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"Dragonmaw" redirects here. For the weapon, see Inv mace 38 [Dragonmaw]. For other uses, see Dragonmaw (disambiguation).
HordeDragonmaw clan
Dragonmaw banner
Main leader Horde IconSmall Gorfax Gorfax Angerfang
  Formerly Neutral IconSmall Zaela Warlord Zaela †
Neutral IconSmall FelOrc Male Mor'ghor †
Neutral IconSmall Orc Male Nek'rosh Skullcrusher †
Mob IconSmall Zuluhed Zuluhed the Whacked †
Secondary leaders Horde IconSmall Dragonmaw Male Warlord Halthar
Neutral IconSmall FelOrc Male Varkule Dragonbreath
Neutral IconSmall Orc Male Ma'ruk Wyrmscale
  Formerly Horde IconSmall Orc Male Nekros Skullcrusher †
Neutral IconSmall Dragonmaw Male High Enforcer Thranok †
Race(s) Dragonmaw clanDragonmaw clan Orc
Fel orcFel orc Fel orc
IconSmall DrakonidNether Drakonid
Capital Horde Bloodgulch
Neutral Dragonmaw Fortress
  Formerly Horde Grim Batol
Iron Horde Emblem Upper Blackrock Spire
Other major settlements Horde Crushblow
Horde Dragonmaw Port
Neutral Dragonmaw Base Camp
Neutral Angerfang Encampment
Neutral Dun Algaz
Theater of operations Horde Twilight Highlands
Iron Horde Emblem Blackrock Mountain
Neutral The Wetlands
Neutral Shadowmoon Valley
Language(s) Orcish
Sub-group(s) Angerfang
Affiliation Horde, Fel Horde, Illidari
  Formerly Iron Horde (Black Iron, True Horde), Dark Horde, Old Horde, Black dragonflight
Status Active
Quartermaster IconSmall Dragonmaw Male Grot Deathblow
Tabard Tabard of the Dragonmaw Clan

“The orcs of the Dragonmaw clan have been a force of destruction since the moment their race set foot on Azeroth.”

— Game Guide[1]

The Dragonmaw clan (or Nelghor-shomash, "Cry of the Beasts" in Orcish)[2] is an orcish clan dating back to ancient Draenor. Under the command of the shaman Zuluhed the Whacked, the Dragonmaw swore fealty to Warchief Blackhand and accompanied the Old Horde to Azeroth during the First War. After Blackhand's death, the Dragonmaw maintained their fealty to the late Warchief by pledging themselves to Blackhand's two sons and their Black Tooth Grin clan. The Dragonmaw were later empowered by the dreaded Deathwing to enslave the red dragonflight, including the Dragonqueen Alexstrasza herself, forcing the noble dragons to fight for the Horde throughout the Second War. During this time the clan were based out of the ancient stronghold of Grim Batol, which housed the prison of Alexstrasza.

The Dragonmaw retained their dominance of the red flight even after the Horde's defeat at the end of the war, but lost control over their winged captives during the Battle of Grim Batol. Grim Batol was destroyed by the vengeful dragons, forcing the clan to flee into the Wetlands and the Twilight Highlands, where they remained relatively dormant for years and clashed with the Wildhammer dwarves. Part of the clan, including their chieftain Zuluhed, remained on Outland and instead pledged their service to Illidan Stormrage, enslaving the nether dragons of Shadowmoon Valley for the Illidari. The Azerothian Dragonmaw were eventually recruited into the New Horde by Garrosh Hellscream during the invasion of the Twilight Highlands in the wake of the Cataclysm.

