NOTE: The following information is taken from the Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness manual (UK edition).
The following article serves as an authentic copy† of the original Warcraft II manual (UK edition). All material written in this article is of copyright by ©2007 Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. The author of this article claims no right of the material written.
† The following sections were removed to preserve mostly only the lore related information:
Legends of the Land
Sir Anduin Lothar
Sired and raised in the Kingdom of Azeroth, Anduin Lothar has spent well-nigh all of his fifty-seven years in service to the lands he calls home. A proud and noble warrior, Lothar was accredited a position within the King's Honor Guard at a considerably early age. After becoming a Knight and rising to the position of Armsman to the Brotherhood of the Horse, he undertook a quest to seek out the Tome of Divinity - a task which all but killed him. Upon returning the sacred writing to the Clerics of Northshire, Sir Lothar led the armies of Azeroth into battle against the Orcish Horde. As the Horde ultimately ravaged the Kingdom of Azeroth and killed its advocate, King Llane, Lothar rallied his countrymen and charted their retreat across the Great Sea - and onto the shores of Lordaeron.
In recognition of his services to his people, Sir Lothar was given the title of Regent Lord of Azeroth. As commander of all land and air forces within the Alliance, Lothar has made a solemn pledge to avenge both King and comrades by vanquishing the Orcish Horde once and for all.
Gul'dan - Warlock of the Inner Circle and Destroyer of Dreams - is the true mastermind behind not only the inner workings of the Horde, but those of the secretive Shadow Council as well. Trained in the arts arcane by the Daemon Kil'jaeden, Gul'dan is perhaps the most powerful Warlock ever to walk the temporal plane. Obsessed with discovering the legendary Tomb of Sargeras, he hopes to obtain ultimate power by deciphering the secrets ascribed by the Daemonlord since times long forgotten. Gul'dan has used his magiks to bring into being a host of servants for the Horde. Necrolytes, Ogre-Magi, and the dread Death Knights are all results of his endless experiments with the forces of magic. Although his spawn of his work have strengthened the Horde, the true loyalties of Gul'dan lie only with himself and his quest to become omnipotent.
Sire Uther Lightbringer
Apprentice to the aged Archbishop Alonsus Faol who was the leader of the Holy Order of Northshire Clerics that guided the kingdom of Azeroth during the First War, Uther Lightbringer learned first hand that faith alone would not defeat the terrible Horde. Many of the Clerics were slain during the First War, and so the Archbishop devoted himself to rebuilding the Order as to provide the citizens of Lordaeron with hope and faith. Knowing that this war with the unholy Orcs could not end soon, Uther discerned that the Archbishop's new Order must be able to defend the people as well as heal them. Thus, young Uther took up sword and shield and issued the call to the most pious amongst the Knights of Lordaeron. Many great Knights heeded Uther's beckoning and joined the Order which became known as the Knights of the Silver Hand. With the strength of arms - and faith - possessed by these Paladins, Uther hopes to bear witness to the free people of the Northlands that the Orcish Horde can be cast back into the stygian pits that spawned them.
Initiate of the fifth circle of the Shadow Council and Chieftain of the Twilight's Hammer Clan, Cho'gall is one of the grimmest and most respected leaders within the Horde. Cho'gall was the first of the Ogre-Magi, having tutored himself in magic before the Horde's passing into Azeroth. Cho'gall has a special loyalty to Gul'dan who helped the struggling yet determined ogre to master the arcane energies of the Twisting Nether. Cho'gall is a firm believer in his clan's sacred mission to bring oblivion to all peoples of the far-realms.
The feared, rogue Troll known as Zuljin has gained a great amount of notoriety over the years. Known best for his daring raids on guarded elven villages, Zuljin brought together many of the nomadic Troll warparties and forged them into and intimidating fighting force. The Trolls revere Zuljin and follow his leadership unconditionally. When approached by the Doomhammer about joining up with the Horde, Zuljin initially declined. But with the increased tensions between the Trolls and Elves due to the coming war, Zuljin knows that only an alliance with the Orcs will save his people.
Creatures of the Land
Daemons are the ancient and corrupt denizens of the lower planes. These winged creatures of fire are legendary for their fondness of destruction and brutal cruelty. Daemons harbor a lustful hatred for all mortals and hunger for any chance to bring pain and death upon them. It is rumored that Gul'dan has entered into a pact with a sect of Daemons loyal to the Daemonlord Sargeras who are willing to aid the Warlock in finding their master's Tomb.
These unfortunate warriors gave their lives in battle only to be brought back into soulless servitude by arcane Orc magiks to fight for the Horde. Rising up from the battlefield, the Undead tirelessly hack and slash at their terrified enemies. These skeletal horrors retain none of the personality or emotions that permeated their living bodies and thus will do their master's bidding until they are destroyed. Only mortal creatures such as the Humans, Elves, Orcs, Trolls, and Ogres can be bound by these dark powers and be remade into the Undead.
Resources of the Land
Mined from the rich earth of Azeroth and Lordaeron, this precious metal is commonly used in exchange for goods and services. As a rare substance that is always in short supply, Gold must be dug out from the rock and soil within establishes Gold Mines. Many of these Mines were abandoned when the Orc raids began and the workers fled for their very lives. Since the beginning of the War, these sites are frequently operated while under the protection of military forces.
Harvested from the abundant forests that inhabit all but a few regions in the realm, the uses for Lumber are nearly infinite. Once a tree has been felled and returned to the community, it is processed and made ready for use as Lumber. Craftsman then use this material to build many different structures and ships, as well as certain weapons and machines of war. Lumber may also be used in the research and construction of strange new devices - or by those adept in the arcane arts to aid with their magical studies.
Large pools of this highly flammable substance are found far beneath the surface of the sea. Special Platforms must be constructed in order to drill deep enough into the ocean floor to get at this sticky, black substance. Dark oily patches, created by small geysers that form on the ocean floor and spew modest amounts of oil into the surrounding waters, serve as a beacon to Oil Tankers hunting for the rich black liquid. Although Oil is commonly used in the construction and powering of ships, it has been utilized in the development of both experimental flying craft and extremely powerful weapons
Places of Mystery
The Runestone at Caer Darrow
The Runestone was an ancient monolith erected by the Elven Druids and inscribed with powerful runes of protection and warding. The Runestone, seized by Gul'dan and his Ogres, was eventually hewn into slates that were then used to construct the Altar of Storms. The elves, knowing that their sacred artifact had been defiled to created the Ogre-Magi, have sworn to destroy all of the unholy Altars across the kingdom.
The Tomb of Sargeras
Buried beneath the Great Sea for over one thousand years, the ancient Tomb of Sargeras waits to be discovered by any foolish enough to pursue its secrets. The Tomb is rumored to house the remains of the ancient Daemonlord Sargeras, defeated in a contest of arcane mastery by the legendary Guardian Aegwyn. The sorcerer Medivh - scion of Aegwyn - promised to divulge the location of the Tomb to Gul'dan in exchange for the destruction of Azeroth. Before Medivh could do so, his tower was invaded and he was slain by the warriors of Azeroth. Gul'dan, believing that the Tomb contains power absolute, hopes to find and claim it as his own. Success may indeed make him a living god.
Encircled by a ring of towering obsidian stones, the Portal stands some fifty feet above the marshy ground of the Black Morass. Being the original gateway to Azeroth that was opened by the wizard Medivh before the First War, its constant use has increased it in both size and power. It serves as a passage to untold number of Orc and Ogre warriors, reinforcing the Horde's already overflowing ranks. The lands around the Portal that were once dead swamps have been transformed into barren soil the color of blood and are now teeming with strange, demonic beasts. This dark perversion of the land is steadily spreading across the continent of Azeroth and threatens to consume the entire world.
