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This article is a copy of "Factions", a collection of official articles from the 2010 BattleNet World of Warcraft Site. These articles overviewed the Factions in World of Warcraft prior to Warlords of Draenor. The original articles are no longer available, but they can still be viewed through online archives (see below).

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Azeroth is a fractious and war-stricken world, and standing alone can be deadly. To survive and prosper, members of all races gather together along cultural and ideological lines. Each of these factions holds to a unique philosophy, and they often disagree with one another – violently. Yet, despite the danger, allegiance to a faction never goes unnoticed; those heroes who are willing to risk taking sides can expect handsome rewards.

Avengers of Hyjal

Infuriated by the destruction wrought by the Lord of Flame, the Cenarion Circle seize the initiative, fighting back against Ragnaros and driving deep into the very heart of the Firelands.

For the first time since the Burning Legion's invasion during the Third War, Mount Hyjal and the World Tree Nordrassil stand at the edge of annihilation. This dire state has caused many brave individuals to converge on the sacred mountain to protect it from harm. These heroes, hailing from all walks of life, have joined with the druidic Cenarion Circle and its green dragonflight allies under the banner of the Guardians of Hyjal. As one, they have struggled against the raging elemental armies of Ragnaros the Firelord, who seek to burn Nordrassil to ashes.

Yet another united offensive has formed, much less concerned with the defensive maneuvers of the Guardians of Hyjal. This group, the Avengers of Hyjal, has instead focused on ending the threat of the Firelord once and for all by invading his own realm - the deadly, smoldering Firelands. While this effort might seem suicidal, the Avengers insist that if they don't act against Ragnaros while they have the opportunity, they may not have a world left to defend.

The majority of these fearless combatants have already stormed the Firelands and begun carving out a permanent encampment. There, the Avengers continue seizing objectives and battling elementals as well as the tainted Druids of the Flame, traitors who have rejected their commitment to the natural world in order to serve Ragnaros.

The Avengers of Hyjal have accumulated a number of invaluable accessories - cloaks, belts, rings, and trinkets - during their time in the Firelands. These potent items are certain to be of use to the Horde and Alliance heroes who have recently chosen to help the organization wage war against Ragnaros and his servants. The assistance of these mortal champions is crucial to the world's safety. If the Avengers' gambit fails, the Firelands' rampaging elementals will waste no time erupting into Azeroth and reducing the world to a molten wasteland.

  • Faction: Neutral
  • Leader: Malfurion Stormrage
  • Quartermaster: Naresir Stormfury
  • Location: Mount Hyjal

Baradin's Wardens Alliance

Once led by Duke Reginald Baradin II, this fierce army has historic ties to the island stronghold of Tol Barad. They have joined the forces of the Alliance in an effort to repeal the Horde invaders and gain control of this strategic island.

Baradin's Wardens are a motley collection of soldiers based on the island of Tol Barad. Though they bolster their ranks with mercenaries at many opportunities, several prominent members of Baradin's Wardens claim ancestry from Stromgarde, a human-led nation that battled against the Horde on the shores of Tol Barad in the past. Still others speak of years of service to the magi of Kul Tiras, claiming that they were charged with ensuring that the deadly prisoners locked away in the mystic Baradin Hold never again walk free on Azeroth.

Whether these claims are simple bravado or truth remains to be seen, but the effect of invoking the bloody history of the island's guardians cannot be denied. Baradin's Wardens are fiercely dedicated to their mission.

These champions seek aid from anyone willing to cross swords with the Horde armies scattered throughout the island of Tol Barad. The favors they extend to their champions are equally militant: mighty battle standards, peerless weapons, and other combat aids, all of which they hope will serve their continued goal of controlling the prison island once more.

  • Faction: Alliance
  • Leader: Commander Marcus Johnson
  • Quartermaster: Quartermaster Brazie
  • Location: Tol Barad Peninsula

Dragonmaw Clan Horde

This wayward orc clan was once empowered by Deathwing himself to enslave red dragons, including Alexstrasza. Currently less numerous and powerful, the Dragonmaw make their home in the Twilight Highlands.