Under the leadership of Warlord Zaela, a great deal of the Dragonmaw remained fiercely loyal to Garrosh during and after the Siege of Orgrimmar, allying with the Ironmarch forces in Blackrock Spire during the Iron Horde Incursion. In both of these occasions, they had traded out the now destroyed black dragons they used for proto-dragons. It is noted they also breed these dragons in the Twilight Highlands, forming bonds with them without having to break them.[3]

Gorfax Angerfang became chieftain of the clan after the downfall of Zaela. He and his Dragonmaw have had a tumultuous relationship with the Horde in the aftermath of the True Horde; though this was ultimately resolved as their clan was welcomed to Azeroth's first Kosh'harg festival. Gorfax is resolute in the idea of redeeming the Dragonmaw's tainted legacy, or to have the clan die trying.[4]


In their native Orcish, the Dragonmaw clan is known as Nelghor-shomash, or "Cry of the Beasts", a name they earned by learning to tame the winged rylaks of Draenor. The Dragonmaw fondly referred to their mounts as nelghor, or "loyal beasts", and would later apply the same term to the dragons of Azeroth. All orcs would eventually refer to dragons as nelghor. The name of the Dragonmaw clan never changed, but its meaning surely did.[2]


Driftwatcher Rylak

A rylak, the original namesake of the Nelghor-shomash.

On Draenor, the Dragonmaw dwelled in southwestern Gorgrond, near the border with Frostfire Ridge, and tamed the fierce rylaks that hunted on the outskirts of the region.[5] The alternate universe's Agurak's Fall roughly corresponds to the location of their home.

The Dragonmaws were among the clans Ner'zhul cited when he tried convincing the orcs to go to war against the draenei.[6]

Rise of the Horde[]

Shortly after Blackhand was named Warchief of the Horde, he assigned specific roles to the various clans. The Dragonmaw were among the clans assigned to act as scouts, raiders and auxiliary forces that could quickly move from one region of Draenor to another.[7] 3 years later, Kargath Bladefist was charged with eliminating the high arakkoa of Skyreach and formed a lightly armored but highly mobile invasion force from the Shattered Hand, Burning Blade and Dragonmaw clans. After dozens of orcs were incinerated by the arakkoa's immense cannon, Kargath convinced the Outcast arakkoa to sneak into Skyreach and sabotage the weapon. The Outcasts were successful, but Kargath and his forces then proceeded to slaughter the Outcasts alongside the high arakkoa, throwing some of the latter into Sethekk Hollow. The Horde assault led to the destruction of high arakkoan civilization and the near-extinction of the Outcasts.[8]

After the Horde had conquered much of Draenor, the threat of starvation caused the orcs to hunt most of Draenor's native creatures to extinction. The Dragonmaw turned on their trained rylaks and used them as a source of food.[9]

The Dragonmaw accompanied the Horde through the Dark Portal to Azeroth during the First War.[10] After Warchief Blackhand was killed by Orgrim Doomhammer, the Dragonmaw honored their fealty to him by pledging themselves into the service of his sons, Rend and Maim, and the Black Tooth Grin clan.[11]

The Demon Soul[]


The standard of the Dragonmaw clan in classic World of Warcraft.

At the end of the First War, the black Dragon Aspect Deathwing intended for the orcs to gain control of the Dragon Soul, an artifact from the War of the Ancients which could be used to destroy or control dragons, but which could not be wielded by any dragon. Deathwing believed that Zuluhed, chieftain of the Dragonmaw, would be the most receptive and sent him vivid dreams and visions of his clan taming and riding strange, powerful winged creatures. The thought of once again soaring in the sky was irresistible, and if properly tamed, these dragons would make excellent nelghor. Deathwing coaxed Zuluhed to the Redridge Mountains, where the red dragon Orastrasz guarded the Dragon Soul. The Dragonmaw immediately fell upon the guardian, and though over a dozen orcs perished in the fight, they eventually managed to kill the dragon. Zuluhed ordered his clan's greatest warlock, Nekros Skullcrusher, to recover the artifact. Nekros shattered the relic's defenses and renamed it the "Demon Soul" due to the faint fel energies lingering on it. Far from Redridge, Alexstrasza sensed the breaking of the artifact's wards and set out with several of her red dragons to hunt down the artifact.[12]

