by Betria Eilyn Tallrock
Even the most cursory glance at Stormwind Harbor reveals something the population at large has so far ignored. The war against the Horde is not being fought only on the bloody battlefields of Kalimdor and Lordaeron, but also at sea. The Forsaken assault on Gilneas was spearheaded by undead destroyers dredged up from wrecks from the First and Second Wars, bloodthirsty troll destroyers and orcish juggernauts prowl the high seas, and pirates scour the shores, causing untold damage as they loot and pillage coastal areas. More recently, the catastrophic battle in Vashj’ir, where both Alliance and Horde forces came under brutal attack by the Naga, was fought extremely close to the shores of Elwynn and Westfall.
The Alliance is not unaware of those threats. In fact, it has been mobilizing against them. The Stormwind shipyards have been commissioned to build a record number of warships to take the naval battle back to the Horde. Armories have been working day and night, casting high-caliber naval cannons and ammunition for both the fleet and coastal emplacements. There are even rumors of new and improved airships being designed by gnomish and dwarven engineers, with the automomy to operate for long periods of time on the Great Sea by without needing to be resupplied.
When asked by the Bloomin’ Paper, Grand Admiral Jes-Tereth was categorical: “for our land operations to be successfull, we must not allow the Horde superiority at sea”. Besides fighting the Horde in the high seas, the Alliance fleet plays a vital role of supporting human and dwarven forces in the Twilight Highlands, as well as providing reinforcements to our forces in Kalimdor, such as the newly-relocated Feathemoon Stronghold and the Alliance forces fighting in the southern Barrens. “We have transported an immense amount of war material and troops from Stormwind and Ironforge over to combat zones in the past few months”, the Grand Admiral continued, “and we have sunken or crippled an equally large amount of Horde and pirate vessels as well. We are trying to make sure that wherever our troops find themselves, they’ll know the fleet will have their backs”.
The island city of Theramore, ruled by Archmage Jaina Proudmoore, plays an important role in the Alliance naval strategy. From its heavily fortified position in Dustwallow Marsh, Theramore has been the launching point for multiple successful Alliance forays into Horde territory, including the construction of a direct road through the swamp and into the Barrens, and the reinforcement of Northwatch hold, on the Merchant Coast, south of Ratchet. With Proudmoore’s help, the Alliance is on the offensive against the bulk of the Horde in Kalimdor, in Ashenvale and the Barrens, threatening even their spiritual, military and political home of Durotar.
So, while you or your loved ones clash against the orcs, trolls, undead and their ilk in bloody battlefields all over Azeroth, or when you simply look to the sea… remember the brave sailors and marines of the Alliance fleets, toiling and fighting hard to assure our troops can prevail. They are, more often than not, unsung heroes whose greatest contributions happen before and after the fighting itself, as they navigate and fight their way around the Cape of Stranglethorn, the Vir’naal Delta and the Maelstrom, protecting the Alliance’s interests all over Azeroth.