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The orcs are one of the most prolific races on Azeroth. Originally hailing from the harsh, alien world of Draenor, the orcs were once a noble shamanistic people cultivating a mighty tribal society that was centered around survival, regulating themselves through ritualized combat and personal honor. Tragically betrayed by one of their spiritual leaders and delivered into the hands of the Burning Legion, the orc clans fell deep into demonic enslavement and were led into Azeroth as an unholy vanguard of the Legion meant to destroy everything in their path.
Yet, the shamanistic tradition of the orcs managed to rekindle from the ashes, and a young shaman by the name of Thrall arose to become a living symbol of his people's true identity in their darkest hour, causing many of the orcs to rise up against their demon masters and break free from their control. Several of the orcish clans that had existed on Draenor since ancient times reemerged and were united under Thrall's guidance, and the shaman warchief led the orcs out of the Eastern Kingdoms they had been forced to invade and into the continent of Kalimdor, in order to begin a new existence for themselves and their newfound allies. There, they founded the nation of Durotar and the great city of Orgrimmar.
Today, Thrall's orcs are a redeemed people who have reclaimed their destiny from dark influences, fighting no longer for the sake of destruction but for their very right of survival in their adopted world.
To their enemies, they are fearsome and savage adversaries, without parallel in their cunning and ferocity. To their allies, they are a fearless and honorable people, renowned for their strength and persistence. The orcs who followed Thrall to Kalimdor form the largest group of a race that has rediscovered its true spirit, shunning the cruel ways of demonic power for the paths of strength and wisdom. Some orcs still cling to demonic practices, yet their time is fading. When the orcs were freed from the Burning Legion, they experienced a spiritual revolution as the unnatural bloodlust left their bodies, connecting them with states of heart and mind that were common to their ancestors. This new generation of orcs for the most part follows Thrall as he forges ahead to reform the Horde through shamanism and tribal tradition. Still, not all of the orcs are pleased with these movements. They, who are many of the surviving warlocks, renounce all that Thrall proclaims the orcs are and seek to overthrow the shamans anew, in order to retake control of the Horde for themselves.
To orcs, prowess in battle bestows great personal honor on an individual. This notion of honor pervades every echelon of orcish culture, and the loss or gain of honor has equal consequence to all orcs regardless of their stature in society. Even the naming of orcs is temporary until they have performed rites of passage; only when orcs bring honor to themselves and thus to their clan do elders grant them adult names based upon their deeds. Orcs may appear quick to anger but they are tempered by the wisdom of the shamans, who are revered across Horde society. While many in the Alliance still perceive the orcs as brutish or even mindless, they have forged a complex culture embracing many occupations and many different races. No doubt Thrall's leadership aided in bringing this about, yet it is apparent that the Alliance has underestimated the orcs' ability to construct a society that is highly influential in world affairs.
Though prone to fits of berserk rage in warfare, orcs tend to display a curious feral grace that can rival even the finest fencing of an elven noble. They reach physical adulthood quickly, causing them to be among the most populous races on Azeroth despite the destitution they've endured over the previous generation. Their prolific nature is often offset however by the fact that orcs instinctively respond to conflict with a reckless tenacity, to the point that incidents of orcs who fight to the death over trivial issues are not uncommon. Despite this, the orcs of today continue to stand in drastic contrast to those that were enslaved by the Burning Legion, who embodied a bestial and diabolical force which was barely being controlled by warlock magic. Few of these demon-worshiping cults are left nowadays for the remnants of such groups are being hunted down not only by the Alliance, but by the Horde itself.
The orcs of Draenor had lived in a noble shamanistic society, roaming in tribes the grasslands of Nagrand on their dusty world of Draenor, for over 5,000 years. They lived in peace with the draenei and were at war with the ogres, from which the orcs are speculated to have evolved. Eventually, the presence of the draenei drew the Burning Legion to Draenor.
The Rise of the HordeEdit
After investigating of the world, the powerful demon lord Kil'jaeden tricked the head shaman Ner'zhul by appearing as a spirit of an orc ancestor. He convinced Ner'zhul that the draenei were conspiring against the orcs, and were planning on attacking. Ner'zhul began raiding the draenei hoping to be the savior of his race.
