• Warcraft History


    The following sections of Orc History are compiled by Blizzard Universe and Stratics.

    Orc History compiled by Blizzard Universe

    Orc History compiled by Stratics


    Destiny of the Orcish Hordes
     
    WarCraft I, Orcs and Humans, History
    The Destiny of the Orcish Hordes

    The stories of battle and victory have always been told, and in the past, it was up to the leaders of each assault to document the past. While fine leaders in war, these chieftains lacked the ability to convey those actions with written words. I present as an example:

    "Thok go through shiny hole. Then me fall down, but me good. Me find many good things to eat. We find village. We mash them and eat their food. Thok stop now. Head hurt from write."

    The fact that I am of both Orc and Human lineage, combined with the skills and schooling I have acquired from my journeys, has elevated me to the position I now hold. As chief interpreter to the Shadow Council, the duty of preserving the accounts of our conquering of this world and the eventual crusade into the land of Humanity, has fallen now upon my shoulders. I, Garona, now humbly present that history...

    Our destiny concerning the domination over these lands has been foretold by the clan mystics for hundreds of years. Having risen from the mire of swamps and marshes, the Orcish hordes have swept across this domain in the fulfillment of that destiny. Many ages passed as our influence slowly spread, causing pain and darkness to follow in our wake. Be they in lush plains, hidden in thick forests, or at the rocky crags overlooking the seaside, our armies rolled over what pathetic resistance our enemies could muster. Their crops died on the stalk and their fields lay fallow, for we left none alive to tend them. Using the arcane powers of our Warlocks and Necromancers, not even the mightiest of our foes could long stand against our increasing onslaught. One by one our enemies fell, and we became stronger with each victory. In time, by subjugating all who would oppose our rise to power, and enslaving these weaker races to use as we pleased, we conquered both nature and creatures to finally rise to the pinnacle of this world.

    Still we craved more, and decades of constant bickering between clans served to divide our race amongst itself. Soon factions arose, each seeking to control the Orcish domain for themselves. These petty arguments turned to armed conflict, and then to war as the need for conquest burned hot in out blood. If no lands existed that were ruled by enemies, then we would take the lands of our brethren.

    The only clan to ignore these plays for power were the Warlocks. Secluded in their towers, they saw the danger that was present. Although it pleased the Necromancers that these battles fed the earth and underworld with rivers of blood, the Warlocks feared that no Orc would be left alive. This would serve to upset the delicate balance that allowed them to control the powers that they held in check and called upon to work their magics. If this balance were to be maintained, the Orcish hordes would need to be supplied with new battles against a common foe.

    It was during a period of research that the small tear in the dimensional fabric was noticed. Many years passed as the Warlocks sought to unlock the mysteries of this tiny rift. The undertaking of numerous trials and tests led to the conclusion that this phenomenon could serve as a portal to another dominion, if it could be controlled. The Orcish Warlocks began experimentation towards focusing the rift, gradually making it larger and more stable. Eventually, they were able to create a small portal, just large enough for one of their clan to pass through.

    The stories that this subject returned with almost convinced his colleagues that the experience had left him insane, but the strange, unknown plants he held served as sure evidence of his claims. This allowed the sect to approach the strongest leaders of the splintered Orc clans and request that they cease their war for one year. At the end of that time, they promised the chance to accomplish the taking of a new world.

    Controlling the rift proved to be easier as it grew larger, and within the passing of three moons, it stood ready to send a small detachment of troops to this new world. A blue circle of energy, roughly two and one half Orcs in width, was the sight that greeted the Orcish clan chiefs. Streaks of black and red raced across it as it crackled with otherworldly fires. Seven warriors were to enter the portal and return with a report detailing the type of lands and creatures that were to be found on the other side. As the Warlocks began their incantations to access the power of the rift, a howl began - low at first, then rising in pitch like a darkwolf baying during the bloodmoon. When the sound grew near to deafening, the warriors were motioned into the circle, now alive with a thousand colors intertwined and clashing in some cosmic dance. What awaited these seven was beyond even their wildest imagining.

    The sack of the village was a simple matter, hardly worth the telling. Yet hundreds of times the tale was recounted, and a hundred more would be expected and relished. A group of strange, sharp-edged buildings was the first sign of any true opposition they encountered. A rough dirt path lead into a trio of farms. The gray of dawn was lightening as the sun of this world rose over the hilltops. It was a bright, yellow orb that shone twice as brightly as our own, and made the days exceedingly hot. Then out of the odd little hut came what must have been a member of this land's true race. Small, pink and spare of muscle were these creatures. The warriors grinned wickedly at each other, knowing that if this represented the breed of stock they would need to pen in order to take this world, victory was but a matter of moments. Rushing out of their hiding place, they swarmed upon the village and slew every living thing they could find. The males offered some small resistance, but the females and children were like taking grok to the slaughter. Their homes held few values, but their field were full of a tasty grain. Their livestock, as little as there was, also proved excellent, and what they could not eat or pack was set to the torch. The trinkets brought back from this place were of a craftsmanship unknown to the Orcs, and were quickly taken by the leaders of the clans for their own treasure hordes. This new world, heavy with vast expanses and soft, weak protectors would prove a rich jewel to add the crown of the Orcs.

    Our order of ascension is a simple one - only the strongest survive. All matters of politics or dispute are settled in open debate. This can lead to hostilities in many cases, but it is the fastest and simplest way to come to a conclusion on most matters. Each Orc has the right to make heard his arguments, as long as he can back them up with fact - or steel. To gain the upper hand is a sign of strength, and strength is counted highly among the hordes. A decisive victory in battle raises the commander and his warriors to a place of honor and control. This hold is tenuous, however, for the higher one climbs, the farther - and more deadly - the fall.

    By this time, we had learned much of this new domain, and those who dwelled here. While difficult to understand in many ways, they proved similar enough to us in many ways. A sharp blow to the head resulted in death. Lack of food led to starvation. Pain also affected them in the same way it had all of our enemies, and proved to be an effective means of extracting information.

    To learn that the name of this place was Azeroth, and the inhabitants here were called Humans, was among the first bits of information we gathered. We began the taking of Azeroth by moving out cautiously, and learning what we could, but all too soon rash judgment prevailed as the taste of greed tainted the palettes of the Orcish clan chiefs. After many arguments ensued, it was decreed that an assault upon the tall castle in the north would serve to crush our enemies and place the Orcs upon the throne of power. More and more warriors were brought through the rift, and with them seemed to come the essence of our world. The Warlocks claimed it was some effect of the portal, but the lands about our entryway soon became as desolate as those of our home.

    Entry into the castle was a simple matter, for the prosperity that had made this land so attractive to us had also bred weakness in the Humans. Their guards were unprepared as our forces poured through the gates and over the walls of their stronghold. Their males did well to stop us for as long as they did, but our numbers and strength soon tilted the battle in our favor. Victory would have been assured, but for the arrival of
    their great, mounted soldiers. These fiends rode atop beasts of muscle and sinew that crashed through our ranks and dealt as much damage to our troops as did their riders. These knights, as we have come to know them, rallied what few soldiers remained, and began driving us out of the castle. Our every turn was countered as we were forced to retreat towards the gateway back to our world. Some trick of magic had them always at our back, sides, and in our path. We barely reached the edges of the swamplands that now surrounded the portal and eluded our pursuers in its murky depths.

    It has been some fifteen years since this costly decision altered the course of our destiny. Many called for the closing of the gate, while other factions fought for another attack upon the Humans with all of our forces. Out of this chaos arose a single Orc with a cunning and guile that few others possessed. Careful manipulations and the use of what support he could muster made his voice ever stronger as time passed. After key opponents were dealt with, few could offer any opposition to his plans, and the rule of the great Orc Warchief Blackhand was upon our people.

    His cruelty and dominance in battle is only overshadowed by his lust for power. He has studied the means with which Human armies are able to defeat overpowering numbers of Orcs through strategy and guile. From these tactics he has learned to bring organization to the scattered attacks of our raiding parties. He sought assistance from both houses of the arcane arts, searching for other weapons to add to his arsenal. The culmination of these plans will involve the uniting of all the Orcish clans - Armies, Warlocks and Necromancers alike - to bring about the eventual destruction of the Human race. The Age of Chaos is now at hand.

