9]

The Defias have taken over parts of Elwynn Forest, Duskwood, Westfall, and have recently caused significant problems in the Stormwind Stockade by briefly taking control of the prison in the capital. The Brotherhood is known to have also had a presence in Northshire Valley.[10]

In Elwynn Forest, and the area around Stormwind, the Brotherhood mastered the art of ambush, and despite protection by the Stormwind City Guard, few caravans got through the woods unhindered. The Guard lacked the manpower to pursue the Brotherhood into their base of Westfall, leading the farmers and villagers in the area to form The People's Militia in an attempt to fight back against the Brotherhood. Promising young Knights of the Silver Hand were also sent here by Duthorian Rall to find and protect Daphne Stilwell from a Defias attack at her home in Westfall, located at the very ends of Westfall's Longshore.[11][12]

Defias capture Varian - The Comics

King Varian Wrynn captured by the Defias.

To accomplish their goals, the Brotherhood surrounded itself with allies, among them the Riverpaw gnolls of Westfall and the kobolds of Elwynn Forest who, according to the note sent by Wiley the Black to Gryan Stoutmantle, were actively working for the Defias to help secure the mines they've captured. The Bloodsail Buccaneers near Booty Bay had a deal with Edwin VanCleef about the construction of the Juggernaught,[13] and possibly to navigate it as the pirates on VanCleef's ship may occasionally drop Blackwater Cutlasses. They also had some kind of partnership with the Strashaz naga near Dustwallow Marsh, as the naga on Alcaz Island helped them by keeping the missing diplomat.[14] Vancleef had an ally in the House of Nobles, Lord Gregor Lescovar, a conspiring Stormwind noble had aided the Defias in plotting against the king.[15] The Defias had also conspired with Lady Katrana Prestor, and played a part in King Varian Wrynn's kidnapping.[16][17]

With the addition of goblins to their ranks, their armaments grew to include harvest golems, which they used to drive the farmers of Westfall off their land and claim it for themselves. In order to further hurt the people of Westfall, they also began burning the farmers' fields and salting the earth to prevent them from growing crops.[18]

However, Alliance forces, sent by the People's Militia, rallied and stormed the Deadmines, slaying Edwin VanCleef, and taking his severed head back to Stormwind as proof. Lord Lescovar was also assassinated by SI:7 agents; thus putting an end to his scheming. What they didn't know, however, was that his daughter, Vanessa, had seen the slaughter of her father, and she would not forget it.

Bloodsail Buccaneer[]

Comics title This section concerns content related to the Warcraft manga or comics.
The Defias - Legends

The Defias Brotherhood in Bloodsail Buccaneer.

At some point, the Brotherhood cheated Jerias Bloodvein of the Bloodsail Buccaneers and killed two members of his crew. In response, Jerias captured three citizens of Elwynn Forest - James Blackridge, Liam, and Bram Woodring - and vowed to take revenge on Edwinn VanCleef. Taking his crew through Moonbrook, Jerias invaded the tunnels of the Deadmines, defeating Defias members and their goblin allies, ultimately arriving to the Ironclad Cove with the Defias juggernaught where the Brotherhood members had captured Blackridge's parents - Mr. Blackridge and Mrs. Blackridge - from their farm near Goldshire. While the pirate crew finished off the bandit Brotherhood, James sneaked up on the juggernaught and freed his parents from the grasp of the enemies.[19]

Dark Riders[]

Comics title This section concerns content related to the Warcraft manga or comics.

Shortly before the Cataclysm, a group of the Defias Brotherhood was patrolling around Gold Coast Quarry, and soon they attacked Tannos and his guards in the Quarry. They were aided by Karlain and Revil Kost who defeated the Defias.[18]


Cataclysm This section concerns content related to Cataclysm.
Vanessa VanCleef TCG

Vanessa VanCleef, daughter and successor of her father at the time of the Cataclysm.

Despite the near-total annihilation of the brotherhood's leadership, including Edwin VanCleef, the Defias made a resurgence. This was primarily due to growing resentment of Stormwind's leadership among the people of Westfall, the cause of which was poverty among the people and a perceived indifference to this poverty by the King. Edwin's daughter, Vanessa, now an adult, arose to take the leadership of the Defias and to take vengeance on Stormwind for killing her father.

