|The Kingdom of Gilneas|
Gilneas City, capital of the kingdom.
|Cities and Towns|
Gilneas House of Nobles
Gilnean Peninsula, Lordaeron
≈90 000 square miles
Damaged, militarily occupied
The Kingdom of Gilneas is located on a large peninsula that juts into the sea south of western Lordaeron. Silverpine Forest lies to the north-east and Kul Tiras awaits across the sea to the south. Gilneas had originally withdrawn from the Grand Alliance following the end of the second war by constructing the Greymane Wall and severing all prior ties. However as of the developments of Deathwing's return and the second shattering, Gilneas has rejoined the Alliance.
- 1 History
- 2 Current Status
- 3 National Symbols
- 4 Visual Arts
- 5 Foreign Policy
- 6 Economy
- 7 Economic Policy
- 8 Natural Resources
- 9 Maritime Trade
- 10 Industrial Capital
- 11 Science and Technology
- 12 Medicine and Alchemical Science
- 13 Engineering
- 14 Education
- 15 Language
- 16 Literary Arts
- 17 Media
- 18 Names
- 19 Performing Arts
- 20 Recreation
- 21 The Dead
- 22 Festivals and Holidays
- 23 Religion and Spirituality
- 23.1 Known Religious sites
- 23.2 Church of the Holy Light
- 23.3 Clergy
- 23.4 Light's Dawn Cathedral
- 23.5 Paladins
- 23.6 Druidism
- 23.7 Ancestral Veneration
- 23.8 Wolf Cult
- 23.9 Elune, the Moon Goddess
- 23.10 Goldrinn, the Wolf Ancient
- 24 Geography
- 24.1 Climate and Weather
- 24.2 Geographic Features
- 24.3 Biodiversity
- 25 Government and Politics
- 26 Civil Law and Order
- 27 Military
- 28 References
The kingdom of Gilneas was founded on the year 0 (Gilnean Calendar) when it's independence was formally recognized by the Kingdom of Arathor, following the War of Aderic, where Gilneas peacefully withdrew from the Arathorian Empire in order to handle the Lordaeronian threat to the north.
Besides the peninsula, the kingdom also included the island of Zul'Dare, and formerly held lands in Silverpine Forest including Pyrewood Village and Ambermill. There were periods of expansionism in which the Kingdom managed to incorporate almost all of Northern Silverpine into its territorial holdings, however Lordareon won nearly all of the said territories back in the Gilnean-Lordaeornian war.
Around the year 1053 of the Gilnean calendar, a large industrialization process was undertaken by the Gilnean King, Archibald Greymane, which brought about the changes which would eventually lead to modern Gilnean society. Additionally, Archibald centralized power within the city, leading to the widespread destitution of many of the country nobility, whom would thenceforth serve as a steadfast enemy of the king.
His child, King Genn Greymane, never ardently supported the Alliance of Lordaeron in the Second War, sending marginal support and having an ill temper with any of the affairs during this time. Alongside all of the other kingdoms beside Lordaeron, Gilneas voted for the utter extermination of the orcs following the end of the war, a vote that was cast aside in favor of internment camps. Thus, after the war, he constructed the Greymane Wall: a massive barrier spanning the entire northern border. The enormous wall barricaded Gilneas from the rest of the world for around two decades.
Behind the Wall
In the years following, Gilneas would remain relatively untouched by the Third War, only facing against the Scourge on their borders several times via troops that were granted permission to leave the wall and later by the feral Worgen, wolf men summoned by Archmage Arugal and Greymane's request.
Gilneas did however face internal problems, namely from the dissident noble Darius Crowley. Crowley proceeded to not only send aid to the Alliance in the name of the Gilneas Brigade, which would later accompany Lady Jaina Proudmoore in founding Theramore, but also by starting the Northgate Rebellion. Having been the owner of the lands of Pyrewood and Ambermill, which were cut off from the rest of Gilneas, Crowley began a campaign against the crown, pitting Gilneans against one another in a vicious war that would eventually even leave Gilneas City damaged by the end of it. The rebellion dwindled when a key ambush captured Lord Crowley and his lieutenants, locking them away in Stoneward Prison.
Gilneans additionally faced numerous economic recessions by the lack of trading with other nations, forcing them to become wholly self-sufficient. This led to a large degree of natural resources being exploited to a point that had never hitherto been seen, leading to the destertification of certain areas within Gilneas.
Shut out from the world, Gilneas soon faced yet another problem, the Worgen. Having been kept a secret since their initial summoning by Arugal, Worgen had been roaming the countryside of Gilneas in small packs for quite some time following their summoning. King Greymane and some of his most trusted advisors would often hunt down these packs, but after too long the Worgen grew to substantial numbers, eventually besieging Gilneas City.
The 'Curse of the Worgen' swept mercilessly across the nation, eventually turning nearly all of its inhabitants into savage beasts. Eventually losing the city, most of Gilneas' people were lead to Duskhaven for safety, as well as to experiment on captured Worgen with the hopes of reverting the change. While research was going well under Krennan Aranas, succeeding in re-claiming the minds of these Worgen through herbs and potions, Gilneas soon found its self victim to yet another threat, the Forsaken.
Seeking a suitable location for a port in Lordaeron, Sylvanas invaded Gilneas by sea, and eventually Gilneas was wracked by the Cataclysm, shattering the Greymane Wall. Through a valiant effort, Gilneans held the wall as long as they possibly could against the oncoming Forsaken armies, riflemen tearing down those that headed through the gap in the wall, while newly freed Worgen tore down the undead as they attempted to scale over the wall. Eventually, following a rousing speech from Garrosh Hellscream, the Gilneans did falter and the Wall was lost.
At the same time in Southern Gilneas, the remaining survivors attempted to flee from the invading undead, deterring and even foiling several of the Forsaken's plans along the way. They eventually met up with the forces of Darius Crowley, now a worgen, and his men who had their minds freed by the Night elven rituals in Tal'doren. It was here that Genn Greymane revealed that he too had been afflicted with the worgen curse.
Appalled by the idea of being led by a Worgen, Lord Vincent Godfrey and his accomplices captured King Greymane with the intent to use him as a bargaining chip to end the undead invasion. His plans were eventually foiled, and Godfrey committed suicide by hurling himself off the cliffs of Tempest's Reach. Finally united once again, the Gilnean people liberated the village of Emberstone before finally assaulting the undead within Gilneas City. This attack proved successful, reclaiming the city at the cost of many Gilnean patriots, including Prince Liam Greymane.
Faced with the task of either continuing the fight or saving his people, Genn Greymane chose to leave the remaining military forces of Gilneas behind and evacuate the civilians through the port town of Keel Harbor. With the aid of their new Night elven allies, the Gilneans made a daring assault against the on coming Horde invasion, bombing the Forsaken's troops and destroying their airship. With the way clear, the civilians evacuated to Darnassus, where the Night elves granted them sanctum within the Howling Oak.
The Howling Oak itself was a symbolic gesture by the night elves, meant to embody the very Worgen Curse that the Gilneans had been granted. The tree was a union of the heavens and the earth: rising upwards from the earth, yet growing within it were the heavenly remnants of the past, as well as the celestial waters that constantly flowed down from it, blessed of the astral realm. Just as the Worgen were a meeting of Elune and Goldrinn, lunar calm and earthen ferocity, so too did the tree seek to imitate this majestic union.
It served as both the refugee home of the Gilneans as well as an extremely heated political environment, where numerous figures of importance in Gilneas can often be seen debating on the future of the race. It is to this day the place where the most prestigious scholars that survived the Worgen crisis did their own work. There are also serveral teachers of elvish druidism within the Howling Oak, which face daily derision from certain Gilneans, and daily praise from others.
At the urging of Malfurion Stormrage and Tyrande Whisperwind, Greymane went through the processes, though initially rocky, of Gilneas rejoining the Alliance. Once completed, King Varian Wrynn set his eyes on the tattered nation, sending the 7th Legion to help re-secure the land.
While the civilians fled, Lord Darius Crowley led daring raids into the heart of the Forsaken's lands, going as far as to send infiltrators into Tirisfal Glades and the town of Brill. Dubbed the Gilneas Liberation Front, the remaining militant forces fought a brutal battle against the Forsaken across Silverpine. Along the way they secured crucial allies such as the mages of Ambermill, the remaining survivors of Hillsbrad, and the local worgen of the Bloodfang Pack for their fight in Silverpine. Despite this alliance, the Forsaken did manage to rout most of the forces out of Silverpine, but at a cost.
Cut off from the southern front, the remaining Forsaken in Silverpine soon found themselves backed into a corner, a strike team barely managing to secure the remains of Godfrey and his accomplices before the 7th Legion arrived in full force and forced the Forsaken out of Gilneas.
With the loss of Gilneas, but the routing of most of the Alliance forces out of Silverpine, the border became a brutal battlefield. The mages of Ambermill were eventually converted into the Undead, the Hillsbrad survivors suffered heavy losses at the hands of the undead, and Pyrewood Village was later destroyed in order to prevent the Alliance from using it as a base.
Ultimately, through the capture of Commander Lorna Crowley, the Gilneans and their allies were defeated in Silverpine and forced to retreat in order to save her. However, this act of mercy appalled the recently revived Vincent Godfrey, causing him to betray Sylvanas Windrunner in the hour of victory. This act actually ended up killing Sylvanas, as Godfrey and his cohorts retreated to Shadowfang Keep to claim it as their own. Sylvanas would later be revived by the sacrifice of her Val'kyr, but this act prevented her from leading another invasion into Gilneas.
Following the tentative compromise with the forsaken, there was a massive build-up of forces upon each side of the wall. The forsaken, untrustful of the Gilneans, began erecting massive forts behind the wall, heavily fortified, while the Gilneans retreated to the city along with the seventh legion, intent upon routing any forsaken that remained within Gilneas. Only five months after the fragile 'compromise', the forsaken transferred a large amount of soldiers previously occupied on the Andorhal front to Gilneas, whom had recently won a stunning victory in Lordaeron.
The additional soldiers allowed them to break through the meager fortifications in the Headlands and Northgate Woods with ease, pushing the Gilneans back to a spot known as 'Liam's Line', the river between the Northgate Woods and the City. Here, heavy fighting took place with great losses on both sides, until the Gilneans were forced to retreat to the city.
The siege of Gilneas City soon begun, with the forsaken troops surrounding the city and intending to starve it of resources. The forsaken victory seemed immanent until several nationalistic groups of Gilneans that had previously refused to cooperate with the Seventh Legion marched up from their haven of Stormglen, and broke the forsaken blockade. Thereafter, several young engineers started 're-booting' the various factories of Gilneas City, dedicating them solely to the war effort.
A large numbers of cannons and demolishers were produced, and with them a variety of assaults were waged upon the forsaken lines, ultimately ripping through them and forcing them to abandon the siege. They retreated back to the safety of the wall shortly thereafter, which the coalition forces of the Seventh Legion and liberation front dared not cross.
With the mainland secured, the Horde continue to launch periodic naval assaults against Gilneas, attempting to secure an area on the shore to construct a land base for another invasion of Gilneas, while Alliance heroes and the remaining Gilnean forces fight them off. While none of these invasions have proved fruitful, some theorize it is only a matter of time before Gilneas is beset by an even larger invasion then the passed ones.
One major change making Gilneas more vulnerable to attack was the re-deployment of the Seventh Legion to Theramore, where it was largely decimated. Now only a small remnant of the vast Legion that once protected Gilneas still remains, and it falls almost solely to the Liberation Front to defend Gilneas from the Forsaken threat. Thankfully, most of the forsaken troops had been occupied with the war for Pandaria and have not returned to Gilneas as of yet.
Within the lands of Gilneas, multiple military forces lay scattered about the land, as well as those attempting to re-settle in the land, despite the hostilities on the coast. Within these lands include orders such as:
- The Blades of Greymane under Lord Berenal Grayblade, a Gilnean based military order that dwells within the Ashen Coast of Gilneas, primarily under the Duchy of the Ashen Coast with the aims of representing Gilneas in the Alliance forces outside of just the Gilnean front, as well as re-establishing their kingdom. Amidst their number are primarily Gilneans, afflicted and unafflicted alike, as well as Gilnean sympathizers of all races.
- The Grey Hand under Commander Grigorius, originally a sub-branch of the Nordrassil Accord which answered to General Nicholas Graveshire. Since the Nordrassil Accord's disbandment, Commander Grigorius took up the mantle as its Commander, and led the order to the Kingdom of Gilneas. Their main objectives are to address the Forsaken threat in the north, establish a safe haven for Gilnean civilians to live and to unite both afflicted and unafflicted under one banner, without the fear of prejudice.
- The Gilnean Navy, though still in a reconstruction status, is actively fighting against the Forsaken Fleets in the Gilneas-Silverpine coastal regions however they can. Though no High Admiral is currently in place, King Greymane and several other officials aid the King in running the growing Navy. Given that most of the navy is still in disrepair, only four fleets have been seen active.
Gilneas has a number of symbolic motifs that recur throughout their society: the wolf, roses, and lights. These symbols are also included within the Gilnean Crest.
