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.

Argent Dawn

An organization focused on protecting Azeroth from the threat of the Scourge. Strongholds of the Argent Dawn can be found in the Eastern and Western Plaguelands.

  • Faction: Neutral
  • Leader: Lord Maxwell Tyrosus
  • Quartermaster: Quartermaster Miranda Breechlock

Bloodsail Buccaneers

These bloodthirsty corsairs are the bane of many a merchant in the high seas. Sworn enemies of Booty Bay.

  • Faction: Neutral
  • Leader: Fleet Master Firallon

Brood of Nozdormu

The descendants of the Bronze Dragonflight are the guardians of time and care little for the mortal races.

  • Faction: Neutral
  • Leader: Anachronos
  • Location: Tanaris

Cenarion Circle

The druids of Cenarion Circle are guardians of nature and make their home in tranquil Moonglade.

  • Faction: Neutral
  • Leader: Malfurion Stormrage
  • Quartermaster: Aendel Windspear
  • Location: Moonglade

Darkmoon Faire

A carnival that showcases the weird and the extraordinary, located on a mysterious island only accessible for the first week of every month.

  • Faction: Neutral
  • Leader: Silas Darkmoon

Gelkis Clan Centaur

These centaur have made their home in the southern region of Desolace. Mortal enemies of the Magram Centaur.

  • Faction: Neutral
  • Leader: Khan Shodo
  • Location: Desolace

Hydraxian Waterlords

These elementals have made their home on the islands east of Azshara. Sworn enemies of the armies of Ragnaros.

  • Faction: Neutral
  • Leader: Duke Hydraxis
  • Location: Azshara

Magram Clan Centaur

These centaur have made their home in the eastern region of Desolace. Mortal enemies of the Gelkis Centaur.

  • Faction: Neutral
  • Leader: Khan Kammah
  • Location: Desolace


This guild of thieves and assassins welcomes only those of extraordinary prowess into its fold. Sworn rivals of the Syndicate.

  • Faction: Neutral
  • Leader: Lord Jorach Ravenholdt
  • Location: Alterac Mountains


A remnant of the once powerful elves living in Dire Maul, yet still wise and knowledgeable about great secrets.

  • Faction: Neutral
  • Leader: Prince Tortheldrin
  • Location: Dire Maul


A primarily human criminal organization that operates mostly out of the Alterac Mountains and Hillsbrad Foothills.

  • Faction: Neutral
  • Leader: Lord Aliden Perenolde
  • Location: Arathi Highlands

Thorium Brotherhood

The dwarves of the Thorium Brotherhood epitomize excellence in craftsmanship and are bent on unlocking the secrets of Blackrock Mountain.

  • Faction: Neutral
  • Leader: Overseer Oilfist
  • Quartermaster: Lokhtos Darkbargainer
  • Location: Searing Gorge

Timbermaw Hold

As the last uncorrupted furbolg tribe, the Timbermaw seek to preserve their spiritual ways and end the suffering of their brethren.

  • Faction: Neutral
  • Quartermaster: Meilosh
  • Location: Timbermaw Hold

Wintersaber Trainers Alliance

This small group of reclusive night elves raises and trains wintersabers in the Winterspring area.

  • Faction: Alliance
  • Leader: Rivern Frostwind
  • Location: Winterspring

Zandalar Tribe

These trolls have come to Yojamba Isle in an effort to recruit help against the resurrected Blood God and his Atal'ai Priests in Zul'Gurub.

  • Faction: Neutral
  • Quartermaster: Rin'wosho the Trader
  • Location: Stranglethorn Vale


Darnassus Alliance

This Alliance capital is populated by Night Elves and is located in the Island of Teldrassil. Ruled by the Priestess of the Moon, Tyrande Whisperwind.

High atop the boughs of the great tree Teldrassil lies the wondrous city of Darnassus, the new refuge of the reclusive Night Elves. Druids, Hunters, and Warriors alike make their homes among the rows of woodcrafted lodges and delicately tended groves. The Temple of the Moon rises like a shining beacon above the trees, flanked by the colonnaded Hall of Justice, where the vigilant Sentinels gather to safeguard the land. Ruled by the high Priestess, Tyrande Whisperwind, Darnassus stands as a tranquil testament to all that the Night Elves hold sacred. A city in tune with the rush and flow of nature, Darnassus was built along the shores of a large lake, with elegant bridges spanning its crystalline waters. Elsewhere, the falling leaves of the forest carpet the soft pathways of the city.

