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 the Valley of Kings!
The Valley of Kings is situated in Loch Modan on the Eastern Kingdoms continent, along the path to Searing Gorge. Hundreds of years ago, during the War of the Three Hammers, the Valley was the location which the Dark Iron dwarf clan marched through in an attempt to take control of Ironforge from Madoran Bronzebeard and the Bronzebeard clan. The specifics aren’t known, but the Dark Iron dwarves never took Ironforge and were forced to retreat back through the Valley. They had also launched a parallel attack against Khardros Wildhammer and the Wildhammer clan in Grim Batol, and while it was marginally more successful than their attack on Ironforge, it was ultimately thwarted as well.
While the Bronzebeard and Wildhammer clans marched in retaliation towards the Dark Iron clan located in areas now known as Searing Gorge and Redridge Mountains, the Dark Iron clan was working to summon an ancient power from beneath the mountains. This ancient power turned out to be Firelord Ragnaros, and his summoning tore apart the once pristine lands and created the giant volcano known as Blackrock Mountain. Seeing this destruction, the Bronzebeard and Wildhammer clans turned around and marched back through the Valley of Kings. What seemed like a victory for the Dark Iron clan ended up being their greatest loss. Many of their members were killed during the summoning and those who weren’t ended up as Ragnaros’ slaves for years to come.
With their common enemy reduced to ash and slaves, the Bronzebeard and Wildhammer clans sought to return to a normal life. Their leaders, Mordoran and Khardros, worked hard to bolster unity and cooperation between the two clans. Following their eventual deaths, the two leaders’ sons jointly commissioned statues to be built in their honor in what would be named the Valley of Kings. The statues served as a reminder of the events that took place there, both the camaraderie built between the Bronzebeards and Wildhammers and the great losses suffered by the Dark Irons. Coupled with the steep valley walls and bunkers, the statues also serve as a formidable sight for anyone who would try to invade the new Ironforge kingdom from Searing Gorge.
This brings us to how the Valley of Kings first appeared in World of Warcraft, and how it has stayed since. The two statues sit facing Searing Gorge, with a single path leading up to them, passing several bunkers along the way. While the statues are significantly weathered, they appear no less grand when standing next to them than the day they were sculpted. They survived The Shattering during the Cataclysm expansion, which saw the destruction of the nearby Loch damn, and will no doubt survive for hundreds more years as a symbol of strength and unity between the dwarven people.
Additional lore resources for Valley of Kings
Madoran Bronzebeard - +
Khardros Wildhammer - +
Ragnaros - +
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 @PrestonDvorak. Bonus points if the selfie is somewhere you shouldn’t be (such as an Alliance player in Orgrimmar)!