The Duchy of Westridge is a fief within the realm of the Kingdom of Stormwind. It is composed of the mountainous land, foothills, and coast south and west of Stormwind City. The House of Montclair has reigned over Westridge for generations, building up its infrastructure after the lords of Stormwind declared independence from the Arathorian Empire.
While a great deal of the Duchy's history was lost after the sacking of Westridge Keep during the Orcish Wars, the scholars of Westridge have compiled the History of Westridge as best they could from what records remain.
The origins of the House of Montclair can be roughly traced back to the colonization of Stormwind seven centuries ago. As the Arathorian Legion carved out settlements on the western coast, a garrison was established within the foothills of the present-day Westridge mountain range. Caer Claro Montem, or “Fort Clear Mountain” in the Old Arathorian language, served as one of many staging points for further conquest by the Legion into the heartland of present-day Elwynn. The waterfront surrounding the fortress was swiftly developed into a port of trade that received regular service from the merchant fleets of the empire. The Church of Arathor established a chapel adjacent to Claro Montem in order to provide for the religious needs of the growing settlement.
Those in charge of the operation and defense of the Caer Claro Montem reaped the rewards of the bountiful countryside. The commander of the Claro Montem garrison, a Legion Centurion by the name of Randolph, was amongst the most industrious and ambitious. When quality iron was discovered in the nearby foothills, Randolph ordered the construction of nearly a dozen mines to plumb the depths of the mountainside. He invited blacksmiths from Strom and Ironforge to work the metal and sell their creations to seabound traders so long as a cut of their profits went towards the betterment of the colony. Randolph spread his wealth justly, erecting public works for the colonists and paying his soldiers well. When Sarceline, a pupil of Archmage Azora, sought patronage as a young sorceress, Randolph graciously invited her to be the court conjurer of Claro Montem. A decade of prosperity catapulted Randolph from a backwater garrison commander to a renowned and wealthy landholder amongst the colony of Stormwind. At the urging of the colonists under his protection, Randolph took on the name Montclair in honor of his development of Claro Montem.
War for Stormwind's Independence Edit
Seeking to establish his seat in Stormwind Harbor as the new capital of the Arathorian Empire, King Faldir I launched several costly campaigns to build monuments to Arathor and his own image throughout the colony of Stormwind. Extravagant public forums and statues were carved from granite shipped in from Alterac at the colonists’ expense. Many soldiers and laborers in the colonial capital of Stormwind went unpaid for their work as King Faldir drained the colony’s coffers to afford imported materials. When the capital’s colonists were bled dry of coin from imposed taxes, Legate Lennitus Condriga, the commander of the Stormwind Colonial Legion, ordered his men to seize the livestock and commodities of the outlying outposts as payment for their service. King Faldir blessed this order, too engrossed in his monuments to care for the common man.
Riots broke out throughout the colony of Stormwind as the Legion under Lennitus Condriga pillaged foodstuffs and other goods from the very lands they were charged with protecting. When word of the Legate’s orders reached Randolph in Claro Montem, the young Centurion could not bear to see his work undone and the people who honored him subjugated unjustly. Randolph met in secret with sea traders from Kul Tiras, then a rival nation to the Empire of Arathor, imploring that they ask the Kul Tiran Navy to intervene. Randolph then armed the colonists of Claro Montem with arms and armor forged by the smiths loyal to him. He planned to defend his holdings from Lennitus Condriga at any cost.
With the colonists at his back, Randolph revealed his plan to stand against Lennitus to the Legionnaires under his command. The reactions were evenly divided between those who supported Randolph and those who claimed Randolph a traitor to the Empire. A fight broke out amongst the garrison that quickly spread throughout Claro Montem. Despite their lack of training, the colonists loyal to Randolph overpowered the Legion loyalists and drove them to retreat into the forests of Elwynn. Within three days, a rider from the Legion brought a finely wrapped item to Randolph; a ceremonial dagger with which dishonored Legion commanders were expected to end their own lives. Randolph sent the dagger back to Legate Lennitus Condriga.
Rebellion and mutiny spread elsewhere within the colony of Stormwind; unpaid soldiers struck out for themselves as mercenaries while colonists formed militias to protect their property. King Faldir I brought in reinforcements from Arathor in attempt to regain control. Preparing for Lennitus’s inevitable attack, Randolph fortified the mountain passes that lead into Claro Montem from Elwynn Forest. The sorceress Sarceline pledged herself to Randolph’s cause and prepared herself and her pupils for the defense of Claro Montem. Randolph ordered his men to paint inverted chevrons on their shields to symbolize their stand against unjust military rule. Days passed without word of sight of Lennitus’s Legion. Then, nearly a fortnight after the initial fight for the garrison, a cohort of Arathorian legionnaires was spotted traversing Mirwood Forest with Legate Lennitus at the helm.
Outnumbered roughly three to one, Randolph directed his men to hold the mountain passes where they might negate the disadvantage of numbers. Sarceline and her pupils conjured great magical barriers to protect Randolph’s soldiers from the Legion’s battlemagi. Randolph, accompanied by his most loyal officers, met Legate Lennitus on the northern border of present-day Whitecliff. Lennitus called for Randolph and his men to surrender, offering mercy to Randolph’s men while demanding Randolph’s execution. The terms were refused and battle was joined. Unable to surround Randolph’s men due to the mountain pass, Lennitus’s legionnaires fought in close melee with the shield wall erected by Randolph’s soldiers. While Lennitus commanded from afar, Randolph fought at the front lines with his men.
