For information about the in-game event, see Gates of Ahn'Qiraj.
WoW Icon update.png Ahn'Qiraj War
Assault on Ahn'Qiraj.jpg
Begin Open of Ahn'Qiraj Gates
End Fall of C'Thun

Might of Kalimdor victory


Might of Kalimdor


Kingdom of Ahn'Qiraj

Commanders and leaders

Might of Kalimdor


Kingdom of Ahn'Qiraj

Casualties and losses

Might of Kalimdor

  • Heavy (?)

Kingdom of Ahn'Qiraj

  • Near annihilation
Previous Ascension of the Lich King, Civil War in the Plaguelands
Concurrent First Battle for Hillbrad
Next Invasion of Outland

The Ahn'Qiraj War[1][2][3][4] (also called the second War of the Shifting Sands[5] or just the War of the Shifting Sands[6]) was a conflict that started after a millennia of the imprisonment of the qiraji within the city of Ahn'Qiraj. The qiraji and their god used this time to recover their former strength, until the point that some qiraji were finding ways to bypass the wall.[citation needed] [7]


Unable to truly defeat the qiraji once and for all, the combined forces of Fandral Staghelm's night elves and the dragons Anachronos, Merithra, Arygos, and Caelestrasz ended the War of the Shifting Sands by erecting the Scarab Wall and trapping the qiraji within the city of Ahn'Qiraj. Anachronos then created the Scepter of the Shifting Sands and the Scarab Gong, two powerful artifacts needed to open the gates of Ahn'Qiraj should the need ever arise, and entrusted the scepter to Fandral. Fandral, still grieving the loss of his son at the hands of the qiraji, refused, and in his grief and rage shattered the scepter.[8] The scepter's fragments were entrusted to powerful dragon guardians.

The threat posed by the qiraji has thus remained behind its wall for thousands of years. Recently, however, the unmentionable Old God C'Thun slowly awakened from his slumber beneath Ahn'Qiraj. Behind the gates of the Scarab Wall, the merciless qiraji stirred once again. Empowered by C'Thun, the qiraji prepared their legions for a worldwide assault to avenge their bitter defeat at the hands of the night elves a thousand years ago.[9]


Shiromar holding the Scepter of Shifting Sands.

It was discovered that some of the qiraji were finding ways past the wall. Anachronos, the bronze dragon, helped the adventurers of Azeroth open the Scarab Wall to prevent more incursions. To oppose the qiraji the Might of Kalimdor was formed by Alliance and Horde. But before the gates could be opened there was a lot of preparation they had to deal with: gathering war supplies and reconstructing the Scepter of Shifting Sands. Any adventurer could contribute war supplies to the cause and gather hundreds of thousands of items.

To reassemble the Scepter of the Shifting Sands, adventurers had to acquire three shards that had been distributed to the red, blue and green dragonflights. The red shard was entrusted to Vaelastrasz, who was hunting down Nefarian. But after, he was beaten, broken and enslaved by Nefarian who took the scepter shard from Vaelestraz. To get the shard, adventurers had to kill Nefarian. To get the blue shard adventurers needed to follow Azuregos' wacky ramblings, learn draconic and killing Maws. The green shard was held by the corrupted dragon Eranikus. Tyrande and Keeper Remulos worked together to purge the corruption from Eranikus and regain the green shard.

After Shiromar[10]rang the gong with the Scepter, the ancient gates of Ahn'Qiraj opened, revealing the horrors of a forgotten war.[11]

Opening of the Gate

After the Gates of Ahn'Qiraj were shattered, and the qiraji poured forth. The combined forces of the Horde and the Alliance, with High Overlord Varok Saurfang as their Supreme Commander, had to stop the qiraji before they could overrun Silithus and eventually Kalimdor. The qiraji General Rajaxx commanded the opposing forces, and an endless flow of silithid and Anubisaths flooded Silithus. This battle stretched across all of Kalimdor, with qiraji resonating crystals summoning the insects.[12] Nonetheless the Might of Kalimdor was victorious. The last of the qiraji forces were defeated, retreating back to the ancient city-fortress of Ahn'Qiraj. The qiraji resonating crystals littering Kalimdor vanish as quickly as they appeared, leaving behind nothing but sundered earth.[13]

After that, Varok organized a two-pronged attack: the Horde held the ruins of the city above while the Alliance reached the temple and slew C'thun.[14] After C'Thun was defeated his remnants were brought to Caelestrasz.[15]