The Seven Kingdoms
Strom continued to act as the central hub of Arathor, but as with Dalaran, many new city-states arose across the continent of Lordaeron. Gilneas, Alterac, and Kul Tiras were the first city-states to arise, and although they each had their own customs and commercial workings, they all held to the unifying authority of Strom. Under the vigilant watch of the Order of Tirisfal, Dalaran became the chief center of learning for magicians throughout the land. The Magocrats who ruled Dalaran founded the Kirin Tor, a specialized sect that was charged with cataloguing and researching every spell, artifact, and magic item known to mankind at the time. Gilneas and Alterac became strong supporters of Strom and developed mighty armies that explored the mountainous southern lands of Khaz Modan. It was during this period that humans first met the ancient race of dwarves and traveled to their cavernous subterranean city of Ironforge. The humans and dwarves shared many secrets of metal-smithing and engineering and discovered a common love for battle and storytelling. The city-state of Kul Tiras, founded upon a large island south of Lordaeron, developed a prosperous economy based on fishing and shipping. Over time, Kul Tiras built up a mighty fleet of merchant vessels that sailed throughout the known lands in search of exotic goods to trade and sell. Yet even as the economy of Arathor flourished, its strongest elements began to disintegrate. In time, the lords of Strom sought to move their estates to the lush northlands of Lordaeron and leave the arid lands of the south. The heirs of King Thoradin, the last descendants of the Arathi bloodline, argued that Strom should not be abandoned and thus incurred the displeasure of the greater citizenry, who were likewise eager to leave. The lords of Strom, seeking to find purity and enlightenment in the untamed north, decided to leave their ancient city behind. Far to the north of Dalaran, the lords of Strom built a new city-state which they named Lordaeron. The entire continent would take its name from this city-state. Lordaeron became a mecca for religious travelers and all those who sought inner peace and security. The descendents of the Arathi, left within the crumbling walls of ancient Strom, decided to travel south past the rocky mountains of Khaz Modan. Their journey finally ended after many long seasons, and they settled in the northern region of the continent they would name Azeroth. In a fertile valley they founded the kingdom of Stormwind, which quickly became a self-sufficient power in its own right. The few warriors still left in Strom decided to remain and guard the ancient walls of their city. Strom was no longer the center of the empire, but it developed into a new nation known as Stromgarde. Though each of the city-states became prosperous in its own right, the empire of Arathor had effectively disintegrated. As each nation developed its own customs and beliefs, they became increasingly segregated from one another. King Thoradin's vision of a unified humanity had faded at last.