The Alliance (also known as the Grand Alliance or the New Alliance) is one of the two central political unions of the mortal races inhabiting the planet of Azeroth, along with the Horde – their rival. Its predecessor, today known as the Old Alliance, also called the Alliance of Lordaeron or the Alliance of Humans, Elves and Dwarves. However, since those times, the Alliance was forced to move the bulk of its forces to Kalimdor and the southern kingdoms of Azeroth – Stormwind and Khaz Modan, following the destruction of the Kingdom of Lordaeron by the Scourge, under the control of the Burning Legion, in the year 20 ADP. The faction's capital is the city of Stormwind, where the High King resides. He is the leader of the entire faction – representing its external and internal affairs and directing the troops as their Commander-in-Chief. Although, the Alliance has lost many members, it has gained new allies in return. The Alliance consists of the humans of the Seven Kingdoms, the night elves of Teldrassil, the worgens of Gilneas, the dwarves of Ironforge, the draenei of Exodar and the gnomes of Gnomeregan. Recently, other races have also been joining this union. The Alliance is mainly made up of the so-called, noble races, led by the Light or believing in various deities, whose attribute is often good, as opposed to the Horde, which is made up of races that are either shamanistic or put faith in their own, more personal, beliefs, races that most of the others consider outcasts. However, just like the Horde, which arms itself for its defence and in order to achieve its goals is ready to perform even the most monstrous deeds; the Alliance is not without sin, because it acts peacefully only when it goes in line with its interests, and demonstrates nobility only officially most of the time, while behind the scenes, it actually conducts, oftentimes, extremely dirty business.
The beginning of an Alliance
The Alliance, as we know it, originates from the Alliance of Lordaeron, which united the Seven Kingdoms of humans, the elven Quel'Thalas and the lands of Khaz Modan, belonging to dwarves and gnomes. The main reason for the creation of that union was the aggression of the orc Horde, which destroyed the human Kingdom of Stormwind during the First War. Following that event, the survivors fled to Lordaeron, where Terenas Menethil II – the ruler of that kingdom – allowed the survivors to stay in the capital. Soon after, the Alliance was formed, with a goal to drive the forces of the Horde out of Azeroth. At first, the Second War of the coalition of humans, elves, gnomes, and dwarves against the orcs, ogres, forest trolls, and goblins, went in favour of the Draenorian invaders, but the punishment of the Alterac kingdom for treason, as well as the betrayal of Gul'dan and the clans of Storm Reavers and Twilight Hammer changed the odds. The Alliance counterattacked, quickly breaking off the attack on Quel'Thalas and the Aerie Peak, forcing the greenskins to flee. In the aftermath of their retreat, during the assault on Black Mountain, the Alliance captured Orgrim Doomhammer, the Horde's Warchief, but lost their commander, Sir Anduin Lothar. Shortly, the forces of the Horde, without their leader, had to retreat all the way to the Dark Portal itself. Much later, the Alliance physically destroyed the Dark Portal, thus preventing the destruction of Draenor from leading to the destruction of Azeroth as well. This put the orcs in their respective camps where they fell into lethargy, which allowed them to return to their roots.
Although, this union weakened over time it still existed after the Second War, reformed into the Alliance of Humans, Elves and Dwarves. The war was initially being won by the humans, but Arthas' expedition to Northrend, his transformation into a Death Knight, as well as the subsequent betrayal and resurrection of his subjects into the Scourge's forces, led to a near-total annihilation of the troops. Those who managed to flee, were evacuated to Stromgrade and Kul’Tiras through Hillsbrad Foothills. In the year 20 ADP another conflict broke out – the Third War of the Age of Chaos, that lasted until the beginning of the following year. The Burning Legion and the Scourge were defeated during the Battle of Mount Hyjal, which resulted in the undead horde losing their masters, while the Legion lost their command in Azeroth, including Mannoroth who corrupted the orcs in Draenor long ago and Archimonde – Sargeras' left hand and Kil'jaeden's right hand. The remnants of the Legion were defeated by the three factions that allied themselves during the battle – the Alliance, the Horde, and the Night Elves. In addition, the Legion’s former minions, who were now playing their own game, joined the fight against the Legion, together with Illidan's forces, who has been freed after 10,000 years of captivity, and commanded an army made up of nagas – formerly the Highborn, who were changed after the Great Sundering, due to drowning underwater, and were later joined by Blood Elves as well.
This started a war called the Ascension of the Lich King, which was eventually won by the Scourge. At the time, the Alliance and the Horde were rising anew after their losses during the Third War. The new Warlord, Thrall, gathered orcs, trolls from the Darkspear tribe, and taurens; together forming the reformed Horde, which was rather shamanistic than demonic in nature. However, this one was also different in many other ways from the Old Horde that destroyed Azeroth and Khaz Modan years ago. Having rid themselves of the Blood Curse of Mannoroth, the orcs became a free race once again. Having gotten rid of their lust for killing and not being demon worshippers anymore, the orcs returned to their peaceful lifestyle based on their original, shamanistic beliefs.