With the mass murder of the draenei, the elements refused to aid the orcs in their war. Believing that the elements had turned on them, the orcs turned to Ner'zhul. He went to Oshu'gun to speak with the spirits directly and learned the truth about Kil'jaeden. Refusing to help Kil'jaeden any further, Ner'zhul was replaced by his apprentice Gul'dan as Spiritual Leader of the clans. Gul'dan cared little for the orcs and readily agreed to follow Kil'jaeden in exchange for more power.
After being taught by Kil'jaeden, Gul'dan established Warlock and Necromancy schools to replace the shaman powers the orcs had lost. To consolidate his power, Gul'dan united the clans into the Horde under Blackhand as Warchief and formed the Shadow Council to pull the strings from the shadows. Over the next few years, the entire race was corrupted by fel energy and began turning green.
On the eve of the final assault on the draenei at Shattrath, Gul'dan presented the clan chieftains with Mannoroth's blood. The resulting bloodlust allowed them to easily overrun the city, ending the war. Believing the orcs to have fulfilled their purpose, Kil'jaeden abandoned them. Completely devoured by their demonic bloodlust and without new enemies to fight, many orc clans began fighting amongst themselves. Petty rivalries escalated into full scale bloodbaths, and total chaos descended upon orcish society. The few remaining draenei took advantage of this and started a guerrilla campaign that continues to this day.
By using the promise of new lands to conquer on worlds other than Draenor, the Shadow Council was able to form a tenuous unity within the Horde. Gul'dan and his warlocks began probing the Twisting Nether, desperately searching for new worlds within easy reach before the clans' bloodlust exploded beyond control.
One night, an extremely powerful entity touched the thoughts of Gul'dan. Identifying himself as a servant of Kil'jaeden's master, Medivh enticed Gul'dan with the power of Sargeras' Tomb. He also presented images of the vibrant lands of Azeroth. The Shadow Council, despite the debate over Medivh's true intentions, decided to do Medivh's bidding and spent several months constructing the Dark Portal.
The Invasion of AzerothEdit
With time and much effort the orcish warlocks were able to expand the rift enough to allow orcs to squeeze through. Though their first scouts were driven mad, either by the rift itself or by what they had seen, the council was able to confirm that on the other side of the rift was the world Medivh had shown them. A small contingent of orcs was sent through the stabilized rift, now known as the Dark Portal, to scout and construct a base of operations.
The caution urged by the Shadow Council fell on deaf ears when the clan chieftains learned of how seemingly weak the native humans of the area were. Bloodlust soon overcame the Horde, and they launched a preemptive strike against the most powerful establishment of humans in the area, the Kingdom of Stormwind. Lead by Cho'gall of the Twilight's Hammer Clan and Kilrogg Deadeye of the Bleeding Hollow Clan, this attack ended in a humiliating defeat for the Horde. Each chieftain blamed the other for this failure, and the Horde split into two factions. The Shadow Council attempted to reunite the Horde, but could not act directly, and so they chose an avatar to act as their puppet ruler: Blackhand the Destroyer was named Warchief of all the Horde once again.
Under Blackhand's iron fist, order was restored. It was then that Medivh once again made contact with Gul'dan. Medivh seemed even more powerful, but less sane. Medivh ordered Gul'dan to have the Horde destroy the Kingdom of Stormwind, and make Medivh the new ruler of the humans. Gul'dan initially refused to do Medivh's bidding; after all, the Horde had a new target and Medivh's usefulness, in Gul'dan's eyes, had run out. Desperate to see his plans succeed, Medivh tempted Gul'dan by promising to reveal the location of the Tomb of Sargeras, the lord of the Burning Legion and Kil'jaeden's master. And so the First War between the Horde and the humans of Azeroth occurred, ending with the destruction of the Kingdom of Stormwind.
