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|Alliance Explorers' Guild|
|Main leader||King Magni Bronzebeard (Grand Explorer of the Guild, honorary leader), Brann Bronzebeard, Muninn Magellas, Tomli Magellas (High Explorers)|
|Secondary leaders||Samul Strangehands, Ryona Blondbeard, Hona Stonefall, Yulanini Hammersmith|
|Membership||3,750 and rising (formerly 2,350).|
|Race(s)||Mostly dwarves, a few gnomes.|
|Capital||Hall of Explorers, Ironforge|
|Main language||Dwarven, Common|
|Theater of operations||Eastern Kingdoms, Kalimdor, Outland|
|Alignment||Neutral good (formerly good)|
The Explorers' Guild, also known as Explorer's Guild, The Guild, Explorer's League, or Explorers' League, is an organization dedicated to researching the origin of the Dwarven race according to the Mystery of the Makers. They have many archaeological dig-sites in all corners of the world, from Kalimdor and Eastern Kingdoms to Outland. The League's main base of operations is located in the Hall of Explorers in Ironforge. The League is directed by High Explorer Magellas and created by mandate from King Magni Bronzebeard.
Exploring nearly every corner of the world. Searching for titan artifacts. Amassing one of the world’s largest libraries of information on Azeroth's history, people and cultures. When it was first discovered that the origins of the dwarven people might be tied to the ancient and mysterious titans, expeditions were quickly organized to search for artifacts and information that might confirm the theory. The first of these expeditions were led by hardy dwarven prospectors accustomed to long treks in unforgiving territory. As they taught their skills to the new generation of journeymen, a new breed of dwarven traveler emerged. These travelers appointed themselves the task of gathering as much information as possible about the world, its history, and its cultures in hopes of finding the scraps of information the titans might have left behind to lead their progeny to the truth. Though they often still called themselves “prospectors”, they gathered together under the banner of their true calling: the Explorers’ Guild.
In less than a decade, the Explorers’ Guild has already amassed an incredible archive of information and artifacts in their guildhall close to the dwarven throne in Ironforge. The tales brought back by the members of the Guild have ignited the imaginations of the dwarven nation, and children who once dreamed of carrying a blunderbuss into battle or piloting a gyrocopter now play at exploring in the caverns near their home. Though many of them think the dwarves’ obsession with the titans verges on the ridiculous, the soldiers and diplomats of the Alliance are happy to support the efforts of the Explorers’ Guild so long as it continues to provide useful news from distant and unexplored places. In addition to the cultural and geographic intelligence it gathers, information provided by the Guild has allowed the Alliance to produce a map of more than 400 untapped gold mines across Khaz Modan and Lordaeron in preparation for an eventual move north to battle the Scourge.
New members of the Explorers' Guild spend their early days honing their skills close to home, guiding travelers through the peaks and passes of Khaz Modan and leading supply expeditions for the dwarven kingdoms. Once they’ve proved themselves, these “prospectors” are upgraded to “journeyman” status and given their first field missions by the Guild. Often, these missions involve traveling to remote but previously visited locales in order to update the Guild’s library with news of current events in the area. Eventually, the journeymen are upgraded to full Explorer status and given carte blanche to travel where they will with full Guild support, provided that they produce regular reports on their excursions.
The dwarven king is the official head of the Explorer’s Guild, though the title is mostly honorary — only once in Guild history has the king filed a report in the Archives. The daily operation of the Guild is overseen by the Excursion Council, made up of several dozen of the oldest and most experienced members of the Guild. The younger members of the Guild have nicknamed this group the “Excuse Me Council,” as many of the Council are constantly leaving behind their duties to set off on their own self-assigned journeys. Yet so long as a small fraction of the Council remains in Ironforge to coordinate outgoing and incoming Guild expeditions, the organization continues to run smoothly.
For many years, members of the Guild met in the Weary Boots Tavern in Ironforge, storing their reports and retrieved artifacts on sagging wooden shelves in a disused warehouse. Several years ago, treasure gathered by the Guild was combined with a bequest from the throne to pay for a new block of chambers to be carved out of the rock of the dwarven capital. The newly completed Guildhall provides members with offices and meeting rooms, workshops to repair gear and equipment, warehouses and libraries, private quarters for higher-ranking members and group bunkrooms for newer initiates. A large museum open to the public shows exhibits of relics collected by the Guild; when titan artifacts are on display, the line to get into the museum often snakes out the entrance of the Guildhall and across the public square in front of the building. Smaller guildhalls, called “way stations”, are being established in far-flung corners of Azeroth, usually in the back rooms of inns or taverns along well-traveled routes to distant parts of the continent. Though they still vary in the level of service they can offer, some way stations can provide detailed maps of the local area while others stockpile supplies of dried foods and basic traveling necessities that can be drawn upon by Guild members (who are expected to pay for their withdrawals of Guild property whenever possible).
