This is the first Warcraft lore tl;dr on the internet to use nesting.
The top level features four 80-word summaries (click to expand).

  • The 3rd level breaks them into events.
  • Total: 4 summaries > 29 statements > 240 events.


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Chapter 1: Mythos

The origins of Azeroth, and its first -yet most decisive- stand against the Legion.


Chapter 1 tl;dr (click to expand): The titans shape Azeroth after banishing the Elementals & the Old Gods, and empower a few species to guard it. After ~15,000 years, members of the elf race discover arcane magic and mess with it, attracting a Burning Legion invasion with its energies. The Legion is stopped, but Azeroth is shattered into several continents.

Before millenia

  • The first known titan to have awakened is Aman’Thul. He started touring the Great Dark in search of others of his kind, giving rise to the Pantheon.
  • Led by passion and benevolence, they would since shape a million worlds while looking for other nascest titans.
  • The Pantheon maintained order in the Great Dark by constantly repelling the demonic races of the Twisting Nether.
  • Sargeras and his apprentice Aggramar constituted the Pantheon’s main effort in containing the demonic threats.
  • No matter how many demons Sargeras killed, they would seem to respawn in the Nether, so he decided to banish them all into a confind prison he named Mardum. Demons can be permanently extinguished only if killed in the Nether itself, but the titans hadn’t known.
  • The Pantheon’s research about the evil they encountered revealed a far more sinister threat, the void lords, who wanted to consume all existence. However, these villains have no physical presence and can only influence the the tangible universe indirectly.
  • No one knew the full extent of the void lords’ threat until Sargeras found a World Soul infested by wicked, parasitic creatures (the Old Gods) which had sunken their tentacles very deep into the planet’s crust and started corrupting it from the inside out. After interrogating demons who had dwelt on the planet, Sargeras came to learn that these abominations were the manifestation of the void lords’ will.
  • If left unchecked, the the dark titan that rises from such a corrupted World Soul wouldn't only act as the void lords’ foothold in the tangible universe, but would also have the power to devour existence itself at its fingertips.
  • In his fury, Sargeras struck the corrupted World Soul with his enormous sword, utterly obliterating it. However, when he met with the Pantheon, he was met by disagreement and disgrace; they all insisted that the World Soul could've been saved. When he failed to convince them about the Void’s impending danger, he was disappointed, and walked away.
  • That was the last time the Pantheon and Sargeras would meet as friends.
  • Before the Pantheon arrived on Azeroth, it was battlefield of the planets' elementals who had fallen into chaos after Azeroth's World Soul exhausted its spirit element (the 5th element, which grants tranquility). Ragnaros the Firelord, Therazane the Stonemother, Al’Akir the Windlord and Neptulon the Tidehunter had fought with the armies of their elemental children for the conquest of Azeroth for ages.
  • The elemental lords kept fighting until the void lords’ manifestation plagued the planet’s surface, giving birth to the Old Gods and their Black Empire, which consisted of the sentient races they spawned: the n’raqi (the faceless ones) and the aqir (insectoids).
  • For the first time ever, the elemental lords finally united to stand against the common enemy, but gradually found themselves outnumbered, and were eventually defeated and enslaved by the Old Gods.
  • When the Pantheon first found Azeroth, they found in it a World Soul more radiant than any they had ever seen, and they decided to end the conflict and restore peace to it by forging armies out of rock and stone to fight for their cause (as they could’ve damaged the planet with their colossal forms). Those races became known as the titan-forged.
  • A few select titan-forged were imbued with titanic powers by the Pantheon members themselves, who would act as leaders for their titan-forged brethren in the duty of reclaiming and protecting Azeroth. Those leaders became known as the keepers.
Keeper(s)Imbued by Titan
Highkeeper Ra & Keeper OdynAman'Thul, the Highfather of the Pantheon
Keeper FreyaEonar, the Titan patron of all life
Keepers Loken & MimironNorgannon, the Titan lore keeper and master­magician
ArchaedasKhaz’goroth, the Titan shaper and forger of the world
Keepers Thorim & HodirGolganneth
Keeper TyrAggramar
  • Using the massive powers granted by the titans, the keepers and their armies successfully defeated the thundering armies of the enslaved elemental lords, who could not be killed permanently as they were a fundamental part of Azeroth, so they were instead banished into the Elemental Plane.
ElementElemental LordBanishment (within the Elemental Plane)
FireRagnarosThe Firelands
EarthTherazaneDeepholm
AirAl'AkirThe Skywall
WaterNeptulonThe Abyssal Maw
  • The titan-forged now focused all their efforts on the Old Gods, but still couldn’t defeat Y’Shaarj’s. And so, titan Aman’Thul reached with his own hand from the sky to pull the Old God from the planet’s crust. However, a huge wound was left behind, and thus it was decided to imprison the Old Gods, lest risk Azeroth’s destruction.
  • Under the titans' watch, the keepers and other titan-forged shaped Azeroth into one big continent, which would later become known as Kalimdor.
  • At the center of ancient Kalimdor, the raging chasm of arcane radiation left after Y’Shaarj’s removal was mended until it settled into a calm lake later known as the Well of Eternity, which would act as a fountain of life for the continent.
  • Once the keepers became satisfied with the world’s shape, they turned back into their cities of Ulduar, Uldum and Uldaman, where they would indulge in their personal affairs and not appear again for ages to come.
  • The keepers did not show up again until keeper Tyr helped five especially brilliant proto-dragons against Galakrond, a cannibalist proto-dragon who had grown too big that he threatened the ecosystem. When the five proto-dragons proved their worthiness by defeating Galakrond, the keepers imbued them with fractions of the powers they had previously received from the titans themselves.
DragonflightDragon AspectHonorable titlePower/DomainPower of titan
Bronze NozdormuTimeless OneGuarding timeAman'Thul, the Highfather of the Pantheon
RedAlexstraszaLife Binder
Dragonqueen
Guarding all lifeEonar, the Titan patron of all life
GreenYsera (Alexstrasza's
younger sister)
The DreamerGuarding the
Emerald Dream
Eonar, the Titan patron of all life
BlueMalygosSpellweaverGuarding magicNorgannon, the Titan lore keeper and master­magician
BlackNeltharion (Deathwing)Earth Warder
Guarding earth
& its deep places
Khaz’goroth, the Titan shaper and forger of the world
  • Thus, the keepers went back about their business, and the five Aspects would become Azeroth’s sole frontline guardians.
  • After quitting the Pantheon and meditating alone for so long, Sargeras became firmly convinced that creation itself was fundamentally flawed, and that the only way to save it was by purging it with fire.
  • To help him accomplish his goal, Sargeras shattered Maradum, setting all the demons free on the condition of joining his Burning Crusade. The fel energy flux released from the explosion engulfed his body with chaotic fires, which would define his form ever after.
  • When Sargeras and the Pantheon met again, he offered them the choice of joining the Burning Crusade, or being extinguished alongside the void lords’ creations.
  • Aman’Thul tried to bring Sargeras back to reason by informing him about Azeroth (the World Soul) and all the potential it had in defeating the void lords. Sargeras listened carefully, but then did not hesitate to unleash his fury upon his brethren.
  • The battle between Sargeras and the Pantheon raged near Nihilam until Sargeras successfully obliterated all of the titans’ bodies, although their souls managed to survive and secretly escape by Norgannon’s sorcery.
  • With heaps savage demons at his disposal, Sargeras needed followers with intellect and a strategic vision to act as his army generals, which he found in the eredar race who dwelt on the planet Argus.
  • Of the eredar’s three leaders, Sargeras succeeded in getting Archimonde and Kil’jaeden to join his cause. However, the eredar who escaped his corruption and devious plan were led by Velen, by the help of the naaru, and settled on Draenor. They became known as the draenei, or “exiled ones”.