Near the beginning of that conflict the Frostwolf Clan, one of very few clans of orcs that had rejected the demonic gifts of Kil'jaeden, was exiled to Azeroth and its leader Durotan was murdered by Gul'dan's forces as a warning. His infant son was left for dead but was taken in by a nobleman from Lordaeron fleeing the carnage of Stormwind. The Frostwolves, leaderless, fled to the far northern mountains. Toward the end of the war, a surgical strike was launched by the humans to kill the treacherous Medivh. As Medivh was assaulted, Gul'dan felt the psychic trauma waves that Medivh emanated and realized that his chance to obtain the power of Sargeras was about to slip out of his grasp. He entered Medivh's mind and attempted to steal the location of the Tomb of Sargeras while Medivh was weakened and distracted. It was at this moment that Medivh died, and Gul'dan, having been in his mind at the time of death, was thrown into a coma.
When he awoke, Gul'dan learned of a major power shift within the horde. Blackhand the Destroyer had been overthrown by Orgrim Doomhammer after he had learned of Blackhand's role in corrupting the Horde. Doomhammer was not as gullible or easily swayed as Blackhand had been, and quickly discovered the Shadow Council's presence in orcish affairs. He completely eradicated the Council through accusations of treason. Gul'dan survived only by 'swearing' allegiance to Doomhammer, and by promising to provide a vast undead army for the Horde's use. He formed the Stormreaver Clan and began the process of re-animating the corpses of fallen knights with the spirits of the fallen members of the Shadow Council.
These new Death Knights, along with other fel projects(such as the capture of the Alexstrasza), gave the Horde enough strength to advance steadily north despite facing the might of the unprecedented Alliance of all the human nations (Lordaeron, Stromgarde, Kul Tiras, Gilneas, Alterac and the magical forces of Dalaran). The elven nation of Quel'Thalas sent support to the Alliance, and after the Horde took their beloved lands of Khaz Modan, the dwarves and gnomes gladly joined the ranks of the Alliance. When the Kingdom of Alterac betrayed the Alliance, the victory of the Horde seemed inevitable, but the Horde was to suffer a betrayal of their own.
With victory in sight, Gul'dan convinced Cho'gall of the Twilight's Hammer clan that he knew the location of the Tomb of Sargeras. Together, along with the Stormreaver clan, they abandoned their posts and set out to claim the demonic power for their own. This loss of nearly a third of the Horde brought their campaign to a standstill at the doorstep of Lordaeron. Doomhammer, furious with the insubordination at such a critical time, deployed a large portion of his own forces to attack the deserting clans and their leaders. This allowed the Alliance forces to rally and crush the Horde while they were divided. With the destruction of the Dark Portal the Second War ended. Although a number of powerful men in the kingdom of Lordaeron wanted the orcs rounded up and executed, King Terenas ignored them and had the orcs placed in internment camps with hopes that they would one day lose their bloodlust. There, cut off from their demonic rulers and with no way to replenish their fel stamina, the orcs languished and eventually slipped into lethargy.
Several years after the Second War, Thrall, the son of Durotan, escaped from his cruel human master Aedelas Blackmoore at the Durnholde internment camp and set out to find the rest of his people. In his travels he encountered Grom Hellscream, who along with his Warsong Clan had been hiding out in the wastelands of Azeroth in hopes of another chance at conquest. Thrall became friends with Grom, and eventually met Orgrim Doomhammer, who had escaped from the humans' prison several years before. From Doomhammer he learned about his father and the Frostwolf clan, and the betrayal of his father by the Shadow Council. After learning this, Thrall made his way to the exiled Frostwolf clan stronghold, where the shaman Drek'Thar taught him about the orcs' noble heritage and how they had been corrupted by demons. Thrall swore to free his people from the chains that bound them, and as Drek'Thar's new student, embarked upon the path of the shaman. Together with Grom and Doomhammer, Thrall successfully launched attack after attack against the internment camps to free the captive orcs. It was difficult to rouse the orcs from their lethargy, but Thrall was able to prove to them that their destiny was not yet at its end, and the clans rallied behind the new Horde. Unfortunately, during the attack on the last internment camp, Doomhammer was struck down. In tribute to the fierce and proud orc, Thrall donned Doomhammer's black armor and the hammer which bore his name to lead his people from their captivity. This internment camp was later captured by the Horde, renamed in honor of Doomhammer, and is now the Horde outpost of Hammerfall in the Arathi Highlands.