The wolf may have been the chief heraldic animal for Gilneas, much like the eagle for Lordaeron, Stromgarde, and Alterac or the lion for Stormwind. Wolves are used as a decorative motif for Gilneans. A wolf skull, a necklace of wolf fangs, a hanging wolf tail, and a small pictogram of a wolf head on parchment are all incorporated into the Crest of Gilneas. Even prior to the worgen outbreak, Genn Greymane has a sword hilt and broaches for his cloak designed with engraved wolf heads. Gilnean buildings and caravan wagons also commonly hang wolf tails from doors and lamps, perhaps as a sign of good luck or ferocity. Gilneans also frequently incorporate sculpted wooden wolf heads in the design of building interiors. Large Gilnean stone fireplaces are designed reminiscent of a forward-facing wolf. While most furs are bears, some smaller fur rugs arguably made from wolf pelts. Prior to the onset of the Second War, Genn Greymane uses wolf imagery when he tells Lord Crowley, “Gilneans must watch over our own pack first and foremost”.
Wolves were common in Gilneas prior to the erection of the Greymane Wall, but their population declined severely following the wall's construction. This is due to several reasons. With the Greymane Wall being erected, game would be in less abundance as the nation was essentially splitting its self off from the rest of the world and splitting half of its prime hunting grounds in half. With less game but an abundant wolf population, many feared the wolves would over hunt the remaining game in the area to provide for their large packs and eventually destroy the stag population in Gilneas. Without stags to hunt, the wolves would starve and huntsmen would have less variety to their trade. People feared that the starving wolves would wander into towns and cause havoc out of desperation. For this reason, mass hunting of wolves became popular, eventually reaching the point where the wolf population dwindled to near extinct in the region of Gilneas. Wolves have since then become near impossible to find in Gilneas, though with the fall of the wall many Gilnean huntsmen have begun to bring in wolf companions instead of the usual mastiff, which may lead to a resurgence of wolves in the area in the future.
Gilnean Roses are featured on the Gilnean crest as a border. A few homes have roses posted to the outer frame of their doors, which may have served as a superstitious ward against evil or is simply showing gifts of endearment. Gilneans also grow red and white roses around rose arbors, in their home gardens, and around the Cathedral Quarter of Gilneas City. Roses and other flowers are also commonly placed on Gilnean graves and grown around cemeteries. Gilneans also design roses on their rugs and tapestries. Roses were used in some capacity in weddings, as the center aisle of one probable wedding site is lined with roses. Lorna Crowley also wears a red rose in her hair. Flowers are also commonly carved in the outer woodwork of Gilnean windows. Gilnean Roses were, at the beak of Eastern Kingdom's trade, found to be sold by merchants all around the continent, making the Gilnean Rose an increasingly common item for many graveyards and gardens. They reached so far to be planted within Stormwind City's own cemetery as red and white rose bushes.
Gilneas contains a number of variations of the light motif, which are primarily expressed through material associations with light. As with most human civilizations, lamps and lanterns are a common sight among the buildings, streets, and towns of Gilneas. Gilneans commonly place burning candles in gravestones. Gilneans also integrate engraved candles and lamps into the designs of their gravestones. Two candle lamps made of glass also adorn the top of the Gilnean crest. Lighthouses are another use of the light motif. The two most prominent lighthouses are the Galewatch Lighthouse of Gilneas Bay and the lighthouse of Tempest’s Reach. A ruined lighthouse can be found in Stormglen. There is also a lighthouse in the Battle for Gilneas. A few headstones for graves are also shaped like lighthouses, with some even including a place for a candle that corresponds to the lantern room.
The nature of light motifs in their material culture suggests Gilneans placed a unique emphasis on the Holy Light. Possibly due to their cultural associations with stormy and foggy weather, Gilneas may have seen the Light more as a guiding beacon among the darkness. A similar understanding is later echoed by many Gilnean worgen who use the phrase "Let the light of the new moon guide you” as a saying of departure.
Gilneas has a flourishing visual art scene, though it is limited in a few key areas. The large abundance of the arts, particularly paintings, may have occurred as a result of the tremendous amount of spendable wealth accrued through the industrialization of Gilneas allowed patronage of the arts.
There is no other kingdom with the sheer amount of unique paintings that Gilneas has to its name. Gilneas shares three landscape paintings with the other human kingdoms. Apart from those three shared landscape paintings, there are seven additional landscape paintings found in Gilneas. Gilnean landscape paintings tend to utilize contrasts in light, typically the natural light from either a setting sun or moonlight. Trees also are commonly featured in Gilnean landscape paintings. There is also a painting of a sheep pastorally grazing the countryside. In addition to these aforementioned paintings, Gilneas also contains nine unique paintings of human portraits or other human subjects. While other nations exhibit some of these portraits, it is nowhere near the frequency as found in Gilneas. These portraits are fairly evenly divided between female (five) and male (four) subjects. Male subjects appear to be noble or regal figures, such as Genn and Liam Greymane, in reserved poses adorned in fine attire. Female paintings vary between similar reserved, regal portraits and those of a more sensuous nature. Overall, Gilnean art tends to attempt a blend of realist and romantic art styles.
Sculpture is another point of distinction for Gilneas. Statues are common among many other human cultures as monuments to their heroes. Stormwind’s Valley of Heroes is a memorial of five statues for the leaders of the Alliance Expedition. Stormwind also has statues of King Varian Wrynn. The Scarlet Crusade dedicated statues to their fallen heroes in the Scarlet Monastery. The Argent Crusade also erected statues of Highlord Tirion Fordring in their lands. There are statues of Uther Lightbringer at Sorrow Hill and Stormwind’s Cathedral District. A statue remains of Anduin Lothar among the Burning Steppes. Even Dalaran erected statues to Archmage Antonidas and the Ashen Verdict. Gilneas, however, notably lacks any statues. Instead, Gilneas only features two marble busts, one male and one female, which appear in only two known locations: Greymane Manor and Light’s Dawn Cathedral. The subjects of these busts are likely members of the Gilnean royalty, living or dead. Gilnean stone fountains also occur in a handful of places: two in the Cathedral Square of Gilneas City, one in Emberstone Village, one in Pyrewood Village, and one in Shadowfang Keep. Gilnean lodges and large public buildings also commonly have a fireplace sculpted in the image of a wolf straddling the fire. Wooden wolf-head sculptures are often incorporated in the interior of Gilnean buildings.
Gilneans also frequently adorn their homes and public buildings with woven tapestries. These tapestries are all slight variations of a single design: a bouquet of red and white roses surrounded by a frame of vines and gnarled wood. This design most commonly is set on a pale green background. Gilnean buildings also commonly have large patterned rugs.
In the earliest times of its history as a nation, Gilneas was a strong supporter of Strom and the Arathor Empire. By the time of King Archibald Greymane, however, Gilneas’s foreign policy shifted to stress social self-sufficiency so that the nation’s livelihood would not be tied to the political whims of other nations . Gilneas “had always remained separate from the other nations of the western world,” though it is unknown whether this separation was by intentional choice or not. Otherwise, there is little indication of Gilneas’s foreign policy in the times between its earliest history and King Archibald.
Prior to the outset of the Second War, Genn Greymane was invited to King Terenas’s emergency council of kings in the hopes of creating an alliance against the Horde. King Genn thought that Gilneas could stand up against the Orcish Horde on their own without the need of an alliance. After consulting with “several of the most influential Gilnean nobles” King Genn brought with him, Gilneas reluctantly joined the Alliance of Lordaeron before the Second War. The two biggest supporters of the Alliance among GIlneas’s nobles, ironically, were Lord Darius Crowley and Lord Vincent Godfrey. King Genn’s decision ultimately rested not from altruistic motivations, but from a pragmatic desire to maintain beneficial trade relations with his neighbors. Although Gilneas held erratic relations with the Alliance, Gilneas remained committed in their opposition against the Horde, even long after the Horde’s defeat in the Second War.
Genn Greymane, by all accounts, was “legendary” as a shrewd and politically savvy monarch . He always fought for the arrangements that most benefited Gilneas. King Genn’s foreign policy sought to minimize Gilnean losses, while maximizing Gilnean gains. Even as a member of the Alliance, King Genn had “dreams of expansion” for his kingdom. King Genn offered only token support in the Second War so that Lordaeron would take the blunt of the losses, which would move Gilneas in a stronger military position following the Second War. King Genn also ferociously advocated giving Isiden Perenolde the Alterac throne during the Crisis of Alterac Succession in the hopes of gaining access to new resources and expanding its maritime trade.
When relations with the Alliance increasingly soured after the Second War, King Genn withdrew Gilneas from the Alliance. Genn felt that the Alliance was doing nothing but leeching from Gilneas’s strong post-war economy. King Terenas Menethil II of Lordaeron imposed high taxes on the Alliance for the purposes of building and maintaining Stormwind, Nethergarde Keep, and the orc internment camps. Genn saw the Alliance as being responsible strictly for costing the nation of valued Gilnean lives . Genn felt as if he was acting in the best interest for his people, though not all of his people agreed. King Genn’s shortsighted foreign policy in regards to the Alliance would ultimately lead to the downfall for Gilneas.
King Genn then decided to cut-off all political and economic ties to the Alliance kingdoms. This time marked a period of severe political isolation. Genn, nevertheless, maintained minimal ties of communication with outside kingdoms, such as receiving requests of aid from Lordaeron and later Jaina Proudmoore. Genn refused to send aid to the foreign nations of Lordaeron, and he disallowed the admittance of refugees of the Scourge. The outbreak of the worgen epidemic and the fall of Gilneas marked a dramatic shift in the foreign policy for both Genn and the kingdom of Gilneas, on the whole.
After the loss of Gilneas, King Genn Greymane and his people desperately sought re- admittance into the Alliance. In Genn wanted to prove the worth of the Gilneans and the worgen to the representatives of the Alliance. Gilneas was readmitted into the Alliance following a strenuous Alliance summit in Darnassus. Since that time, Gilneas has become a highly active member of the Grand Alliance that seeks to prove their worth as valuable members. Genn and the Gilnean people strongly support Alliance endeavors. Gilneans fight for the Alliance in the ardent hope that their contributions will help them to eventually regain their beloved homeland.
Directly prior to the Age of Chaos, Stormwind was the mightiest of the Seven Kingdoms, and King Archibald boasted of having built up Gilneas without the help of Stormwind. At the onset of the Second War, Genn Greymane’s heart bled for Stormwind and the young King Varian Wrynn, but he did not feel as if that was justification enough to join the Alliance of Lordaeron due to the costs of Gilnean lives. King Genn reluctantly supported Lord Regent Lothar as commander of the Alliance army due to his lack of a nation and the political benefit of his Arathi bloodline. Stormwind and Gilneas were frequently at odds within the Alliance. Their opposition had little to do with national rivalries, but with their drastically different attitudes towards the Alliance of Lordaeron. Stormwind was arguably the greatest beneficiary of the Alliance’s success, since the Alliance not only helped Stormwind regain its territory from the Horde, but also helped pay for the reconstruction of Stormwind.
Gilneas on the other hand was skeptical of the Alliance, particularly of Lordaeron’s role as its central power, and Genn also felt that the Alliance was nothing but an economic drain to Gilneas. King Terenas convinced the Alliance nations, including Gilneas, to contribute to the rebuilding of Stormwind and the construction of Nethergarde Keep. Gilneas, however, eventually left the Alliance due to continued border disputes and the high taxes that resulted from the many post-war Alliance projects.
King Varian Wrynn and the worgen under King Genn Greymane effectively turned the tide against the Horde forces of Garrosh in Ashenvale. After the battle, Stormwind became a supportive sponsoring party for readmitting Gilneas back into the Alliance. King Genn now stands beside of King Varian in Stormwind Keep, and King Varian has deployed the 7th Legion to aid the Gilneas Liberation Front reclaim their homelands.
The naval kingdom of Kul Tiras was one of Gilneas’s chief rivals for the ambitious rise of their industrious nation. Kul Tiras possessed the mightiest naval fleet in the Seven Kingdoms, but Gilneas sought to expand their own navy and naval holdings so they could increase trade. Lord Prestor’s promises to both Kul Tiras and Gilneas point to the strain of Gilnean-Tirassian relations over their navies was during the contemporary period. Lord Prestor promised Admiral Proudmoore “his continued sovereignty of the seas, even if it meant sending in a force to take control of Gilneas,” while King Greymane was promised “future naval colonies near the coastal edge of Alterac”.
King Genn and Admiral Daelin were frequently at odds with each other. Genn Greymane, for example, only agreed to an Alliance army during the Second War when Admiral Proudmoore and King Trollbane accused Genn of cowardice. Then during the Alliance summit regarding Alterac, King Genn and Admiral Daelin were in fierce opposition, even almost coming to blows, an incident prevented by the fact they were disarmed for the council. King Genn Greymane’s decision to close Gilnean harbors was likely met with great enthusiasm from Admiral Proudmoore, as it ensured their continued sovereignty of the seas, though it would be short-lived following the Scourging of Lordaeron and Admiral Daelin’s doomed war against the orcs of Durotar.