The investigations of Lieutenant Horatio Laine into a murder at Furlbrow's Pumpkin Farm led to incremental revelations about Vanessa VanCleef's dealings, disguised as a "Shadowy Figure".[20] Vanessa had been encouraging the anti-Stormwind sentiment among the people of Westfall, rebuilding the brotherhood's ranks and arsenal, and recruiting new allies to aid the cause. Extremely deceptive and cunning, she even managed to keep these preparations relatively secret until it was too late for anyone to stop what had been put in motion. Once her forces were sufficiently bolstered and mobilized, she revealed herself to Marshal Gryan Stoutmantle as the newly reconstituted Defias Brotherhood mounted a surprise attack on Sentinel Hill, Stormwind's base in Westfall. Stoutmantle, Laine, and the other leaders were tied up and forced to watch as the Defias burned Sentinel Hill virtually to the ground.[21]

Vanessa also began the re-building of her father's prized project - the Juggernaught - with, like her father before her, the aim of using it to reduce Stormwind to rubble, once and for all.

After a large conflict between forces of Stormwind and the Brotherhood, a force of Alliance heroes entered Vanessa's base of operations - The Deadmines - and after fighting the remaining Defias forces within, engaged in battle with Vanessa herself atop the Juggernaught. In the end, realizing defeat, Vanessa detonates a series of explosions which essentially blow up her and the upper part of the ship, shouting:

ENOUGH! I will not give you the pleasure.
If I'm going to die, I'm taking you all with me!


Legion This section concerns content related to Legion.
Defias corpse

The Corpse of the spirit that haunts the Deadmines.

During the Burning Legion's third invasion, it was revealed that Vanessa survived the Deadmines due to her poisons addling the adventurers' minds, letting her trick them into thinking she died. She then joins the Uncrowned after receiving help from Lord Jorach Ravenholdt. After poisoning the Council of Shadows in an attempt to assassinate the Last Shadow and take their place, Vanessa had no choice but to become the latter's agent by swearing loyalty, pledging the allegiance of the Brotherhood to the Uncrowned at the same time.[22]

Subsequently, the Defias joined the Hall of Shadows beneath Dalaran, where Lonika Stillblade of the Rogue Academy took care of recruiting and training bandits into Brotherhood thieves, as agents of the Uncrowned. The membership of the organization has also been enlarged since now among the members were present blood elves, night elves and Forsaken.

The Defias have officially lost the Deadmines, where only a spirit haunting the mines is all that remains of their presence.[23]

During the campaign on Argus, among the agents of the Uncrowned in the Armies of Legionfall, Defias thieves were notably present to fight the demons in Krokuun.

Fourth war and aftermath[]

Following the Legion's defeat, Vanessa remained an occasional informant for Mathias Shaw under the agreement that so long as she kept the Defias on a short leash, he and the SI:7 wouldn't come after her for their crimes. Though she tried to reign in their banditry to focus on aiding the people of Westfalll, she began to realize that between King Anduin Wrynn's reforms and Stormwind's earlier offer of pardons, nearly all of the principled Defias that were still alive had departed the organization, leaving only the thieves and bullies with no qualms about targeting innocents.[24]

At the time of the Fourth War, a group of bandits led by Avarice stole leather from Telonis in Stormwind City and camped in Elwynn's woods behind Stormwind Keep. Two of the bandits wore red bandanas, hinting at their allegiance with the Defias Brotherhood.[25] In the Vision of Stormwind, drowned Defias can be seen in the canals of Stormwind City, near the entrance of the Old Town.


Dragonflight This section concerns content related to Dragonflight.

