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Playable races in World of Warcraft e
Alliance 15 Bc icon Draenei (0800Battle-B-logo Lightforged) · Dwarf (0800Battle-B-logo Dark Iron) · Gnome · Human (0800Battle-B-logo Kul Tiran) · Night elf (0800Battle-B-logo Void elf) · Cataclysm-Logo-Small Worgen Both 15 Mists-Logo-Small Pandaren Horde 15 Bc icon Blood elf (0800Battle-B-logo Nightborne) · Cataclysm-Logo-Small Goblin · Orc (0800Battle-B-logo Mag'har) · Tauren (0800Battle-B-logo Highmountain) · Troll (0800Battle-B-logo Zandalari) · Undead

The Alliance (aka Grand Alliance[2]) is one of two major political factions of the mortal races in Azeroth, its counterpart being the Horde. The Alliance consists of powerful cultures and groups bound not by desperation or necessity, but by their deep commitments to abstract concepts like nobility and honor.[3] The Alliance was once also known as the Alliance of Lordaeron when its leadership was centered in Lordaeron. However, the Alliance was forced to move the bulk of its forces to Kalimdor and to the southern Eastern Kingdoms continents of Khaz Modan and Azeroth after a plague of undeath ravaged the Kingdom of Lordaeron several years ago. It has since lost many members as well as gained new allies.

Major members

The major partners in the Alliance are:



  • IconSmall Gnome MaleIconSmall Gnome Female The gnomes of Gnomeregan.
    • Cousins of the dwarves, joining with their long-time allies to provide technological wonders to aid the Alliance in its fight against its enemies. Their Long-time capital was Gnomeregan, located in western Dun Morogh, but it was invaded by a race of troggs. The gnomes had to flee and find refugee in their cousins' arms in Ironforge, where they built Tinker Town.
    • Led by High Tinker Gelbin Mekkatorque, King of Gnomes.
    • Gnomish outposts can be found in Blade's Edge Mountains in Outland and the Borean Tundra in Northrend.
    • The highly intelligent and resilient gnomes have devised their own unique robotic mount to use: the mechanostrider.




Alliance Forces

Azeroth

The uneasy truce between the Alliance and the Horde in the aftermath of the Third War was soon broken when several battlegrounds between various forces of the factions have erupted:

  • League of Arathor - The main force of the nation of Stromgarde. In order to supply their war to reclaim the Arathi Highlands (and help supply themselves and The Alliance with valuable resources) the League has invaded the Arathi Basin along with Forsaken forces, with whom they fight vigorously over the rich land.
  • Stormpike Guard - A dwarven expedition to the Valley of Alterac in order to search for relics and treasures from the past, have led to open war with the orcs of the Frostwolf clan that resides in the southern parts of the same valley.
  • Silverwing Sentinels - The continuous deforesting efforts of the Warsong Orcs that have settled in southern Ashenvale have left the sentinels no choice. The Silverwing sentinels wing was appointed to begin a massive push of the orcs out of the elven homelands.


Outland Forces


Northrend Forces (Alliance Vanguard)