In the early period of the Arathor Empire, Gilneas was a strong supporter of Strom . The collapse of the Arathor Empire, however, led to the growing independence of Gilneas from Strom’s core territory in the Arathi Highlands. Gilneas does not share a border with Stromgarde territory. During the first summit of the Alliance before the Second War, Genn Greymane indicated that his father felt that the future of Gilneas was never bound to the leanings of Stromgarde. However, one of the few reasons why Genn Greymane agreed to an Alliance army was that King Thoras Trollbane of Stromgarde and Admiral Daelin Proudmoore of Kul Tiras accused Genn of cowardice. King Thoras and Stromgarde were initially one of King Terenas’s strongest supporters within the Alliance, often acting as a front of opposition against the dissent of King Genn. In the wake of border and taxation disputes in the Alliance, both Stromgarde and Gilneas seceded from the Alliance approximately around the same time, indicating that they might share some degree of solidarity.
The nations of Gilneas and Alterac were once strong supporters of Strom, and their respective armies explored Khaz Modan, making first contact with the dwarves. Relations between Gilneas and Alterac drifted apart following the collapse of the Arathor Empire as they further became politically and culturally distinct. At the first Alliance summit, King Genn Greymane felt that Alterac joining the Alliance was not a legitimate reason for Gilneas to do likewise. According to Genn, King Archibald felt that Gilnean policy should not just follow the leanings of Alterac. After Alterac’s occupation by the Alliance, King Aiden Perenold’s nephew, Lord Isiden, fled to Alterac to rally support as a claimant to the Alterac throne. Genn Greymane backed Isiden for the Alterac throne in return for staple ports and access to new resources.
Dalaran and King Terenas of Lordaeron, however, suspected that Genn Greymane entered into the affair so that he could raise his own prestige. It was Gilneas’s entry into Alterac’s affairs that marked the point where Alterac’s succession became an Alliance-threatening crisis. It is unclear what became of Lord Isiden Perenolde after the Crisis of Alterac Succession, as he cannot be found among either the Syndicate or in Gilneas. Gilneas’s failure to place Isiden Perenolde on the Alterac throne likely contributed to Genn Greymane’s decision to secede from the Alliance.
King Genn Greymane had denied aid to Lordaeron ands its refugees at every step around the time of the Third War, even deciding not to send a token force. In defiance, Lord Darius Crowley, however, sent the Gilneas Brigade with Jaina Proudmoore and the Human Expedition to Kalimdor. It is unclear what became of any remnants of the Gilneas Brigade, but Lord Crowley’s aid was likely unintentionally beneficial to Gilneas in its unforeseen future. Following the fall of Gilneas, Gilneas applied for re-admittance into the Grand Alliance at a summit held in Darnassus. During the first vote, representative Tervosh of Theramore was the second non-sponsoring party to vote in favor of Gilneas. Then during the second vote, Theramore was the third non-sponsoring party to vote in favor of Gilneas. Since that time, Theramore has been one of the most welcoming human nations for the Gilnean worgen. Northwatch Hold, for example, accepted the healing aid of the Gilnean druid Tolliver Houndstooth. Meanwhile, the Gilnean worgen Sam Trawley is a cook for Theramore’s army at the Forward Command post in the Southern Barrens.
Gilneas probably held strong cultural relations and with long historical ties with the various dwarf clans of Khaz Modan. During the times of the Arathor Empire, the humans of Gilneas and Alterac explored Khaz Modan, establishing first contact with the dwarves. It was around this time, “The humans and dwarves shared many secrets of metal-smithing and engineering and discovered a common love for battle and storytelling,” which marked the beginning of friendship between these two races. In later centuries, King Archibald boasts of having built up Gilneas without the assistance of Stormwind, Lordaeron, or Quel’Thalas, but conspicuously leaves out the similarly industrial nation of Ironforge.
Indeed, Gilneas and Ironforge share a similar dedication to industrialization, metalworking, and engineering, including the use of firearms and cannons in their militaries. There is not, however, any direct indication of Gilneas’s foreign policy with Ironforge or the Aerie Peak.
At the welcoming banquet of the Alliance summit in Darnassus, Genn Greymane spends much of his time conversing with most of Kurdran’s party, regaling them with tales of his battles against the Horde while enjoying dwarven ale. Furthermore, the dwarves were the most eager non-sponsoring party to readmit Gilneas back into the Alliance. Darnassus initially acts as Gilneas's chief sponsor, since they are their primary benefactors. In the second vote, both Darnassus and Stormwind effectively act as Gilneas's sponsors. The dwarves were the first to support Gilneas in the first vote, and they were the first to support Gilneas in the second vote.
Throughout the world of Azeroth, Gilneans and dwarves work in close company. When the Horde initially encounter’s Jaina’s Human Expedition in Kalimdor during the Third War, a dwarven mountain king commands the Gilneas Brigade. The blacksmith Jordan Stilwell of Pyrewood Village later moved shop to Ironforge where he worked closely with the local dwarves. Dareth, a Gilnean druid, also stands by Jordan Stilwell outside the gates of Ironforge. The dwarven Explorers' League readily extended membership to the Gilnean Wulfred Harrys and other worgen. Gilneans are also found in the dwarven camp in the Badlands. In Hillsbrad Foothills, the Bloodfang worgen and Stormpike dwarves of Alterac become mutual allies against the Forsaken. In the Blasted Lands, it's the dwarf, Enohar Thunderbrew who sends you to help the spirits of the worgen pass on to the next life. The dwarf Garrod Pubhammer can also be found among the Gilneans of Surwich in the Blasted Lands.
Gilneas has minimal direct contact with the gnomes of Gnomeregan, so their relations remain difficult to ascertain. At the Alliance summit in Darnassus, none of the interactions between High Tinker Gelbin Mekkatorque and his people with Genn and the Gilneans are recorded. Gnomes and Gilneans are found in common company in only a few scattered locations, such as Fort Livingston in Northern Stranglethorn and Windshear Hold in the Stonetalon Mountains. The most noteworthy interaction between Gilneans and gnomes occurs at Farwatcher’s Glen in Stonetalon. The gnome Salsbury the “Help” is dressed in Gilnean fashion and standing alongside the worgen druid Hierophant Malyk, hoping to gain his trust so that he can be taught how to become the world’s first “gnomegen”. Hierophant Malyk also uses Salsbury’s engineering to help exterminate the black dragon roost at the Charred Vale.
Gilneas had little political and cultural contact with the reclusive high elven nation of Quel’Thalas. Nevertheless, the Kingdom of Gilneas may have not thought well of the high elves. King Archibald Greymane, in particular, speaks of how “[Gilneas] certainly did not grovel to the long-eared arrogance of those demi-humans in Quel'Thalas” . King Genn Greymane would have carried his father’s sentiments of Quel’Thalas as well. King Genn, however, does not provide his reaction to the prospect of Anduin Lothar, as a descendant of King Thoradin, to act as an emissary to the elves. Gilneas withdrew from the Alliance shortly after Quel’thalas, though for not entirely the same reason. As allies of the Horde, the blood elves of Quel’Thalas have become the sworn political enemies of Gilneas, though there is little love lost between the two nations.
During the last century of the Seven Kingdoms period, Gilneas’s industrialized economy was one of the strongest of the Eastern Kingdoms. Gilneas, however, did not become an economic powerhouse until the reign of King Archibald Greymane and his industrial reforms. His successor, King Genn Greymane, continued the industrial reforms of his father, though also inadvertently brought them to an end. The primary economic sectors for Gilneas during these times was likely agriculture and fishing, manufacturing, and finance.
Gilneas uses the gold standard for a monetary system, as do most political nations of Azeroth. The Gilnean currency consists of minted gold, silver, and copper coins. One hundred copper coins equal a silver piece, and one hundred silver coins equal a gold piece. Although Gilneas likely minted their own currency, there is no reference to any given name of their official currency or coinage.
Gilneas’s economic policy prior to King Archibald’s reforms are unknown; however, the economic policy instituted by King Archibald and his successor King Genn follow a mix of mercantile and industrial policy trade strategies. The transition from a rural agricultural economy to an industrial manufacturing economy likely was not the direct result of King Archibald’s reforms alone, but a gradual process already in development. An industrial economy requires a mobile population that can serve as an employable workforce. Considering the strong territorial claims of Gilnean nobles, the government may have enclosed the lands of the nobility, restricting public use for the cultivation of the land. This enclosure, in turn, would have freed the rural citizens to search for livelihood in Gilneas City or other urban centers.
The central Gilnean government had a strong guiding hand in the development of Gilneas’s economy and industrial development in foreign trade. Trade tariffs on imported goods formed an important source of revenue, and desire to maintain those trade and tariff revenues formed part of King Genn’s decision to initially join the Alliance. Gilneas suffered relatively minor economic damage as a direct result of the Second War, which made Gilneas one of the strongest post-war economies. King Genn used the aftermath of the Second War to further Gilneas’s mercantile policies. King Terenas Menethil II of Lordaeron also surmised that Gilneas interfered in the Crisis of Alterac Succession in order to procure “favored status through [Alterac’s] many mountain passes”. Lord Prestor also promised Gilneas “future naval colonies near the coastal edge of Alterac” as staple ports, as well as access to new resources, in return for their compliance for Lord Prestor’s succession to the Alterac throne.
Heavy Alliance taxation by King Terenas Menethil II of Lordaeron to support the rebuilding of Stormwind and maintaining the orc interment camps and Nethergarde Keep, however, was nothing but a financial drain on Gilneas’s economy. This heavy taxation with little reciprocal gain spurred Genn Greymane to cut economic ties from the other kingdoms and withdraw its membership from the Alliance. Gilneas closed its borders and ports, which marked a period of stagnation, if not decline, for the Gilnean economy due to the end of foreign trade, revenue generated from its exports, and trade tariffs on imports.
Given the rise of an industrial, urban middle class, Gilneas may have been in the process of shifting to a capitalist economic policy prior to the construction of the Greymane Wall. The monarchical government still held to its previous mercantile and industrial policies, but the people themselves may have begun gravitating towards a desire for more capitalist trade policies. Genn Greymane’s economic isolationism may have also spurred the popular Northgate Rebels, which may have included the burgeoning capitalist middle class. The Northgate Rebellion placed further strain on the already weakened Gilnean economy. The fall of Gilneas left the refugee population and government destitute with no gold.
Gilneas is bountiful in natural resources. The native resources have not been exhausted by their industrialization. Nevertheless, Genn Greymane sought to expand his access to new natural resources through acquiring colonies near the coast of Alterac, though it is not clear what those resources are.
Precious metals & minerals
The only named mine within Gilneas is the Emberstone Mine, located to the northeast of Gilneas City. The Emberstone miners are mining a black ore that is presumably coal and iron. The Battle for Gilneas “Mines” subzone forms one of the capture points in the battleground, which is located in the area around the Northern Headlands, though it is not present in either the Gilneas or Ruins of Gilneas zones. Beren’s Peril in southern Silverpine was also likely once a Gilnean mine. 
Metal Ores and Minerals.
Coal, Copper, Iron, Malachite, Moonstone, Moss Agate, Shadowgem, Silver, Tigerseye, Tin, and Gold.
Gilneas contains vast forestlands throughout its territories, including the Blackwald, the Northgate Woods, and southern portions of Silverpine Forest. However, the extent to which Gilneas relied upon native lumber is uncertain. The only two lumber mills that can be found within Gilnean territory are located at Ambermill in the Silverpine Forest and the ruined Bradshaw Mill by the Blackwald. Despite this dearth of evidence, Gilneas shows heavy use of lumber derivatives in their architecture. Their lumber may have been either imported from surrounding nations or harvested from native forests.
Farming communities are concentrated in two areas of Gilnean territories: the southern reaches around Duskhaven (Allen, Hammond, Wahl, Crowley farms) and the northern reaches of Gilnean territory in Silverpine (Ambermill). Olsen’s Farthing, which sits on the border of known Gilnean territory, may also have been a Gilnean farm. The southern farms around Duskhaven are predominately privately owned farmsteads and are noteworthy for their widespread use of small, freestanding windmills found throughout the zone. River-powered waterwheel mills, as seen in Emberstone Village and the Waterworks (Battle for Gilneas), also aid agricultural production. Some time after the construction and economic isolation brought about by the Greymane Wall, Gilneas experienced a severe famine that required the assistance of rural Gilnean druids to restore the harvests. The loss of Gilnean farming communities north of the Greymane Wall, in addition to loss of foreign trade, may have contributed to the severity of the Gilnean Famine.
Allen Farmstead, Hammond Farmstead, Wahl Cottage, Crowley Orchard, Ambermill, Olsen's Farthing.
Considering the abundance of water surrounding the Gilnean peninsula, fishing may have served as an important livelihood for many Gilneans. Merchant Square had a number of merchant stands with fishing rods and barrels of fish. Keel Harbor likewise had numerous barrels of fish and fishing rods in the town. Liam Greymane refers to Stormglen as a fishing town. Watch Commander Relthorne Netherwane at the Dark Portal calls Surwich a fishing village. Across Azeroth, the Hayward Brothers, Whilsey Bottomtooth, Jonathan Staats, Elizabeth Nesworth, and Stephan Kebbal are known Gilnean fishers.
Hayward’s Fishery, Stormglen, Keel Harbor, and Surwich.