Thrall knew the human nations would not stand idly by and let the Horde regroup or settle down. Fortunately for Thrall, a prophet appeared in the form of a raven and advised him to leave Azeroth for the distant land of Kalimdor. Thrall, having no better alternatives, captured some human ships and set sail for the new land, taking all of his orcs out of Lordaeron. During the journey, the orcs helped a tribe of trolls escape from their sinking island. The Darkspear trolls were immensely grateful for Thrall's assistance and swore allegiance to his new Horde. When they arrived in Kalimdor, they were greeted by Cairne Bloodhoof and his tauren. The orcs helped Cairne fend off the centaurs, and in return, he told the orcs the location of the Oracle. The Warsong clan however, was sent to Ashenvale to cut lumber as punishment for attacking the humans without permission. There they battled the Night elves. The Pit lord Mannoroth took advantage or the fact that the orcs were losing to empower them with his blood, and thus bring them back under his control. Thrall allied with the human sorceress Jaina Proudmoore at the indication of the Prophet (who was actually Medivh). They captured Hellscream and turned him back to normal. Thrall then went with him to confront the Mannoroth. Mannoroth quickly subdued Thrall, but Grom was able to kill the demon, though it cost him his life, and free the orcs from their demonic master.
The founding of OrgrimmarEdit
With the Battle of Mount Hyjal over, and with it the immediate threat to the world, Thrall set out to found the new orcish homeland in Kalimdor. He named the land Durotar in honor of his father, and founded the city of Orgrimmar in honor of Orgrim Doomhammer. With the orcs' new allies, the tauren, becoming part of the Horde and with the support of the Lordaeron survivors led by Jaina Proudmoore, Thrall was able to build quickly. However, this was not to last. Grand Admiral Daelin Proudmoore, Jaina's father, arrived in Kalimdor (having left before the war was over to look for any surviving forces) and launched an attack against the fledgling orc nation. During the initial assault the Darkspear trolls lost their new home on the Echo Isles and with the help of the Mok'Nathal half-orc Rexxar, came to live with the orcs in Durotar. The witch doctor Vol'jin pledged the tribe's eternal allegiance to the Horde in return.
Thrall, not knowing what humans had attacked him, initially suspected Jaina's forces, but her loyalty was proven when she helped the orcs destroy the invading forces of her father Admiral Proudmoore.
The Burning CrusadeEdit
When word reached Warchief Thrall that the Dark Portal had reopened, he immediately gathered his advisors to plan an expedition through it, eager to find new insights into the history of his people on the other side. After the forces of the Horde, alongside the Alliance, repelled an invasion through the Dark Portal from the Burning Legion, their combined forces pressed through it into the shattered world Outland, the remnants of the homeworld of the orcs, Draenor. There, the Horde expedition, led by Thrall's loyal advisor Nazgrel, founded the outpost of Thrallmar.
On Hellfire Peninsula, the Horde came into contact with the Fel Horde - orcs corrupted by the blood of a pit lord and the servants of the ruler of Outland, Illidan. The Fel Horde was lead by none other than Kargath Bladefist, chieftain of the Shattered Hand clan and one of the greatest orc heroes of the younger history. The Horde forces stormed the stronghold of the Fel Horde, the Hellfire Citadel, conquered it and killed Kargath Bladefist. His fall to corruption and death was a heavy blow to the orcs, but they nonetheless honor the memory of the orc Kargath once was, as well as the lesson learned from his downfall.
However, the fel orcs weren't the only orcs on Outland. The Horde also met the Mag'har - a group of brown-skinned orcs who completely escaped the demonic corruption that affected the rest of their race. Among these orcs were individuals like Jorin Deadeye, son of the legendary Kilrogg Deadeye; Dranosh Saurfang, son of Varok Saurfang and the son of Grom Hellscream, Garrosh Hellscream. The Horde allied with the Mag'har and Thrall himself convinced Garrosh to return to Azeroth as an advisor to the Warchief.