-16,000

  • This might be Azeroth’s earliest major conflict, where two empires clash.
  • The empire of Zul (AKA Zandalari/Zandalar empire) was a coalition of troll tribes that rose to stand against the expanding aqir empire.
  • The aqir’s defeat left them dismembered, with the fleeing survivors forming the empires of Ahn’Qiraj in the Southwest (now in Silithus), Azjul’Nerub in the North (now in Dragonblight) and Manti'vess.
  • It was also around this time that the humans descended from the vrykul (Dragonflayer clan), as seen in Quest: The Echo of Ymiron.

-15,000

  • A tribe of dark trolls settled along the shores of the Well of Eternity at the heart of ancient Kalimdor.
  • Over generations, the arcane energies emanating from the Well transformed them into a new race of highly intelligent beings.
  • The new race called themselves “Kaldorei” (“Children of the Stars”) or night elves.
  • The Well granted them immortality, and they befriended demigod Cenarius, Lord of the Forest.
  • They were led by a loved queen, Azshara.

-10,000 (War of the Ancients)

  • The night elves’ queen, Azshara, grew biased towards her favorite servants whom she called the Quel’dorei or “Highborne”.
  • The Highborne embraced vanity and elitism, and they came to be envied and disliked by their brethren.
  • At her command, the Highborne went on to study the strange energies emanating from the Well, which they eventually managed to harness and use.
  • Despite warnings from Cenarius and other night elves, and although they agreed that magic was inherently dangerous if handled irresponsibly, Azshara and her Highborne began to practice their spellcraft with reckless abandon.
  • The magical currents emanating from the reckless practice spiraled through the Great Dark Beyond until they reached Sargeras.
  • Aware of the Well's existence, Sargeras was consumed by an insatiable hunger, and he began a mission to invade Azeroth by alluring Azshara and her Highborne through their lust for magic.
  • As they succumbed to Sargeras' proposal, and even began worshipping him, Azshara and the Highborne began channeling a demonic portal at the bottom of the Well through which the Legion's forces, and Sargeras himself, could walk into Azeroth.
  • As the portal was open, the demons started making their passage while the night elves were asleep, led by Archimonde and Mannoroth. As soon as they got a foothold, they started scouring the land and laying waste to everything in their path.
  • It fell to Malfurion Stormrage to find help for his beleaguered people, despite his own brother, Illidan, being an addicted user of magic himself. The two are joined by Tyrande Whisiperwind as they set out to find Cenarius and muster a resistance force.
  • Though Malfurion and Illidan shared a love for the idealistic priestess, Tyrande's  heart belonged to Malfurion alone. Illidan resented that, but knew that his heartache was nothing compared to the pain of his magical  addiction. Illidan struggled to keep control of his nearly overwhelming hunger to tap the Well's energies once again. He was able to restraint himself only with Tyrande's patient support.
  • Cenarius, who dwelt within the sacred Moonglades of the distant Mount Hyjal, agreed to help the night elves by calling on the spirits of the enchanted forest, assembling an army of tree men, and also by finding the ancient dragons and enlisting their aid.
  • The dragons, led by the great red leviathan, Alexstrasza, agreed to send their mighty flights to engage the demons and their infernal  masters.
  • As the titanic battle raged around Azshara's capital city, the queen waited in anticipation for Sargeras' arrival. As his impossibly huge shadow drew  ever closer to the Well's raging surface, Azshara gathered the most powerful of her Highborne followers to link their magics together in a spell that would allow Sargeras passage.
  • Neltharion, the Dragon Aspect of the Earth, went mad during a critical engagement against the Legion. He began to split apart as flame and rage erupted from his dark hide. Renaming himself Deathwing, the burning dragon turned on his brethren and drove the five dragonflights from the field of battle.
  • Deathwing's sudden betrayal was so destructive that the five dragonflights never truly  recovered. Wounded and shocked, Alexstrasza and the other noble dragons were forced to abandon their mortal allies. Malfurion and his companions, now hopelessly  outnumbered, barely survived the ensuing onslaught.