    Garona of the Shadow Council

    Blizzard Universe


    The Rise of the Shadow Council
     
    WarCraft II: Tides of Darkness History
    The Rise of The Shadow Council

    Like an elemental force of havoc and destruction we thundered through the lands of Draenei devastating all that we beheld. Not one life was spared. No building was left standing. The only traces of their existence were blood-soaked fields they had worked for nearly five thousand years and the rank, acrid smell of the huge victory fires that consumed the bodies of their young. The Draenei were a weak people - hardly worth the effort of our raiding sweep. In the end, however, even these simple victories serve to keep the inferior in their place...

    It has always been so with my kind. The savage, brutal tendencies of the masses are easily manipulated by those who hold true power. Power is the true force that drives the great destructive machine that is the Horde. Those who imagine themselves in possession of this power rally around their clan banners of violence. Yet without a common foe, even the leaders of the Orc clans blindly turn upon each other. The appetite for destruction that prevails amongst these fool drives the Horde; might and might alone is honored above all things.

    I am Gul'dan - the greatest of all Warlocks and Initiate of the Seventh Circle of the Shadow Council. No one knows the dark, burning allure of ultimate power better than I.

    In what passed as my youth, I studied Orc magiks through the tribal Shaman of my clan. My natural talent for channeling the cold, negative-energies of the Twisting Nether brought me notable standing amongst the other Shaman, and I knew that even Ner'zhul, the greatest of my teachers, became jealous of me as my abilities grew even stronger.

    My aspirations rose higher than those of my peers and masters alike, for I knew that the scope of their vision was limited by their devotion to the advancement of the Horde. I cared nothing for the Horde or its petty politics. I cared nothing for this world over which we had complete dominion. I cared only for the chance to fathom the spiraling mysteries of the Great Dark Beyond. I had begun secret explorations of energies far beyond the scope of anything that my so-called tutors could possibly comprehend. It was at this time that I discovered a being of immense power - the Daemon Kil'jaeden. I was in awe of his heartless fury. To witness his awesome power was to be all but consumed. In the fleeting, fevered nightmares he brought me, I touched the essence of which lies Beyond. Within me an unfathomable lust was sewn - a desire to wield the fury of ethereal storms and to stand unscathed within the dying hearts of burning suns.

    Under the tutelage of Kil'jaeden, I realized how limited even my understanding had been. Untold histories of ancient Daemon races and primal magical dimensions were made known to me. I learned that there existed worlds without number, scattered throughout the darkness beyond the sky - worlds to which I might lead the Horde as only one of my abilities could. Though I remained with my people on the dark, red world of the Draenei, I soon learned to project myself into the depths of the Twisting Nether, being driven nearly mad by the whispering chaos contained therein. Although it seemed it would mean my death, I was irresistibly compelled to continue my sojourn until, finally unbound from my corporeal existence, I understood the whispers. It was then that I first spoke to the dead...

    Ancestral worship has long been at the heart of Orcish religion. While nearly all of the Orcish Hordes believed that our dead elders watched and guided us from the depths of some lost realm of chaos, I believed this notion to be a product of ritual and not reality. Within the Twisting Nether I discovered that the spirits of the dead do linger on, floating on the astral winds between the worlds. I learned that they kept their endless, silent vigil over the clans in hope of finding some means of escape from their lifeless torment. I knew then that these spirits of the dead would be a useful tool for anyone who could bind them to his will.

    Years passed. My apprenticeship nder Kil'jaeden had allowed me to become the most powerful Warlock the clans had seen in many generations. My place within the Horde was as a respected leader, but as ever, tensions ran high amongst the clans. The destruction of the Draenei left nothing upon which the great beast of war could feed. After centuries of violence and warfare, we had finally conquered the whole of our world. With no enemies left to crush and no new lands to conquer, the clans had fallen into a state of utter anarchy. Minor disputes between clans led to open battle and massive bloodshed. Those chieftains who attempted to assume the position of overlord soon found themselves slaughtered by ravenous legions of the disheartened Horde. I knew that the time had come to claim the mantle of power that I so long neglected.

    I quickly gathered together the few Warlocks who had shown some spark of passion and desire to rise above the petty quarrelling of the clans. To these Warlocks I bestowed the knowledge of the dead by leading them in secret rituals and communing with the spirits of the Twisting Nether. Those who were incapable of channeling this power were destroyed. After a time a pact was forged between the members of our circle and dark spirits whose energies we had learned to invoke. I would use my place among the Warlocks to shape the thoughts of others while, cloaked by a veil of secrecy, they would be immune to the caprices of the bloodthirsty masses. Thus did the Shadow Council come to be.

    Within a few short months the Shadow Council had its hand in all the important political matters within the Horde. Nothing occurred within the Horde that we did not know about, and many events took place by our design - so cleverly implemented that even the clan chieftains were oblivious to our manipulations. Before half a year had passes, we had assumed near total control of the inner workings of the Horde. Yet, behind all of our secret machinations, there loomed the silent and ominous shadow of the Daemon Kil'jaeden.

    In pursuit of furthering our magical resources, I opened a new school of magical discipline that became known as Necromancy. We began training young Warlocks in the arcane mysteries of life and death. Again, with tutelage from the Daemon Kil'jaeden, these Necrolytes delved into the dark arts, eventually gaining power enough to animate and control the bodies of the newly dead. Every victory - every success - left me with an emptiness I could not fill. I came to realize that the Shadow Council could serve my purposes only to an extent, and thus I would require even greater power should I wish to become the true harbinger of our destiny.

    Blizzard Universe


    The Mastery of Forces

    WarCraft II: Tides of Darkness History
    The Mastery of Forces - Medivh and Blackhand

    Things were well within the Horde. Though the Shadow Council kept the warring clans pacified by the promise of escape from the dying world, I knew that this new order - much like the war against the Draenei - would provide only a brief respite if I could not find new lands for the Orcs to conquer. My contemplation on this matter was disturbed late one night when I was surprised by the sounds of screams emanating from the Warlocks' Tower. I arrived to find many of the apprentices locked in deep trances, their faces twisted into masks of pain. The Warlocks, whom I questioned in detail, could tell me only that they had felt an unexplainable presence in their dreams. I returned to my Stronghold, deeply puzzled by the fact that whatever it was the had contacted the Warlocks, had made no attempt to reach me.

    I sought the counsel of Kil'jaeden about this presence. He also was touched by this power - a power that was beyond any he had ever experienced before. Whether it was the image of a force so awesome that it could cause this baneful Daemon to actually feel fear, or my own trepidation, I fled - moving aimlessly through the Twisting Nether for what seemed an eternity.

    It was during my fevered flight that the Presence finally made contact with me. It radiated untold power, but it lacked the emotionless control displayed by Kil'jaeden. My senses seemed to take control over the dread that had engulfed me, and my mind began to cipher and reason. I knew that if I could divine the desires of this force, no matter how powerful, I could use it to further my own ends. The presence identified itself as Medivh, a sorcerer from some far and distant world. We communicated not in words, but in a guarded joining of minds. His mind seemed boundless, but his thoughts moved so swiftly that it was difficult to learn anything from him. All the while, I knew that he was probing me - learning more and more about the Orcs and our magic. I could never learn as much from him as he would from me, and I soon broke contact with him.

    I sought the counsel of Kil'jaeden, but he refused to answer my summons. Somehow I knew that he had forsaken his students because he was afraid of this Medivh. I found myself again doubting my skills. Could I contend with a being who could intimidate my own master? I continued to venture into the Twisting Nether for several weeks, all but forgetting the disturbance that had caused me to question myself. Then one night, Medivh appeared to me in my dreams...

    "You fear me, for you do not understand me. See my world and understand your fear. Then fear no more"

    I was powerless to resist what came next

     

    ...barren wastes...
    ...dark swamps, teeming with life...
    ...endless fields of emerald grasses...
    ...forests of magnificent trees...
    ...farmlands filled with rich harvests...
    ...villages of proud, strong people...

    Images came, flashing much too quick to comprehend. And then...something. A fleeting picture that left a longing stirring inside of my soul...

     

    ...buried deep beneath the ocean; dark and ruined, but still breathing...
    ....still pulsing with the lifeblood of the earth itself...
    ...an ancient power...
    ...ancient and terrible...
    I awoke. I embraced consciousness knowing all along that the dream had been real. Medivh had shown me the wonders of his world, knowing that the Horde would not be content until his world was ours...