Map of Azeroth
A Brief History of the Fall of Azeroth
(as told by the Matriarch of Tirisfal)
My name is Aegwyn, and for over one thousand years I have wandered the realms of this world and endeavored to safeguard the peoples of its lands against the ethereal powers of the Great Dark Beyond. I have seen mighty kingdoms rise and fall. I have witnessed the deeds of high nobility and the lowliest of rabble both conspire to define the destiny of mankind.
It has been only recently that I have, regrettably, become directly involved in the matters of men. For countless ages it has been the charge of my Order to shelter and protect mortal man from the mysteries of the Great Dark, and the palpable, heinous evils of the realms beyond. To battle these dark forces of the Twisting Nether we were given considerable power. and longevity rivaling that of even the ancient Elves. With this power came one grave burden - The Guardian must not interfere with the affairs of men until the time comes when a successor must be chosen and the mantle of guardianship is passed to another.
Thus did I - Aegwyn, last Guardian of the Order of Tirisfal - judge that my time had come. Forty-two winters had passed since I first came to the kingdom of Azeroth in search of the Conjurer Nielas Aran. It was he whom I had chosen to sire the heir of my powers. Nielas was exceptionally talented in the simple conjurative magiks of men, and I believed that he would be the perfect mortal father for my child... and so he was...
I gave birth to a son and named him Medivh - or "Keeper of Secrets" in the ancient tongue of the Elves - in the fall of the year 559. I transferred all of my knowledge and power into the infant, locking it deeply within him to manifest itself only when he reached physical maturity. Believing that my work on this world was done and seeing that my son would be cared for by Nielas' people, I wandered across the fields of time, preparing myself for the passing.
I kept a distant, watchful eye on my son for much of his young life. I was assured that the deep-seeded altruism of Tirisfal would guide him in his trials and temper his heart and mind as to make him worthy of the Guardianship that was, I believed, his destiny.
On the eve of the marking of his thirteenth birthday, the power locked deep inside of my son awakened. Unable to deal with the raw, cosmic energies surging inside him, Medivh suffered a massive psychic trauma. He was pacified by the good Clerics of the Northshire. They removed the youth to their sacred Abbey and for six years tended to his all but comatose body.
Eventually, Medivh awakened from his sleep seemingly in full control of his faculties and powers. Yet, underneath the confident and almost arrogant facade, I somehow knew that my son had become malevolent and corrupt. The wisdom and power that was his birthright had been perverted by distant forces within the Twisting Nether, altering the Human part of his soul and marking him with its evil touch forever.
It was not until the first wave of those wretched creatures known as the Orcs thundered through the dark rift that I realized how incredibly dangerous my son had become...
With his mastery over the arcane energies increasing almost by the moment, Medivh had set out to probe the extent of his ability to manipulate the world around him. Delving into the forbidden arts of Necromancy, Medivh began to unravel the mysteries of life and death. He took to consorting with Daemons from the lower plans, using their powers to augment his own. His hunger for power became stronger, and with every minor success Medivh fell ever deeper into the dark abyss of madness. He traveled far throughout the astral plane, exploring the infinite secrets of the Great Dark Beyond. It was then, in the midst of swirling chaotic hallucinations, that Medivh first encountered a world beyond his own and captured a glimpse of the aberrant, murderous denizens of that place.
Here at least, was the tool that Medivh had been searching for...
Desirous of complete dominion over Azeroth, Medivh used the insights gained from the knowledge of Tirisfal to strike a bargain with Gul'dan the Warlock - the mightiest of the rulers on the dark, res world that haunted Medivh's visions. Communicating through deep trances and astral projection, Medivh told Gul'dan of an ancient tomb lost beneath the north sea that contained power beyond imagination. It was to this tomb that I had banished the ancient Daemonlord Sargeras after a long and exhausting battle eight hundred years before. Even I cannot say whether or not the power of Sargeras remains entombed there. The promise of incredible power tapped from a true monarch of the underworld was enough to make the insatiable Gul'dan agree to do Medivh's bidding.
Medivh agreed to furnish the location of the Tomb of Sargeras to Gul'dan as well as an entire world to conquer. In exchange for this gift, Medivh required the total destruction of the only force he believed capable of contending his ascendancy to power - the great Kingdom of Azeroth.
Thus, in the year 583, the first of Medivh's unnatural Portals was opened between the world of Azeroth and the red world of the Orcs. Although the time of my passing had drawn near, I traveled to Medivh's mystic tower to reason with him and attempt to dissuade him from a path that would surely lead to his own destruction. The power that was once of Tirisfal had become so twisted inside him that my pleas seemed as nothing. I fought with what energy remained in my weakened body, but having given all of my powers to him so long ago, I was easily defeated and banished from his sight.
The arrival of Gul'dan and the Horde War Chief Blackhand heralded a war that tore the realm of Azeroth asunder for nearly five years. The once rich lands of the kingdom were razed and left fallow by the merciless Orc armies. And yet, for all of his craft and guile, Medivh did not survive to see his plans come to fruition. My son was killed by a bold Azerothien raiding party who broke into his power and slew him in the very room where he first made contact with the minions of the Horde. Even the great War Chief Blackhand was eventually destroyed as his ultimate victory drew near, betrayed by his servant Orgrim Doomhammer.
The greatest loss to the peoples of Azeroth came when King Llane, their benevolent and just ruler, was killed as Stormwind Keep fell under the siege and was overthrown by the Orcish Hordes. Only the valiant leadership of Anduin Lothar, Knight errant in the Brotherhood of the Horse and a hero in the war, allowed the survivors of Azeroth to escape from their decimated homeland with their lives.
Even with Medivh and his vile magiks gone, the Portal continued to channel hundreds of Orcs into the Human lands every day. With the death of Blackhand, Orgrim was quick to seize control over the Blackrock clan - the most powerful Orcish force on Azeroth. While others still vie for supremacy over the rest of the scattered Orc clans, Gul'dan, the infamous Warlock and chieftain of the Stormreaver Clan, is rumored to be amassing a great navy to find the legendary Tomb of Sargeras for himself. Rend and Maim, the barbarous sons of Blackhand, also have secured a strong following amongst the Orcs, and hope to wrest ultimate control of the Horde away from the treacherous Doomhammer.
Although other factions grow stronger within the chaotic Horde, it seems certain that all of the clans will follow Doomhammer's plans to hunt down and destroy the renegade Humans of Azeroth wherever they choose to run.
The Alliance of Lordaeron
With the arrival of the Azerothien refugees upon the shores of Lordaeron, King Terenas formed a council of delegates from each of the seven kingdoms under his rule. Recounting terrible tales of destruction and carnage wrought by the Orcish invaders in Azeroth, the Steward Lord Anduin Lothar convinced the sovereign of Lordaeron to unite themselves against this great threat. Despite much quarreling and debate, the lords acquiesced to Lothar and Terenas, and agreed to unite their armies under the general command of Lothar himself. As the shores of Lordaeron had already been savaged by small bands of Orc marauders, Lothar found a strong ally in his longtime friend Admiral Daelin Proudmoore of the seaside kingdom of Kul Tiras. Thoras Trollbane, lord of Stromgarde, was also quick to offer his support to this newly forged Alliance, sensing that the time for glorious battle was at hand. These warriors were not the only ones to get ready for battle...