The battle raged for a full day as shield walls clashed and spears shattered. Each side lost scores of men that piled up in the pass. Randolph and his vanguard pushed against Lennitus’s lines past the mound of corpses. Lennitus ordered his archers to loose a volley of flaming arrows upon the mound, setting it ablaze and cutting Randolph off from the rest of his men. Randolph’s vanguard were cut down left and right as the Legion advanced on their position. Just as the battle seemed lost, war horns sounded from the forest behind Lennitus’s lines. Led by Logan Wrynn, the Stormwind Militia charged on Lennitus’s Legion and slaughtered their poorly defended rear guard. Archmage Azora summoned a torrent of water that doused the burning mound, allowing Randolph’s soldiers to rejoin the fight. Legate Lennitus was forced to retreat with what remained of his personal cohort, vowing to exact vengeance as the Stormwind Militia picked off stragglers. Amazed by the effectiveness of the Stormwind Militia and owing the day’s victory, Randolph pledged his support to Logan Wrynn and their conquest to drive the Arathorian Legion loyal to King Faldir from Stormwind. Randolph invited Logan Wrynn into Caer Claro Montem to provision the Stormwind Militia and prepare for the next offensive against the Arathorian Legion. Archmage Azora reunited with his pupil, Sarceline, and together they advised Logan Wrynn in the plans to attack the colonial capital.
Legate Lennitus’s revenge, however, could not wait. As the Stormwind Militia prepared to march on Stormwind Harbor, a battle fleet of the Arathorian Navy arrived on the coast of Claro Montem. Randolph ordered the immediate evacuation of the port town as Arathorian Legionnaires stormed the beaches and set fire to the settlement’s structures. Legate Lennitus landed amongst his Legion and revelled in the chaos as the Stormwind Militia fled. Claro Montem was reduced to burnt-out ruins and scorched earth, its former inhabitants scattered to the wind. Forced into hiding in the forests of Elwynn, Randolph joined Logan Wrynn and aided in the preparations for a final assault on Stormwind Harbor. Randolph ordered his craftsmen to forge weapons of war and build siege engines from what materials they could scavenge or seize from Legion patrols.
Fall turned to winter as the Stormwind Militia evaded the Arathorian Legion. The call to launch the attack on Stormwind Harbor grew louder and louder amongst the soldiers loyal to Logan Wrynn as their stockpile of siege weapons grew harder and harder to conceal. In late January, word returned from Kul Tiras that the island nation would aid the subjugated colonists of Stormwind in their fight against Arathorian rule. On the third of February, a day that would become legend amongst the men and women of Stormwind, Logan Wrynn ordered his men to march on Stormwind Harbor and take the city for themselves. With a force of just over three thousand militia and soldiers drawn from the fringes of the colony, the Stormwind Militia was outnumbered two-to-one by Lennitus’s army of professional legionnaires. However, Logan Wrynn had the advantage of consolidating his forces while Lennitus’s Legion was spread throughout the colony. More than half of Lennitus’s forces were deployed elsewhere in colony while two thousand legionnaires remained to guard the capital. Logan had to breach the gates of Stormwind Harbor and take control of its walls before the rest of the legion could gather and overwhelm the Stormwind Militia.
When the sentinels posted at the gates of Stormwind Harbor saw the approaching army, they sent ten horsemen to alert the rest of the Legion elsewhere in the colony. Logan Wrynn sent his fastest riders in pursuit of these messengers as he marshalled his forces for a frontal assault on the gates. The Stormwind Militia charged through a hail of arrows and catapult-fire with their shields raised, towing behind them a great battering ram made from Elwynn Oak. Woodsmen loyal to Logan Wrynn returned fire to the archers on the walls, their aim keen from generations of hunting. Archmage Azora and his pupils hurled fireballs at wall’s defenders. Randolph Montclair was amongst the mounted vanguard that met the Legionnaires outside of the wall, crashing through their ranks and making an opening for the battering ram. The siege engine was brought to the gates and shattered the wooden doors, allowing the Stormwind Militia to pour into the colony’s capital and engage the defending legionnaires in brutal close-quarters combat. Sarceline and Azora erected a magical barrier over the shattered gate, preventing any from fleeing or entering the city. Logan’s soldiers mounted the walls and raised blue and gold banners at the watchtowers, tearing down the standards of Arathor. As the battle within the city’s walls raged on, three of the ten messengers were able to reach the outposts of the Legion to tell of the Stormwind Militia’s attack. Legate Lennitus, then on the frontier in Stranglethorn, called for all of the colonial legionnaires to regroup with him in order to retake Stormwind Harbor.
Within the city, the Stormwind Militia pushed towards the royal palace, overpowering the outnumbered Legion defenders. Randolph Montclair accompanied Logan Wrynn in their fierce melee with King Faldir’s Praetorian Guard. Despite losing many of his own vanguard, Logan Wrynn triumphed against the guard and cornered King Faldir in his throne room. The resident members of King Faldir’s family were dragged before the throne and Logan Wrynn offered his terms – that Faldir either abdicate or be executed for his crimes against the people of Stormwind, while family be exiled. Faldir knelt before Logan Wrynn and offered up his crown, unwilling to leave the fate of his family in question when the colony had all but turned against his rule. Logan took up the crown of Stormwind and spared Faldir and his kin, graciously allowing them to remain in the royal palace while the battle for the city continued. Atop the parapets, the banners bearing the eagle of Arathor were replaced with those of the lion of the House of Wrynn.