Some time after the discovery of the Dragon Isles, a disgraced noble named Count Clessington arranged for the Defias to steal the Drakefire Amulet from Stormwind Keep.[26] Using the artifact's powers of manipulation, and the help of a cruel and brutal bandit named Duncon Ratsbon, he convinced the Defias to turn against Vanessa VanCleef and march on Northshire Abbey, with the aim of using it as a staging ground to pillage the city of Stormwind itself. Seeing how easily a noble turned the Brotherhood against her made Vanessa realize that she was no longer one of them, she then told the remaining Defias loyal to her cause who stayed behind to return home and help the people of Westfall in other ways.[27] With the help of a champion of Stormwind, the Defias were defeated, Count Clessington was slain, and the Drakefire Amulet was destroyed. In the wake of their victory, Vanessa VanCleef determined that she would find her own legacy, rather than continuing her father's. However during the battle, Duncon Ratsbon announced that the Defias were now answering to him, and when he was about to be killed, he fled and stated that the organization could not lose its new leader.[28]

Later at the Saldean's Farm, the Breadbasket Guild was created by a gathering of Westfall farmers, former Defias members, and war refugees, who sought to help Westfall and its inhabitants. They are good people trying to do right by each other, notably by working the farms again and to get proper homes built for folks, without falling to the greed of the Brotherhood.[29][30] They are officially supported by Countess Cecilia Clessington in the House of Nobles, and in the shadows by Vanessa VanCleef who couldn't officially join the guild because of her crimes as the former leader of the Brotherhood.[31]

On a pirate ship in the Shrouded Coast of the Forbidden Reach, a book mentioned that the Defias were welcomed to sail under the flag of Nightsquall's crew, who aimed to build the biggest pirate fleet Azeroth had ever known. The volunteers were invited to travel to the Dragon Isles and to plunder its secrets in the name of Dread Admiral Nightsquall.



Name Description Status
Neutral IconSmall EdwinVanCleef Edwin VanCleef Founder and leader of the Defias Brotherhood. Killed by an Alliance party on the Deadmines. Deceased
Mob IconSmall Worgen Male Admiral Ripsnarl The official commander of the Defias juggernaught. Killed by an Alliance party on the Deadmines. Deceased
Mob IconSmall Goblin Male Captain Greenskin Captain of the juggernaught in the employ of Edwin VanCleef. Killed by an Alliance party on the Deadmines. Deceased
Neutral IconSmall Human Male Duncon Ratsbon The leader of the Defias following the departure of Vanessa. He helped Count Clessington during the attack on Northshire Abbey. Alive
Mob IconSmall Human Male Garn Mathers Leader of the Defias Brotherhood in Dustwallow Marsh. Attacked by an Alliance adventurer. Killable
Mob IconSmall Goblin Male Gilnid Head smelter of the Defias Brotherhood. Killed by an Alliance party on the Deadmines. Deceased
Mob IconSmall OgreMage Glubtok Supervisor of the Defias laborers. Head foreman of the Deadmines. Killed by an Alliance party on the Deadmines. Deceased
Mob IconSmall Goblin Male Helix Gearbreaker Head engineer of the Defias Brotherhood. Killed by an Alliance party on the Deadmines. Deceased
Mob IconSmall Human Male Miner Johnson Head miner of the Deadmines. Presumed killed by an Alliance party on the Deadmines. Unknown
Mob IconSmall Tauren Male Mr. Smite The juggernaught's first mate under Captain Greenskin. Possibly killed by an Alliance party on the Deadmines. Unknown
Mob IconSmall Ogre Male Rhahk'Zor Supervisor of the Defias laborers. Head foreman of the Deadmines. Killed by an Alliance party on the Deadmines. Deceased
Mob IconSmall Goblin Male Sneed Official lumber master of the Defias Brotherhood. Killed by an Alliance party on the Deadmines. Deceased



