The Horde is led by a warchief i. The Horde respects combat prowess and decisive action. Sometimes the position of warchief is earned through war and domination; sometimes it is won through duels. Other times its successor is appointed by the previous warchief. They were led by the troll Vol'jin, since the ending of 'Mists of Pandaria', and are now led by Sylvanas Windrunner, since the prologue of 'Legion'. Orcs serve as the main villains of the first two games, but become one of the hero factions during Warcraft III. Orcs are generally green-skinned muscular humanoids with large tusk-like fangs protruding from the lower jaw of their mouths.
Their hair colour can range anywhere from black, dark brown, to almost white, depending on the age of the orc. The orcs' skin was originally red to brown, but their demonic corruption at the hands of the Burning Legion turned them green. Valuing personal honor and the honor of their clan above all else, they enjoy the rush and excitement of battle, and before their corruption, their culture was shamanistic and channeled their aggression into hunts and contests. When the Burning Legion discovered that the draenei were hiding on Draenor, they corrupted the orcs, feeding them the blood of the pit lord Mannoroth, before using them to all but wipe out the exiled race.
Upon their defeat, the orcs that remained on Azeroth were rounded up and put into internment camps. Separation from the Burning Legion eventually caused lethargy in the orcs and their bloodlust faded after a few years. It was at this time that a young orc named Thrall managed to escape his captivity at Durnholde Keep and free many of his captured brethren with the aid of another orc, Grom Hellscream, who up until that time had been able to avoid capture.
Eventually the orcs were forced to land on an island due to a storm, and there befriended the Darkspear trolls; once the storm passed they left the island with their new allies.
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When they reached Kalimdor, they went in search of a place they could call home, along the way meeting and befriending the tauren and their chieftain Cairne Bloodhoof, after saving them from the centaurs who constantly attacked them. The orcs were eventually led into night elf territory and fought several skirmishes against them as they attempted to set up camps. Here, the pit lord Mannoroth returned and tempted Grom Hellscream to once again drink his blood, saying that doing so would return the pride and honor of the orcs.
However, once Grom and his clan drank the blood they fell back under the corruption of the Burning Legion and became rampaging war machines, thirsting for battle and blood. Grom then led his clan on a warpath through night elf lands and slaughtered the demi-god Cenarius. However, Grom was eventually freed, and atoned for his deeds by aiding Thrall in defeating Mannoroth, sacrificing himself in the process and finally liberating the orcs from their blood pact.
The liberated orcs set aside their differences with the night elves and humans to help defeat Archimonde at the Battle for Hyjal Summit. The orcs then set out to carve a place for themselves on Azeroth in Kalimdor. They called their new homeland Durotar, after Thrall's father, Durotan. Their capital city was named Orgrimmar, after Orgrim Doomhammer, the former warchief. Up until the Cataclysm, the orcs and the Horde as a whole were led by Warchief Thrall. However, he was forced to step down as warchief in order to focus his full attention as a shaman to mend the shattered world caused by Deathwing's return.
His successor, Garrosh Hellscream, went on to lead the Horde in a much more violent and aggressive manner, preferring to engage in combat with the Alliance opposed to using diplomacy or peaceful negotiations as Thrall was known for. After Garrosh's descent into madness and eventual defeat by the combined forces of both factions, Thrall named Vol'jin the new Warchief of the Horde, marking the first time the Horde had been led by a non-orc. In World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor , Garrosh Hellscream escapes from his imprisonment and escapes through time.
Garrosh Hellscream returns to the moment just before his father Grommash Hellscream drinks the blood of Mannoroth 35 years earlier with the intention of not only stopping their corruption and their slavery to the dark legion which ultimately leads to the destruction of their home world , but to also influence an outcome and path where the new Iron Horde consisting of Pure-Blooded Orcs and non-corrupted Orcs could lead a new era of Conquest.
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Garrosh equips the Iron Horde with technology from his time. The orcs use wolves as their mounts. In Heroes of the Storm , players can control several Orc characters from Warcraft universe as playable heroes, such as Thrall, Garrosh, Gul'dan, and Rehgar. The blood elves were introduced in Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne after the undead Scourge destroyed the high elf capital of Silvermoon in Quel'Thalas and the source of their power, the Sunwell along with most of the high elf population.
With the leadership of their prince, the blood elves continued to defend their homeland from the Scourge, allying with the naga in the process. Due to their alliance with the naga, Lord Garithos, commander of the Alliance forces in Lordaeron and Kael'thas' superior officer, charged Kael'thas and his troops with treason and imprisoned them in Dalaran. Kael'thas and his lieutenants were rescued by Lady Vashj and her naga from their imprisonment in the underground jails of Dalaran which contained anti-magic enchantments, once used for the Kirin Tor's pets , and then used a re-opened portal to flee to Outland.
The Alliance distrusts the blood elves and their lust for a source of magic, so their race has aligned with the Horde for the mutual benefit of reaching Outland. Also, Sylvanas Windrunner, as the former Ranger General of Quel'Thalas, played a significant role in the admittance of the blood elves into the Horde.
