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Stormwind Army

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AllianceStormwind Army
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Main leader
  Formerly
Secondary leaders
  Formerly
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Theater of operations
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Secondary languages
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Affiliation
  Formerly
Status

Active

The Stormwind Army,[1][2][3] is one of the principal military wings of the armed forces of the human Kingdom of Stormwind. Along with the fleet, the army constitutes Stormwind's primary military contribution to the forces of the Alliance,[citation needed] of which the kingdom is central.

The army has been an integral part of Stormwind's survival throughout the many events following its reconstruction after the Second War.

Naturally based from Stormwind City, the army has been deployed to a great many areas across Azeroth and beyond. Close to home in the Eastern Kingdoms, the Stormwind Army sees active duty in regions such as Elwynn Forest, Westfall, Duskwood, the Redridge Mountains, and the Swamp of Sorrows. In these cases, the army is mainly concerned with maintaining order and protecting the populace, or else expanding Stormwind's influence into new regions altogether.

In addition to this, the Stormwind Army has been deployed to markedly more exotic theaters. Forces served in the frigid continent of Northrend, the ruined world of Outland, and even in alternate Draenor as part of the war against the Iron Horde. In recent times, Stormwind's Army has engaged with the Burning Legion alongside the majority of Azeroth's armies, as they battle to drive the demons from the Broken Isles.

Due to the army's vast nature and great responsibilities, it has taken to deputizing heroes of the Alliance to fulfill certain duties on its behalf,[3] as well as formally inducting militia forces, such as the Westfall Brigade, into the armed forces.

In the Kingdom

The Stormwind Army is highly active throughout the Kingdom of Stormwind. Serving a variety of domestic functions, the army generally focuses on maintaining law and order, protecting the civilian populace, and expanding the kingdom's influence while dealing with any potential threats. Its main theaters of activity are located, like the kingdom itself, in the southern reaches of the Eastern Kingdoms.

Elwynn Forest

Forming the heartland of the Kingdom of Stormwind and serving as the location of Stormwind City itself, Elwynn Forest is thus a high priority for the Stormwind Army. Troops are deployed across the region to defend the numerous settlements dotting the forest. Large concentrations of troops are generally located at specific points, such as the Westbrook Garrison in the forest's west.

Well-garrisoned throughout Stormwind's history, Elwynn has also seen a great many problems originating from various sources, many of which have been directly confronted by the army. Murlocs have long plagued the region and have interfered or outright threatened the lives of its human citizens. The army has subsequently placed bounties on murloc fins in an attempt to cull their numbers.[4] Bounties have also been placed by the Stormwind Army on various other high-value targets that threaten the peace, such as the outlaw James Clark,[5] or the infamous gnoll chieftain Hogger.[6]

This system of bounties is mainly the result of the army being spread thin across the kingdom; many Alliance adventurers have answered the call by completing these missions throughout Elwynn Forest. As a result, the army has frequently been known to award Deputy status upon those willing to aid in the maintenance of the peace.[3]

The garrisons of Elwynn Forest have been known to commission local suppliers to keep the army properly equipped, one such example being the tailor Sara Timberlain.[7]

Cataclysm This section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.

Recently, the army has been deployed to repel an invasion of Blackrock clan orcs who have encroached upon the Northshire Vineyards and the surrounding valley. To help contain the threat, a detachment of the Stormwind Royal Guard was sent to bolster the area's local defenses. With the aid of Alliance heroes, they were once more successful in ending a major threat to Elwynn's security.

Westfall

Before the eventual return of King Varian Wrynn, the Stormwind Army (and the kingdom as a whole) experienced a period of decline, secretly orchestrated by the black dragon Onyxia disguised as Lady Katrana Prestor. Under her influence, the army largely pulled out of many of the fringe regions of the kingdom, such as Westfall, to dire effect.