Despite the capture of the royal palace, the battle for Stormwind was far from over. Legate Lennitus, having gathered the Legion’s forces throughout the colony in addition to reinforcements from Arathor, marched on gates of Stormwind with a force four thousand strong. A small fleet of Arathorian ships docked in Stormwind Harbor and unloaded hundreds more legionnaires into the heart of the city. Logan Wrynn ordered his men to rally at the gate and hold Lennitus’s forces for as long as they could while he led his own vanguard to push the Legion out of the harbor. While the Stormwind Militia fought valiantly at the gates, Legate Lennitus’s battlemagi were able to breach the wards set by Azora and Sarceline. The soldiers loyal to Logan Wrynn were overpowered by the Arathorian Legion and called to retreat. Despite securing the harbor from the Arathorian Fleet, Logan Wrynn was forced to join his men in a hasty withdrawal to the royal palace.
Surrounded and outnumbered, the Stormwind Militia at Logan’s command fought valiantly to hold the perimeter of the palace. Just when all seemed lost, war trumpets sounded off the coast. The Kingdom of Kul Tiras sent a full battle fleet to intercept the Arathorians. Hundreds of Kul Tiras marines docked at the harbor and charged upon Lennitus’s rear lines. Emboldened, the Stormwind Militia pushed back the Legion from the royal palace and shattered their order, turning the streets of Stormwind into a bloodbath. Logan Wrynn faced off against Lennitus Condriga in single combat during the chaos. Both men were well versed in swordplay, but Lennitus overexerted himself in rage. After a lengthy bout of swordplay, Lennitus, exhausted, left himself open for a fatal slash to his throat by Logan’s blade. After the death of their leader, the remaining legionnaires were routed and forced to surrender.
Logan Wrynn met with the leaders of the Kul Tiras forces in the throne room of the royal palace. He humbly thanked them for their aid, pledging that their merchant-marine would always have place amongst Stormwind’s Harbor. Satisfied to see Faldir brought low by his former subjects, the men of Kul Tiras asked of the fate of Stormwind now that it had shirked Arathorian rule. At the urging of his most trusted soldiers and advisors, Logan took up Faldir’s circlet and was crowned King of Stormwind by Archmage Azora. An alliance was forged between Kul Tiras and Stormwind, one that is honored to this day. In a motion that shocked many, Faldir and the direct descendants of the House of Thoradin swore fealty to the king, solidifying his legitimacy among the Eastern Kingdoms. Faldir’s daughter, Bellatrix, would marry King Logan and become his Queen. Logan Wrynn would have three sons and two daughters by Bellatrix during the time of his rule.
For his loyal service to Logan Wrynn, Randolph Montclair was named the first Duke of Westridge and given agency to rebuild the ruins of Claro Montem. Randolph renamed the land Clairmont and constructed for himself a keep that would serve as his and his descendants’ seat of power in Westridge. Sarceline’s tower was refurbished and made into an academy for aspiring mages. The burned out Claro Montem church was rebuilt and repopulated by the faithful. Westridge would become one of the most productive fiefs of the realm of Stormwind, its rich mines providing Stormwind with valuable ores and castle-forged steel. Duke Randolph took the invented chevron as his house sigil; pledging to maintain an honorable standing military under the banner of the House of Wrynn.
Age of Uncertainty Edit
Following Stormwind’s independence from Arathor, the struggles of maintaining a new city-state became glaringly evident. The establishment of laws was far from uniform throughout the southern continent as the nobles pledged to Logan Wrynn established their own patchwork of feudal authority. Disputes arose over territorial borders and laws between the lords of Stormwind, leading many to seize territory from their neighboring fiefs by force or coercion. Even as he advanced into old age, King Logan Wrynn would meet with individual lords in attempt to settle such conflicts diplomatically.
In Westridge, Duke Randolph raised his own band of knights and guardsmen to protect his newfound holdings from raiders and neighboring warlords. The Ducal Guard were zealous in their craft, keeping not only bordering lords at bay, but ensuring that the peasantry minor lords in Westridge were kept in line. While this coercion maintained security and productivity in the mountainous duchy, it sewed the seeds of resentment in an increasingly controlled populace.
Tragedy struck in the 25th year of King Logan’s reign. While administering a dispute between lords in the southern province of Brightwood, a band of well-equipped raiders sprung upon the meeting and slew King Logan where he stood. The leader of these raiders, a spurned lord from the Black Morass, claimed the crown as his own and demanded that all recognize his claim as King of Stormwind. The eldest son of King Logan, Daniel Wrynn, maintained that he was the rightful king by birthright, condemning the lord to death on the grounds of treason.
With the greater kingdom backing him, King Daniel established an order of knighthood drafted from all corners of the realm that would be sworn to the House of Wrynn – the Brotherhood of the Horse. King Daniel led the Brotherhood to charge on the keep of the treasonous lord to no contest, slaughtering the false king’s bannermen and taking back the Crown of Stormwind from the lord’s severed head. The Brotherhood opened chapters throughout the realm as the need for loyal peacekeepers grew. In the Duchy of Westridge, the House of Montclair began equipping its own knights in a branch of that came to be known as the Westridge Cavaliers. Randolph would have three sons, the eldest named Torig.
