The Wildhammer dwarves are renowned for their close bond with gryphons, they treat these animals as equals in battle instead of pets, leading to numerous successes in the Second and Third Wars. They also value nature and have close ties to shamanism. The bulk of their people are led by the eponymous Wildhammer clan. The ancient fortress of Grim Batol was once a massive Wildhammer dwarf city, though it was lost following the War of the Three Hammers.
- 1 History
- 2 Region
- 3 Appearance and equipment
- 4 Relations
- 5 Culture
- 6 Nomenclature
- 7 Notable
- 8 In the RPG
- 9 Warcraft Adventures: Lord of the Clans
- 10 Notes
- 11 Gallery
- 12 See also
- 13 References
- For the history of the Wildhammer people, see the history section on Wildhammer clan.
The Wildhammer dwarves are a diverse race of dwarves composing of many familiar clans. Thus, they have many holdings that each individual clan claims as their home, but not a specific capital. The Hinterlands Wildhammer clan for example, hails from Aerie Peak in the Hinterlands of Lordaeron, a region as yet untouched by the Scourge. Since Aerie Peak was where High Thane Khardros Wildhammer led his Wildhammers to settle after the War of the Three Hammers, it is a prominent and respected Wildhammer city. Many Wildhammer clans also hail from the Twilight Highlands (formerly the Highlands), the original land where their former capital, Grim Batol, was established.
Appearance and equipment
Wildhammer dwarves are taller, leaner, and wilder than their earthier Ironforge cousins. Wildhammers are similar in appearance to Ironforge dwarves, though they have different skin tones in comparison to their cousins. Where the Ironforge dwarves range from tan to pale and ashy, Wildhammers are near exclusively tan, with some having nearly orange-toned skin.
Wildhammer riders favor stormhammers. Wildhammers are all adorned in war-paint like tattoos and often wear leather garb embossed with gryphon or flight-related iconography. Gryphon feathers are also common amongst Wildhammer adornments. Unlike their cousins to the south, the Wildhammers do not use an extensive amount of engineering; to the point where there are few guns seen amongst the Wildhammers, and instead of siege tanks and other gun-powder weapons, they use catapults. The most instrumental part of Wildhammer warfare is that of their gryphons, whom they rule over the skies with atop their backs.
With the Alliance
The Wildhammers had a long period of isolationism. The Wildhammer clan its self was not a part of the new Alliance at first, having not reforged that bond as their Ironforge brethren had. Though they still kept ties with the Alliance members and even worked with the Alliance, they still valued their independence too much to formalize their relationship. As of Cataclysm, the clan had rejoined the Alliance and Falstad Wildhammer moved to Ironforge to aid with its governing as a part of the Council of Three Hammers. Outside of the Hinterlands dwarves, however, the Wildhammer dwarves did not all rejoin the Alliance, instead, Kurdran Wildhammer had to reunite the various clans back under the leadership of the Wildhammer clan before they would be considered members again.
Their relationship with the gryphons of the Hinterlands has proven profitable as the Alliance has established an extensive travel network using these flying beasts. In addition to convenient travel, the Wildhammers are an important military force. In Outland, for example, the Wildhammer clan is supplying select Alliance members with gryphons of their own and perform bombing operations on important legion-controlled points. Members of the Wildhammer clan reside in towns of Khaz Modan and the human city of Stormwind, teaching its denizens shamanism. Wildhammers have a kinship with the high elves as observed from their friendship with the Highvale elves in the Quel'Danil Lodge nearby.
With the Horde
The Wildhammer have never worked with the Horde, even in periods where they were outside of the Alliance. They assailed the Horde once they began to invade their homeland of The Hinterlands during the Second War, and since then have held a hatred for the faction.
The Wildhammer gryphon riders, under Daelin Proudmoore and Kul Tiras, attacked Durotar and the Darkspear tribe's home of Echo Isles. Though they inflicted damage to the Darkspear, they were ultimately pushed back and driven out. The Wildhammers are still hostile to the blood elves, as the Wildhammer clan considers members of the Horde to be their enemies. Wildhammer mercenaries helped firebomb Camp Taurajo. They are heated enemies with the Dragonmaw clan, against whom they vie for control of the Twilight Highlands. They have also had many conflicts with the Revantusk tribe in the Hinterlands.
