- Orc Roleplay Information -
An orc’s origins have a major impact on one’s character. Their philosophy may be wildly different depending on their clan of origin. On average a Blackrock orc is far more orderly than a Laughing Skull orc. A Frostwolf and a Thunderlord have completely different relationships to their animal companions.
I have listed the basic histories of the recognized clans in the lore. They are rough and don’t include some of the different clan nuances and traditions. They should, however, give a basic idea behind the clans for when you select yours.
A much more fiery Blackhand than the one in our timeline
Hailing from Gorgrond, the Blackrock clan was one of the strongest of the early clans. This strength was born of their organized and supremely well equipped armies. The Blackrock clan had access to blackrock iron ore and their shaman were deeply involved in the smithing process. They utilized fire elementals (on Draenor called Furies) to forge enchanted, nigh indestructible, weapons and armor.
It was the great respect that the orcish clans held for Blackhand ‘the Destroyer’ that likely caused Gul’dan to choose him to rule as the first warchief of the Horde. Under Blackhand’s command the Horde waged war against the draenei and later the peoples of Stormwind. The warchief was eventually slain by his Second, Orgrim Doomhammer, in the wake of his victory there.
Contrary to rumor, Doomhammer had claimed the position of warchief through an honorable duel (a mak’gora) and not through a cowardly backstabbing. Doomhammer then led the Horde north to conquer Lordaeron, Quel’thalas and Aerie Peak. The lands were decimated but not defeated. Eventually Doomhammer and the Old Horde were defeated at the Battle of Blackrock Spire. The Blackrock Clan was later salvaged and rebuilt in Blackrock Mountain’s upper reaches under the leadership of Blackhand’s sons, Rend and Maim, who returned to take command back after Doomhammer's imprisonment.
The Blackrock Clan remained steadfast in their Old Horde ideals. They refused both Ner’zhul and Thrall when they were offered a position in the Horde once again. Rend and Maim commanded the Dark Horde from that point on. During the Third War there was a resurgence of demon worship and the Blackrock Clan was actually one of the few groups to maintain a demonic portal. After the Third War (and Maim’s death) the clan allied with Nefarian and spent a good deal of time assailing the Dark Iron dwarves, as well as Stormwind and its territories.
The Dark Horde fractured when Rend was killed (presumably by Horde heroes, as they had the quest in Vanilla that ended with Rend’s head on a spike next to Thrall’s throne) and further after the events of the Cataclysm when they suffered further defeats in the Burning Steppes. In the end the Blackrock Clan was granted amnesty by Garrosh Hellscream and many flooded into the Horde under the leadership of Malkorok. Many of these Blackrocks would later become members of the Kor’kron.
While some aspects of the Blackrock story paints them in a negative light, there are many noble and honorable Blackrock orcs venerated by many. Varok, Broxigar and Draenosh Saurfang, as well as Eitrigg, are Blackrock clansmen and longtime members of the Horde. Simply put, some saw through the Dark Horde mentality elected to join the united clans in the New Horde.
Orgrim Doomhammer. His armor, the Doomplate, looks a lot better on Thrall these days.
Blackhand the Destroyer formed the Black Tooth Grin shortly after being named warchief. The clan was to serve as the burgeoning Horde's scouting arm and consisted of warriors handpicked by the warchief himself. The clan was led by Blackhand's two sons, Dal'rend and Dal'Maim Blackhand.
They were among the first to cross the Dark Portal and were heavily involved in the Second War. The Black Tooth Grin were responsible for the defeat of the Stormreaver and Twilight’s Hammer clans at the raised Tomb of Sargeras. Rend and Maim never returned to Doomhammer’s side. After the Battle of Crestfall they were forced to retreat and only months after the Old Horde fell did they return to and seize control of Blackrock Spire and the remaining orcs there. In the years after the Second War the Black Tooth Grin became synonymous with the Blackrock clan once again.
A notable tradition within the clan was a rite in which each member would knock out one of their teeth in order to symbolize their loyalty and unity with their clansmen.
The Bladewind clan hailed from Talador, near the eventual site of Shattrath City. Their position proved unfortunate for them, as it placed them near the borders of Shattrath and on the Draenei's trade route between Shattrath and its other holdings. The Bladewind warred with the draenei a century before the Dark Portal's opening, massacred innocents, and even took prisoners... prisoners that would become slaves and later birth half-breed children.
It would be difficult to play a Bladewind orc because, through the machinations of Gul'dan, they were wiped out. Initially he stoked their hatred for the draenei by blaming them for the red pox that crippled the Bladewind. The warlock - posing as a Shadowmoon shaman and representative of Ner'zhul - urged them to attack the draenei to appease the elements and return their clan to glory. In the end the draenei retaliated and most of the Bladewind were killed. What few survivors were murdered by the treacherous warlock, who then used their deaths as a rallying cry for the forming Horde to turn their blades on the draenei.
