Lost in Draenor: The Original Draenor
The Heroes of Azeroth have been garrisoned in Draenor for a few months now. Many of us have taken part in this expedition to stop the Iron Horde, but a lot of us…. Probably don’t really know exactly what we’re up against and are just blindly following some familiar faces quest to quest, dungeon to dungeon, and raid to, well only one raid so far.
If you have only played World of Warcraft and not any of the games that came before or read any of the books, it’s insanely easy to not really know what’s going on in the story. Many of you have joined the game more recently and I’m guessing a lot of the experience with the game you have had is “Quest to Level 15 and Queue for Dungeons until the level cap”. This was certainly my experience, besides that my only inkling of lore was from playing Warcraft III was a kid and 99% of that lore was lost to me.
After leveling my first character to 100 I was really dissatisfied with how insignificant everything seemed to me when it seemed like going back in time would be a bounty of lore. So after many long hours of pouring myself into the lore, I finally have a good enough understanding of the background of the game that suddenly Warlords of Draenor became twice as exciting from my 2nd level 100 onward to my 5th keeping me completely interesting and craving what’s next to come in the story. So I’m going to try and catch you all up on the lore of Draenor and then in later parts give you a more defined picture of the Warlords and other characters we will be encountering.
So, let’s talk Draenor. Not the Draenor we are playing the expansion in, but the original Draenor from out timeline.
Draenor is a separate world from our home of Azeroth that was connected to us via The Dark Portal.
There were several powerful people involved in the creation of the portal, so I’ll give you a bit of an introduction on these characters – and to do this, we need to start from the very beginning of time itself.
Before any of the races even inhabited Azeroth, there was an extremely powerful group of beings known as “The Titans”. They were not of Azeroth but of the cosmos. We’re not sure of their origin exactly but they created a council of Titans known as “The Pantheon” that travelled through the cosmos to bring order to all the planets they found. Their power was that of gods and of the most powerful was their leader Sargeras.
Somewhere along the line in their conquest they encountered the young planet of Azeroth and began to shape it to become a planet that inhabited life and even put in place their own creations so over the time life would be born on Azeroth. After they left Azeroth beings known as The Old Gods arrived out of the darkness of the universe to bring calamity to Azeroth. All the beings The Titan’s had left on Azeroth to shape their world were given “The Curse of Flesh” by The Old Gods. The life forms that The Titan’s left on Azeroth previously had skin made of metal or stone and this curse caused their skin to become flesh and become more susceptible to the influence of The Old Gods. Along with this curse upon The Titan’s creations, the Elements that existed on Azeroth were thrown into chaos by the old gods and began to war against themselves and anything in their path causing Azeroth to become a land of primordial chaos.
Seeing this chaos, The Titan’s returned to Azeroth to makes things right. They defeated the four Elemental Lords on the planet and sealed them away. We eventually know these Elemental Lords on Azeroth and some of you may be familiar with them. These Elemental Lords were:
Ragnaros the Fire Lord
Neptulon the Water Lord
Therazane the Earth Lord
Al’Akir the Wind Lord
These lords were under the control of The Old Gods and were one of the prime causes for all the chaos on Azeroth after the Old Gods came. They were immensely powerful but still were no match for the power of The Titans. After their defeat The Elemental Lords and all the Elements under them were banished to the Elemental Plane which was essentially a prison realm made by the Titans where they could continue to war with themselves without causing any destruction to Azeroth. After defeating the Elementals, the Titans destroyed all the citadels created on Azeroth by the Old Gods sparking a war between the Titans and the Old Gods. Though the Old Gods were also unimaginably powerful they were still all defeated one by one by the Titans. The only Old God the Titan’s actually killed was a Seven Headed Old God named Y’Shaarj.
In this Old God’s last seconds of life he used all his remaining power to breathe a final dying breath. This breath infested the land in its path with dark remnants of himself. Forever cursing the land he died on with his essence. This land happened to be Pandaria and the remnants of himself would come to be known as “The Sha” by the creatures of Pandaria. Because of this occurrence, the Titans feared that if they killed the Old Gods, it would lead to the destruction of the entire planet, so instead of killing them they just defeated them and sealed them inside the planet for all eternity.
After they defeated The Old Gods the Titans continued with their work in shaping the planet, though this is a story for another time. When they had finished their work they left the planet for good. Except for one of them.