Those who earn the esteem of Darnassus also earn the right to sit astride the traditional mounts of the night elves -- the fierce and dedicated nightsaber cats.

  • Faction: Alliance
  • Leader: Tyrande Whisperwind
  • Quartermaster: Moon Priestess Lasara
  • Location: Darnassus

Exodar Alliance

The naaru vessel that brought the draenei to Azeroth. Though stranded in the Azuremyst Isles, it acts as a home city for this noble race.

The massive dimensional vessel known as the Exodar houses the draenei on Azeroth, the result of a reclamation effort after its crash landing on the shores of the Azuremyst Isles. After seizing the vessel in a daring escape from the modular fortress of dimensional vessels now known as Tempest Keep, the Exodar appeared in the skies of Kalimdor one fateful night - where it made its dramatic plunge to the islands below. Now, the noble draenei have established their new base of operations in the remains of the fortress-like craft.

Those who aid the Draenei in establishing themselves on Azeroth can earn permission to ride their mighty Elekks.

  • Faction: Alliance
  • Leader: Prophet Velen
  • Quartermaster: Kadu
  • Location: Azuremyst Isle

Gilneas Alliance

The people of Gilneas are a nation of survivors. Having walled themselves off from the rest of humanity, they must now face new threats from within.

After the fall of the Greymane Wall, which had kept the nation of Gilneas isolated from the rest of Azeroth, most of the surviving population established themselves elsewhere in Azeroth thanks to an offer of allegiance and aid from the night elves of the Alliance. The worgen curse still plagues Gilnean refugees, but, even as they wear the forms of beasts, their shared history and pride have prevented the total collapse of their besieged nation. Gilneans now dwell in Darnassus, Felwood, and Duskwood, among other locales, and their king, Genn Greymane, stands at the side of the leader of Stormwind, Varian Wrynn.

Those who earn the faith and confidence of the proud Gilneans can avail themselves of some of the finery their nation is known for: capes, tabards, bags, and more.

  • Faction: Alliance
  • Leader: King Genn Greymane
  • Quartermaster: Lord Candren
  • Location: Gilneas

Gnomeregan Alliance

The former denizens of Gnomeregan, now living in New Tinkertown and in league with the Alliance.

After their home was devastated by troggs and the release of toxic radiation, the denizens of Gnomeregan fled, finding sanctuary among the dwarves of Ironforge. Today, the gnomes have returned to reclaim their former capital, and they've begun by claiming a swath of Dun Morogh at the gates of Gnomeregan, which they've dubbed New Tinkertown. They continue pursuing their racial predilections for technology, but their considerable talents are now geared even more towards reclaiming the city they've lost.

Heroes who are able to gain the esteem of the sons and daughters of Gnomeregan can employ one of the gnomes' most ingenious inventions-the mechanostrider-as a mount.

  • Faction: Alliance
  • Leader: High Tinker Mekkatorque
  • Quartermaster: Rillie Spindlenut
  • Location: Gnomeregan

Ironforge Alliance

This Alliance capital is the pride of the Dun Morogh dwarves. Home to King Magni.

While many Dwarven strongholds fell during the Second War, the mighty city of Ironforge--nestled in the wintry peaks of Dun Morogh--was never breached by the invading Horde. A monument to the Dwarves' expertise in shaping rock and stone, Ironforge was constructed in the heart of the mountain itself: an expansive underground city of craftsmen, explorers, miners and Warriors. Although the Alliance is faced with new challenges each day, the Dwarves of Ironforge, led by the Council of Three Hammers, hope to forge a new future in the world.

Dwarves have historically traveled Azeroth astride mighty war rams, and they are willing to share the reins of these creatures with heroes who build a strong reputation in Ironforge.

  • Faction: Alliance
  • Leader: Muradin Bronzebeard
  • Quartermaster: Captain Stonehelm
  • Location: Ironforge

Stormwind Alliance

One of the last bastions of human power, this Alliance capital is ruled by the prodigal king, Varian Wrynn.

The city of Stormwind stands as the last bastion of Human power in Azeroth. Rebuilt after the Second War, Stormwind is a marvel of Human design and engineering. Stormwind's guards keep the peace within the city's walls, while the returned king, Varian Wrynn, rules from his mighty keep. The Trade District bustles with wares from across the continent and beyond, while warriors of every sort can be found wandering the streets of Old Town. Unaffected by the ravages of the Scourge in the north, Stormwind still faces its own threats, both from without and from within.