Other Members, Factions and Allies of the Grand Alliance

  • The human nation of Theramore, based in Theramore Isle, Dustwallow Marsh.
    • Led by the Third War hero of the alliance, Lady Jaina Proudmoore.
    • Founded by various human refugees that ventured to Kalimdor in the midst of the scourge onslaught of the third war, coming from all the human nations.
    • The nation is affiliated with the faction of Stormwind.
  • The human nation of Stromgarde, based in Stromgarde City and Refuge Pointe camp, Arathi Highlands.
    • Led previously by Prince Galen Trollbane before his death and resurrection into the ranks of the Forsaken
    • Stromgarde was the first great nation of the humans (known as Arathor) from which all other nations developed. However, the nation rapidly declined after the Third War, losing it's capital city and many other territories.
    • The nation to this day fights to reclaim their city, awaiting the return of Danath Trollbane who vowed to reclaim the city and re-build it too its former glory for the Alliance.
    • The nation is affiliated with the faction of Stormwind and the forces of the League of Arathor.
  • The human nation of Kul Tiras, based in the capital of Boralus, Kul Tiras Isle and Crestfall Island.
    • Led by Lord Tandred Proudmoore. Formerly led by his father, hero of the Second War, the Lord Admiral Daelin Proudmoore.
    • An old human kingdom of merchants and sailors. Sustained a heavy attack of the horde forces during the second war, but largely avoided and survived the third war. Many of its citizens joined the expedition forces of Jaina to Kalimdor where they founded the nation of Theramore (which has the same banner as Kul Tiras what may idicate it being a sub territory of Kul Tiras).
  • The Wildhammer clan of dwarves, led by High Thane Falstad Wildhammer, based in the Aerie Peak, Hinterlands. Formerly they lived in Ironforge and their own capital of Grim Batol; both were abandoned after a series of civil wars with the other dwarven clans.
    • Though not always enthusiastic members of the Alliance, the Wildhammer clan has never failed it and always pledged their precious gryphons and heroes to the alliance's causes.
  • A number of Dark Iron Dwarves will join the Alliance under the the guidance of Moira Thaurissan after the Cataclysm. Icon Cataclysm 18x18
  • The High Elves that remain untouched by fel magic and are loyal to the Alliance who are currently scattered in many Alliance's settlements, such as those under Jalinde Summerdrake and her forces at Quel'Danil Lodge, the ones in Theramore under Captain Darill, the one's at the Allerian Stronghold under the leadership of Auric Sunchaser or the many in Dalaran as part of the Silver Covenant among other places.
    • It is likely that Vereesa Windrunner could be considered their racial leader as she leads the Silver Covenant which seems to be the largest and only organised faction the High Elves have.
  • The Highborne have come out of hiding in the wake of the Cataclysm to return to Night Elf society in hopes of fixing their reputation and offering their services to the rest of the Alliance with their vast knowledge of magic. Icon Cataclysm 18x18
  • The children of Cenarius, work closely with the night elves throughout Kalimdor.
  • Some half-orcs are members of the Alliance (with others being members of the Horde).
  • The Wintersaber Trainers in Winterspring are a group of night elven elite saber riders that provide their mounts to members of the Alliance who prove themselves worthy.
  • The Bloodfang pack, led by Packleader Ivar Bloodfang, ally themselves with the Gilneas Liberation Front and the Stormpike Guard in the war against the Forsaken. Icon Cataclysm 18x18

Alliance-aligned

Main article: Stillpine tribe

The furbolgs of Stillpine Hold, led by High Chief Stillpine, have been cooperating with the draenei, an outgrowth of their good relations with the night elves.

Alliance of Lordaeron

Main article: Alliance of Lordaeron

The modern Alliance is the successor to the Alliance of Lordaeron, which was created at the behest of King Terenas Menethil II of Lordaeron and Lord Anduin Lothar of the kingdom of Stormwind following the First War, five years after the reckoning. The human, dwarf, gnome, and high elf races allied together to fight off the orcish Horde. The Alliance was formed after the humans' defeat in the First war. King Terenas Menethil realized that the Horde was too powerful to be stopped alone and called all the seven human kingdoms to join forces, this is how the Alliance was created. Later the other races of Azeroth, the Ironforge and Wildhammer clan dwarves, The gnomes of Gnomeregan and the high elves of Quel'Thalas joined the Alliance as well. After a long bloody war, the Alliance managed to defeat the orcs, free the lands of Azeroth and send the orcs back to the Dark Portal. The result of this war was considered the Alliance's greatest victory.

Aftermath of the Second Invasion

Main article: New Alliance
Alliance Heros

Notable figures from the Third War, from left to right: Muradin Bronzebeard, Antonidas, Uther Lightbringer, and Prince Kael'thas.

Events of the Second Invasion led to an alliance with both the night elves and the Horde. The former became permanent, while the latter did not.

The third war was the biggest crisis the Alliance had ever known, most of the Human and High elf population of Azeroth was murdered by the scourge. With Arthas' betrayal the Kingdom of Lordaeron fell under the Scourge. The remaining humans fled to Theramore and Stormwind. As the Scourge began its march to Hillsbrad Foothills, Grand Marshall Garithos aligned the remaining Alliance troops and delayed the scourge on the Alterac Mountains and Dalaran. During that time, King Varian Wrynn of Stormwind and King Magni Bronzebeard of Ironforge sent thier armies to support the remaining forces of Lordaeron. With the combined forces of Stormwind, Ironforge and the survivors of Lordaeron, the Alliance managed to repel the Scourge invasion of Hillsbrad and save the Eastern Kingdoms from the Scourge conquest. After that, Garithos decided to sand the troops to retake Lordaeron from the Scourge. Realising that such an act would be a suicide mission, Stormwind and Ironforge refused to send thier own troops to the Plaguelands and offered shelter to the refugees of Lordaeron instead. During that time Jaina Proudmoore led other surviving humans of Lordaeron to Kalimdor, aligning herself on Kalimdor with the night elves and joining them to the Alliance. Joining forces with the Horde, Jainas' Forces and the night elves mannaged to defeat the Burning Legion's forces and save Azeroth. After that, Jaina reunited her new nation with Stormwind and the survivors of Lordaeron, and the night elves finnally joined the Alliance.

