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The Defias Brotherhood
Defias Brotherhood.jpg



Former leaders

Secondary leaders

Under Edwin:

  • Bazil Thredd
  • Morgan the Collector
  • Marisa du'Paige
  • Garn Mathers
  • Alex Emsworth

Under Vanessa:

  • Admiral James Harrington, AKA "Ripsnarl"
  • Helix Gearbreaker
  • Glubtok
  • "Captain" Cookie



Base of operations

The Deadmines below Moonbrook

Theater of operations

Kingdom of Stormwind
Dustwallow Marsh



The Defias Brotherhood was a group of assassins, thieves, pirates and other criminal types whose goal was to overthrow the Kingdom of Stormwind. Previously led by Edwin VanCleef, many of its members were part of the Stonemason's Guild and participated in the reconstruction of Stormwind City and the Stonemason Riots, which culminated with the death of Queen Tiffin Wrynn.


The Brotherhood was originally formed by Edwin VanCleef, former guild master of the Stonemason's Guild, following the Stormwind House of Nobles' refusal to pay them for the reconstruction of Stormwind City. When the city was finished, VanCleef met with the nobles, and what followed remains unclear. The nobles stated that VanCleef asked for a sum of money much larger than the original amount while the Stonemasons said that the nobles wouldn't pay the original amount promised. Regardless of whatever may have happened, the Stonemasons rioted, which ended with the death of Queen Tiffin.

After escaping into the wilds, VanCleef and his followers formed the Defias Gang, and based themselves in the mines beneath the town of Moonbrook in southern Westfall. Bazil Thredd was named VanCleef's second-in-command.

Over time, VanCleef's Stonemason connections brought more members to the criminal gang, and by stationing men at several points along the Nazferiti River, he created a network of transport and communications that stretched as far east as the Redridge Mountains, and even to the south, towards the goblin port town of Booty Bay. He even managed to get a contact within the Stormwind House of Nobles itself, in the form of Lord Gregor Lescovar. While Lescovar refused to become one of his subordinates, they managed to reach an agreement and were starting to destroy Stormwind from within.

VanCleef also hired the Riverpaw gnolls as thugs, stationing them throughout Westfall. A group of goblins were also hired to build harvest watchers, mechanical machines that look like scarecrows that were used to scare off the inhabitants of Westfall.

When the bulk of the Stormwind Army left to fight the Horde, VanCleef struck. The Defias spilled out of the Deadmines, quickly taking Moonbrook. They raided the Alexston Farmstead, burnt the farms of the Dead Acre and Demont's Place to the ground, and sent a group under Benny Blaanco to raid the Furlbrow Pumpkin Patch. They also took the Molsen Farm and the Jansen Stead, scaring everyone off with the harvest golems. After taking the two mines of Westfall; the Jangolode Mine, and the Gold Coast Quarry, the only people left in Westfall were the Saldean family at their farm and those who would form the People's Militia under Gryan Stoutmantle.

Following his successful takeover of Westfall, VanCleef quickly moved on to the Elwynn Forest. First sending in the Riverpaws, they set up an encampment in the Duchy of Westridge along the forest's edge to the south of the town of Westbrook. They seized the lands of the Mirror Lake Orchard and the Brackwell Pumpkin Patch while a group under Garrick Padfoot penetrated Northshire Valley and took the vineyards. Another group under Dead-Tooth Jack set up an encampment near the Ridgepoint Tower in the County of Eastvale, while others took the property of Jerod's Landing located along the river. Finally, VanCleef hired kobolds to work in the captured mines of Echo RidgeJasperlode and Fargodeep.

With Elwynn seemingly in their hands, the Defias started taking over the farms in Duskwood, taking the Yorgen Farmstead and Addle's Stead. With materials from all over the Kingdom of Stormwind flowing into the Deadmines, VanCleef contracted goblins to build a juggernaut. He also entered an alliance with the Bloodsail Buccaneers. The Fleet Master, Firallon, sent a crew of pirates under Captain Greenskin, who would captain VanCleef's vessel when the time would come.

One of the first blows to the Defias was dealt unknowingly when Marshal Douglas McBride of Northshire had the Echo Ridge Mine retaken. At this time, no one linked the kobolds to the Defias, merely thinking they were a separate nuisance. Following this, McBride posted a bounty on Garrick Padfoot, which led to his death, eventually pushing the Defias out of the vineyards.

The Defias would soon lose control of the Fargodeep and Jasperlode Mine after they were raided at the behest of Marshal Dughan of Goldshire. The Brackwell farm would soon be retaken, culminating in the death of one of VanCleef's chief lieutenants, Morgan the Collector. This would be a hard blow to VanCleef, as Morgan practically ran the Defias operations in Elwynn.

Jerod's Landing was infiltrated by SI:7 agents sent by Mathias Shaw, resulting in the recovery of important shipping information.

Thredd was eventually captured an imprisoned in the Stormwind Stockades. Presumably through Lescovar's influence, both the Blackrock orc Targorr the Dread and the corpse thief Dextren Ward had their death sentences postponed or even nullified, along with other prisoners who took part in the First Stockade Riot.

Back in Westfall, the People's Militia were having a hard time. Gryan Stoutmantle contacted the rogue Wiley the Black, who had successfully infiltrated the Brotherhood and found out about their goals. While he initially stayed quiet out of fear, he opened up because he owed Stoutmantle a favor. He revealed that the Defias Brotherhood had links to the Stonemason's Guild, something that wasn't known up until then. While this was confirmed to him by Mathias Shaw, one of VanCleef's childhood friends, Stoutmantle wanted more proof. After intercepting a message from VanCleef himself, he ordered an assassination to infiltrate the depths of the Deadmines to remove Vancleef from power.