Once the breadbasket of the Kingdom of Stormwind, Westfall fell into rapid disrepair and desolation, with most economic and agricultural processes ruined. With absence of Stormwind's military, the infamous Defias Brotherhood based itself from the region, utilizing the rampant resentment of Stormwindian authority. In an attempt to combat this threat, the People's Militia was formed by citizens of Westfall to maintain some semblance of order. One of their many responsibilities included suppressing the local gnoll population, ever a threat.[8]

Cataclysm This section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.

Following the return of King Varian, Stormwind's policy of neglect towards the region shifted rapidly. Troops were once more deployed to Westfall as a major campaign began to rebuild the ruined region. The People's Militia were subsequently inducted into the Stormwind Army, becoming the Westfall Brigade, and going on to serve in wars abroad.

Despite this turn of events for Westfall and the army's return, much changed with the advent of the War in Northrend. The high cost, both in manpower and resources, proved too much for the kingdom, and the region once more began to slide towards chaos. Order began to collapse, while large amounts of transients and homeless citizens gathered. Eventually, with their tour of duty in Northrend finished, the Westfall Brigade returned to their homeland to discover its fate. They immediately set about reestablishing law and order, while setting up a military base at Sentinel Hill.

The army, and in particular the Westfall Brigade, proved instrumental in defeating a resurgent Defias Brotherhood at the time of the Cataclysm, which had begun to thrive on the recent neglect shown to the region by Stormwind City. Though briefly losing control of Sentinel Hill, the army was reinforced by a battalion of troops sent by the King.[9] The insurrection was finally put down with the help of Alliance adventurers, and the army once more established firm control over the region.

Legion This section concerns content exclusive to Legion.

At the beginning of the Third invasion of the Burning Legion, numerous invasions were launched against various zones across Azeroth by the demonic forces of the Burning Legion. Westfall subsequently became a primary target (possibly due to its proximity to Stormwind) and the Stormwind Army was quickly pressed into service to repel the assault. Resistance was headed by Marshal Gryan Stoutmantle, based from Sentinel Hill. Forces consisting of Guardsmen, mages, gryphon riders, and knights were all deployed in the region, and with the aid of Alliance champions, the army ultimately prevailed.

Duskwood

When the Stormwind Army began to pull out of numerous areas of the kingdom under the influence of Lady Katrana Prestor, Duskwood saw itself quickly and completely abandoned by Stormwind. In the void left by the army, a local militia known as the Night Watch was formed to maintain order.

Cataclysm This section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.

Despite the return of King Varian Wrynn and the resurgence of the Stormwind Army, Duskwood has remained ungarrisoned by any troops. Owing to more serious demands elsewhere, as well as the sizeable task of guarding the dangerous forest, the Kingdom of Stormwind has refrained from making any effort the police the region, with the Night Watch continuing these duties from their base in Darkshire.

Redridge Mountains

During the period before King Varian Wrynn's return, the Stormwind Army did not pull out of the kingdom's easternmost region, the Redridge Mountains, as it had done with several other areas of the nation. Despite this, the army's presence in Redridge remained tenuous, with constant incursions from local gnoll forces and Blackrock orc armies. The situation became so dire that the army was eventually forced from the position of Stonewatch Keep, falling back to protect the major settlement of Lakeshire.[10]

Requests were sent by Magistrate Solomon to Stormwind City, describing the dismal situation and asking for additional reinforcements. General Marcus Jonathan promised that the army would help,[10] though it is implied it took a long time[11] and is unknown whether this aid arrived at all.

Cataclysm This section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.

Some time later, Alliance champions arrived in Redridge to help the beleaguered guards and soldiers in combating the region's many threats; the greatest of which took the form of a determined Dark Horde invasion from across the mountain range. Eventually, the orcs were defeated, largely thanks to the efforts of a reformed Bravo Company.

Abroad

The Stormwind Army has played a major part in many of the great and deciding conflicts that have taken place outside the Kingdom over the years, often serving as the Alliance's vanguard in dealing with a wide variety of threats. As such, the army has seen action across numerous continents, worlds, and even timelines.