Sargeras, the Champion of the Titans, as I mentioned him before in his never ending conquest against chaos began to become depressed. How could there be so much chaos in the universe if it wasn’t intended to be that way by creation? Perhaps The Titans were causing disorder to the universe and order was unnatural. As the doubt in his work began to consume his being he started to lose hope in his mission and fell into madness and left the Pantheon. This madness rattled his entire being. He began to view his former allies as enemies of the universe and eventually this madness completely overcame him causing his body to twist and reshape to become consumed by flames. With his new place in the universe after he decided the Titans were his enemy he decided to return to all the lands he had once placed in order and free the demons he had once locked away and enlisted them into his army to bring chaos to the world and defeat The Titans. This army would eventually come to be known as “The Burning Legion” and would be the cause of much of the evil that would come to Azeroth.
In his travels Sargeras came across a planet called “Argus” which was home to a race known as The Eredar. Today, we know these beings as the Draenei that are playable on the Alliance faction. Sargeras found that these creatures were very powerful and wanted to enlist them into the Burning Legion. Sargeras offered the three leaders of the Eredar vast power in exchange for their loyalty. Two of their leaders, Kil’Jaeden and Archimonde accepted this without any hesitation but the third leader Velen was not so sure. After receiving some spiritual guidance he found that Sargeras was promising them lies and they would become twisted beings and bring about great destruction if they followed him. He tried to warn Kil’Jaeden and Archimonde but they would not listen. So Velen and his followers, who would eventually be called the Draenei – which translated to (The Exiled Ones), would flee Argus. They were chased by The Burning Legion along with their new addition of the Eredar people for thousands of years. They eventually found refuge on the planet Draenor were they finally escaped The Burning Legion.
Kil’Jaeden and Archimonde went on to become leaders of the Burning Legion under Sargeras and were given immense power. They and their followers became what was known as Man’ari which meant something that became evil and twisted to the Eredar people. The influence of these Man’ari would eventually cause much of the destruction in Azeroth and ultimately lead to the downfall of Draenor.
Fast forward several thousands of years to the Orcs that lived on Draenor.
Kil’Jaeden had been influencing the actions of the Shadowmoon Clan of Orcs which was, at the time, led by a Shaman by the name of Ner’Zhul.
Kil’jaeden convinced Ner’zhul to war with the Draenei people inhabiting Draenor so he could finally get rid of the Eredar that had fled from The Burning Legion so many thousands of years ago. Ner’Zhul would eventually come to discover that Kil’Jaeden was misleading them but Ner’Zhul’s apprentice Gul’dan would rush to tell Kil’Jaeden of Ner’Zhul’s discovery. Gul’dan was willing to sell out his mentor to Kil’Jaeden in hopes of gain.
Gul’dan’s loyalty to Kil’Jaeden would prove fruitful and Kil’Jaeden offered him the Demonic power of a Warlock, but in exchange Gul’dan would have to unite the orcs under Kil’Jaeden’s influence. Gul’dan gathered Orc forces and became the leader of what would become the original Orcish Horde. To make as many of the orcs as possible follow Kil’Jaeden; Gul’dan offered the various clans of Draenor The Blood of Mannoroth. Mannoroth was a powerful Demon Warrior that was part of The Burning Legion and was a being known as a Pit Lord.
For the most part, all of the Orcs accepted this offer, save for Orgrim Doomhammer of the Blackrock Clan and Durotan and his Frost Wolf Clan, for in an act of defiance after being betrayed; Ner’Zhul had sent word to Durotan to not drink the offering from Gul’dan.
The Orcs that did drink the blood did become more powerful, but the primary effect of drinking this blood was that it made anyone who drank it a slave to The Burning Legion with a maddening blood lust. With this power Kil’Jaeden sent the Orcs to destroy all of the Draenei on Draenor. The Horde was primarily successful having decimated nearly every Draenei on the planet with ease. Unbeknownst to them, Velen had once again escaped with the small remainder of Draenei to hide in Zangarmarsh where they would successfully stay hidden until just recently. Seeing that the Orcs were successful, Kil’Jaeden was confident they would be ready for his next task.
Meanwhile in Azeroth, Sargeras was working his evil as well.
For ages in Azeroth there was a group known as “The Council of Tirisfal” that had selected powerful people to become the “Guardian of Tirisfal”. The Guardian was originally created by The Council when they were working with a spell that could transfer power from several people into one person. Originally this person was known as “The Spearhead” and they would travel with this person and give them their power to fight The Burning Legion. They had done this many times but it never was very successful until there was Alodi, A Mage that would become the first Guardian of Tirisfal. Alodi was the first successful Guardian because he introduced them to a spell that would allow the council to transfer power to the Spearhead from great distances instead of travelling with them. They would use this spell to allow Alodi to banish the evil Dreadlord Kathra’Natir that was tormenting their lands.
