|This article or section should likely be dramatically changed after the Cataclysm expansion.
- This article is about the city known as Stormwind. For other uses, see Stormwind.
Stormwind City (a.k.a. New Stormwind or simply Stormwind) is located north of Elwynn Forest on Azeroth's northwest coast, and is the capital city of the kingdom known as Stormwind and the largest human city of Azeroth. However the city-state also controls or influences other territories, which include Elwynn Forest, Northshire Valley, the Redridge Mountains, Westfall, and Duskwood.
Recent events have led to the eventual return of King Varian Wrynn to his homeland and his rightful throne. In his absence his son Anduin Wrynn was temporarily crowned king. Due to his young age, Highlord Bolvar Fordragon was made regent until Varian returned home or Anduin came of age. Along with Bolvar's aid, the mysterious Lady Katrana Prestor helped the child king rule the city. The city is named for the occasional sudden squalls created by a ley line pattern in the mountains around the glorious city, and is one of the last great human cities. The city itself has been rebuilt at least once, and is a marvel of human design and engineering. Its guards keep the peace within the city's walls.
Stormwind firmly backs the Alliance, and its knights, priests, paladins and mages served in the three wars against the Horde. Primarily a human settlement, a fair number of high elves, Ironforge dwarves, and even a few night elves and gnomes dwell here as well. Stormwind City is the home of the Academy of Arcane Sciences, the only remaining school of wizardry in the east, and the Cathedral of Light, the philosophical capital for those who follow the Holy Light. These edifices draw healers, priests, paladins and mages to the city, all of whom bolster Stormwind’s military. King Varian Wrynn rules from Stormwind Keep. Rumor has it that Wrynn employs a secret society, the Stormwind Assassins, who are spies and saboteurs wielding royal carte blanche. "Unaffected by the ravages of the Scourge in the north, Stormwind still faces its own threats, both from without and within."
It was the humans' main base of operations and the last city to fall to the Orcish Horde's offensive during the First War. Anduin Lothar took what was left of the people and led their exodus to Lordaeron.
The city was reconstructed and named New Stormwind, rebuilt on the same location as original Stormwind City. It is not common to call the city New Stormwind by the time of World of Warcraft, but usually simply Stormwind City.
People and culture
Stormwind is the jewel of the Alliance in Azeroth. The oldest and grandest human city, it has weathered three wars, ransacking by the orcs, and invasions by the Alliance to take it back. Although mostly a human city, Stormwind does house dwarves, high elves, night elves, and other Alliance races. It opens its gates to all Alliance members to participate in trade within the city limits. Most of the city's coffers are filled with the taxes taken from merchants in the busy market. Every night at sunset the Cathedral of Light rings a solitary bell whose sweet pitch reaches the entire city. This is for the night elves, who are unaccustomed to living within cities. A day of mourning is set aside for the high elves, remembering Dalaran's destruction. The ale pours free for every dwarf in the city during the holy birthday of Anvil Stormglaive. It also holds celebrations for the Third War veterans, to honor the citizens of all Alliance races who fought in the war.
Stormwind's climate is warm, the skies clear, and the seasons generally temperate. Thus, clothes in the city are composed of light fabric for the most part. Color choices usually are bold: whites, reds, blues, oranges, and yellows. Although one might assume the climate would call for as little clothing as possible, the inhabitants of Stormwind prefer light fabric, but lots of it. Humans usually wear long-sleeved tunics, billowy trousers, leather boots, and sometimes even ridiculously large, floppy hats for excessively sunny days.
The high elves generally copy the humans' fashions here, though there are some high elves who prefer to set themselves apart. Although Stormwind is well-defended, the city guard usually wears only light armor to handle the occasional thief or bandit. The paladins will don their full plate during ceremonies and when they ride out of the city on business defending Elwynn Forest or the surrounding areas, but around the city they wear nothing more than the breastplate that identifies them as paladins. A third force in the city is dedicated to maintaining the peace. In addition, a guild of assassins works behind the scenes with the blessings of the king and the Stormwind ruling council. When solving an "inconvenient" problem would go against the tenets of the Holy Light, the Stormwind Assassins are called. They deal with matters quickly and efficiently, and few questions are asked.
The city's nobility strive for power, while manipulating others and shrouding their sins in secrecy. A few exceptional nobles, however, do try to tend to the city the best they can. The priests, meanwhile, uphold the tenets of the Holy Light, although some have become more political than religious. The guard is generally uncorrupted and has a close relationship to the carefree citizens of Stormwind.
