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| name=Alliance–Horde War
| name=Alliance–Horde War
| image=Southern Barrens Cataclysm.jpg
| image=Landfall_Raneman_art.jpg
| side1=*[[Alliance]] <!-- Horde are listed below at "side2=" -->
| side1=*[[Alliance]] <!-- Horde are listed below at "side2=" -->
**[[Kingdom of Stormwind]]
**[[Kingdom of Stormwind]]
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| begin=shortly after the [[Cataclysm (event)|Cataclysm]]
| begin=shortly after the [[Cataclysm (event)|Cataclysm]]
| end=
| end=
| place=[[Great Sea]], [[Kalimdor]] and [[Eastern Kingdoms]]
| place=[[Azeroth]]
| result=Undetermined, ongoing
| result=[[Alliance]] and [[Darkspear Rebellion]] victory
| battles=[[Invasion of Gilneas]], [[Battle for Gilneas]], [[Battle for Andorhal]]}}
[[Garrosh Hellscream]] overthrown in the [[Siege of Orgrimmar]]
[[Vol'jin]] installed as [[Warchief of the Horde]].
The '''Alliance–Horde War''' is an intercontinental war that began shortly after the [[Cataclysm (event)|Cataclysm]], as part of the expansion set {{cata-inline}} ''[[World of Warcraft: Cataclysm]]''.
Withdrawal of all Horde forces from [[Ashenvale]]
[[Sunreavers]] expelled from [[Dalaran]]
Horde gains [[Azshara]]
[[Forsaken]] Gain full control over [[Silverpine Forest ]]and [[Andorhal]]
Destruction of [[Fort Triumph]],[[Theramore]] and [[Camp Taurajo]]
| battles=[[Invasion of Gilneas]], [[Battle of the Lost Isles]], [[Second Battle for Hillsbrad]], [[Battle for Andorhal]], [[Attack on Theramore Isle]], [[Battle of the Temple of the Red Crane]], [[Battle for Lion's landing]], [[Battle for Domination Point]], [[Purge of Dalaran]], [[Battlefield: Barrens]], [[Siege of Orgrimmar]]}}
The '''Alliance–Horde War''' is an intercontinental war which serves as one of the driving forces of the plot of World of Warcraft. After years of cold war, with conflict being restrained to skirmishes in places like Alterac Valley and Warsong Gulch, King Varian Wrynnproclaimed open war against the Horde following the Battle of Angrathar the Wrathgate, a challenge in which the newly crownedWarchief Garrosh Hellscream gladly engaged in. The new war between the two superpowers raged across the Cataclysm and pandaria Campaigns. This conflict is thematically the Fourth War.
Though at war, the two sides have worked together on several occasions to combat larger threats, whether directly or through intermediary organizations such as the Argent Crusade or Cenarion Circle.
Following the Siege of Orgrimmar, King Varian and the newly appointed Warchief Vol'jin have declared an end to open war, so long as both sides uphold honor. However, tensions persist and the conflict seems to once again be relegated to cold war status as the War in Draenor continues.
Five years after the [[Battle for Mount Hyjal]], the fragile truce between the [[Horde]] and [[Alliance]] had all but evaporated. In the wake of the [[Third War]] and [[The Founding of Durotar]], the [[Forsaken]] entered a partnership of convenience with the Horde while the [[night elves]] and [[gnomes]] emerged from ages of solitude to join the Alliance. For another year the armistice held, though tensions continued to mount as worldwide conflicts drew the two sides closer to all-out war and fighting erupted in strategic [[battlegrounds]]. Despite these frequent skirmishes, the Horde and Alliance often set aside their differences and joined forces to face a number of threats. In time the [[blood elves]] and [[draenei]] led them through the [[Dark Portal]] to wage the [[War in Outland]] against the [[Burning Legion]].
Five years after the [[Battle for Mount Hyjal]], the fragile truce between the [[Horde]] and [[Alliance]] had all but evaporated. In the wake of the [[Third War]] and [[The Founding of Durotar]], the [[Forsaken]] entered a partnership of convenience with the Horde while the [[night elves]] and [[gnomes]] emerged from ages of solitude to join the Alliance. For another year the armistice held, though tensions continued to mount as worldwide conflicts drew the two sides closer to all-out war and fighting erupted in strategic [[battlegrounds]]. Despite these frequent skirmishes, the Horde and Alliance often set aside their differences and joined forces to face a number of threats. In time the [[blood elves]] and [[draenei]] led them through the [[Dark Portal]] to wage the [[War in Outland]] against the [[Burning Legion]].

