The Thorium Brotherhood predates the War of the Three Hammers. Originally, it was merely one of the numerous craft guilds operating in Ironforge. Though skilled craftsmen, the members of the Brotherhood were always worried that another guild possessed secrets that they didn't. The Brotherhood would often acquire a competitor's goods, and try to reverse engineer them. It was thus that they discovered the secrets of enchantment — absorbing the magic from an item as you destroy it, and channeling that magic into a new item.
During the War of the Three Hammers, the Thorium Brotherhood naturally sided with the Dark Iron clan. When Ragnaros enslaved the Dark Irons, the Firelord sent what remained of the Thorium Brotherhood to work his forges along with many of their kin.
While most Dark Iron dwarves were resigned to enslavement (after all, they were still doing what they were doing before, and now they had a powerful patron), not so the Thorium Brotherhood. To the members of this guild, their great talents were being wasted mass-producing weapons for the Firelord's armies. Thus Oilfist (former apprentice to Overseer Lokhtar) devised a plan of escape. With their knowledge of enchanting and their access to the forges, the dwarves crafted, under the noses of their taskmasters, weapons, armor and tools that allowed them to escape Blackrock Depths.
Every free Dark Iron dwarf I've met got as far away from Blackrock Spire he as could. I suspect the Thorium Brotherhood would have as well, except that the formulas they possessed all required components found only under or around Blackrock Mountain. Thus, they were compelled to set up shop across the Searing Gorge from their former home. Using the formulas they have created or acquired, they make enchanted weapons and armor for anyone who can meet their exorbitant prices.
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