    I met with the members of the Shadow Council concerning the visions that we had seen. Although there was much debate as to the true intentions of this Medivh, I informed the Shadow Council that a way to escape from our world would soon be ours. I would seek the aid of Medivh in creating a way to get to his world, and then we would subjugate his race as we done to all others who stood before us. Although he had appeared to many Warlocks with these images of a new and fertile world, we agreed to keep the knowledge of this enigmatic message to ourselves. Those Warlocks outside of the Shadow Council who had shared in the visions were killed; for if the secret were revealed before preparations were made, the Horde would tear itself apart. Weeks passed with no word from Medivh. My attempts to contact him were fruitless. It was as if he had erased any trace of himself from the Twisting Nether. Some members of the Council gave up any hope of the wizard ever returning.


    ...Then the rift appeared...
    It took considerable time to expand the rift enough to send the massive frame of an Orc through. The first scouts to return from the other side seemed to be driven completely mad by what they had seen. These early failures did not deter us, and subsequent quests confirmed that the world beyond this rift appeared similar to what was depicted in our visions. With the combined powers of the Horde's Warlock clans and the Shadow Council, we were able to enlarge the mysterious rift so as to create a portal. This Portal was used to move a great number of Orcs into this unknown land. A small outpost was quickly built on the other side of the rift, and Orc scouts were sent to explore the surrounding areas.

    The agents of the Shadow Council reported that the denizens of this world were called Humans, and their lands were known as Azeroth. We found that these Humans were a weak race, farming their fields and living peacefully in the countryside. I feared they would prove no more of a challenge than the Draenei, and would not appease the hunger of the Orcish war machine for long. The clan chieftains, quickly swayed by their lust for blood and war, agreed that it was time to leave this dying world and lay claim to the domains of Azeroth.

    While the Shadow Council kept close watch over the workings of the Horde, the masses looked to the clan chiefs as their leaders. Two chieftains arose who were well respected and feared by various clans - Cho'gall the Ogre-Mage of the Twilight's Hammer Clan, and Kilrogg Deadeye of the Bleeding Hollow Clan. These powerful leaders were expected to direct the Horde to a swift and savage victory over the Humans. Thus the Horde gradually channeled through the rift into Azeroth. Cho'gall and Kilrogg began to plan their assault against the Human stronghold of Stormwind.

    The attack on Stornwind was catastrophic. Our armies, expecting to meet weak resistance, charged headlong into the enemy fortress. Surprisingly, the Human soldiers held our forces at bay. Then they unleashed warriors mounted upon beasts of muscle and sinew to devastate our troops. The Humans forced our troops to retreat back into the swamplands surrounding our outpost and the Portal where, only by invoking the shrouding mists of shadows, were we able to escape. This decisive and humiliating defeat threw the Horde into chaos. Cho'gall and Kilrogg blamed each other's incompetence for the failure, and the Orcs quickly polarized into factions that supported either chieftain. The Shadow Council desperately sought a remedy to the violence that was sure to follow, but the volatile nature of the Orcs made it difficult to appeal to reason or wisdom. I realized that the Horde needed a strong leader that could unify the clans under his control - and be kept in his place. Thus did I first learn of Blackhand the Destroyer...

    Blackhand, chieftain of the young Blackrock clan and a Raider in the Sythegore Arm, was well honored by most Orcs within the Horde. More importantly, he was extremely lustful, and this made him easily corruptible. With help from the Shadow Council, I set the eager Blackhand upon the horned throne of the WarChief. To his credit, Blackhand was a ruthless dictator who inspired awe and terror from his warriors. While the Horde rallied under Blackhand and the other chieftains acquiesced control to him, it was I who dictated policy by blackmailing and bribing Blackhand.

    With Blackhand's ascension to War Chief, order was restored to the Horde. I was visited again by the visage of Medivh, who appeared more in control of his powers, but less in control of his mind. Petitioning the Horde to destroy the kingdom of Azeroth, but to make him ruler of its people, Medivh offered all manners of treasures and baubles to me. I assured him that his world was ours for the taking, and that he held nothing that could persuade the Horde to do his bidding. His face broke into a wicked sneer as he proceeded to show me the image of an ancient tomb upon it was etched the name of the Daemonlord Sargeras. The Tomb of Sargeras! The Daemonlord who had instructed my own tutor Kil'jaeden was entombed upon this pathetic little world! Destiny had chosen to lay the hand upon my shoulders alone, for Kil'jaeden had told me that the lost Tomb contained power absolute - enough to make any who could control it into a living god. Medivh pledged that he would grant me the location of the Tomb if only I would use the Horde to destroy his enemies...

    Thus, the Orcish Hordes made war against the kingdom of Azeroth.

    Blizzard Universe


    The First War of Orcish Ascension

    WarCraft II: Tides of Darkness History
    The First War of Orcish Ascension

    We took the lands of Azeroth from the Humans and razed all that we surveyed. My personal assassin, Garona the Half-Orc, executed Azeroth's leader King Llane and returned his heart to me. Although the Horde dominated Azeroth and the pathetic worms who defended it, my own plans were badly hampered.

    A small band of Human warriors stormed Medivh's Tower and engaged the insane sorcerer in direct combat. As his body was slashed and torn by the swords of Azeroth, Medivh began to transmit telepathic waves of trauma across the astral plane which easily shattered even my formidable defenses. I attempted to reach into the sorcerer's mind and steal the location of the Tomb from him directly, but before I could divest the location, Medivh was killed by the Azerothiens. Having been inside his mind at the moment of his temporal death, I suffered a massive psychic backlash and fell into a catatonic state.

    For weeks I slept as if dead, closely guarded by my faithful Warlocks. When I finally arose, I learned of the shift in the balance of power within the Horde. Blackhand had been killed. Without my magiks and counseling to aid him, Blackhand fell prey to a surprise attack launched by one of his strongest and most trusted generals - Orgrim Doomhammer. Orgrim was quick to consolidate his power within the Horde, justifying the assassination of Blackhand by securing false testimony that supported his claims of the Destroyer's incompetence as War Chief. It seemed that the hand of fate had struck me a harsh blow. Orgrim set out to uncover the inner workings of the Horde, leaving no stone unturned. Eventually, his spies captured my servant Garona and under intensive, agonizing torture, forced her to reveal the existence and location of the Shadow Council. She was weaker than I had expected.

    Suspecting that the Shadow Council was a threat to his control of the Horde, Doomhammer led his Wolfriders in a surprise attack against my Citadel near the ruins of Stormwind Keep. The Warlocks, caught unprepared by Ogrim's assault, held off the Horde as long as their magiks would last. Having no time to rest or replenish their energies, the Warlocks fell before the wrath of Orgrim. In the end, the Doomhammer was victorious. Any surviving Warlocks were branded as traitors to the Horde. The public executions were effective in weakening my position and strengthening his...

    I was taken before Orgrim and questioned at length about my involvement with the Shadow Council. Being greatly weakened by the backlash of Medivh's death as well as the energies I had expended during the battle, I found that I was in no position to either threaten nor harm the War Chief. Orgrim made it clear to me that the Horde was under his control, and he was not as easily swayed as his predecessor. The gleam in his eye and steel at his side bespoke his intentions, but I would not be defeated so easily. While he may have held the upper hand, I reminded him that with the
    death of the Warlocks, I was the last true sorcerer within the Horde. Orgrim, made impudent by his victory, agreed that perhaps I could prove useful, and agreed to let me live - by his good graces. I silently vowed that he would one day take those words to his grave.

    Although his suspicions of me were never fully assuaged, I did succeed in convincing the War Chief that the Raiders were preparing to unite with the sons of Blackhand in a revolt against him. Although this claim was untrue, Orgrim was already suspicious of Rend and Maim and so disbanded the multitude of Wolfriders, sending them into the various arms of the Grunt forces. To demonstrate my 'loyalty' to Orgrim and the Horde, I promised to create a host of undead riders that would be completely loyal to him alone. Although the Doomhammer did not fully trust me, the idea was sufficiently appealing, and so I was allowed to enter seclusion to create this new legion.

    Even with the aid of my Necrolytes, I was unsuccessful in bringing forth this undead force. Failure and weakness were all that these minions could offer me, until I sensed that while their spirits were willing - it was the flesh that was weak. I summoned them to a great alter constructed of Ironwood and Blackroot where, at the height of a black incantation, I took the lives of every last one of them. In the bloody wake of their executions, the Necrolytes would then, at last, nourish my creation of the ultimate undead servant.