Wrath of the Lich KingEdit
In addition to his commitments as leader of the Horde, Thrall was a dedicated shaman with close ties to the elements. When he noticed severe disturbances in the elemental spirits, Thrall knew that he had to step down as warchief in order to investigate the situation lest all of Azeroth fall into chaos. Given his options, Thrall believed that Garrosh was the clear choice for warchief. But the impulsive young Hellscream is much more aggressive than his diplomatic predecessor. With the equally tempestuous King Varian Wrynn back on the throne of Stormwind, it seems likely that the orcs will need their famed strength now more than ever.
Garrosh sought more land and resources for his Horde. Under his leadership, Horde soldiers thundered across the realm in the wake of the devastation of the Cataclysm. The Alliance meanwhile, under Varian Wrynn, didn't use the disaster to gain a military advantage.
Mists of PandariaEdit
After Theramore's Fall, all out war erupted between the Alliance and Horde in every corner of the world. Since then, heroes of the Alliance and the Horde have tested their mettle against the might of the sha, the Thunder King, and each other, but neither side could have predicted the boundless atrocities the Horde's warchief would commit.
Garrosh Hellscream's reckless thirst for power has led him to do the unthinkable: from beneath the Vale of Eternal Blossoms, he has seized the desiccated heart of an Old God to use as a tool of war, unleashing horrors upon the sacred valley. The brazen warchief has also turned against other members of the Horde to create a purely orcish force of his own. Now this "true Horde", composing of Garrosh's most loyal and fanatical followers, is amassing strength within Orgrimmar's iron ramparts. With Garrosh bent on total victory, he plans to demonstrate the potency of the true Horde by conquering not just the Alliance but the whole of Azeroth. His machinations were stopped in the Siege of Orgrimmar and Garrosh was arrested as a war criminal by the forces of Azeroth.
While some orcs have stood by Garrosh's side, the majority of orcs stood with the rebellion against Garrosh's vision of a "pure" Horde.
Orcs are approximately 6 feet tall, with muscular physiques. Males often have very long and unusual facial hair. Females tend to have eclectic hair styles and unusual piercings.
An orc's face would be described by some races of Azeroth as monstrous, their hideousness comparable to that of trolls. Orcs have large heavy jaws from which protrude sharp, tusk-like teeth, heavy brows, a broad and flat snout-like nose, and pointed ears. The number, size and position of orcish tusks and teeth are particularly variable, much like their troll allies. Kilrogg Deadeye, for example, has been portrayed with twin sets of tusks.
Orcs come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from the short, pitiable peon to the hulking grunt. The average male Orc height is seven feet tall, while the females stand at an average of six to six and a half. Males, particularly warriors, are often hunched to variable degrees, though others stand straight and tall, such as Grom Hellscream. A fair amount of sexual dimorphism exists between the orc sexes, with male orcs possessing more extreme orcish physical characteristics, most noticeably broader shoulders and larger tusks. Yet all the orcs (with the exception of the oft-ignored peons) are large, powerfully built creatures when compared to their human counterparts, warriors and spell-casters alike, and regardless of gender. Old orcs such as Drek'thar and Drak'thul, however, are often frail and wiry, though not all allow themselves to weaken with age, such as Varok Saurfang.
Orcs who drink the blood of a pit lord quickly grow in body mass and strength, and even the weakest of these fel orcs is a deadly foe. This unnatural power was apparently not carried down to the later, green-skinned generations of the New Horde. Fel orcs often have much longer teeth, becoming nothing short of tusks, as well as spines erupting from their body. Dire orcs are gargantuan, severely-hunched orcs also displaying many of these traits, although they are not all fel orcs.