Gilnean farmers also raise a small assortment of livestock. Only four types of livestock exist in Gilneas, though there may be further ones that are not included or referenced in the actual lore.
Flocks of grazing sheep are found throughout Gilneas, particularly in the areas around Tempest’s Reach and the Headlands. Sheep may be the primary livestock commodity of Gilneas and important for the Gilnean economy.
Gilneas, along with the neighboring Hillsbrad Foothills, is also the only region where wild horses can be located on the Lordaeron continent. Gilneas is also noted for their swift mountain horses, which are slightly larger than other horse mounts. Gilneas uses these heavy draft horses to draw their large wagons and carriages. The first domesticated horses may have originated from these southern Lordaeron regions where wild horses still roam.
Several food items suggest that Gilneas also raise pigs. Though no live pigs are seen in the game, many houses contain roast boars or pigs.
There are several chicken coops with roaming white chickens among the houses of Gilneas.
Despite the presence of the dangerous reefs and rocky shore that surrounds the coasts, Gilneas once fostered bustling maritime trade economy. Gilneas had “mighty ships” of their own that they sought to send across the Great Sea. During the Crisis of Alterac Succession, Lord Prestor (i.e. Deathwing) promises King Greymane “future naval colonies near the coastal edge of Alterac” to export their goods at staple ports in return for his compliance. Lord Prestor also made “promises to [Admiral Proudmoore] about his continued sovereignty of the seas, even if it meant sending in a force to take control of Gilneas,” suggesting that Kul Tiras considered Gilneas its chief naval and mercantile rival on the seas.
Keel Harbor seems to be a major port city on the Lordaeron continent. Following the Cataclysm, Warchief Garrosh requests aid “conquering the port of Gilneas” for the Horde, which in probability refers to Keel Harbor, though it may refer to Gilneas City itself. The shading of the waters around Keel Harbor in the map for Gilneas shows that it is probably a deep-water port. Deep-water ports are rare, but valuable for their ability to contain larger, more economical ships and military navies. The depth of the bay around Keel Harbor allows for the 7th Legion to send a submarine past the Horde navy.
Although Keel Harbor is the only harbor represented in the Gilneas zone, it is not Gilneas’s only harbor. The Brashtide pirate Enormous Shawn Stooker claims, “King Greymane shut down the harbors in Gilneas,” indicating the presence of further Gilnean harbors. There are also many docks that surround Gilneas City by the Northgate River. Greymane shutting down the harbors not only trapped maritime traders and pirates in Gilneas, but also kept Gilneans out, such as the pirate Baron Longshore. The closing of the harbors likely harmed the economies of the harbors, which likely profited from the tariffs imposed on foreign imports mentioned by Lord Godfrey. The foreclosure of Gilneas’s maritime economy by Genn Greymane is probably why Lorna Crowley remarks how “Keel Harbor had its share of rebel sympathizers in the old days” who were willing to hide rebel armaments in their storehouses.
Gilneas is depicted and described as an atypically industrialized human kingdom. It’s industrialization, however, is concentrated almost entirely in Gilneas City, the urban center for the entire kingdom. King Archibald Greymane had industrialized Gilneas City by at least the time that Genn Greymane was seven-years-old, around sixty years prior to Cataclysm. Genn describes Gilneas City during this time:
"The industrial towers of Gilneas City loomed below. It was a magnificent sight, for sure: large tiled roofs poised over cobblestone streets; shops, factories, and billowing smoke; it was truly a city with an eye toward the future, toward the potential of its people."
Yet also according to Genn Greymane, Gilneas before the time of King Archibald was not the industrial wonder that it came to be. How King Archibald transformed Gilneas into an industrial powerhouse is not entirely clear, nor is any information given as to what Gilneas’s factories manufactured. There are, however, a number of signs that support Gilneas’s industrial status and perhaps provide clues as to Gilneas’s industrial production.
Many early industrial cites formed around regions with prominent rivers and flowing water, which allowed for the greater utilization of waterwheels to harness natural power for factory machinery, especially for textile manufacturing. The Northgate River flows through Gilneas and around Gilneas City, allowing for Gilneas’s own capital to potentially take advantage of the territory’s largest river. Emberstone Village and the Waterworks contain large waterwheels, with Emberstone Village using the Northgate River. The Northgate River also flows out to a deep-water bay, allowing for manufactured goods to be economically shipped. Canals also run through Gilneas City that allow for sanitary sewage disposal, which allows the city to support a larger population.
For terrestrial travel, Gilneas relies upon the use of horses for transportation. Horses are the primary means of personal travel across land. Gilneas utilizes a variety of horse-drawn carriages and wagons pulled by large draft horses to haul cargo. Large, spacious Gilnean carriages provide plenty of storage room on top, while passengers can ride comfortably in the interior. Gilneans also use peddler’s wagons for traveling merchants to sell their wares. Roads increase the ease and efficiency of transporting goods across distances in trade. Well-paved roads connect the Gilnean towns to Gilneas City and the neighboring Silverpine Forest.
Coal and Iron
The increased use of refined coal and improvement of iron-making techniques were also both important early processes for transitioning from agriculture- based economies to industrialization. Coal, a valuable commodity for fuel and making steel, appears to have been mined from within the Emberstone Mine. Iron ore may have also been mined from Emberstone Mine. Gilneas may have found ways to improve their refinement of coal, which may have further improved their iron-making capacities. Gilnean homes also show the use of coal as fuel for their fireplaces. Laid cart tracks of Emberstone Mine lead directly to the Livery Outpost, which sits not too far outside of the Merchant District of Gilneas City. The Merchant District may have been the industrial district of the capital city. Also, Gilneans later become the mining, blacksmithing, and engineering instructors and suppliers in Darnassus. Gilnean blacksmiths, such as Jordan Stilwell, were valued smiths and metalworkers in both Ironforge and Stormwind.
The development of chemicals allowed for the refinement and increased economic cost effectiveness of production techniques. While perhaps not as strong as the alchemical tradition of the Forsaken’s Royal Apothecary Society, Gilneas has several prominent chemists and alchemists (i.e. Krennan Aranas, Oliver Harris, Apprentice Fess, Archmage Arugal, the undead Lord Walden), which may point to their own independent tradition. Conspicuously lacking many mages, Gilneas may have preferred the more “scientific” approach and greater accessibility afforded through alchemy.
Tar and Pitch
Gilneas may have used the numerous surrounding coniferous pine trees of Gilneas and Silverpine Forest for manufacturing tar and pitch. These products could be used for trade or to further establish their maritime navies. The Hayward brothers also use coal tar to repair their ships. Coal tar is by-product of carbonizing coal to make coke, an important resource for fuel or in coke-fired blast furnaces in producing cast iron for industry.
Gilneas may have been a major manufacturer of textiles. Gilneas prominently features numerous flocks of grazing sheep, more so than other livestock, across its core territory. Wool may have been widely in demand among the Seven Kingdoms. The growth of textiles frequently accompanied and spurred industrialization. Urban Gilneans are adorned in intricate fashions, consisting of many layers of fabric and cloth adornments, perhaps pointing to high quality locally accessible textile goods. The presence of anything that could be clearly identified as a textile factory cannot be seen in Gilneas, though Genn Greymane does reference the existence of factories in Gilneas City. Many Gilnean homes also include yarn and looms.
Firearms and Artillery
The nobles, guards, militia, and even the common citizenry, are all frequently armed with mechanized firearms, such as pistols and rifles. Only the dwarves of Ironforge regularly use firearms as standard issue weapons. Gilneas also employs the land-use of artillery to the exclusion of other siege armaments frequently depicted in other human civilizations (e.g. ballistae, catapults, etc.).
Science and Technology
The Gilnean royal family probably gave strong patronage to the natural and engineering sciences in order to ensure the long-term prosperity of the industrial reforms. The eagerness for worgen, such as Wulfred Harrys, to join the Dwarven Explorers’ League points to prior scientific training. Gilneas likely had their own national organizational equivalent to the Royal Stormwind Society of Science. Unlike the spiritual perspective of their Lordaeronian neighbors, Gilneas held a more rational and pragmatic worldview. Detective Halford Ramsey, in particular, reveals the value placed on deductive reasoning held by many Gilneans.
It is difficult to ascertain Gilneas’s relationship with the arcane arts. Almost all human mages, regardless of national affiliation, received their formal arcane training from Dalaran prior to the Age of Chaos. The Kirin Tor even counted Gilnean mages, such as Archmage Arugal, amongst their ranks. Mages, however, are a relatively rare sight among Gilneans in comparison with other human kingdoms. Apart from Archmage Arugal, Myriam Spellwaker, Lareth Beld, Vitus Darkwalker, and Laera Dubois are the few known identified Gilnean arcanists. Forsaken players also fight unnamed Worgen Battlemages in the Ruins of Gilneas. It’s unclear as to how the construction of Greymane Wall affected the training in the arcane arts. It's possible that there are private academies or tutors for those that show magical potential.
In the case of the shadow arts, it does not appear that there was much knowledge of how to properly practice the dark arts. Vitus Darkwalker is noted having stated his greatest discovery at the time of the Worgen outbreak was the spell Immolation, which other warlocks remark is a relatively common spell.
The nation of Gilneas does not appear to have strongly supported the arcane arts. Gilneas does not boast an Academy of Arcane Arts and Sciences like Stormwind.
Gilneas also lacks any known or recognizable mage towers like those found among the nations of Stormwind (Wizard’s Sanctum, Tower of Azora, Mortwake’s Tower, Tower of Ilgalar), Stromgarde (Tower of Arathor), or Lordaeron (Hearthglen Mage Tower, Durnholde Mage Tower). Arugal was Greymane’s “Royal Archmage,” which likely involved some patronage of the arcane arts. While not necessarily indicative of nationwide sentiment of mages, Genn thinks on how he “had never met [an arcanist] whom he would have called empathetic”.
Archmage Arugal, Lareth Beld, Myriam Spellwaker, and Worgen Battlemages.
Vitus Darkwalker, Laera Dubois
Medicine and Alchemical Science
In Gilneas, priests commonly heal the sick and wounded. In rural agrarian communities, druids may serve similarly as local healers. Specialized professions (i.e., doctors, trauma surgeons, physicians, nurses, and medics) also administer medical functions of healing, first aid, and surgery. Although none of these specialized professions are attested in Gilneas, they are common enough across the civilizations of the Eastern Kingdoms to warrant their probable existence.
A makeshift infirmary in Greymane Manor contains a number of medical stations with intravenous fluid bags, which are probably intravenous healing potions for the sick and injured. The makeshift infirmary suggests that Gilneas likely had permanent medical facilities. Church clergy, or possibly secular chemists and doctors, were most likely responsible for the operation of Gilnean medical infirmaries.
Although Gilnean priests or druids commonly performed healing, Gilneas demonstrates signs of developing a form of medicine science through alchemy. Professional alchemists in Gilneas are commonly called ‘chemists.’ Gilnean chemists acted as a combination of physician, pharmacist, and alchemist. Royal Chemist Krennan Aranas is considered by Genn Greymane as one of the world’s greatest alchemists and was responsible for saving Tess Greymane’s life at childbirth through his potions. Krennan Aranas also devises, with the aid of Belrysa Starbreeze, a potion that helps restoring the minds of feral worgen. The Gilnean alchemists Master Oliver Harris and Apprentice Fess of Duskwood devise a similar potion using local ingredients.
Gilnean medicine remains rooted strongly in not only alchemical sciences, but also herbal remedies. The druid Tolliver Houndstooth at Northwatch Hold draws on a native Gilnean herbal remedy of bandages soaked in a putrid-smelling poultice to get wounded Alliance soldiers back into the fight. Likewise, Rio Duran of Mount Hyjal creates an herbal draught to restore the sanity of Twilight slaves made from stonebloom, bitterblossom, and darkflame embers. Furthermore, Gidwin Goldbraids and Tarenar Sunstrike provide the Gilnean shopkeeper Fiona with gifts of banshee’s bells herbs and plaguehound blood, which presumably have some purpose in medicinal remedies.
Following their industrialization, Gilneas was one of the most technologically advanced nations of the Seven Kingdoms. Although the nation was technologically advanced among human nations, it still trailed behind the technological superiority of dwarves, goblins, and gnomes. In their technological approaches, Gilneans share much in common with the dwarves of Ironforge. Gilneans prefer practical applications of technology that will benefit the livelihood and protection of their nation. Gilnean engineering was primarily used in industrial factories for manufacturing and national economic development. Gilneans have also wholly incorporated cannons, firearms, and explosives into their military forces.
Technological advancement among the Seven Kingdoms expanded rapidly after the formation Grand Alliance. Liberal trade and cultural cross-pollination between constituent members boosted the technological development of human nations due to dwarven crafters and gnomish engineers. Stormwind in particular grew in technological prowess due to the direct aid from dwarves and gnomes in the rebuilding of their capital city. Alliance engineering, however, is almost entirely the purview of gnomes and dwarves, with generally minimal human involvement.
Although worgen naturally enjoy hunting the wilds, many Gilnean worgen still retain a penchant for engineering and metalworking. After the fall of Gilneas, Gilneans have begun lending their engineering expertise to the night elves in Darnassus. Even after the worgen epidemic, Gilneans continue to regularly use cannons and firearms in combat. Hierophant Malyk shows no reticence with using gnomish engineering for dealing with the black dragons of the Charred Vale.