  • Malfurion, convinced that the Well of Eternity was the demons' umbilical link to the physical world, insisted that it should be destroyed. His companions, knowing that the Well was the source of their immortality and powers, were horrified by the rash notion.  Yet Tyrande saw the wisdom of Malfurion's theory, so she convinced Cenarius and their comrades to storm Azshara's temple and find a way to shut the Well down for good.
  • Knowing that the Well's destruction would prevent him from ever wielding magic again,  Illidan selfishly abandoned the group and set out to warn the Highborne of Malfurion's  plan.
  • The insanity his addiction brought & the his resentment  towards his brother's affair with Tyrande made Illidan feel no remorse at betraying Malfurion.
  • Heartbroken by his brother's departure, Malfurion led his companions into the heart of Azshara's temple, where they met the Highborne amidst their dark incantation, with the presence of Azshara who was prepared for them.
  • Illidan found his way into the shore of the great Well despite the fight. Producing a set of specially crafted vials, Illidan knelt and filled each with the Well's shimmering waters. Convinced that the demons would crush the night elves' civilization, he planned to steal the sacred waters and keep their energies for himself.
  • The ensuing battle between Malfurion and Azshara threw the Highborne's carefully crafted spellwork into chaos. The unstable vortex within the Well's depths exploded and ignited a catastrophic chain of events that would sunder the world forever.
  • The massive explosion rocked the temple to its foundations and sent massive quakes ripping through the tortured earth. The surging Well of Eternity buckled in upon itself and collapsed. The resultant catastrophic explosion shattered the earth and blotted out the skies.
  • As the aftershocks from the Well's implosion rattled the bones of the world, the seas rushed in to fill the gaping wound left in the earth, creating the Great Sea in the middle of the earth and leaving Kalimdor dismembered into several smaller continents.
  • The Maelstrom would forever rage at the center of the Great Sea, where the Well of Eternity once stood.
  • Queen Azshara and her Highborne followers were dragged down beneath the raging sea by the Well's implosion. Cursed by the wicked powers they had released, ­they took on new shapes and became the hateful serpentine naga.
  • Beneath the Maelstrom, the naga built for themselves a new city, Nazjatar, and it would take over ten thousand years before they would reveal their existence to the surface world
 
  • Somehow, by the grace of  Elune, MalfurionTyrande, and Cenarius had survived the Great Sundering.
  • Among the survivors were many Highborne, and though Malfurion mistrusted their motivations, he was satisfied that they coudln't cause real harm without the Well's energies.
  • The survivors sailed on crudely made rafts until they reached the only landmass in sight, which is modern-day Kalimdor, and there they found that the holy Mount Hyjal had survived the explosion.
  • Malfurion and the night elves climbed the mountain with the intent of establishing a new home, just to find, as they reached the summit, that a tranquil lake had been fouled by magic.
  • Illidan, as it turns out, had survived the Sundering as well and reached Hyjal summit long before Malfurion and the night elves. In his mad bid to maintain the flows of magic in the world,  Illidan had poured his vials (which contained the waters from the Well of  Eternity) into the mountain lake, transforming it into a new Well of Eternity.
  • Illidan believed that the new Well was a gift to future generations, and was shocked when Malfurion hunted him down.  Malfurion explained to his brother that magic was innately chaotic and that its use would  inevitably lead to widespread corruption and strife.
  • With Illidan refusing to change his ways, and knowing well where his ruthless schemes would eventually lead, Malfurion decided to deal with his power­crazed brother once and for all. With Cenarius' help, Malfurion sealed Illidan within an underground prison, where he would remain chained and powerless until the end of time.
  • Malfurion empowered the young warden, Maiev Shadowsong, to be Illidan's personal  jailor.
  • Concerned that destroying the new Well might result in another Sundering, it was left to be. However, Malfurion declared that they would  never practice the arts of magic again.
  • Instead, under Cenarius' watchful eye, they began to study the ancient arts of druidism that would enable them to heal the ravaged earth and re­grow their beloved forests at the base of Mount Hyjal.