Kilrogg Deadeye. Who knew it would be having one eye that gets him killed...
Some of the first orcs to migrate from Gorgrond would eventually find their way to the jungles of Tanaan. Those that did not succumb to madness and cannibalism became the Bleeding Hollow Clan. The clan’s environment, a land of innumerable dangers – ranging from poisonous plants to venomous snakes to unseen creatures that would drag the unwitting into the dark jungles – and dark caverns below the earth that radiated with strange and sinister powers, led them to adopt a superstitious lifestyle.
One such superstition bore the clan its name. On the night before a chieftain would ascend to his position, he would make the journey to a sacred cave and perform a shamanistic ritual. In this ritual the chieftain would remove his own eye to receive a vision of his eventual death. This death would show the new chieftain how he would rule his clan.
The clan existed in the Tanaan Jungle (Later Hellfire Peninsula) and was very active in the all the original conflicts. They participated in the genocide of the draenei and wiped out the Primals of Farahlon. They fought in the initial attacks on Stormwind during the First War. They later dominated Khaz Modan in the Second War and controlled the Horde’s mining and oil related operations there. Kilrogg Deadeye, their legendary chieftain during the First and Second Wars, was a brilliant strategist and served the Horde well. He was, however, unable to take Ironforge….
After the Battle of Blackrock Spire they went into hiding in Khaz Modan until they were summoned back to Draenor by Ner’zhul. At this point the clan was a crippled remnant of its former glory. Those that escaped back to Draenor served as Ner’zhul’s bodyguards until Draenor was shattered. Their chieftain, Kilrogg Deadeye, was slain by Danath Trollbane in Auchinduon while holding off the Alliance who sought to prevent Ner'zhul from opening portals to new worlds.
These days the Bleeding Hollow have been both antagonist and ally. Survivors from the clan linger in the New Horde, while many Mag’har in Outland serve the Horde under Jorin Deadeye, Kilrogg's only remaining son. Others from the clan had embraced the dark powers of the Fel Horde under Kargath Bladefist and Illidan Stormrage.
Hurkan Skullsplinter was a strong willed warrior who was slow to anger. But when he got mad? Oooh boy.
The Bonechewer were one of the few clans to settle in the jungles of Tanaan. The Bonechewers are known now for their cannibalistic and bloodcrazed ways. Some even adorn themselves with the bones and bloody organs of their kills and wear them into battle.
The clan was loosely affiliated with the Horde but was not allowed to initially cross into Azeroth. They lingered behind in Draenor where a Bonechewer eventually came into possession of the skull of Gul’dan and presented it to his chieftain, Hurkan Skillsplinter, who kept it as a trophy. Hurkan ruled the clan until the day he was slain by Grom Hellscream, who Ner'zhul had sent for the skull. At this point Tagar Spinebreaker became leader of the clan and swore his people to Ner’zhul’s service. Tagar served Ner’zhul’s interests but was expendable to the new warchief. After Draenor’s destruction the Bonechewer clan joined the Fel Horde and became fel orcs. Tagar himself patrols the Hellfire Peninsula Path of Glory, surveying the shattered siege artillery there.
It is actually possible to see the rare Bonechewer in the Horde. Some of the clan stood guard at the Dark Portal and could have escaped with Grom when the Sons of Lothar paraded through the Horde ranks. They probably would not be well received… being cannibals and all.
Tagar was most well known for his belt, which was made from the fractured spines of his enemies. You probably better recognize the second version of him.
Dharl the Thrice-Bloodied was a warlord of the Burning Blade.
You get quite aquainted with his daughter Azuka.
You get quite aquainted with his daughter Azuka.
The Burning Blade were one of the few clans to settle around Nagrand and near the border to Talador. They lived as honorable warriors prior the formation of the Horde.
Their reputation soured after the Horde’s formation. The demonic blood of Mannoroth twisted them into a clan of wild orcs considered to be “Chaotic and unpredictable.” While initially involved in the genocide of the draenei and subsequent slaughter of the arakkoa, as well as the Second War, the clan gradually consumed itself in blood and death until there were very few members remaining. These members, the elite blademasters, realized their failings and took up an oath to free themselves and their kin from demonic control.
After the death of Mannoroth, many blademasters have simply begun to serve the Horde. They train warriors, they fight its enemies, they fight until they die...
Some Burning Blade members include Ronakada and Mankrik and are not to be mistaken for the cult that formed that uses the same name.