Following the Second Invasion, many of the surviving high elves rebranded themselves as blood elves and rejoined the Alliance shortly after the invasion, only to leave it again following an attempted purge by Grand Marshal Garithos. The true high elves remain loyal to the new Alliance, most notably the ones dwelling in Theramore under Lady Jaina Proudmoore and in the Hinterlands at Quel'Danil Lodge. More recently, high elves have grouped together in Northrend as the Silver Covenant.

A few years later, the draenei joined the Alliance. Stranded a world away from home, they are trying to establish a new base on Azeroth from the wreckage of the Exodar as well as gain the trust and cooperation of the Alliance.

During the events of the Cataclysm, another race joined the ranks of the Alliance; the worgen of Gilneas.

Organization

Allianceraces

Alliance Races by Chris Metzen[1]. From left to right: High elf, half-elf, night elf, dwarf, and human.

Heroraces

Hero Races by Chris Metzen[2]. Wildhammer dwarf and gnome (Alliance).[5]

Uncorrupted draenei

Draenei Male by Glenn Rane

Half-orc

Half-orc

Worgen artwork1

Worgen

Lorderan Tabard

The Seal of Lordaeron is used prominently in Alliance culture.

The Alliance is not a uniform governmental body, but is a coalition of mutual military and economic aid. Housing the Alliance Assembly, Theramore was once considered the official home of the new Alliance, when Stormwind was bound under Onyxia's thrall under the guise of Katrana Prestor. The inability of Stormwind to act forced both Theramore and the night elves to step in, resulting in a growing gap of cooperation between the two continents. This, however, is no longer the case with King Varian's return and the death of Onyxia. Varian's direct aid to the Night Elves has won their trust, and Jaina's constant presence with him as an advisor (and to temper his edges) has firmly reunited Theramore and Stormwind once more.

In the past, certain rules, customs, and regulations were a constant hindrance to mutual actions across the entire Alliance. This made cooperation sluggish, and considerably slowed the rate at which the Alliance was able to reclaim its former lands and glory. Despite the problems and intrigues within their leadership, all parts of the Alliance are steadfast in their desire to reclaim and rebuild, and all members share a distrust of the Horde. Approximately 800,000 souls belong to the allied races spanning two continents (based on membership numbers of the Church of Light)[6]. The Alliance is a great and peaceful body overall, their might being legendary, but their desire for peace, even stronger. Above all, where Jaina Proudmoore and Tyrande Whisperwind are good at coordinating their efforts on Kalimdor, Lady Katrana Prestor of Stormwind was doing a fine job of undoing the Alliance in the Eastern Kingdoms,[7] however she has been slain in lore and King Varian Wrynn has now taken his rightful place as king.[8]

Even now, as always, humans are the glue that hold the Alliance together, being the most numerous and diplomatic of the member races. The armies of Stormwind are stationed through out the Eastern Kingdoms, trying to retake regions such as Duskwood, Westfall, and The Redridge mountains. The armies of Ironforge are mainly stationed in Khaz Modan along with their Gnome allies, and the Night Elven armies are mainly defending northern Kalimdor from Horde's deforestation of the Ashenvale. The remaining Draenei forces are still trying to secure their new home on Azuremyst Isle, and are also stationed in Outland. The recently brought in Gilnean armies are defending themselves from the endless onslaught of the Forsaken.

Strengths

Technology

Main article: Alliance technology

Technologically speaking, the Alliance is strong, with gnomish and dwarven inventions.

Heavily armored vehicles with massive guns often help take well-defended structures, or even serve to simply destroy an enemy’s morale. The appearance of three or four armored vehicles can often break an enemy’s morale without ever firing a shot. However, they are well armed in case they do need to fire.

All too frequently, war is the primary driver of technological advancements. The Ironforge dwarves spearheaded this trend, developing gunpowder and firearms as a way to achieve an edge against their foes in combat. Flying machines, originally just curiosities or at best scouting tools, are now being outfitted with flak cannons and bombs. Who knows where these advancements will lead? Technology is the system by which an entire society provides for the wants and needs of its population.

Thus, the dwarves of Ironforge are said to be more technologically advanced than the tauren of Mulgore, who are themselves far more advanced than, say, kobolds or troggs.[9] The Alliance views technology as an extension of a new way of thinking. Humans view technology as a powerful tool, as gnomes and dwarves invent new weapons, devices, and vehicles of war that the humans can benefit from.

Dwarves and gnomes are the true masters of steam and brass; for them, forge and artifice has always been a way of life. The ability to craft magnificent weapons of destruction appeals to the dwarven sense of war, and firearms have become a respected aspect of their culture. Dwarven riflemen are feared, and their steam tank crews are also given tremendous respect for their skill in guiding their magnificent weapons of war.

It is clear to all of the Alliance races that the battlefields are changing thanks to technology. Firearms are a tremendous equalizer, and a trained sniper can be as deadly to a knight as a dragon’s breath. The machines of war provide protection and weapons that level the field even against the mightiest of monsters. That the Alliance is aware of this bodes well for their future.[10] Also, with the inclusion of the draenei into the Alliance, the advanced technology of the draenei is now available.