Gilneas may have placed an emphasis on the education of its citizens. In the industrial reforms of King Archibald, educational development likely served a utilitarian function that furthered his nation’s economic and cultural prosperity. Books are commonly found in most Gilnean households, and many Gilneans are presumed to possess literacy. Schools are known to exist among the Seven Kingdoms. Miss Danna of Stormwind, for example, is a schoolmistress. Crillian was the headmaster of “the Academy” at Stormwind. One of the most infamous school instructors is the Gilnean Stalvan Mistmantle of Silverpine, who served as a public school instructor of the Moonbrook Schoolhouse and then as a private tutor for a noble family. Gilneas likely had its own academies, colleges, or institutes of higher learning. While schooling may have been offered to all Gilneans, there likely were still divisions of educational opportunities based in social classes.
Gilneans primarily speak Common, which is a shared trade language that unites the Seven Kingdoms. Gilneas may have its own respective Gilnean language while Common acts as the primary koiné language for the Seven Kingdoms. Early humans shared a language that included a writing system, as they “would occasionally take to gathering around a fire whilst trying to read from scrolls telling of ancient heroes and leaders” . It is unknown what ancient tongue the Common language and script is derived, though it likely traces its origins to the vrykul and titan languages.
Gilneas also uses the Common alphabet. Some of the symbols used in the Gilnean Crest and architectural woodwork may point to an older Gilnean script.
Although the people of the Eastern Kingdoms talk of a Gilnean dialect, there are probably numerous variant regional dialects within Gilneas.
Many industrial Gilneans may have learned Dwarven as a popular secondary language for purposes of trade. The Thalassian language of the high elves was likely an expected language to learn for the nobility. Following the Gilnean Diaspora, many Gilneans probably took it upon themselves to learn the Darnassian language of their kaldorei benefactors.
There is no information on the literature and poetry of Gilneas or much of the Eastern Kingdoms. Human literature likely grew out of epic poetry and oral storytelling dedicated to battle and valor. The vrykul bard Helgus composed three epic sagas: Saga of the Twins, Saga of the Val’kyr, and Saga of the Winter Curse. On what would become the Eastern Kingdoms, early humans retold many epic stories passed down on scrolls from the vrykul legends, including those pertaining to the greatly admired Watcher Tyr. Humans of Gilneas and Alterac also made favorable first contact with the dwarves of Khaz Modan through a shared love of storytelling. Since that time, humanity has probably developed much of its own literature and published stories. Numerous Gilnean households contain bookshelves filled with books, which are likely not all works of non-fiction.
Humans, such as the child Alicia of Stormwind, are known to compose poetry. The miner Jitters of Duskwood also compares himself to a “pipe- mad poet”. There were likely Gilnean poets who wrote romantic poetry of the time before industrialization or of the untamed Gilnean wilds still remaining. Some Gilnean poets may have also held romantic views of the nation’s industrialization.
Gilneas had a flourishing print-publishing press media. Maxwell Wiggins publishes a news gazette and refers to himself as part of the “local media,” implying the existence of further press media. Investigator Halford Ramsey later deducts that Maxwell Wiggins printed the book Purity of Essence, which contains Alpha Prime’s teachings for the Wolf Cult. A large abundance of pages from paper leaflets are scattered throughout Gilneas City.
Genn, Hephaestus, Liam, Vincent, Tobias, Thomas, James, Matthew
Alys, Celestine, Sabina, Mary, Elizabeth, Victoria, Alexandra (WIP)
Armstead, Berrymore, Broderick, Clease, Duran, Fess,
Hallow, Harriott, Gregarius, Langstrump, Lentner, Lew, McAllister, Moller, Nesworth, Pernic, Pilgrim, Redding, Ryon, Steen, Trussel, Wahl, Zypher
Ashbury, Candren, Crowley, Finnsson, Godfrey,
Greymane, Harford, Hewell, Marley, Tulvan, Walden, Branson
Sparse evidence exists for the widespread presence of theatre, opera, and musical performance among the Seven Kingdoms. The performing arts culture of the Eastern Kingdoms is unknown. There is evidence for the presence of musical and dramatic performers among the Seven Kingdoms. The status of the performing arts among Gilnean culture cannot be fully ascertained.
A theatrical scene of some variety probably exists in the Eastern Kingdoms, though it cannot be certain how widespread it is. Karazhan features an opera house with three separate opera plays and haunted by spectral performers. Other opera houses likely exist in larger urban centers such as Stormwind City, Lordaeron City, Stratholme, and Gilneas City. It is unknown as to what language or dialect of high culture most operas were traditionally composed. Gilneas’s strong nationalism probably led to plays and operas being performed in the Gilnean dialect or language. Gilnean plays would probably feature legendary figures and events of Gilnean myth and history.
Musicians commonly played background music to liven up the atmosphere at many banquets of the Seven Kingdoms. Known instruments include flutes, piccolos, lutes, harps, lyres, horns, pipe organ, and drums. Minstrels were relatively common in the Eastern Kingdoms. Camerick Jongleur is a wandering minstrel presiding at Menethil Harbor. A hearthsinger was likely another name for a professional wandering bard or minstrel among the Seven Kingdoms. Hearthsinger Forresten now haunts the burning ruins of Stratholme as a ghost. There are no known hearthsingers or minstrels in Gilneas. Musical training in Gilneans probably focuses on technical skill with the instruments, with training starting at a young age. While the musical compositions of Stormwind and Lordaeron often include or emphasize choral chant accompaniment, Gilnean compositions tend to shy away from choral chants, but instead emphasize instrumentation.
There is little in the way of direct reference to sport and leisurely pastimes commonly taken up by Gilneans. Many of these recreational activities must be inferred from the material evidence of Gilneas or speculated based on broader cultural patterns. While some pastimes may be more particular to the Gilneas, the nation likely shared many of its popular recreational activities with its fellow Seven Kingdoms.
Dancing was likely a popular pastime for Gilneans of all social classes. Attending banquets, balls, and parties made for opportune occasions for social dancing. In a vision of old Kharazhan, for example, “[Khadgar] passed through a banquet hall, at one end a group of musicians playing soundlessly, dancers twirling in a gavotte”. Likewise, Gilnean wedding parties likely also included festive dancing. Such social dances may have provided men and women an opportunity to meet suitable spouses. The Royal Aderic Banquet, where King Genn Greymane first met Queen Mia, probably involved such lavish social dancing.
In addition to being a livelihood, fishing may have been a leisurely pastime for many Gilneans. A number of houses, particularly around Keel Harbor have fishing rods, tackle boxes, and bait. Fishing villages and towns could have served as relaxing holiday locations.
The consultation of fortune-tellers was a pastime that likely existed on the fringe for Gilneans. Although Gilneans may have been “publically skeptical” of the practice, it may have been popular activity for Gilneans, especially those revolting against the rationalistic mindset of Gilneas. The Gilnean Tobias Mistmantle, for example, is well aware that Madame Eva of Darkshire “is a follower of old arts and makes no secret of it,” which is why he turns to her out of desperation for assistance in learning the fate of his brother Stalvan. Other forms of superstitious charms may have been popular for Gilneans. In the Eastern Plaguelands, the Gilnean caravan leader Fiona carries lucky charms with her. Gilneans also frequently hang either wolf tails or roses from their doors, which may function as a form of superstitious charm.
While there is little material evidence to support gambling as a pastime for Gilneans, it should nevertheless be entertained as a possibility. Gambling is a known practice in Azeroth. Gambling occurred at Aedelus Blackmoore’s gladiator matches at his internment camps. Gambling was particularly beloved by pirates. Gilnean drinking taverns, inns, and pubs would have served as opportune establishments for gambling in a game of cards or bones. Gambling on horse races was also a potential Gilnean practice.
Gardening may have become a leisurely pursuit for some Gilneans. Several homes grow flowers in their gardens, and roses are grown around arbors. Outside of Gilneas, Alexandros Mograine of Lordaeron was known to have tended a garden around his house. Some houses also contain potted plants. Gardening is a form of natural art in which gardeners “sculpt” nature around them.
Hunting may have been a popular sport for Gilneans, particularly among the male nobility. Boar skulls, mounted stag heads, bear and wolf furs, along with foothold traps and blunderbuss rifles, commonly adorn the interior of Gilnean buildings. Fox hunting may have also been popular, especially among the nobility. Gilneans also breed mastiffs as hunting dogs. In a secret unknown to the citizens, Gilnean nobility hunted worgen for sport in the Blackwald when the worgen epidemic initially spread to Gilneas. These hunting excursions occurred at night every full moon. It’s implied that the worgen hunts temporarily stopped after the time Genn Greymane learned of the night elves’ hidden presence in the Blackwald. The worgen hunts resumed not long after the Gilneans fled to Duskhaven after the worgen outbreak; however, by this point, Genn ordered that the worgen be captured alive. The importance of “the hunt” in Gilnean culture would take on new dimensions following the worgen epidemic.
Learning music may have served as a polite accomplishment for some Gilneans. Flutes, harps, and lutes were probably common musical instruments among all the Seven Kingdoms. Attending music halls may have also been a popular form of entertainment. The Gilnean rose arbors may have also served as locations for attending musical concerts by small bands performing concerts.
The study of natural history may have become a popular amateur hobby in Gilneas. This hobby may have taken the form of collecting wildlife or rocks, watching animals, uncovering ancient civilizations, or it may have been a more formal scientific study. There are signs that natural history may have already been in vogue among Gilneans. A number of worgen, including Wulfred Harrys, were glad to be given the opportunity to join the dwarven Explorers’ League, pointing at possible prior experience with the field. Worgen are also found at the dwarven archaeological campsite at Dragon’s Mouth in the Badlands. Also, the Gilnean Stephanie Krutsick is an archaeologist located in Lor’danel. King Genn Greymane possesses a personal observatory with a large telescope, which he may have used for observing the stars as an amateur astronomer.
Parks and Hiking
Gilneans may have also visited parks as a form of recreation. The Cathedral District contains large open space with trees, pathways lined with flowers, and several decorative fountains, which suggests that it may have served as a public park. Visiting the countryside – the sights of which inspired many Gilnean landscape paintings – may have also been popular.
Most Gilnean homes contain bookshelves filled with numerous books, which may point to leisure reading as a pastime. Literacy may have been important for career and social advancement in the new Gilnean industrialized society.
Sewing and embroidery may have been a leisurely activity, as well as an expected life skill, for Gilnean women. Many houses across Gilneas include weaving looms along with spools and balls of yarn, which are frequently located in the upper rooms or parlors of the house.
The leisure activity for young children likely consisted of playing with various toys. One Gilnean home features an automated model train. Several homes also contain stuffed dolls. After a certain age, children may have joined in on the recreational pursuits of their parents.
Death and Burial Practices
Gilneans treat their dead with reverence, even in the most dire of times. Friends and relatives often speak final words of respect and blessings to the dead at funerals. The funeral home at Aderic’s Repose may doubly serve as a small chapel and a gathering place for receiving friends and wakes.
The dead are wrapped tightly in cloth and placed in a pinewood or stone coffin. In most cases Gilneans bury the coffin in the earth and mark the graves with headstones, though disposing the dead in catacombs, such as Undertaker’s Pass, and mass graves are known practices. Aderic’s Repose has a small handful of aboveground stone coffins. This cemetery also contains a large, pit for mass burials with a single grave marker of the Light. The corpses are disposed in the pit along with other remains, such as bones. These corpses in the mass grave are being burned, which may either be customary or a measure to prevent their undeath. This mass grave may have originally been used for the impoverished and debtors, who were too poor to afford headstones or space within the cemetery. Following the Battle for Gilneas City, the Gilneans likely quickly disposed of the numerous deceased here as they sought to make a “hurried escape for safety” from the Forsaken. As part of Gilnean funerary rites, “it is tradition that a small memento be buried on top of a Gilnean's graveyard, beneath the shallow earth”. Disrupting these mementoes can anger the spirits of the deceased.
Gilneans use the symbol of the Church of the Holy Light (a vertical line bisecting two separated semicircles) constructed from white wood as cheap, nameless grave markers. While these grave markers are a common sight across all Gilneas, they are frequently found among lower-class farming communities. This symbol is commonly incorporated in the headstones of other non-Gilnean human nations, usually as an adornment atop a larger headstone. Many non-Gilnean headstones using this symbol also include a lion head at the center of the semicircles.
Gilnean headstones have unique designs and motifs that are particular to Gilneas and not found elsewhere. One headstone has a rectangular shape with a rounded top and slightly indented sides. This headstone includes a design at the top of a Gilnean lamp in the middle of two mollusk shells. One popular headstone is a heart-shaped headstone (or alternatively, a shield) that contains only writing and lacks any picture designs. Another popular headstone is shaped with like the onion-domes found on Gilnean lighthouses. Candles are even placed within a space on the headstone corresponding to the lighthouse lantern room. This design may symbolize the Holy Light. Three other designs have a similar arrowhead top similar to Gilnean building roofs. One of these headstones contains a skull design. Another has a small Gilnean lamp design at the top, and a door-like space for a candle at the bottom. The last similar headstone lacks any picture design, but simply contains a hollowed space for candles.