An ancient clan that was completely destroyed during the Blood River War. Nothing else is known of them.
Zuluhed the Whacked had others do most of his dirty work. Nekros Skullcrusher was the one who used the Demon Soul to enslave Alexstraza. But after signing on with Illidan, Zuluhed enslaved the Netherwing matriarch himself. This was the decision that doomed him.
The Nelghor-shomash (“Cry of the Beasts" in Orcish) were a clan known for their bond to the great rylak. In the early days of the Horde they served as scouts and raiders and even helped defeat the arrakoa of Skyreach as the Horde conquered Draenor.
Unfortunately they succumbed to starvation when Draenor's corruption led to famine and disease and they consumed their rylak allies.
They were later rebranded the Dragonmaw and came to be recognized as a powerful clan after crossing into Azeroth. They were cunning orcs who managed to enslave the red dragon Aspect, Alexstraza, during the Second War. They had discovered the ancient and powerful Demon Soul and used it to control her and her mates, who provided the orcs with drakes they could ride into battle.
They were very independent as a clan. While their leader, Zuluhed, followed Blackhand and Doomhammer, he had a wide berth. The Dragonmaw made the ancient dwarven city of Grim Batol their fortress and persisted in their battle against the Alliance for years after the end of the Second War.
While Zuluhed himself returned to Draenor and continued his activities there as a member of the Fel Horde, Nekros Skullcrusher and his son Nek’rosh, continued warring against the Alliance even after Grim Batol fell and the red dragonflight were freed because of the human mage Rhonin.
Zuluhed was later slain in Outland after enslaving the Netherwing dragons, but his lieutenant Mor’ghor, now a fel orc, retreated from Outland back to the Twilight Highlands where the remnants of the Dragonmaw lived. He took power led the clan until the Horde backed a young rebel named Zaela in wiping out Mor'ghor and his fel-blooded kin.
Zaela joined Garrosh Hellscream and swore the Dragonmaw into the Horde’s service. She led the charge against the Wildhammer and Twilight’s Hammer alike.
A younger, more idealistic Zaela. She took power through a coup that meant the death of Mor'ghor (left). The Demon Chain (right) would eventually pass to her.
A year or so later she made the journey to Kalimdor to join Hellscream in attempting to cull the Darkspear Revolutionaries. She used the Demon Chain (the chain links that were once joined to the Dragon Soul) to command the final spawn of Galakrond into battle against the revolutionaries and the Alliance. She was defeated in battle and 'supposedly' fell to her death when she was knocked from Galakras' saddle in midair.
In reality she and her clan retreated back to Grim Batol in days following the Siege of Orgrimmar. They remained there for a time until receiving word from a mysterious figure that they could save their warchief. Zaela and her kin rallied a ragtag force of combatants (consisting of Thaelen Songweaver, Shokia, Harrowmeiser the goblin and the pirates from the Howling Fjord and a cameo from the infinite dragonflight) besieged the Temple of the White Tiger at the end of Garrosh's trial. This allowed the former warchief to escape through a temporal anomaly alongside the treacherous bronze dragon, Kairoz.
She remained steadfast and loyal to Garrosh until her dying day in Blackrock Mountain, which she planned to force into erupting.
A joke by Blizzard.
Durotan. Proof that nice orcs finish last...
Unlike every other clan to follow, the Frostwolves are the only clan to have maintained their honor and survived relatively unscathed by it. They were one of the early clans and dwelt primarily in Frostfire Ridge (making seasonal ventures to Nagrand during Frostfire winters). A standout feature of the Frostwolf clan is their connection to their dire wolf mounts. The Frostwolf orcs have a unique bond with their mounts. They don't simply buy them from a trainer. It's the wolf who chooses his/her rider to be bonded to for the remainder of his/her life.
Garad, their chieftain, led them well prior the start of the war with the draenei. Durotan succeeded him and led the clan through the wars with the draenei without letting the clan compromise its honor. This made his clan a target of other clans’ aggression after the war with the draenei ended.
The Frostwolves did eventually cross the Dark Portal into Azeroth and were quickly exiled from the Horde by Gul’dan. Eventually Durotan and his mate, Draka, met with Orgrim Doomhammer and told him about the treachery of Gul’dan and his Shadow Council. Not coincidently they were murdered by Gul’dan’s assassins mere hours later. This action would lead to Doomhammer’s culling the Shadow Council and restoring some semblance of honor to the Old Horde.
The clan’s leadership passed to the elder shaman Drek’thar, who led the clan into the desolate Alterac Mountains and hid there from the humans and orcs alike. There they struggled to get by while reintegrating the old traditions of the clans.