Revision as of 19:08, February 28, 2015

Previous: Gilneas civil war
Concurrent: Elemental War (Elemental Invasion)
Alliance–Horde War
Alliance–Horde War (Cataclysm)
Place: Azeroth
Outcome: Alliance and Darkspear Rebellion victory

Garrosh Hellscream overthrown in the Siege of Orgrimmar Vol'jin installed as Warchief of the Horde.

Withdrawal of all Horde forces from Ashenvale Sunreavers expelled from Dalaran Horde gains Azshara Forsaken Gain full control over Silverpine Forest and Andorhal Destruction of Fort Triumph,Theramore and Camp Taurajo

Major Battles: Invasion of Gilneas, Battle of the Lost Isles, Second Battle for Hillsbrad, Battle for Andorhal, Attack on Theramore Isle, Battle of the Temple of the Red Crane, Battle for Lion's landing, Battle for Domination Point, Purge of Dalaran, Battlefield: Barrens, Siege of Orgrimmar

The Alliance–Horde War is an intercontinental war which serves as one of the driving forces of the plot of World of Warcraft. After years of cold war, with conflict being restrained to skirmishes in places like Alterac Valley and Warsong Gulch, King Varian Wrynnproclaimed open war against the Horde following the Battle of Angrathar the Wrathgate, a challenge in which the newly crownedWarchief Garrosh Hellscream gladly engaged in. The new war between the two superpowers raged across the Cataclysm and pandaria Campaigns. This conflict is thematically the Fourth War.

Though at war, the two sides have worked together on several occasions to combat larger threats, whether directly or through intermediary organizations such as the Argent Crusade or Cenarion Circle.

Following the Siege of Orgrimmar, King Varian and the newly appointed Warchief Vol'jin have declared an end to open war, so long as both sides uphold honor. However, tensions persist and the conflict seems to once again be relegated to cold war status as the War in Draenor continues.


Five years after the Battle for Mount Hyjal, the fragile truce between the Horde and Alliance had all but evaporated. In the wake of the Third War and The Founding of Durotar, the Forsaken entered a partnership of convenience with the Horde while the night elves and gnomes emerged from ages of solitude to join the Alliance. For another year the armistice held, though tensions continued to mount as worldwide conflicts drew the two sides closer to all-out war and fighting erupted in strategic battlegrounds. Despite these frequent skirmishes, the Horde and Alliance often set aside their differences and joined forces to face a number of threats. In time the blood elves and draenei led them through the Dark Portal to wage the War in Outland against the Burning Legion.

Following the year-long campaign in Outland, the Horde returned to Azeroth with a new ally in the Mag'har, led by Garrosh Hellscream. Soon, the long-missing Varian Wrynn put an end to Onyxia's schemes and returned to reclaim the throne of Stormwind. Attempts at diplomacy between Thrall and Wrynn soon fell apart as a peace conference in Theramore was ambushed by the Twilight's Hammer. Attention quickly turned northward, however, as the looming threat of the Lich King bore down on the mortal races of Azeroth.

Garrosh Hellscream and Varian Wrynn, appointed as the supreme commanders of the Horde Expedition and Alliance Vanguard respectively, who had previously butted heads in Theramore, led their forces to Northrend where they waged war against the Scourge. Though fighting a common enemy, tensions between the Horde and Alliance grew swiftly until spilling over after the Battle of Angrathar the Wrathgate. During the resulting Battle for the Undercity, Varian Wrynn, grief-stricken over the loss of Bolvar Fordragon, and the state of the former Capital City of Lordaeron, lashed out at Thrall and declared war against the Horde. Hostilities continued to escalate for the remainder of the War against the Lich King, until the Lich King was finally defeated.

Three years have passed since the military forces of the Horde and Alliance first set foot on the shores of Northrend, and they now wage war amidst the disasters wrought by Deathwing's return to the world. Thrall has left the Horde to lead the Earthen Ring's efforts in preventing the rift beneath the Maelstrom from tearing apart the world, and has appointed Garrosh Hellscream as Warchief of the Horde in his absence. King Varian Wrynn, convinced that the Horde has remained unchecked for too long, continues to lead the Alliance.


Eastern Kingdoms

With the weakening of the Scourge after the War against the Lich King, the Alliance forces led by Thassarian have claimed the western part of Andorhal, and the Forsaken forces led by Koltira Deathweaver have claimed the eastern part of the city. The two factions are currently fighting each other for control of the whole city.[1] During the Battle for Andorhal, the Forsaken, their ranks bolstered by the use of the val'kyr to raise their slain foes, push the Alliance out of the city and claim Andorhal as their own, effectively conquering almost all of the old kingdom of Lordareon. All Alliance forces are now hard-pressed, the Forsaken being in the South and the Sin'Dorei in the north.

