Saturday, September 12, 2009

Warcraft Race Origins: Orcs

The next stop on our travels through the story behind World of Warcraft's playable races is Draenor, the ancient home world of the Orcs.

The Orcs of the Horde trace their lineage to the plains of Nagrand in the world of Draenor, now known as Outland. Throughout their early existence, the Orcs were a shamanistic, tribal race. Though they were fierce warriors, they were generally peaceful unless roused to battle.

Sadly, the fate of the Orcs took a turn for the worse when the demonic Burning Legion arrived in Draenor. Led astray by Orcish shaman Ner'zhul, the Orcs fell under the influence of the Legion's Fel Magic in the form of the Blood Curse. The Blood Curse, brought on by drinking the blood of a powerful, demonic Pit Lord caused the Orcs to become aggressive and warlike. Furious with blood lust, the Orcs began to rampage across Draenor, cutting down many races including the benevolent Draenei.

Once there were no more enemies on Draenor to be cut down, the Orcs turned to infighting and nearly destroyed themselves. In an effort to create peace between the different Orc war bands, Orcish spiritual leader Gul'dan, with the assistance of the Shadow Council, began searching for worlds beyond Draenor which the Orcs could band together to conquer. Eventually, Gul'dan's search was rewarded when, through the help of the human sorcerer Medivh, the Orcs managed to find a rift (the Dark Portal) through which they could enter the world of Azeroth.

Their blood lust renewed by the discovery of a new world to pillage, the Orcs flooded through the Dark Portal and began laying siege to human settlements across Azeroth. Many battles were fought with victories laid at the feet of both sides. Slowly, but surely, however, the Orcs began to push back the humans even despite the assistance of their new Dwarven, Gnomish, and Night Elf allies. The Orcs were on the verge of crushing the Alliance when Gul'dan diverted a large band of Orcish forces to pursue the demonic power he believed to be locked away in the Tomb of Sargeras. Between the loss of Gul'dan's Orcs and the forces diverted by other leaders to pursue them, the Orcs opened themselves to an Alliance counterattack and were routed.

Following their defeat, the Orcs were captured by the humans and placed into internment camps. An Orc named Thrall managed to escape internment and rallied with hidden bands of Orcs who had evaded capture. Thrall learned of the Orcs noble, shamanistic past and, as he led raids on various internment camps, expressed his interest in completely cleansing the Orcs of all demonic influence.

Thrall's "New Horde" quickly grew in power, eventually bringing the Darkspear Trolls and the Tauren into the fold. After the construction of Ogrimmar, named after the Orc who showed Thrall the ways of shamanism Ogrim Doomhammer, the Orcs could finally claim to be a civilized force in Azeroth.

As the Orcs of the Horde move forward, they face countless challenges. Principal amongst these hurdles is the task of overcoming the prejudices which linger on the heals of the Orcs demonically influenced past. Additionally, internal enemies such as the Shadow Council have resurfaced to threaten the Orcs' newly found stability. No one knows what fate awaits the Orcs as the events of the Cataclysm unfold. It will be interesting to see if Thrall's "New Horde" is fit to face the challenges that certainly lie ahead.

Warcraft Race Origins: Gnomes
Warcraft Race Origins: Trolls
Warcraft Race Origins: Night Elves
Warcraft Race Origins: Tauren
Warcraft Race Origins: Humans
Warcraft Race Origins: Dwarves
Warcraft Race Origins: Forsaken
Warcraft Race Origins: Draenei
Warcraft Race Origins: Blood Elves
Warcraft Race Origins: Worgen
Warcraft Race Origins: Goblins

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