    Using what few resources I still controlled within the Horde, I acquired many of the long-dead corpses of the fallen Knights of Azeroth. Into these twisted and decayed forms I instilled the essences of the greater members of the Shadow Council who were quite willing to return to the mortal plane to wreak terror and havoc once again. I furnished each of the dark riders a jeweled truncheon through which they could better focus the unearthly powers they would brandish. Into these jewels were infused the raw, necromantic magiks of the freshly slain Necrolytes. Thus were the Death Knights born.

    Orgrim Doomhammer was pleased with these Knights of Death. Although the spirits of the Shadow Council remained loyal to me, they feigned allegiance to the War Chief. Orgrim was well satisfied with the realization of my promise, and allowed me to go about my own affairs.

    I will be patient and bide my time, pretending to be the faithful servant until the time comes to show this presumptuous, boisterous upstart who is greater between us. My designs to discover the Tomb of Sargeras still remain. I have assembled the Stormreaver clan to be my support when the season finally comes to strike back at Orgrim for his insolent crimes against me...

    That day draws near - and Doomhammer cannot know what terrors await him,

    for I am Gul'dan...
    I am darkness incarnate.
    I will not be denied.

    Blizzard Universe


    The Aftermath of the Second War
     
    WarCraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal History
    The Aftermath of the Second War

    For long months the forces of the Alliance worked to seek out the renegade Orcs that had gone into hiding after the fall of the Dark Portal. The Blackrock, Dragonmaw, and Black Tooth Grin clans were captured by the Alliance and herded into guarded reserves and prison camps. While the leaders of the Alliance argued over what was to be done with them, Ogrim Doomhammer, the WarChief of the Horde, was placed under arrest and kept as an honored prisoner under the car of King Terenas of Lordaeron. Some members of the Alliance pleaded that the Orcs should be exterminated like animals, while others opted for a sentence of life imprisonment.

    Having discussed the obvious benefits of a treaty with Doomhammer, King Terenas fevently hoped that the Orcs could be kept pacified long enough to eventually lose their lust for conquest. Thoras Trollbane of Stromgarde and Genn Greymane of Gilneas both disagreed vehemently with Terenas, resolving that the Orcs were to great a threat to leave alive. After months of debate and frustration, both leaders withdrew the support of their nations from the Alliance. Azeroth alone stood fast in its comitment to the Alliance. Even with the dynamic you Varien Wrynn seated upon Azeroth's throne, the distance between the kingdoms of Azeroth and Lordaeron made their union a hollow one.

    Amid the strife that was slowly dissolving the great Alliance, the fact remained that the once vast numbers of the Horder were no more. The Twilight's Hammer and Stormreaver clans were decimated by their own brethren in civil wars that erupted during the War. The Burning Blade clan was routed and ultimately destroyed by troops under the command of Uther Lightbringer during the Final Battle at the Portal. Only the Bleeding Hollow clan was left unaccounted for as the cunning Kilrogg Deadeye managed to evade the best efforts of the Alliance to capture his clan. Elven scouts were placed on continual patrol within the Black Morass searching for any sign of the renegade Bleeding Hollow.


    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    Suspended ominously above the Black Morass, a tear in the fabric of reality hung like a disembodied eye, keeping watch over the ruins of the Dark Portal. This rift was the remnants of the twisted wizard Medivh's original Portal into Draenor - the dark, red world from which the Orcs passed into Azeroth. The Kirin Tor of Dalaran traveled to the land overlooking the ruins on this site and constructed the Citadel of Nethergarde to serve as guardian should the rift ever open again...

    On the Eve of Summer in the year 606, a freak darkness swept across the Black Morass. All attempts by the mages at Nethergarde to probe into the darkness were futile, but they could sense the the rift was growing once more. Then, as if from a dream, the mages heard the sound of a marching army. Hundreds strong, the sounds of armor and sword charged through the ruined portal and quickly fell silent. The thunderous shrieks of Dragons crying to the skies passed overhead, and then as suddenly disappeared into the gloom. Venomous undead whispers, barely audible under the clash of metal plates seemed to echo and repeat one phrase - "We will return..."

    When the darkness lifted, the portal was visible once again. It illuminated the ruins as it always had, but the eerie light seemed to play tricks with the shadows. It was only upon closer inspection that the trampled mud that marked the passage of the Bleeding Hollow clan from Azeroth was found to be more than mere illusion.


    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


    The Bleeding Hollow crossed over into Draenor and rejoined the 'old clans' that had never seen the fields of Azeroth. To many, the warriors of the Bleeding Hollow were considered mighty heroes as these Orcs had been living in the Human lands for over thirty years. Kilrogg met with the Elder Shaman Ner'zhul who now controlled the remaining clans in Draenor. The Shaman ordered that the newly arrived Death Knights, Trolls and Dragons were to be used by all the clans in conjuncture. Ner'zhul also informed Kilrogg of his plan to retrieve certain artifacts from Azeroth as to open rifts into other worlds and take the Orcish Hordes to great victories beyond the Dark Portal...

    Blizzard Universe


    Gul'dan and the Betrayal

    WarCraft III: Reign of Chaos History
    Gul'dan and the Betrayal

    During the final days of the Second War, as the Horde's victory over the Alliance seemed almost assured, a terrible feud erupted between the two most powerful Orcs on Azeroth. The nefarious warlock Gul'dan, master of the clandestine Shadow Council, led a number of renegade clans against the might of Orgrim Doomhammer, the Warchief of the Horde. As Doomhammer prepared his final assault against the Capital City of Lordaeron, an assault that would have crushed the last remnants of the Alliance, Gul'dan and his renegade clans abandoned their posts and set out to sea. The bewildered Doomhammer, having lost nearly half of his standing forces to Gul'dan's treachery, was forced to pull back and forsake his greatest chance at victory over the Alliance.

    The power-hungry Gul'dan, obsessed with obtaining godhood itself, set out on a desperate search for the undersea Tomb of Sargeras that he believed held the secrets of ultimate power. Having already doomed his fellow Orcs to become the slaves of the Burning Legion, Gul'dan thought nothing of his supposed duty to Doomhammer. Backed by the Stormreaver and Twilight's Hammer clans, Gul'dan succeeded in raising the Tomb of Sargeras from the sea floor. However, when he opened the ancient, flooded vault, he found only crazed demons awaiting him.

    Seeking to punish the wayward Orcs for their costly betrayal, Doomhammer sent his forces to kill Gul'dan and bring the renegades back into the fold. For his recklessness, Gul'dan was torn apart by the maddened demons he had set loose. With their leader dead, the renegade clans quickly fell before Doomhammer's enraged legions. Though the rebellion had been quelled, the Horde was unable to recoup the terrible losses it had suffered. Gul'dan's betrayal had afforded the Alliance not only hope, but also time to regroup... and retaliate.

    Lord Lothar, seeing that the Horde was fracturing from within, gathered the last of his forces and pushed the Horde south, back into the shattered heartland of his homeland, Azeroth. There, the Alliance forces trapped the retreating Horde within their volcanic fortress of Blackrock Spire.

    Though Lord Lothar fell in battle at the Spire's base, his lieutenant, Turalyon, rallied the Alliance forces at the eleventh hour and pushed the Horde back into the abysmal Swamp of Sorrows. Turalyon's forces succeeded in destroying the Dark Portal, the mystical gateway that connected the Orcs to their dark, red homeworld of Draenor. Cut off from its reinforcements in Draenor and fractured by incessant infighting, the Horde finally buckled in upon itself and fell before the might of the Alliance forces.

    The scattered Orc clans were quickly rounded up and placed within guarded internment camps. Though it seemed that the Horde had been defeated for good, some remained highly skeptical that peace would last. Khadgar, the former apprentice of Medivh, convinced the Alliance high command to build the fortress of Nethergarde that would watch over the ruins of the Dark Portal and ensure that there would be no further invasions from Draenor.