Wildhammer dwarves train young gryphons by sending them out to hunt rattlesnakes in the Twilight Highlands. The Wildhammer dwarves rely on action and deeds to prove one's worth, and many may require one to slay a threatening enemy of the dwarves or perform a task that benefits their community before you gain their trust. A Wildhammer may also just challenge a potential ally to a fight just to test if they are strong enough to fight by their side. Though self-reliant, Wildhammer dwarves are expected to look out for each other no matter the clan. Only a coward--a disgrace to the Wildhammer--would turn down the call of their people, especially in a dire time.
In terms of their communities, Wildhammers value three things: independence, family bonds, and their gryphons. Wildhammers revere the gryphon as a sacred animal. The Wildhammer dwarves act as companions, caretakers, and trainers to the gryphons. They're majestic creatures of the skies, and more than just beasts; they're intelligent and cunning. Some say the Wildhammers keep them as pets, but it's more of a friendship. They do everything to protect their kin and gryphons. That includes chasing off predators, whether they be from the forest or from the Horde. Wildhammers are trained to fight using their trusty stormhammers while riding their gryphon friends, a partnership which makes Wildhammer gryphon riders renowned. Usually, Wildhammer gryphon riders fight with those who are from the same family and fight in groups under the command of a family leader or a wing commander that they trust and respect. When a congregation of gryphon riders fights as a unit, this aviation brigade is known as a gryphon wing.
According to Lachlan MacGraff, Kirthaven is the spiritual center of the Wildhammer dwarves, the one place where the varied clans can come together in peace. It's there they honor their dead heroes, before burying them with their gryphons atop Mount Thunderstrike. There their dead are believed to spend eternity as one with the sky.
The following Wildhammer clans are known:
- The eponymous Wildhammer clan led by Falstad Wildhammer.
- Firebeard clan led by Keegan Firebeard.
- Thundermar clan led by Colin Thundermar.
- Mullan clan led by Duglas Mullan.
- Moore clan
- Dunwald clan
- MacDuff clan
- Doyle clan (destroyed by Twilight drakes)
- According to Prospector Brewer, the Brewer family is also storied.
Wildhammers have been differentiated from their kin numerous times, though the terminology is very inconsistent. Throughout World of Warcraft, Wildhammers are called "Wildhammer dwarves", though within the novels and other games this is not always the case.
Day of the Dragon uses terms wild dwarf, mountain dwarf, and Aerie dwarf to refer the Wildhammer dwarves while Falstad deferentially refers to the dwarves of Ironforge as hill dwarves, meaning that the term is likely not used when referring to Wildhammers in canon. The now non-canon RPG books described them as "hill dwarves" according to Lands of Conflict.
The term wild dwarf is used again in the Warcraft III manual. "Wild dwarves are armed with their trusty, lightning-powered Stormhammers, they seek to keep the skies of Lordaeron free from enemy forces."
In the RPG
Wildhammer dwarves are feral and untamed, prone to revelry, shamanism and daring acts of bravery (and stupidity). They eschew technological gadgets in favor of nature magic and straightforward weapons, including their famous stormhammers. Wildhammer dwarves are famous across Azeroth for their unique relationship with gryphons. They treat these noble creatures as equals rather than mounts or pets. The gryphons respond to their handlers' respect and are steadfast and resolute in return. This close relationship produces the most famous Wildhammer dwarves: the gryphon riders, heroes of the Second and Third Wars.
Wildhammer dwarves are fearless warriors and unswerving opponents of evil. They take to the skies astride gryphons to combat vile creatures such as harpies, black drakes, and unnatural contraptions like goblin zeppelins. Slightly xenophobic, Wildhammers are content to deal almost exclusively with gryphons and nature spirits. They are distant, even distrustful, toward members of other races. Despite their insular nature, Wildhammer dwarves do not hesitate to come to the aid of their allies when the need arises.
The fanatical archaeological fervor that has seized the Ironforge dwarves does not fall upon the Wildhammers. Perhaps they are descended from these mysterious titans — but what does that matter? Wildhammer dwarves live in the present and do not dwell in the past. Their ambivalence about their titan ancestry denies them the power that their Ironforge brethren have discovered, but the Wildhammers make up for it with bravery, determination, and wild spirits.
Ironically, Wildhammers may have more in common with the Horde than the Alliance, but longtime rivalry and natural distrust prevents meaningful contact. Wildhammers fought orcs in generations of warfare and cannot let old rivalries die. They respect the orcs' fighting prowess and the spiritual shaman of the Frostwolf clan inhabiting the nearby Alterac Valley, but remain suspicious of them and thus aid the Stormpike Guard in their mission to claim the valley. Wildhammers see potential in the tauren — the tauren bear a great reverence of nature (as do the Wildhammers), practice elemental magic and possess great martial prowess. Wildhammer dwarves are wilder than tauren, but the possibility exists that the two races could become friends.