These designs may be evoking Gilnean houses. Krennan Aranas at one point even refers to graves as “the resting homes of our ancestors”. The final Gilnean headstone is the most elaborate. It is shaped like a tall lighthouse sitting on top of cubical base. Candles are often place around the headstone on a platform slightly elevated above where the neck meets the base.
Festivals and Holidays
Gilneas shares many of its major holidays and festivals with Lordaeron and Stormwind, presumably along with the other human Seven Kingdoms. However, it seems as if Gilneas has an 'older' understanding of some of these holidays.
Hallow’s End is human holiday celebrated towards the end of the autumn season that culminates in the ceremonial burning of an effigy referred to as the Wickerman. Hallow’s End is a popular holiday on the Lordaeron continent, including Gilneas. Prince Arthas reflects on the meaning and significance of Hallow’s End and the Wickerman at some length:
“There were several smaller festivals leading up to Hallow’s End. One was somber, one was celebratory, and this one was a bit of both. It was believed to be a time when the barrier between the living and the dead was thin, and those who had passed on could be sensed by those still alive. Tradition had it that at the end of the harvest season, before the winds of winter began to blow, that a straw effigy would be erected right outside the palace. At sunset on the night of the ceremony, it would be lit on fire. It was an awesome sight—a giant flaming wicker man, burning bright against the encroaching night. Anyone who wished could approach the fiery effigy, toss a branch into the cracking flames, and in so doing metaphorically “burn away” anything he did not wish to carry into the quiet, deep reflection time provided by winter’s enforced inactivity.
It was a peasant ritual, sprung up from time immemorial. Arthas suspected that few nowadays truly believed that tossing a branch into a fire would really solve their problems; even fewer believed that contact with the dead was possible. He certainly didn’t. But it was a popular celebration.
“My countrymen, I join you in celebration of this most revered of nights— the night when we remember those who are no longer with us, and cast aside the things that hold us back. We burn the effigy of the wicker man as a symbol of the year that is passing, much as the farmers burn the remains of the harvested fields. The ashes nourish the soil, and this rite nourishes our souls. It is good to see so many here tonight. I am pleased to be able to offer the distinct honor of lighting the wicker man to Lady Jaina Proudmoore." "
Although the Kingdom of Lordaeron practiced the ceremony in the times shortly before the fall of Prince Arthas, recent Hallow’s End quests state that “some aspects of the festival, like the Wickerman, have been lost to time” for the Alliance until “the return of the Gilneans to the Alliance fold”. Gilneans reintroduced the Wickerman to the Alliance practice of Hallow’s End. The Gilnean druid Celestine of the Harvest helps teach the races of the Alliance the significance of the Wickerman ceremony. Druidism was practiced among the Gilnean ruralists, and her role in the Wickerman ceremony suggests that it held an important place among the Gilnean peasantry and druids. Genn Greymane now leads the Wickerman ceremony for the Alliance.
The springtime seasonal festival of Noblegarden may have its roots in a hypothetical proto-druidic human culture preserved by the Gilnean druids. The origins of Noblegarden are “steeped in druidic festivals from times long past” that have since become “a contrast between ancient traditions and modern interpretations”. At first glance this statement about druidic origins would appear to apply to the druidic night elves, but Prince Arthas helps Jaina prepare for Noblegarden by filling eggs with candies. He also claims that it is a major festival celebrated in both Stormwind and Lordaeron. Modern understandings of Noblegarden have, therefore, been celebrated by humans prior to their encounters with the druidic Kaldorei in Kalimdor. While Highborne-descended high elves may have preserved the festival, druidic culture never took root in the arcane culture Highborne or high elves, and they furthermore culturally rejected druidism in favor of developing an arcane-magic society. It was revealed in Cataclysm, however, that human civilization developed some tradition of druidism that has been preserved in Gilneas.
Gilneas may have preserved the older traditions and understandings of Noblegarden, but different national traditions regarding the holiday are not reflected in the game. There may also be a “class” element in the different holiday celebrations, much like there is with Hallow’s End. The light-hearted “modern” interpretations became associated with the city nobility and urban citizens and the older traditions being preserved among the rural peasantry.
Royal Aderic Banquet
Little is known about the Royal Aderic Banquet of Gilneas, such as its time, frequency, location, exclusivity, and purpose. Genn Greymane references the Royal Aderic Banquet in an off-hand comment about it being how Genn met his future wife Mia. The connection with the banquet’s namesake of the Aderic’s Repose graveyard is unknown. It may have simply been an annual banquet for the nobility.
Gilnean courtship and marriage practices are relatively unknown. Wedding parties were held for the bride and groom. It is customary for attendees of wedding parties to bring gifts for the bride and groom. There are several rose arbors with benches scattered throughout Gilneas that may have served as spaces for wedding ceremonies or parties. One such rose arbor, located in the mountains directly north of Tempest’s Reach. This area has several casks next to a table covered in empty bottles. The center aisle is lined with roses, which may be dropped as part of the wedding ceremony. It remains uncertain as to how the worgen affliction has affected Gilnean marriage conventions. It’s probable that worgen romantic relationships will adopt more “mate” language.
Religion and Spirituality
The religious practices and beliefs of Gilneas are surprisingly syncretistic. Even prior to the worgen epidemic, Gilneas shows some potential signs of preserving a diversity of older religious practices alongside the Church of the Holy Light.
Known Religious sites
- Light's Dawn Cathedral: A sprawling cathedral built within Gilneas City by Archibald Greymane. Replacing a small chapel that once sat in the center of the city, the Light's Dawn Cathedral was made along with a massive renovation to the chapel's original housing district during Archibald's re-construction and industrialization of Gilneas City.
- Aderic's Repose: Though not strictly a holy site for just those of one faith, as some pagan faiths hold the site as sacred as well as those of holy faith, the Repose is a religious site for all of Gilneas. Said to be the resting place of the legendary king Aderic I, the Patriarch, the Repose has been treated over the years as a place of reverence. It is known that the spirits of those who rest here are set to rest by small offerings by their families and were known to have risen from the grave during the Invasion of Gilneas due to their graves being disturbed. Under the Repose is a large causeway that leads to Gilneas City, with signs of burial within as well.
- Tal'doren, the Wild Home: A Great Tree found within The Blackwald in southern Gilneas. Sacred to those of pagan belief, the great tree is found within the heart of the forest. Often the site to various religious rituals for the pagans, it was found the tree also inertly holds the power to soothe the feral side of the Curse of the Worgen. As a result, the tree has become highly important to those who have been afflicted with the curse, as it represents the means that they came about their salvation.
Church of the Holy Light
The Church of the Holy Light forms the largest religious institution in the Kingdom of Gilneas. The cultural influence of the Church can be heard in how Gilneans use many Light-based idioms and curses in their speech patterns. The blessing of the Light is commonly invoked by Gilneans. King Genn Greymane invokes such a blessing – “may the Light bless the spirits of our ancestors” – during Liam’s funeral. Gilneans on the whole, however, do not likely possess the same level of pious devotion as Lordaeron, or maybe even Stormwind. Darius Crowley sardonically remarks, “Feel free to say a prayer if that's your sort of thing” during the last stand in Light’s Dawn Cathedral. Priests may even view themselves are preservers of a dying tradition, much like the druidic 'Keepers of the Old Ways'.
Gilnean priests are followers of the Light and exist as part an established clergy. Many clergy are addressed with either the honorific “Brother” or “Sister.” During the period of Gilnean Isolation following the Second War, King Genn Greymane instituted the Gilnean Declaration of Free Ecclesiastical Investiture; allowing for nobility to have a hand in the appointment of clergy men within their lands. This was done to handle the sudden cut off from the Archbishop and the rest of the Church. In addition, this was passed to validate the appointment of the first and only Gilnean Archbishop, Seryl I, who reigned as Archbishop until his untimely death during the onset of the Invasion of Gilneas. Following the invasion, there was no true successor to Seryl as the church was reunited and the Declaration was made void by King Greymane.
As a result of the reunion, His Grace Bishop Melchiz Tzedeck is the Bishop of the Diocese of Gilneas. Claiming to continue the lineage of Seryl, though this time without the forced separation of the church, and the desire to see Gilneas brought back to its glory, Bishop Tzedeck oversees the diocese from Light's Dawn Cathedral.
Sister Almyra, Sister Elsington
Light's Dawn Cathedral
The Light's Dawn Cathedral, dedicated to the Church of the Holy Light, sits as the architectural centerpiece of Gilneas City and its Cathedral Quarter. The cathedral’s majestic steeple towers far above all other city buildings and is surrounded by city canals. The cathedral is constructed with similar grey stone blocks as found throughout the rest of the city and designed with four prominent flying buttresses. In contrast to the stone cathedrals of Lordaeron and Stormwind, the interior of Light’s Dawn Cathedral reveals mostly woodworked designs and structures. The cathedral features numerous ornate stained glass designs and contains several bookshelves of presumably religious scripture. The Light’s Dawn Cathedral is also the only cathedral of the Church of Light located in the Seven Kingdoms outside of the territories of either Lordaeron or Stormwind. Light’s Dawn Cathedral’s consistent design with the rest of Gilneas City may indicate that the development of Gilneas City and the construction of the Cathedral happened as part of the same renovation project of King Archibald Greymane, during the early life of Genn Greymane. King Archibald may have sought to build a rival cathedral to those of Lordaeron and Stormwind as an architectural symbol to project Gilnean power.
Gilneas does not have any known paladins and lacks any official affiliation with the Order of the Silver Hand. It is not impossible however, as many knights were made into paladins during the Second War. It would not be farfetched to believe that at least a few Gilneans took up the oath as well. Commander Springvale, captain of the guard in Shadowfang Keep was reported to be a Paladin in life. Also, Jordan Stilwell, a blacksmith who originally lived in Pyrewood Village and worked in the nearby keep, “was to be a paladin of the Light before his dedication to his father's craft took him on another path”.
The Church of the Holy Light was the most culturally widespread religion in Gilneas. The Church in Gilneas had priests and sanctuaries of the Light, and its citizens venerated the Holy Light as well. Within a human context, however, paladins did not simply spontaneously emerge wherever people worshipped the Light. The Church of the Holy Light existed long before the existence of paladins. Azerothian paladins are instead tied to a specific historical point of origination. Azerothian paladins are historically an exceptionally contemporary creation of the Church.
All human paladins and their respective orders trace their historical lineage back to the Order of the Silver Hand. Archbishop Faol conceived and established the Silver Hand in Lordaeron at the advent of the Second War around 6 ADP. Initially, Archbishop Faol drew most of the Silver Hand’s numbers from Lordaeron, which was one of Gilneas’s chief political rivals at the time. During the Crisis of Alterac Succession , the Order of the Silver Hand owed “its outward allegiance to Terenas,” and they were the only force the other kings trusted as guards in Alliance meetings.
Following the Second War, paladins were deployed wherever their abilities were needed, which were often places heavily affected by the damages of the Second War. As such, the Silver Hand’s members would have split their order’s efforts between the heavily affected war-torn kingdoms of the Alliance in the Second War: Lordaeron, Stormwind, Stromgarde, and Kul Tiras. Incidentally, these are the only human kingdoms with documented paladins. Gilneas, however, remained relatively unscathed by the Second War, providing only token support to the war efforts. For this reason, it was unlikely to see many, if any, paladins that were not of Gilnean descent in the area.
Although other nations had paladins, paladin training was often closely tied to the Kingdom of Lordaeron. Before the fall of Lordaeron, the Scarlet Monastery served as a training ground for paladins of other nations. Captain Nials even mentions how the loss of the Scarlet Monastery prevents Stromgarde from training more soldiers to fight the Forsaken. Although it’s not known exactly when, Greymane withdrew from the Alliance and began construction of the Greymane Wall sometime between the years 8-18 ADP. After its construction, Gilneas remained culturally and politically isolated from the rest of the Seven Kingdoms and the Grand Alliance. After Scourge destroyed Lordaeron and began attacking Greymane Wall, there is no present evidence to suggest that Gilneas used paladins to fight the Scourge. Ultimately, Genn Greymane felt compelled to rely on Archmage Arugal to unleash the worgen.
In the end, the Order of the Silver Hand was not adopted in Gilneas as much as it was in the rest of the world. Reports of Gilnean paladins are not unheard of, but no paladin has risen to the prominence of those such as Uther the Lightbringer or Tirion Fordring in Gilneas. Any paladins who resided in Gilneas following the erection of the Greymane Wall likely resided within the capitol of Gilneas City to aid with the day to day business of the church there, or in the case of Gregor's Crossing set up small chapels to the light to teach the populace.