The dragons finally traced the Demon Soul to the orcs during the Horde's conquest of Khaz Modan. Unbeknownst to Alexstrasza, Nekros had learned much about the artifact and how to wield it from dreams and visions sent by Deathwing. Nekros used the Soul to inflict excruciating pain on Alexstrasza, causing her to plummet from the sky, and then proceeded to enslave her as the other Dragonmaw bound her in chains. While Nekros could only use the Soul on one dragon at a time, he inflicted a lash of pain on the Dragonqueen every time a dragon swooped down toward the orcs, and the message was clear enough. By enslaving Alexstrasza, Nekros effectively bound the red dragons to his will, as the great creatures feared that their queen would be tortured or even killed if they did not obey the Dragonmaw. Warchief Doomhammer was greatly pleased by this development, but as it would take time to reliably control the dragons he commanded the Dragonmaw to take control of the abandoned fortress of Grim Batol. Nekros and his followers imprisoned Alexstrasza and her followers in the stronghold's depths and prepared to use the dragons as battle mounts.[13]

The Second War[]

Enslaved Red Dragon TCG

A red dragon enslaved by the Dragonmaw clan in Grim Batol during the Second War.

At the time of the Second War, Orgrim later pressured Nekros into providing aerial support for the Horde fleet in the form of three dragons, despite Nekros' initial protests that their training as battle mounts wasn't finished. Near the island of Zul'Dare, the Horde fleet was intercepted by Admiral Daelin Proudmoore and the Alliance navy, but the Alliance ships were forced to retreat when the dragons revealed themselves and engulfed the fleet in fire.[13] After months of hard work, the Dragonmaw learned how to ride their winged captives in battle, and dozens of dragons were used to devastating effect during the Horde attack on Quel'Thalas, despite the dragons weeping in sorrow as they slaughtered the elves and burned down the forests. When Orgrim prepared to leave Silvermoon behind to instead march on Lordaeron's Capital City, Gul'dan and the Stormreaver clan convinced the Warchief to leave them behind to unravel the barrier surrounding the elven capital of Silvermoon City. Doomhammer ordered the Dragonmaw to also remain behind and force Gul'dan's followers to march west if the shield had not come down within three days. The Warchief also gave the Dragonmaw permission to feed Gul'dan to their dragons if he disobeyed.[14]

A few days after Doomhammer left, Gul'dan gathered his allies and set out to abandon the Horde to instead find the lost Tomb of Sargeras. The Dragonmaw moved to bar his path, but neither side risked fighting and instead the Dragonmaw set out west to rejoin the main Horde force and warn Orgrim of Gul'dan's betrayal. Upon hearing the news, Orgrim sent the Black Tooth Grin clan to hunt the traitors down.[15] Later, the Horde were forced to abandon their siege of Capital City and instead retreat south into Khaz Modan. Doomhammer gathered Zuluhed and as many Dragonmaw warriors as he could and told them to rally the scattered dragon riders at Grim Batol and then transport them, Alexstrasza, and the rest of his resources to Blackrock Spire. Orgrim also commanded Zuluhed to send some of the dragon riders to seek out the Black Tooth Grin forces still at sea to inform them of the new rendezvous point at Blackrock as well as guard them from the Alliance navy.[16]

The Dragonmaw did not arrive at Blackrock in time to aid Doomhammer during the Horde's last stand against the Alliance. Seeing that the Alliance was triumphant, the Dragonmaw retreated to Grim Batol and continued breeding and training their red dragons, so that they would at least have weapons in case they were discovered by their enemies. Meanwhile, the Black Tooth Grin forces now barricaded in Blackrock Spire gradually reached out to other large groups of survivors in an attempt to rally them under their new banner. The Dragonmaw clan pledged their support and offered to give some of their enslaved dragons to the forces at Blackrock if they were ever needed.[17] However, Zuluhed and many of the other Dragonmaw instead returned to Draenor.[18] One group of the clan in the Black Morass helped defend the Dark Portal from the Alliance at the very end of the Second War.[19]

The Battle of Grim Batol[]

Chronicle3 Alexstrasza

Alexstrasza breaks free of Nekros Skullcrusher.

