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Earthen

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Earthen
Earthen Statue.jpg
Faction/Affiliation
Racial capital
Racial leader(s)
Homeworld
Language(s)

The earthen (sometimes referred to as early dwarves)[1][2] are stony titan-forged beings that were created by the Titanic Keepers to help shape the subterranean regions of the world during the ordering of Azeroth. Succumbing to the curse of flesh, most of the earthen became mortal creatures of flesh and blood known as dwarves. There remains a sizable population of earthen in Deepholm, Uldaman and Ulduar.

History

A frost giant and a group of earthen

Origins

Earthen (Northrend & Deepholm)

Following the war with the Old Gods, the titan keepers used the Forge of Wills to create new titan-forged races to help them reshape and order the world. Yet their first designs proved too complex and overambitious. Rather than making the perfect servants, they had created stone-skinned savages known as troggs. The keepers quickly refined and perfected their designs. The craggy, kindhearted earthen were the next generation of titan-forged to emerge from the Forge of Wills, created from magical, living stone.[1] The keepers were troubled by the troggs but they could not bear to destroy them. Instead, the titanic watcher Ironaya built a small subterranean vault known as Uldaman that would act as a stasis chamber for them. Other new titan-forged races were the clockwork mechagnomes, the stone-skinned mogu, the iron-skinned vrykul and the chiseled tol'vir. The earthen would specialize in crafting mountains and carving out the deep places of the world.[3][4]

Ancient times

Earthen (Eastern Kingdoms & Kalimdor)
Various Earthen

Created by the titans themselves,  [Val'anyr, Hammer of Ancient Kings] was given to the first earthen king, Urel Stoneheart. With the hammer he was to create and give life to the rest of his brethren.[5] Val'anyr was shattered during the first war between the earthen and the iron dwarves.

After the Pantheon's departure, the earthen were largely unconcerned with the affairs of the surface-dwelling races and longed only to plumb the dark depths of the earth.[6]

The sealing of the earthen

Keeper Loken had fallen under the Old God Yogg-Saron's sway, and taken control of Ulduar and the vast majority of the titan-forged armies. Keeper Tyr and his allies Keeper Archaedas and Watcher Ironaya gathered great numbers of titan-forged who dwelled around Ulduar and whom they saw as innocent victims of Loken's treachery. A large group of peaceful vrykul afflicted by the curse of flesh, most of the surviving earthen, and many of the mechagnomes agreed to flee with them. They traveled for weeks until they reached what would one day become known as the Tirisfal Glades. It is here that Tyr sacrificed himself fighting a C'Thrax monstrosity in order to allow the rest of the titan-forged to flee further south. The vrykul were so moved by the keeper's deeds that they decided to settle at the battle site and stand vigil over his grave until the end of days.

Archaedas, Ironaya and the earthen and mechagnomes continued south until they reached the easternmost titan-forged vault on Kalimdor, Uldaman. The keeper and the giantess expanded the site, carving out new chambers, and as years passed, some of the earthen exhibited signs of the Curse of Flesh. Fearing that the effects would only worsen, they asked to be placed in hibernation until a cure could one day be found. Archaedas agreed, promising to rouse them at some time in the future. He sealed his followers within the vast subterranean vaults. The mechagnomes, however, remained awake. Even though they knew the curse would one day overtake them as well, they heroically vowed to watch over the facility and maintain its wondrous machineries. A small number of the earthen had chosen not to be placed in stasis as well, deciding that they would watch over and maintain the facility alongside their mechagnomes companions.[3]

War of the Ancients

When the demons invaded Azeroth, many other earthen led by Dungard Ironcutter were convinced to join the resistance against the Burning Legion by the dragon-mage Krasus, even while being looked down upon by the night elves. It was a reluctant truce, as the earthen were called in by Krasus in defiance of the xenophobic commander Desdel Stareye. The earthen were initially put to the outskirts of the host, but after Stareye's demise, their warriors were put to their best use under the new commander, Jarod Shadowsong.[7]

Awakening

The earthen largely kept to themselves. They were unconcerned with the activities of the world's other races. Some earthen remained isolated underneath the icy mountains of Northrend. Others, who came south with Keeper Archaedas and the watcher Ironaya in an earlier age, dwelled or slumbered within the catacomb vaults of Uldaman. When the Great Sundering tore through Azeroth, many of the active earthen reeled from the catastrophe. They felt the pain of the broken world as their own. They tunneled deep within Uldaman and locked themselves away within the hibernation chambers alongside their sleeping brethren.