Some form of druidic tradition has been preserved in Gilneas. The nature and origins of Gilnean druidism are still unclear and hotly debated among scholarly circles. Druidism is not an entirely widespread practice, but a practice that has apparently existed on the fringes of “civilized” Gilnean society. King Genn Greymane “had heard that druidism was practiced among some of Gilneas’s agrarian folk, but he hadn’t been exposed to it until recently”. It’s not clear how recently Greymane learned of druidism, though it may have been during the crop failures of the Gilnean Famine. Celestine of the Harvest claims that her order of Gilnean druids “were drive to the edge of extinction once before”. Celestine also refers to her druidic order as “keepers of the old ways,” but it is never further elaborated how old this tradition dates. It is possible that human druidism may even predate the Arathor Empire and have its roots in early human civilization. The holiday of Noblegarden, which has been historically celebrated among the human kingdoms, has its origins “steeped in druidic festivals from times long past,” which may corroborate this idea. Either the Church of the Holy Light, the spread of arcane magic, or King Archibald Greymane’s industrial reforms may have contributed to their decline, but what drove their order to near extinction remains unknown. Whatever the case may be, Gilneas is the only known location at this time with druidism practiced by humans. The extinction of the Gilnean druids was ironically prevented, however, by a Gilnean famine that struck the nation after the construction of the Greymane Wall when their crops failed. Celestine claims it was their order “who called upon the earth’s blessing and restored the harvest".
Their role in restoring the harvest may have contributed to their title of “harvest witches.” Gwen Armstead refers to Celestine of the Harvest as a “harvest-witch,” which is the only instance this title is used for Gilnean druids. It’s unknown as to whether the term “harvest-witch” is an actual title used by Gilnean druids or simply a pejorative term given to them by Gwen Armstead and other urban citizens. Celestine of the Harvest, however, refers to her order explicitly as “druids.” Gilnean druids revere nature. Celestine told Gwen Armstead “the winds spoke your name,” which gives Gwen the impression that Gilnean druids spend their time “conversing with nature”. While some people have speculated that Gilnean druids are mere “nature mages,” Celestine speaks of their practices in entirely spiritual terms, having not only “called upon the earth’s blessing,” but also placing their “fate in the hands of a higher power” in which they “learn what the wild has to teach [them]”. Gilnean druids may have been capable of shapeshifting even prior to contact with the night elves. It’s when King Greymane sees a night elf shapeshift out of flight form that it reminds him of Gilnean druids, and Gilnean druids disguised in bear form are part of the Gilneas Liberation Front.
It was revealed in the 'ask creative development' questionnare that Gilnean druids were once the religious leaders of all Gilneas, which implies some form of religious hiearchy existing, much like the modern-day church of the holy light. It is possible that ancient pagan druidism survives in Gilneas due to the nation's isolationism and distinctive culture.
Celestine of the Harvest, Dareth, Heirophant Malyk, Rio Duran, Tolliver Houndstooth, Garl Stormclaw, and Marl Wormthorn
Denmother Ulrica, Jennette Doyle, Ian Duran, Sabina Pilgrim, and Alton Redding
Despite the institutional hegemony of the Church of the Holy Light, Gilneans may have incorporated veneration for the spirits of the deceased. The spirits of the dead are implied to have agency. Much like within shamanistic beliefs, a certain balance must be maintained with reverent respect to the ancestral spirits. Many Gilnean headstones contain burning candles, and both bottles and flowers lie around some graves. These objects may serve as cultic offerings to the dead.
Despite the rush to evacuate Gilneas, Krennan Aranas says how “even in these times we must honor our dead”. He also indicates that Gilneans consider disturbing “the resting homes” of their ancestors to be a “grave sin.” The graves are not simply called the “resting places” of the ancestors, but the “resting homes,” conveying that these are where the ancestors dwell. He notes the damaging of the graves at Aderic’s Repose angers the spirits. Notably, Krennan Aranas uses “spirits” interchangeably with “ghosts.” He then hopes to make an offering at Aderic’s tomb so that it will “placate the ghosts of our ancestors”. Aranas remarks in consolation, “We might've lost our city, but at least it looks like the dead have forgiven us”.
Similar echoes of veneration are conveyed in Prince Liam’s funeral. King Genn Greymane says, “May the Light bless the spirits of our ancestors, for they've chosen to allow my son to rest upon this holy ground. It is there, surrounded by the heroes and patriots of Gilneas where he belongs”. Again, Greymane speaks as if the ancestral spirits have the agency to permit the late Prince Liam’s inclusion. Furthermore, the language of spirit veneration is closely tied with the Light.
The Gilnean worgen of Duskwood also choose to establish their camp near the cemetery-town of Raven Hill. Sister Elsington, a priestess of the Light, is particularly concerned about the putting the undead of the area to rest . Elsington also wants to put the forlorn spirits of Addle’s Stead at ease and give them peace through an offering of the gentle scents of the holy censer. This practice does not necessarily reflect ancestral veneration, but may be more inline with priestly exorcisms. High Priestess MacDonnell is similarly responsible for exorcising the ghosts of Sorrow Hill using holy incense to “help them move onto the next plane”. Similarly, the dwarf Enohar Thunderbrew has the worgen ghosts vanquished in order to “release their spirit from this world and allow them to pass into the next”
The insidious Wolf Cult is a recent religious cult that worshipped the worgen as the “purity of essence.” The worgen Alpha Prime (i.e. the night elf Ralaar Fangfire) with the aid of Archmage Argual formed the Wolf Cult to search for the Scythe of Elune to free his brethren sleeping in the Emerald Dream. The cult’s ultimate purpose, perhaps unbeknownst to its human members, was to create an army of turned-human worgen to exact revenge against Archdruid Malfurion Stormrage. Although the Wolf Cult later reappears in the Grizzly Hills, under leadership of the Scourge-aligned Shade of Argual, its connection and continuity with Alpha Prime’s Wolf Cult remains unclear.
Membership and Rites
The Wolf Cult found members among nearly all ranks and professions of Gilnean society. Initiation into the Wolf Cult first required a test of loyalty in the form of a ‘righteous kill,’ “described as the elimination of a foe or target who challenged the mind, body, or spirit of the aspirant”. These initiatory kills led to the spread of the “Starlight Slasher murders” throughout Gilneas. Aspirants who succeeded in the “righteous kill” would then receiving “the blessing of the blade,” a rite that marked the individual “for the next step of the consecration process.” Those who received the “blessing of the blade” would then petition to join the “Circle” and receive the infectious bite of the worgen curse.
Elune, the Moon Goddess
The Gilneans are not followers of Elune though their connections with Kaldorei society may naturally propagate Elunite religious reverence among the worgen. Genn Greymane mentions Elune several times in Wolfheart. Genn does not say Elune’s name in reverence of her, but gives either vain lip service to her or respectful acknowledgment of night elf faith:
"Genn Greymane signaled to Eadrik, who slipped into the forest. The lord of Gilneas gave Malfurion one last grateful nod. “I know you’ll do all you can. It wouldn’t have gotten this far without you, Archdruid.” Genn gritted his teeth. “But from here on, you know it all lies in one man’s hands.” “He will come to see things as they must be for all our sakes.”
“I believe that, but let us pray to your Elune just the same. I’ll take all the help we can get...” With that, the king slipped into the forest." 
“Her miracle?” Genn cocked his head. “No, my lady, Elune might have some part in this – as surely Goldrinn has – but both would without a doubt give the greatest credit to another!” 
Nevertheless, Elune may become an important figure for some Gilnean worgen due to Elune’s connection to the creation of the worgen through the Scythe of Elune. Hints of the possible future syncretism of the Light with Elunite worship may be seen in the Howling Oak with Priestess Belrysa Starbreeze and Sister Almyra in close proximity. Furthermore, worgen are possibly incorporating Elunite veneration into their greetings and syncretizing it with the Light 
Goldrinn, the Wolf Ancient
The Kingdom of Gilneas occupies southernmost peninsular territories of the Lordaeronian continent. Gilneas is
bordered by the Great Sea to the west, Baradin Bay to the east, and the Lordaeron’s southern territories in Silverpine Forest to the north.
Climate and Weather
Despite its southern geographic proximity on the Lordaeronian continent, Gilneas has a temperate maritime climate with warm summers and cool winters. The bordering western Great Sea and eastern Baradin Bay heavily affects Gilnean climate. Close proximity to the Great Sea can cause strong winds in Gilneas throughout the year. Gilneas has cool, damp weather. Gilneas experiences frequent rains spread evenly throughout the year. The Gilnean Peninsula catches much of the rainfall from the Great Sea that moves inward to either Baradin Bay or the Lordaeronian upper mainland. Various regions of Gilneas suffer cloudy weather due to extensive mist and fog.
A long coastline surrounds the peninsular nation of Gilneas. Much of the Gilnean coastline, however, consists of towering cliffs, rocky shores, and hazardous reefs. The reefs that surround the Gilnean coastline have provided Gilneas with a natural defense from naval attacks in the past. The loss of the southern reefs in the aftershock of the Cataclysm allowed the Forsaken to launch a naval invasion on Duskhaven. The dangerous reefs and rocky isles of the Bite are particularly notorious for being the cause of many lost ships, requiring the aid of the Galewatch Lighthouse to guide ships safely through to Keel Harbor. Many coasts, such as the Storm Coast, are primarily empty due to the extreme weathers that hit the regions daily.
The longest and widest river in Gilneas is the Northgate River, also known as the Earl'forth, which has its source in a lake reservoir in the mountains above Emberstone Village between northern Gilneas and southern Silverpine Forest. The Emberstone Falls mark the beginning of the Northgate River, which flows south around Gilneas City and feeds into the mouth of Gilneas Bay. The natural course of the river appears to run south and clockwise around Gilneas City. The portions of the river north of Gilneas City and Northbridge may have been artificially created later, since the dam outside the city redirects some of the river water into the city canals.
Gilneas contains a number of wetland areas, including the Hailwood Marsh and the Pyrewood Marshes. Hailwood Marsh is located between the town of Duskhaven and the Blackwald. It is a freshwater marsh that receives its water runoff from the reaches of the southern mountains. Between the Greymane Wall and Pyrewood Village, and just inland of the South’s Tide Run, lie the freshwater Pyrewood Marshes. It’s possible, though speculative, that Pyrewood Village itself may have been built atop drained wetlands.
Gilneas is a rocky and mountainous territory. Genn Greymane constructs the Greymane Wall at Lord Godfrey’s suggestion in the mountainous region between Pyrewood Village and the Northgate Woods. Shadowfang Keep lies on the southern portion of a minor mountain range in Silverpine Forest. Gwen Armstead refers to the Tempest’s Keep region as also being in the mountains. The southern mountain ranges of the Great Dusky Mountains are the highest peaks in Gilneas. Wild ettin, such as Koroth the Hillbreaker, and ogres can be found in these mountains. These southern mountains separate the southern lowland region of Duskhaven from the rest of Gilneas. Greymane Manor is also built among the northwestern portion of the Dusky Mountains. A deep, narrow valley separates the northern and southern portions of the Great Dusky Mountains.
Gilneas has many forests and woodland areas. The largest forest is the southern Blackwald, which is south of Gilneas City and north of Stormglen Village. The sparsely inhabited Blackwald is filled with numerous dark, twisted, and thorny trees. Deep within the Blackwald is the large, ominous tree Tal’doren, whose Emerald Dream counterpart, Daral’nir, contains the trapped Druids of the Scythe. The Northgate Woods is a heavily wooded area north of Gilneas City. The Northgate Woods were the held lands of Lord Vincent Godfrey and formed the buffer zone between Gilneas City and Greymane Wall. The Northgate Woods also gave its name to the Northgate River and the Northgate Rebels. Gilneas also included southern Silverpine Forest in its territory, as far north as at least Ambermill.
Gilneas is relatively abundant in arable land. While the soil is arable, the soil is not as fertile as found elsewhere, such as the fertile lands of northern Lordaeron or the Azerothian lands of Stormwind. Most fertile farmland is around the southern reaches of Duskhaven and Gilneas’s northern Silverpine territories. Pockets of arable land in Gilneas also are found of the Blackwald, Headlands, and Northgate Woods. Fertile brown soils in Gilneas tend to be shallow with some impeded water drainage in most places. Other portions of Gilneas, particularly in the mountains regions, the soil tends to be rocky and poor for farming. Some wetland areas may have been drained to provide for further farmlands.
Gilneas is populated by diverse amounts of temperate zone flora and fauna. Prominent Gilnean flora consists of hardwood temperate deciduous and coniferous trees.
Cattails, Grasses, Ivy, Kelp, Roses (Red, White, Orange), Trees (Deciduous, Coniferous), and Water Lilies.
Briarthorn, Earthroot, Mageroyal, Mandrake, Moonleaf, Peacebloom, Silverleaf, Swiftthistle, Wolfsbane.
Berries, Corn, Wheat, Barley, Apples, Cherries, Pumpkins.
Bear (Giant Grizzled, Rapid), Crows (Gilnean), Foxes (Blackwald, Highlands, Red), Rats (Black, Graveyard), Seagulls, Skunks, Worg (Bloodsnout, Rab•id), Turtles
Blackbelly Mudfish, Clams, Fathom Eel, Murglesnout, Oily Blackmouth, Rainbow Fin Albacore, Reef Frenzy, Slitherskin Mackerel.
Cats, Chickens (White), Horses (Gilnean Mountain, Stagecoach, Wild), Dogs (Gilnean Mastiff, Gilnean Hound, Mountain Mastiff, Warhound), Pigs, Sheep (Ram, Sheep, Ewe).
Boar (Darktusk, Wild Hog), Deer (Brown Stag, Deer), Quail.