When the news came of Draenor's apparent destruction months later, the Azerothian Dragonmaw believed Zuluhed to have been killed in the catastrophe. Nekros Skullcrusher took command over his people and ordered them to continue lording over Alexstrasza and the dragons in Grim Batol.[18] With most of the other orc clans having been captured and placed in internment camps, the Dragonmaw were the last group of orcs large and strong enough to upset the delicate peace in Lordaeron. The clan continued holding domain over a large portion of northern Khaz Modan using dragons and small units of foot soldiers, even launching raids in Lordaeron using their dragon riders.[20] Meanwhile Nekros maintained his control over Alexstrasza and built up a secret army within Grim Batol, intending to unleash it upon the Alliance, reunite the Horde and continue the orcs' conquest of Azeroth.[21][22]

The Kirin Tor high councilor Krasus - the humanoid form of the red dragon Korialstrasz, one of Alexstrasza's consorts - sent the mage Rhonin to free Alexstrasza from the Dragonmaw in Grim Batol by somehow destroying the Demon Soul - which, using one of Deathwing's scales, he did. In her fury, Alexstrasza then tore Grim Batol apart and ate Nekros whole.[23] The Dragonqueen and her vengeful kin incinerated the greater bulk of the Dragonmaw clan before Alliance troops rounded up the remaining survivors and threw them into internment camps, with the exception of a few clan members that managed to flee into the Twilight Highlands. The defeat effectively put an end to the last bastion of orcish power in the world and signaled the end of the Horde and the end of the orcs' furious bloodlust.[21][22][24] Some of the interned Dragonmaw orcs later rejoined the Horde after being freed from the internment camps by Thrall.[25]

Operations in the Wetlands[]

WoW Icon update This section concerns content related to the original World of Warcraft.

The Dragonmaw were all but destroyed after they lost control of their dragons after the Second War. The dragons were not happy with their old masters and fiercely hunted the Dragonmaw. What few remained fled from Grim Batol, with one group seeking refuge in the mountains of the Wetlands, specifically at the Angerfang Encampment east of Whelgar's Excavation Site. Nekros' son, Nek'rosh Skullcrusher, took up leadership of the clan and vowed revenge against the dragons who slew his father. While not the same threat as they were when they had dragons, these Dragonmaw were still fierce opponents.[26]

While they normally hid in the hills, a group of Dragonmaw expanded into Dun Algaz, threatening to cut off Loch Modan from Menethil Harbor in the Wetlands.[27] Meanwhile, Nek'rosh aimed to lay siege to Menethil itself — which would have been effectively blocked from reinforcements due to the fighting in Algaz — and ordered the construction of several catapults.[28] He was ultimately defeated by Alliance adventurers and his head was brought to Captain Stoutfist, thus ending the Dragonmaw threat to Menethil.[29]

The orcs who claimed the Twilight Highlands soon came into conflict with the Wildhammer dwarves. Narkrall Rakeclaw states that the two clans have fought against each other in both Grim Batol and the Wetlands, while Colin Thundermar claims that the Wildhammers have fought the Dragonmaw "up and down these highlands since the last war".[30][31]

A group of Dragonmaw warriors was stationed within the Dragonmaw Garrison in Blackrock Spire's Blackwing Lair as part of the Blackwing Cabal protecting Grethok the Controller.

A wrecked Dragonmaw caravan can be found in the Green Belt of the Wetlands, with red whelps, implying it was destroyed in the aftermath of the Battle of Grim Batol.


Bc icon This section concerns content related to The Burning Crusade.

Dragonmaw Fortress

Dragonmaw Fortress in Shadowmoon Valley.