These days the clan keeps to itself. There have been quarrels between the Stormpike Guard and the Frostwolves in recent years and Drek’thar has been ill since the Cataclysm. The old shaman’s mind is no longer what it was.
Most recently the Frostwolf clan turned its back on Garrosh’s Horde and its Forsaken allies because of their cruel and inhumane ways.
This presumably has changed since the Siege of Orgrimmar. At least with the orcs.
Drek'thar. A guy who really deserves his own model.
Mogor was not exactly a loyal ogre. Considering where you fight him in Nagrand, he wasn't even loyal to the clan he was running!
Skull masks are purdy. You should see one on a ravager.
Skull masks are purdy. You should see one on a ravager.
A unique clan originating from Gorgrond. The Laughing Skull was a clan of orcs who were fearsome and wild warriors known for thievery and murder and disloyalty. They were led by the Mogor the ogre. Little is known about the activities of the clan. They were known for wearing skull masks into battle and they betrayed the Reformed Horde in favor of the Alliance on at least one occasion. Ner'zhul rallied some of the clans by force and the Laughing Skull had been one of them. It was the Laughing Skull who returned the Book of Medivh to Khadgar so that he could seal the Dark Portal during Draenor's destruction.
Mogor was later found as a member of the Warmaul Clan in Nagrand and was slain by adventurers for gold and pretty weapons at the Ring of Blood.
Since no chieftains are known from this clan, I present a grunt from the Lightning's Blade that just finished his rite of passage.
Very little is known about the Lightning’s Blade clan. They hail from northern Gorgrond and participated in Ner’zhul’s reborn Horde eight years after the Dark Portal first opened. Legends suggest that their youth only became warriors after a special ritual in which they climbed the highest peak of the Blade’s Edge Mountains during a storm. These orcish youth would then raise their axes high, intent on being struck by lightning THREE times. If they survived, they became warriors of the Lightning’s Blade Clan.
These stories are unsubstantiated.
The Redwalker clan hailed from southern Talador. They were one of the few clans who opposed Horde’s creation and for their refusal to bow, they spent many years fighting the clans of the Horde. By the eighth year after the Dark Portal's opening they were nearly extinct. Judging by their disappearance in the current game, it can be assumed that the destruction of Draenor and the years that followed finished the clan once and for all.
Ner'zhul was a nice guy once...
The Shadowmoon clan was one of the most powerful clans prior to the Horde’s formation. They have also been the most harmful to all they touch. Draenor and Azeroth will never recover from the deeds of the Shadowmoon.
They were the clan that migrated originated from the aptly named Shadowmoon Valley. They had many a seer and astrologer among their number and even were led by powerful elder shaman. The last of the Shadowmoon chieftains was Ner’zhul.
Ner’zhul was the most respected shaman of all the clans. He was the one who Kil’jaeden first sought out to manipulate the orcs into becoming the Horde. It was Ner’zhul who created the framework for the Horde as it stands today, but he received none of the glory.
When Ner’zhul recognized the evil he was associated with, he turned his back on Kil’jaeden and hoped he could undo the damage he caused. But it was too late and his apprentice, an exile from another clan named Gul’dan, seized control of the Horde in secret. Through Gul’dan the orcs were corrupted. They slaughtered the draenei, drank the blood of Mannoroth and watched their world wither and die because of the fel magic that Gul’dan and his newly created warlocks conjured.
Ner’zhul and the Shadowmoon clan were abandoned on Draenor as the Horde charged into Azeroth. In the wake of the Horde’s failure in the Second War, Ner’zhul became obsessed with death and his clan followed his example. It was only after Teron Gorefiend came to his former clansmen two years later that the Shadowmoon clan was reinvigorated. Ner’zhul reforged the Horde from the disparate clans of Draenor and sought out several relics to create a series of portals throughout Draenor. These portals would allow the Horde to charge forth into new worlds and conquer them.
Ner'zhul and his rebuilt Horde faced a great challenge from the Sons of Lothar, veterans of the Second War led by some of Azeroth's greatest heroes, who crossed into Draenor to stop his plans. The Sons of Lothar chased the orcs across Draenor, from the Terokkar Forests in Talador all the way to the ruination of the Temple of Karabor, where Ner'zhul successfully invoked his ritual.
While on this path he abandoned many orcs who were loyal to his cause, embracing his selfish desire for power that he had long struggled to temper. Grom Hellscream and the Warsong were abandoned across the Dark Portal, leaving them amongst the humans. His loyal companion Dentarg and Kargath Bladefist of the Shattered Hand were left at Hellfire Citadel to hold off the humans. Kilrogg Deadeye was left to die in Auchinduon to slow the human advance. In the end it was only Ner’zhul and a few of his most loyal were all that managed to cross through the portals as their opening ravaged Draenor, shattering it and turning it into what is now known as Outland.