    Blizzard Universe


    Ner'zhul and the Shadow Clans

    WarCraft III: Reign of Chaos History
    Ner'zhul and the Shadow Clans

    As the fires of the Second War died down, the Alliance took aggressive steps to contain the Orcish threat. A number of large internment camps, meant to house the captive Orcs, were constructed in southern Lordaeron. Guarded by both the Paladins and the veteran soldiers of the Alliance, the camps proved to be a great success. Though the captive Orcs were tense and anxious to do battle once more, the various camp wardens, based at the old prison-fortress of Durnholde, kept the peace and maintained a strong semblance of order.

    However, on the hellish world of Draenor, a new Orcish army prepared to strike at the unsuspecting Alliance. The elder shaman, Ner’zhul – the former mentor of Gul’dan – rallied the handful of clans still left on Draenor under his dark banner. Ner’zhul planned to open a number of portals on Draenor that would lead the Horde to new, unspoiled worlds. To power his new portals, Ner’zhul needed a number of enchanted artifacts from Azeroth. To procure them, Ner’zhul reopened the Dark Portal and sent his ravenous clans charging through it.

    The new Horde, led by veteran chieftains such as Grom Hellscream of the Warsong Clan and Kilrogg Deadeye of the Bleeding Hollow clan, surprised the Alliance defense forces and rampaged through the countryside. Under Ner’zhul’s surgical command, the Orcs quickly rounded up the artifacts that they needed and fled back to the safety of Draenor.

    King Terenas of Lordaeron, convinced that the Orcs were preparing a new invasion of Azeroth, assembled his most trusted lieutenants. He ordered General Turalyon and the mage, Khadgar, to lead an expedition through the Dark Portal to put an end to the Orcish threat once and for all. Turalyon and Khadgar’s forces marched into Draenor and repeatedly clashed with Ner’zhul’s clans upon the ravaged Hellfire Peninsula. Though neither side gained ground, it was clear that Ner’zhul would not be stopped from completing his nefarious plans.

    Ner’zhul succeeded in opening his portals to other worlds – but he did not foresee the terrible price he would pay. The portals’ tremendous energies began to tear the very fabric of Draenor apart. As Turalyon’s forces fought desperately to return home to Azeroth, the world of Draenor began to buckle in upon itself. Grom Hellscream and Kilrogg Deadeye, realizing that Ner’zhul’s mad plans would doom their entire race, rallied the remaining Orcs and escaped back to the relative safety of Azeroth. As Hellscream and Deadeye hacked their way through the Human ranks in a desperate bid for freedom, the Dark Portal suddenly exploded behind them. For them, and the remaining Orcs on Azeroth, there would be no going back...

    Ner’zhul and his Shadowmoon clan passed through their newly created portals as massive volcanic eruptions began to break Draenor’s continents apart. The burning seas rose up and roiled the shattered landscape as the tortured world was finally consumed in an apocalyptic explosion.

    Blizzard Universe


    Day of the Dragon

    WarCraft III: Reign of Chaos History
    Day of the Dragon

    Though Grom Hellscream and his Warsong Clan managed to evade capture, Deadeye and his Bleeding Hollow Clan were rounded up and placed in the internment camps in Lordaeron. Yet, despite the costly uprising, the camps’ wardens soon re-established control over their brutish charges.

    However, unknown to the Alliance’s agents, a large force of Orcs still roamed free in the northern wastes of Khaz Modan. The Dragonmaw Clan, led by the infamous Warlock, Nekros, had maintained its control over the Dragonqueen, Alexstrasza, and her Dragonflight by using an ancient artifact known as the Demon Soul. With the Dragonqueen as his hostage, Nekros built up a secret army within the abandoned dwarf stronghold of Grim Batol. Planning to unleash his forces and the mighty red dragons on the Alliance, Nekros hoped to reunite the Horde and continue its conquest of Azeroth. Yet, a small group of resistance fighters, led by the human mage, Rhonin, managed to destroy the Demon Soul and free the Dragonqueen from Nekros’ command.

    In their fury, Alexstrasza’s dragons tore apart Grim Batol and incinerated the greater bulk of the Dragonmaw Clan. Nekros’ grand schemes of reunification came crashing down as the Alliance troops rounded up the remaining Orc survivors and threw them into the waiting internment camps. The Dragonmaw Clan’s defeat signaled the end of the Horde – and the end of the Orcs’ furious bloodlust.

    Blizzard Universe


    Lethargy and Internment
    WarCraft III: Reign of Chaos History
    Lethargy and Internment

    As the months passed, more Orc prisoners were rounded up and placed within the internment camps. As the camps began to overflow, the Alliance was forced to construct new camps in the plains to the south of the Alterac Mountains. To properly maintain and supply the growing number of camps, King Terenas levied a new tax on the Alliance nations. This tax, as well as increased political tensions over border disputes, created widespread dissention amongst the leaders of the Alliance. It seemed that the fragile pact that had forged the Human nations together in their darkest hour would break at any given moment.

    Amidst the political turmoil, many of the camp wardens began to notice an unsettling change come over their Orc captives. The Orcs’ efforts to escape from the camps or even fight amongst themselves had greatly decreased in frequency over time. The Orcs were becoming increasingly aloof and lethargic. Though it was difficult to believe, the Orcs – once held as the most aggressive race ever seen on Azeroth – had completely lost their will to fight. The strange lethargy confounded the Alliance leaders and continued to take its toll on the rapidly weakening Orcs.

    Some speculated that some strange disease, contractible only by Orcs, brought about the baffling lethargy. But the Archmage, Antonidas of Dalaran, posed a different hypothesis. Researching what little he could find of Orcish history, Antonidas learned that the Orcs had been under the crippling influence of demonic power (or warlock magics) for generations. He speculated that the Orcs had been corrupted by demonic powers even before their first invasion of Azeroth. Clearly, demons had spiked the Orcs’ blood, which in turn granted the brutes unnaturally heightened strength, endurance and aggression.

    Antonidas theorized that the Orcs’ communal lethargy was not actually a disease, but a long-term racial withdrawal from the volatile Warlock magics that had made them fearsome, bloodlusted warriors. Though the symptoms were clear, Antonidas was unable to find a cure for the Orcs’ present condition. Many of his fellow mages, as well as a few notable Alliance leaders, argued that finding a cure for the Orcs would be an imprudent venture. Left to ponder the Orcs’ mysterious condition, Antonidas’ conclusion was that the Orcs’ only cure would have to be a spiritual one...

    Blizzard Universe


    Thrall's Tale

    WarCraft III: Reign of Chaos History
    Thrall's Tale

    During the dark days of the First War, a cunning Human officer named Aedelas Blackmoore found an infant Orc abandoned in the wilds. The infant Orc, whom Blackmoore aptly named Thrall, was taken to the prison-fortress of Durnholde. There, Blackmoore raised the young Orc as a favored slave and gladiator. Intending to train the young Orc to be not only a peerless warrior, but also an educated leader, Blackmoore hoped to use Thrall to take over the Horde, and thereby achieve dominion over his fellow men.

    Nineteen years passed and Thrall grew into a strong, quick-witted Orc. Yet his young heart knew that a slave’s life was not for him. Many things had transpired in the world outside the fortress as he grew to maturity. He learned that his people, the Orcs – whom he had never met – had been defeated and placed into internment camps in the Human lands. Doomhammer, the leader of his people, had escaped from Lordaeron and gone into hiding. He knew that only one rogue clan still operated in secret, trying to evade the watchful eyes of the Alliance.

    The resourceful yet inexperienced Thrall decided to escape from Blackmoore’s fortress and set off to find others of his kind. During his journeys Thrall visited the internment camps and found his once mighty race to be strangely cowed and lethargic. Having not found the proud warriors he hoped to discover, Thrall set out to find the last undefeated Orc chieftain, Grom Hellscream.

    Despite being constantly hunted by the Humans, Hellscream still held onto the Horde’s unquenchable will to fight. Aided only by his own devoted Warsong Clan, Hellscream continued to fight an underground war against the oppression of his beleaguered people. Unfortunately, Hellscream could never find a way to rouse the captured Orcs from their stupor. The impressionable Thrall, inspired by Hellscream’s idealism, developed a strong empathy for the horde and its warrior traditions.

    Seeking the truth of his own origins, Thrall traveled north to find the legendary Frostwolf Clan. Thrall learned that Gul’dan had exiled the Frostwolves during the early days of the First War. He also discovered that he was the son and heir of the Orc hero, Durotan – the true chieftain of the Frostwolves who had been murdered in the wilds nearly twenty years before…

    Under the tutelage of the venerable shaman, Drek’Thar, Thrall studied the ancient shamanistic culture of his people that had been forgotten under Gul’dan’s’ evil rule. Over time, Thrall became a powerful shaman and took his rightful place as chieftain of the exiled Frostwolves. Empowered by the elements themselves and driven to find his destiny, Thrall set off to free the captive clans and heal his race of demonic corruption.

