Know Your Lore: Moira Thaurissan and the return to Ironforge
We’ve been talking about Dark Iron Dwarves the last couple of weeks. This week, we’re going to talk about the fallout of the death of Emperor Dagran Thaurissan. How his widow Moira returned to the city of her birth with an army of Dark Iron at her back. There, she helped usher in the current era where once again three clans rule in Ironforge.
Moira Thaurissan née Bronzebeard has been both ruthless tyrant and subtle politician. She’s a mother protecting her son’s legacy, and member of a council that claims to rule all Dwarves. She’s grown from a pampered Princess whose father never believed she could be as good as a male heir to one of the most powerful figures in the Alliance. And under her stewardship the Dark Iron have a choice. A future in Ironforge, the city of their ancestors, or servitude to deranged cultists of the Old Gods.
After the Shattering
Following Dagran’s death, Moira managed to establish herself as her son’s regent. This was despite some objections from others of the Dark Iron Dwarves of Blackrock Depths. In the end, she proved her political acumen as she played her one unassailable card. The child she carried was Dagran Thaurissan II. With enough subtlety and yes, at times tyrannical cruelty, her position as Empress and Regent was fully secured.
But when her father, Magni, chose to engage in a dangerous rite brought back from Ulduar and transformed himself into diamond, Moira didn’t wait long to press her claim. She was, by Dwarven law, the rightful heir to Ironforge. And despite his years of doubt in her abilities as a successor he’d never disinherited her. Add to that the fact that her son Dagran was heir to both the Bronzebeard and Dark Iron kingdoms. In Dagran Thaurissan II lay the closest to a rightful High King of the Dwarves since Modimus Anvilmar’s death and the dispossession of his son.
Moira’s invasion of Ironforge happened while Anduin Wrynn was serving his father as a diplomat in the Dwarven nation. While Moira wasn’t foolish enough to harm Anduin, she did play a game of verbal chess with the young Prince. She revealed her bitterness at her father’s treatment and her love for Dagran Thaurissan. In the end it may have been these revelations that led Anduin to intercede on her behalf. Varian Wrynn led a team of SI:7 agents to rescue his son and assassinate Moira for her attack on Ironforge, an Alliance nation. Anduin pointed out that whatever Moira’s crimes, she and her son were the rightful heirs to Ironforge. Killing her would just create further instability in both Ironforge and Blackrock Mountain.
Three Hammers ring again
Varian’s solution to the thorny problem of Moira Thaurissan was inspired, in its way. He neither assassinated her nor simply handed her the throne of Ironforge. Instead, with the authority that having a sword to someone’s neck can confer, he declared the formation of the Council of Three Hammers. He installed the Bronzebeard and Wildhammer clans in Ironforge to rule alongside Moira and her Dark Iron supporters.
Despite the shaky beginnings of the Council, it has endured since. Moira did continue playing political games. She attempted to use the Hammer of the High King as a rallying symbol. She also tried to influence the Bronzebeard clan to move against the Wildhammers, giving the Dark Iron more leeway in Ironforge’s affairs. Her son is only heir to Bronzebeard and Dark Iron thrones. It made political sense to try and ostracize the clan she had no direct or indirect sway over.
During the Cataclysm, Moira dealt with the continued presence of Dark Iron who remained loyal to the Twilight’s Hammer. A cadre of Dark Irons who were loyal to the Hammer attacked the Ironforge Airport. They cost Moira political capital with the other two members of the council, Falstad Wildhammer and her uncle Muradin Bronzebeard. Moira ultimately discovered the treason was orchestrated by Ambassador Slaghammer and had him arrested. But the fact remains that it made her look bad and set back her hopes for uniting Ironforge under her leadership.
From disaster to disaster
In her time in Ironforge, Moira has dealt with disloyalty from her Dark Iron subjects. She’s dealt with suspicion from her uncle and the Wildhammer Thane Falstad. And she’s dealt with the threat of the Frostmane trolls. During the Zandalari attempt to conquer Pandaria they attempted to marshal the Frostmanes to attack Ironforge. The Zandalari saw it as a way to distract the Alliance. Varian Wrynn, meanwhile, saw it as an opportunity to get the Dwarves to support a war effort against the Horde. If he helped them against the Frostmanes, they could certainly spare the troops for Pandaria. But when he arrived, neither the Bronzebeards nor the Wildhammers were keen on fighting. Both claimed they couldn’t spare the troops for fear the Dark Iron would stab them in the back in an attempt to claim Ironforge for themselves.
Ironically, Moira had no such fear. She led the Dark Iron to support Varian against the Frostmanes. In so doing, she earned a measure of respect from Varian. While they didn’t become best friends, gaining the respect of the man whose son she once held captive, who’d actually intended to assassinate her, was no mean feat. Moira later took part in the Siege of Orgrimmar personally. She led troops into the Horde capital city. These actions earned her a degree of trust from the other clans. They were willing to concede that the Dwarves had bigger problems to worry about than each other.
Following the Siege, Moira was present at the trial of Garrosh Hellscream. Since then, she even “persuaded” Fenella Darkvire, daughter of Fineous Darkvire, to take part in a jade hunting expedition in Pandaria to help rebuild the statue of the Jade Serpent.
The return of the King under the Mountain
Recently, Moira’s life has changed with the return of her father Magni to a kind of life. Moira was present at this awakening, although she was only there under duress. She saw her visit to Magni’s diamond form as a public political move to remind others of her relationship to the Bronzebeard King. But when Magni returned to consciousness, Moira was prepared to oppose his return to the throne of Ironforge — by force if necessary.
It turned out not to be. Magni had no intention of being King. It was a position he himself had never truly wanted in the first place. Instead, he bore warnings from Azeroth herself, the Titan that slept inside the world. Not only did Moira find herself not needing to oppose her father, she even had the unheard-of experience of hearing his apology for how he’d treated her growing up. Whatever peace those words might have brought, the coming of the Legion did little to grant her time to think on them. Now she works with Velen and the other Priests of Azeroth to help face the Legion threat, as well as continuing to work with the Alliance as one of Ironforge’s leaders.
We have no idea what the future holds for Moira — daughter of and mother to a King, Empress and Regent, Hammer of the Dark Iron. But she has shown a willingness to do whatever is necessary to lead her people — even put anger and bitterness aside and work with those that might have killed her.
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