Name Description Status
Alliance IconSmall Human Male Avarice Leader of a group of Defias bandits in Elwynn Forest at the time of the Fourth War. Alive
Mob IconSmall Murloc "Captain" Cookie Self-proclaimed captain of the juggernaught and chief cook. Killed by an Alliance party on the Deadmines. Deceased
Mob IconSmall Human Male Bazil Thredd Lieutenant who led his own army from inside Stormwind Stockade. Killed during the Cataclysm. Deceased
Mob IconSmall Human Male Benny Blaanco A bandit who used to constantly raid Furlbrow's Pumpkin Patch. Unknown
Neutral IconSmall Human Male Blacknails In charge of Jangolode Mine or Gold Coast Quarry or both (presumed). Unknown
Mob IconSmall Human Male Dead-Tooth Jack A rich bandit who has his own bodyguards. Killable
Mob IconSmall Human Male Garrick Padfoot Garrick was the Defias Brotherhood leader in Elwynn Forest. Unknown
Mob IconSmall Human Male Klaven Mortwake Defias ambassador to the Venture Company. Killed by an Alliance adventurer. Deceased
Alliance IconSmall Human Male Lord Gregor Lescovar A noble bandit tasked with infiltrating the House of Nobles. Killed during the Cataclysm. Deceased
Mob IconSmall Human Female Marisa du'Paige A mage present in the caves outside of the Deadmines. Unknown
Mob IconSmall Human Male Marzon the Silent Blade A hired assassin working for the Defias Brotherhood. Killed by an Alliance adventurer. Deceased
Mob IconSmall Human Female Morgaine the Sly Member of the Defias Brotherhood, can be found in the house at Mirror Lake Orchard in Elwynn Forest. Killable
Alliance IconSmall Human Male Private Hendel An ex-Kul Tiras marine who was part of some grand plan of the Defias. Unknown
Alliance IconSmall Human Male Tapoke "Slim" Jahn Not really an official member of the Defias. He was involved in the kidnapping of Varian Wrynn. Alive
Mob IconSmall Human Male Thuros Lightfingers Member of the Defias Brotherhood, can be found at the bandit camp northeast of Jerod's Landing. Killable
Mob IconSmall Human Male Toe Knee Present as part of the Opera Hall: Westfall Story encounter in the Opera Hall in Return to Karazhan. Killable

Former members[]

Name Description Status
Neutral IconSmall Hobgoblin "Captain" Klutz Ex-member and last remaining resident of the Deadmines. Killable
Mob IconSmall Human Male Erlan Drudgemoor Ex-member and a bandit found raiding Brackwell Pumpkin Patch. Killable
Alliance IconSmall Human Female Ethel Siltsift A member loyal to Vanessa after the royal pardon. Currently a member of the Breadbasket Guild. Alive
Alliance IconSmall Human Male Gerget Hardhands A member loyal to Vanessa after the royal pardon. Currently a member of the Breadbasket Guild. Alive
Alliance IconSmall Human Female Heather May A member loyal to Vanessa after the royal pardon. Currently a member of the Breadbasket Guild. Alive
Alliance IconSmall Human Male Jitters A bandit tasked with infiltrating Duskwood. Currently an ex-member. Alive
Mob IconSmall Human Male Morgan the Collector One of the original members of the Stonemasons Guild. Overseer of the operations in Elwynn Forest. Currently an ex-member. Killable
Mob IconSmall Human Female Surena Caledon Supervisor of the Defias activities in Elwynn Forest. Currently an ex-member. Killable
Neutral IconSmall Vanessa Vanessa VanCleef Succeeded her father after his death. Grew disillusioned with banditry and left to find other ways to help the people of Westfall. Alive
Alliance IconSmall Human Male Wiley the Black Ex-member of either the Defias Brotherhood or the Stonemasons Guild. He betrayed the group. Alive


WoW Icon update The subject of this section was removed from World of Warcraft in patch 4.0.3 but is present in Classic Era.
Removed from game The subject of this section did not make it out of the beta stages.

Former territories[]

In the years since its founding, the Defias Brotherhood took advantage of the political crisis in Stormwind City to expand its territory and settle in all regions of the kingdom, in order to continue their preparations to accomplish their revenge. However, following the death of Edwin VanCleef and the defeat Vanessa VanCleef at the hands of Alliance adventurers, the Brotherhood lost all of its territories and the control of Westfall, where was their headquarters: the Deadmines.



It is known that the Defias wear red face masks. To a certain degree, the material of said face masks reveals a Defias member's rank within the Brotherhood.[2] A popular item for rogues is the Inv misc bandana 03 [Red Defias Mask], a mask that can drop off of any Defias mob in Westfall, Duskwood, the Deadmines, or the Stockade. It is a bind-on-pickup item and can only be worn by rogues. Because it can be equipped by low-level characters, before most other head-gear, many lower-level Rogues actively seek this item for its look, despite the fact that it provides no armor or stats. Curiously, the highest drop-rate for the mask seems to be off of the grave robbers in Duskwood, the only mobs who drop the mask that are not masked themselves.