Only the mechagnomes remained to watcher over the facility. Yet they, too, eventually succumbed to the curse of flesh, causing them to turn into fleshy beings later known as gnomes. Physically and mentally debiliated, they lost all sense of purpose and left the halls of Uldaman. Only a handful of mechagnomes stayed in the facility, still driven by their titan-forged imperative. They gradually succumbed to the degradations of time until only one was left. This lone clockwork servant did her best to maintain Uldaman, until the curse of flesh began to chip away at her metallic form as well. Aware that she did not have much time left, the gnome worked to free the still slumbering earthen. With her dying breath, she activated the hibernation chambers.

The awakened earthen found that they had changed dramatically. Their rocky hides had softened and become smooth skin, they had become mortal creatures of flesh and blood. Calling themselves dwarves, the last of the earthen left the halls of Uldaman and ventured out into the waking world. They found themselves drawn to the west, where a range of magestic stone mountains towered into the clouds. Settling in the snowy region of Dun Morogh, and still lulled by the safety and wonders of the deep places, they founded a vast kingdom under and named their land Khaz Modan, or "Mountain of Khaz", in honor of the titan Khaz'goroth. They delved into the heart of Khaz Modan's tallest mountain and crafted an immense forge, around which they built a proud city called Ironforge.[3][6]

Physiology

The earthen's design maximizes strength and stamina without sacrificing cognitive processing power. The earthen's physical features are that of a smaller stature humanoid, though their composition is that of Azeroth's various stone core compounds. As such, they do not bleed.[8] Their skin and musculature are nearly impervious to physical damage, and with very minor modifications the earthen display a remarkable resiliency to unwanted magical forces.[4] Despite this, they are still capable of being mortally wounded.[8] Their beards are actually an intricate series of mineral growths. Some of them like to smoke pipes.[9]

Groups of earthen

Earthen Guardians located in Magni's Encampment in Silithus appear to be infused with Azerite.

Uldaman

Main article: #Awakening

The Uldaman facility is one of the facilities that the earthen were sealed in.[6] It came to contain destabilized earthen, and the original stony variant. The stone earthen remain there to this day. The facility also contain the Stonevault troggs.

Ulduar

Ulduar is one of the ancient titan cities where the earthen first took shape and form. It is said that after the War of the Ancients earthen reeled with the pain of the earth itself and lost much of their identity and sealed themselves within the city's stone chambers.[6] The earthen of Ulduar are currently lead by Bouldercrag the Rockshaper. They seem to be a subrace of earthen made of  [Enchanted Earth] (which may give them their unique look).[10] These earthen are incapable of bleeding.[11] They were forced out of their home by the iron dwarves, with whom they are at war. Kurun, a stone giant leads the earthen in Grizzly Hills in their war.

It is speculated that these earthen are the ones made by the Forge of Wills, and are immune to the Curse of Flesh.

Uldum

Uldum is one of the ancient titan cities where the earthen first took shape and form. It is said that after the War of the Ancients earthen reeled with the pain of the earth itself and lost much of their identity and sealed themselves within the city's stone chambers.[6] Earthen, like the Sandstone Earthen, exist in its Tanaris section, but no others can be found in the zone. See the Deepholm section below.

Stonetalon

Besides the ones near Uldum, only Goggeroc has been seen in Kalimdor.[12] The Resonite Crystals from Boulderslide Ravine in Stonetalon contain Earthen magic.[13]

Deepholm

Earthen, appearing similar to the Ulduar type, as opposed to the other earthen, can be found in Deepholm, the elemental plane of earth. They are lead by Stonefather Oremantle, and are battling the stone troggs.

The earthen and the stone troggs somehow found their way to Deepholm through Uldum more than fifteen thousand years ago. They've been warring ever since.[14] They may have come through the portal to Uldum there.[15]

Notable

Name Role Status Location
Neutral  Urel Stoneheart First king of the earthen, wielder of  [Val'anyr, Hammer of Ancient Kings] Deceased Unknown
Neutral  Bouldercrag the Rockshaper Leader of the Ulduar earthen Alive Bouldercrag's Refuge, Storm Peaks
Neutral  Dungard Ironcutter Earthen spokesman during the War of the Ancients Unknown Unknown
Neutral  Stonefather Oremantle Leader of the Deepholm earthen Alive Deepholm
Neutral  Flint Oremantle Son of Stonefather Oremantle Alive Deepholm
Combat  Goggeroc Slumbering in Boulderslide Ravine Removed Formerly Boulderslide Ravine, Stonetalon Mountains

In the RPG

The RPG Icon 16x36.png This section contains information from the Warcraft RPG which is considered non-canon.