Stranglethorn

Lying just to the south of the Kingdom's border, the jungles of Stranglethorn Vale have seen relatively little activity by the Stormwind Army. On one rare occasion, a military expedition led by Colonel Kurzen established itself just within the jungle at Kurzen's Compound. Before long, however, disaster struck as Kurzen himself descended into madness (the doing of the ogre mage Mai'Zoth[12]). Some members of the expedition subsequently rejected their leader's insanity and left, establishing the Rebel Camp not far from Kurzen's Compound.

From here, the army rebels continued to work against their former brethren, doing so in the interests of the kingdom. Some time later, it was discovered that Kurzen himself had been executed by his followers for "weakness", who nonetheless continued their unhinged plans.[13]

Swamp of Sorrows

The violence of the Bloodmire

Cataclysm This section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.

To combat an increasing Horde presence within the Swamp of Sorrows region around the time of the Cataclysm, the Kingdom of Stormwind deployed the army to the area. Under the command of Commander Joanna Blueheart, this Stormwindian army established a base at the port of Marshtide Watch. The army's objective became the checking of Horde advances from the recently resurgent settlement of Stonard nearby, a presence which lay perilously close to the Kingdom's borders.

The two sides clashed brutally upon the Bloodmire, the region lying evenly between Marshtide and Stonard. The battle gradually escalated, drawing in more and more forces from both sides, and eventually involving heavy shock troops such as mounted knights,[14] ogres, and even siege weapons. Despite heavy losses for both sides, the Stormwind Army eventually gained the upper hand, forcing the Horde forces back to Stonard itself. A subsequent attempt to seize the settlement was fought off by Stonard's defenders, though the position remains threatened.[15]

Blasted Lands

The Kingdom of Stormwind historically maintained a constant presence at Nethergarde Keep in the Blasted Lands in order to keep careful watch over the looming Dark Portal.[citation needed] The Stormwind Army thus provided the fortress with support, as Alliance heroes also aided in its continued security.

TBC This section concerns content exclusive to The Burning Crusade.

The Dark Portal was eventually reopened by the demon Lord Kazzak, who ushered forth large forces of demons from the broken world of Outland. A large contingent of Stormwind Marshals under the command of Lord Marshal Raynor was dispatched by Stormwind to aid in the defense of the region, and in pushing back the invasion.

WoD This section concerns content exclusive to Warlords of Draenor.

Similarly to before, the army was deployed along the 7th Fleet in the Blasted Lands shortly before the onset of the War in Draenor. This time, in response to the Iron Horde's sacking of Nethergarde Keep, the Shattered Beachhead was established north of Shattershore. Marines, cannoneers, sea wolves, and sailors were sent under the command of Vindicator Maraad to force back the Ironmarch.

Kalimdor

For the most part, the Stormwind Army has remained un-involved in the affairs of the continent of Kalimdor. Although the Alliance and Horde have clashed regularly across the landmass, the forces of the Alliance have mostly been led by either the night elf armies of Darnassus in the north and west, or by those of the city of Theramore around Kalimdor's center.

The only direct deployment of Stormwind's army to Kalimdor in recent times occurred during the Siege of Orgrimmar, the climax of the Alliance-Horde War. Working in tandem with the Darkspear Rebellion and other Horde factions, King Varian Wrynn sent a large force of Alliance troops to Durotar itself, to aid in the ongoing siege against Garrosh Hellscream's True Horde. Among this multi-racial force were many elements of the Stormwind Army, who were involved in spearheading the assault on Bladefist Bay and pushing Hellscream's forces deeper into the city.[16]

Outland

TBC This section concerns content exclusive to The Burning Crusade.

Having repelled an invasion by the Burning Legion through the Dark Portal in Blasted Lands, the Alliance and Horde pushed the demons back through to the barren world of Outland. There, the mortals fought ceaselessly to secure and hold the Stair of Destiny on the other side. Operating under Commander Duron, the Alliance's forces consisted of troops from every one of the faction's races. Prominent among these were soldiers from the Stormwind Army, who fought alongside their fellow allies and the Horde to throw endless waves of demons back from their invasion points in Hellfire Peninsula.