Because of the success of this plan, it was decided that Alodi would keep these powers and become The Guardian of Tirisfal and when he would become too old to be the Guardian the power would be passed down to a worthy apprentice. This practice would continue for hundreds of years.
One of the last Guardians of Tirisfal was Aegwynn. She used her power to cause herself to not age and was the Guardian for nearly 500 long years. Aegwynn did not agree with the way The Council operated and for the most part operated by her own will. In doing this, she would seek out any demons she could find and destroy them. Over time, Sargeras took notice to demons of his army being destroyed and began to see Aegwynn as a threat. It was time he took matters into his own hands and he hatched a plan to strengthen his influence over Azeroth. Although the agents of his Burning Legion did not have the power to summon Sargeras to Azeroth, they were able to summon an Avatar of him with a portion of his soul inside it allowing him to control it. Although this was only a fraction of Sargeras’ power. It was still stronger than most anything on Azeroth, but it didn’t have to be the strongest. Aegwynn entered battle with The Avatar of Sargeras without hesitation and was able to defeat it because Sargeras did not put up much of a fight. This was all part of his plan. As the physical manifestation of Sargeras was defeated the piece of his soul that was in the Avatar allowing him to control it poured into Aegwynn to remain dormant until an opportune moment. Aegwynn was cocky and in her hubris from defeated Sargeras, she did notice his spirit infesting her body and went along to bury his body in a tomb deep in the ocean protected by magic so no one could access the potential power left on his body. Many years later Aegwynn decided she would have a child in order to pass on the power of the Guardian to it against The Council’s wishes. She would eventually have this child and name him Medivh.
Sargeras saw this as a golden opportunity and passed into Medivh’s body before he was even bore so he could corrupt him when the powers that Aegwynn had given him would activate upon becoming an adult.
The story of Medivh’s life is for a separate time, but once his powers had unlocked and Sargeras rooted himself in his soul he began to look for a way to destroy all the humans of Azeroth. In the madness created by Sargeras in his mind he saw the Humans as the only thing standing in between him and ultimate power. Eventually Medivh had discovered Draenor and decided to use the Orcs of the horde to help him accomplish his will. He contacted Gul’dan and told him about Azeroth and instructed him that he could capture the world and takes its plentiful resources for the horde, and that if he would assist Medivh in this, he would give him the location of “The Tomb of Sargeras”. He accepted as would be expected of Gul’dan. Gul’dan, with the assistance of his Shadow Council and Medivh in Azeroth was able to construct and open The Dark Portal for the first time. With the Portal open, Gul’dan led the Horde into Azeroth and warred with the Humans of Azeroth. This time would be later known as “The First War”, and during this period of time the Horde would eventually completely destroy the Human kingdom forcing them to flee to Lordaeron and repair their army and gather help from the surrounding races. This process took several years and in that time, The Horde had taken control of much of what is now known as The Eastern Kingdoms. At the end of The First War the Alliance discovered the betrayal of Medivh and set out to kill him for his treachery. Gul’dan found out that they were coming for Medivh and in a panic decided to invade Medivh’s mind to find the location of Sargeras’ Tomb as he had not received this information yet; but alas, Medivh was slain before Gul’dan could finish searching his mind, this caused Gul’dan to enter a deep coma.
Without Gul’dan and his Shadow Council’s influence the Horde lost direction and began fighting amongst themselves. With Gul’dan gone, the current Warchief that was basically just Gul’dan’s puppet, Blackhand was left vulnerable.
Blackhand’s second in command Orgrim Doomhammer did not agree with the direction the Horde was going and took Gul’dan being in a coma as his opportunity to change things. He betrayed his leader Blackhand and became the Warchief of the Horde and Leader of the Blackrock clan. Orgrim took this opportunity to strengthen the Horde and enlisted the likes of the Ogres, Trolls and Goblins to join the Horde. Through the use of an artifact known as “The Demon Soul” the Orcs were also able to enslave a powerful red dragon known as Alexstrasza to fight against her will with the Horde. To top it all off when Gul’dan eventually awoke from his coma, in defense of his life immediately pledged loyalty to the new Warchief and offered him the forces of the dead to aid the Horde against the Alliance. Along with the help of an Ogre Magi from his Shadow Council named Cho’gall after many attempts they were able to raise the dead humans of the destroyed Stormwind city into powerful undead warriors that would be known as the first Death Knights. These immensely powerful undead warriors would become part of the new Horde under Orgrim Doomhammer.