The orcs of the Dragonmaw clan have been a force of destruction since the moment their race set foot on Azeroth. During the Second War, they captured red dragons through the use of a dark artifact known as the Demon Soul; later, many of the clan traveled to Outland, where they came to serve Illidan the Betrayer, applying their knowledge of all things draconic to enslave that world's native nether dragons.

However, the history of the Dragonmaw extends beyond their more recent depredations. In times past, they were as noble and proud as any orcish clan. Following the Cataclysm, Azeroth's situation has become increasingly dire, and the soldiers of the new Horde are now presented with an opportunity to redeem their old allies. Despite their past crimes, it is the will of the warchief that the once-maligned Dragonmaw join the Horde in battle once again.

Those members of the Horde who endorse the Dragonmaw clan will find themselves rewarded with masterfully crafted pieces of armor and mystic trinkets that reflect the clan's history of domination.

  • Faction: Horde
  • Leader: Warlord Zaela
  • Quartermaster: Grot Deathblow
  • Location: Twilight Highlands

Guardians of Hyjal

Faced with the impending devastation of Mount Hyjal, the most powerful members of the Cenarion Circle have joined forces with their Emerald Dragonflight allies to fend off Ragnaros' elemental hordes and the Twilight's Hammer.

The immense Mount Hyjal has been under increased protection since it was the site of a great battle between Archimonde (a commander of the demonic Burning Legion) and the defenders of Azeroth. It's no longer the charge of any one particular race to protect the mountain; instead, that duty has fallen to an alliance between the Cenarion Circle and green dragonflight known as the Guardians of Hyjal.

The guardians have brought their veneration of the land and ancient demigods like the forest lord Cenarius to Hyjal in times of peace, but it's only now that their presence has become truly crucial. Ragnaros the Firelord and his army of minions have set the mountain aflame with their presence, and they will not rest until Hyjal is reduced to ash around them.

Those heroes who would join with the guardians to heal the land and drive off the invading elementals and their cultist allies can count Archdruid Malfurion Stormrage and the green Dragon Aspect, Ysera, among their supporters, and they can add equipment born of the mountain and the World Tree Nordrassil to their arsenal.

  • Faction: Neutral
  • Leader: Malfurion Stormrage
  • Quartermaster: Provisioner Whitecloud
  • Location: Mount Hyjal

Hellscream's Reach Horde

Hellscream's Reach is an elite Horde regiment comprised solely of veterans of multiple tours of duty. Handpicked by Garrosh himself, he has commanded them to take complete control of Tol Barad. Failure is not an option.

The handpicked members of Hellscream's Reach, named for Warchief Garrosh Hellscream, are among the most battle-hardened veterans of the Horde. Several have seen multiple tours of duty come and go, and their demeanors instantly communicate that they brook neither cowardice nor weariness. Their current objective, the prison island of Tol Barad, may be viciously contested by the Alliance, the site of truly potent magics, and home to some of the deadliest prisoners on Azeroth, but to the elite of the Reach, it's just another job.

Those who aid Hellscream's Reach in their siege of Tol Barad will find that they have access to the elite soldiers' armory and the mighty blades that have been clutched by numerous champions of the Horde throughout its history of conflict.

  • Faction: Horde
  • Leader: Garrosh Hellscream
  • Quartermaster: Pogg
  • Location: Tol Barad Peninsula

Ramkahen

The cat-like people of Ramkahen are the descendants of the Tol'vir, guardians of Uldum. Though they've lost their stone bodies, protecting the secrets of the titans is still a part of their rigid tradition.

The stalwart, cat-like Ramkahen people can claim a history truly unique on Azeroth: they are the descendants of an ancient race, the stone-skinned tol'vir shaped to guard the oases and tombs of the titans. The Ramkahen have long since lost their stone skin because of a curse laid upon them by the Old Gods, but they have held firm to their sacred mission, and spread throughout Uldum in the hope of protecting its ancient tombs and vaults from those who would defile them.