This backfired horrifically for Ner’zhul and many of his followers, who crossed into these same portals. They were torn apart by the Burning Legion and their spirits were twisted into undead abominations. The first of the Scourge’s liches and their king.
The Shadowmoon has persisted despite all its losses. Many would eventually join the Fel Horde. Others, the denizens of Shadowmoon Village, would side with the Horde.
I am Spartac-- Kargath Bladefist
Now come to Highmaul and meet my blade!
Now come to Highmaul and meet my blade!
This clan is an irregularity. The Shattered Hand formed from members of many different scattered clans. They were all slaves to the ogre empire on Draenor but eventually broke free under the leadership of Kargath Bladefist. Kargath earned his title by strangling an ogre overseer with his slave chain before removing his own hand to break free. Kargath – and most of the Shattered Hand – have since then carried out the ritual dismemberment of a hand. They replace the limb with a blade. The clan was drawn together by their blood lust and under Kargath they dwelled in the Spires of Arak. After the fall of the draenei it was the Shattered Hand who brought low the Arakkoa of Skyreach.
Because of their wild nature, Blackhand and Gul'dan did not take the Shattered Hand through the Dark Portal. He did participate in battle against the Sons of Lothar when they first crossed the Dark Portal years later and Kargath spent some time commanding from Hellfire Citadel.
Eventually the clan was absorbed into the Fel Horde and Kargath was made its warchief. He was later killed by agents from Thrallmar and the Sons of Lothar.
The Horde honors the memory of the Shattered Hand through their guild of assassins of the same name.
Gul'dan is darkness incarnate! Know and fear his name!
When Orgrim Doomhammer seized control of the Old Horde, his first act was to slaughter the warlocks of the Horde and most of the Shadow Council. Gul’dan, their leader, had been powerless to stop him. The warlock had fallen into a coma while scrying the mind of Medivh. The human-possessed-by-Sargeras had been slain while Gul’dan was still in his mind. The backlash of Medivh’s death put the orc into a long coma.
He awoke to find the Horde was no longer his thrall as it had been under Blackhand. Even worse, he woke up to a very angry Orgrim Doomhammer.
Doomhammer allowed Gul’dan to live only because Gul’dan pledged his alliance to the Blackrock warchief and offered him new and powerful weapons of war. The first of these new weapons was the death knight. These abominations were made from human corpses and the evil souls of former orc warlocks. These undead sorcerers were offered as a ‘gift’ to Doomhammer.
Of course, Gul’dan had no true loyalty to Doomhammer. He had his own schemes he wished to accomplish. To achieve his goals, Gul’dan rallied the few remaining warlocks of the Horde and those loyal orcs from the clans together to form the Stormreaver clan. The clan was to be a bulwark against Doomhammer in the inevitable event that Gul’dan betrayed him.
During the siege of Quel’thalas, the Stormreaver clan claimed a magical elven runestone. Gul’dan used its power to magically empower many of the Horde’s ogres. This was yet another ‘gift’ for Doomhammer.
At the eleventh hour, the Stormreaver clan betrayed the Horde. They, alongside Twilight’s Hammer, departed the Eastern Kingdoms. Far at sea, the clan raised the ancient city of Suramar from the depths of the ocean. It had been Gul’dan’s plan all along to retrieve the ancient powers of the Dark Titan from his undersea tomb. This was his chance.
The Horde sent an army after Gul’dan that was headed by the Black Tooth Grin. They decimated the Stormreavers and Twilight Hammer clans but didn’t need to go into the tomb itself. Gul’dan’s screams could be heard from the tombs depths as he was torn apart by crazed demons.
The Stormreaver clan was destroyed.
Game mechanics during the night elven campaign of Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne allowed the player to recruit Stormreaver warlocks from mercenary houses in the area around Suramar. Maiev also quested for a Stormreaver warlock named Drak’thul.
There were Stormreaver survivors.
Fenris Wolfbrother is called the 'Iron Wolf' by the Iron Horde. I wonder why that is?
Renowned hunters and wolf riders who, in legends, hunted the mighty giants of ancient Draenor. In Frostfire Ridge they lived in the skeletal remains of these very creatures. They were loosely tied to the Old Horde but only participated actively in Horde matters after Ner’zhul became warchief in year eight. They helped Ner’zhul get ahold of the Jeweled Scepter of Sargeras.
Some of the clan stood guard at the Dark Portal and may have joined the Warsong in their escape as the Sons of Lothar took the portal and, later, shut it down. Those who remained on Draenor faced utter destruction due to the shattering of the world and the encroachment of the Bladespire ogres.