As the holy writ commandeth that the whole armor of rightousness be worn in the war against evil, Alonsus Faol - Abbot of the now destroyed Northshire Abbey - convinced the ecclesiastic ministers of Lordaeron to gird their priests and followers alike with weapons of war. As the guardians took up sword of light to defend the heavens, so must the holy men of earth be prepared to combat the dark tide that was quickly approaching from the south.
From the ancient subterranean halls of Khaz Modan came the stoic Dwarves of Ironforge, reporting that the Orcs had already begun to assault their mountain kingdom. The Dwarves offered their support n arms and ingenious technologies to the Alliance, who in turn assured them that the Orcs would be driven back at all costs.
The reclusive Elves of Silvermoon ventured forth from the shadowy forests of Quel'thalas to offer their services to the Alliance. Their magiks, so closely tied to the forces of the earth, had shown evidence that the Orcs had been defiling the very lands of Lordaeron as part of their sinister plans. The ill-bred prejudice that had existed for eons amongst the three races was put aside, and a bond was formed between these ancient neighbors. This bond would become a force known across the whole of Lordaeron as the Alliance.
Thus, united in arms against a common foe, the Alliance stands upon the shores of destiny and awaits the coming of the Tides of Darkness.
Nations of the Alliance
Leader: Regent Lord Anduin Lothar
Nation Color: Blue
Background: Before the coming of the Age of Chaos when the Portal was first opened, the kingdom of Azeroth was the mightiest of all Human nations. Ruled by the wise and just King Llane, Azeroth stood as a beacon of light and truth throughout the known world. After the First War, Azeroth and all of its lands were devastated by the Horde. With King Llane dead, Sir Lothar took charge of the shattered armies of Azeroth and led the survivors across the Great Sea to the shores of Lordaeron. King Terenas, ruler of Lordaeron, agreed to support the landless Azerothiens. The peoples of Azeroth settled near the Southshore region of Lordaeron, pledging their loyalty to the Alliance. Battle-hardened and brave, the last of the once great armies of Azeroth now seek retribution for the loss of their homeland.
Leader: King Terenas
Nation Color: White
Background: Ruled by the benevolent King Terenas, the nation of Lordaeron stands as the last bastion of hope for humanity. The armies of Lordaeron were the first to heed the call to arms issued by Sir Lothar and the people of Azeroth. As patron of the Alliance, King Terenas has assumed the mantle of leadership to protect all who abide in his domain. The armies of Lordaeron are deeply religious and are driven by the belief that humanity must stand steadfast against the blasphemous onslaught of the Horde.
Leader: Thoras Trollbane
Nation Color: Red
Background: The kingdom of Stromgarde retains a strict martial philosophy which makes it a highly regarded addition to the Alliance. Situated amongst the foothills of the Alterac Mountains, Stromgarde serves as a sentinel against any invasion across the Orc-controlled borders of Khaz Modan. Possessing a long history of warfare against the Trolls, the warriors of Stromgarde are well prepared to engage in open combat with all enemies of humanity.
Leader: Lord Admiral Daelin Proudmoore
Nation Color: Green
Background: Before the First War, the far ranging merchant ships of Kul Tiras made it the most prosperous nation in the known world. When the Orcs began to raid the coastal settlements of Lordaeron, Admiral Proudmoore took it upon himself to construct an armada of warships. At the behest of his long time friend Anduin Lothar, Proudmoore has pledged the assistance of his merchant-nation to the Alliance.
Leader: Genn Greymane
Nation Color: Black
Background: Despite the impending Orcish invasion, Gilneas has remained separate from the Alliance of Lordaeron. As ruler of one of the strongest Human nations, Genn Greymane is convinced that his own armies can deal with any threat, and has therefore remained unmoved by Lord Lothar's pleas for unity. Despite this apparent disdain for the Alliance, the denizens of Gilneas harbor no fondness for the Orcs or their allies and are prepared to meet them blade for blade.
Leader: The Kirin Tor
Nation Color: Violet
Background: Dalaran is a small, magocratic nation ruled by a conclave of Wizards known as the Kirin Tor. The capital of Dalaran is the Violet Citadel at Cross Island. This nexus of supernatural forces is home to the four great towers that are sanctum to many of the land's greatest sorcerers. The Kirin Tor are strong supporters of the Alliance and to its cause have devoted the knowledge contained within their voluminous libraries as well as the power of their awesome magiks.
Leader: Lord Perenolde
Nation Color: Orange
Background: Alterac is the weakest of the Human nations and is only a minor contributor of troops and equipment to the Alliance. Although Lord Perenolde praises Lothar and Terenas for their ongoing efforts, he is beset by the fear that when the Horde comes, the Alliance will fail, and only the surrender of his forces and his sovereignty will save the lives of his subjects. Perenolde alone knows whether or not - when the final call to arms is sounded - Alterac will fight for its freedom alongside the other nations of the Alliance.
Alliance Ground Units
Peasants are trained from the hard-working and stout-hearted citizens that live in the numerous kingdoms of Lordaeron. By mining gold and harvesting lumber to meet the ever-increasing needs of the fighting force which must push back the unrelenting Horde, they are the backbone of the Alliance. Trained not only in the construction and maintenance of the myriad buildings found in every community, but also those necessary to wage war, they take great pride in the invaluable service they provide. Roused by tales of the Orcish atrocities in Azeroth, these Peasants have learned to use both pick and axe for their own defense if threatened.
Footmen are the initial line of defense against the Horde. Arrayed in hardened steel armor, they courageously wield broadsword and shield in hand-to-hand combat against their vile Orcish foes. The valorous Footmen are ever prepared to heed the call to arms.
Out of the mysterious forests of Quel'thalas come the Elven Archers to aid the Alliance in its darkest hour. Descendants of the elder race of Lordaeron, these sylvan woodsmen are unmatched in their use of the bow. Unencumbered by helm or heavy armor, Archers are keen of eye and fleet of foot. These Elves have long been embroiled in a bloody conflict with the hated Trolls of Lordaeron and are swift to let loose a rain of arrows upon any foe, including those that attack from the skies above.
Rangers are a special cadre of Elven Archers who are intimately bound to the wildlands of Lordaeron. Their pursuit of mastery in Longbow, Marksmanship and Scouting make them more rugged and even deadlier than their brothers - traits for which they are greatly feared amongst their enemies. These secretive and elite warriors have never involved themselves in the affairs of Humans, but when Horde onslaughts threatened to destroy the Elven homelands, they quickly offered their services to the Alliance. Although their numbers are few, their presence could change the course of the war if they are deployed wisely.
The Knights of Lordaeron represents the fiercest fighting force in the armies of the Alliance. Protected by suits of heavy armor, they carry mighty warhammers with which to crush all who would threaten the freedom of their lands. Astride great warhorses, these honorable and just warriors serve as a symbol of order to the peoples of Lordaeron in these dark and chaotic times. Having learned of the fate the Knights of Azeroth suffered after the First War, they have sworn to both avenge their fallen brethren and free their homelands from the grip of the Orcish Hordes.
Paladins are a holy order of warriors whose purpose is to defend and shepherd the war-torn populace of Lordaeron. The Archbishop Alonsus Faol perceived that the pious Clerics of Northshire, who suffered such terrible attrition in the First War, were ill-suited for the dangers of combat. Along with many of the surviving Clerics of Northshire, he sought those of only the greatest virtue among the knighthood of Lordaeron and tutored them in the ways of magic. Led by the crusading Uther Lightbringer, it now rests upon these Paladins - christened the Knights of the Silver Hand - to heal the wounds sustained in combat and to restore faith in the promise of freedom from Orcish Tyranny.