Wildhammer dwarves do not like goblins. The little creatures are materialistic and technology-driven, and they clear-cut entire forests. Wildhammers take pride in zeppelin hunting.
They have founded three kingdoms so far in their history.
The Wildhammer clan hails from Aerie Peak in the Hinterlands of Lordaeron, a region as yet untouched by the Scourge. Here they work to preserve nature and prevent evil from tainting their lands, waging a constant war against the native forest trolls. Though cool to humans and to Ironforge dwarves, many Wildhammers traveled to Kalimdor with Jaina Proudmoore to combat the Horde. Those in Kalimdor avoid Theramore, preferring the open skies. Wildhammers are wanderers and explorers, skirting large cities and concentrating in mountains and other wilderness areas.
Wildhammer dwarves have a number of clans, each ruled by a thane. The strongest thane rules Aerie Peak.
The Wildhammers were once led by Maz Drachrip.
They are a story-loving culture; the shaman and priests of the Wildhammer dwarves entertain the people on cold nights with tales of past battles, instructions on gryphon handling, and myths of nature and the Earth Mother. They have three community rituals per year: one holiday where all the marriages are performed, one to honor all children born that year, and one to mourn that year's dead. It seems a bit long to wait if you're born (or die) at the wrong time of year, but it's efficient and has a tendency to strengthen the community as a whole. Children born in the same year grow to be strong friends, as they celebrate their births all on the same day. Wildhammer dwarves commonly marry someone from their same birth year.
The climate is ideal for brewing good, dark beer with some weight to it, to keep you warm on the cold, windy nights. Their other beers are of less quality, and the Wildhammers only export their dark beer. One of their stouts is known as Gryphon's Tears.
The dwarves in Aerie Peak live as they did before the war, untouched by the horrors that happened on the rest of the continent. They have suffered a bit as their suppliers in the towns of Lordaeron are gone, but they still fly south to Stormwind and Ironforge to trade. This frequent contact with the Alliance keeps them abreast of what's happening in the constant struggle with the Scourge and remaining Burning Legion; they have even taken some refugees back to Aerie Peak, attempting to do what they can to strengthen the Alliance to what it once was.
Wildhammer dwarves prefer to stay out of conflicts until the Alliance calls upon them. They do not want to muck about with politics, and as long as no one threatens their land or their livelihoods, they are content. They do rise to fight for an ally, and the Alliance is stronger because of them. However, calling in Wildhammer reinforcements certainly isn't enough to win a war; they're great gryphon riders, but they're uncomfortable with technology, and their numbers are dwindling.
The few Wildhammer dwarves in Kalimdor are the most affected by the turmoil of the war. They care not for the walls of Theramore and found nothing stopping them from simply launching into the air and traveling north, avoiding the considerable obstacles, beasts and Horde members on the ground.
To their credit, before they left, they met with the night elf and Ironforge dwarf delegations in Theramore. The Ironforge dwarves had already started excavating Bael Modan, and the Wildhammer dwarves wanted to know if it would be suitable for settlement. The Ironforge dwarves thought not, as the Wildhammer preferred colder climates and Bael Modan was baked by the sun. They also expressed polite reservations about the mountain being settled by those who did not share their reverence when it came to the mysteries of the Titans buried there.
The night elves agreed to allow the Wildhammer dwarves into their southern mountain peaks, and the Wildhammer dwarves report to the night elves anything out of the ordinary they see from their vantage point. Most think that dwarves and elves working so well together would be the first odd thing the Wildhammer dwarves would report. But life in the post-Third War world is different.
Wildhammer dwarves have a new home in Ashenvale. It's bitterly cold on their peaks, and they construct homes that are nearly always part cave and part building. Although they do not claim the same love for engineering and architecture as Ironforge dwarves have, their constructions are admittedly impressive. They have a wooded area where they raise their gryphons. The fearsome birdlike creatures prefer the open air, but the natural flying beasts of the land, the hippogryphs, and the wyverns, are sensitive to anything intruding on their territory; so the Wildhammer dwarves are careful to raise their gryphons where they can be shielded to keep them from the sharp eyes of would-be attackers.
The Wildhammer dwarves live up to their names, as their life on the high crags caused them to focus on nature, passion and the wilderness. Their communion with nature and their gryphons lead them to follow a shamanistic path rather than that of the Holy Light. A Wildhammer paladin or priest of the Holy Light is about as rare as an Ironforge druid. They just follow their own paths.