From lowest to currently known highest, the order of importance seemed to be burlap, linen, leather, silk and wool. The Inv misc clothscrap 02 [Red Bandana] and Inv misc bandana 03 [Bloodied Defias Bandana] are also used for quests.

The Syndicate is a similar organization in the sense that all members wear an orange mask.

In the RPG[]

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

A member of the Brotherhood

Razed by the Horde in the First War, the city of Stormwind required a small army of engineers and artisans in order to begin a massive program of reconstruction. After restoring the city to its former glory, the workers gathered outside Stormwind Keep to collect payment for their services. This came as a surprise to the nobility of the city, who had assumed that the work was being done as a matter of civic pride. Whether they were unable or simply unwilling to proffer payment, they immediately ordered the workers exiled from the city. With only the tools in their hands and the clothes on their backs, the workers were forced out of Stormwind and into Elwynn Forest. The shocked and forlorn workers were rallied by engineer Edwin VanCleef and became bandits, collecting their payment one traveler at a time. Marking themselves with a tattoo of a cog on their right hand, the bandits declared that “the machine will not run smoothly if the parts go renegade” to each waylaid traveler.

Banditry and thievery quickly became a way of life for the exiles, banding together under VanCleef’s leadership as the Defias Brotherhood. Over the years, the ranks of the Brotherhood have been bolstered by the skilled, the desperate and the outcast, and now those marked with the cog tattoo signifying membership number in the hundreds. In Elwynn Forest and the area around Stormwind, the Brotherhood has mastered the art of the ambush, and despite protection by the Stormwind City Guard, few caravans get through the woods unhindered. The Guard’s inability and unwillingness to pursue the Brotherhood into Westfall has led the farmers and villagers in the area to form the People’s Militia in an attempt to stave off the Brotherhood’s constant looting.

Lacking any formal military training, the outcasts who formed the Defias Brotherhood might have been forcibly disbanded long ago were it not for the skilled craftsmen and tinkers who made up its founding membership. These founders have worked together to give members of the Brotherhood access to an array of mechanical devices and weapons ranging from climbing equipment and smoke bombs to automatic crossbows and wagon traps (clamps buried in the ground that seize heavy wheels passing overhead and stop wagons on the spot).

When the Defias Brotherhood advanced into Westfall, the goblins of the area were upset both by the Brotherhood’s raids on the merchant trains that supplied their shops and by the Brotherhood’s refusal to sell their inventions at goblin merchant outposts. After repeated attempts by the goblins at negotiation were met by increased attacks on their suppliers by the Brotherhood, the merchants hired a group of mercenaries to hunt the bandits. This hunt resulted in the only major battle fought by the Brotherhood — and led to the capture of all goblins in Westfall by the renegade bandits. Chained together, they were marched south into the Dead Mines and put under the command of Edwin VanCleef. What has happened to them since is unknown.[32]


WoW RPG Defias Brotherhood by chriss2d

Art from Dark Factions.

Anyone with a sword and a cog tattoo can declare himself part of the Defias Brotherhood and begin robbing traveling merchants. Yet the Brotherhood hears of such activity quickly, long before even the Stormwind Guard, and new self-initiates soon find themselves visited by a member who instructs them in the ways of the Brotherhood. If the initiate agrees, he is officially allowed to join the Defias Brotherhood. If an initiate proves disagreeable, he is paid a second, quieter visit shortly thereafter by a shadowy form wielding a pneumatic crossbow. Most initiates quickly join one of the Brotherhood's many established raiding parties. These groups are generally known as “bands,” though they often adopt more colorful nicknames, from the “Southpath Raiders” to the “Roadspirits.” In some cases, as with “Rillo's Leafwalkers,” a band is named after its leader, called a “captain” in the Brotherhood. Captains lead and control their bands with force and cunning, and most experienced captains bear scars demonstrating their ability to withstand challenges by young upstarts. Captains plan the raids of their bands, and they are responsible for supplying their bands with not only food and shelter but also training in the art of the ambush and the technology that gives the Brotherhood an edge. Initiates interested in becoming full Defias renegades quickly become familiar with the requirements described for the prestige class, as their instructors put them through a grueling training regimen until they qualify.

