Deadmines Lore: The Defias Brotherhood Revenge – WoW Classic

Main picture for the article of Deadmines featuring Edwin Vancleef and Mr. Smite.

Deadmines is one of the most iconic World of Warcraft dungeons, be it retail or classic. For alliance players this is still to this day the first introduction to cooperation with other players (and a way to experience the first wipes due to patrols, just to cite one) as a full party.  

Or if you are like me, you put the game offline and surround yourself with bots like a perfect psychopath. 

So, we move from our dear Sentinel Hill to go and exterminate the Defias Brotherhood down south and try our best to behead Edwin Vancleef.  
But why, though?  
In this article we are going to discover everything there’s to know about this place, and the motives behind one of Stormwind’s biggest enemies.

Deadmines – Before the Brotherhood 

Before the First War, the Deadmines were humans’ biggest gold deposit. The caves, accessible through the mining town of Moonbrook, span for kilometers and reach the northern part of Stranglethorn Vale.  
When the First War occurred, and the orcs came doing what orcs do best (no, not being stupid enough to get corrupted by some warlock… I mean fighting) and rampaged through human lands, Moonbrook was destroyed and the Deadmines abandoned.  

Actually, not quite, because it became home to creatures like Ogres and slimes for at least a couple of years. 

I am not quite sure if the name Deadmines was given to the caves after the mines were abandoned and thought to be haunted, or if the caves were already called this way. After researching the topic, I could not find out anything related to a possible past name prior to Deadmines, so I assume that this has always been the name, or it did not have one. 

After being abandoned, Anduin Lothar – which was one of the mightiest Alliance warriors – descended in the Deadmines to recover the Book of Divinity (A very important artifact for paladins and the religion of the Light in general). As for how this book ended up in the hands of the chief of Ogres inhabiting the caves, I’ll leave it to your imagination. The official statement is “it happened somehow”. Figures. 
The expedition did not go well, and Anduin was captured by the ogres and kept prisoner for twenty months, before being rescued by an Alliance that thought him long dead.  

It was later occupied by pirates, led by Captain Bramblebeard. Arrr! 

A brief history of the Defias Brotherhood 

We all know the red bandana wearers, and probably be killed at least once by one of their Defias Trappers or Pillagers (which are currently in the top ten list of causes for character deaths in Hardcore WoW), but it possible that we do not know why they are trying to kill us.  

I’ll be honest, they are not completely wrong. 

Before being a Brotherhood of an assorted bunch of criminals, the Defias were part of the Stonemason Guild. As the name may suggest, they were a guild of builders and related artisans led by Edwin Vancleef, which rebuilt Stormwind after being destroyed by our dear friends the Orcs of the Old Horde after the First War and reclaimed after the Second one
The feat to rebuild the city to its former splendor required both an incredible number of artisans and money and, while the Stonemason guild delivered the former, the Stormwind House of Nobles – in charge of the latter, the money – did not.  

Yeah, I can already hear all of you saying “Yeah! It’s all the rich a**holes fault!” and you would technically be right: they ended up not paying the Stonemason Guild because they indebted themselves to reinforce Stormwind’s military especially concerning the Stranglethorn Vale border. 
In truth, though, both sides were played like a damn fiddle by Lady Katrana Prestor, a high noble of Stormwind. Oh yeah, almost forgot: she is also a black dragon, going by the name of Onyxia.  
On one side she managed to get the Stonemason Guild to ask too much money, while on the other she made the kingdom get debt after debt. This did not go well, and the growing malcontent peaked in a revolt where the Queen of Stormwind, Tiffin Wrynn, got killed.  

The current ruler of Stormwind, King Varian Wrynn, wasn’t quite happy on seeing her wife getting murdered, and went on a personal vendetta against the Stonemason Guild. The members of the guild escaped the capital and went down in Westfall. They turned criminals to both survive and regain the promised money for their job that never came.  

Deadmines – present day in Classic WoW.  

The Stonemason Guild, rebranded Defias Brotherhood, now controls several parts of Westfall, including Moonbrook. As said before, Moonbrook is quite the strategic position for the Defias Brotherhood: there lies access to the Deadmines, and within it, Edwin Vancleef’s hideout. 
Mr. Vancleef’s humor these days is sour as a lemon and has two objectives in mind: to destroy that corrupted bunch of the House of Nobles and to see the city of Stormwind burn.  
After he took hold of the Deadmines (and killed Captain Bramblebeard and his crew in the process) he planned to build the Jaggernaught, which is a giant ship with which he wants to attack Stormwind.  

We get to know what Edwin Vancleef is plotting by following the alliance’s quest given to us by Gryan Stoutmantle, a paladin which formed the People’s Militia in order to stop the Defias Brotherhood’s plan of expanding further in Westfall.  
Gryan sends alliance players to talk to a criminal which has information regarding the Defias Brotherhood, and said information is later confirmed by the Mathias Shaw of Stormwind’s Secret Services, SI:7.  
Edwin Vancleef’s hideout is then pointed out by a captured Defias bandit, which was then named “The Defias Traitor” (the Asmongold-looking dude in the picture above).  

Deadmines – Lore of the Bosses 


There is not much to know about Rhahk’Zor, aside from the fact that most probably is an Ogre survivor from the time when ogres where living in the Deadmines. His quote (“VANCLEEF PAY BIG FOR YOUR HEAD!”) and his bodyguards are straightforward proof that he is now working for Edwin Vancleef.

Sneed and Gilnid 

These two goblins are Edwin Vancleef’s lumber master and head smelter. Sneed is famous for piloting his mecha, Sneed’s Shredder, while Gilnid is said to have run terrible experiments in booty bay and was cast out and later recruited by the Defias Leader. 

Note: Gilnid’s background comes from World of Warcraft RPG, which is not considered Canon, but at least gives us the only hint on Gilnid’s story.  

Mr. Smite and Captain Greenskin 

This big Tauren likes toys with his victim by stunning them and wielding different weapons during the fight. He is the captain’s First Mate. In WoW Classic we do not have more information about him, while in other expansions (Mists of Pandaria) we can possibly meet somebody who knew him, or it is said to be him in disguise. As for Captain Greenskin, we just know that he is the Captain of the Juggernaught. After all, The Defias Brotherhood involved the goblins in the Deadmines for both their craftmanship and skills.  


Cookie the murloc is the Ship’s Cook and he fights with a rolling pin, which is everything we need to know since this is already incredibly awesome. For the fans of Cookies, here’s good news: in the lore, he doesn’t actually die in the fights with players, but he survives and becomes a captain for the Defias led by Vancleef’s daughter later in the Cataclysm expansion. 

Edwin Vancleef 

We already discovered quite a lot in this article about the Defias Brotherhood’s Big Boss. Needless to say, he dies. We are sure of it because we cut off his head to bring it back to Gryan Stoutmantle in exchange for some blue good stuff. As announced while talking about Cookie, though, Edwin had a daughter, who would end up taking her father’s slack and would keep the Defias Brotherhood up and running.  


There is much more to cover about the Defias Brotherhood, like the whole ordeal concerning Varian Wrynn kidnapping, but this article is already quite long! Congratz to everybody that managed to reach these very words: you are awesome.  
I hope that you’ve learned something today, and as always, feel free to write a comment down below! I’ll make sure to reply to you as fast as possible! 
I’ll see you, dear readers, in the next article! 

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