-9,400

  • As centuries passed, the burgeoning night elf society grew stronger and expanded into the dense forests of Ashenvale.
  • Tyrande Whisperwind established the Sisterhood of Elune as the leaders of the night elf government and military.
  • Sentinels were created as the night elf army.
  • Malfurion Stormrage started training druids on a wide scale.
  • Under the druids' benevolent leadership, the night elves enjoyed unprecedented peace and tranquility under the stars.
  • However, many of the original Highborne survivors grew restless due to their withdrawal from magic and were tempted to tap the energies of the Well of Eternity once again.
  • Dath'Remar, the brash, outspoken leader of the Highborne, began to mock the druids publicly, calling them cowards for refusing to wield the magic that he said was  theirs by right.
  • Malfurion and the druids dismissed Dath'Remar's arguments and warned the Highborne that any use of magic would be punishable by death.
  • In an insolent and ill­fated attempt to convince the druids to rescind their law, Dath'Remar and his followers  unleashed a terrible magical storm upon Ashenvale, killing many night elves.
  • Unable to tolerate these actions, the druids exiled the reckless Highborne. Dath'Remar and his followers, glad to be rid of their conservative cousins at last, boarded a number of specially crafted ships and set sail upon the seas.
  • With the Highborne's departure, the night elves turned their attention back  to the safekeeping of their enchanted homeland.
Enjoying the story so far?
This tl;dr is based on Blizzard Entertainment's World of Warcraft: Chronicle, a hardcover book consisting of two volumes, 184 pages each. The book begins with a cosmology intro and then tells the tale of Warcraft from the dawn of time until near Legion's release.
(Picture is courtesy of Winkbooks; more on their Chronicle review.)

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Chapter 2: The New World

Azeroth’s young races and their newfound civilizations.


Chapter 2 tl;dr (click to expand): On the recovering world, the high elves are exiled from the night elf society on Kalimdor for their magic addiction. On the new continent of the Eastern Kingdoms, they build Quel'Thalas, & form a great Alliance with men and spread sorcery among their ranks. During this age, the line of Guardians is established to protect Azeroth.

-6,800

  • Dath'Remar (AKA Sunstrider, or "he who walks all day") led the high elves from Kalimdor across the Great Sea until they landed on the beaches of the kingdom men would later call Lordaeron (Northern continent of the Eastern Kingdoms).
  • Since they were cut off from the lifegiving energies of the Well of Eternity, the high elves were no longer immortal. They shrank in size and lost their skin's violet hue during their perilous journey through the rugged, mountainous lands of Lordaeron.
  • The high elves soon clashed with the local forest trolls of Zul'Aman. These barbaric, moss­skinned trolls could regenerate lost limbs and heal grievous physical injuries, and viciously rejected intruders.
  • The high elves finally settled in the far North, where they would build Quel'Thalas, just to learn that they founded their city upon a sacred, ancient troll city.
  • The trolls began to attack the elven settlements en masse. Unwilling to give up their new land, the elves utilized whatever magics they had gleaned from the Well of Eternity to triumph over troll bands that outnumbered them ten to one.
  • The victorious high elves constructed a series of Runestones around Quel'Thalas that would block the cosmic radiations emanating from their magics, lest they attract a second Legion invasion.
  • In time, Quel'Thalas became a shining monument to the high elves' efforts and magical prowess. Quel'Thalas had become the shining jewel that the elves had longed to create.
  • The Convocation of Silvermoon was founded as the ruling power over Quel'Thalas, though the Sunstrider Dynasty maintained a modicum of political power.
  • The high elves would maintain their vibrant, magic-infused life for nearly four thousand years to come.

-2,800

  • After nearly 4,000 years of submission to the foreign elven settlements in their sacred lands, the Zul'Amani troll empire rose united again to finally drive the invaders away.
  • The early human tribes in the region were sparsely scattered. One tribe, the Arathi, saw that the trolls were becoming too great a threat to ignore.
  • Over the course of six years, the Arathi united other tribes by offering peace to those they conquered.
  • The risen nation was named Arathor and constructed itself a mighty fortress in the Southern regions of Lordaeron, known as Strom (modern-day Stromgarde).
  • Although Thoradin, king of Arathor, ignored the elves' war at the start, he was convinced to help when they reached for Strom with their ambassadors.
  • The elves trained 100 humans in the ways of magic, who were clumsy at the start, but possessed a startling natural affinity for it.
  • Arathor's armies marched North to join the elves against the Zul'Amani trolls.
  • The united elf and human armies clashed against the overwhelming troll warbands at the foot of the Alterac Mountains.
  • The battle was resolved when the human and elf sorcerers called down the fury of the heavens and set the troll armies ablaze. The elemental fires prevented the trolls from regenerating their wounds and burned their tortured forms from the inside out.
  • As the troll armies broke and attempted to flee, Thoradin's armies ran them down and slaughtered every last one of their soldiers.
  • The trolls would never fully recover from their defeat, and history would never see the trolls rise as one nation again.
  • The elves made a pledge of loyalty and friendship to the nation of Arathor and to the bloodline of its king, Thoradin.
  • Humans and elves would nurture peaceful relations for ages to come.
  • The first 100 human magi were chosen by the high elves for their responsibility and noble spirits. However, as they passed their knowledge on, it fell in the hands of a younger, less responsible generation.
  • As those magicians spread out and their powers alienated them from society, they founded the second Arathorian city-­state of Dalaran, which became a sanctuary where magicians could use their new powers with greater freedom.
  • The intense magical activity surrounding Dalaran began to weaken the fabric of reality itself, occasionally attracting agents of the Legion to the city.
  • As tension and confusion culminated, the Magocrats seeked the high elves in fear that Strom would take action against them.
  • Upon meticulously studying the situation, the elves concluded that although there were only a few demons loose in the world, the Legion itself would remain a dire threat so long as humans continued to wield the forces of magic.
  • The Council of Silvermoon (ruling over Quel'Thalas) entered into a secret pact with the Magocrat lords of Dalaran, which started by teaching them about the War of the Ancients. They informed the humans that so long as they used magic, they would need to protect their citizenry from the malicious agents of the Legion.
  • The elves and the Magocrats agreed (with the latter’s proposal) to empower a single mortal with their collective powers to fight a secret war against the Legion.
  • It was stressed that the majority of mankind could never know about the Guardians or the threat of the Legion, lest they riot in fear and paranoia.
  • The secret Council of Tirisfal was established in the Tirisfal Glades to watch over the selection of Guardians.
  • Though there could be only one Garduan at a time, the powers they were imbued with of both elves and humans were so vast they could singlehandedly stop the Legion.
  • Whenever a Guardian’s term ended (out of old age or other reasons), they would channel their powers (under controlled conditions) to a new Guardian chosen by the Council.
  • Thus, the Guardians of Tirisfal were born, and they would defend Quel’Thalas and Arathor from the Legion’s invisible threat for generations to come.