Ballista launch steel-tipped bolts to impale all in their path. As they require an awesome amount of force to be placed upon their tremendous bowstrings, these machines of war are reinforced with lumber from the precious Ironwood trees. The Ballista, a product of Human design and Elven craftsmanship, is a symbol of the unity between all those who have allied themselves against the Horde. The Dwarves prove to be another valuable ally, in that they may be employed to design improved missiles which make the Ballista the most devastating weapon of the Alliance.
Once students of the Conjurers of Azeroth, this new order of Mages have been forced to discover untapped magical forces to command in their war against the ruthless Orcs. Although masters of their arts, the Conjurers who fell during the First War were unprepared for the rigors of warfare. Determined to avoid a similar fate, the Mages have undertaken a regimen equally demanding on body and soul, thus dedicating themselves to the command of more aggressive and destructive magiks. Whether in their sanctum at the Violet Citadel in Dalaran or on the many battlefields of Lordaeron, the Mages are resolute in their efforts to defend the people.
From the deep, subterranean halls of Khaz Modan, the Dwarven Demolition Squads come to aid the Alliance in their crusade for the liberation of Khaz Modan. As masters in the handling and arming of explosives, these Squads are renowned for their ability to demolish any obstacle - from a mighty wall to a bulwark of solid stone. Reckless and bold, these Dwarves are zealous in their loyalty to the Alliance and would not hesitate to detonate their explosive payload should the situation turn grim...
Alliance Air Units
The Gnomes of Khaz Modan have long offset their lack of physical strength with ingenuity and daring. As members of the Alliance, they have continued to display their talents by inventing and piloting the unbelievable Flying Machine. Although having no armaments, these awkward contraptions can be used to survey vast areas of terrain, and detecting the otherwise hidden movements of underwater units (as all flying units can), making them invaluable for discovering the movements of the Horde.
From the ominous and foreboding peaks of Northeron come the Dwarven Gryphon Riders. Mounted upon their legendary beasts and wielding the mystic Stormhammers forged deep within the secret chambers of their Aviaries, these feral Dwarves fear no enemy - and rely upon no friend. They have allied themselves only with the Elves of Quel'thalas, distrusting both their Dwarven cousins and the Humans alike. When the call to battle is sounded, however, they can be counted upon to fight alongside any who oppose the Horde.
As the only ships which do not require oil to be built, Oil Tankers make possible the construction of the Alliance fleet. They are manned by hard working, dependable mariners who search for the rich oil deposits which lie beneath the waves. The crew of every Tanker is skilled in building Oil Platforms and ferrying the oil back to a Shipyard or Oil Refinery where it may be processed and put to use.
Elven Destroyers are powerful warships from the fleets of Quel'thalas. Crewed with highly-skilled Elven seafarers, these swift-sailing vessels are prepared to engage the enemy wherever they may be found. Elven destroyers constitute a critical part of the Alliance naval defense forces as they can unleash their firepower upon dreaded aerial forces of the Horde.
Transports are a vital part of the Alliance war effort, for it is these sturdy vessels which allow troops to traverse various waterways to engage in battle. Designed to carry and deliver several ground units directly onto the shore, Transports are slow and unarmed, and thus rely upon protection from Destroyers and Battleships.
The Alliance relies upon its great battleships to control the seas. These hulking behemoths possess armor and weaponry far greater than that of any other Alliance vessel. The combination of devastating weaponry and substantial armor that they brandish more than outweigh their somewhat slow speeds in waterborne combat.
The resourceful Gnomish Inventors have designed an amazing craft known as the Submarine. This watertight vessel can submerge beneath the waves and surreptitiously keep watch on enemy forces above the surface. The Gnomish Submarine is visible only to Towers, aerial forces, and other vessels that move beneath the waves. Using cunning and craft to carry out surprise attacks on more powerful enemies makes the Submarine an invaluable part of the Lordaeron armada.
As the spirit of mankind is everywhere, so the Holy Vision of the Paladin extends to all corners of the land. The area unveiled by this incantation grants the Paladin knowledge of the terrain and of all those who may dwell there. When this spell dims, the Paladin maintains knowledge of the lands he has seen, although he loses sight of the denizens in these lands.
Aiding our brethren in times of pain and illness remains the fundamental concern of any within the holy Order. By focusing his spiritual powers, the Paladin can heal those who have been wounded in battle. While only one being at a time may be healed in this fashion, it serves to replenish the strength and courage of all who strive for victory against the unfeeling Orcs.
Calling upon the forces of light and purity, the Paladin is able to dispel the walking dead that plague the lands of Azeroth. Exorcism can be used to cause injury to entire groups of these undead terrors, or to utterly eradicate a lone creature. These creatures of Hades seem to gain strength in numbers, thus the greater number of undead that are exorcised within a group, the less actual damage each undead will take. This act is extremely taxing upon the Paladin, making it necessary for him to observe a period of rest before once again invoking this great power.
The Mages of Lordaeron have the ability to discharge lightning from their hands when entering into a melee. These swift bolts of energy strike their victims regardless of any armor they may wear. Being the simplest of nature's forces to command, Lightning requires but a fraction of the caster's mana to employ.
Magiks involving the cardinal elements of the universe are favorites of the Mages. The Fireball is launched from the palms of the Mage and streaks like a comet blazing across the battlefield - slamming its fiery bulk into whatever stands in its path.
Serving as both a weapon and a barrier, the Flame Shield is a binding of the chaotic force of fire to the aura of the chosen target. A twisting helix of fire that whirls about, the Flame Shield accompanies the one so enchanted wherever he may roam. Flame Shield will deliver damage to any grounded barrier that it comes into contact with.
The Mages of Lordaeron have been able to create a spell that hinders both movement and reflex. By warping the very patterns of time that surround his target, Slow enables the caster to bring an enemy's offensive to a crawl. Time cannot be held in check by even the mightiest of Mages, however, so the effects of this temporal shift cease as the power of the spell wanes.
Gleaned from sacred tomes rescued from the debris of Northshire Abbey, this spell grants the ability to cloud the perceptions of others so that they cannot perceive the physical existence of the caster's target. The individual that is rendered Invisible may not perform any tasks such as attacking, harvesting or spellcasting. Should the individual interact with his environment in any fashion more aggressive than simple movement, the Invisibility will be dispelled and their personage shall be revealed.
Perhaps the most fearsome of the Mage spells, Polymorph alters the physical form of its target. This metamorphosis changed man to beast, forever warping both mind and body. This sorcery wholly transforms the victim into a creature of the wilds, thus losing their reasoning - making commands for direction or battle impossible. Although there is no counter for this spell, possessing a greater stamina does decrease the possibility of this enchantment taking effect.
Summoning torrential storms from the frozen Mountains of Northeron, this potent spell calls down a fierce tempest of ice to assault the enemies of the Mage with a flurry of cold blades. Blizzard can be cast over large portions of the battlefield, making it an extremely powerful spell when facing legions of Orcish troops.
The Town Hall serves as a center for the community and commerce of the various towns and military outposts in Lordaeron. As the chief economic building in any settlements, these sites are equipped to process vital resources such as lumber and gold. The steady stream of peasants, who laboriously harvest and transport resources, makes for constant activity near the Town Hall. The training that Peasants require to assist in the growth of their community is also given here. In time the Town Hall may be improved and upgraded into a Keep.
