Gilneas is located on the peninsula south of Silverpine Forest.
The human kingdom had supported the Alliance during the Second War, but King Greymane had no qualms about severing all ties to the outside world when it became clear that the Alliance needed Gilneas more than Gilneas needed the Alliance. Unbeknownst to the rest of the world, darkness fell on Gilneas after the Greymane Wall's gates had been closed, and the worgen curse ravaged the nation. Before long, Gilneans were fighting against Gilneans in a bloody civil war that left the kingdom in tatters. Remarkably, the people of Gilneas have somehow managed to hold on to the last vestiges of their humanity... for now.
Gilneas (pronounced Gil-neigh-uhs and also known as Gilneas Regal) is a human nation and kingdom located in the peninsula that lies to the southwest of Silverpine Forest on the continent of Lordaeron. The kingdom was founded following the splitting of Arathor and is ruled by the House of Greymane. Besides the peninsula, the kingdom also included the island of Zul'Dare.
Gilneas is a large peninsula that juts into the sea south of western Lordaeron. Silverpine Forest lies to the northeast and Kul Tiras awaits across the sea to the south. Lord Genn Greymane never supported the Lordaeron Alliance in the Second War. Thus, after the war, he constructed the Greymane Wall: a massive barrier spanning the entire northern border. The enormous wall barricades Gilneas from Lordaeron. Gilneas does not allow anyone in or out, and because of this no one knows what has been transpiring there since the end of the Second War.
It was later found that the Worgen curse swept mercilessly across the nation, turning many of its inhabitants into savage beasts. However, they were able to get their humanity back and rebuild the land. Following the Cataclysm and an invasion by the Forsaken, Gilneas rejoined the Alliance.
People and culture
A person from Gilneas is referred to as Gilnean. Like their leader, Gilnean people are often burly and gruff. Extremely isolationist, they supported the Greymane Wall's construction. They speak common, and have their faith in the Holy Light. Their resources are unknown. Moreover, their costumes, weapons, architecture, and accents have Regency connotations; along with the cold and rainy weather of the peninsula, it gives the feeling of being in the London of the early nineteenth century.
Lord Genn Greymane, a brawny warrior who is in his seventies, has ruled Gilneas for decades.
"The Old Ways"
It is unclear how the Gilneans came to posses their druidic powers. Some believe that the night elves taught them, yet this must have been before the Greymane Wall was sealed, as the Gilnean druids were instrumental in saving their population during a famine after the Wall was closed and before the night elves arrived during the Cataclysm.
There is sufficient proof and reason to believe that the practices of primitive druidism or "the old ways" were once alive and well within or around Gilnean society before the sealing of the Wall. It is likely that that the people of Gilneas would have once practiced or acknowledged (in varying degrees) the traditions and reverences of nature worship.
In time though (before the Greymane Wall was erected) the followers of the Holy Light must have spread their teachings to Gilneas and succeeded in converting many of its people, causing druidism to slowly fade into the past and become mostly forgotten.
When starting a Worgen Druid the from does seem to support these assumptions. During Hallow's End the Faction Commoners and Celestine of the Harvest also have supporting these assumptions, connecting Gilneas, druidism, and the traditions of Hallow's End.
In the early days of humanity and its civilization, many tribes of humans had primitive belief systems that incorporated simple nature magic. However, the rise of organized religion such as the Holy Light and the potent arcane magics introduced by the high elves quickly supplanted such traditions. Gilneas, due to its relative isolation, has retained a degree of their ancient culture in the contemporary era. The religious leaders of what was in Gilneas referred to as the “old ways” eventually became “harvest-witches”; those who used their nature powers to augment Gilneas’ agricultural output during and following its period of industrialization. Due to the presence of harvest-witches in their culture, when Gilneans learned about night elf druids (albeit through second, third and even fourth-hand sources) they became fascinated by them and their exotic connotations, to the point where many started referring to harvest witches as “druids”, though this was quite far from the truth, as few Gilneans had any idea what a druid actually was! Harvest-witches have a limited control over nature, especially plant life, and the powers of harvest witches bear a coincidental resemblance to the low-level abilities of actual druids. Harvest witches who contracted the worgen curse (which was druidic in origin) found that their powers were somewhat amplified, and after making first contact with the night elves cursed harvest witches were offered induction into the Cenarion Circle for both study and training.