The Wolfcult Edit
An age of relative peace would pass under Daniel Wrynn’s reign as King. In Westridge, the industries destroyed during the War for Independence were reforged and brought wealth to the House of Montclair. Torig would marry one of the daughters of Logan Wrynn, a great honor blessed by both houses. Randolph Montclair would eventually pass of natural causes, bequeathing his title to his eldest son.
Archmage Azora, court-wizard of Logan, would eventually pass of natural causes, leaving his former pupils without a leader to look to for guidance. While most heeded the warnings passed on by Azora, some took his passing as clearance to dabble in darker magics and the occult. In the County of Brightwood in present-day Duskwood, a cabal of shadow magic wielders took root that would come to be known as the Wolfcult. These hedge wizards, seeking to increase the power of their spells, took to banditry in order to pay for greater reagents. With their magic they summoned shadowy wolf-like beasts that they wielded to terrorize those who resisted their thievery. In their lust for power, the Wolfcult boldly sacked the Tower of Azora – slaughtering their former peers and making off with the tower’s magical goods.
Daniel Wrynn, feeble in old age, led the Brotherhood of the Horse in a crusade against the Wolfcult. Torig led the Westridge Cavaliers alongside Sarceline to join this force. The effort was ultimately unsuccessful, the cultists employing invisibility magics and fleeing deep into the forests before any battle was joined. Daniel would eventually be forced to call off the hunt, instead posting his knights to guard the towns ravaged by the cult. Word of cultist attacks faded and it was believed that the Wolfcult had disbanded on its own. Daniel Wrynn passed on of old age, the crown falling to his eldest son, Adam Wrynn.
A few short months after Adam’s coronation, scattered reports of hedge wizards attacking trade caravans prompted Adam to call for his knights to guard travelers on the kingdom’s roads. This measure seemed to quell attacks as word of the Wolfcult went silent. Then, in their most brazen attack, the Wolfcult stormed Brightwood Keep and killed the ruling Count. The Count’s daughter, Mary Brightwood, was taken hostage as the cult fled into the forest. Infuriated, Adam Wrynn called upon any former student of Archmage Azora who would help in the fight against the Wolfcult. Sarceline of Westridge was amongst those who answered the call, taking her own pupils with her to the capital. In Stormwind City, Adam Wrynn established the Stormwind Circle of Magi as an official arm of the crown; one that would protect the realm from magical threats. The Mage Circle of Sarceline would be incorporated as a branch of this greater circle as Sarceline was made one of its founding members.
Together with the Brotherhood of the Horse, King Adam led the Stormwind Circle in a greater hunt for the Wolfcult. The mages of Stormwind dispersed the cultists’ invisibility spells, allowing the knights of the Brotherhood to pursue them without hesitation. They scoured the forests of present-day Duskwood for months, killing a number of hedge wizards and capturing others. The location of Mary Brightwood was eventually pried from one of the imprisoned cultists – a mountainous pass in southern Westfall. Duke Torig Montclair joined King Adam as they marched on the shadowy camp. The cultists attacked without hesitation, sending their shadow beasts to maul the Brotherhood’s knights and horses. Only through the counterspells provided by the Circle were King Adam’s forces able to prevail against the Wolfcult’s concentrated power; breaking through the cult’s magical barriers and executing them where they stood.
Lady Mary Brightwood was found tortured and bloodied by the cult. Saved only by extensive healing magics performed by the priests of Northshire, she was permanently disfigured with scars that ran across her face and body. In a motion that shocked many, King Adam’s son, Thomas Wrynn, took Lady Mary as his bride; an action that many say was motivated by the King’s guilt for not protecting her father from the Wolfcult. After Torig Montclair passed on, his eldest son of three, Ralaph, took the title of Duke of Westridge. In Stormwind, Prince Thomas would have a healthy son, John, through Queen Mary, whom he cherished as his heir. King Adam would pass on of natural causes and Thomas was crowned in his stead.
Civil War Edit
Six years after the royal marriage, a terrible drought struck the Kingdom of Stormwind that left the farms of the realm barren. Ralaph Montclair came to be considered an ineffectual leader of Westridge who only acted on edicts passed by the House of Wrynn, taking no initiative to stop his lands from deteriorating during a time of famine. Of Ralaph's two younger brothers, the eldest, Alexander, blamed the House of Wrynn and advocated secession while the younger, Frederick, believed that the duchy needed the Kingdom's support during its time of need.
In the capital, King Thomas did all that he could to support his subjects, importing food and assigning his scholars to find a remedy for the drought. Then, without warning, a mysterious illness befell King Thomas that quickly ravaged his body. Despite the efforts of the royal doctors, apothecaries and priests, the King perished – his crown falling to his young son. Upon further examination, it was found that King Thomas was poisoned. Samson Wrynn, brother to King Thomas, accused Queen Mary of the deed; citing the Queen’s love of alchemy and experimentation in her private quarters. By then already crowned ruler until her son’s ascension to the crown, Queen Mary charged Samson with treason and exiled him to the far reaches of the Stranglethorn Vale.
Tensions rose in Stormwind as Queen Mary ceased the measures started by her late husband, instead spending exorbitant amounts on magical reagents and exotic herbs for her own experiments. A year after the exile of Samson Wrynn, the young King John suffered the same fate as his father – perishing to a mysterious illness. As Queen Mary took on the crown of Stormwind, rumor spread that it was she who poisoned both her son and the late King Thomas. The Queen mobilized the royal guard with a vengeance, sending assassins after any who were found to perpetuate the idea. A number of knights of the Brotherhood of the Horse fled the capital fearing for their lives.