Farms are a vital part of the many communities in Lordaeron. Producing various grains and foodstuffs, Farms not only generate sustenance for peasants and workers, but for the armies as well. The overall amount of food produced from a town's Farms is vital to the number of hew workers or soldiers that the community can accommodate. It is imperative that this production be monitored at all times, so that the population remains well fed and the town runs smoothly.
Barracks are large, fortified structures that offer training and housing for the many warriors in the Alliance. An integral part of any defended community, the Barracks foster unity and good will between the races. Human Footmen live alongside Elves and Dwarves - all training together under one roof. The training of Ballista crews and the construction of these war machines also take place within the Barracks compound.
Seeking insight into the mysteries of the great ironwood trees of Northeron, the Elves of Quel'thalas constructed Lumber Mills where they became exceptional craftsmen. The Elves offered their superior skills in service to the Alliance, providing more efficient means for processing lumber. The production of ships and war machines becomes possible with the addition of these structures.
Lumber mills are also responsible for producing the perfectly crafted arrows that make the Elven Archers feared throughout the Horde. When given the necessary resources, Elven craftsmen will upgrade the quality of these arrows, thus increasing the possible damage that can be inflicted. Elven Rangers, after being trained at the Barracks, have been known to gather at the mills, honing their skills in Longbow, Marksmanship and Scouting.
Blacksmiths are an important part of many settlements dependent on military protection. While the metals that they forge are a vital component in the construction of advanced buildings, they are especially known for their skill at weapon-crafting and armoring. The smiths of Lordaeron, occasionally aided by their skillful Dwarven allies, are renowned for producing some of the finest quality weapons in the Northlands. The Blacksmiths and Elves are rumored to be developing a machine that may alter the course of the war against the Horde.
Scout Towers are tall, sturdy structures constructed to guard the borders of many settlements. From these sites, the defenders of Lordaeron can spot enemy troops from high above, making it difficult for the Orcs to launch surprise attacks. Their presence in the wildlands assures the swift deployment of our armies to meet any Orc incursion. These Towers may be outfitted with either deadly bolts that can pierce targets on land, sea and air, or with great cannon that while powerful, cannot attack threats from above.
Shipyards are primarily responsible for the construction of the various warships in the Alliance's naval forces. Elevated on strong pillars of Ironwood, these waterfront structures are also responsible for receiving and processing the oil necessary to construct these ships of war. Shipyards are manned by dedicated sailors and shipwrights who strive tirelessly to keep the fleet running smoothly and efficiently.
The introduction of Foundries makes the construction of the mighty vessels known as Transports and Battleships possible. Obsessed with creating the strongest force in the Alliance, these skilled artisans need only ample resources to design better armor and weaponry for the fleet. Located on the coast to easier supplement Alliance shipyards, they are an integral part of warship maintenance. Constantly filled with heavy clouds of soot and ash, the intense heat that radiates from the huge smelting pools cause some to jest that they may be in an Orcish building instead of a Human one.
These large steel-shod buildings are designed to refine raw oil for use in the construction and maintenance of the Alliance fleet as well as the creation of unconventional war machines. Like the Shipyard, a Refinery is built along the coastline so that Tankers can deliver their cargo directly to its doors. A Refinery allows oil to be processed with far greater efficiency, increasing the amount of usable oil garnered from every load of crude.
In large and well-defended settlements, the Keep replaces the Town Hall as the center of commerce where peasants can deliver shipments of gold and lumber for processing. The artisans who dwell here have mastered means of better extracting the gold from the ore mined by the Peasants, thus increasing the yield of mining operation. The Keep is also a military structure protected by high granite walls, making it difficult to destroy. Advanced legions of Orcish warriors force the Alliance to assign their elite troops - the Knights of Lordaeron and the mysterious Elven Rangers - only to such places, where their presence will serve to deny the Horde further strategic gains. As control of these towns becomes more critical, the Keep may need to be upgraded into a Castle.
Stables are maintained to breed and house Lordaeron's prized warhorses. Determined to condition the horses to be faster, stronger, and more responsive to their riders, the trainers at these sites take great pride in their work. These brave and loyal stallions carry Knights into battle. and contribute precious fertilizer for the bountiful farms about Lordaeron. The Stables are manned by dependable horsemen and stable-hands who tend to the steeds with great devotion.
Churches are places of worship where the citizens of Lordaeron seek spiritual enlightenment. Once led by devout Clerics, Churches now depend on Paladins to minister to the masses in this time of war. It is in these places for healing and serenity that the holy warriors gather to deepen their faith. Through meditating, communing and tithing at these sanctified sites, Paladins discover new ways to channel their healing and spiritual powers.
The Inventors are highly adept at creating outlandishly clever contraptions for military use. Among the many bizarre inventions created by the Gnomes are the Flying Machines that hover high above both land and sea, as well as the implausible Submarine that can move under the seas. The Gnomes are also responsible for perfecting the technique of extracting various chemical compounds out of oil to make gunpowder and explosives. Although the Gnomes are a bit odd and eccentric, none can deny their value to the Alliance.
Serpentine spires of living rock form the foundation of the Mage Towers where glowing spheres of mystic energy serve to replenish and focus the awesome magiks wielded against the Orcish Horde. These Towers hold ominous secrets that none but the Mages of Lordaeron dare to explore. As extensions of the Violet Citadel in Dalaran, these towers allow the Mages to research arcane spells, unfettered by the affairs of the temporal plane.
An homage to the legendary beasts housed within, the colossal aspects of the Gryphon Aviary looms over all that it surveys. Hewn from solid rock by the Dwarves of Northeron, their Aviary inspires dread in the hearts of whomsoever these Gryphon Riders call foe. Deep inside these massive structures are the Gryphon aeries and the Dwarven workshops where saddle and harness are crafted.
Most sacred to the Dwarves is the enchanted forge that lies at the heart of each Aviary. It is here that the magical weapons known as Stormhammers are fashioned. A Stormhammer, when thrown, strikes with the fury of lightning and the force of thunder. This destructive weapon, combined with the indomitable spirit of the Gryphon Riders, justifies their position as masters of the skies.
The mighty Castles of Lordaeron are the center of large military cities. As with the lesser Keeps, Peasants may bring gold and lumber here for judicious dispersal in order to sustain the war effort. These bastions against invasion are guarded by fortified battlements, making them virtually indestructible. The Castle represents the strength of the peoples of the Alliance and their unyielding resolution to defend the whole of humanity against the Orcish Hordes.
The History of Orcish Ascension
(as told by Gul'dan, Chieftain of the Stormreaver Clan)
The Rise of the Shadow Council
Like an elemental force of havoc and destruction we thundered through the lands of the Draenei devastating all that we beheld. Not one life was spared. No building was left standing. The only traces of their existence were the 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 fools 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 that 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 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 under Kil'jaeden had allowed me to become the most powerful Warlock the clans had seen in many generations. My place within in the Horde was as a respected leader, but as ever, tension 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 the ravenous legions of the disheartened Horde. I knew that the time had come to claim the mantle of power that I had 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 the dark spirits whose energies we had learned to invoke. I would use my place among the Warlocks to shape the thoughts of other 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 of 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 passed, 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.
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 sound 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 and unexplainable presence in their dreams. I returned to my Stronghold, deeply puzzled by the fact that whatever it was that 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
Images came, flashing much too quick to comprehend. And then...something. A fleeting picture that left a longing stirring inside of my soul...
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 had done to all the 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.