To support the Alliance's armies in Outland, numerous portals were opened back to Stormwind City,[17] utilizing the kingdom's resources to further the war effort. With a connection reestablished with the humans at Honor Hold, the Alliance was now a firm presence on the world, and set about dealing with any and all threats.

Northrend

The fortress of Valiance Keep

WotLK This section concerns content exclusive to Wrath of the Lich King.

When the awakened Lich King and his Undead Scourge armies began to threaten the stability of Azeroth, the Stormwind Army was one of many forces deployed to defeat the undead. At the outset of the War against the Lich King, Scourge forces assaulted Stormwind City itself, clashing with Stormwind's troops throughout the area. Eventually, these attacks were repelled, and the Alliance and Horde began to prepare for a monumental expedition to the Scourge's home in the frigid continent of Northrend.

The Stormwind Army subsequently formed the majority of the subsequent Valiance Expedition to Northrend, itself a part of the even larger Alliance Vanguard. In the ensuing campaign, Stormwind's armies would see action in almost every region of the continent.

The Borean Tundra acted as one of the army's major staging points, as they operated from the base at Valiance Keep against both the Scourge and the expedition's Horde equivalent, the Warsong Offensive. Early on, the the expedition's forces were successful in driving off numerous threats, including a large Scourge siege of Valiance Keep. On the other side of the continent in the Howling Fjord, more forces from Stormwind established a similar position at the port of Valgarde. Though no Scourge armies were present, the expedition still had to face highly determined attacks by the local Dragonflayer clan of vrykul. Once again, Alliance and Stormwindian forces would clash with Horde elements in the vicinity, this time the forsaken Hand of Vengeance based out of Vengeance Landing.

The Stormwind Army consistently maintained a major presence within Northrend's central region of Dragonblight. High Commander Halford Wyrmbane and the 7th Legion would operate from the large fortress of Wintergarde Keep, which would eventually be besieged by the infamous Scourge necropolis Naxxramas. After a long battle, the 7th Legion would ultimately succeed in breaking the siege and driving the undead back. To the west, Highlord Bolvar Fordragon marshaled his armies around Fordragon Hold, located just outside Angrathar the Wrathgate, in preparation for an assault on the Lich King's base in Icecrown. In an unprecedented event, the Alliance and Horde forces working together to take the Wrathgate were dramatically betrayed by Grand Apothecary Putress and a rogue faction of forsaken. The ensuing disaster cost both the Alliance and Horde dearly, and dealt a particularly heavy blow to the Kingdom of Stormwind, who subsequently lost one of their greatest heroes in addition to thousands of soldiers.

Even following the setback at the Wrathgate, the army continued to take an active part in the war against the Scourge. When Azeroth's armies eventually invaded Icecrown itself, Stormwindian troops were involved in attacking and seizing parts of the region. Another large defeat was suffered at the hands of both the Horde and the Scourge, when an attack against Scourge forces holding Mord'rethar: The Death Gate was hit from behind by Horde elements. Personally taking part in the final assault on Icecrown Citadel to defeat the Lich King once and for all, King Varian Wrynn ordered the deployment of numerous regiments of the Stormwind Army to help take control of the fortress. Alliance and Horde forces once more clashed during this engagement.

With the eventual defeat of the Lich King atop Icecrown Citadel, the War in Northrend came to a decisive conclusion. The majority of the Stormwind Army now returned home, having distinguished itself during the campaign. The incredible cost in lives, however, was felt dearly at home. Memorial services were held regularly for years to come in Stormwind's Cathedral of Light to honor the tens of thousands of Stormwindians who fell.[18]

Pandaria

MoP This section concerns content exclusive to Mists of Pandaria.