However, instead of putting a stop to the Defias, VanCleef's death made the Defias harder to track. Prior to his death, he had hastily written a letter to fellow Stonemason Baros Alexston, which presumably begged for him to support the Defias. He was killed before he could send it, but Alexston wanted nothing to do with the Defias Gang either way. However, Alexston pointed toward Thredd, who was still held in the Stockades.

Prior to VanCleef's death, Thredd started getting a visitor, a man under the name of Maelik, who was actually an assassin named Marzon. Marzon served as a messenger between Thredd, VanCleef and Lescovar, and they organized the First Stockade Riot, which would have led them to safety. However, the guards, under Warden Thelwater, managed to put down the riot, killing the instigators.

Thredd's death led to questions being asked about his contact. Through Shaw, it was discovered he was an assassin. However, his contacts with Lord Lescovar weren't enough to bring the corrupt noble down, and he asked an old friend, Elling Trias, to help him. The rogue's cover as a cheesemaker and the secrecy surrounding his actual profession allowed him to act beyond the limits of the law. Trias already had an operative inside Stormwind Keep, and he had both Lescovar and his contact assassinated after receiving confirmation of his link to the Defias Brotherhood.

Some time after VanCleef's death, a diplomat on his way to Theramore Isle to speak with Lady Jaina Proudmoore was intercepted, being held on the nearby Alcaz Island until his escape and landing on the shores of Durotar. Bishop DeLavey was discreetly investigating the matter, but he was running out of options. Eventually, he sent one of his agents to speak with one of his contacts, who sent him to Elling Trias.

With Trias' help, the traces of the Brotherhood were followed through Duskwood, into the alleys of Stormwind City itself and to the harbor town of Menethil Harbor. It was revealed that the diplomat in question was none other than King Varian Wrynn himself, and he was captured by a Defias agent posted on the boat. The agent was a soldier in the Theramore army and was apprehended by Lady Proudmoore in Theremore after a fight at the North Point Tower.

The Dawning

For several years after that, the Defias were nearly nonexistent until the great Cataclysm. Waves of homeless people were pouring into Westfall, and the Furlbrows were murdered along with their horse. An investigation led by Lieutenant Horatio Laine was started by Stormwind, and they discovered that gnolls and murlocs may have been involved. Laine thought it wasn't related, and sent one of his agent to meet with a contact, Two-Shoed Lou.

Lou had some good information about the murders, including the Jasperlode Mine's foreman, Glubtok, joining forces with an unknown woman and the knowledge of the Furlbrow murderers. However, the thugs who killed the Furlbrows were killed, and so was Lou shortly afterwards: Two bullets in the chest, and his shoes were stuffed on his head.

Laine's agent was sent to the Saldean's Farm in order to question them about the recent murders. They didn't know anything, but they pointed him towards their daughter Hope who was in Sentinel Hill at the time. The Westfall Brigade also captured a worgen who terrorized the countryside. Meanwhile, a goblin known as Helix Gearbreaker had entered Westfall and was monitored by SI:7 as soon as he entered the region. Helix and the mysterious figure were eavesdropped by Laine's agent, who was sent to Moonbrook shortly afterwards where the figure would be holding a rally.

With some spiritual help, it was revealed that Edwin VanCleef had a daughter, Vanessa, who witnessed his demise. After bringing this information to Gryan Stoutmantle, the Brotherhood raided Sentinel Hill, and Hope Saldean was revealed to be none other than Vanessa herself, the mastermind behind the operation.

After leaving Sentinel Hill to burn, she and her followers returned to the Deadmines. Stoutmantle sent his own agents to finish the job he started years ago, to finally remove the Defias Brotherhood as a threat. However, Vanessa chose not to go down easily. She was a master poisoner, and after giving the band of adventurers nightmare poison that distracted them, she fought them personally. However, she set many charges on the juggernaut her father had been rebuilding, and blew it up in an attempt to kill her assailants. In the end, she refused to let herself be killed, and committed suicide, ending the threat of the Brotherhood for good.

It was later revealed that those who witnessed Vanessa's death were mistaken, their perceptions addled by the neurotoxin. She had escaped, and lived undercover for several years before coming forward once more, though no longer the leader of the Defias Gang.

The Kingdom of Stormwind
Lands Azeroth Stormwind City (King's Country) · Blasted Lands (Nethergarde Keep) · Duskwood (Darkshire · Myrewood · Raven Hill) · Elwynn Forest (Eastvale · Goldshire · Northshire · Westridge · Stonewind · Greyhallow) · Redridge Mountains (Lakeshire · Ridgegarde · Stonewatch) · Swamp of Sorrows (Marshtide Watch) · Westfall (Kingsburg · Moonbrook · New Borough · Sentinel Hill)
Overseas Balor · Gillijim's Isle · Diua Islands · Dustshire · Kingsland · Leonia · Lion's Landing · Valgarde · Valiance Keep · Veridia
Organizations Government House of Nobles · Night Watch Militia · People's Militia · Stormwind Constabulary · Order of the Lion · Stormwind Trading Company
Military Stormwind Army (The First Regiment) · Stormwind Navy · Stormwind Guard · Stormwind Marine Corps · Stormwind Air Corps · SI:7 · Brotherhood of the Horse · Stormwind Royal Guard · Highguard
Other Church of the Holy Light · Defias Brotherhood
Notable Figures Varian Wrynn · Tiffin Wrynn · Anduin Wrynn · Bolvar Fordragon · Katrana Prestor · Mathias Shaw · Edwin VanCleef · Reginald Windsor · Gryan Stoutmantle · Halford Wyrmbane · Jes-Tereth · Catherine Rogers · Julianne Tremblade
Events First War · First Defias Conflict · Stonemason Riots · Return of King Wrynn