It took considerable time to expand the rift enough to send the massive frame 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 that 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 the 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, as 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 against Stormwind was catastrophic. Our armies, expecting to meet weak resistance, charged headlong into the enemy fortress. Surprisingly, the Humans 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 the invoking the shrouding mists of shadow, 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 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 War Chief. 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 of 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 which 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 would 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 Horde made war against the kingdom of Azeroth.
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 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 support 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 Orgrim'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 that he was not as easily swayed as his predecessor. The gleam in his eye and the steel at his side bespoke of 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 unit with the song 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 greater alter constructed of Ironwood and Blackroot where, at the height of black incantation, I took the lives of every last one of them. In the bloody wake of their executions, the Necrolytes would finally nourish my creation of the perfect 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 please 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.
Clans of the Horde
Chieftain: Orgrim Doomhammer
Clan Colors: Red
Background: Although years of war have reduced their numbers, the Blackrock clan remains the strongest within the Horde. Ruled for many years by Blackhand the Destroyer, the Blackrock clan rose quickly in power and was responsible for numberless victories against the Humans in the First War. Orgrim Doomhammer - known also as the Backstabber - assassinated the ruthless, but careless Blackhand, and named himself clan chieftain and War Chief of the Horde. The Blackrock clan continues to dictate the course of the war intimidating the lesser clans within the Horde into following Orgrim's lead. The forces of the Blackrock clan are fanatically loyal to the Doomhammer and will serve him with their lives.
Domain: Blackrock Spire, Azeroth
Chieftain: Gul'dan the Warlock
Clan Colors: Blue
Background: The Stormreavers are a small but powerful clan whose origins are fixed in the history of the Horde since its coming to Azeroth. As the last of his kind, the Warlock Gul'dan maintains absolute control over this clan. Gul'dan, who secretly ruled the Horde through his unwitting puppet Blackhand, has found that the shrewd Doomhammer harbors no trust or fondness for him. This forced Gul'dan to found the Stormreavers in order to protect himself from any action Orgrim might take against him. With the support of his clan, Gul'dan intends to find the lost Tomb of the Daemonlord Sargeras. It is legend that this Tomb contains unimaginable power - power which Gul'dan means to possess.
Domain: Stormwind, Azeroth and Balor, Azeroth
Twilight's Hammer Clan
Chieftain: Cho'gall the Ogre-Mage
Clan Colors: Violet
Background: Obsessed with the notion that the Horde is the harbinger of apocalyptic doom to all the lands that it ravages, the Twilight's Hammer feels a sacrosanct gratification in the destruction of all that it encounters. Led by the cunning Ogre Mage Cho'gall, the Twilight's Hammer has strong ties to Gul'dan and the Stormreaver clan. Its loyalty to the Horde is not as strong as its belief in its sacred mission of oblivion.
Domain: Northshire, Azeroth
The Black Tooth Grin Clan
Chieftain: Rend and Maim, the sons of Blackhand
Clan Colors: Black
Background: The Black Tooth Grin clan was originally part of the Blackrock clan, but splintered off before the Horde's passing into Azeroth. After their father was deposed from his position as War Chief by Orgrim Doomhammer, Rend and Maim decided to gain control over their own faction within the Horde without directly opposing the Doomhammer's ascension to power. The Black Tooth Grin, noted for its custom of each member knocking out one of his own teeth to symbolize his loyalty to the clan, is charged with the protection and preservation of the dreaded Portal. The unity of The Black Tooth Grin may be sorely tested should the opportunity arise for Rend and Maim to reclaim their father's station and avenge his death.
Domain: The Black Morass, Azeroth
Bleeding Hollow Clan
Chieftain: Kilrogg Deadeye
Clan Colors: Green
Background: The Bleeding Hollow clan was one of the largest in the Horde before passing into Azeroth. Led by the aged Kilrogg, the Bleeding Hollow embodies the unrelenting savagery required for many long years of successful Orcish warfare. In accordance with their unequaled performance in battle, they have been given the honor of safeguarding the refinement operations in the occupied lands of Khaz Modan. Allegiant to the Blackrock Clan, these veteran warriors place the needs of the Horde above all else.
Domain: Ironforge, Khaz Modan
Chieftain: Zuluhed the Whacked
Clan Colors: White
Background: Led by the Shaman Zuluhed, the Dragonmaw clan is a small but elite faction within the Horde. With its legacy dating back into the time before the Warlocks, the Dragonmaw was quick to become one of Blackhand's strongest supporters in Azeroth. After his demise, the Dragonmaw honored its fealty to Blackhand by pledging itself into the service of his sons and The Black Tooth Grin. Using ritualistic magiks dowered by the ancient Shaman, the Dragonmaw clan was responsible for the capture of the Dragon Queen Alexstraza and the Horde's current subjugation of the Dragons of Azeroth.
Domain: Grim Batol, Khaz Modan
Clan Colors: Orange
Background: The Burning Blade is not a clan as much as it is an elemental force of nature. Chaotic and unpredictable, the Burning Blade is a brotherhood of demented Orcs whose only objective is to raze and plunder with no regard for their own safety. This leaderless swarm is held in check by the Ogres - to be unleashed by the clans in times of urgent duress. The Burning Blade holds loyalty to no one and will attack any that they perceive to be a threat - even their fellow Orcs.
Ground Units of the Orcish Horde
The label of Peon denotes the lowest station amongst those in the Orcish Horde. Inferior in all skills of import, these dogs are relegated to menial tasks such as harvesting lumber and mining gold. Their labor is also required for the construction and maintenance of building necessary to support the vast undertakings of the Horde. Downtrodden, the Orc Peons slave thanklessly to please their overseers.
Those Orcs who distinguish themselves enough in the arts of war to be trained as Grunts epitomize the merciless spirit of the Horde. Equipped with mighty axes and battle-worn armor, they are prepared to fight to the death. Devoted to the Horde and to their clans, the Grunt lusts for battle - wanting nothing more than to wade into the field of carnage and die a bloody death surrounded by the bodies of his fallen enemies.
The Trolls of Lordaeron have suffered ages of attrition at the hands of the Humans, Dwarves, and Elves. The appearance of the Orcish Horde has given them the opportunity to ally themselves with kindred spirits with whom they can seek revenge upon their many enemies. More agile than the brutish Orcs, Trolls employ throwing axes - along with a cunning attack and retreat stratagem - to assail their foes. This combination of speed, range and the ability to bring down threats from above makes them a valuable addition to the Orcish Horde.
Berserkers are a bloodthirsty sect of Trolls dedicated to the total annihilation of their hated enemies, the Elves. Suffering numerous experiments with strange chemicals and potions by the Goblin Alchemists, the Berserkers have had many strange abilities bestowed upon them that make them all but unstoppable in the heat of battle. Berserkers are hardier and stronger than most Trolls, effectively transforming them into a veritable whirling cyclone of death and destruction.
The Ogres are the monstrous two-headed allies of the Orcs that were brought through the Portal by the Warlock Gul'dan after the First War to act as enforcers in an effort to quell needless infighting between the Orc clans. Due to the constant bickering between their two heads, Ogres exhibit less intelligence than even the lowly Peons. Their incredible strength and unnatural toughness, however, make them some of the fiercest warriors in the Horde.