With the rediscovery of the lost continent of Pandaria, tensions between the Alliance and Horde began to flare once more. Though several major naval battles occurred between the two sides from early in the conflict, the Stormwind Army saw its first action with the launch of Operation: Shieldwall, where a sizeable Alliance invasion fleet landed on the shores of the Krasarang Wilds. From the base at Lion's Landing, Stormwindian troops and other Alliance soldiers established themselves and quickly began working to oppose the Horde's Dominance Offensive based from the nearby Domination Point.

The Stormwind Army played a minor role in the event known as the Purge of Dalaran, largely supporting the efforts of Lady Jaina Proudmoore as she forcibly removed all traces of the Horde from the city.[19]

Draenor

WoD This section concerns content exclusive to Warlords of Draenor.

When the future of Azeroth was threatened once more by the arrival of the Iron Horde from a distant timeline, the army of Stormwind was once more called into action alongside the world's other nations. Both the Alliance and Horde spearheaded attacks to drive back the invaders, eventually pushing them back through the Dark Portal to their alternate version of Draenor. Led by Vindicator Maraad, the Alliance armies that would advance into the orcish home world contained a large Stormwindian element.

To establish itself on Draenor, the Alliance constructed numerous bases across the continent. The most prominent of these included Stormshield on the island of Ashran, the Lunarfall Garrison of Shadowmoon Valley, and the position at Southport in the Spires of Arak. In these cases, the majority of the settlements' strength was drawn from the Kingdom of Stormwind and the Stormwind Army. In Ashran in particular, these forces would clash with those of the Horde, based from nearby Warspear, over possession of the island and its valuable resources.

As the War in Draenor gradually progressed, the battle moved to Tanaan Jungle, where the remainder of the Iron Horde had allied itself with the Burning Legion. Alliance forces, heavily supported by the Stormwind Army, subsequently established a base in the jungle known as Lion's Watch from which they prosecuted their campaign against the orcs and demons based out of Hellfire Citadel.

Broken Isles

The memorial to the fallen at Lion's Rest

Legion This section concerns content exclusive to Legion.

When the Third invasion of the Burning Legion began following the conclusion of the War in Draenor, the forces of almost every faction in Azeroth were subsequently marshaled to drive the demons back to save the world. Such was the gravity of the situation that the Alliance and Horde united their armies for a singular assault on the Legion's base of power on Azeroth, the Tomb of Sargeras on the Broken Isles. The Stormwind Army was personally led on the field by King Varian Wrynn, and fought fiercely alongside the other races of the Alliance in the ensuing Battle for the Broken Shore.

Despite the great size of the armies facing the Legion, the demons' numbers eventually began to overwhelm the beleaguered mortals. Having suffered heavy losses, Stormwindian forces and the rest of the Alliance and Horde fighters initiated a desperate retreat from the Broken Shore. Sacrificing himself to save his remaining forces, King Varian was ultimately slain by the warlock Gul'dan. The battle proved a military disaster for those resisting the Legion's invasion, though the offensive against the demons continued.

Following the defeat, Alliance forces returned to Stormwind City to begin preparing for the next assault on the Broken Isles. With the death of Varian Wrynn, his son Anduin was crowned King of Stormwind, in doing so becoming the new leader of Stormwind's armed forces. A memorial was later erected in Stormwind's former Park District in honor of Varian, as well as all those Alliance soldiers who fell during the battle.

History

Old era

Stub.png Please add any available information to this section.

Its army successfully managed to defend the Kingdom of Stormwind during the Gnoll War and the Gurubashi War. The arrival of the Horde, however, led to their defeat during the First War. When King Llane fell sir Anduin Lothar had no other choice than to declare the war lost and save what remained by gathering the tattered remnants of the army and as many civilians as he could to lead them in a desperate retreat across the Great Sea. After their tumultuous escape by boats the Stormwind refugees eventually landed on the coast of Lordaeron and settled near Southshore,[20] which led to the Stormwindian army defending the Hillsbrad Foothills during the Second War.[21]

After the end of the conflict, the forces of Stormwind traveled back to their homeland. They defended their territories during the Invasion of Draenor, but sat out mostly intact of the Third War.