The titans created two caretaker races to watch over and help reshape the world. The dwarves are placed in charge of maintaining the earth, while the sea giants watch over the waters.[16] The titans created the earthen to watch over the realms deep within the ground.[17]

The troggs were the mistaken first attempt at crafting a mortal race of guardians from living stone for Azeroth. When the titans saw how brutal and misshapen the troggs were, they buried them in the northern vault of Bael Modan (and other locations). The titan scientists referred to the successful second race experiment as Series Two. Series Two were the successful conclusion of the titan's experiments, called "earthen" in ancient times.[18]

Long thought to be merely myth, the troggs were the titans' first attempt at creating a race. The second attempt, entirely successful, produced the dwarves. Rather than destroy the troggs, the titans locked them deep beneath the earth where they slept for untold generations.[19]

Before the War of the Ancients, the dwarves are just beginning to develop their traditions and make the earliest of the technological innovations that will revolutionize the world.[20] Tinkers and even simple technology (phlogiston and gunpowder have yet to be discovered) are exceedingly rare in these days, found mostly among the dwarves.[20]

During the War of the Ancients, the dwarves sealed the gates of their underground cities, leaving the Kaldorei to face the demons on their own.[20] However, the night elves remember the dwarf race from their most ancient days, back before they were called "dwarves." They know that although their two races never had much contact, the earthen fought against the demons in both the War of the Ancients.[21] An underground war was fought by the earthen in the shadows to prevent the return of the demons to the world of the living.[22] The Kaldorei were known to the earthen. In the early histories of dwarves, the Kaldorei are shadowy figures of dark perfection wielding incredible god-like powers.[20]

When the Well collapsed, it took the world with it. Even in their distant fortresses, far from the Well, the dwarves feared for their lives as the very rocks around them shifted and crawled as though they were living creatures.[20]

Something happened to change the earthen, though, and they turned mortal, as they are now. Maybe it was the result of the War of the Ancients.[17]

They emerged into the world and wandered about, searching for a home.[17]

The race of dwarves awakened and emerged from the expansive titan-created city of Uldaman, located deep beneath the earth. They call their new civilization Khaz Modan.[23]

At this point, the dwarves have "awakened" from ancient times, shaken deeply by the Sundering and forgetting much of what they were as a race. Emerging from beneath the earth, they begin to explore their surroundings. Yet they no longer have skin of stone, but are flesh like other races — losing all knowledge of their racial heritage, especially knowledge of the titans who created them and of their purpose (to shape the world).[24]

Dwarven history tells little of this period. Except for occasional armed expeditions from one clanhold to another, they sealed themselves underground. They neither knew nor cared what went on outside their mountain homes.[25]

They have stone hides (or "rock skin") and are more "elemental" in nature.[22] They do not need to breathe and can tunnel around without shovels or picks.[17] They are immortal.[17]

Khaz'Goroth was the facility overseer of the facility near Bael Modan nearly 100,000 years ago. His scientists began the first series of experiments to create a race of stone, known as the "earthen". What was made here turned into troggs. When the titans saw how brutal and misshapen the troggs were, they buried them in the northern vault of the facility.[18]

Most pre-Sundering history was later forgotten as the earthen entered their slumber, and changed into the beings they are now. Brann Bronzebeard states in one of his books that when the humans first met the dwarves they just simply called them dwarves.

Back when we created Ironforge we had no idea that anyone else existed in the world. We didn’t even have a written language — everything was handed down by word of mouth. Naturally, facts became legends and legends became forgotten. The early dwarves were so busy mining and smithing their little hearts out that remembering the past just didn’t seem all that important. They got very, very good at smelting ore and making things, but that was about it. However, from what we know of those early days, my people were happy. Then, one day, a couple thousand years ago or so, the first humans appeared at the gates of Ironforge. We know this because human written tales of the day tell of the race of short, stocky, bearded master smiths who shared a great love of crafting and storytelling. Dwarves, they called us, and thus we are known today, even though at the time we didn’t know the word literally meant “diminutive.” Ah well, it could be worse — they could’ve called us "beard-men" or "rockheads" or something like that.[17]

Notes & trivia

Speculation

The Frostborn model is a recolored earthen model, including the head gem
Questionmark-medium.png
This article or section includes speculation, observations or opinions possibly supported by lore or by Blizzard officials. It should not be taken as representing official lore.

Frostborn

The frostborn use recolored earthen models. It is thus unsure if they are actually icy earthen, or dwarves who have adapted to their environment. They are however referred to as "frost dwarves" and, contrary to earthen,[8] are capable of bleeding.[28]

See also

References