    During his travels, Thrall found the aged warchief, Orgrim Doomhammer, who had been living as a hermit for many years. Doomhammer, who had been a close friend of Thrall's father, decided to follow the young, visionary Orc and help free the captive clans. Supported by many of the veteran chieftains, Thrall ultimately succeeded in revitalizing the Horde and giving his people a new spiritual identity.

    To symbolize his people's rebirth, Thrall returned to Blackmoore's fortress of Durnholde and put a decisive end to his former master's plans by laying siege to the internment camps. Yet, during the liberation of one camp, Doomhammer fell in battle. Thrall took up Doomhammer's legendary warhammer and donned his black plate-armor to become the new Warchief of the Horde. During the following months, Thrall's small but volatile Horde laid waste to the internment camps and stymied the Alliance's best efforts to counter its clever strategies. Encouraged by his best friend and mentor, Grom Hellscream, Thrall worked to ensure that no Orc would be cast into slavery - either by Humans or demons - ever again.

    Blizzard Universe


    The Frozen Throne Summary
     
    WarCraft III: The Frozen Throne History
    Summary

    In the wilds of Durotar, near the Orc city of Orgrimmar, the Mok'Nathal known as Rexxar laments the petty wars of the "civilized" races in Azeroth. Hearing the sounds of a battle, Rexxar quickly moves to find the source.
    An Orc scout named Mogrin has fallen under attack by a pack of Quillboar. As Rexxar joins the fight, one of the Quillboar strikes a mortal blow to Mogrin. Rexxar succeeds in driving away the rest of the Quillboar, but it is too late. Mogrin's dying wish is for Rexxar to complete the scout's mission by delivering his report to the Warchief Thrall in Orgrimmar. Rexxar agrees to uphold Mogrin's quest, and departs for the city.

    Upon delivering the report to Thrall, the Warchief offers Rexxar the hospitality of Orgrimmar. Rexxar wishes to earn his keep, however, and therefore agrees to assist the Orcs in the building of their nation. To assist Rexxar, Thrall assigns him Rokhan, a Shadow Hunter and one of the leaders of the Darkspear Troll tribe.

    Rexxar's first task is given by the ancient shaman Drek'Thar, who was responsible for teaching Thrall in the ways of natural magic back before the Third War. Drek'Thar is attempting to concoct a potion that will aid the Horde's warriors in battle, but he requires several samples of shimmerweed to complete the recipe. Unfortunately, the shimmerweed is only found in Thunder Ridge, a region known to be inhabited by dangerous Thunder Lizards. Thunder Ridge is an ecological wonder, full of rare species of both animal and plant. However, the Thunder Lizards' recent aggression has made the region treacherous to traverse, let alone study.
    Carefully picking their way through the Ridge and engaging the Lizards where they must, Rexxar and Rokhan successfully collect enough specimens for Drek'Thar and quickly depart the valley, after noting that something appears to be riling the Lizards to violence. Drek'Thar rewards Rexxar with a vial of his special potion.

    Nazgrel, Thrall's head of security, asks Rexxar and Rokhan to put an end to the bands of Harpies that are ransacking the Horde's supply caravans. He recommends eliminating the Harpies' leader, a particularly dangerous creature known as Bloodfeather. After combing the wilds and hunting down Harpies, Rexxar and Rokhan locate Bloodfeather and strike her down. Returing to Nazgrel, Rexxar receives a unique item of his choice from the Horde's armory.

    Gazlowe, the chief Goblin engineer of Orgrimmar, has been attempting to locate a fresh water source for the city. Unfortunately, his engineers instead tunneled into a kobold nest, and the beasts are running amok throughout the subterranean tunnels. Gazlowe requests that the heroes seal the kobolds back into their lair so that the excavation can proceed. Fighting their way through the kobolds and using goblin sappers to destroy the tunnels, Rexxar and Rokhan succeed in their quest. Reporting back to Gazlowe, the heroes are rewarded with several valuable items to assist them on other tasks.

    Upon completing these initial tasks, Rexxar returns to Thrall. Nazgrel is already meeting with the Warchief, and he requests that Rexxar and Rokhan head to an eastern border outpost to meet with Nazgrel's lieutenant, an Orc named Gar'thok. The Horde leaders are concerned about reports filtering in that Humans are encroaching on Durotar's easter borders, and Nazgrel wants a report from the front. Rexxar agrees to this task, and sets off with Rokhan.

    Arriving at the border outpost, Gar'thok informs Rexxar that here has been no unusual Human activity, but that the Horde's access to a nearby Observatory has been imperiled by the rise of a group of Quillboar. If Rexxar and Rokhan can eliminate the beasts, it will allow unrestricted travel to and from the Observatory to resume. After a raging battle throughout the depths of the Quillboar lair, all 50 beasts are slain and Rexxar continues onto the Observatory.

    Reaching the Observatory, Rexxar confirms the worst: a Human invasion party has landed on the eastern coast of Kalimdor and is marching toward the border with Durotar. Rexxar leaves immediately to report the news to Thrall.

    Before Rexxar delivers his report, Thrall mentions that Drek'Thar has left for Thunder Ridge to investigate the cause of the Thunder Lizards' distress. Heading to the Ridge, Rexxar meets up with the old Shaman. While collecting Lizard eggs for Drek'Thar's research, Rexxar and Rokhan stumble across a Human lumber mill, which seems to be the cause of the Lizards' increased aggressiveness. Rexxar wants to destroy the Mill, but Drek'Thar overrules him, citing that an attack would constitute an act of war against the Humans, and orders the band of heroes back to Orgrimmar.

    Thrall notes that the Humans have begun deforesting Thunder Ridge, and wonders what Jaina Proudmoore could be thinking to gain by such an act. Coupled with Rexxar's news of an impending Human invasion, Thrall orders the group back to the border to continue monitoring the situation.

    Rexxar's group arrives at the outpost to find that the Humans have already razed it and retreated to their base on the coast. Giving pursuit, Rexxar intends to find out what this is about before he slaughters the invaders in retaliation for their attack on Durotar's border. Upon finding the Human's encampment, Rexxar and his comrades are suprised to find that the invaders carry a strange anchor sigil on their armor (unbeknownst to the heroes, this symbol is that of Kul Tiras, one of the former Alliance nations in Lordaeron.) Regardless of their origin, Rexxar orders the attack.

    Returning to Thrall after the slaughter, Rokhan asks that Thrall send himself and Rexxar to the Echo Isles and warn the rest of the Darkspear Tribe. Located just off the eastern coast of Kalimdor, the Echo Isles were claimed by the Trolls in the aftermath of the Battle of Mount Hyjal. Taking a pair of waiting goblin zeppelins, Rexxar and Rokhan depart for the isles.

    Arriving on the Echo Isles, Rokhan and Rexxar meet up with Vol'jin, chieftain of the Darkspear tribe. Vol'jin remarks that their timing is perfect, as the Darkspear villages are already under attack from the humans! He gives Rexxar and Rokhan a group of Troll Batriders and also shifts the heroes into wyvern form, in the hopes that their aerial assault will be able to smash the Kul Tiras fleet and allow the Darkspear trolls to begin their evacuation to the mainland.

    After a vicious battle in the waters surrounding the Isles, the Human fleet is sunk. Rexxar and Rokhan return to Vol'jin, who transforms them back into their original forms. However, in order to start the evacuation, five signal braziers across the Isles must be lit. Fighting their way through the jungles, Rexxar and Rokhan accomplish this task and, as the Darkspear tribe begins sailing back to Durotar, the heroes fly home to meet with Thrall.

    Once again, Thrall is appalled at the Humans' audacity at attacking the Echo Isles. Apparently, he has also received word that the Humans are sending an envoy to meet with the Warchief in the hills surrounding Orgrimmar that evening. Suspicious of the Humans' motives, Rexxar asks if he can go to the summit in Thrall's place in the event that it is a trap. Reluctantly, Thrall agrees.