Orcish society has always been characterized by hardy and rugged living. As a result they are staunch pragmatists, and never shy from killing if it will protect the future of the orc or his clan. All orcs, regardless of gender or station, are expected to pull their own weight and weakness is considered a grave liability. The weakness of one contaminates the strength of all, and it is punishable by the greatest humiliation an orc can receive: exile. Different orc clans however have different personalities; Thrall and the Frostwolves are notable for having brought a measure of mercy and compassion to the Horde, typically seen in Thrall's kinder treatment towards peons, who were once viewed as a despicable sub-race. On the other hand, clans such as the Warsong remain who still cling to the rigid, spartan beliefs valued in the original Horde as it was first established on Draenor.
Yet regardless of their clan affiliations, orcs prize honor over all other things in life — first to bring honor to their clan (and by extension, the Horde) and secondly bringing honor to the self and to their sense of self-worth as an individual. Likewise, hospitality is considered one of the greatest honors that can be bestowed. The orcs and tauren have become fast and unswerving allies because the tauren gladly offered the orcs shelter in a strange new land as well as their assistance regardless of the cost to themselves.
There is no discrimination between genders in orcish society. Women are able to pursue the same career choices as men, rise to positions of power and are even expected to answer to the call for battle just as men are. Strength (both physical and mental), courage, initiative and independence are prized traits in all orcs. Traditionally, children are seen as children of the parents, but are raised as children of the clan. However, because of the newly unified Horde and the current diaspora of individual orc families creating homes and settling down in various areas around Durotar, the Barrens and beyond, this typical clan scheme has been changing, and life is beginning to become more centered around the nuclear family rather than the greater clan.
One tradition of the orcs on Draenor was a ceremony for newborns of the clan. The infant's parents would stand in a body of water near the encampment with the entire clan observing from shore. The mother would hand the baby to the father, who would then raise the child to the sky and proclaim the child as his, through himself and his father, and present the baby for the clan's blessings. The clan chieftain would then hold the baby and declare the infant under their protection, with the hope that they bring honor and glory to the clan. The chieftain's heir would then give a blessing. Finally the Elder Shaman would ask for the blessing of the elemental and wild spirits, and the hope that the ancestors would watch over the newborn.
In some clans, if the child appears sickly or frail, they will instead be drowned, likely by the father. A common expression of scorn is that an orc "should have been drowned at birth". This is likely the reason that the parents would stand in the water when presenting a newborn. The Blackrock clan and Bonechewer clan were noted for doing this without any qualms. The Frostwolf clan however, were known to have rejected such cruel practices.
Orcs begin weapons training at age 6, when they are nearly the size of an adult human. When they reach 12, they are considered strong enough to fight and allowed to participate in hunting parties. This is also the age they become eligible for the om'riggor rite of adulthood and for the courting hunt, making them full-grown adults.
Wolves are a major symbol of the orcs, serving as guards, scouts, pets, partners and mounts. Many such wolves came from Draenor. Horde shamans can speak to them and summon spectral wolves and many serve a giant wolf spirit.
Orcs have an acute sense of smell, so much so that they can distinguish others without the need for visual confirmation.
Learning to speak with the elemental spirits of Draenor was a pivotal achievement in destiny the Orc clans. Many clans claim the mythical "First Shaman" arose from their ranks, but the truth is that no one is sure of his or her allegiance.
rcs instinctively revere the rugged forces of the natural elements, and as such, Shamans are held in high regard. They generally have a close relationship with the nature elements and angering them is considered a grave offense. Over the ages, shaman like Thrall have communed with these spirits and, through patience and dedication, learned to soothe roaring infernos, bring rain to sun-scorched lands, and otherwise temper the elementals' ruinous influence on the world of Azeroth. Since Durotar is a barren place with little water or plant life, orcs are reliant on shamans to negotiate with the elementals to provide necessities such as drinking water from fallen rain or fire to warm their hearths.
In orcish culture, any shaman that has been spoken to by the spirits is given equal respect and honor regardless of age or experience.
The practice of slavery has historically existed in orc society, and while in modern times it seems to occur less, the practice still continues among the orcs, though it is unclear how widespread it is. Despite Thrall's work to ensure that no orc would be cast into slavery ever again, a small number of orcs have been found enslaved by other orcs in the Horde, for example Bloodeye Redfist. It appears that some orcs are also willing to enslave members of other races, both Horde and Alliance. Many of these slaves were once criminals whom were brought to justice. It is unclear why the orcs still allow slavery, and to what extent, or why they choose to ignore it.