When word of King John’s death reached the frontier settlements on the border of Stranglethorn, Samson Wrynn took up arms and called for the ousting of Queen Mary. While most of the lowborn populace rallied to Samson’s cause, several noble houses backed Queen Mary’s claim to the throne and considered Samson lawfully exiled. Duke Ralaph Montclair acknowledged Queen Mary as his ruler, yet refused to partake in the conflict. The battles that ravaged the realm would come to be known as the Brightwood Rebellion.
With the kingdom thrown into civil war, Alexander Montclair, the Duke’s younger brother, secretly gathered support from the disheveled men-at-arms of the Ducal Guard and promised them land and titles should they aid him in seizing power. At his command, the Ducal Guard under his sway assassinated the reigning Duke Ralaph in his sleep and quickly took over Westridge Keep and the surrounding countryside. The youngest brother of Duke Ralaph, Frederick Montclair, gathered his own supporters and barely escaped with his life as he fled to Stormwind City.
Upon arriving in the embattled capital Stormwind, it is said that Frederick and his guard were greeted by King Samson Wrynn, who gave the following term for his aid; that each soldier and knight of Westridge now swear firstly to the House of Wrynn before their loyalty to their ancestral patrons of the House of Montclair. Frederick bent his knee to Samson Wrynn before all of his men-at-arms at the gates of Stormwind, encouraging them to do the same. Not one of his knights refused the call. Each swore ultimate fealty to the House of Wrynn, binding them by oath and honor to serve the King of Stormwind and preserve the Kingdom of Azeroth. King Samson Wrynn and his supporters were ultimately able to oust Queen Mary from Stormwind Keep, forcing her to flee to the north where she was never heard from again.
With the full support of the Stormwind Army and King Samson Wrynn, the youngest of the three brothers Montclair was able to crush the rebellion and bring his traitorous brother to his knees. Alexander Montclair and his supporters were executed for their betrayal and Frederick was elevated to the Duke of Westridge. For their loyalty to the crown, the Westridge Ducal Guard were reforged as an elite unit of knights and armsmen of the newly established Royal Army.
The Call for Chivalry Edit
Despite the victory of Samson Wrynn, the Kingdom of Stormwind was far from at peace. Drought still gripped the countryside and famine was widespread amongst the populace. Royal coffers drained from the civil war, Samson Wrynn was unable to continue the relief efforts established by his late brother. The Knights of Westridge asked for almost all of their peasants’ foodstuffs, threatening violence if their demands were not met. Infuriated by years of their heavy-handed tactics, the peasants of Mirwood took up arms against the House of Montclair and its loyal bannermen. A number of knights zealously fought against their subjects, slaughtering several hundred peasants and taking their property for themselves. Lord Philip De Vries, a Baron who held land on the banks of Mirror Lake, rallied his personal guard and not only quelled the local rebellion, but single-handedly captured many of the rampaging knights; imprisoning them for their blatant disregard for their subjects.
Together with the other lords of Mirwood, Lord Philip put forward to Duke Frederick a chivalric code in an effort to curb the wanton brutality of the Westridge Cavaliers. This code of virtue and conduct included faith in the church and practice of the Three Virtues, but most importantly a clear set of moral guidelines that all knights would be expected to adhere to in their duty to the realm. Duke Frederick agreed to the terms of the code, establishing them as law. The Chivalric Code of the Westridge Cavaliers has been in place since; guiding knights to noble word and deed and punishing those who would break its tenets.
Warring Kingdoms Period Edit
A new age of prosperity awaited the Kingdom of Stormwind. King Samson had a son whom he named Thomas II in honor of his late brother. Gold was discovered on the coast of Westfall, which prompted a rush of fortune-hunters. One young fortune seeker named Khaleed Gomrii landed in the Westridgean harbor-town of Bridgeport. Instead of following the mass of workers headed for Westfall, Khaleed instead struck for the mines southeast of Clairmont. Originating from across the eastern sea, he was initially regarded with suspicion due to his foreign appearance. However, through hard work and loyalty to the local lord, Khaleed was able to open its own mine outside of a shire known as Danestown. The mine proved profitable and Khaleed was elevated by merit to council Count Reginald Dane, ruler of Danestown and the surrounding countryside.
By fate or by chance, Khaleed accompanied Count Reginald on a hunt with Duke Frederick. During the hunt, a pack of black-furred boars charged upon the hunting party, knocking down the Duke’s guards and grievously wounding Count Reginald. Duke Frederick was thrown to the ground and his sword arm taken hold of by a savagely mawed boar. Deftly avoiding a similar fate, Khaleed took up his spear and ran the boar through its heart – freeing the Duke as the Ducal Guard drove off the rest of the pack. For saving him from certain death, Duke Frederick elevated Khaleed to the title of Baron and appointed him a generous manor in the heartland of Count Reginald’s demesne. His house sigil was made a black boar in remembrance of the event. Count Reginald, disfigured by the boar’s attack, took great resentment to Khaleed’s appointment, infuriated at the notion of a foreign commoner being brought into peerage. Not long after Lord Khaleed’s appointment, the Gomrii mine collapsed under mysterious circumstances – killing dozens of miners. Count Reginald blamed Lord Khaleed for the incident, shaming him publically and forcing him to pay the families of those lost in recompense. Bled dry of his former wealth, Lord Khaleed elected to join the Ducal Guard in service to Duke Frederick.