Ettin, Humans, Ogres
Blackwald Moth, Butterflies, Fireflies, Maggots (Putrescent), Roaches, Spiders (Underground, Vilebrood)
Reptiles & Amphibians
Crocolisks (Marsh, Swamp), Snakes, Toads, Turtles (Marsh Snapper)
Government and Politics
Capital: Gilneas City
Government: Hereditary Monarchy
The Kingdom of Gilneas has a national anthem, though it is not described in any detail.
The Gilnean flag is described as “a red design consisting of a circle with three vertical lines akin to lances and another line bisecting the circle itself, all set in a field of gray”. The symbolic significance of the Gilnean flag is not explained either inside or outside of the available media. The Gilnean flag is meant to evoke the look of worgen claw marks, but that is not a sufficient explanation, given how the flag predates the worgen epidemic. One possible explanation is that the mark symbolizes a crown. The crown may more abstractly represent their kingdom’s sovereignty, but it may also symbolize being one of the first kingdoms to gain independence from the Arathor Empire of Strom.
The Crest of Gilneas consists of the Gilnean symbol, which is akin in shape to the numeral 5, in black on a bone-white shield. The outer trim is made up of red roses and a scrunched paper banner with a picture of a wolf-head surrounded by indecipherable lettering at the bottom. A wolf skull and a necklace of wolf teeth adorn the top of the shield, along with two lamps on either side.
When boasting of Gilneas’s battles in the Second War, Greymane says how they “let out the Gilnean battle cry,” but does not detail what the cry actually is. The cry may simply be “For Gilneas!” which Prince Liam Greymane shouts to end the speech before the battle to reclaim Gilneas City from the Forsaken. In a speech to the released rebels at Stoneward Prison, Lord Darius Crowley also ends it with a yell of “For Gilneas!”. Another common gilnean battle cry, and even a greeting, is Glory to Gilneas.
See also: Gilnean Peerage
Gilneas possesses a hereditary monarchy with the title of ‘king’ as the head of state. House Greymane presently rules Gilneas. House Greymane’s line of kings reaches to at least the father of Archibald Greymane, father of current King Genn Greymane. The Gilnean monarch wields supreme executive and autocratic power of the state. The king holds executive power over the nobles, the treasury, the military, laws and administration.
Gilneas also has an influential noble class, who are responsible for holding tracts of territorial land for the Gilnean crown. Noble land is typically held and inherited within families. Most Gilnean nobles are addressed by the title “lord” affixed to their surnames, though a few nobles use the title “baron.” Gilnean nobles usually dress in fine black clothes lined with yellow. Gilneas does not appear to have a formal governing body of nobles, much like Stormwind has the House of Nobles. Nevertheless, the Gilnean nobility hold tremendous political clout with the monarchical king and are often found in close company.
Darius Crowley and Vincent Godfrey both hold considerable amounts of sway and land and are more than likely dukes given their word is quite valuable to the King and their ability to rally large amounts of forces, as seen with the Northgate Rebellion.
Gilneas likely held several marches when it bordered with Lordaeron prior to the Greymane Wall. With the erection of the wall, such lords lost purpose. They were likely under Lord Crowley, though the Headlands had some form of Marcher lord due to its lack of any true land border with the rest of Gilneas.
Various Earldoms likely existed within the kingdom. Lord Geoffry Tulvan was referred to as the Earl of Evisceration rather than Count and was known to actually have been a Lord from Gilneas. His lands are unknown but his presence gives way for the title's usage.
Viscounts and Barons
Given Viscounties are typically only slightly larger than Baronies which have been confirmed to exist within Gilneas, the title of Viscount was likely used as well if not somewhat more uncommon. Barons have been observed being present within the peerage through various officials and may be some of the countless "Lords".
Known Peerage Titles
See also: Gilneas Peerage
Royal Court Officials
King Genn Greymane also employed a series of other close royal advisers and court officials: a royal chemist (i.e. Krennan Aranas), a royal mage (i.e. Archmage Arugal), and other aides-de-camp (i.e. Eadrik).
Gilnean municipalities are organized into governing townships. Gilnean townships are composed of a variety of administrative officials and magistrates: mayor, lord mayor, and town councils. Membership of these local government offices is drawn almost entirely from the common citizenry through municipal elections. Both women and men were eligible for the various offices. The requirements for voting in municipal elections are unknown. Town halls function as the civil administrative buildings for townships.
Mayors are the chief magistrates responsible for the daily governing of municipal townships. Mayors also exercised some control over the mobilization of the local militia (Quest: Kill or Be Killed). Mayors also represented the townships and reported to the nobility and kings. The citizen Gwen Armstead later becomes the Mayor of Duskhaven following the fall of Gilneas City. Charlton Connisport serves as the Mayor of Surwich in the Blasted Lands. Some townships may also have deputy mayors to assist with the duties. Some Gilnean townships, such as Pyrewood Village, have an official referred as the “lord mayor.” It is unclear how this position compares with a “mayor.” The lord mayor is the head of the town council. Lord Mayor Morrison served in Pyrewood Village in the times when Arugal controlled Shadowfang Keep.
Some GIlnean townships, such as Pyrewood Village, had town councils. The Pyrewood town council was composed of nine councilmen, including the lord mayor as the executive head of the Pyrewood town council. Councilmen likely had a variety of different administrative roles depending on the needs of the township.
Civil Law and Order
The laws of the kingdom of Gilneas are unknown. Lord Godfrey alludes to the existence of a Gilnean law that binds all of its citizens: “Cursed or not, you are still bound by Gilnean law!”. Godfrey’s off-hand comment is the only reference to Gilnean law. Nobles and townships are likely responsible for administering the law and justice with the assistance of local magistrates. There is no evidence for judicial courts or a legislative body, though they likely exist.
The city guards help preserve the civil order of Gilneas City. The city guards maintain a station house in Gilneas City, which was probably in the Military District of the city. The city guards work closely in association with criminal investigators and detectives such as Halford Ramsey and Cox. The various Gilnean town watches may share similar responsibilities in the townships outside of Gilneas City.
There are a variety of different punishments Gilneas used for its criminals, though it is unknown how frequently these punishments were administered. Many leading Northgate Rebels, for example, were only held in Stoneward Prison despite having commit treason against the crown. Gilneas may have been transitioning towards using imprisonment as the primary form of punishment. The use of torture is a relatively common practice, though infrequent in use, among human civilizations. Gilneas likely practiced torture as well. Ana Halford commits suicide by hanging herself with a rope noose, which may point to hangings being practiced in some form as capital punishment.
The multistory Stoneward Prison complex that sits in the Military District is one of the largest buildings in Gilneas City. The prison also likely extends below ground. The inner courtyard may have served as the grounds for public executions. Gilneas does not appear to have a prison for containing magical threats like those possessed by Dalaran, Stormwind, or Tol Barad. It is possible that some of the unreachable areas have magical prison cells. Considering Dalaran’s relatively close geographic proximity, Dalaran may have dealt with the more dangerous magical prisoners. Many of the Northgate Rebels, including Lord Darius Crowley, were contained at the Stoneward Prison
Wooden wagons with steel cages are also common across Gilneas. These caged-wagons were likely used for the transportation of prisoners across the countryside. The Duskhaven worgen-hunters would later utilize these caged-wagons to transport captured worgen.
Wooden Pillories are located outside of Stoneward Prison and its inner courtyard. Pillories serve as a form of lesser punishment through public humiliation and generally only lasted a few hours. Pillories are later used in Duskhaven to restrain feral worgen being administered Krennan’s potion.
A bloodied guillotine lies within the Stoneward Prison square. Oliver Harris at Raven Hill uses a guillotine to serve doubly as stocks for administering the feral worgen antidote and for beheading feral worgen who cannot be saved. The guillotine may have served as Gilneas’s primary means of public execution.
The Stoneward Prison also has an iron maiden torture device, which was likely not commonly used given its poor condition and the fact that it is lying in the prison courtyard.
Hanging gibbet cages are a common sight across Gilneas. Hanging gibbet cages are found in Stoneward Prison, Duskhaven, Emberstone, Keel Harbor, and along the Pyrewood Bridge. Many gibbets also have parchment hanging underneath, likely with warnings or the list of criminal offenses perpetrated by the victim. All the hanging gibbets are empty with no signs of either the criminal occupants or their remains. Gilneas may have used gibbets simply as temporary holding cells to publically exhibit criminals until they are transported elsewhere. The gibbets of Stoneward may have been used as a form of punishment for prisoners. Given that the Horde is known to have attacked the borders of Gilneas during the Second War, the gibbets along Pyrewood Bridge
may have been further used on orcs as a warning display against further Horde incursions.
See also: Gilnean Military
The Gilnean military is not referenced often, but instead maintains a standing militia and other localized armed forces. There appear to be at least three divisions: the Gilnean royal guards, the Gilneas city guards, and the Gilnean militia. Prince Liam Greymane also mentions the existence of a “town watch” during Duskhaven questing, which may be another name for the local Duskhaven militia. Much of the Gilnean military forces were presumably reformed into the Gilnean Liberation Front led by Lord Darius Crowley. Across all levels of organization, the Gilnean military is noteworthy for its widespread use of mechanized firearms and artillery. Despite the importance of this militia, a military force is referenced twice in two seperate stories. They are trained enough to have held out against both the undead Scourge and the Forsaken for quite sometime. It is unknown how much this reflects on their actual competency though, considering the rich natural barriers of Gilneas.
With the evacuation of Gilneas, many of the armed forces have been absorbed into two groups: The Gilnean Liberation Front, which vows to protect and eventually secure Gilneas completely from the forsaken, and the Gilneans dispersed throughout Kalimdor, fighting for the Kaldorei. This group of Gilneans won a key battle within Ashenvale that helped the night elves push back the orcs.
The militia appears to be composed of common citizens. The militiamen are lightly armored, but are equipped with rapiers and blunderbuss rifles. The standing militia was used to “assault peripheral enemies” of Gilneas during the Seven Kingdoms period. Lord Vincent Godfrey commanded the militia as a “token force” during the Second War and until presumably the Cataclysm. The Gilnean militia fought in the Second War though the results are ambiguous. King Greymane angrily comments how Gilnean participation in the war resulted in “dead Gilneans, torn apart by those green scoundrels” , but then he later boasts about the military success of Gilneas against the Horde to the other Alliance officials at a feast held in Darnassus. Prince Liam Greymane references the existence of a “town watch” of Duskhaven, which had to be saved from drowning. The town watch may also be another name for the local militia forces.
Royal and City Guards
The “royal guard” is further referenced  Apart from their label, there is no noticeable difference in appearance of these two forces, but both the city guard and royal guard are apparently far more heavily equipped and trained than the militia. The Gilnean guard forces are identified by their use of the Gilnean tabards. They are equipped in chainmail and a face-covering helmet. They are also armed with a broadsword, shield, and a blunderbuss rifle.
Though referenced very little, despite Gilneas' claims of mostly having a standing militia, during the onset of the Scourge, military regiments were shown having been deployed beyond the wall. Referred to as trained soldiers, they were what held the line until the Worgen were summoned. Likely armed with standard arms of Gilneas, they were also said to have been armed with long bows and flaming arrows to burn the oncoming Undead.
Later on, they are referenced yet again as the Forsaken attempted to breach the Greymane Wall. Musket fire blanketed over the debris as the Forsaken attempted to march into Gilneas, mowing down the undead as they attempted to march into the lands. They also employed burning oil when the Forsaken attempted to scale the wall when the breach was too thin. Oddly enough, during this time the Worgen were also employed, despite at the time of the Forsaken assault the worry that the Worgen could betray Gilneas yet again.
The Gilnean Navy is the naval force of the Kingdom of Gilneas. Once one of the largest navies of Azeroth, it was described as a competitive fleet that aspired to match that of Kul Tiras. Although it wasn't nearly as large as Kul Tiras' navy, it was larger than most of the other human fleets.
The navy was ultimately disbanded and liquidated after the Greymane Wall was ordered and borders were closed off. This went along with the closing of the vast majority of ports. Most naval officers were either moved into other divisions or granted leave to retire. This would later work against them during the Invasion of Gilneas, as the Forsaken had no direct naval opposition until the arrival of the Seventh Legion.
There is no known specific central leader, aside from presumably the king, of the Gilnean Navy despite several Gilnean admirals being within the service of the Grand Alliance. This is due to the retirement of the position of the High Admiral of Gilneas. The Gilnean Navy has recently been seeing active service in the waters around Gilneas. Given that most of the navy is in disrepair, only three fleets have been seen active. Of these fleets, one remains in Gilneas while the others has been acting in the capacity of the Grand Alliance, rather than the kingdom.
- Lord of His Pack
- Day of the Dragon, ch.16
- History of Warcraft: The Seven Kingdoms
- It is unknown whether Deep Elem Mine was a part of either Gilnean or Lordaeronian territory. The workers of Deep Elem Mine were worgen in pre-Cataclysm Silverpine questing.
- Ask CDev Round #1
- Quest: The Cries of the Dead
- Wolfheart, ch.6
- Wolfheart, ch.28
- Character Quotes: "Let the light of the new moon guide you."
- Quest: Safety in Numbers, Quest: Time to Regroup.