In Hillsbrad Foothills, The Forsaken destroy the Alliance presence entirely by destoying the damaged city of Southshore. The Forsaken blight used by the attackers devastated the land, driving the alliance back to Alterac for good. The Forsaken also conquer Arathi Highlands, destroying Stromgarde with the help of the risen prince Galen Trollbane.[citation needed] Hammerfall is reinforced and rebuilt as a fortress. The forsaken control now almost all of the lands from Western Plaguelands to Wetlands.

By orders of the new Warchief of the Horde, Garrosh Hellscream, the Forsaken mobilise and move into Gilneas to secure a port for the Horde in southern Lordaeron. The Gilneans, now transformed into worgen, attempt to fight off the invaders as best they can. Eventually the night elves arrive in Gilneas, bringing both vital military aid and the truth behind the worgen curse. Likewise, Orcs reinforce the Forsaken forces, causing an escalation into an all-out battle between the Alliance and the Horde in the region. The Forsaken, against the orders of the Warchief to cease production, unleash their devastating Forsaken Blight against Gilneas. Many of the survivors flee across the sea to Teldrassil, where the night elves grant them sanctuary.

Even with Gilneas falling into the hands of the Forsaken, the fighting between the Gilnean worgens and the Forsaken continues. Bloodfang worgen who had recently allied themselves with the Gilneas Liberation Front, with the help of 7th Legion reinforcements from Stormwind, destroyed three Orc gunships that had arrived.[2]. After that the 7th Ligion and the Bloodfang worgens invaded the city of Gilneas took back the city's districts and drove most of the Forsaken back to Silverpine. Despite this the Forsaken still held the northern parts of the land, and would continue to pose a serious threat to the Worgens. Later, the Forsaken killed many of the Hillsbrad refugees on Fenris Isle and resurrected them, bolstering Forsaken forces and making up for the loss of the three orc gunships.[3]

Druids in the Gilneas Liberation Front used their bear form in guerilla warfare against Horde forces at the Forsaken Front, which resulted in the loss of a few Horde squads. Eventually the Horde forces learn of this tactic, and it becomes ineffective after counter-measures are implemented.[4]

In the Twin Peaks near Grim Batol in the Twilight Highlands, the dwarven Wildhammer clan fight against the orcish Dragonmaw clan, having recently rejoined the Horde, battle for control of this strategic mountainous region. The Twin Peaks are crucial for staging effective offensives against the black dragonflight and the Twilight's Hammer, who currently control the Twilight Highlands.[5] To the south, the humans of Marshtide Watch battle the Stonard orcs in the Swamp of Sorrows. In the end Stonard had fallen in to the hands of the Alliance killing all the armed orcs and letting the citizens flee to the Blasted lands.


All-out battles have erupted in the Barrens, Ashenvale, and the Stonetalon Mountains. Due to the Cataclysm the Barrens have been split into the Northern Barrens and the Southern Barrens.

In the Southern Barrens Alliance forces have claimed the eastern lands while the Horde have taken the west. The Alliance has constructed new military outpost to solidify their control of their new territory while the Horde has done the same to prevent further Alliance expansion. The central region between the two camps will become a war zone as the factions fight for control..[6] Bael Modan is destroyed by the advancing Horde army. Eventually, because of one of the Alliance commander's tactical incompetence, the Horde retakes the Barrens, driving the defeated Alliance off for good, devastating anything left standing, and anyone caught in their way.[citation needed]

In the Northern Barrens, the Horde defensive post Mor'shan Rampart is under attack by the Alliance. In turn Northwatch Hold is now under attack by Horde forces.[7] After a crucial battle, the Northwatch Hold and the Alliance fleet defending it are devastated by Horde warships. The survivors retreat back to Stormwind.[citation needed]

In Ashenvale, the Horde has been recently able to conquer more of the ancient forest and have cut down even more trees. This allowed the Horde to wrest control of Silverwind Refuge. Meanwhile Zoram'gar Outpost has its defenses improved and air assaults from the outpost commence on the Night Elf. The village of Astranaar, Maestra's Post, Raynewood Retreat, and surrounding towers have also been destroyed and taken by the Horde. [8] Despite Silverwind Refuge and other Alliance outposts being conquered by the Horde, Alliance forces led by the Night Elves have taken back certain parts of Ashenvale. Splintertree Post comes under ground assault by the Alliance, all Horde forces at the nearby road have been killed.[7] This victory was short lived, however, as the Horde utterly destroys all the attackers and continues to drive the Night Elves back from the region. [9]

Off the coast of Kalimdor, on the Lost Isles, and the island off Azshara, the Bilgewater Cartel goblins with aid from stranded Orcs fight against Alliance forces and attempt to establish a new city to replace the loss of Kezan.[10] In Azshara Alliance forces are attacking Valormok, a largely undefended but unimportant Horde outpost in Azshara.[7]

In Darkshore, the Horde allied themselves with the Shatterspear tribe trolls seeking to conquer it for the Horde. Realizing the Horde's plans, the night elves launched an assault on Shatterspear Vale. After a short fight, the night elves have finally taken the village and burned it down, killing every single troll in the village.