Fenris the Hunter and Garm Wolfbrother were the two last chieftains of the clan that are known.
Aside from the scar on his midsection, this was Cho'gall before C'thun got his tentacles all over him.
The second clan to be run by an ogre. The Twilight’s Hammer clan was full of lunatic 'pale' orcs who were devoted to bringing forth Armageddon. Cho’gall, its leader, came to believe the Horde was the bringer of the apocalypse and initially joined it as a loyal lieutenant of Gul’dan. The clan participated in the destruction of the Gorian Empire and later served as one of the commanders in the first siege of Stormwind alongside the Bleeding Hollow.
The clan later joined Gul’dan’s Stormreavers in their betrayal of the Horde and accompanied the them to the tomb of Sargeras. There they were defeated by the Black Tooth Grin and Cho’gall was believed to be killed.
The clan was later transformed and greatly expanded upon until it was no longer a simple orcish clan devoted to a generic apocalypse. The clan was enthralled by the Old Gods and became devoted to bringing forth the Hour of Twilight. Cho’gall and his Twilight Council led the cult until their deaths in the Bastion of Twilight. At this point the cult’s leadership passed to the Twilight Father’, Benedictus.
Considering Cho’gall survived, others may have as well to form the Twilight Hammer cult. It is thus plausible that some of the dark shaman who would eventually join Garrosh’s Horde MAY have been from the original incarnation of Twilight’s Hammer. Unlikely they would have survived to be in the Horde’s current incarnation.
Grom Hellscream was a 'rock star' amongst the orcs even before he ended the blood curse.
Fearsome wolf riders from Nagrand that were renowned for being one of the strongest and most violent clans. The clan’s leadership passed to Grom Hellscream just prior to the war with the Draenei. They served as loyal members of the Horde and it was Grom who was first to drink from the Chalice of Rebirth. Despite all of this, the clan was not entrusted to journey to Azeroth alongside the Old Horde. Gul'dan doubted he could control the Warsong.
The Warsong were utilized by Ner’zhul though. The Warsong Clan singlehandedly battered the gates of the newly minted Nethergarde Keep while Ner’zhul’s agents retrieved the necessary artifacts for his scheme to open portals on Draenor. The clan was later charged with holding the Dark Portal against the Alliance. Ner’zhul ultimately abandoned the Warsong Clan to its fate when the Dark Portal was sealed by the Alliance and the Warsong Clan retreated to Stonard and later to Lordaeron, where they hid from the humans for well over a decade.
The time in bitter isolation was hard on the Warsong Clan, who battled their demonic curse and the lethargy that afflicted their people. But their situation improved when Doomhammer and a young shaman named Thrall rallied the orcs together into a new Horde, which freed the captive orcs from their internment.
The Warsong embraced their bloodthirst again after the Legion’s influence bled back into Azeroth. Their bloodlust led them to act irrationally, attacking human settlements shortly after landing on Kalimdor and earned them censures from their new warchief.
Thrall sent them to Ashenvale to harvest lumber for a new orcish capital. There they built the Warsong Lumber Mill. This act unwittingly eventually set the Warsong on a crash course with the Kaldorei and the the demigod Cenarius. When the battle against the demigod looked bleak for the Warsong, they drank the blood of Mannoroth a second time, embracing their dark heritage, and slew the demigod and his elven allies.
Thrall helped the Warsong find their way back to the path of good and Grom Hellscream would be the one who finally ended the bloodcurse by killing Mannoroth himself.
Even without the curse, the Warsong continued to be bloodthirsty and combatative. They formed the Warsong Outriders to battle the Night Elves in Ashenvale, where they operated their lumber camp. When Garrosh Hellscream came to Azeroth and inherited the clan, he led the Warsong Offensive into Northrend against the Lich King.
The Warsong continued to wage bloody war in Ashenvale, making advances into the forest after the Cataclysm and this continued for some time. It was only after the Siege of Orgrimmar that Garrosh was deposed and his increasingly vile and oppressive Kor’kron (who now wore the Warsong sigil) were slain or incarcerated.
Garrosh Hellscream: Great warchief... the greatest warchief?
One of the oldest and most respected clans of old. They were sympathetic to their Frostfire Ridge neighbors, the noble Frostwolves, and opposed Gul’dan’s changes to orcish culture. Because of this, Gul’dan quietly arranged for their destruction. Their chieftain, Zagrel, was assassinated by Garona, and Zagrel's sons ended up crippling the clan while vying to lead it. Later, as resources in Draenor dwindled, the brutish and violent clans of the Horde turned on the Whiteclaws and their Frostwolf allies, stole their resources and rendered them little more than a scattered ruin.