Heroes whose valor is known in Stormwind can call upon the city's famed horses to serve as their loyal steeds.

  • Faction: Alliance
  • Leader: King Varian Wrynn
  • Quartermaster: Captain Lancy Revshon
  • Location: Stormwind City

Alliance Forces

Silverwing Sentinels Alliance

Staunch defenders of Ashenvale, locked in battle against the Warsong Outriders in Warsong Gulch.

  • Faction: Alliance
  • Leader: Su'ura Swiftarrow
  • Quartermaster: Illiyana Moonblaze
  • Location: Ashenvale

Stormpike Guard Alliance

The Stormpike Dwarves have set up residence in Alterac Valley, where they're locked in battle with the Frostwolf Orcs.

  • Faction: Alliance
  • Leader: Vanndar Stormpike
  • Quartermaster: Gaelden Hammersmith
  • Location: Alterac Valley

The League of Arathor Alliance

The League of Arathor seeks to reclaim the lost land of Arathi Basin for their benefactors in Stormwind.

  • Faction: Alliance
  • Leader: Radulf Leder
  • Quartermaster: Samuel Hawke
  • Location: Arathi Highlands


Bilgewater Cartel Horde

Run by the ruthless Trade Prince Gallywix, the Bilgewater Cartel is the most powerful trading company on the Isle of Kezan. From their headquarters at Bilgewater Port, the cartel dominates trade all over the South Seas.

In general, the goblin cartels of Azeroth prefer to remain neutral profiteers in the conflicts that rage throughout the kingdoms of other races, providing aid and equipment to multiple sides and raking in as much money as they can with minimal involvement. The Bilgewater Cartel is different - its members see opportunity in commitment, and, so, when the chance came to join the Horde, they hurried to offer their aid. Or, at least, that's the story their trade prince tells - rumors abound that Gallywix was pressured to join the Horde after a defeat at the hands of its former warchief, Thrall.

The cartel's home base was once Bilgewater Port on the Isle of Kezan, but the vast majority of its operations are now concentrated in Orgrimmar's slums and Bilgewater Harbor in Azshara.

Those in good standing with the cartel can purchase and learn to ride its wondrous high-speed trikes.

  • Faction: Horde
  • Leader: Trade Prince Gallywix
  • Quartermaster: Frizzo Villamar
  • Location: Bilgewater Port

Darkspear Trolls Horde

This tribe of exiled trolls has joined forces with Thrall and the Horde. They now call Durotar their home, which they share with their orc allies.

The exiled Darkspear trolls joined forces with the Horde after their tribe was rescued from Zar'jira, the sea witch of the Darkspear isles by then-warchief Thrall. Though they shared Orgrimmar with the orcs for several years, the Darkspears have recently retaken their former home from the forces of the witch doctor Zalazane, and they've returned in numbers to the forested islands.

The Darkspears can be found most prominently on the Echo Isles, in Sen'jin Village, and in Orgrimmar. They hold Horde-aligned outposts and cities throughout Azeroth and Outland.

The Darkspears offer training in riding their swift and steadfast jungle raptor mounts to those who become strongly allied with them.

  • Faction: Horde
  • Leader: Vol'jin
  • Quartermaster: Champion Uru'zin
  • Location: Durotar

Orgrimmar Horde

Founded by Thrall, this Horde capital city is home to many of the proud orc clans of Durotar.

Named in honor of the legendary Orgrim Doomhammer, Orgrimmar was founded to be the capital city of the Orcs' new homeland. Built within a huge, winding canyon in the harsh land of Durotar, Orgrimmar stands as one of the mightiest Warrior cities in the world. Behind Orgrimmar's immense walls, elderly Shamans patiently share their knowledge with the Horde's newest generation of leaders, while Warriors spar in the gladiatorial arena, honing their skills in preparation for the trials that await them in this dangerous land.

The orcs of Orgrimmar reward well-regarded members of the Horde with access to their riding wolves.

  • Faction: Horde
  • Leader: Garrosh Hellscream
  • Quartermaster: Stone Guard Nargol
  • Location: Orgrimmar

Silvermoon City Horde

The capital of Quel'Thalas, home of the blood elves. Though nearly destroyed by Arthas' attack on the Sunwell, Silvermoon is once again a thriving city.