In Azshara

The Night Elf saboteurs assaulting Orgrimmar rear gate have been destroyed, thanks to the Goblins building up the area. All Night Elves are also killed on the road to Ashenvale. [11]

Great Sea

The war even extends to the Great Sea where naval battles are fought for control of key trade routes.[12]

Attack on Theramore Isle

This section concerns content exclusive to the Warcraft novels or short stories.

Main article: Attack on Theramore Isle

Theramore's last stand

Warchief Garrosh Hellscream, incensed at the lingering Alliance presence on Kalimdor, resolved to crush the nation of Theramore once and for all. Shortly before calling a meeting between his fellow Horde leaders to voice this notion, he devises a strategy to wipe the isle out completely. A Blue dragon escort is slain (presumably by Garrosh's agents), and the Focusing Iris -- a powerful item capable of augmenting the destructive capability of already-formidable weapons of destruction -- is delivered to the warchief. Some of the Horde leaders are dubious of this attack, and voice opinions against it. Regardless, it is set in stone, and the assault begins.

Garrosh, Baine Bloodhoof, Vol'jin, Malkorok, and Trade Prince Gallywix are present to rally their troops for the war, while Lor'themar Theron andHalduron Brightwing send Kelantir Bloodblade and two blood elven ships of warriors to assist on their behalf. Similarly, Sylvanas Windrunner sendsCaptain Frandis Farley and a Forsaken regiment on hers. The Horde begins their campaign by conquering Northwatch Hold. The tauren and trolls marched from the Great Gate, assaulting the Alliance outpost from the west. Meanwhile, the Forsaken and blood elves sail from Ratchet and launch a naval attack from the east and the orcs finishes the assault by attacking from the north, using dark shamanistic magic to summon lava elementalsto besiege Northwatch and decimate the outpost and its Alliance defenders. After a long delay to entice the Horde's bloodlust, Garrosh eventually leads the Horde to Fort Triumph, which has also fallen. After looting the fort's siege weapons to be used for their attack on Theramore Isle, the Horde marches on to Dustwallow Marsh.

Lady Jaina Proudmoore herself gains knowledge of this looming attack, thanks to a disheartened Baine Bloodhoof's prior warning. Jaina scrambles to defend her home, quickly earning the support of King Varian and his top generals, including Marcus Jonathan and General Tiras'alan. She also gains the reactionary support of the Kirin Tor, who agree to send several mages (including Rhonin himself) to act as a deterrent, reasoning that doing nothing would be tacit support of Garrosh's war. The defense of Theramore is ill-fated, however: Garrosh reveals that the entire ordeal had been a feint attack, in order to gather the best and brightest of the Alliance in one place, and then annihilate them with a Focusing Iris-empowered mana bomb. The Alliance discover this too late, and the nation of Theramore is utterly obliterated.

The ruins of Theramore.

Jaina is horrified by the loss of all she had worked for, and the deaths of her friends and people. She travels to beseech the Kirin Tor once more, and demands their aid against the Horde. Though committed to making sure Garrosh Hellscream will answer for Rhonin's death, the Kirin Tor are unwilling to give Jaina their support to destroy Orgrimmar: having just lost their leader as a result of getting involved in the war and their belief that Jaina's plans could lead to the deaths of many innocents who had nothing to do with the bombing of Theramore. King Varian, too, is wary of simply attacking Orgrimmar head on, and instead advises caution. King Varian and Prince Anduin are also against using dishonorable tactics to fight the war. The Horde in the aftermath of Theramore's fall, has set up an effective naval blockade of Kalimdor. While the Alliance regrouped to rebuild their fleet and counterattack the Horde, Jaina was too impatient to work with the Alliance and instead went to fight the Horde using her own methods.

Jaina eventually poises herself to destroy Orgrimmar in retaliation with the stolen Focusing Iris. Kalecgos however, is able to stay her hand. Instead, she uses the Iris to summon an army of water elementals to save the Alliance fleet, which was sent to besiege Bladefist Bay and eventually Orgrimmar. The Horde's enthralledkrakens nearly annihilated the fleet if it wasn't for the intervention of Jaina Proudmoore. With the Alliance fleet rescued, Jaina and the Alliance fleet remnants sailed to Northwatch Hold, routing any Horde presence in that area and reclaiming the ruined Alliance outpost, thus ending the Horde's blockade of Kalimdor.