-1,200

  • Strom continued to act as the central hub of Arathor, but as with Dalaran, many new city-states arose across the continent of Lordaeron.
  • Gilneas, Alterac and Kul Tiras were the first city-states to arise, and although they each had their own customs and commercial workings, they all held to the unifying authority of Strom.
  • Under the vigilant watch of the Order of Tirisfal, Dalaran became the chief center of learning for magicians throughout the land.
  • The Magocrats who ruled Dalaran founded the Kirin Tor, a specialized sect that was charged with cataloguing and researching every spell, artifact and magic item known to mankind at the time.
  • In time, the lords of Strom decided to leave their ancient city behind, seeking to find purity and enlightment in the untamed North. Far to the North of Dalaran, the lords of Strom built a new city-state which they named Lordaeron. The entire continent would take its name from this city-state.
  • Lordaeron became a mecca for religious travelers and all those who sought inner peace and security.
  • The last descendants of the Arathi, having been left within the crumbling walls of ancient Strom, decided to travel South past the rocky mountains of Khaz Modan. They eventually settled in the northern region of the continent they would name Azeroth.
    Note: This part comes from the outdated History of Warcraft. I have yet to learn and clarify how the humans inherited the name that was originally selected by the titan world-shapers.
  • In a fertile valley they founded the kingdom of Stormwind, which quickly became a self-sufficient power in its own right.
  • The few warriors still left in Strom decided to remain and guard the ancient walls of their city. Storm was no longer the center of the empire, but it developed into a new nation known as Stromgarde.
  • Though each of the city-states became prosperous in its own right, the empire of Arathor had effectively disintegrated. As each nation developed its own customs and beliefs, they became increasingly segregated from one another. King Thoradin's vision of a unified humanity had faded at last.
  • As the politics and rivalries of the seven human nations waxed and waned, the line of  Guardians kept its constant vigil against chaos.
  • There were many Guardians over the years, but only one ever held the magical powers of Tirisfal at any given time.
  • Aegwynn, a fiery human girl, won the approbation of the Order and was given the mantle of Guardianship.
  • For long years, she vigorously worked to hunt down and eradicate demons wherever she found them, but she often questioned the authority of the male­dominated Council of Tirisfal. She believed that the ancient elves and the elderly men who presided over the council were too rigid in their thinking and not farsighted enough to put a decisive end to the conflict against chaos.
  • Impatient with lengthy discussion and debate, she yearned to prove herself worthy to her peers and superiors, and as a result  frequently chose valor over wisdom in crucial situations.
  • As her mastery over the cosmic power of Tirisfal grew, Aegwynn became aware of a number of powerful demons that stalked the icy Northern continent of Northrend.
  • Traveling to the distant North, Aegwynn found that the demons were hunting one of the last surviving dragonflights and draining the ancient creatures of their innate magic.
  • The mighty dragons, who had fled from the ever­advancing march of mortal societies, found themselves too evenly  matched against the dark magics of the Legion.
  • As Aegwynn eradicated the demons, a great storm erupted throughout the North, and an avatar of Sargeras himself, the lord of the Legion, appeared in front of her. He informed the young Guardian that the time of Tirisfal was about to come to an end and that the world would soon bow before the onslaught of the Legion.
  • By unleashing her powers against Sargeras' avatar, Aegwynn killed Sargeras' physical shell.
  • Fearing that his spirit would linger on, the naive Aegwynn locked the ruined husk of his body within one of the ancient halls of Kalimdor that had been blasted to the bottom of the sea when the Well of Eternity collapsed (Tomb of Sargeras).
  • Aegwynn would never know that she had done exactly as Sargeras had planned. She had inadvertently sealed the fate of the mortal world.
  • Unbeknownst to the young Guardian, Sargeras had also transferred a portion of his spirit into her body, which would remain hidden until the end of her reign.