The overwhelming majority of members in the Explorer’s Guild are dwarves. Fewer than a dozen members of other races are inducted into the ranks each year, usually after providing exemplary service to the Guild on several official expeditions. A green torch burning at the entrance to the Guildhall in Ironforge marks the rare occasions when the Guild is accepting new applicants, a call usually answered by hundreds of young dwarves who can demonstrate the requisite skill with languages and a broad base of geographic and historical knowledge. For each opening, twenty top potentials are selected and taken into the mountains of Khaz Modan by one of the Excursion Council. What follows is an intensive three-week trial that tests not only the potentials’ physical ability and stamina but also a wide range of skills from map making and tracking to herbalism and mineral location. At the end of the test period, the applicants who come out on top are inducted into the Guild and officially allowed to call themselves prospectors.
Membership in the Guild is selective, as each member receives a stipend from the Guild of two gold pieces per day, rising to five gold pieces when on a sanctioned expedition. In addition, the Guild stores will completely outfit any official expedition with supplies and equipment — though the quartermasters are notoriously stingy when arguing the definition of “completely outfit”. All Guild members can also make their home at the Guildhall in Ironforge, though when all the private quarters are taken up by higher ranking members of the Guild (as during the annual Convocation, when the Guild gathers to share stories and plan expeditions for the coming year), even fullfledged explorers can find themselves sleeping in the fifth slot up in the bunkhouse. Guild members come from all walks of life, their skills contributing to the goals of the Guild and the dwarven people. For some, however, exploration becomes more than a profession — it becomes an avocation and a passion. The members of the Explorers' League are spread across the globe at various key digsites and expeditions.
In Wrath of the Lich King EditWotLK This section concerns content exclusive to Wrath of the Lich King.
In Wrath of the Lich King, the Explorers' Guild ventured to Northrend under the broader name of the Explorers' League and established a base of operations in the Howling Fjord to the east. There they discovered the Iron dwarf race and uncovered more links to their evolution from the Earthen.
In Cataclysm EditCataclysm This section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.
In Cataclysm, the Explorers' Guild will appear again in Titan-related zone of Uldum, constantly rivaling with their Horde counterpart, the blood elven Reliquary, to the point where overt hostilities erupt.
Known Members Edit
Known locations of the Guild's camps and digsites and their current status Edit
Note: This list may be incomplete.
- Alterac Valley (unknown exactly where, but apparently to the north) --- At war with the Horde
- Whelgar's Excavation Site, south-west in Wetlands --- Overrun with raptors
- Ironband's Excavation Site, south-east in Loch Modan --- Overrun with troggs
- Gol'Bolar Quarry, eastern Dun Morogh --- Overrun with troggs
- Uldaman (both inside and outside the instance), northern Badlands --- Overrun with troggs, various beasts, remaining earthen and assaulted by Dark Irons
- Grimesilt Dig Site, eastern Searing Gorge --- Assaulted by Dark Irons
- Remtravel's Excavation, southern Darkshore --- Overrun with stone golems
- Dun Mandarr, middle Winterspring --- Overrun with angry wildkins
- Bael'dun Digsite, western Mulgore --- Populated, but regularly suffering attacks from the Horde
- Bael Modan, southern Barrens --- Populated, but regularly suffering attacks from the Horde
- Rustmaul Dig Site, south-west in the Shimmering Flats, Thousand Needles --- Overrun with silithid after being attacked by the Horde
- Valley of the Watchers, southern Tanaris --- Populated
- Terror Run, south-eastern Un'Goro --- Abandoned, possibly after being attacked by dinosaurs
- Close to Ironstone Plateau, north-western Un'Goro --- Abandoned, possibly after being attacked by dinosaurs
- Bronzebeard Encampment, southern Silithus --- Populated
- Baelgun's Excavation Site, south-east, Howling Fjord --- Overrun with Iron Dwarves
- Explorers' League Outpost, south-east, Howling Fjord --- Populated
- Steel Gate, western Howling Fjord --- Populated, but regularly suffering attacks from the Scourge
- Ivald's Ruin, eastern Howling Fjord --- Overrun with Iron Dwarves
- Prospector's Point, south-east in Grizzly Hills --- Populated
- Brann's Base-Camp, middle Storm Peaks --- Abandoned