All right this post is going to be full of Cata spoilers so hang on. When last we discussed the Defias Brotherhood the question was "Where can they go from here? VanCleef is dead and Lady Prestor their major patron had been exposed as the Broodmother Onyxia and also met her demise." I am not going to take the time to cover their previous history, you can just check the links and see those for a refresher. Lets just focus on the future.
One of the first things you will notice when leaving Stormwind is the ABSENCE of the Defias presence. Before there were always bandits with the distinctive red mask hanging around causing issues. Instead what you will find now are Stormwinds homeless, vagabonds and transients. Basically what has happened is King Varian has now "officially" returned to the throne and "cleaned house". Before his disappearance Varian had been busy attempting to rebuild the kingdom by running around the country side chasing down orcs and determining what areas needed reinforcement. So under the advisement of King Trerenas Menethil he left the "House of Nobles" in charge of the rebuilding of the City of Stormwind so his attention would not be divided. By now we all know how well that worked out.
Varian was delayed in returning to business by a little war in the far north with his childhood friend Arthas, now with Arthas gone he can turned his attention back to his original goals, this includes the eradication of the Horde. Westfall has FINALLY gotten the reinforcements they were promised. With VanCleef gone and most of his lieutenants either captured or deceased it was not difficult to bring the Defias Brotherhood to its knees and for all intents and purposes force it to disband, rounding up what few failed to return to the general population. The Cataclysm caused some damage to Westfall but over all the farmers have been able to return to their fields and resume production. All should be wonderful right? Not quite.
You see reinforcements require people and war cost money, along with resources. Over the past few years there has been a great deal of miss management on the part of the House of Nobles both while Varian was away scouring the country side and again while he was "bespelled". First you have all the funds that never did get paid out to the Stonemason's guild for rebuilding Stormwind, then you have the "ransom" that was paid to "rescue" King Varian, as well as cost of that little war with the Lich King up North. Who payed all of this? Not the Nobles. No it was the farmers and tradesmen. Some of which have finally gone broke under the burden. Who do they blame? King Varian of course because ultimately he was in charge. In addition to this many of those same farmers and tradesmen saw their sons and daughters go off to war as soldiers, never to return.
Now someone is attempting to organize all those disenfranchised and homeless individuals. Focusing all that anger and resentment towards the King. It is the WHO that is interesting. Many of us joked back when we first ventured into the Deadmines and faced Edwin VanCleef ourselves that with a ship that large who knew what all could be hiding below. In Cata we discover our hunches were correct. It seems our sanctioned murder and decapitation of the Defias leader was witnessed by none other than VanCleef's offspring. Wow's modeling for children is VERY limited as we have seen with poor Prince Anduin who was stuck looking age ten FOREVER, so it is difficult to determine exact age, my guess would be close to 13. The reason is she (Yes the new Defias leader is VanCleef's DAUGHTER) is described as being a "young girl" at his death, but she is now a "young woman" and it being four years later. (My only problem is that the time line seems a little off with VanCleef's death but we can ignore that.)
So what is Miss Vanessa VanCleef's story? After witnessing her father's death (a horrifying thing for any child) she goes into hiding amongst the local farmers. Like her father Vanessa has personal charisma and organizational skills. She is able to connect with people, to get them to share their frustrations and fears with her. From there she is able to build on their hopes and dreams. All she personally desires is revenge for what was done to her father. As far as she is concerned the individuals responsible are Gryan Stoutmantle and King Varian. As she grew up Vanessa built a network of individuals who desire personal power, using their greed, she is able to build the framework she needs to rebuild her Father's vision once more.
One of the first individuals she recruits is a goblin by the name of Helix Gearbreaker. Helix works as her go between with some of the more unsavory types in the area that she can not contact herself. These include such groups as the Murlocks and Gnolls, as well as some former members of the original Brotherhood. Helix is even able to connect her with a rogue Worgen who has no desire to continue under Graymantle's rule. One of the interesting things about Helix is that he rides around on the back of a Lumbering Oaf, just like the goblins in the ORIGINAL World of Warcraft game. You will first encounter Helix in a familiar location for Alliance Rogues. Down at the bottom of the Dusty plains in the tower we use to have to stealth up to do our poison quest. Helix now makes THIS his home and center of operations.
Another one of Vanessa's recruits is a two headed ogre by the name of Glubtok. Like all ogres he isn't exactly the brightest, but he does have his uses. When Vanessa first finds him he has set up his own little shop in one of the local mines. However Vanessa is not willing to deal with any competition so she offers him a deal, work for her or be eliminated. Glubtok has to think about it for a little bit but Vanessa's promises of glory and power with out him actually having to do much win him over. His minions now become part of her work force.
Her final recruit and the last member of what will become the bosses of the NEW Deadmines is Admiral Ripsnarl. You first see him in the stocks at Sentinel Hill. Graymantle mentions, and Ripsnarl gleefully confirms that this is a Worgen who is only interested in biting whoever happens to come within range. He has absolutely NO interest in controlling the "beast within", nor of honoring any pacts created by his king with the rest of the Alliance. Ripsnarl is a lot of fun and has a snarky attitude he takes out on anyone who happens to walk by. This old Sea Dog is wild, and it says a lot that the only one he actually seems to respect is Vanessa.
Now don't underestimate Vanessa as a pretty face using her father's reputation to get her places. Oh no. This is a young woman who learned everything at her father's knee but put her OWN twist on it. She learned well, but she is NOT Edwin. Edwin was all about having a "righteous cause", getting what was "owed him" and those who worked with him, gathering to him others who were wronged. Vanessa is about "revenge" pure and simple. She will take you down, in the dark, from behind, without pity simply because you have the POSSIBILITY of getting in the way of her plans. If she can't do it personally she will get others to do it. This is one VICIOUS individual for all that she can play the part of "sweet and innocent". All we can hope is that they DON'T give her the emote "My name is Vanessa VanCleef, you killed my father, prepare to die."
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