-230

  • Upon the death of king Modimus Anvilmar, the three dominant factions of Ironforge fell into civil war: The Bronzebeards, the Wildhammers and the Dark Irons.
  • Being the largest of the three, the Bronzebeards managed to seize the city, driving the two other factions out.
  • The Wildhammers traveled and established their new city of Grim Batol, where they would settle for a while to come.
  • However, the Dark Irons who moved to Redridge Mountains couldn't bear the bitterness of defeat for long before they started two simultaneous invasions against Ironforge and Grim Batol.
  • After laying siege to both cities, the Dark Irons failed to capture either one, and ended up being crushed in Redridge Mountains after being chased by both opposing armies.
  • In his fury, Dark Iron king Thaurissan tried to summon a supernatural minion that would ensure his victory. Thaurissan called upon the ancient powers sleeping beneath the world. To his shock, the creature that Thaurissan summoned was Ragnaros the Firelord, now freed from his chains.
  • Ragnaros' apocalyptic rebirth shattered the Redridge Mountains and created the raging volcano known as Blackrock Spire at the center of the explosion.
  • Although Thaurissan was killed by the forces he had unleashed, the surviving Dark Irons were enslaved by Ragnaros and his elementals. They would since remain within the Spire to this day.
  • Having returned to their home in Grim Batol, the Wildhammers found that the foul magics of Godmud (wife of Thaurissan, the Dark Iron king) had left an evil stain, making the city uninhabitable. They ventured North, settling in the Hinterlands.
  • The Wildhammers crafted the city of  Aerie Peak, where they grew closer to nature and bonded with the mighty gryphons of the area.

Chapter 3: Doom of Draenor

The events leading to the the first orcish invasion of Azeroth.


Chapter 3 tl;dr (click to expand): Meanwhile on Draenor, the ranks of the spiritual and honorable orc clans are secretly penetrated by the Legion. Demonology gradually replaces their shamanistic traditions, causing their landscapes to die with its foul energies. The Legion's influence culminates when the orcs drink Mannoroth's blood to gain immense strength but fall into a fury. The orcs eradicate most of the draenei and march through the Dark Portal into Azeroth.

-45

  • Guardian Aegwynn grew powerful over the years and used the Tirisfal energies to greatly extend her life.
  • Foolishly believing that she had defeated Sargeras for good, she continued to safeguard the world from the demon king's minions for nearly nine hundred years.
  • The Council of Tirisfal finally decreed that her stewardship had come to an end, and ordered her to return to Dalaran so that they could choose a new successor.
  • Yet she, ever distrustful of the Council, decided to choose a successor on her own, and planned to give birth to a son whom she would divest her power to.
  • Traveling to the Southern nation of Azeroth, Aegwynn found the perfect man to father her son: a skilled human magician known as Nielas Aran, who was the court conjuror and advisor for Azeroth's king.
  • Aegwynn seduced the magician and conceived a son by him. Nielas' natural affinity for magic would run deep within the unborn child and define the tragic steps the child would later take.
  • The power of Tirisfal was also implanted in the child, yet it wasn't to awaken until he reached physical maturity.
  • Time passed, and Aegwynn gave birth to her son in a secluded grove. Naming the boy  Medivh, which means "keeper of secrets" in the high elven tongue, Aegwynn believed that the boy would mature to become the next Guardian.
  • Unbeknowst to her, Medivh was already possessed by the malignant spirit of Sargeras ever since the defenseless child was in her womb.
  • Certain that her baby was healthy and sound, Aegwynn delivered young Medivh to the court of Azeroth and left him there to be raised by his mortal father and his people.
  • She then wandered into the wilderness and prepared to pass into whatever afterlife awaited her.
  • By the time Medivh had reached his teenage years, he had become very popular in Azeroth for his magical prowess and often went off on adventures with his two friends: Llane, the prince of  Azeroth, and Anduin Lothar, one of the last descendents of the Arathi bloodline.
  • The three boys constantly caused mischief around the kingdom, but they were well liked by the general citizenry, and they would eventually grow up to get involved in Azeroth's most pivotal events.

-8, now in Draenor

  • Kil'jaeden the Deceiver discovered Draenor, home to the shamanistic, clan­based orcs and the peaceful draenei.
  • In the orcs he found a great potential for exploiting them into carrying out the Legion's bidding.
  • Kil'jaeden communicated with Gul'dan, promising him untold power in exchange for his allegiance.
  • Having sworn total obedience to the Legion, Gul'dan was taught in the ways of demonic magic until he became the most powerful mortal warlock in history.
  • Gul'dan befriended Ner'zhul, chieftain of the Shadowmoon clan and secretly founded the Shadow Council to help him tighten the Legion's grip over Draenor.
  • Gul'dan introduced demonology to his brethren, which became openly taught and practiced, slowly taking the place of the orcs' shamanistic traditions.
  • Before long, the once spiritual orcs become savage people driven by violence and bloodlust.
  • The subsequent abundance of fel magic had a very severe impact on the region's wildlife. One example of such decay is Tanaan Jungle's transformation into Hellfire Peninsula (in less than a decade).
  • The orcs grew ever more aggressive under Gul'dan & the Shadow Councils influence, constructing massive arenas where they'd hone their skills in combat and death trials.
  • Using his leadership position and the evil stain of fel magic, Gul'dan manipulated the Bladewind clan into launching raids on draenei caravans, killing and kidnapping dozens of draenei.
  • Vindicator Maraad and the draenei retaliated and stormed the Bladewind village, but when Maraad saw the corpse of his sister Leran, he went into a rampage across the village.
  • Gul'dan was personally there to make sure that no Bladewind orc survivors would make it out of the village. He then returned to the Shadowmoon to tell them of how the draenei launched an unprovoked massacre against the Bladewinds.
  • Meanwhile, Kil'jaeden has been appearing to Ner'zhul in his dreams, disguised as the spirit of his deceased mate Rulkan, and telling him that the draenei are planning to destroy the orcs.
  • Ner'zhul called for a clan meeting at Oshu'gun (spiritual landmark in Nagrand) where the orc chieftains agreed to band together to defeat the draenei, marking the creation of the old Horde.