The capital city of the blood elves is the partially ruined Silvermoon City. Blood elves have a usually peachy skin tone and green glowing eyes. They also have a gift for magic, with a long and troubled history of magical addiction and arcane practices. They are led by Voren'thal the Seer. Their founder and leader is Sylvanas Windrunner , a high elven general who was killed and transformed into an undead banshee by Arthas during the undead campaign in Warcraft III.
Sylvanas regained her sense of free will from Arthas and took charge of similarly free-willed undead, taking the name Forsaken and conquering Lordaeron. In World of Warcraft , the Forsaken have joined the Horde, though they are said to care little about their new allies.
Much of these lands were tainted by the mark of undeath left behind by the plague and the Scourge, so the lands themselves are haunting, dark and deathly in appearance. Early in their history, goblins were an unintelligent race used as slave labor by a tribe of trolls on their home island of Kezan. Constant exposure to a rare ore called Kajamite caused them to develop into a hyper-intelligent race that soon overthrew their masters and created a new civilization.
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However, the supplies of the ore were eventually exhausted and facing a slow loss of their intelligence, the goblins took to trade and exploration in search of new deposits. During the Second War, they aligned with the Horde, providing similar technical services to those offered to the Alliance by the dwarves and gnomes.
Following the Horde's defeat, the naturally mercantile race took a neutral stance in world affairs. In Warcraft III and World of Warcraft , the various goblin business cartels based out of the city of Undermine now supply both factions. Several trade princes, however, have maintained closer ties with the Horde due to clashes with the Alliance. Goblin engineers are best known for their affinity for explosives, their signature explosives being the Goblin Sapper Charges, a portable explosive which upon detonation deals devastating damage to anyone in its wake.
Rocket launchers, various experimental explosives, and dangerous "Dimensional Rippers" make up most their arsenal of flimsy, yet devastating equipment. Goblins were announced as the Horde's new playable race for the third expansion pack, World of Warcraft: Cataclysm.
Fearing for their lives, the Bilgewater Cartel fled the island only to be shipwrecked on the Lost Isles due to the crossfire of Horde and Alliance ships. The old racial ties between orc and goblin came to the front and, after rendering assistance to the remaining Horde forces, the goblins are invited as prospective members of the Horde. The Gilgoblins are a species of aquatic goblins with fin-like ears, gills on their neck, seaweed-resembling hair, fins on the ends of their arms, and webbed hands and feet.
The Hobgoblins are a race of large purple-skinned goblins that are the results of alchemists experimenting on their own race. The Huojin pandaren are a group of pandaren that are impulsive, quick to action, and practical. These pandaren have chosen to join the ranks of the Horde.
They are led by Ji Firepaw, a passionate, outgoing pandaren who believes that it is honorable to defend home and family no matter the price. Not one for deep thought, and always the first one into a fray, Ji believes that inaction is the greatest injustice, and is attracted to the Horde's scrappy practicality.
The Great Sundering blasted some of Suramar to the bottom of sea, although most portion of it remained above shore in the Broken Isles due to the efforts of the night elves who crafted a magical shield that kept the center of their city together. This shield would stay up for 10, years, since the group believed the world outside of Suramar had been destroyed. Under their shield, it created a perpetual shroud of night that helped lead them to evolve into a deep night-based state over millennia through the energies of their arcane font, the Nightwell, the great source of power they would rely on for nourishment within the impenetrable shield.
However, this caused them to become unable to survive without magic from the Nightwell. Crime in Suramar was punished by exile. Cut off from the Nightwell, the exiled would first diminish into the Nightfallen state. Continuing without nourishment in this state causes further degradation into mindless creatures called Withered.
Some Nightborne do not agree with Elisande, though they keep their disagreement a secret. Arcwine, an ingestible form of the Nightwell, is rationed so the Palace can control the populace that is against the demon presence. The Nightfallen are outcast Nightborne elves that have been exiled from Suramar City and have begun to wither from being cut off from the nourishment of the Nightwell. Without arcwine, Nightborne elves regress to a weakened state known as nightfallen. However, instead of dying of starvation, after up to 50 days has passed, the Nightfallen enter a fully mindless state and become creatures completely driven by instinct and their mind is lost — these are called the Withered.
Death follows if the feral Withered cannot find magical sources, like ley lines, magical shield and other living beings. Nightfallen are mostly in full control of their bodies and find feeding on others for magical sustenance deplorable. Nightfallen that have not became Withered can go back to being a Nightborne if they have access to arcwine.
However, once a Nightfallen becomes withered, there is no known cure. The ogre society is clan-based, with ogre clans erecting mounds and generally avoiding contact with outsiders save for raids.
Within the clans, the hierarchy is based on physical size and strength. The leader of an ogre clan is almost inevitably the largest and strongest ogre. Ogre-magi fall outside this norm and powerful magi often control the clan through the leader thanks to the rather large advantage in intelligence. If an outsider defeats the current leader of a clan, they are often deemed the new leader partially out of fear of being killed as well.
In Warcraft III , they are encountered both as hostile critters and friendly mercenaries. Ogres are not a playable race in World of Warcraft , though some appear as monsters and non-player characters.