Field Photographer Friday is a weekly look at the lore and history behind locations around World of Warcraft. This week, we're taking a look at Stormspire!
The Stormspire is a neutral town located in Netherstorm on the Outland continent and was introduced during the Burning Crusade expansion. The town is controlled by the Consortium, a band of ethereal smugglers led by Nexus-Prince Haramad. The town is surrounded by lush vegetation and protected from the constant magical storms by two eco-dome generators called Sutheron and Skyperch. This gives it a unique appearance that stands in stark contrast to the rest of Netherstorm which has been stripped bare by the magical energies. The town was built on top of a high plateau and is only accessible by flight or by elevator. This height, combined with the vegetation and the eco-domes gives it a secluded feel and could be why the Consortium settled here. Several dialogues and quests in the area tell stories about the Consortium’s enemies, including the Ethereum, a rogue faction of ethereals seeking to “become void,” as well as Prince Kael’thas Sunstrider and his followers, who were former customers of the Consortium. Also present is Advisor Rahim, a member of the Protectorate, a faction of ethereals working to stamp out the Ethereum and those who seek to harm the other ethereals. Their presence here suggests the Consortium is a sanctioned ethereal faction and not a rogue black market operation as their name and activities suggest, at least in the eyes of the other ethereals.
The areas protected by the eco-domes give a glimpse into the past and what Stormspire and Netherstorm used to look like. Prior to the end of the Second War, and long before World of Warcraft’s time, Outland was known as Draenor and it hadn’t yet been broken apart. During this time, the Netherstorm was a lush forest island called Farahlon. Farahlon itself was the remains of a sporemound, which were large carnivorous plants that nearly took over Draenor before being destroyed by Grond, a huge elemental giant. Not much is known about Farahlon, but given the architecture of Stormspire, we can assume the Draenei had settled in the area and that this was one of their main towns on the island.
Following the orc’s defeat in the Second War, their then-Warchief Ner’zhul sought to open portals to new worlds for them to conquer. Trying to open so many portals released a large surge of magical energy that tore Draenor apart, turning it into Outland as we know it today. This surge of energy had a particularly damaging effect on the Netherstorm area and weakened the divide between it and the Twisting Nether. With the introduction of manaforges by Kael’Thas several decades later, the area became tumultuous and unstable, with almost constant mana storms tearing apart the remaining landscape. It’s unclear when the eco-dome generators were put in place to protect Stormspire, but we know they were built by the ethereals. Given the pristine condition of everything protected by the domes, we can assume they were at least built before the manaforges were put into production.
Stormspire is a unique place and offers a rare glimpse deep into the past through the care of the ethereal race, who themselves are still quite mysterious today. Stormspire sits surrounded by immense power and as the main base of operations of the Consortium, it’s a unique target for their enemies and the enemies of Azeroth. There’s no indication that anything will become of this in the future, but it’s certainly an area that could be exploited again.
Leader of the ethereal faction called the Consortium.
Kael'thas Sunstrider was a senior member of the Kirin Tor and the Prince of Quel'Thalas, the last of the Sunstrider dynasty. -Wowpedia
Massive elemental giant created by the titans, ancestor of modern gronn, ogres, and orcs.
Join me every Friday as I work to expand my lore knowledge while completing the Field Photographer achievement. Read lore summaries for each location and follow up with resources where you can go more indepth! I encourage you to share your own selfies and any additional lore resources you know of in the comments below, or tweet me @PrestonDvorak. Bonus points* if the selfie is somewhere you shouldn’t be (such as an Alliance player in Orgrimmar)!
*Points are meaningless and have no monetary value, but they’ll never give you up or let you down.