Tactical mastery

Strategy in combat is the first step toward winning, and the Alliance uses to its fullest. They take advantage of their typical numerical advantage, to overwhelm opposition with shield and sword. They posses great Arcane spell casters which can be seen taking out many troops single-handedly from behind the front line. They have some great shock infantry with the dwarves and draenei, who prove very resilient on the battlefield. The Alliance is also known for its heavy cavalry where mounted human knights and paladins have more than once broken through ranks of Orcs, demons and undead. These mounted warriors have long symbolized the strength of the Alliance armies.

Typically they will utilize flanking tactics, night elven and high elven archery, combined with superior technology and maneuvers to turn battles in their favor allowing heavier troops like human knights and dwarven riflemen to finish their enemies off with the blade and shot. The scouts and rogues of organizations within the Alliance such as SI:7 are used to gather intelligence on the enemy forces and can even be used in sabotage tactics behind enemy lines. Their commanders are very smart, studying the art of war from a young age, and are able and adept commanders who will utilize their armies to the fullest, on the battlefield.

Holy magic

Most Alliance races are well-versed in the ways of the Holy Light, making their paladins and priests formidable opponents. The power of the holy light is also advantageous against the Forsaken as well as other forms of undead due to their extreme weakness against the power with spells such as Exorcism.[11] While the Third War witnessed the deaths of many paladins at the hands of the Scourge, the arrival of the Draenei on Azeroth provided a new force of Light-wielding warriors for the Alliance.

Unified

The Alliance has strong unity between its races since its core members have been allied together since the beginning, excluding the night elves and the draenei. The humans, dwarves, high elves, and gnomes have been allies since the Second War and are often tied together. The Alliance has also never truly fallen apart, although there is often disagreements between the Alliance on Kalimdor, led by Jaina Proudmoore and Tyrande Whisperwind, and those traditionally based out of the Eastern Kingdoms, now led by King Varian Wrynn. However those dissagreements are little compare to the conflicts between the Western Horde and the Forsaken.

Tradition

The Alliance represents older bonds of brotherhood than the Horde, especially between the Humans, Dwarves, High Elves, and Gnomes. And while the Draenei are new to Azeroth, the other races retain ancient holdings. This stands in stark contrast to the Horde, all of whom, with the exception of the Blood Elves, have undergone significant migrations in the past decade. This gives the Alliance more established infrastructure and generally more territorial control, if not a higher level of dedication — Orgrimmar and Thunder Bluff, and the Forsaken squatting in Lordaeron's sewers and ruins, stand in stark contrast to the strong walls of Stormwind and Ironforge.

Weaknesses

Although the Alliance has built an impressive army in the past years, finding strength in its diversity and numbers, weak points still exist that the Alliance’s enemies can take advantage of when fighting. For example, some lackluster commanders exist within the ranks. Though through this they still maintain a very impressive army.[12]

Pride

The Alliance is proud of itself. Their people are sophisticated and learned, and they excel in the intellectual pursuits such as arcane magic and engineering. Even after three bloody wars, they still view themselves as overall smarter than the Horde, and believe that greater brain power wins out over primal force. This is even after they fought alongside the Horde in the Third War and saw how they had changed. They underestimate the Horde, especially the new Horde under Thrall, and could easily be guilty of underestimating their enemies’ abilities.[12]

Arcane magic

Main article: Alliance magic

Though their powerful command of the arcane is a point of strength in the Alliance’s arsenal, it also shows a weakness. The magi are weak and easy to kill, if an enemy can break through their protections.[12] The benefits of these spellslingers in combat are very rich, causing destruction from a distance unchecked by the enemy.

Physical strength

The front lines of the Alliance’s armies are always in danger against the physically stronger Horde, especially the orcs and tauren.[12] Draenei are the strongest Alliance race, and the arrival of the Worgen in Cataclysm will probably add another brute force to Alliance aswell.

Territory

Though the Alliance has a vast amount of territory, its distribution is almost one sided, most of the Alliance territory is in the Eastern Kingdoms. The Alliance presence in Kalimdor is weak, confined mainly to Teldrassil, the islands of Azuremyst and Bloodmyst, and Darkshore (the only mainland Alliance territory in Kalimdor). Though they have also made a strong establishment in Dustmallow Marsh on Theramore Isle. It should be noted that there is a rapidly growing revanchist movement among the Alliance ranks, fueled increasingly now that Varian Wrynn has returned to Stormwind; should the Horde attempt to overwhelm any of the vulnerable Alliance holdings, then it would likely spark all out war, and thus this weakness would prove to be a strength.

References

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