The Dragonmaw who traveled to Draenor, including Chieftain Zuluhed, survived the shattering of the world and its transformation into Outland. They eventually transformed into fel orcs and came to serve the Betrayer, Illidan Stormrage, applying their knowledge of all things draconic to enslave Outland's nether dragons.[1] In their stronghold of Dragonmaw Fortress, the Dragonmaw tortured captured drakes in an attempt to bend them to their will. Many drakes gave up hope and chose to instead do the bidding of the Dragonmaw, while others sought refuge in the skies above the Netherwing Fields, refusing to land for fear of being captured by Dragonmaw war parties. The Netherwing matriarch herself, Karynaku, was captured by Zuluhed and held prisoner atop the Fortress, bound by chains that sapped her power. The Netherwing and their patriarch, Neltharaku, were powerless against Zuluhed, who possessed unknown powers and was likely empowered further by Illidan.[32][33][34]

Meanwhile, a group of Dragonmaw under the leadership of Overlord Mor'ghor established a base camp on Netherwing Ledge, once a bastion of sanctuary for the Netherwing.[35] There, they were charged with strip-mining the island of all natural resources in order to supply Illidan's armies out of the Black Temple. However, Mor'ghor's Dragonmaw took much for themselves and sold whatever they hid away to the highest bidder — the black dragonflight was involved, as were some independent third parties.[36] The Dragonmaw also thoroughly gathered Netherwing eggs in order to ship them off to parts unknown.[37] Mor'ghor specifically had some form of agreement with Sinestra, the black flight's matriarch, who requested Netherwing eggs for Deathwing's experiments in exchange for allowing the Dragonmaw to ride upon the backs of black drakes as needed.[38]

Eventually, an adventurer sent by Neltharaku freed several drakes enslaved in Dragonmaw Fortress by using an enchanted nethervine crystal and helped them turn on their masters.[39] The adventurer eventually succeeded in killing Zuluhed himself, retrieving the key to Karynaku's chains from his corpse and freeing the great dragon.[34] The adventurer was then sent to Netherwing Ledge to infiltrate the Dragonmaw's ranks and sabotage their operations under the disguise of a fel orc.[35] After gradually ascending through the Dragonmaw's ranks, the adventurer was finally promoted to the first highlord of the Dragonmaw and presented to Illidan himself by Mor'ghor. However, Illidan saw through the adventurer's disguise and furiously ordered Mor'ghor to kill the infiltrator, forcing the adventurer to flee on the back of another undercover Netherwing agent, Yarzill.[40]

When the Dark Portal reopened, a number of Dragonmaw were forced to serve the death knight Ragnok Bloodreaver.[41]


Cataclysm This section concerns content related to Cataclysm.

“This wayward orc clan was once empowered by Deathwing himself to enslave red dragons, including Alexstrasza. Currently less numerous and powerful, the Dragonmaw make their home in the Twilight Highlands.”

Improved Dragonmaw Port

Dragonmaw Port after being upgraded.

Mor'ghor survived Illidan's wrath and the events in Outland and managed to flee to Azeroth, where he declared himself Warchief of the Dragonmaw and asserted a reign of terror over his clansmen with the aid of several of his fel orc enforcers and warlocks, seemingly with the intent of turning the Azerothian Dragonmaw into fel orcs as well. This was much to the dismay of more traditional-minded Dragonmaw like Zaela, who despised the "half-demon" Mor'ghor for his "contaminated" blood and saw his actions as leading their clan to ruin.[42][43][44][45]

By the advent of the Cataclysm, the Dragonmaw had clung to the edges of the Twilight Highlands.[46] Around this time, the Horde were presented with an opportunity to redeem their old Dragonmaw allies. Despite their past crimes, it was the will of Warchief Garrosh Hellscream that the once-maligned Dragonmaw join the Horde in battle once again.[1] Though no less wild and difficult to deal with than when they ruled Grim Batol, the clan's knowledge of dragons and warfare was of unquestionable importance, especially amidst the chaos of the Cataclysm.[46]