    Upon arriving at Razor Hill, Rexxar and Rokhan are ambushed by Human assassins. It seems the summit was a trap after all! After defeating the assassins, Rexxar reports back to Thrall about the news of the treachery. Thrall, not comprehending how Jaina could be responsible for the recent events, writes her a letter demanding an explanation for the behavior of the Human forces. He asks Rexxar to infiltrate Jaina's citadel on Theramore Isle and personally deliver the letter. In order to acquire extra help, Rexxar and Rokhan head for the new Darkspear tribe village down the coast of the Barrens. As they prepare to depart, Thrall wishes Rexxar luck, as the future of Durotar may very well rest in this hands. The zeppelin departs, and Act I of the campaign draws to a close...

    Blizzard Universe


    Since the End of the Second War

    Orcish Horde - History
    Since the End of the Second War

    Gul'dan and the Betrayal

    During the final days of the Second War, as the horde's victory over the Alliance seemed almost assured; a terrible feud erupted between the two most powerful orcs on Azeroth. The nefarious warlock, Gul'dan, master of the clandestine Shadow Council, led a number of renegade clans against the might of Ogrim Doomhammer, the war chief of the horde. As Doomhammer prepared his final assault against the Capital City of Lordaeron, an assault that would have crushed the last remnants of the Alliance, Gul'dan and his renegade clans abandoned their posts and set out to sea. The bewildered Doomhammer, having lost nearly half of his standing forces to Gul'dan's treachery, was force to pull back and forsake his greatest chance at victory over the Alliance.

    The power-hungry Gul'dan, obsessed with obtaining godhood itself, set out on a desperate search for the undersea Tomb of Sargeras that he believed held the secrets of ultimate power. Having already doomed his fellow orcs to become the slaves of the Burning Legion, Gul'dan thought nothing of his supposed duty to Doomhammer. Backed by the Stormreaver and Twilight's Hammer clans, Gul'dan succeeded in raising the Tomb of Sargeras from the sea floor. However, when he opened the ancient, flooded vault, he found only crazed demons awaiting him.

    Seeking to punish the wayward orcs for their costly betrayal, Doomhammer sent his forces to kill Gul'dan and bring the renegades back into the fold. For his recklessness, Gul'dan was torn apart by the maddened demons he had set loose. With their leader dead, the renegade clans quickly fell before Doomhammer's enraged legions. Though the rebellion had been quelled, the horde was unable to recoup the terrible losses it had suffered. Gul'dan's betrayal had afforded the Alliance not only hope, but also time to regroup… and retaliate.

    Lord Lothar, seeing that the horde was fracturing from within, gathered the last of his forces and pushed the horde south, back into the shattered heartland of his homeland, Azeroth. There, the Alliance forces trapped the retreating horde within their volcanic fortress of Blackrock Spire.

    Though Lord Lothar fell in battle at the Spire's base, his lieutenant, Turalyon, rallied the Alliance forces at the eleventh hour and pushed the horde back into the abysmal Swamp of Sorrows. Turalyon's forces succeeded in destroying the dark portal, the mystical gateway that connected the orcs to their dark, red home world of Draenor. Cut off from its reinforcements in Draenor and fractured by incessant infighting, the horde finally buckles in upon itself and fell before the might of the Alliance forces.

    The scattered orc clans were quickly rounded up and placed within guarded internment camps. Though it seemed that the horde had been defeated for good, some remained highly skeptical that peace would last. Khadgar, the former apprentice of Medivh, convinced the Alliance high command to build the fortress of Nethergarde that would watch over the ruins of the dark portal and ensure there would be no further invasions from Draenor.

    Ner'zhul and the Shadow Clans

    As the fires of the Second War died down, the Alliance took aggressive steps to contain the orcish threat. A number of large internment camps, meant to house the captive orcs, were constructed in southern Lordaeron. Guarded by both the paladins and the veteran soldiers of the Alliance, the camps proved to be a great success. Though the captive orcs were tense and anxious to do battle once more, the various camp wardens, based at the old prison-fortress of Durnholde, kept the peace and maintained a strong semblance of order.

    However, on the hellish world of Draenor, a new orcish army prepared to strike at the unsuspecting Alliance. The elder shaman, Ner'zhul - the former mentor of Gul'dan - rallied the handful of clans still left on Draenor under his dark banner. Ner'zhul planned to open a number of portals on Draenor that would lead the horde to new, unspoiled worlds. To power his new portals, Ner'zhul needed a number of enchanted artifacts from Azeroth. To procure them, Ner'zhul reopened the dark portal and sent his ravenous clans charging through.

    The new horde, led by veteran chieftain such as Gromm Hellscream of the Warsong clan, and Kilrogg Deadeye of the Bleeding Hollow clan, surprised the Alliance defense forces and rampaged through the countryside. Under Ner'zhul's surgical command, the orcs quickly rounded up the artifacts they needed and fled back to the safety of Draenor.

    King Terenas of Lordaeron, convinced that the orcs were preparing a new invasion of Azeroth, assembled his most trusted lieutenants. He ordered General Turalyon and the mage, Khadgar, to lead an expedition through the dark portal to put an end to the orcish threat once and for all. Turalyon and Khadgar's forces marched into Draenor and repeatedly clashed with Ner'zhul's clans upon the ravaged Hellfire Peninsula. Though neither side gained ground, it was clear that Ner'zhul would not be stopped from completing his nefarious plans.

    Ner'zhul succeeded in opening his portals to other worlds - but he did not foresee the terrible price he would pay. The portals' tremendous energies began to tear the very fabric of Draenor apart. As Turalyon's forces fought desperately to return home to Azeroth, the world of Draenor began to buckle in upon itself. Gromm Hellscream and Kilrogg Deadeye, realizing that Ner'zhul's mad plans would doom their entire race, rallied the remaining orcs and escaped back to the relative safety of Azeroth. As Hellscream and Deadeye hacked their way through the human ranks in a desperate bid for freedom, the dark portal suddenly exploded behind them. For them, and the remaining orcs on Azeroth, there would be no going back…

    Ner'zhul and his Shadowmoon clan passed through their newly created portals, as massive volcanic eruptions began to break Draenor's continents apart. The burning seas rose up and roiled the shattered landscape as the tortured world was finally consumed in an apocalyptic explosion.

    Day of the Dragon

    Though Gromm Hellscream and his Warsong clan managed to evade capture, Deadeye and his Bleeding Hollow clan were rounded up and placed in the internment camps in Lordaeron. Yet, despite the costly uprising, the camps' wardens soon re-established control over their brutish charges.

    However, unknown to the Alliance's agents, a large force of orcs still roamed free in the northern wastes of Khaz Modan. The Dragonmaw clan, led by the infamous Warlock, Nekros, had maintained its control over the Dragonqueen, Alexstrasza, and her Dragon flight by using an ancient artifact known as the Demon Soul. With the Dragonqueen as his hostage, Nekros built up a secret army within the abandoned dwarf stronghold of Grim Batol. Planning to unleash his forces and the mighty red dragons on the Alliance, Nekros hoped to reunite the horde and continue its conquest of Azeroth. Yet, a small group of resistance fighters, led by the human mage, Rhonin, managed to destroy the Demon Soul and free the Dragonqueen from Nekros' command.

    In their fury, Alexstrasza's dragons tore apart Grim Batol and incinerated the greater bulk of the Dragonmaw clan. Nekros' grand schemes of reunification came crashing down as the Alliance troops rounded up the remaining orc survivors and threw them into the waiting internment camps. The Dragonmaw clan's defeat signaled the end of the horde - and the end of the orcs' furious bloodlust.

    Lethargy and Internment

    As the months passed, more orc prisoners were rounded up and placed within the internment camps. As the camps began to overflow, the Alliance was forced to construct new camps in the plains of south of the Alterac Mountains. To properly maintain and supply the growing number of camps, King Terenas levied a new tax on the Alliance nations. This tax, as well as increased political tensions over border disputes, created widespread dissention amongst the leaders of the Alliance. It seemed that the fragile pact that had forged human nations together in their darkest hour would break at any given moment.

    Amidst the political turmoil, many of the camp wardens began to notice an unsettling change come over their orc captives. The orcs' efforts to escape from the camps or even fight amongst themselves had greatly decreased in frequency over time. The orcs were becoming increasingly aloof and lethargic. Though it was difficult to believe, the orcs - once held as the most aggressive race ever seen on Azeroth - had completely lost their will to fight. The strange lethargy confounded the Alliance leaders and continued to take its toll on the rapidly weakening orcs.