Following their victory in their war against the trolls, the empire of Arathor entered into a period of prosperity and growth. After the death of King Thoradin, the empire began to expand, founding new city states in the wilderness, including Gilneas. Each city grew and prospered. Both Gilneas and Alterac developed strong armies that explored the world. Over time, the power of Gilneas and the other city states grew as that of Strom waned; eventually, they developed their own customs and beliefs, and the empire splintered into seven independent kingdoms.
By the start of the Second War, Gilneas was one of the most powerful human nations, and because of this, the kingdom's ruler, Genn Greymane, was not a strong supporter of the Alliance, believing that his own armies would be more than enough to deal with any threat. However, Gilneas held no fondness towards the Horde and gave its full support to the Alliance late in the Second War (although Lord Greymane constantly argued against the existence of the Alliance from beginning to end). He never fully supported the Lordaeron Alliance in the Second War, and shortly after the Horde was defeated, Greymane pulled his nation's support from the Alliance, refusing to spend his nation's resources on keeping the orcs alive in internment camps or in rebuilding other nations devastated by the war. Greymane's isolationism may have been influenced by Daval Prestor, who was secretly the black dragon Deathwing in human form; Greymane had supported his ascension to the throne of Alterac. (citation needed)
The Greymane Wall and the Third War
Some time after the Second War, Greymane constructed the Greymane Wall, an enormous stone barrier that now separates Gilneas from Lordaeron. Attempting to forever remove his nation from what he considered "other people's troubles", he barricaded Gilneas behind the wall. No one, not even other humans, was allowed to enter Gilneas. Even during the Scourge's invasion of Lordaeron, while human refugees came begging to be allowed in, the Greymane Wall remained closed.
At the peak of their strength, the Scourge relentlessly assaulted the Greymane Wall and threatened to devour all Gilneas. King Greymane's armies held the wall for days against a massive sea of undead hordes, but for every undead that fell, another took its place.
In order to keep the Scourge out, Greymane ordered his court archmage, Arugal, to unleash a "secret weapon" against the Scourge: the worgen, who had been contained for millennia. Unfortunately, after attacking the Scourge, the worgen began attacking humans living in Silverpine Forest and infecting Gilnean soldiers beyond the wall. Before long, the affliction had advanced through the legendary barrier and gradually ate away at Gilneas’ humanity.
Meanwhile, refugees and other nations entreated Gilneas for aid from the Scourge. These unfortunates never saw a Gilnean and became easy prey for the worgen that occasionally strayed south from Shadowfang Keep. Gilneas was not affected by the Scourge. Although the land connection to Gilneas was closed, ships from this self-isolated nation were spotted throughout the world, such as the pirate ship Heedless, captained by Baron Longshore.
Lord Darius Crowley, upset about Greymane's isolationism, launched the Northgate rebellion, and later on, the Gilneas civil war. Lord Crowley was eventually captured by Greymane's forces. However, as wild worgen spread and attacked Gilneas City, causing massive harm, Crowley was released by Gilnean adventurers and convinced to give aid to Greymane, who had ordered the evacuation of Gilneas to lands controlled by the night elves. In order to divert the worgen's attention from the fleeing citizens, Crowley led a group of sane Gilneans to stand against them at Light's Dawn Cathedral. Crowley and his followers were overwhelmed and became worgen themselves.
- Main article: Invasion of Gilneas
The Cataclysm breached the Greymane Wall, and the Horde, now under the command of Warchief Garrosh Hellscream, ordered the Forsaken to attack Gilneas. In desperation, King Genn Greymane asked Crowley for help; he would fight under the command of Lord Vincent Godfrey. Crowley refused until Greymane revealed that he, too, had been transformed into a worgen.
Lord Crowley led the Gilneas Liberation Front against the Forsaken in Silverpine Forest. With help from the 7th Legion, who used a submarine to pass the enemy lines, the Alliance gained the upper hand in Gilneas. However, agents of the Horde ended up destroying some of the reinforcements and enabled the Forsaken to resurrect Lord Godfrey as one of their own, a fact that none of the Gilneans were aware of. Crowley later surrendered to Sylvanas Windrunner after she had taken his daughter hostage. Meanwhile, Lord Godfrey rebelled against Sylvanas and "killed" her, although she was quickly resurrected.
The worgen curse that started from Shadowfang Keep and swept across Gilneas left its people irrevocably transformed. Almost the entire human population has been turned to the beastly worgen, a humbling failure for Genn Greymane in his efforts to keep his people safe. The reaction of the people to this change will likely be greatly varied, and has yet to be revealed. Preliminary dialogue from Cataclysm has revealed that Gilnean mages and healers went to great strides to fight the affliction.