With Deathwing's reemergence into Azeroth, the Ramkahen have found themselves pitted against their closest cousins, the Neferset tol'vir, who serve Deathwing and his allies for the promise of a return to their ancient, stony forms. The Ramkahen still cling to their charge of defending Uldum, but they can do little for their ancestral land if they are annihilated, and so they prepare for war.

Those who support the Ramkahen in their fight against the Neferset can earn arcane trinkets and garments created in the image of the titans themselves.

  • Faction: Neutral
  • Leader: King Phaoris
  • Quartermaster: Blacksmith Abasi
  • Location: Uldum

The Earthen Ring

This gathering of the most powerful shaman of Azeroth seeks to maintain the balance between the world's elemental forces. Their main focus during the cataclysm has been to repair and stabilize the damage caused by Deathwing's arrival.

The organization known as the Earthen Ring is a collection of mighty shaman and other followers of the elements. Unlike its sinister adversary, the Twilight's Hammer cult, the Ring sees balance and harmony in the elements - not simply chaos and destruction.

The destructive properties of the elements are in full display following the events of the Cataclysm, and so the Earthen Ring has traveled to places as distant as the waters of Vashj'ir and the domain of Deepholm in the hopes of preventing or repairing the worst damages of Deathwing and his followers. The Ring's present goal-preventing the total destruction of Azeroth-seems impossibly broad, but it attracts followers from nearly every walk of life.

Those who would assist the Earthen Ring will find themselves rewarded with items that reflect the wisdom and primal power of the elements.

  • Faction: Neutral
  • Leader: Muln Earthfury
  • Quartermaster: Provisioner Arok
  • Location: Vashj'ir

Therazane

The elemental plane of earth, Deepholm, is ruled by Therazane and her children, the Stone Lords. After witnessing the devastation Deathwing and his followers caused her realm, Therazane treats all outsiders with open hostility.

Therazane, also known as the Stonemother, is the elemental lord of earth, an ancient and immensely powerful counterpart of Ragnaros, Al'Akir, and Neptulon. Unlike the realms of Al'Akir and Ragnaros, however, her domain-that of the earth, rock, and mountains-has put her in immediate conflict with Deathwing, whose emergence from Deepholm has pushed her stony realm to the point of collapse.

Though Therazane has no love for mortals, she recognizes the role that these races might play in restoring Deepholm and evicting the Twilight's Hammer, who have flocked to her kingdom to bask in the glory of Deathwing's former sanctum.

Heroes who seek the aid of the Stonemother will find that her favor can confer many blessings; among them are powerful augmenting stones borne up from Deepholm itself to strengthen the armor of those who serve Therazane's will.

  • Faction: Neutral
  • Leader: Therazane
  • Quartermaster: D'lom the Collector
  • Location: Deepholm

Wildhammer Clan Alliance

The Wildhammer dwarves are known for their near-reckless courage as well as their unsurpassed gryphon-riding skills. After losing their home of Grim Batol to a Dark Iron Curse, they've spread their dwellings around the Twilight Highlands.

Since they were driven from the keep of Grim Batol, the nature-dwelling Wildhammer dwarves have resided in isolated territories and prized their independence above all else. Yet, when their Bronzebeard cousins and their Alliance allies have found themselves threatened by orcs or undead, the gruff and free-willed Wildhammers have stepped in to help out.

It is only recently that the Wildhammer clan has found itself facing the same problems as the rest of Azeroth at precisely the same time. The rampaging of black dragons and maniacal cultists near the Wildhammers' homes in the Twilight Highlands is simply an echo of the devastation occurring in every other corner of the world. As Azeroth quakes, Magni Bronzebeard, the ruler of the mightiest dwarven city in the world, has been rendered unable to govern his people by an ancient ritual.

Not even the reclusive Wildhammers can ignore these signs. They have pledged themselves to the Alliance, and those who champion their cause can avail themselves of mighty enchanted armors and relics unlike any forged by city dwarves.

  • Faction: Alliance
  • Leader: Falstad Wildhammer
  • Quartermaster: Craw MacGraw
  • Location: Twilight Highlands

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