-7 to 0

  • The orcs started launching sporadic attacks against draenei hunting parties.
  • As Ner'zhul's apprehension about the war with the draenei grew, he secretly embarked on a journey to Oshu'gun to seek the guidance of the ancestors, but Kil'jaeden was aware of his plans and told Gul'dan to gather allies to control the Shadowmoon, since Ner'zhul could no longer be relied upon.
  • At Oshu'gun, the real Rulkan and the other ancestors told Ner'zhul that he was being manipulated by Kil'jaeden. In his moment of despair, Ner'zhul was captured by Gul'dan's followers, who treated him as little more than a slave.
  • Kil'jaeden urged Gul'dan to unite the Horde under one strong and reliable leader, and so he convinced the clan chieftains to vote for Blackhand as their warchief.
  • When in command, Blackhand ordered the construction of the Citadel, later known as Hellfire Citadel, and organized the various clans into specific roles within the Horde. He also named Eitrigg, Orgrim Doomhammer (Durotan's childhood friend) and Varok Saurfang as his lieutenants in the Blackrock clan.
  • Led by Gromm Hellscream, the orcs gathered at a mountain near the Citadel to drink the blood of Mannoroth at Gul'dan's urging.
  • Durotan forbid the Frostwolves from drinking after having received an anonymous message from Ner'zhul, while Orgrim refused out of suspicion for the growing corruption of the orcs and Draenor.
  • Those who did drink the blood were driven into a ferocious bloodlust, and marched against Shattrath as Gul'dan infused the mountain with fel energy, transforming it into the Throne of Kil'jaeden.
  • Over the course of a few months, the Horde eradicated nearly every draenei living on Draenor.

Chapter 4: Alliance and Horde

The beginning of the Warcraft franchise.


Chapter 4 tl;dr (click to expand): The Orcish Horde makes its way through Azeroth's landscapes, laying waste to the Kingdom of Stormwind in the First War. North of the Eastern Kingdoms, the humans, high elves, dwarves and gnomes of the region unite in the Alliance of Lordaeron, and the Second War commences. As the Horde lays siege to the Alliance capital city, an inner conflict forces them to fall back, ultimately losing the war at Blackrock Spire. However, the Alliance makes one last move by sending an expedition to Draenor. When the Horde's new warchief opens a multitude of portals, Draenor is shattered into Outland. The Dark Portal collapses and the expedition is lost there.

0 (The First War)

  • Medivh, possessed by Sargeras, helped the warlocks open the Dark Portal from Azeroth's side. Located in the Black Morass, on the edge the Kingdom of Stormwind's territory, it went by unnoticed. Orc bands started scouting the zone.
  • Soon after, rumors of the green skinned invaders started reaching the kingdom of Stormwind, but they never managed to collect any reliable intelligence about their true intents and numbers.
  • When the Orcish Horde began their advancement, the Alliance was overwhelmed, and the frenzied orcs quickly annihilated everything from Westfall to Redridge Mountains, laying waste to towns in their way and reaching the very gates of Stormwind.
  • The Shadow Council moved their operations to Blackrock Mountain, which became an Orcish stronghold.
  • Garona was allowed entrance to Stormwind by the word of archmage Khadgar, Medivh's apprentice, who warned King Llane about Medivh's fall to the Legion.
  • Khadgar and Garona went to confront Medivh and a battle ensued. Gul'dan connected with Medivh through Garona's presence and started frantically mulling through his memories for the Tomb of Sargeras' location.
  • Khadgar slayed Medivh, putting Gul'dan into a coma. The fel infusing Medivh's body caused an explosion that scorched the land around Karazhan into Deadwind Pass and turned Brightwood into Duskwood.
  • Orgrim Doomhammer, resentful and ever distrustful of Gul'dan's agendas, exploited the Shadow Council's weakness after his fall into a coma and challenged Blackhand (Gul'dan's puppet warchief) to a mak'gora. The duel ended with Orgrim crushing Blackhand's skull with his family heirloom, the Doomhammer, becoming the new warchief of the Orcish Horde.
  • Garona and Khadgar returned to Stormwind to inform Llane of the Guardian's death. However, Gul'dan had implanted thoughts of killing allies into Garona's mind. These messages flared bright in her head once more, and she assassinated Llane.
  • After failing the first time, the orcs besieged Stormwind again, and eventually breached the gates and set the city aflame. Anduin Lothar, who was in command, gathered what refugees he could and fled from the harbor to Lordaeron in the North, taking with him Khadgar and young Varian Wrynn, son of king Llane who had just been killed.
  • Having forbidden his clan from drinking Mannoroth's blood, Durotan and the Frostwolf clan were declared outlaws by Gul'dan.
  • However, to avoid the consequences of killing a popular war hero, Gul'dan resorted to banishing them through the Dark Portal when it had first opened.
  • While the First War and the fall of Stormwind were taking place, Durotan was leading his people across Azeroth, with little to no contact with any of Azeroth's races thanks to the guidance of the elements.
  • They traveled until they settled in Alterac, where Durotan's son, Thrall, was born.
  • Shocked by his child's green skin, Durotan sent messages through the elements to meet with his friend Orgrim Doomhammer near Loch Modan. The two met to discuss this revelation and then went their separate ways.
  • Orgrim sent his most trusted friends to guard Durotan and his wife on the way back, but they turned out to be loyal to Gul'dan and murdered both of them.
  • Their infant son, Thrall, was left for dead, but was soon found by Aedelas Blackmoore, who would raise him as a slave from then on.