But the Alliance had also recruited more to their ranks as well.
This time the Gnomes of Gnomeregam, the High Elves of Quel’Thalas and the Dwarves of Khaz Modan would join in for the fight against the Horde and in addition the Knights of the Silver Hand was created and the first Paladins came to be to counter the Horde’s Death Knights.
Both the Alliance and the Horde had dramatically improved their forces and they were both making strides in the war until Gul’dan eventually betrayed the Horde one last time. Right before the day of the attack on the Alliance capital, Gul’dan took a good half of the Horde forces with him to finally locate the Tomb of Sargeras leaving Orgrim Doomhammer seriously outnumbered and giving the Alliance time to prepare a devastating retaliation which would ultimately cause the defeat of The Horde in the second war. Though the Horde he left behind had been defeated it appeared Gul’dan was successful in finding the Tomb of Sargeras. He took his most trusted and powerful follwers to enter the tomb with him but instead of receiving the ultimate power he was in search of, he and his followers were massacred by demons that were hiding away in the tomb. All the rest of his followers that did not come into the tomb with him would eventually be wiped out by Orgrim Doomhammer who after retreating from the Alliance followed Gul’dan to put an end to him and take back his forces.
With the Horde scattered and much of their forces heavily diminished the Alliance would have no trouble cleaning up what remained around Lordaeron. The Alliance then laid siege to the Horde’s fortress on Blackrock Mountain. They either killed, enslaves or chased away all the remaining of the Horde on Azeroth and there was one final fight of the Second War at the Dark Portal back to Draenor. The battle was incredibly bloody, and the remainder of the horder was either enslaved or decimated.
Afterwards, the Alliance sent Archmage Khadgar to finish off the Dark Portal, finally destroying the Horde’s primary link to Azeroth.
To insure that another attack would be stopped Khadgar had a fortress built at where the Dark Portal was previously opened. This stronghold was known as Nethergarde Keep.
In the time after The Horde’s defeat in Azeroth one of Gul’dan’s former acolytes Teron Gorefiend came up with a plan that he brought up to Ner’zhul. They would make more Dark Portals to other worlds in hopes of finding ones that wouldn’t put up as good of a fight as the Alliance in order to conquer these other worlds for themselves. To do this Teron Gorefiend required some very powerful magic artifacts that were back on Azeroth as they did not have the aid of the corrupted Medivh this time around and opening so many portals would require more power. These artifacts were The Skull of Gul’dan, The Book of Medivh, the Eye of Dalaran, and the Jeweled Scepter of Sargeras.
Though the Dark Portal was destroyed, small remnants of it remained which was the primary reason Khadgar had to create Nethergarde keep. Although nowhere near as many forces could come through these remnants of the portal, it was still possible for members of the Horde to come over. And they did. Ner’zhul was able to re-open the portal to Azeroth and sent his forces to procure the artifacts. Thinking that this was another invasion, the King of Lordaeron, King Terenas formed an expedition of his strongest followers to travel through the portal and put a stop to this invasion from within Draenor. As he had been there to defend the opening Dark Portal, Khadgar was also part of the invasion team and they headed for Draenor.
The Horde was successful in retrieving the magic objects they required to open more portals and they brought them back to Ner’zhul whom would successfully open these portals. The power from these portals was so great that they began to tear Draenor apart. Seeing the assured destruction of their world, Kilrogg Deadeye, and Grom Hellscream rallied their forces and with panic they made a break for the Dark Portal. While Azeroth was no home for them, Draenor was crumbling around them. They were successful in making their way back over to Azeroth where they would be trapped with no way back. On the other side the expedition from the Alliance decided they had to close the portal so the destruction of Draenor would not cross over into Azeroth, so they all remained behind sacrificing themselves to close the portal once more while Draenor twisted apart around them. Khadgar and the men with him after destroying the portal took refuge in one of the rifts created where they were safe from the destruction of Draenor. The world of Draenor would be twisted and become completely unlivable. A land floating along in the Twisting Nether completely rattled by devastation. This land was nothing like what Draenor was and completely reformed as what we now know as The Outlands.
TagsAhn'Quiraj C'thun Doomhammer draenor Durotan Lore Old Gods orcs Outlands Sargeras Titans Warchief world of warcraft Wow
3632 Views // February 9, 2015