In the aftermath of these events, Jaina's restraint in the face of despair endears her to the high council of the Kirin Tor, who vote her in as their new leader. Jaina herself maintains that while her black rage against the Horde had dissipated (according to her, perhaps partly wrought on by residual energy of the mana bomb), she still fully believes that Garrosh must be removed from power for the good of Azeroth, and is therefore perhaps not cut out to lead a neutral faction. What becomes of this remains to be seen.[30]

The aftermath of this turn of events for the Horde is equally dark: Vol'jin, having privately given up on all hope for Garrosh, falls back to his isles to plot his next move. Baine is somewhat relieved that Garrosh had called off his immediate blockades and conquests, though is stunned to learn it is simply a means to an end -- Garrosh now intends to wage a war of genocide against the Alliance rather than conquest. Thrall himself is guilt-ridden for how far Garrosh has been allowed to go, holding himself responsible.

Garrosh proclaims that all men, women and children are to enlist in the Horde's war against the Alliance, and any found shirking their duties will answer to the Kor'kron, now run by the ruthless Malkorok and his Blackrock forces. The slightest hint of betrayal is brutally snuffed out by Malkorok, as both Kelantir and Farley learn to their sorrow; and some of the Horde's more moderate races essentially find themselves held hostage for their good behaviour, such as the neighbouring trolls and tauren, geographically most at risk of Garrosh's wrath.[30]

Mists of Pandaria

This section concerns content exclusive to Mists of Pandaria.


The war eventually spreads to Pandaria: a naval battle between the Horde and the Alliance left the survivors stranded on the beaches of Pandaria. Rescue parties of those factions’ elite soldiers set out to explore the mysterious, fog-shrouded continent and establish a foothold on the newly discovered land. Its peace was shattered as a result of the conflict.[31][32]Both factions try to gain the favor of local pandaren and other races such as the jinyu or hozen in order to add their strength to their own armies and spread their influence over Pandaria.

One of the major battles which took place in Serpent's Heart resulted in the unleashing of the Sha of Doubt due to a tremendous surge of negative energy which weakened the malicious entity's shackles. Most of the forces were obliterated in result of this, but commanders of both factions (Admiral Taylor and General Nazgrim) survived and were taken toKun-Lai Summit for recuperation.

The Skyseeker and the Wandering Isle

The Skyseeker, an Alliance gunship that was escorting Horde prisoners from Pandaria to Stormwind City, somehow crashed on the great turtle-island Shen-zin Su. The factions were eventually discovered by the turtle-island's adventuring pandaren denizens and were helped in repelling the invasion of the Saurok. Then, both factions have agreed to heal the wounded turtle after the wreck of the Skyseeker was dislodged. The community of the Wandering Isle were divided however, as the Tushui expressed their interest in lending their aid to the Alliance; where as the Huojin found themselves closer to the Horde's way of life and these decisions have turned the old comrades into sworn enemies.

Purge of Dalaran

Two months following the rediscovery of Pandaria, the main Alliance and Horde forces finally arrive on the myth-shrouded continent. Both the Alliance and Horde land on opposite sides of the beach of Krasarang Wilds and established their main bases of operations: Lion's Landing and Domination Point. The conflict at Krasarang Wilds reached its peak, with both the Alliance and Horde fighting each other to drive their enemies from the new continent. While the Alliance tries to stem the occupation by Horde forces by freeing the Temple of the Red Crane from Horde control and thus gaining the pandaren's favor, Garrosh had the Horde tear through mogu ruins to discover more information about the  [Divine Bell], an ancient mogu artifact of immense power. Not wanting to waste orc lives for such a dangerous endeavor, Garrosh delegates this task to the blood elven Reliquary, neglecting to warn them of the mogu danger and resulting in several blood elven casualties. Lor'themar Theron himself is incensed at this callous disregard for his people's welfare, and rifts continue to form between the Regent Lord and the Warchief. The Alliance, discovering Garrosh's intent to find the Divine Bell through their own spy that infiltrated his ranks, secured the bell first and sought to protect it within the city of Darnassus. Jaina Proudmoore herself personally placed wards and enchantments on Darnassus to protect it from any would-be thieves. However, the Horde calls upon agents of the Sunreavers to assist in circumventing Jaina's protections, and several Horde members succeed in subtly entering the city and stealing the Bell from the Cenarion Enclave. They teleport the Divine Bell outside the city, subsequently handing it to Garrosh Hellscream.

