As you would guess from my previous 30 day posts, the lore of Warcraft is of much intrigue to me. I’ve talked about it before, but one of the biggest things that keeps me playing WoW (and keeps me from playing Guild Wars 2 permanently) is a connection with the stories and the lore. Whether it’s something major like Garrosh’s rise and fall, or something as simple as Baron Rivendare’s son taking over in Stratholme, I enjoy nearly all of it. But, my absolute favourite would have to pertain to Edwin Van Cleef.
Newer players would only know of him as a ghost in the Crusader’s Coliseum battle, or as Vanessa Van Cleef’s father. Some might know he was the leader of the Defias Brotherhood (which remains one of the most popular factions in the game). All of this is true, but most don’t even know who the original Defias were. Sure, everyone feared the Deadmines in their original state, but how did the former Stonemasons become Defias and start building a ship? And would heroes willingly attack them if they knew the full story?
You see, after the Second War, the Stonemasons Guild were the folks that rebuilt Stormwind. Edwin Van Cleef lead the effort, and also the one to rebuild Nethergarde Keep after that whole Dark Portal thing. However, after Stormwind was built…the Nobles refused to pay the amount that was agreed upon prior to the work. The Guild was demanding a pretty high price for the work and the Nobles were lowballing them in return and then ordered the Guild to be disbanded. Can’t really blame Edwin for being just a bit ticked off over the situation. However, truth be told, the House of Nobles was acting under the advice of Lady Katrana Prestor. If her truth had come out then, things probably would have been different. But things were what they were and, in response, Van Cleef and company were rioting in the streets before escaping the city. The important part about the rioting is the fact that this is where Anduin’s mother was murdered. So now, Varian’s got no use for Edwin and the feeling is more than mutual.
Van Cleef lead “his people” all the way to Westfall. A bunch of farmers were pretty easy to scare away, freeing up several gold mines in the process. He then plotted to build his ship and sail into Stormwind, attacking the very city that he (and others) felt had abused him and cast him aside. Now, of course, that plan didn’t work out. A group of adventurers entered the Deadmines and made off with Van Cleef’s head for Alliance authorities to see as proof of the Defias leader’s demise.
I think the reason I enjoy this particular story so much is not only does it involve one of my favourite dungeons (before the changes), but it directly involves a number of prominent Warcraft characters. You have Edwin, Vanessa, Varian, Anduin, Onyxia, Marshall Stoutmantle, and Tiffin Ellerian. Even the Defias Brotherhood remains, and isn’t limited to Westfall by any stretch. Like I said, it’s not a tale that spans a vast length of time (save for the time between Edwin’s death and Vanessa’s rise), but it intertwines with more than enough people and events that it becomes that much more intriguing.