Opposition to the Horde, Scourge, Burning Legion, and Shadow are near requirements to live in the city. Anyone who speaks out in support of these groups, of even suggests it, is likely to be hanged or driven out, for these beliefs are enforced like law by the will of the common man.
Most citizens of the city are practitioners of the Holy Light, and nearly all at least respect it. The religion is tied closely to the government, for the church has enough political influence to directly impact the actions the King decides to take.
Those criminals who survive arrest and trial reside in one of the city's two prisons. Common criminals from pickpockets to murderers stay in the Stockade. More dangerous types — demons, rogue mages, and the like — are left to rot in the Vault, which is surrounded on all sides by water.
- See also: Stormwind City NPCs
King Varian Wrynn, having recently returned, rules from his throne in Stormwind Keep with his son, Anduin Wrynn, by his side. By the time of Varian's return, Lady Prestor's true identity has been fully uncovered and brave adventurers have already dispatched her. Highlord Bolvar Fordragon, former regent of Stormwind, was sent off to Northrend to command the main Alliance forces stationed there. Grand Admiral Jes-Tereth is the officer in charge of the kingdom's fleet. In the Cathedral of Light, Archbishop Benedictus presides over the clergy of Light. In the Valley of Heroes General Marcus Jonathan stands sentinel on his horse, flanked by his topmost commanding officers, Major Mattingly and Field Marshal Afrasiabi. Other guild masters include High Sorcerer Andromath and Master Mathias Shaw, in charge of Stormwind wizards and thieves guilds, respectively.
Places and people
The city is made up of roughly rectangular districts separated by canals.
Valley of Heroes
- The Valley of Heroes (area beyond and including the city gate)
Stormwind is the largest of the surviving human kingdoms remaining on Azeroth. Connected through both sea access and the newly-built underground railroad, Stormwind proudly swings its doors wide open for adventurers of the entire Alliance. Humans, dwarves, gnomes, high elves, and night elves all have their own little niche in the capital city, making Stormwind a true melting pot of cultures.
Stormwind City's great gates tower over the treetops of Elwynn Forest. Beyond them lies The Valley of Heroes, a beautiful natural basin spanned by a majestic bridge leading to the city's trade district. The bridge is lined with enormous statues depicting some of the greatest heroes of the Second War — the brave men, high elves, and dwarves who stepped into the Dark Portal to bring an end to the war in the scarred land of Draenor itself. These brave fighters are all the more legendary due to their inconclusive fate — did they perish behind the portal, or do they still live in the shattered lands beyond? Many who see the monuments lament the loss of these great heroes and wonder if Azeroth will ever be graced by bravery as steadfast as theirs.
"It bustles with trade from across the continent and beyond."
The Trade District lies in the center of Stormwind City and is always bustling with activity. The city's bank, auction house, gryphon master, and inn are all located within. In addition, consumers find plenty of outlets for their coin in the various equipment shops nearby. For those with a taste for the delectable, the Trias and Gallina families run cheese and wine shops out of the Trade District as well.
- Old Town (eastern district) "Adventurers of every sort can be found wandering the streets of Old Town."
To the east of the Trade District is Old Town, the resurrected remains of the small village that was once clustered around the base of Stormwind Keep back in the days before the First War. Though quaint, this district is a bit more rough around the edges. Pickpockets, beggars, and the impoverished try to make a living in its alleys. Though all businesses are honest, their inventories can be a bit exotic - poisons, venoms, assassin's daggers, and potent alcohol are all on the menu in Old Town. Fortunately, the Stormwind guard barracks are located along the edges of Old Town, so those traveling through have little reason to worry. However, the barracks share their edifice with SI:7, a guild of assassins and rogues. Whether the Stormwind guards enjoy the presence of their neighbors is difficult to figure out.
- The Mage Quarter (western district)
To the west of the Trade District is the Mage Quarter. Though Stormwind had a handful of able mages among its ranks during the Second War, the arrival of the dispossessed wizards of Dalaran signaled Stormwind's importance as the world's new center of magical study. The Academy of Arcane Arts and Sciences stands proudly in the center of the district, and the tower is so packed with students that it is often on fire, encased in ice, or half-hidden behind a curtain of sparkling arcane energy. The rest of the district is filled with tailoring shops, warehouses storing magical artifacts and reagents, and bustling coffeehouses and bars filled to the brim with mages and warlocks. During the First War, Stormwind utilized the services of the mysterious conjurers, but they no longer have any presence in the city.