The crown jewel of the blood elves is their capital of Silvermoon City, nestled in the Eversong Woods in their ancestral lands of Quel'Thalas. The beauty of the spires and thoroughfares of Silvermoon stand in stark contrast to the Dead Scar, the tainted path that Arthas tore through the city in his quest for power. Though nearly destroyed by Arthas' attack on the Sunwell, Silvermoon is once again a thriving city - although the permanent devastation to their capital serves as a grim reminder of an uncertain future for the blood elves.

Any who manage to prove their worth to the blood elves of Silvermoon can call upon their trained hawkstrider mounts.

  • Faction: Horde
  • Leader: Lor'themar Theron
  • Quartermaster: Magistrix Nizara
  • Location: Eversong Woods

Thunder Bluff Horde

Baine Bloodhoof leads his people, the proud Tauren, from this mighty Horde capital.

The great city of Thunder Bluff lies atop a series of mesas that overlook the verdant grasslands of Mulgore. The once nomadic Tauren recently established the city as a center for trade caravans, traveling craftsmen and artisans of every kind. The proud city also stands as a refuge for the brave hunters who stalk their dangerous prey through the plains of Mulgore and its surrounding areas. Long bridges of rope and wood span the chasms between the mesas, topped with tents, longhouses, colorfully painted totems, and spirit lodges. The mighty chief, Baine Bloodhoof, watches over the bustling city, ensuring that the united Tauren tribes live in peace and security.

Those members of the Horde who earn the trust and support of Thunder Bluff can ride their domesticated kodos into battle.

  • Faction: Horde
  • Leader: Baine Bloodhoof
  • Quartermaster: Brave Tuho
  • Location: Mulgore

Undercity Horde

Led by Sylvanas Windrunner, the Forsaken have joined a tenuous alliance with the Horde and established this capital in the vast depths under the Ruins of Lordaeron.

Far beneath the ruined capital city of Lordaeron, the royal crypts have been turned into a bastion of evil and undeath. Originally intended by Prince Arthas to be the Scourge's seat of power, the budding "Undercity" was abandoned when Arthas was recalled to aid the Lich King in distant Northrend. In Arthas's absence, the Dark Lady, Sylvanas Windrunner, led the rebel Forsaken to the Undercity, and claimed it for her own. Since taking up residence, the Forsaken have worked to complete the Undercity's construction by dredging the twisted maze of catacombs, tombs, and dungeons that Arthas began.

Adventurers who grow to wield significant influence with Undercity are permitted to ride the tireless skeletal horses favored by the Forsaken.

  • Faction: Horde
  • Leader: Lady Sylvanas Windrunner
  • Quartermaster: Captain Donald Adams
  • Location: Tirisfal Glades

Horde Forces

Frostwolf Clan Horde

The Frostwolf Clan seeks to drive out the dwarves of the Stormpike Expedition from Alterac Valley.

  • Faction: Horde
  • Leader: Drek'Thar
  • Quartermaster: Grunnda Wolfheart
  • Location: Alterac Valley

The Defilers Horde

The Defilers seek to claim Arathi Basin's valuable resources for the Horde.

  • Faction: Horde
  • Leader: The Black Bride
  • Quartermaster: Rutherford Twing
  • Location: Arathi Highlands

Warsong Outriders Horde

Fierce orcs of the Warsong Clan, locked in battle against the Silverwing Sentinels in Warsong Gulch.

  • Faction: Horde
  • Leader: Garrosh Hellscream
  • Quartermaster: Kelm Hargunth
  • Location: Warsong Gulch

Steamwheedle Cartel

Booty Bay

This booming coastal city is run by Baron Revilgaz of the Blackwater Raiders. Mortal enemies of the Bloodsail Buccaneers and part of the Steamwheedle Cartel.

  • Faction: Neutral
  • Leader: Baron Revilgaz
  • Location: Stranglethorn Vale


This trading post is run by the goblins of the Steamwheedle Cartel and it sits in the crossroads of Winterspring's main trade routes.

  • Faction: Neutral
  • Location: Winterspring


Capital of the Steamwheedle Cartel and home to goblinhood's finest engineers, alchemists and merchants.

  • Faction: Neutral
  • Leader: Marin Noggenfogger
  • Location: Tanaris


Part of the Steamwheedle Cartel, this goblin city provides a neutral haven for those that wish to trade goods and services in the Barrens.

  • Faction: Neutral
  • Leader: Gazlowe
  • Location: Northern Barrens