A Tentative Class RP Guide
Orcish magi are a new construct within the Horde. The mages themselves only beginning to see a true presence within the Horde just before the Cataclysm. The first of the orcish magi were instructed in the ways of the arcane by the Forsaken. As the orcs are both a martial and spiritual people, the magi have had a hard time fitting into orcish society. The orcish magi see this clearly and feel they must work together for the betterment of the Horde. Like warlocks, the magi are housed within Orgrimmar’s Cleft of Shadows.
Acrypha an example of an orcish mage.
Back in the days of the old clans, hunters were vital. It was they who would delve into the wilderness and slay the talbuks and the clefthoof that the tribes survived on. Even the orcish rite of passage from youth to adulthood, a solo hunt known as the Om’riggor, emphasized the people’s need to survive out in the elements on what they could hunt.
These days, hunters remain an ongoing presence in the culture of orcish kind. There are yet hunters out in the fields getting the Horde leathers and meats. Yet the function of the ‘hunter’ is no longer so basic. Hunters may be scouts, trackers or snipers… or as of 5.3, they could even be part of a Kor’kron firing squad.
Alternatively the hunter could be a ‘beast master’ that relies on his beasts, spends his life more amongst the wild things and that lives an, admittedly, more nomadic life.
A prime example of a ‘hunter’ that can be seen in the lore is Rexxar, a Mok’nathol (ogre/orc hybrid) beast master and champion of the Horde.
While orcish rogues are not necessarily bound to any specific factions within their culture, and could simply be thieves or mercenaries, there is a shadow organization of known as the Shattered Hand. The Shattered Hand, named after the clan of Kargath Bladefist, is a guild of spies and assassins that serve the Horde.
Rogues of the Shattered Hand are those that often place a different view on honor. While most orcs praise the pursuit of battle and death and glory upon the battlefield, the Shattered Hand has a different mentality. They believe that specialized skills and subtlety can be more valuable resources than simple blades. Assassination, theft, blackmail… these are perfectly valid resources to the Shattered Hand if they will inch the Horde closer to its original glory.
Examples of an orc rogues in the lore include Garona Halforcen and Rokaro.
The orcish warrior is possibly the most notable archetype within the Horde for a reason. Orcish grunts fill outposts all over Azeroth and beyond, often lead the Horde’s charges into new and strange lands. Orcish warriors are proud to the point of being pig-headed, mighty in arms and often known to personify the idea of the “noble savage” that the orcs embody.
In the old days of the orcish clans, children began their martial training at six years old and by twelve would join hunting parties. This tradition carried into the beginnings of the Horde, where children were often forcefully aged to the physical stature of a twelve year old so they could take up arms for the Horde. This fel incantation is seemingly, and thankfully, not permitted within the New Horde.
Warriors are the most common type of orcish combatant and the orc grunt is the most commonly recognized footsoldier in the Horde. Warriors are respected highly and are often considered to be the most honest folks in the Horde. A warrior is trusted at his word.
Notable warriors of the orcs include Grommash and Garrosh Hellscream, Kargath Bladefist, Orgrim Doomhammer, Grazzug and General Nazgrim.
Warlocks are masters of Fel and Shadow. Gul’dan first taught the shaman of the forming Horde to harness dark powers in order to enslave the dae’mon and torment their enemies' with foul spells of felfire and shadow. While Gul’dan was eventually slain and his warlocks were mostly ended, they persisted. Warlocks are selfish and power hungry. They are often villains who seek greater powers to command.
Warchief Thrall admitted to being wary of any force that would call upon the Nether for power, but acknowledged a need for their strengths in the coming wars. In Orgrimmar, he allowed them to dwell in the Cleft of Shadow. There the Darkfire Enclave was set up.
Warlocks were always distrusted, hated even, by a good majority of the Horde. They were utilized in battle, however, as their skills were of use. This changed when Garrosh Hellscream came to power. Warlocks had not been liked but they were tolerated under Thrall’s reign. Garrosh, seeking a pure Horde bereft of demonic influence, did not tolerate many warlocks. His views became far more radical over time and the Darkfire Coven was butchered by Garrosh’s own “shadow mages.” They were set aflame with dark magic and were hung by meat hooks in Orgrimmar’s Cleft of Shadows.
The position of warlocks in current orcish culture is not one to be aspired to. Even without Hellscream’s radical attacks against the warlocks, they are only tolerated by the Horde.
Examples of orc warlocks include Gul’dan, Vorpil, Neeru Fireblade, Magrag, Gazz’uz, Fel’dan, Kel’idan the Breaker, Jedoga Shadowseeker, Nekros Skullcrusher and Grand Warlock Netherkurse.