Captains and their bands are given free reign by the Brotherhood's leadership to steal, pillage, harass, and harry as often as they like and as long as they can avoid open conflict with the troops of the Stormwind Guard and the People's Militia. Occasionally, however, higher-ranking members of the Brotherhood are sent out with “knife squads” to warn bands who go too far; in the words of Edwin VanCleef, “a dead traveler carries no treasure, and a ruined village has no plunder”. The Brotherhood requires that captains bring a quarter of all loot to Moonbrook, where it helps fund the research and activities of VanCleef and the Brotherhood's leadership. In return, the Brotherhood gives captains access to the technological advances made in the labs within their hidden headquarters.

They are known for attacking caravans and travelers across central and western Azeroth. In Westfall, they are known for brazenly and openly looting farms and village merchants. Bands of the Defias Brotherhood are found mainly in Westfall and Elwynn Forest, though they occasionally range into Duskwood and other parts of northern Azeroth. The few who have managed to track them so far believe that the Brotherhood works out of the remote town of Moonbrook in southern Westfall. Yet its true headquarters is actually nearby in an underground fortress constructed in the labyrinthine Dead Mines.[33]


Renegades of the Defias Brotherhood tend to be exceptionally skilled, swift of foot and mind, and mechanically adept. They also tend to feel alienated from society at large and are often looking for some sort of revenge, even if they don't know how or against whom. As well, they need to be able to show enough initiative to seek out and join the Brotherhood of their own free will, though once inside they are expected to follow orders within the wide borders of freebooting and banditry. The majority of the renegades are human, with a small portion of dwarves from Khaz Modan in the south and a few high elves upset at the army of Stormwind for refusing to march north and retake all of Quel'Thalas. Half-elves, half-orcs, and others who feel outcast from their own races have also bonded with Defias bands and become renegades.[34]

Brann warns fellow travelers to make sure their coins are not scratched. This is due to the Defias Brotherhood taking a liking to marring the face of the king to produce what are known as "cross-eyed coins." These coins have been declared illegal.[35]


Many consider the Defias Brotherhood just a band of bullies and brigands, but they underestimate its military capabilities. While the Brotherhood employs mercenaries to bolster its ranks, it trains and fields its own forces, preparing for the day when it acts to disrupt all trade with Stormwind.

The Brotherhood's force serves two purposes. First, it is a highly mobile raiding force, capable of quickly attacking a caravan, seizing its most valuable goods and destroying the remainder. Second, it is a more conventional attack force that can launch attacks on Alliance garrisons and forts. To achieve these purposes, a typical Defias unit emphasizes mobility, stealth and ambush tactics, and toughness.

The Brotherhood is not heavy on magical support; however, within the Deadmines, magi learn to master a deadly arsenal of spells. Also, Defias tinkers, trained by some of the most fiendish goblin minds, devise automatons and steam armor suits whose raw power can provide backup for their less-armored human warriors. The next major engagement between the Brotherhood and the unsuspecting Alliance may hold a few surprises.

The two major units of the Defias Brotherhood are bandits (who serve as cannon fodder) and renegades (who are somewhat tougher). Stronger field units (which are given names like “highwayman” and “pillager”) tend to be more skilled as warriors than as rogues.

The Defias Brotherhood pretends to embody noble ideals in the service of a just cause, but it's a façade; the presence of bandits among them proves the lie. The highwaymen stalk the roads of Westfall, especially at night, exacting a toll on anyone who doesn't support the Brotherhood's efforts. Bandits are the lowest of the low in the Brotherhood's ranks, and when the battle horn sounds, they take the front ranks. They group together for close support (preferring to fight back to back in a mob), and are often the first to flee the field when the tide turns against them.

The Defias Brotherhood rarely fields an army of regular troops, as VanCleef and the other commanders prefer its members to master a wider variety of skills than those of a pure soldier. The Defias renegade (often called a thug or brigand) is the gold standard of the Defias operatives, a decent fighter and a skilled spy wrapped in one strong, sneaky package.

