Thursday, October 1, 2009

Know Your Rogue Lore: Brann Bronzebeard

When I started this series I invited readers to request rogues they would like for me to feature. One name came up that kind of surprised me. Brann Bronzebeard. As was stated in the request "He is stealthy, picks locks, despite being the brother of an Alliance King will take help from ANYONE to get the job done...IF that isn't a ROGUE what is?" As all these things are INDEED true,  Brann would seem a prefect candidate, there is just one major problem....he is a HUNTER.

For Horde players who have really only been introduced to Brann in Northrend via the Halls of Stone and then later Ulduar all they will have witnessed is really his more roguish tendencies so the confusion is understandable. Alliance players on the other hand have been falling over King Magni Bronzebeard's youngest brother through out most of their leveling experience. Even with that, it is STILL easy to get confused about Brann because it wasn't until Northrend that anyone actually SAW him...instead we were always finding his STUFF. (Brann has a NASTY habit of LOSING things, HIMSELF included, though he will NEVER call it that.)

So lets take this time to clear up the confusion and cover this fascinating individual that we already know we are going to be seeing even MORE of in the NEXT expansion.

As I mentioned before Brann is the youngest of the three Bronzebeard brothers. King Magni, realizing there was nothing he could to to control his younger brother's wandering feet, rather than even attempt to try instead channeled it into official lines. With Magni's backing Brann was able to start the Explorers League with the help of his friend Samul Strangehands. It was as a direct result of Samul's influence that Brann became so engrossed in learning any and all languages that he stumbles across.

Earlier in his life Brann was directly involved with helping out his eldest brother. Since Brann is was conversationally fluent in Orcish as well as being an accomplished fighter he and his brother Muradin were sent during the Second War to guide and assist Anduin Lothar as he lead the Alliance Army, following Lothar's death he continued to work with Turalyon resulting in the destruction of the Dark Portal.

It was after the Third War that Brann's life as the Great Explorer that we know today truly began. Commissioned by his brother Magni to create a map of the Eastern Kingdoms, this eventually expanded to included Kalimdor, the South Seas and Northrend. For Alliance players Brann's name will first creep up in Stranglethon Vale. It was here that EARLY in the game players followed his trail into the Zul'Grub. All they knew at the time was that he had gone "missing" leaving the message that he would be "traveling east".

This would become Brann's trade mark, disappear, leave a trail of STUFF, then pop up again in a completely DIFFERENT region leaving another trail behind him. This trail often leads to raid instances. Case in point: After their first encounter with Brann in Stranglethorn Vale Alliance players won't see anything of him again until they get to Silithus. Here you will actually discover one of Bronzebeard's Encampments being manned by some of his colleges as well as his pet gorilla Glibb.

You recall how I stated that Brann was a HUNTER right? Well there are several reasons why this is the prevailing thinking though Glibb is only the beginning of it. In addition if you ever take the time to read his Journal you will see him comment about his "Rifle, Dwarven-hand cannon and Battle Axe". Now while Rogues CAN use guns, up until recently they were unable to use axes. In fact one of the quest rewards from Silithus is to get Brann's Trusty Pick.

After players follow Brann's trail into the Temple of Ahn'Qiraj he disappears again. There was some speculation that he may have headed through the Dark Portal into Outland but no evidence of that ever surfaced. The only thing that he clearly communicated was that he was going to head off to Northrend in an attempt to discover more about his brother Muradin's death.

It is not until you get to Grizzly Hills that you know for sure that Brann ever made it to Northrend. Once again his trail of stuff speaks for him. Both Alliance AND Horde players will discover his tattered journal and need to put it back together to have a better idea as to what he may be up to now. From there his trail disappears into Storm Peaks.

It is in Storm Peaks that Alliance players for the VERY FIRST TIME will actually catch up to the allusive Brann and help him to escape. Horde players will also encounter him for the first time...but their experience is a little more frustrating as Brann is not NEARLY as fluent in their tongue as he believes himself to be. For the Alliance I can only say that this chain has become one of my all time favorite lore ones. While I guessed the ending early on I was STILL moved by the completion. (If somehow you have not done it yet I won't spoil it for you.)

Brann turns up again in the Halls of Stone and it is HERE that his class confusion comes up as he certainly SEEMS to be a rogue. There he will challenge players to accompany him into the Tribunal of the Ages to attempt to gain more information about the Titans and the history of the Dwarves. From there we know he goes to gather his forces for his assault on Ulduar.

Those who may have only seen the Ulduar trailer can easily miss the significance of what is going on. Many focus more on Varian and Gorrash's battle so Gorrash's comment to Thrall goes completely unnoticed. Brann is the ONLY ONE in that room to have EVER faced an Old God before. Gorrash wants to see "the fear in his face" so he can judge the seriousness of the threat finding it all a joke. Jaina, Rhonin, even Thrall are VERY aware of what is at stake but Varian is not willing to risk his people one more time only to be betrayed, leaving them at a stalemate.

Brann again heads into Ulduar this time with the PLAYERS as his helpers, everyone now knowing what is at stake. If you listen he will continue to give you information about each of the towers as you progress toward the first boss of Ulduar via radio. Once you reach and defeat the Iron Council if you wait long enough he will enter the room and trigger a cinematic that will give you a basic run down on each of the guardians as well. If you are one of the few guilds who is downing Algalon you will also see him briefly when you turn in the Reply-Code Alpha quest in Dalaran.

At BlizzCon 2009 it was also hinted that we should expect to see more of our intrepid adventurer in Cataclysm's Uldum. I am very much looking forward to this as only hints of it can be seen in the Cataclysm trailer.

So there you have it, I hope you have enjoyed this insight even if it is only to burst some bubbles by correcting a miss belief. While I would happily love to call Brann a Rogue, he really is a class all unto himself when it comes right down to it. If it were a PLAYABLE class, it would CERTAINLY be over powered.


  1. I really love this series that you're doing, so hats off to you and keep up the great work.


  2. Thanks! It has been a lot of fun to do.

    Also Thank you for the response, it is nice to see a comment in the comment section rather than just in my e-mail or in game regarding it!