To the Sunreavers' surprise, however, their involvement in the theft of the Divine Bell was uncovered by the current ruler of the Kirin Tor, Jaina Proudmoore, who proceeded to expel the Sunreavers from the Kirin Tor, imprisoning all those who surrendered peacefully inside the Violet Citadel, and putting to the sword all those who resisted. She calls upon the Silver Covenant and several Alliance troops to assist with the purge. In the early stages of the purge, many Sunreavers are killed in action while others are killed while attempting to flee, and many more (including bewildered civilians) are sent to the Violet Hold as prisoners of war.

In a desperate attempt to locate Aethas Sunreaver and break out the Sunreavers, Grand Magister Rommath led a strike force within the city of Dalaran, fighting his way through the city to forewarn the unaware Sunreavers of the impending arrest, securing reliable escape routes for those broken out, and attacking the Alliance and the Silver Covenant. Rommath succeeds in his mission, culminating in locating and breaking Aethas out of his imprisonment in the Violet Citadel. Rommath and Aethas escape the city and return to Silvermoon, where Lor'themar and Halduron Brightwing are overseeing portals funneling in the escaped Sunreavers. Relations between Lor'themar and Garrosh break down, as well as putting an end to the talks between the regent lord and King Varian Wrynn that they were secretly engaging in in order to bring Quel'Thalas back into the Alliance. Lor'themar is also enraged at Jaina's actions, even calling her a witch and giving a speech in which he declares his belief the modern Horde exists because of supposed Alliance bigotry. Though driven back to Hellscream's Horde, Lor'themar hopes dearly that Garrosh's new treasure, bought with the blood of Lor'themar's people, destroys him.

The sin'dorei prepare to mobilize their forces. Rommath states that Theron himself would make a fine Warchief, and the regent lord notes that it may indeed come to that, demanding his blades and vowing that the next move will belong to him.

Following the purge, Jaina meets with King Varian Wrynn, and pledges the Kirin Tor to the Alliance. Varian, upon hearing about the purge, reveals to Jaina in disappointment that he was attempting to bring the blood elves into the Alliance though secret diplomatic means, and that by attacking their people she has forced their hand. An unapologetic Jaina states that such endeavours are foolish as once Horde means always Horde, and that he should not show weakness of such sort. Varian returns to the war, with only the unified Alliance at his side.

Liberation of Echo Isles

Thrall, having returned to Durotar with his beloved Aggra and their newborn child, is roped into Garrosh's conflict after the Warchief attempts (and fails) to murder Vol'jin. Narrowly surviving the attempt on his life with the help of Chen Stormstout and Horde heroes, Vol'jin has them contact Thrall and save the Echo Isles from Garrosh's tyranny. Thrall leaves to do so, reiterating what his vision of the Horde -- when it was simply an idea in the desert of Durotar -- had first entailed.

Thrall finds the isles under martial law, the Darkspear rounded up by Thrall's very own Kor'kron. After relieving the isles of their control, Thrall ponders how best to deal with Garrosh, concluding that simply challenging him for the right to the Horde would be ill-advised at this point. Instead, he takes up leadership of the isles in the Darkspear heroes' absence, and plans to confer with Vol'jin before making any rash moves.

Fate of the Divine Bell

After hearing about the Horde's acquisition of the  [Divine Bell], Prince Anduin Wrynn began searching for a means to counter its power. His research has led him to an item known as the Harmonic Mallet. The Harmonic Mallet was last seen in the hands of the Monkey King. The tomb of the Monkey King is located in Tomb of Conquerors, where he and his mogu adversary are frozen in jade. As legend has it, the Monkey King and a Mogu named the "The Jade Warlord" were in the middle of a duel until both of them somehow became petrified in jade. Anduin discovered an incantation to release him from the jade imprisonment but it would release the Jade Warlord as well. After the Alliance champion defeats the Jade Warlord, the Monkey King asks the champion to solve his three riddles in exchange for the whereabouts of the Harmonic Mallet: an instrument used by the Pandaren rebels in ancient times to counter the mogu's Divine Bell by turning its power into pure harmony. After solving his riddles, the Monkey King revealed that he had to to break the mallet and sent his minions to hide it's pieces in the far away corners of Pandaria in order to prevent it from falling into Mogu hands. Anduin and the Alliance player then go on a quest to reassemble the Harmonic Mallet.