Gilneas has undergone deep changes in the wake of its cursing, and while the people maintain their free will, the impact of the curse remains to be seen.
Gilneas in Warcraft IIThis section concerns content exclusive to Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness.
Leader: Genn Greymane
Nation Color: Black
Background: Despite the impending Orcish invasion, Gilneas has remained separate from the Alliance of Lordaeron. As ruler of one of the strongest human nations, Genn Greymane is convinced that his own armies can deal with any threat, and has therefore remained unmoved by Lord Lothar's pleas for unity. Despite this apparent disdain for the Alliance, the denizens of Gilneas harbor no fondness for the orcs or their allies and are prepared to meet them blade for blade.
Gilneas in Warcraft IIIThis section concerns content exclusive to Warcraft III.In the Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos Orc Campaign: The Invasion of Kalimdor in Chapter Three: Cry of the Warsong, one of the human factions you face has the force name Gilneas Brigade, implying that people from Gilneas travelled to Kalimdor with Jaina and are very likely still with her now.
In World of Warcraft
Gilneas in CataclysmThis section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.Gilneas was introduced in the Cataclysm expansion, as the starting zone of the new playable worgen race. Players enter the story as a human. The quests reveal how the worgen curse came to be, how the humans of Gilneas came to be affected by it, and lastly with the player him/herself being infected with the worgen curse. Later the Greymane Wall is shattered, which forces the Gilneans to re-enter the conflicts they sought to escape. The threat of Forsaken attacks and an offer of aid from the night elves brings Gilneas into the Alliance, which serves as a counterpart to the introduction of the Horde-allied Goblins of Kezan. In-game, Gilneas appears to be a dreary and rainy territory, reflecting the cursed nation itself. The Greymane Wall has received a graphical update to match the new style of Gilneas.
Much like when Quel'Thalas was introduced in World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade, the Peninsula of Gilneas has a considerably different landmass than it does on the current maps. Prior to the Cataclysm, Gilneas appeared as a small, thin peninsula roughly the same size and shape as Silverpine Forest to the north. After the Cataclysm, the Gilnean peninsula appears slightly shorter but significantly wider (even accounting for the land that sinks into the ocean during the Worgen starting experience).
The current state of Gilneas and its future are not clear. Officially the Alliance controls Gilneas with skirmishes on the border (as is the purpose of the battleground) but this story has not come to a conclusion as Genn Greymane remains in Stormwind City, the bulk of its population remain in Darnassus, and the zone itself is largely empty with no NPCs and only a few mobs.
Gilneas is a large peninsula that juts into the sea south of the western regions of Lordaeron. Silverpine Forest lies to the northeast and Kul Tiras and Crestfall await across the sea to the south and Tol'Barad stands to the east. Because of its nearness, Zul'Dare is considered part of Gilneas.
Gilneas is a cold, rainy place, mainly because The Great Sea surrounds the peninsula on three sides, making sea storms common. High cliffs on the shores protect Gilneas from sailors’ curious eyes. The Greymane Wall is the only evident site in Gilneas.
Note:There are no flight paths for Gilneas.
Both Alliance and Horde can reach the Ruins of Gilneas by foot through the breach in the Greymane Wall via southern Silverpine Forest. The Ruins are what is left of the zone after the worgen starting experience; players that are not worgen will not have access to the zone during that experience.
|Zone Name||Faction||Level Range||Direction||Access|
|Teldrassil||1-10||Northwest across the sea||Via evacuation|
|Silverpine Forest||10-20||North through the Greymane Wall||By foot|
Worgen experience only. There are no rare mobs within Gilneas.
|Mining||from Copper Veins||1|
Though there are no pools to speak of, a fishing skill of 25 is needed to fish coastal waters without catching junk.
- Main article: Gilneas NPCs
Players are introduced to several heroes and patriots of Gilneas in the starting experience who are trying to repel the invading Worgen from their city. Players are introduced to the , the , the treacherous Vincent Godfrey, the leader of the northgate rebels Darius Crowley and his daughter Lorna Crowley, the alchemist Krennan Aranas and the himself. After the battle with the Worgen, some of the population of Gilneas City, including the player, are transformed into feral worgen.