Trolls and taurens immediately joined the newly formed organization. Meanwhile, the Alliance established their bridgeheads in the Dustwallow Marsh with a capital in Theramore. The surviving human kingdoms to the east – Azeroth, Kul’Tiras, and Stromgrade – learned that a portion of the forces from Lordaeron had found the previously unknown continent and settled there, thus surviving the attack of the Scourge. Without the knowledge of the leader of the survivors in the person of Jaina Proudmoore, a fleet from Jaina's homeland set out there and upon meeting the orcs they began to attack them, as they had been doing ever since the Second War, back when they were still members of the Lordaeron Alliance. As a result, Kul’Tiras took over Theramore and together they began attacking the Horde. Meanwhile, Jaina, along with Rokhan and Rexxar, discovered who was behind it – Lord Admiral Daelin Proudmoore himself.
The invasion of Durotar that took place slightly after the Ascension was the fuse for further tensions between the Horde and Theramore. Fearing Horde’s domination and the weakness of the Alliance in central Kalimdor, representatives of Theramore, the Kingdom of Azeroth, now calling itself the Kingdom of Stormwind, the gnomes of Gnomeregan, and the dwarves of Ironforge formed a new faction. This Alliance, also referred to as the New Alliance, was to be the answer to the New Horde that formed in Kalimdor.
At that time, a series of misfortunes followed – the Troggs attacked Gnomeregan, and Sicco Thermaplugg's plot resulted in the city being irradiated and contaminated. The gnomes evacuated to Ironforge, where they established New Tinkertown as a temporary capital. Meanwhile, the night elves established a new home in the city of Darnassus, atop the new World Tree, Teldrassil, which grew on an island near Kalimdor. Given that the relations with the Horde had been tense during the Third War, even now there was intense fighting on the borders between the two factions. In the face of this, the Kaldorei joined the Alliance as a fourth party. In response, the Horde accepted the request of the Banshee Queen, Sylvanas Windrunner, and allowed the Forsaken, the free undead ruling over Lordaeron, to join the Horde. Both sides began to prepare for a possible attack from their opponent. Peace became a pipe dream for many and there were few who could live without war now.
After much turmoil, the leader of Theramore, who was opposed to co-existence or even avoidance of conflict between the two factions, finally handed over the leadership of the Alliance to Varian Wrynn, the ruler of the Kingdom of Stormwind. The kingdom became one of the last bastions of humanity in Azeroth, along with Theramore, Stromgrade, Gilneas, Dalaran, and the Kul’Tiras. Out of the Seven Kingdoms, only Stromgrade and Stormwind belonged to a faction that included all: humans, dwarves, gnomes, and night elves. In 25 ADP, Varian Wrynn, the King of Stormwind, mysteriously disappeared while on his way to a conference in Theramore. For the duration of his absence, his son Anduin became the High King. As he was only 10 years old, a regency council was formed with the paladin, Bolvar Fordragon, and the witch, Lady Katrana Prestor, as leading figures. There were many issues within the Alliance, for example: the humans were troubled by the Blackrock clan, the night elves had problems with the orcs of Durotar, the dwarves had problems with the troggs, and the gnomes had to organize a government in exile.
The Alliance informed the Horde representatives about the disappearance of their ruler, although he was soon found. However, he was completely different from the normal Varian, he behaved arrogantly and had no interest in anyone or anything except entertainment. Meanwhile, another Varian was found in Orgrimmar, but with amnesia, however, he was accurately exhibiting the traits of the real High King. The Horde decided to introduce him to the Alliance’s representatives. Anduin knew something bad had happened. Subsequent investigation by the Alliance and Horde heroes proved that it was a conspiracy by Katrana, or rather the black dragoness, Onyxia, who wanted to manipulate everyone and bring about the downfall of both, the Alliance and the Horde. The heroes defeated her, and in that moment, the two Varians, merged back into one entity.
In consequence, the factions begun to rebuild. Varian found his Alliance in no small disarray, especially when the Defias Brotherhood – a faction responsible for the death of his wife, Queen Tiffina – staged a real uprising in Westfall. The king of the Wrynn dynasty sent the heroes to track down the gang's leader, Edwin VanCleef, and bring him to justice, which eventually took place in the Deadmines near Moonbrook. Several months later, adventurers guarding the Alliance’s borders and operating for it in neutral, contested, or Horde territories reported strange worms coming out of the land, south of the desert, called Silithus. The Horde also received such reports. Varian Wrynn and Thrall sent scouts and adventurers to get a report stating, that these worms were the Qiraji, a southern strain of Aqir annihilated tens of thousands of years ago by Zandalar.