When news reached the Alliance that Horde forces were amassing in huge numbers at Emperor's Reach, everyone expected Garrosh to use the Divine Bell. Knowing that time was of the essence, Anduin stole the Harmonic Mallet and went to stop Garrosh personally. The player witnesses Garrosh make a speech about the Horde's grand destiny, and how he will use the Divine Bell to erase weakness from his orcs and create a stronger Horde. Garrosh rings the Divine Bell and it turns his kor'kron into Sha. After they are dispatched by the player, Prince Anduin Wrynn intervenes and tries to deter Garrosh from using the Divine Bell. Anduin's pleas fell on deaf ears however, and Garrosh used the Divine Bell to sha infest his champion Ishi, who the player then has to fight. Though Garrosh encouraged his troops to master the Sha energy, in the end, none of his champions were able to do so. In the aftermath of the battle, Anduin used the Harmonic Mallet to turn the Divine Bell's chaos into pure harmony. This stuns Garrosh but Garrosh recovers and strikes at the bell and destroys it; causing its rubble to fall on Prince Anduin. The impact of the bell has caused Anduin's bones to shatter. Believing Anduin dead, Garrosh lets the Alliance champion live to relay the fate of Anduin to King Varian; thereby illustrating the price for his continued defiance. The player discovers that Anduin still lives and retrieves Anduin's broken body from the ruins. Using a signal flare for immediate evacuation, they fly to Lion's Landing where Varian mourns and tends to his son, ordering for Velen to be sent to their location at once. Both Varian and Jaina Proudmoore are furious at this assault and swear to make Garrosh pay.

Isle of Thunder

The Kirin Tor Offensive, led by Jaina Proudmoore, and the Sunreaver Onslaught, led by Lor'themar Theron, face off to lay claim to Emperor Lei Shen's island stronghold and the treasures contained therein. Those who have earned her trust through their heroics will be tasked by Jaina to assault the Thunder King's palace and use the  [Staff of Antonidas] to absorb his power from his dais in the  [Pinnacle of Storms]. With the Thunder King's power fused with her staff, Jaina plans on using the Thunder King's terrible power on Garrosh when the time comes. Meanwhile Lor'themar also takes an interest in Lei Shen's "blood golems" and sets his top archmages to harnessing their power as leverage against Garrosh should the Horde fall to anarchy.

Darkspear uprising

Garrosh orders the excavation in the Vale of Eternal Blossoms, violating the sanctity of the land, which greatly angers Taran Zhu and orders the Horde to leave the Vale before the season's end. Sunwalker Dezco states that not all of the Horde follow the warchief's orders anymore and tries to apologize for the desecration, but to no avail. At the same time Vol'jin returns from his recuperation, and a major anti-Garrosh uprising erupts in Durotar and the Northern Barrens. In response to this, the Kor'kron have enforced martial law in the entirety of orcish territory, and erected new fortified outposts to cull the rebellion.

Battlefield: Barrens

While the Alliance grows stronger amid the pressures of war, the Horde, under the weight of Garrosh’s command, continues to fracture. The Darkspear Trolls are rebelling, Orgrimmar is on lock down, and the Warchief has sent crews into the Vale of Eternal Blossoms and into the Northern Barrens in search of resources to push his war machine forward.

Vol’jin Makes his Move

For Horde champions, it’s time to meet up with Ki'ta Arrowtusk in Sen'jin Village who will lead you to Vol'jin. He’s alive and well thanks to Chen Stormstout’s aid and he’s not alone. Both Chen and Thrall are with him but he needs the aid of more members of the Horde to truly rebel. Things aren’t all that peaceful in the Village and Horde champions soon need to help deal with the Kor’kron who have managed to lock down the Troll section of Orgrimmar and are looking to take control of other Darkspear Troll strongholds before things get too out of hand.

Once Horde champions have purged the Kor’kron from Sen'jin Village, they'll be sent to Razor Hill as Vol’jin works his way and his troops toward Orgrimmar.

Razor Hill is just a temporary stop for Vol’jin and the rebellion, but before they can move on toward their ultimate goal, they’re going to need supplies –lots of supplies. Horde champions will be asked to go out into the Northern Barrens to steal supplies from the various Kor’kron supply locations.

SI-7 Reporting

After months of preparation, the Alliance war machine is turning toward the heart of enemy territory. But Varian Wrynn doesn’t want to commit any regular forces until he knows exactly what to expect. SI:7 spies outside of Orgrimmar were sent to scout out a naval landing site, learn the enemy’s weaknesses, and give Alliance landing forces any advantage they can find.

Using top-secret SI:7 gadgetry, the king's scouts got an early look at the forces that will be arrayed against them when they assault Orgrimmar and also discover that the Horde is falling apart. The trolls are in active rebellion. By escalating this rebellion, the SI:7 agents have devised a plan to sow chaos and bloodshed behind enemy lines without risking a single Alliance soldier. SI-7 agents, after witnessing the might of Garrosh´s power structure, knew that it'd be most practical to work with the Darkspear Rebellion in order to bring Hellscream to justice and put an end to the ongoing war.

Alliance players are being sent personally as an envoy of the Alliance to the rebel leader: Vol’jin of the Darkspear. With a little deft political maneuvering, Alliance players earn his trust, securing a potential Alliance beach landing and ensuring that trolls and orcs kill one another up and down Durotar.