The fact that the Crimson Ring, a gladiatorial circuit that very often includes slaves and is described as underground, seem to indicate that using slavery for pit fighting is a discouraged practice (due to the nature of the matches, which many times include battles to the death) but their ability to openly practice and train in Horde cities without persecution seems to imply that if the slaves are offenders of the Horde, the slavery will be overlooked. Surprisingly the Crimson Ring's gladiatorial death matches and the enslaved gladiators are in the open at times; some of the tournaments taking place in Orgrimmar's and other Horde arenas. Even Bloodeye was well known enough to be described as a "champion of the orcs".
Orcs know Orcish and Common. Orcs tend to only favor the languages of their allies, for example Goblin, Taur-ahe, Low Common, Zandali, Gutterspeak, Pandaren, and Thalassian in recent times as well. Before the slaughter of the draenei on Draenor, there were orcs who learned Draenei to facilitate trade between the two races.
Separate tribes had variations of dialect that differed so much that orcs could not understand each other unless they spoke the common tongue. The main form of the Orcish language used by all the tribes is known as common Orcish.
Relations with other racesEdit
In the newly established Horde, the orcs have strong ties to the recent race members of the Horde who are originally from Kalimdor. The ties between the orcs, tauren, and jungle trolls are unquestionable. In the aftermath of the Third War, Thrall, Cairne, and Vol'jin reluctantly allowed the Forsaken to join the Horde ranks, and with the reopening the Dark Portal the Horde recruited a fifth race to its ranks, the blood elves. After the Shattering goblins also joined the ranks of the Horde, with the pandaren joining after Pandaria became unshrouded by mists. Although the Horde has seven notable races, the Horde also counts smaller organizations as its members, notably the Mok'nathal and Stonemaul ogres as well as other various groups.
Recently, Thrall has tried to establish a connection to the Ironforge dwarves in order to minimize wars between the two races. This can be seen when adventurers are taken into the Blackrock Depths to find the daughter of Magni Bronzebeard. However, it is safe to assume the dwarves will not improve relations anytime soon due to their current affiliation with the Alliance. Either way, this mission proves to be a failure since the princess refuses to return to Ironforge. In the Wrath of the Lich King, the Horde becomes allied with the Taunka — an ancient offshoot of the Tauren — and the Tuskarr. The Taunka are Horde specific but the tuskarr are a naturally neutral race. Orcs have a long history of violence with humans, though they grudgingly respect their strength and some still cling to old hatreds even despite the fact that they fought alongside each other during the Third War. However, while they don't like humans generally, the orcs do respect their own leader Jaina Proudmoore, especially since she had chosen to side with them over her father.
rcs are divided into clans. Each clan has a different culture, tradition or behavior which sets them apart from the other clans and often also gives them their name. The Warsong clan for example is named because of the rhythmic songs they chant in battle, while the Shattered Hand clan is named for the tradition of their warriors to cut of their own hand and replace it with a weapon.
Every orc clan is led by a chieftain, while the leader of all clans is called Warchief. Thrall and Garrosh Hellscream are former Warchiefs of the New Horde, the current being Vol'jin, notable for being the first non-orc to hold the position. The chieftain is usually the strongest member of the clan and there are two ways of becoming a chieftain. Either you challenge the old chieftain and beat him in a Mak'gora or you inherit the status of chieftain.
While there are still many different clans in the Horde, they don't live as strictly separated as they once did. However, some clans still maintain a large amount of individuality and separate themselves from the other clans, like Warsong or Dragonmaw.
Although there are many different clans, the strongest and most important clans were limited to fourteen. The other smaller clans never reached the power or importance of these main clans.
Subraces and clansEdit
- Chaos orcs
- Dire orcs
- Fel orcs
- Tainted orcs
- Mag'har orcs
- Pale orcs
- Blackrock orcs
- Dragonmaw orcs
- Shadowmoon orcs