The 200 or so years since the War of the Three Hammers has changed their looks in a surprising way. Life outside a mountain's peak is not gentle. Constant exposure to the elements tans and weathers the Wildhammer dwarves' skin. They dress in heavy skins and furs to protect them from the weather and the wind while riding their gryphons.
Wildhammer dwarves have close ties to nature. Many are shaman, and some are druids. A few Wildhammers revere the Holy Light, but the faith demands too much organization and philosophy for the comfort of most. Some Wildhammer dwarves in Kalimdor have also been studying with the night elves to learn more about Elune, the moon goddess.
- Main article: Dwarven (language)
Wildhammer dwarves usually speak Dwarven or Common. Many Wildhammers learn the languages of their friends; a few learn the languages of their enemies.
The Wildhammers typically do not share the latter's love of technology and do not care as much about their titan ancestry, although they have been known to help with the excavations from time to time. Because of this difference in outlook, they lack some of the new abilities that Ironforge dwarves have discovered, such as changing their skin to stone. On the other hand, some Wildhammers practice shamanism, and are augmented by nature-focused divine magic. Wildhammers are larger than Ironforge dwarves and paint themselves in traditional tattoos. They adorn their hair and beards with feathers, beads and other colorful panoply.
Wildhammer dwarves are similar in appearance to their Ironforge kin, though many shave their heads and they are slightly taller and leaner. Exposure to sun and high winds darkens and toughens their skin. Wildhammers string beads and feathers into their hair and beards as good luck charms, and paint tattoos on their bodies in homage to the totems, ideas and creatures they revere.
Their height is 3'9" - 4'5" (114 to 135 cm) (male), and 3'7" - 4'3" (109 to 130 cm) (females).
Warcraft Adventures: Lord of the Clans
In the canceled Warcraft Adventures, some Wildhammer dwarves were seen protecting a gryphon aviary north-east of Tyr's Hand. Among the people inside the aviary were notably bearded female dwarves and an irate captain who wanted a new stormhammer.
- "Butterflies" is a derogatory term for the Wildhammer dwarves.
- Wildhammer dwarves were the last of the main dwarf types to be made playable. Ironforge dwarves were one of the first races made playable in the original World of Warcraft, while Dark Iron dwarves were added with World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth. Wildhammers are slated to be added with World of Warcraft: Shadowlands as part of the new customization coming to the base Dwarf race.
Wildhammer dwarves overlooking their home in the Hinterlands.
Aerie Peak, home of the Wildhammer dwarves.
Grim Batol, former home of the Wildhammers.
A Wildhammer catapult.
A Wildhammer totem in Kirthaven.
- ^ Thadius Grimshade
- ^ Cliff Thundermar
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 153
- ^ Prospector Brewer
- ^ a b c
- ^ a b c Day of the Dragon, pg. 35
- ^ Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos manual, pg. 12
- ^ Assault on Blackrock Spire (WC2 Human)#Mission briefing
- ^ a b Day of the Dragon, chapter 15 - "Then let's be moving on! That mean's ye, too, butterfly!" The last referred to Falstad, who bristled at what apparently had to be a harsh insult to one of the Aerie dwarves.
- ^ World of Warcraft: The Magazine Volume II Issue I, Titan Creations Diagram
- ^ Lands of Conflict, pg. 19
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 3, pg. 199
- ^ Tides of Darkness, chapter 10
- ^ Wildhammer skin customization
- ^ Day of the Dragon, chapter 3
- ^ To Tame a Land
- ^ Rattlesnake
- ^ Wing Commander Dabir'ee,
- ^ Day of the Dragon, pg. 293
- ^ Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos Game Manual, pg. 12
- ^ a b c Alliance Player's Guide, pg. 6
- ^ Alliance Player's Guide, pg. 6 - 7
- ^ Alliance Player's Guide, pg. 144
- ^ Manual of Monsters, pg. 54
- ^ Alliance Player's Guide, pg. 208
- ^ a b Lands of Conflict, pg. 99
- ^ a b c d Alliance Player's Guide, pg. 143 - 145
- ^ Alliance and Horde Compendium, pg. 57
- ^ a b Alliance Player's Guide, pg. 7
- ^ Alliance Player's Guide, pg. 145
- ^ Alliance & Horde Compendium, pg. 12 - 14, 57 - 58
- ^ Alliance Player's Guide, pg. 6 - 8
- ^ World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, pg. 174
- ^ Fire and Iron, pg. 1