- The Park (north-western district)
North of The Mage Quarter is the Park. Though there was once a time when the Park was merely a park, today it serves as the home for the biggest concentration of night elves in the Eastern Kingdoms. Though the other Alliance races have a long way to go before understanding the strange ways of the night elves, it is not a rare sight to see them all mingling in Stormwind's park. At its center the Park contains a Moonwell, one of only a handful in the Eastern Kingdoms. Strangely, this moonwell does not visibly glow like those found in other locations, although it still possesses sufficient power to purify felcloth. In Cataclysm, The Park will be destroyed by Deathwing.
To the north of the Trade District is Cathedral Square, the religious mecca for all followers of the Holy Light. Though Stormwind Keep is the biggest structure in Stormwind City, many believe the most awe-inspiring is the Cathedral of Light. Even the druidic night elves are filled with wonder when they look upon its tall white towers and imposing architecture. Within the cathedral are the most faithful and true paladins and priests of the human race. The bishops at the cathedral are on a lifelong quest to bring the light to the darkest places on Azeroth, and all are welcome within the cathedral's walls as long as their journey is one of good and not evil. Other notable locations in the square include the city's orphanage (inhabited by many sons and daughters of families who lost their lives during the three wars) and the city census, where Stormwind's architects and researchers try to find ways to improve the quality of life in the human city.
To the east of Cathedral Square is the Dwarven District, where the dwarves and gnomes of Ironforge carve a slice of Stormwind life out for themselves. The air is thick with smoke and sparks, and the ground trembles with the pounding of anvils, but to many it feels just like a home should. A trove of weapon and armor shops line the streets, and blacksmiths create masterpieces out of common metals in the many open-air plazas. Many adventurers pass through the Dwarven District on their way to the Deeprun Tram, a marvel of gnomish engineering and fast transport to the city of Ironforge. The massive spinning cog that frames the entrance to the tram tunnel cannot be missed.
Canals and the prisons
- The Canals (separating all districts)
Each district is bordered by shimmering blue canals and linked by bridges spanning over them. Anglers fish from the many docks in the city, the freshwater fish within perfect quarry for the beginning fisherman. There are two fortifications that rise from the waters in Stormwind - both are prisons for the lawless and evil. The Stockade is accessible from the Mage Quarter and holds murderers, thieves, and corrupted stonemasons. Recently, riots have begun to break out within the Stockade - the most recent of which resulted in the hasty evacuation of all the Stormwind guards within. The city now actively seeks adventurers to enter the prison and end the riots by their own hand. A similar prison, The Vault, is surrounded by water on all sides and seems to be holding out fine - for now. It is unknown if the demons, mages, and undead within will one day rise up as well.
- Stormwind Keep (between Old Town and the Dwarven District)
Finally, the crown of Stormwind City remains Stormwind Keep. Rising high between the Dwarven District and Old Town, the keep is an architectural triumph for the ages. Within are many librarians, nobles, and representatives of the human peoples as well as the Battlemasters who organize adventurers of the Alliance into armies ready to march on the battlegrounds of Warsong, Alterac, and Arathi. It is home to King Varian Wrynn, who has recently returned after being kidnapped by the Defias while on a diplomatic mission to Kalimdor. In the absence of his father, Anduin Wrynn watched over the city in his fathers stead. Lady Katrana Prestor and Highlord Bolvar Fordragon aided the ten-year-old king in his rule, though many remain critical of Stormwind's interim government. Accusations of corruption within the House of Nobles ultimately led to the source of this discord, and the dispatching of the shadowy Lady Prestor by brave heroes.
- Stormwind Harbor (between the Park and Cathedral Square)
The harbor is located in the most northern area bordering the Great Sea, with the access point set between the Park and Cathedral Square. Stormwind City towers over the harbor, with cannons stationed all along the walls. A major transportation hub, the docks are teeming with all sorts of activity. Both of the most outer docks are currently in use, connecting to Valiance Keep in the Borean Tundra and replacing the Menethil Harbor ↔ Auberdine line connecting the Eastern Kingdoms to Northern Kalimdor. Siege engines are also dotted throughout the area, and at the northern tip one can find a large shipyard. If you are friendly enough, Thargold Ironwing will grant you a free aerial tour through the entire region.
CataclysmThis section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.
- The Canals – Canal Crabs added
- Cathedral Square – gazebo added behind cathedral; very large city cemetery added nearby; cathedral has room only on the right now for trainers, also has a path leading beneath with 80+ level mobs
- Dwarven District – bank, auction house, and inn added
- Mage Quarter – path added to cut across quarter, rather than up and around
- Old Town – Command Center and SI:7 had walls near their entrances removed; riding instructor added here for ground mounts
- Park – completely destroyed; a druid trainer managed to escape in time and is found in a house north of the Dwarven District in Stormwind
- Stormwind Keep – path leading to throne room now open air and redesigned (grand walkway, fountain); throne room redesigned; garden area before the Library now has a view overlooking a lake. Genn Greymane is present here, standing next to Varian.