Shamanism has always been the spiritual core of the orcish people. Through communicating with the spirits and the elements themselves, the shaman helped to guide the old orcish clans through both good times and times of hardship.
Shaman were a rarity during the rise of the Horde. The shaman could only wield the power of the elements so long as the elements themselves consented to it. When the elements stopped heeding the calls of the orc shamans, they turned their back on their spirituality and their heritage. Gul’dan severed the links between the shaman of Draenor and the elements by uttering the Cipher of Damnation and creating the massive volcano known as the Hand of Gul’dan, a final betrayal against the elements.
Shamanism was reborn within the Horde through Thrall. It had persisted in one form or another, but it was only after Thrall that shamanism truly took hold again. The young warchief led his people back to the shamanistic path of their ancestors and away from the corrupting influences of the fel magic that doomed them.
During Garrosh Hellscream’s tenure as warchief, many of the orcs that were once of Twilight’s Hammer rejoined the Horde. They, alongside many of the orc shaman loyal to Hellscream, maintained a practice of dark shamanism. These dark shaman effectively tortured and enslaved the elements, forcing them into their service. They were mostly felled in the Siege of Orgrimmar.
What is most important about the shaman is that they are not simply spell casters. They have to be born with an innate link to the spirits and the elements that allows them, when trained properly, to commune with the spirit world.
What makes them stand out even more is the fact that they have to rely on the elements. A shaman does not cast a spell. They call upon the spirits of Earth, Air, Fire, Water and Life/the Wilds (depending on the spell, it could be any of them) and ask them to follow through with the call. If the spirits do not hear the shaman, are feeling fickle or have issue with the call being invoked, they will not listen and the shaman will be (at least temporarily) powerless.
Shaman have an important role in orcish culture. They are the spiritual leaders, honored advisors, elders and mediators between the elements and the orcish people.
Some examples of orcish shaman include Thrall/Go’el, Drek’thar, Mok’thardin, the Lightning Sons of Nagrand, Fenrosh, Kalthar and Brine.
There isn’t terribly much to say about the orcish monk. There’s simply no lore for them at this point aside from the fact that they were taught by Pandaren from the Wandering Isle. There isn’t even a single orcish monk NPC.
So, like in other guides, there are a couple of story hooks to avoid.
Don't: Claim to have been born on Pandaria or the Wandering Isle. You are an orc. You were most likely born on Draenor or the Eastern Kingdoms.
Don't: Claim to have been taught by anything other than a Pandaren. The Monk class as it is playable was developed by Pandaren thousands of years ago to combat the tyrannical mogu and has since evolved into what is used today. Anything else is unacceptable. (Trivia: While there have been monks prior to the Pandaren, E.G. Scarlet Crusade and Auchenai, their styles are unique to their particular orders. We cannot play it, you should not use it for your character.)
Orc death knights have come in two major iterations. The first were the work of Gul’dan. The Stormreaver chieftain captured the souls of the massacred Shadow Council and interred these spirits into the bodies of the fallen knights of Stormwind, creating the first death knights. The first of these was Teron Gorefiend.
Your character is not one of these.
Your character is likely of the second iteration of death knight: those created by the Lich King. In life your character could have been just about anything… a powerful shaman, a renowned warrior, a crack shot hunter… but whatever they were, they probably stood out amongst the rabble. Something of their skill stood out to the wicked Lich King and his lieutenants. Something made it so your character was made to act as part of Arthas’ vanguard in his war on Azeroth.
Instead of being a mindless member of the Scourge, your character was one of the elite. Your mind was mostly retained but you were still absolutely subservient to the Lich King’s iron will. You slaughtered in his name and served him faithfully.
This changed when you, alongside ten thousand Scourge warriors, marched on Light’s Hope Chapel. In an incident known as the Light of Dawn, you were freed from the Lich King’s absolute control. His whispers persisted in your mind until his death, but you were yourself again. Well… sort of.
The first and most fundamental change for your character is the reality of their new existence. Your orcish death knight is one of the walking dead. Their age is stagnant, they cannot reproduce and they will not rot any further than they already had. The second primary aspect of their new reality is the hunger. They have a great urge to slaughter, to cause agony and suffering. It was a ‘gift’ from the Lich King that accompanies their soul-hungry rune blade. Ignoring this addiction causes the death knight, over time, to succumb to a bloodthirsty rage akin to the blood haze that effects all orcs in life.
The position of death knights is hard to discern in the Horde. You simply don’t see many throughout the Horde leveling experiences. Only in the Knights of the Ebon Blade.
An example of an orcish death knight are Munch and Crok Scourgebane.