By killing Kor’kron in the Barrens and delivering their stolen supplies to the rebels, the Alliance ensure that Garrosh’s power structure crumbles around him.[33]

Battle on the High Seas

The war between the Horde and Alliance isn't confined to land. Both factions are in the midst of a battle for naval supremacy on the High Seas. After numerous clashes, the Alliance and any Horde rebels within the Horde fleet eventually call for a ceasefire and decide to focus their naval strength against Orgrimmar.

Siege of Orgrimmar

Infestation of the Vale

The discovery of the ancient Titan vault buried beneath the Vale of Eternal Blossoms gave Garrosh access to the dark heart of Pandaria itself, the Heart of Y'Shaarj, an Old God. The actions of the warchief led to the unthinkable: the awakening of the last and the most dangerous Sha prime, the Sha of Pride, and its subsequent corruption of the Vale.

Preparations for the Siege

High King Varian Wrynn has rallied the Alliance war fleet and has managed to breach Garrosh's blockade over Kalimdor. Their fleet comprising of reinforcements from Stormwind,Dalaran, New Tinkertown, and Ironforge; sailing on Alliance ships armed with heavy artillery, has set sail for Bladefist Bay, blocking every access to Orgrimmar and preventing any reinforcements coming from the sea. Also, the night elf Sentinels under Tyrande Whisperwind's command began marching with siege weapons towards Orgrimmar, planning to use them once Vol'jin's forces attacked the gates.

In the meantime, Vol'jin and Baine Bloodhoof rallied their forces, gaining control of most of Durotar and the Barrens; they also obtained the support of the Bilgewater Cartel, which supplied them with heavy siege weapons. Many orcish citizens of Durotar who opposed Garrosh joined the rebelling forces as well. The blood elves and the Forsaken sent reinforcements across the sea from Lordaeron, planning to regroup them with the rest of the rebels once the Alliance attacked Bladefist Bay. Garrosh, however, was prepared for the siege and managed to bring reinforcements to the city before the start of the rebellion. The Dragonmaw clan under Zaela's command was charged to protect Dranosh'ar Landingagainst the invading naval forces, General Nazgrim and his forces were sent to defend the main gate, and the Kor'kron legions were placed inside the city, guarding the underground entrance to Garrosh's compound. Garrosh also gained the aid of the Klaxxi, earning reinforcements from them as well.

The final push

After mopping up the damage in the Vale, a combined Horde and Alliance force launch an attack on the capital, ultimately leading to the underground part of the city and a final confrontation with Warchief Garrosh himself. Once defeated, Garrosh is taken in custody by Taran Zhu to let him face trial in Pandaria, a solution approved by both Thrall and Varian Wrynn.

After that, with the agreement of the other Horde leaders, Thrall appoints Vol'jin as new Warchief of the Horde. Jaina Proudmoore tells Varian to take advantage of the Horde's weakness to dismantle it, but Varian chooses to stop the war, and warns Vol'jin that if his Horde fails to uphold honor, as Garrosh's Horde did, the Alliance will return to end it.[34]

Playerbase reaction

During Cataclysm the imbalance between the faction story progression became highly controversial, with the devs admitting to running out of time for the Alliance storyline. In the wake of BlizzCon, this perennial topic has flared up pretty brightly. While the devs did indicate they wanted to give the Alliance a bit more good stuff during some panels, some other incidents during and after BlizzCon (including the news that Theramore, one of the most iconic Alliance cities, will be razed to the ground) has left some doubtful, leading to intense debates and 100+ page forum threads on the subject. The Horde's story has gotten very interesting with Sylvanas' darker path, Garrosh's controversial leadership, and Thrall's place on center stage in Cataclysm. The Alliance, however, has seen very little involvement from its leaders, and some players feel what they have seen has been out of character for their leaders. Malfurion neutral as Ashenvale burns and as Tyrande is attacked.[35]

Lead Quest Designer Dave "Fargo" Kosak posted on this topic on a Dev Watercooler. The way Kosak explains it, the devs definitely want to make sure that there is faction pride for both sides. Cross-faction communication was banned outright, even where it made little or no sense in the lore. Entire realms are dedicated to PvP. Battlegrounds and quest hubs feature prominent Alliance and Horde iconography. And, he argues, while the Alliance may be getting beat up, the Horde has taken its share of lumps too. But in the long run, heroes are not born out of easy times. The Alliance will go through tough times, but it will give heroes the opportunity to arise. The Alliance's time is coming. One thing he did admit to is that Blizzard needs to do a better job of making sure people can interact with their heroes. He acknowledges that the Alliance may not think of Thrall as theirs or part of their story, and he promises that once Cataclysm as over, we will catch up with other characters.[36]


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