The Ogre-Magi were originally a small band of extremely loyal Ogre enforcers, transformed by Gul'dan into scheming and malicious sorcerers. By warping and twisting the Elf-magiks of the Runestone at Caer Darrow, Gul'dan was able to infuse the magical abilities of long dead Warlocks into the bodies of these unsuspecting hosts. Once hulking simpletons, the transformed Ogre-Magi can direct their death magiks as easily as their lesser cousins would deliver a crushing blow to any foolish enough to stand in their path. The Ogre-Magi have also become extremely cunning and insidious - serving the Horde only as they see fit.
Sharpened horns, crimson with blood of those unfortunate enough to be caught in their path, herald the advance of the Orcish Catapult. Approaching on the battlefield, its grim visage is enough to make the weak Human troops flee in stark terror. These cumbersome, wheeled machines launch deadly incendiary shot which explodes upon impact. The sheer destructive force of these great engines of war make them feared and respected throughout the land.
These soldiers of darkness were created by Gul'dan to replace the slaughtered Warlock clans. Assembled from the corpses of the Knights of Azeroth slain in the last battle of the First War, these abominations were then instilled with the ethereal essence of the Shadow Council. Further empowered with magical energies culled from the slain Necrolytes, the Death Knights wield an arsenal of necromantic and elemental spells that mete out all but certain death to the enemies of the Horde.
The mischievous Goblin Sappers are known throughout the Horde for their incredible aptitude for destruction. These diabolical Goblins are invariably armed with extremely volatile explosives; which enable them to level enemy structures and weapon emplacements. Although the Sappers are highly unpredictable and insubordinate, they have become necessary to the plans of conquest maintained by the Horde.
Air Units of the Horde
Zeppelins are ingenious inventions that allow small teams of Goblins to soar above the countryside and spy on enemy positions. The Zeppelins are cumbersome, awkward and maintain no armament. Their airborne capabilities, extensive line of sight, and ability to spot underwater units (as with all flying units), however, make them an integral part of the Horde's spy network.
Dragons are native to the untamed Northlands of Azeroth. Reclusive by nature, Dragons have had little contact with their earthbound neighbors over the centuries. Rend and Maim, the Chieftains of The Black Tooth Grin clan, masterminded the capture of the Dragon queen Alexstraza by the Dragonmaw clan. With their Queen held captive, these majestic creatures have been forced into subservience by the Horde - her progeny being raised by the Dragonmaw clan to slaughter the enemies of the Horde
By combining their incredible destructive powers with a keen intellect, the Dragons represent the single most powerful force within the Horde. The devastating flame that issues forth from the mouths of older serpents can level any number of enemy troops, while their powerful wings allow them to tirelessly soar through the skies.
The Orc Oil tanker is crudely constructed, as its purpose is for bearing cargo - not weapons or troops. The Tanker, being little more than a collection of wood, bone and storage space, is crewed by a mob of Orcs scarcely more capable than the lowly Peons. Other than being able to pilot the craft, the crew of the Tanker performs tasks equivalent to those of a Peon - building Oil Platforms and returning their cargo so that it may be processed and used as the overseer chooses.
The Troll Destroyers are swift, ill-visaged longboats designed to cut through enemy armadas and deal damage to enemy vessels and their flying support. The savage Troll crewmen are eager to enter into combat against Alliance ships of war and hungrily await any chance to stand mast to mast against the Elven Destroyers.
Transports are huge, skeletal ships charged with ferrying Horde troops across large bodies of water. Being slow and bulky, Transports rely upon magical armor to repel enemy fire. Although the Horde is known to defend their Transports with Destroyers and Juggernaughts, some reckless crews will sail straight into a naval engagement to deliver their troops to land.
These gargantuan ships of war are the main armament in the dark armada of the Horde. Heavily armed and armored, the Juggernaughts are veritable floating fortresses that constitute the greatest implement of destruction within the Horde's naval forces. While not as swift as the Troll warships, these ruinous craft have quickly come to be feared across the seas of Azeroth for the unrelenting onslaught they render against the Alliance.
These Giant sea Turtles are native to the southern seas and were captured by the Stormreaver clan. Pacified by potent spells of control, these lumbering monstrosities are fitted with watertight canopies strapped onto the backs of their shells and are used as submersible Orcish craft. By submerging under the waves, the Giant Turtles can steal upon unsuspecting enemy craft and report their position to the Horde fleet as they are visible solely to Towers, creatures of the air, and other submersible vessels. The daring Goblins who control them are dedicated to destroying enemy ships by launching hazardous, steam-driven canisters containing highly volatile liquids that can shred even the strongest of armor.
The Ogre-Mage creates a free-floating apparition in the form of a disembodied Eye that he can then direct through the air to look down upon enemy forces and encampments. Named for the great leader of the Bleeding Hollow clan, this ever vigilant Eye transmits its view to the caster, giving him the knowledge of both the lands it wanders and those creatures who live there. The Eye will vanish after a time, leaving the Ogre-Mage with the knowledge of the terrain.
This enchantment is used to instill an insatiable lust for blood into a fellow warriors, causing him to enter into a savage, berserk rage. A fighter who feels this Bloodlust deals more damage to his opponents than normally could be done. Although this spell bestows no permanent effects upon one so enchanted, it has been known to push an already bloodthirsty Orc over the edge...
The casting of ancient and powerful Runes enables the Ogre-Mage to lay an abstruse trap for those hapless enough to enter into it. When these Runes explode, they cause massive damage to anyone standing over them as well as all those in adjacent areas. Those who are diligent and watchful will catch a glimpse of the Rune as they approach it. The chaotic forces that make up this enchantment can not discern between ally or enemy and will kill a friend as surely as a foe. Heed these warnings well, as even staying near these Runes can be hazardous - for when the dwoemer dissolves, they explode as if their magiks had been triggered.
Death Knight Spells
By enveloping their truncheons with the dark essence of Hel, the Death Knights are able to deplete vital energies from those they lash out against. Their ability to discharge this energy over short distances makes this a menacing attack. Although the effects of this spell are abhorrent to the living, the Touch of Darkness is a but a lesser enchantment within the arsenal of these vile horsemen.
Death Coil is a particularly potent variation of the Touch of Darkness spell. By channeling the necromantic powers of the underworld through his ghoulish form, the Death Knight creates a field of dark energy that drains the life-force from any who come in contact with it. This life-force is then consumed - thereby replenishing the strength of one so enchanted, be he friend or foe. The icy embrace of death can be beneficial...for those who know how to control it.
By magically increasing the speed at which a body generates vital energy, the caster may bestow great speed to any being. All actions taken by one so enchanted are swifter than a common adversary - an advantage that is evident on the battlefield. The effects of Haste can persist for but a short time.
This ancient Necromantic spell transforms a portion of the recipient's life force into an unearthly, phantasmal suit of armor. This spectral armor then absorbs the damage from any attack directed at tits wearer for a limited amount of time. As the magiks that link this armor to its host cease, so will the invulnerability that it grants.
The aphotic, swirling clouds conjured by the Death Knights can cause anything within their path to rot and decompose. The vapor created by Decay can consume everything - flesh, bone, wood or even the strongest metal. Heavily laden within base substances, these clouds descend and quickly defuse, leaving only suffering in their wake.
This focusing of the winds of the underworld causes any caught within to be cast about with great force and violence. Bones are easily shattered and mainsails are quickly snapped within the torrents of these fierce winds. The howl of these winds allow no commands to be issued to those trapped within the Whirlwind, rendering those unfortunates helpless until the magiks fades.
This dark magik is the final legacy of the Orc Necrolytes who were destroyed shortly after the First War. The Death Knight can animate corpses of the newly dead and then command these monstrosities to attack their enemies. This terrifying spell is the paramount power of the Death Knights as it serves to augment the Horde forces with vast armies of the Undead.
