Stormwind City is the capital of the Kingdom of Azeroth, the seat of the ruling House of Wrynn, and one of the largest and oldest human settlements in the modern world.
With the exception of Capital City in the northern kingdom of Lordaeron, Stormwind City is largest existing human metropolis. Although there are small districts of dwarves, gnomes, and elves present, the vast majority of its population is native-born human.
Stormwind City is nestled in a valley between two towering arms of the Elwynn Mountains, which separate the Kingdom of Azeroth from both the Great Sea to the northwest and Khaz Modan to the northeast. The city is relatively level except for its harbour, which is located several hundred meters below and is accessed by a series of stone ramps; the city itself, and indeed much of Azeroth, is therefore located considerably above sea level. It environs are surrounded by tall, well-defended stone walls which are built at their ends into the surrounding cliffside, and due to these natural and man-made barriers it has never been successfully taken by an invading force. The city is divided into districts for commerce, residences, industry and other sundry uses, as well as separate regions for cathedrals, arcanists, and government structures.
Stormwind City was founded by expatriates from the ancient human Empire of Arathor. Nobles of the Arathi bloodline led an exodus from the ancient city of Strom in the Arathi Highlands to settle the southern portion of the known world. They travelled through the cold and desolate dwarven lands of Khaz Modan, which served as a land bridge between the northern and southern landmasses, and discovered the verdant green valleys and deep blue waters where they would make their homes approximately one thousand years before the current day. They named this new land "Azeroth" and began constructing a civilization which they hoped would stand the test of time.
The first and greatest settlement in Azeroth was named Stormwind City, after the relentless summer rains which its early inhabitants stood in awe of during their first years of habitation. Situated on the coast of the Great Sea, looking out over the vast expanse of water separating the subcontinent of Azeroth from the subcontinent of Lordaeron, it quickly became a hub for trade and exploration. Good roads and extensive trade routes were extended through Khaz Modan to the north, linking the newer city with the older capitals of Arathor, and naval trade between Azeroth, Lordaeron, Gilneas and the maritime nation of Kul Tiras flourished.
As the kingdom extended its reach from Stormwind City across the green plains and temperate forests of Azeroth, the ruling Wrynn dynasty began making plans to secure humanity's foothold in these new lands. The first step in this process was the creation of a well-trained and disciplined fighting force, dubbed the King’s Army, to maintain justice and the rule of law. The second was to develop a learned and benevolent ministry to serve the spiritual needs of the people.
A period of uninterrupted prosperity saw the influence of Stormwind City expand to all corners of Azeroth. The heartland of the kingdom was divided into provinces, with the outlying regions organized as territories managed by government officials working in Stormwind. The city became a model of human innovation, with clean cobblestone streets and pristine, well-drained canals facilitating transportation and sanitation. Twin jailhouses, the Stormwind Stockade and the Stormwind Vault, held convicted criminals and housed the city guard, while cathedrals and mage towers were constructed for the use of both sacred and profane practitioners of the magical arts. Stormwind became a mecca of trade, knowledge, and honour, and a long succession of kings ruled with firm hands from their citadel of Stormwind Keep.
The Age of Chaos In the year 583, Stormwind suffered a near-catastrophic attack at the hands of green-skinned monsters never before seen. Although the invaders were repelled thanks to the quick thinking of Captain Celduin Lothar and the Brotherhood of the Horse, the King’s elite cadre of mounted knights, the damage suffered was catastrophic. Stormwind was in flames, the reigning monarch, King Adamant Wrynn III was dead, and much of the citizenry had scattered to the surrounding countryside. When the city was fully reclaimed from the alien beasts, the young prince Llane Wrynn was crowned King of Azeroth. Since that day, the kingdom has waged total war against the mysterious creatures, who call themselves Orcs, and all of Stormwind is bent on their defeat and utter annihilation.