Members of the Defias Brotherhood take pride in their affiliation. They wear red bandanas over their faces to display their allegiance and to hide their identities. They are lightly armed and armored, employing short swords or longswords, and hiding a dagger beneath the folds of their cloaks. In situations where they're expecting trouble, they command a small cadre of mercenary soldiers or Defias bandits and use them as buffers to protect themselves from the enemy.[36]


Bands of the Defias Brotherhood are found mainly in Westfall and Elwynn Forest, though they occasionally range into Duskwood and other parts of northern Azeroth. The few who have managed to track them so far believe that the Brotherhood works out of the remote town of Moonbrook in southern Westfall. Yet its true headquarters is actually nearby in an underground fortress constructed in the labyrinthine Dead Mines.[37]

Notes and trivia[]

Bestiary Thumb Defias Thief
  • The Defias Brotherhood dealt with the Venture Company, buying through them a formula developed by the Zanzil trolls which made it possible to raise the dead through the use of poison. This project was overseen by Klaven Mortwake.[38]
  • Some legends told that the Defias Brotherhood was founded by a group of noblemen who once stood for freedom and justice.[9]
  • Farmer Saldean once considered joining the Defias a few times, but he couldn't stand at all the idea of stealing his own neighbors.[29]
  • While Edwin VanCleef and his group eventually forsook the virtues for which they were founded,[9] it seems his daughter Vanessa stayed more sincere in her engagement for the people, turning the Defias into an attempted communist-like revolution,[39] having had no pleasure in killing innocent farmers[21] and wanting to help the disenfranchised folk of the kingdom.
  • In the early patch 8.3.0 PTR, one of the objectives was to "Assist Vanessa with some Defias Company downsizing" instead of helping Valeera Sanguinar. Vanessa may still be the prisoner that escaped from SI:7 (the one self-identified as "V.V.")


Trading Card Game


  1. ^ Dungeon Decks
  2. ^ a b A [17] Red Silk Bandanas
  3. ^ Defias Traitor: You can go tell Stoutmantle this is where the Defias Gang is holed up.
  4. ^ A [10] Manhunt: Why would a lowly thief have an artisan guild ring, and why are the Defias Thieves collecting money from our mines?
  5. ^ a b c World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 3, pg. 36
  6. ^ Class Hall followers
  7. ^ Inv letter 05 [Shaw's Report]
  8. ^ Inv letter 05 [Report on the Defias Brotherhood]
  9. ^ a b c The World of Warcraft Townhall/Beastiary#Defias Thief
  10. ^ A [4] Brotherhood of Thieves
  11. ^ A Paladin [25] The Tome of Valor
  12. ^ A Paladin [25] The Tome of Valor
  13. ^ Inv letter 15 [Bloodsail Orders]
  14. ^ A [33] The Missing Diplomat
  15. ^ A [31] The Attack!
  16. ^ A [15-30] Survey Alcaz Island
  17. ^ World of Warcraft: The Comic
  18. ^ a b Dark Riders
  19. ^ Legends Volume 4, Bloodsail Buccaneer
  20. ^ A [5-30] Murder Was The Case That They Gave Me and the rest of the Westfall storyline
  21. ^ a b A [5-30] Rise of the Brotherhood
  22. ^ N Rogue [10-45] Honoring Success
  23. ^ Deadmines: Pet Edition
  24. ^ A IconSmall Human MaleIconSmall Human Female [50-70] An Urgent Matter, Vanessa VanCleef's dialogue
  25. ^ A Leatherworking [50] Telonis' Prized Leather
  26. ^ A IconSmall Human MaleIconSmall Human Female [50-70] An Urgent Matter
  27. ^ A IconSmall Human MaleIconSmall Human Female [50-70] Misdeeds in Moonbrook
  28. ^ A IconSmall Human MaleIconSmall Human Female [50-70] To Northshire
  29. ^ a b Farmer Saldean#Quotes
  30. ^ Salma Saldean#Gossip
  31. ^ Vanessa VanCleef#Dragonflight 2
  32. ^ Lands of Conflict, pg. 157
  33. ^ Lands of Conflict, pg. 157 - 158
  34. ^ Lands of Conflict, pg. 158
  35. ^ Lands of Conflict, pg. 26
  36. ^ Dark Factions, pg. 174
  37. ^ Lands of Conflict, pg. 158
  38. ^ A Rogue [24] Klaven's Tower
  39. ^ Inv scroll 07 [Murloc Clue]

External links[]