World of Warcraft

WoW Icon 16x16.png This section concerns content exclusive to World of Warcraft.

In the past, the Stormwind Army has been criticized sharply by prominent officials within the kingdom for its apparent inability to respond to threats effectively. In particular, the regions of Westfall, Duskwood, and Redridge Mountains suffered significantly from the army's lack of support in the period preceding the return of King Varian Wrynn. The inaction of the army was mainly the result of the actions of Lady Katrana Prestor (the guise of the black dragon Onyxia) who sought to weaken the Kingdom as a whole. Even in occupied territories, the army had to rely on the help of adventurers as its soldiers were low in numbers.

The blow to the army's standing was greatly magnified by the outright abandonment of certain regions of the kingdom, most notably Duskwood. This abandonment led to the formation of several militias, such as the People's Militia in Westfall and the Night Watch in Duskwood. Following the return of King Varian Wrynn, however, there has been serious reform in the actions of the Stormwind Army. Free from internal political intrigue, the army has reasserted itself in many neglected parts of the world, once more bolstering Stormwind's influence.

Organization

The Stormwind Army appears to be divided into at least two distinct sections: the domestic Stormwind Guard that garrison and protect the Kingdom of Stormwind itself, and the more offensive armies that are deployed abroad to defend the interests of Stormwind and the Alliance. What exactly determines one's posting in this regard is unclear, though troops fighting in the field are presumably better trained or armed than local guards serving peacekeeping functions.

Other areas of the armed forces, such as the Stormwind Fleet, tend to work very closely with the army to ensure success, while other organisations such as SI:7 are also known to supplement the army in the field.

Though recruits for the army are drawn from all across the kingdom, groupings within the army (such as brigades) are often organized according to the region or city of origin. The Westfall Brigade, for example, is presumably composed exclusively of Westfall residents, lending the unit a sense of belonging, and the soldiers within a certain level of unity. Unit Goldshire and Unit Darkshire were similarly active units during the war against the Lich King.

Hierarchy

A list of some military ranks within the Alliance and Stormwind Army

Within the Stormwind Army, there are numerous ranks that denote the level of authority given to a certain individual. At the very top of this chain of command is the monarch of the Kingdom of Stormwind, currently his highness King Anduin Wrynn.

In the event the monarch is absent, or otherwise unable to fulfill their duties, a Regent may instead act as head of military matters, as evidenced by Anduin Lothar's and Bolvar Fordragon's past roles as Regents of Stormwind.

The Generals presumably rank next highly, although certain specific positions such as Highlord or High Commander represent a similarly high rank. Beyond this, the hierarchy follows a generally standard system, ending at the bottom with the rank of Private. Although Private is the lowest enlisted rank, the army has been known to recruit militia troops on occasion, who likely rank even lower due to the impermanent nature of their position.

For the most part, promotion within the Stormwind Army functions as a meritocracy, with high ranks being given to those who prove themselves, rather than along aristocratic lines. There exist numerous examples of army members rising rapidly through the ranks to attain extremely high positions of command, as evidenced by Commander Taylor's rise from Captain to Admiral.

Units

First and Second Wars
Modern

Divisions

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WoW Icon 16x16.png This section concerns content exclusive to World of Warcraft.

Notable members

Notes

  • It is not known if the Stormwind Army had the same name prior to World of Warcraft.

Gallery

Speculation

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.
  • The name Stormwind Guard is often used interchangeably with that of the Stormwind Army; it may be an alternate name for the organization or a large subgroup within it.
    • The Stormwind Garrison(s) name[23] may be an alternate name for both.
  • While ostensibly a part of the Stormwind Army, the Stormwind Royal Guard rarely serve a military function, instead dedicating themselves to the personal protection of the monarch of the Kingdom of Stormwind. Members of the Royal Guard are presumably drawn from the regular ranks of the Stormwind Army.
  • The Stormwind Defense[24] may be an alternate name or a subgroup.
  • The Stormwind Marshals[25] may be an alternate name or a subgroup.

References