5-7 (The Second War)

  • Stormwind's refugees arrived in Lordaeron, where sir Anduin Lothar convinced the six human nations (Lordaeron, Gilneas, Alterac, Stormgarde, Kul Tiras and Dalaran) to form the Alliance of Lordaeron and make Azeroth's final stand against the Orcish Horde.
  • Sir Anduin Lothar was appointed as Supreme Commander of the Alliance forces.
  • Aided by his lieutenants, Uther the Lightbringer, Admiral Daelin Proudmoore, and Turalyon, Lothar was able to convince Lordaeron's demi­human races of the impending threat as well. The Alliance succeeded in gaining the support of the stoic dwarves of  Ironforge and a small number of high elves of Quel'Thalas.
  • The elves, led at that time by  Anasterian Sunstrider, were largely uninterested in the coming conflict. However, they  were duty­bound to aid Lothar because he was the last descendent of the Arathi  bloodline, which had aided the elves in ages past.
  • The Order of the Silver Hand was founded by sir Uther Lightbringer and archbishop Alonus Faol, who started training the first paladins.
  • The Horde won the battle of Alterac and managed to advance as far as Quel'Thalas, where Gul'dan (now back from his coma) stole one of the elven runestones, which he later utilized to create two-headed ogres.
  • The Amani forest trolls joined the Orcish Horde briefly when their leader Zul'jin was freed. However, Orgrim later abandoned the trolls' cause of pushing Quel'Thalas, deciding to spend the Horde's resources somewhere else. Zul'jin would never forget this.
  • The Orcish Horde eventually came to lay siege to Lordaeron, the capital city of the Alliance.
  • As the Horde began its siege of the capital city of Lordaeron, having learnt the location of the Tomb of Sargeras, Gul'dan suddenly rallied his followers and abandoned Orgrim Doomhammer and his army, causing them to break the siege.
  • Gul'dan set out to the see and successfully rose the Tomb of Sargeras from the sea floor. Defying Kil'jaeden's plan of turning the Tomb into a portal for the Legion, Gul'dan attempted to take all its power for himself. However, they entered the tomb only to be torn apart by monstrous demons.
  • Doomhammer furious at Gul'dan's betrayal, sent his forces to kill Gul'dan and bring the renegades back into the fold, who managed to bring back the remaining of Gul'dan's forces.
  • With the huge cost of Horde's inner conflict, the orcs found themselves quickly falling back and cornered within Blackrock Spire by Lothar's armies.
  • In the battle of Blackrock Spire, Orgrim Doomhammer managed to kill Anduin Lothar, hero of the Alliance. However, the battle continued when Turalyon took leadership and led the Alliance to victory.
  • The Alliance's victory at Blackrock Spire marked the defeat of the Orcish Horde.
  • Orgrim Doomhammer was captured along with other orc survivors, who were placed in internment camps.
  • The orcs who were not captured fled into the wilderness, individually or in groups.
  • With the Horde's defeat, the human race claims back the territory of Stormwind.
  • Archmage Khadgar destroys the Dark Portal.
  • Nethergarde Keep is established to keep watch over the rift that still exists in the Black Morass.

8

  • On Draenor, Ner'zhul, now back to his position, reformed what little Horde was left on the planet.
  • Having consumed Draenor into a harsh, barren land with their demonic practices, Ner'zhul resolves to open portals to new worlds for the orcs to conquer. But to do so, he requires three artifacts to be acquired from Azeroth.
  • Ner'zhul re-opens the Dark Portal with the Skull of Gul'dan and sends forth some of his most elite followers, taking the human defenders by surprise and swiftly retrieving the three artifacts.
  • Convinced that the orcs are plotting for a new invasion of Azeroth, king Terenas Menethil of Lordaeron assembled his most trusted lieutenants and ordered them to lead an expedition through the Dark Portal.
  • The expedition, known as the Sons of Lothar, was led by general Turalyon, and included Alleria Windrunner, Archmage Khadgar, Kurdran Wildhammer and Danath Trollbane.
  • With all their efforts, they managed to push the orcs as far as Hellfire Citadel. However, their efforts were not enough to stop the ritual from commencing.
  • As Ner'zhul begins the ritual, he starts opening portals upon portals, until the point the influx of power starts tearing up the very fabric of Draenor.
  • As the planet started to crumble, many orcs fled through the Portal back to Azeroth, including Gromm Hellscream and Kilrogg Deadeye.
  • Khadgar and the Sons of Lothar made a most noble sacrifice by destroying the Dark Portal from their side to prevent the sundering from reaching Azeroth.
  • Ner'zhul and his Shadowmoon clan escaped through the biggest of the opened portals, and no one would hear of them for a few years to come.
  • A piece of Draenor is plunged into space after the catastrophe, and becomes known as Outland.

Chapter 5: Return of the Burning Legion

Contemporary history, starting from the events that laid the foundation to WoW and concluding with WoW: Legion.


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