Fortune and prosperity often breed contempt and jealousy in one’s neighbors; a fact that King Samson knew and shrewdly monitored. After establishing a number of royal mines on the coast of Westfall, King Samson directed the plumbed wealth to be spent on refurbishing the Royal Army and cementing its loyalty to the House of Wrynn. King Samson instructed Prince Thomas II in the ways of war and diplomacy, fearing the worst as feudal conflict in the northern kingdoms threatened to spread to the south.
By the time of King Samson’s passing, he had well prepared the realm for war. The major trade routes throughout the kingdom were paved with flagstones and fortifications were constructed along the kingdom’s borders. After the coronation of King Thomas II, his father’s fears were made manifest. The kingdoms of the north, strapped for funding for their feudal wars, could not resist the lure of the riches that lined the Westfallian coast. Privateers, raiders, and pirates became a constant threat to the sovereignty of Stormwind, the royal mines on the Gold Coast facing attacks on a weekly basis. King Thomas II commissioned the construction of a stronger Royal Navy to combat these threats from abroad.
When conventional raiding failed, some took to indirect means to steal the kingdom’s wealth. In Westridge, Count Reginald’s miners struck a rich vein of arcane crystals beneath the southern mountains of his demesne. Rather than reporting the find to the Duke, the unscrupulous lord instead elected to keep the crystal vein secret; selling them off to smugglers and reaping the profits for himself. Buyers from Dalaran and Strom paid the Count handsomely for the crystals. Mindful that any public show of wealth might alert the Duke, Count Reginald hid the riches he procured in the mines themselves. Great treasure rooms were carved out of the mines as their deeper tunnels were filled to bursting with gold. Gripped by greed, Count Reginald would spend hours admiring his wealth within the mines. One of the miners secretly drew a map of the arcane crystal mines and gave it to his wife – instructing her to seek help elsewhere should he mysteriously disappear.
It was not long before a band of smugglers was caught with arcane crystals bound for Strom. After their source was pried from the smugglers, Duke Frederick demanded explanation from Count Reginald, who denied all accusations while paying his personal guard to collapse the tunnels leading into the arcane crystal mines – trapping the miners inside. The Ducal investigators were oblivious to the deed as Count Reginald gave them a tour of his mines. His guardsmen were paid well to maintain their lord’s innocence, leading the Ducal investigators to leave empty-handed. Weeks passed. The families of the miners trapped in the crystal mines grew suspicious after representatives of Count Reginald gave conflicting stories regarding the miners’ fate. The map-drawer’s wife sought out Lord Khaleed in desperation and plead for him to bring Count Reginald to justice. After being shown the map of the mines, Lord Khaleed agreed – alerting the Duke and rallying the Ducal Guard. Driven mad with greed, Count Reginald ordered his personal guard to join him in digging out and defending his riches – threatening execution for any who did not assist. Upon Lord Khaleed and the Ducal Guard’s arrival in Danestown, Count Reginald’s guard barricaded themselves within the crystal mine. Forming a perimeter around the mine entrance, Lord Khaleed called for Count Reginald’s surrender.
Deep within the mine, Count Reginald and his guard broke through the collapsed tunnel. Expecting to find only corpses, Count Reginald rushed to find his great treasure room, his guard calling out and urging caution. Count Reginald lit his way with only his torch. As he rounded a corner, he was greeted by several blue-glowing lights. The trapped miners went mad after exhausting their rations and lantern oil, clinging to arcane crystals for sustenance. Some had gone as far as to embed them in their skin. Reduced to slavering husks, the arcane crystal miners set upon Count Reginald and his guard. His screams of terror and agony echoed through the mine as he was devoured by the miners. Giving way to reason, Count Reginald’s remaining guards surrendered to Lord Khaleed. Together with the Ducal Guard, Lord Khaleed stormed the mines and cleared them of the arcane crazed miners, securing the treasure rooms and what remained of Count Reginald himself.
For bringing order to Danestown, Duke Frederick appointed Lord Khaleed to the title of Count – granting him Count Reginald’s estate. Count Khaleed elected to move the capital of the demesne to his own Baronial Keep, Ferrum. He would take the Duke’s daughter’s hand in marriage, cementing ties between the House of Montclair and the House of Gomrii. The descendants of Count Khaleed would rename their house to Montgomery in honor of this noble bond.
The First Dragon Hunt Edit
Successfully defending its borders from foreign attacks, the Kingdom of Stormwind earned its place as one of the major powers in the Eastern Kingdoms. King Thomas II expanded the scope of the Brotherhood of the Horse and appointed many of its knights to officer positions within the Royal Army and Navy. With their extended agency, some knights of the brotherhood took to adventuring as knights errant. This mentality was embraced amongst the Westridge Cavaliers. Several knights of Westridge ventured far and wide to seek glory and riches to bolster their names.
Not long after Duke Frederick’s passing and the ascension of his son, Andor, a band of Westridge Cavaliers traveled to the far reaches of the Badlands in search for treasure. Upon entering a scorched valley, they instead encountered a juvenile black dragon whelp. Seeing the beast as a threat, the knights quickly dispatched the dragonling and immediately noted the rich quality of its scales. They delved deeper into the valley and slaughtered the few remaining dragon whelps they encountered, slinging the corpses over their steeds. They left the valley without incident. As they crossed the border into Redridge, however, an ear-splitting roar echoed across the mountain range. The knights bolted for Westridge with their harvest, unaware of the gravity of their actions.