Farms provide the necessary raw foodstuffs to sustain both the slave labor force and the war parties in the field. Without a sufficient food supply, new units cannot be acquired. The staple diet of the Orcs - along with their kindred Troll and Ogre brothers - is fresh meat. To satisfy this hunger for flesh, wild Boars are trapped and bred for food. Readily abundant in most regions, they have become a bonfire favorite (along with a tankard of Bloodmead) among the hardened troops engaged in a long war march.
This structure serves many purposes, such as being the gathering place and command center, for most Orcish settlements. Unfit for battle, the lowly Peons are trained here to perform the menial tasks of construction, repair and harvesting. This is also where vital raw materials are gathered to be processed and then distributed. The Great Hell is always a source of fevered activity as the laboring Peons work to please their overseers. When settlements achieve greater prosperity and require stronger defenses, the Great Hall can be reinforced to become a Stronghold.
The most highly honored structure in any Orcish community, the Barracks maintains the necessary facilities to train Orc, Troll and Ogre troops for battle. The clash of cold steel and the war cries of Troll Axethrowers can be heard from dawn until dusk - serving as a constant reminder of the warlike mentality of the Horde.
Carved from the husk of an ancient Ironwood tree, the Troll Lumber Mill is a vital part of the Horde's lumber processing operation. The Trolls, having lived in the forests of the far north for centuries, have devised a unique method of harvesting. By treating a group of trees with a volatile alchemical solvent, the Trolls can deaden and weaken large sections of wood. Though it is extremely hazardous to Peon and earth alike, this site makes the process of cutting lumber more efficient. Trolls have become quite adept at fashioning a special sort of throwing axe. The crafting and use of this weapon is always being honed to perfection. Troll Berserkers frequent the Ironwood trees to digest potions given to them by the Goblin Alchemists stationed there. These potions enable them to throw their axes greater distances or sharpen their sight. It is also said that the speed at which healing occurs is increased if the correct potion is ingested. This process of regeneration is one of the most distinct and unbelievable powers of the Troll Berserkers.
The Orcs that live and work in the Blacksmith shops are veteran warriors themselves. Understanding the value of strong steel, they are always developing new techniques and methods to improve their weapons or upgrade the quality of their armor. The steel that they forge is essential in the manufacture of the devastating Catapult, and their skills also aid in the crafting of the strange mechanical workings that are used to improve the accuracy and strength of these great machines. Their expertise is often required for the construction of advanced structures.
Rising high above the treeline, Watch Towers resemble primitive huts laced with animal bones and giant tusks of every kind. These insubstantial - but highly useful - lookout posts are ideal for spotting the cowardly and deceitful Human forces from above, making them a desired part of any Orcish settlement's defenses. These emplacements may be upgraded to loose deadly projectiles upon any approaching enemies, or to rain explosive death down upon their foes on land and sea...
Although a haphazard collection of stone, mortar and cheap lumber, the shabby Orc Shipyard is perhaps the most important structure in the Hordes' war effort. As the construction site for Warships, Transports and Tankers, Shipyards serve as a vital link between the scattered clans across Lordaeron. These sites also have crude processing facilities, enabling Tankers to deliver shipments of oil to them. The Shipyards are manned by procrastinating, slovenly Orcs who somehow manage to keep production and maintenance on schedule.
Known by the trio of towering smokestacks that surround this structure, the Foundry is instrumental in creating the massive armor plates and lethal cannons that are found on the greatest of the Orcs warships - the Juggernaught. Abysmally dark and sweltering with unnatural heat, Foundries are filled with an acrid layer of smoke and soot - making most Orcs feel right at home when visiting one. Heat emanates from all openings as Foundry workers pour molten slag into casts for new cannons, while pounding resounds for miles along the coast as they shape ore into new armor.
The Oil Refinery uses the large, arching pipelines on either side of the main structure to pump oil from the Tankers into its processing holds. Built on the rim of the sea, Refineries are constantly threatened by attacks from waterborne vessels. As a Refinery allows oil to be processed much more efficiently, the sight of warships deployed for the defense of these structures is a common one.
The massive, jagged spires of the Orc Stronghold are a constant reminder to the Horde of their power and dominance. As the center of larger Orcish settlements, the Stronghold can process resources in the same fashion as a Great Hall - and the overseer can induce the production of more gold from the pitiful worms under his command. These intimidating structures of steel and stone use techniques in their construction that serve as strong barriers, greatly reducing the damage inflicted by attacking forces. Convinced of their innate superiority as warriors, Troll Berserkers and Ogres will only act under the direction of an overseer who has proven himself capable enough to establish a Stronghold. As need and resources dictate, a Stronghold can be reinforced and refitted as a Fortress.
After being trained in the rudiments of combat at the Barracks, Ogres congregate at these crude, stone huts to enhance their endurance, strength and speed. These two-headed titans increase their great strength by engaging in contests which involve the hurling and crushing of giant rocks. This serves to increase their already formidable strength and resilience - and those that do escape the pounding delivered by their brethren find themselves the quicker for it. Even the half-witted Peons dare not come near this place, for stray boulders tend to find the heads of inattentive visitors.
Carved from the Runestone at Caer Darrow, the Altar of Storms channels dark and arcane energies through the bronze figures that tower above it to pervert the innate Elven magiks of the Runestone. These energies, lost when the Orc Warlocks were destroyed by the Doomhammer, are now used to create the powers of the Ogre-Magi. It is here that the Ogre-Magi are imbued with new spells and skills to aid them in their fight against the Alliance. The Altars are avoided by the rest of the Horde as the intense energies that emanate from their cold surfaces can be... unhealthy.
The maniacal and brilliant Goblin Alchemists are masters of volatile chemicals, explosives and strange mechanical devices. Having constructed Zeppelins to soar above the battlefield, as well as inventing watertight pilot-shacks for use on the enslaved race of giant Sea Turtles, the Goblins have defied the very laws of nature. They also create the devastating explosives used by their cousins, the Goblin Sappers. The Alchemists take a peculiar delight in these intellectual endeavors that few understand, but all in the Horde respect the havoc that they produce.
Temples of the Damned - called Grombolar, or bowels of the giant in the Orcish tongue - are the cabalistic dwellings of the dead. Created by Gul'dan to house his blasphemous Death Knights, the Temples were formed from petrified carcasses of the race of giants that inhabited the Orcish homeworld. The subterranean labyrinth of the Temple contains the fetid halls where the Death Knights dwell and study their depraved necromancy on fallen warriors reaped from the battlefields above.
Mighty chains of adamantine steel bind the most powerful creature in all of Azeroth - Alexstrasza the Dragon Queen. Captured and ensorcelled by magiks contrived by the Dragonmaw clan, the great Dragon is kept in a constant state of weakness and pain. As the unwilling slave of the Horde, the Queen is closely watched as she lays her precious eggs. The Dragonmaw clan then raises her young to fight for the Horde - slaying the whelps when they become too powerful to be properly controlled. Constant efforts are made to break Alexstrasza's will in an attempt to master the control of more mature dragons.
As the military and economic center of the largest Orc cities, the Fortress can hold and process all the hold and lumber that the Peons can be made to harvest. Protected by obsidian spires shaped from the earth itself, the Fortress is all but impervious to the attacks of the feeble Human forces. Constructed by Orcish leaders attaining arrant mastery both on and off the field of battle, the Fortress serves as a proclamation to the Alliance of the inevitable triumph of the Orcish Horde.