- Main article: Gilneas quests
At the time of the first Forsaken invasion of Gilneas, the player is given a potion by Krennan to give control of his/her mind back. During the battle, the Cataclysm hits and the battlefield collapses into the ocean, killing many of the forsaken invaders as well as some of the Gilneans. The Forsaken send reinforcements and they quickly capture Gilneas City and begin enslaving the surrounding population. As the rest of the Gilnean people travel to a safer area, they are joined by Darius Crowley and those loyal to him who have all been transformed into Worgen; their sanity was saved due to the help of the Night Elves. It is at this time that Genn reveals himself to be afflicted with the Worgen curse, too. With the Gilneans united, they liberate the town of Emberstone and its mine, freeing the Gilneans who were enslaved there. Together they on their capitol to reclaim it. The reclamation is a success but Liam is killed in the attack by Sylvanas Windrunner. The next day the Forsaken use their plague on the city. Most of the population is evacuated, but once again the city is back in Forsaken control. Many of the Gilneans then flee from their country with the help of the night elves to Darnassus, but some remain behind under Darius Crowley to form the Gilneas Liberation Front.
Horde players are sent into Gilneas from quests in Silverpine to stop the Worgen and fortify their hold on the kingdom. This effort fails greatly as the Forsaken underestimated the Worgen's strength; their entire second invasion crumbles as soon as the 7th Legion arrives and completely pushes the Forsaken out of Gilneas and back into Silverpine.
Areas of interest
Points of interest
Note: Coordinates are not exact. General locations shown. Locations also depend upon phase.
- It is said that at one time the kingdom of Gilneas had land only at the tip of the peninsula that bears its name (however, its said elsewhere that Genn Greymane owned the entire peninsula even back then).
- If you get a view of the inner side of the wall you may see that the inner gate is broken down from the inside.
- After the starting sequence of quests by worgen players, Gilneas in-game is largely and strangely inactive to all players. It can't only be seen with activity in the battleground, Battle for Gilneas. Unfortunately, Blizzard says this is intentional to set the mood and theme of the Cataclysm expansion.
- Before the announcement of the draenei as the Alliance race in World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade, there was speculation that the worgen and Gilneas would enter the game at this stage. The rumour again came out in July 2009 with the revelation of worgen Hallow's End masks. It was finally confirmed at BlizzCon 2009.
- In response to a question at BlizzCon, Metzen mentioned that they had "forgotten" about Gilneas. Later, in an interview at 2009 New York Comic Con, he mentioned that Blizzard has some "very, very, very interesting plans for Gilneas", but he would not reveal any further details. It was revealed to be that the Gilneans had turned into worgen and have now joined the Alliance.
- After Patch 3.1.0, the loading screen/ship route from Menethil to Theramore no longer crosses Gilneas.
- A coin fished from Dalaran's fountain called Genn's Copper Coin reads "Pah, the fountains in Gilneas could grant ten times as many wishes as Dalaran's!"
- Gilneas Sparkling Water can be purchased in the Old Hillsbrad Foothills section of the Caverns of Time instance. This water replaces Purified Draenic Water, which wouldn't have been found on Azeroth at the time the instance takes place.
- The tents in Warcraft III had the symbol seen on the banner of Gilneas on them.
- Gilneans' clothes appear to be Regency in style. This, combined with the cold, gloomy and rainy atmosphere of Gilneas, would appear to indicate that Gilneas is based on the nineteenth century British Isles. Some Gilnean buildings, such as Greymane Manor and in Gilneas City, have "onion domes" on them, possibly indicating a Russian influence in elements of their architecture.
- The general atmosphere of Gilneas seems to have a heavy German influence. This appears to indicate Gilneas is based upon the atypical fairytale lands of the Grimm Tales. Examples of Germanic influence in the names of Grandma Wahl and The Blackwald, also in the terrain, mostly mountainous with thick dark forests. Even the architecture of the outlying towns and villages have a German fairytale feel.
- Patch 4.0.3a (2010-11-23): Added.
- ^ a b c d Lands of Conflict, 97
- ^ a b c d Lands of Conflict, 96
- ^ a b World of Warcraft: Cataclysm - Features - Worgen. Old World of Warcraft: Cataclysm site (US). Archived from the original on 2012-04-16.
- ^ For the Alliance section of Ask Creative Development Round 3
- ^ a b World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, 20
- ^ a b Lord of his Pack
- ^ Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness manual, 43
- ^ Kevin Kelly 2009-09-04. Blizzard interview: J. Allen Brack on World of Warcraft. WoW Insider.
- ^ Day of the Dragon, 5
- ^ Alliance Player's Guide, 158
- ^ Bashiok 2011-04-27. #11 - Gilneas............... Official Community > General Discussion forum (US).
- ^ Medievaldragon 2009-02-09. Chris Metzen & Micky Neilson Pocket Star Books Lore Q&A Video Interview. Blizzplanet.