Upon arriving in Westridge, the knights presented their kill to Duke Andor. The court wizard examined the corpses and drained them of their remaining blood, finding the liquid to be stepped in the power of fire. The dragonlings’ scales were forged into three blackened tunics that were found to be resistant to any degree of heat. Demand for more of such scales erupted amongst the nobility of Westridge while the Mage Circle of Sarceline sought to experiment with black dragon blood. Hoping to sate the demands of his peerage, the young Duke Andor organized a greater expedition into the Badlands for the sole purpose of hunting dragonkin.
The expedition numbering nearly one hundred knights and several mages left Westridge with great fanfare. Duke Andor led the knights himself at the front of the caravan, expecting to win honor for King Thomas II. As they marched on the Lakeridge Highway, a great wind stirred the trees and frightened the cavaliers’ horses. Without warning, the same ear-splitting screech pierced the sky. A black dragon descended from the heavens and let loose a torrent of fire upon the caravan, incinerating a dozen knights in one breath. Dispersed in fear, the once-proud knights of the brotherhood turned and fled as dragonfire consumed the forests of Redridge. Duke Andor attempted to rally the cavaliers in vain as the dragon closed in, but was turned to ash through a single breath of dragonfire as his defenders retreated into the overgrowth of Elwynn.
When word reached the capital of the attack, King Thomas II rallied his own knights and ordered his scholars to determine a means for defeating the dragon. In Westridge, the Westridge Cavaliers affixed wings to their armor to honor the death of their valiant lord. Duke Andor was survived by his brother, Edmund, who put forth his own efforts in research. A number of rangers from the forests of Mirwood stepped forward and pledged their aid to the effort. Before a counter-attack could be launched, the black dragon descended on the town of Goldshire, burning its structures to the ground and incinerating scores of its inhabitants. King Thomas II called upon Ironforge to supply sturdier armor and weapons with which to fight the dragon, to which they supplied mithril scaled armor and arrows to the strongest knights of each province.
Days passed without sight of the dragon. Then, on a hot summer afternoon, the dragon struck – setting fire to the farms on the outskirts of Vries. The local Baron rallied his guardsmen to evacuate the town while calling upon the rangers of Mirwood to fight back against the monster. Mithril-clad knights and rangers mounted the walls of Vries and pelted the dragon with dwarven forged arrows, tearing into the dragon’s wings and piercing several of its scales. Despite their efforts, Vries was set ablaze and the count’s manor was reduced to rubble. Wounded, the dragon flew to the north where it sought refuge in the mountain caves of Westridge.
Duke Edmund rallied the Westridge Cavaliers and marched on the dragon’s resting place. The winged lord and his knights scaled the mountains south of Danestown before arriving at the mouth of a great chasm. They waited anxiously for the dragon to emerge, each knight armed with heavy crossbows and plated with mithril. Duke Edmund called out, challenging the monster to show itself. The earth rumbled as the dragon clawed its way out of the chasm, its eyes alight with fury. The Westridge Cavaliers let loose a volley of mithril arrows that shredded what remained of the dragon’s wings – forcing the beast to land and engage in a titanic melee. Avoiding the dragon’s fiery maw at all costs, the knights struck at the monster’s legs and tail. Several knights were thrown from the rocky cliffs to their deaths as the dragon fought back. The beast clawed and swept its tail at its foes in an effort to crush the knights with its weight alone. Duke Edmund, assisted by a dwarven-crafted grappling chain, climbed upon the dragon’s back and drove his sword deep into the monster’s spine. After letting out a last defiant roar, the dragon perished.
For the Duke’s heroism, King Thomas II expanded the domain of the House of Montclair. The lands west of Danestown were incorporated into the County of Wanduke, so named for Duke Edmund’s winged armor. The rangers who defended Vries were honored for their own part in slaying the dragon and were granted their own hall deep in the forests of Mirwood. The mages of Sarceline drew the black dragon’s blood and stored it carefully in their ivory tower, forging it into wondrous enchantments of flame.
War of the Three Hammers Edit
After an era of relative peace, the passing of King Modimus Anvilmar in Ironforge prompted a war that would forever scar the land. A power struggle erupted in the dwarven city between the Bronzebeard, Dark Iron, and Wildhammer Clans that spread throughout Dun Morogh and the surrounding dwarven holds. The Bronzebeard Clan seized victory over their cousins, exiling them from Ironforge and taking the city for themselves. King Charles Wrynn of Stormwind graciously invited the Dark Iron refugees to settle in the Red Steppes north of Redridge, where they constructed their own settlement named after their Thane – Thaurissan. The House of Morgan, the ruling family of the Red Steppes under King Charles, resented the Dark Irons, believing them unwelcome thieves and vagrants not worthy of the land offered to them. They refused to assist their Dark Iron guests in their time of need and treated them little better than dirt. Already exiled from Ironforge, the Dark Iron Clan took the abuses of the House of Morgan in stride; all the while plotting their inevitable revenge.