- Trade District – Auction house and bank both revamped; riding instructor added for flying mounts (at flight master)
- Valley of Heroes - the Danath Trollbane Statue has been destroyed, with only the feet remaining. The rest of the Statue fell into the water.
- Other – several water areas have been added near the Dwarven District and Stormwind Keep; Portal added to Exodar
The worgen district originally planned for Stormwind City is now set to be in Darnassus.
Points of interest
- The Bank in the southwestern part of the Trade District.
- The Gryphon master on the walls of the city, from the southeastern part of the Trade District.
- The City Hall in the northeastern edge of Cathedral Square.
- The Royal Library is in Stormwind Keep, down the first left hall and to the right of the atrium park.
- The Wizard's Sanctum in the Mage Quarter has a magical Dimensional Gateway. Also known as the Academy of Arcane Arts and Sciences, it is one of the world's centers of arcane studies.
- The Auction House is located in the center of the Trade District.
- There are several mailboxes in Stormwind. The most popular of them is located between the bank and the inn. Another is placed outside various taverns; the Pig & Whistle in Old Town, one outside the Blue Recluse in the Mage Quarter, and one outside a nameless tavern in the Park.
- Interesting fact, each section of the town has at least one tavern, if not more. Unfortunately many of the taverns are devoid of NPCs, which may be a bit discouraging. On the other hand, this allows players to use the taverns for roleplaying.
- Morgan's Vigil
- Sentinel Hill
- Rebel Camp
- Nethergarde Keep
- Thorium Point
- Booty Bay
- Stormwind City is the only Alliance capital that has an instance within the city borders. This is convenient for repairing and selling afterward.
- Stormwind City contains the Officer barracks for the Alliance, and thus access to all the special PvP gear.
- Stormwind City is the only Alliance city with all class trainers present (including druid and shaman).
- Stormwind City's role as a hangout for high-level players has fluctuated over the years. Since patch 1.10, it has risen in popularity compared to Ironforge (though this may vary by server). Stormwind City is now only two boat rides (or a tram ride) away from every other Alliance city as well as Northrend, making it extremely attractive to adventurers of all races.
- Clavicus Knavingham has the Stormwind repeatable Runecloth quest used by non-human Alliance players to obtain the right to ride horses.
- Night elves and draenei on mechanostriders can ride through the Stormwind bank door; all other Alliance mounts make these two races too high to fit.
- Somewhat bizarrely, the barred instance portal said to be the entrance to the yet-to-be-implemented player housing appears to be on the opposite side of the wall from the moat.
- Look into List of Stormwind NPCs for a list of questgivers in the area.
- If you are a low level mana user and want to save gold, there is an endless supply of Ice Cold Milk scattered around Stormwind City in barrels. While it is arguably not worth the tedium of finding them for most races, a dwarf with treasure finding can effortlessly harvest a stack or two of milk quickly.
- Stormwind City used to be a big target for Horde players to kite the end-game boss Lord Kazzak and then set him loose within the city. Kazzak has since been moved to Hellfire Peninsula.
- Stormwind City is arguably the largest city in the game after the addition of Stormwind Harbor. It is only rivaled by Silvermoon City and Shattrath City. Dalaran and Darnassus used to be some of the biggest, but they were measured otherwise.
- Stormwind City has the largest area out of Kalimdor dedicated and inhabitated by Night Elves.
- Stormwind City has the largest amount of High Elves than any other area of the world, with the majority of the population living there.
- Patch 1.4.0 (2005-05-05): Patrolling scouts that can see through stealth and invisibility have been added to Stormwind City.
- ^ Lands of Conflict, 52
- ^ World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, 13
- ^ The (Un)Official World of Warcraft RPG Errata
- ^ Farseer Umbrua, Emissary Taluun, Lieutenant Tristia, Jovil
- ^ a b c World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, pg. 13.
- ^ Lands of Conflict, pg.52
- ^ Lands of Conflict, 60
- ^ World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, pg. 16.
- ^ More Magic and Mayhem, pg. 47.
- ^ a b c d e World of Warcraft manual, ??
- ^ Warcraft II: Battle.net Edition, pg. 84
- ^ Goldshire official multiplayer map.
- ^ Lands of Conflict, pg. 52-53.
- ^ Frejya’s (MVP) Cataclysm Compilation