    Some speculated that some strange disease, contractible only by orcs, brought about the baffling lethargy. But the Archmage, Antonidas of Dalaran, posed a different hypothesis. Researching what little he could find on orcish history, Antonidas learned that the orcs had been under the crippling influence of demonic power (or warlock magics) for generations. He speculated that the orcs had been corrupted by demonic powers even before their first invasion of Azeroth. Clearly, demons had spiked the orcs' blood, which in turn granted the brutes unnaturally heightened strength, endurance and aggression.

    Antonidas theorized that the orcs' communal lethargy was not actually a disease, but a long-term racial withdrawal from the volatile Warlock magics that had made them fearsome, blood-lusted warriors. Thought the symptoms were clear, Antonidas was unable to find a cure for the orcs' present condition. Many of his fellow mages, as well as a few notable Alliance leaders, argued that finding a cure for the orcs would be an imprudent venture. Left to ponder the orcs' mysterious condition, Antonidas' conclusion was that the orcs' only cure would have to be a spiritual one…

    Thrall's Tale

    During the dark days of the First War, a cunning human officer named Aedelas Blackmoore found an infant orc abandoned in the wilds. The infant orc, whom Blackmoore aptly named Thrall, was taken to the prison-fortress of Durnholde. There, Blackmoore raised the young orc as a favored slave and gladiator. Intending to train the young orc to be not only a peerless warrior, but also an educated leader, Blackmoore hoped to use Thrall to take over the horde, and thereby achieve dominion over his fellow men.

    Nineteen years passed and Thrall grew into a strong, quick-witted orc. Yet his young heart knew that a slave's life was not for him. Many things had transpired in the world outside the fortress as he grew to maturity. He learned that his people, the orcs - whom he had never met - had been defeated and placed into internment camps in the human lands. Doomhammer, the leader of his people, had escaped from Lordaeron and gone into hiding. He knew that only one rogue clan still operated in secret, trying to evade the watchful eyes of the Alliance.

    The resourceful yet inexperienced Thrall decided to escape from Blackmoore's fortress and set off to find others of his kind. During his journeys Thrall visited the internment camps and found his once mighty race to be strangely cowed and lethargic. Having not found the proud warriors he hoped to discover, Thrall set out to find the last undefeated orc chieftain, Gromm Hellscream.

    Despite being constantly hunted by humans, Hellscream still held onto the horde's unquenchable will to fight. Aided only by his own devoted Warsong clan, Hellscream continued to fight an underground war against the oppression of his beleaguered people. Unfortunately, Hellscream could never find a way to rouse the captured orcs from their stupor. The impressionable Thrall, inspired by Hellscream's idealism, developed a strong empathy for the horde and its warrior traditions.

    Seeking the truth of his own origins, Thrall traveled north to find the legendary Frostwolf clan. Thrall learned that Gul'dan had exiled the Frostwolves during the early days of the First War. He also discovered that he was the son and heir of the orc hero, Durotan - the true chieftain of the Frostwolves who had been murdered in the wilds nearly twenty years before…

    Under the tutelage of venerable shaman, Drek'Thar, Thrall studied the ancient shamanistic culture of his people that had been forgotten under Gul'dan's evil rule. Over time, Thrall became a powerful shaman and took his rightful place as chieftain of the exiled Frostwolves. Empowered by the elements themselves and driven to find his destiny, Thrall set off to free the captive clans and heal his race of demonic corruption.

    During his travels, Thrall found the aged war chief, Ogrim Doomhammer, who had been living as a hermit for many years. Doomhammer, who had been a close friend of Thrall's father, decided to follow the young, visionary orc and help him free the captive clans. Supported by many of the veteran chieftains, Thrall ultimately succeeded in revitalizing the horde and giving his people a new spiritual identity.

    To symbolize his people's rebirth, Thrall returned to Blackmoore's fortress of Durnholde, and put a decisive end to his former master's plans by laying siege to the internment camps. Yet, during the liberation of one camp, Doomhammer fell in battle. Thrall took up Doomhammer's legendary war hammer and donned his black plate armor to become the new war chief of the horde. During the following months, Thrall's small but volatile horde laid waste to the internment camps and stymied the Alliance's best efforts to counter its clever strategies. Encouraged by his best friend and mentor, Gromm Hellscream, Thrall worked to ensure that no orc would be cast into slavery - either by humans or demons - ever again.


    Orcs

    History-

    Long ago the Orcish race was a peaceful shamanistic culture, comprised of proud and courageous hunters, all of which merely struggled to survive in their cruel world of Draenor. That is, until the demons known as the Burning Legion corrupted them, turning them into a bloodthirsty, vicious race of conquerors.

    Gul'dan, the mightiest of the Orc warlocks struck a deal with Medivh, a powerful human wizard, using strange magical trances in which they could speak, though they were worlds apart.

    Promising the Orcs an entire world to conquer, as well as the location of an ancient tomb where the Demonlord Sargeras was buried, Medivh opened the Dark Portal to Gul'dan and his chieftain, Blackhand. For five long years, the Orcs ransacked the lands of Azeroth, driving the humans across the Great Sea. Seeking further conflict, they built ships of war and sailed to Lordaeron where they met their downfall.

    Defeated, the remaining Orcs on Azeroth fled to the Dark Portal or went into hiding. Despite the Alliances attempt to destroy the portal, the rift between the two worlds remained. Meanwhile, Ner'zhul, a powerful Orcish Shaman, rallied the remaining Orcish clans in Draenor under his banner. Opening a smaller portal, Ner'zhul sent forth his legions to acquire powerful arcane artifacts needed to power the opening of more of the smaller portals to not only Azeroth, but other worlds as well.

    Despite heavy opposition from the Alliance, Ner'zhul succeeds in opening gateways to several other worlds. However, he discovers that the energy of the smaller portals is beginning to rip Draenor apart. Knowing that no one could control the power threatening their world, Ner'zhul escapes through one of his portals. Alliance forces in Draenor realize that if they do not seal the rift to Azeroth, that it too, could be destroyed. At the last moment, the rift was sealed and it's speculated that they escaped through a portal to an unknown destination, never to be seen again.


    Many years later an Orcish child named Thrall was captured and raised by corrupt humans. Escaping from his adoptive parents, Thrall sought his lost past. Seeking out his brethren, he found them in crude camps, forced to eek out a living passively, as they were always watched by Alliance members. Rallying the remaining Orcs under his leadership, Thrall promised to lead his shattered people back to their old ways. Reuniting them with the shamanistic powers, Thrall led them in a revolt against their captors.

    As times change, and war comes once again to Azeroth in the form of demons called the Burning Legion, can the Orcs relive their past and ally themselves with the Alliance to defeat this new threat? What shall become of this proud race? Only time shall tell.

    Unfortunately, the announcement of World of WarCraft comes at an awkward time for us. Its story line is set four years after WarCraft III, so you can see the predicament that we're in! How does one finish the history of a race when one cannot predict the result of what is to come? I suppose we'll have to wait a little while longer to see what happens in WarCraft III.

    Characteristics-

    Orcs are known to the humans as a brutish race of green-skinned, muscular, and dull-witted warriors. However, before their corruption by the Burning Legion, they were a noble, shamanistic race with intelligence to match their strength.

    Lifestyle-

    Originally, Orcs are from the red world of Draenor and prefer the somewhat muggy climate there. However, when Medivh opened the Dark Portal and lured them through to Azeroth, they were forced to adapt. Orcs will live just about anywhere they can establish a camp.

    The Orcish race seems to be reverting back to its shamanistic ways through the leadership of Thrall, their new Chieftain. Their peaceful and ancient lifestyle is returning as they are at last wearing off the effects of the Burning Legions corruption.

    Technology-

    The Orcs have the ability to craft crude or advanced weapons, depending on the skill of the blacksmith behind the hammer. A common Orcish building is made with stone, wood, or straw and mud. Their allies, the Goblins, create and operate flying zeppelins, which the Orcs have used in the past for scouting missions.

    The Art of War-

    Unlike humans, Orcs prefer an offensive stance in battle. They'll often build up massive amounts of forces and attack their intended target, concentrating very little on defending their own base camps. Like most races, the Orcs are fierce fighters.