The Dark Irons plumbed the mountains of the Red Steppes and built up an army clad in blackened steel. Pushed to the breaking point by the humiliation his people suffered, Thane Thaurissan declared war on the Bronzebeard and Wildhammer Clans, seeking to establish the Dark Iron Clan as the greatest of all dwarves. King Charles pleaded for Thane Thaurissan to reconsider, insisting that the Dark Iron Clan would have to leave the Red Steppes if they launched a war from within its borders. Dead set on the venture, the Thane marched his armies on Ironforge and Grim Batol in clear disdain of King Charles’ pleas. Seeing this as an opportunity to rid themselves of the Dark Irons once and for all, the House of Morgan preemptively launched an attack on the unguarded city of Thaurissan without the blessing of King Charles. Their cavalry set fire to the city and ran down Dark Iron women and children as they fled. The surviving Dark Iron dwarves retreated to the mines carved into Blackrock Mountain. When word of House Morgan’s attack reached Stormwind City, King Charles gathered his own army to bring House Morgan to justice. Duke Haedrig Montclair of Westridge joined this army, bringing a number of dwarven soldiers from the mountains of Fairpeak and Wanduke.
Thane Thaurissan was driven back to the Red Steppes after his failed attack on Dun Morogh. After defeating the Thane’s wife in Grim Batol, the Wildhammer Clan joined the Bronzebeards in a two-pronged assault on the Dark Irons. Before King Charles could reach the Red Steppes with his army, House Morgan joined the forces of the Wildhammer and Bronzebeard dwarves in their conquest against Thane Thaurissan. Thaurissan sent messengers to King Charles, pleading for him to recall House Morgan and aid in the defense of his people. Seeing the disastrous consequences of Thane Thaurissan’s attack on the other dwarven clans, King Charles refused – instead posting his army on the border of Redridge. The forces of Stormwind stood and watched as the Dark Iron forces were decimated.
Forced to the mines of Blackrock Mountain, Thane Thaurissan desperately called upon the elements for aid as the Bronzebeards, Wildhammers, and House Morgan closed in around him and his surviving dwarves. When the elements did not answer, he instead attempted to summon a demon. Twisting the earth with dark magics, Thaurissan accidentally summoned Ragnaros the Firelord by breaking his titanic chains. The Firelord emerged with an army of fire elementals in the depths of Blackrock Mountain and immediately causing a volcanic eruption that incinerated hundreds of dwarves and humans alike. Fire and brimstone rained from the ash blackened sky, rendering the Red Steppes into a burning wasteland. Ragnaros subjugated the remaining Dark Iron dwarves within the mountain as the other dwarven clans fled for their lives. House Morgan was completely decimated by the volcanic eruption and fallout. King Charles, horrified by destruction wrought by the Firelord, pulled back his troops and walled off the Burning Steppes. The survivors of House Morgan would remain in their ruined lands, cursed to fight for the ash and stone that remained of their domain. While the Kingdom of Stormwind eventually formed bonds with the Wildhammer and Bronzebeard clans after the war, the Dark Iron dwarves would hold a bitter grudge against their southern neighbors for generations.
The Gnoll War Edit
By the time of the rule of King Barathen Wrynn, Stormwind had expanded to the scope of its current borders; counting Elwynn, Westfall and Redridge as its foremost provinces. Despite protecting its lands from foreign threats, the unification of several gnoll tribes against the people of Stormwind sparked what would come to be known as the Gnoll War.
Once scattered and largely considered vermin, the various gnoll tribes of the continent were brutally conquered and unified under a Redridgean gnoll pack leader known as Garfang. Under Packleader Garfang's leadership, the combined gnoll army led an assault on Stormwind City that forced King Barathen to pull back his knights from the outlying provinces. The unguarded towns and villages of Westfall and Redridge were promptly sacked and burned by the gnoll forces. Within a year of the initial attack on Stormwind City, Garfang had led the gnolls to attack every major settlement in the kingdom in brutal hit-and-run raids. King Barathen pleaded for aid from the other human kingdoms, but his requests fell on deaf ears.
Westridge was not spared from the gnoll onslaught – its mines pillaged and farms raided. Duke Raldon Montclair rallied the Westridge Ducal Guard in vain as the gnolls outmaneuvered them in the mountains of Wanduke. The rangers of Mirwood Forest were the only force to find success in the conflict; their missile tactics obliterating the gnolls before the beasts could employ their brutish force. Led by the Ranger-Lord Tristyn Isaacs, the rangers of Mirwood answered the call for aid from the Duke of Westridge, and helped win several key battles against the gnoll armies.
In a daring attempt to end the war once and for all, King Barathen gathered a small force of his most able knights and a number of rangers from throughout the realm. When the gnolls attacked Stormwind City in force, King Barathen rode for the Redridge Mountains where he hoped to engage Packleader Garfang before the gnoll army returned. The rangers stayed half a day ahead of the King and his party, clearing out small patrols along the way and ensuring the path was clear for His Majesty. No gnoll would be able to give advanced warning to the Packlord. King Barathen's gamble paid off as he and his knights found Garfang's camp unguarded and open to attack.
King Barathen and his knights fought with Garfang and his gnoll defenders for a full day and night – the brutish gnolls standing toe-to-toe with Stormwindian steel. King Barathen ultimately sank his blade into Garfang's neck, dispatching the warlord and claiming victory for the kingdom. Without a clear leader, the remaining gnoll army turned on itself in a struggle for power and was quickly dismantled by the Royal Army.
For his valor, King Barathen was granted the honorific of "Adamant." Emboldened by their victory, the Kingdom of Stormwind isolated itself further from the northern kingdoms; believing themselves fit to defend their borders from any threat.