However, when the Horde forces arrived near Dragonmaw Port and attempted to negotiate with the clan, Mor'ghor killed the negotiators and captured the Horde adventurer as a bargaining chip.[42] With the help of Zaela, the adventurer was able to escape and inform their superiors of the tensions between the regular orcs and the fel orcs within the clan.[43] Using this information, the Horde forces launched an offensive on the shores of Dragonmaw Port while the adventurer slipped behind the battle lines and met up with Zaela.[47] Together, they armed the port's merchants and workers with supplies sent by the Horde fleet, inciting the populace to rebel against Mor'ghor's loyalists.[44] Zaela, the adventurer and a handful of other rebels proceeded to face Mor'ghor in his stronghold and finally kill him. Zaela declared that wherever the Horde would take the clan, they would keep their heads high and their blood pure and that a new Dragonmaw dawned with Mor'ghor's death. Shortly afterward, Warchief Garrosh arrived and welcomed the Dragonmaw into the Horde, with Zaela as their new leader.[45]

Shortly afterward, Dragonmaw Port's "flimsy wooden walls" were quickly replaced with sturdier constructions.[48][49] As the Dragonmaw's arrangement with the Horde put them in direct conflict with the Alliance, the Horde set up a command post south of the port to prevent the Alliance's forces from moving up the Twilight Shore.[50] Meanwhile, Gralok and a group of Dragonmaw warriors set up a defensive perimeter at the Slithering Cove to the north in order to prevent the Blackscale naga from moving upriver to reinforce the Bastion of Twilight. With the help of goblin engineers and the Horde adventurer, they were able to fend off the naga and kill their leader, Fathom-Lord Heth'Jatar.[51][52][53]


Bloodgulch, heart of the Dragonmaw empire in the Highlands, now the Twilight Highlands.

The adventurer was then sent to assist Narkrall Rakeclaw, who was amassing a wing of drake-riders at Bloodgulch, the heart of the Dragonmaw empire.[54] Narkrall was unimpressed by the hero and tasked them with assisting in the fight against the Wildhammer dwarves in the Thundermar Ruins[30][55][56] before sending them to wrangle a wild black drake back to Bloodgulch.[57] While the adventurer was gone, Narkrall and the drake-riders launched a violent assault on the Wildhammer settlement of Thundermar, but the attack was repelled by the dwarves with the help of their new Alliance allies and Narkrall himself was killed.[58][59][60] Warlord Zaela was immensely frustrated by this, for while Narkrall himself was meaningless, he had earlier revealed to Zaela the reason behind his ability to control black drakes: he had somehow come into possession of the Demon Chain, the very length of chain to which the Demon Soul was once fastened. The adventurer retrieved the chain from Narkrall's corpse and proceeded to assist Zaela in defeating Narkrall's drake mount, Torth, who had broken free from his former master and vowed revenge against the Dragonmaw.[61][62]

Zaela continued to assist the Horde during their efforts against the Twilight's Hammer at the Bastion of Twilight, with a wing of drake rider reinforcements being called in during the climactic battle with Skullcrusher the Mountain.[63]

Elsewhere, the Gorshak War Camp was sacked by the Twilight's Hammer, killing most of the Dragonmaw that lived in the town. Mackay Firebeard and a group of dwarves ransacked the camp's supplies and weapons and killed or drove out the remaining orc stragglers with the help of an Alliance adventurer.[64][65][66] In the north, the Dragonmaw town of Drakgor suffered a similar fate, being destroyed by Twilight cultists who then proceeded to perform elemental summoning rituals in the ruins.[67]

Twin Peaks Horde

The Dragonmaw Clan Compound in the Twin Peaks.

The Crucible of Carnage used to be an old Dragonmaw fighting pit. The Dragonmaw champion Torg Drakeflayer was one of the arena's combatants, proclaiming that all of the highlands belonged to the Dragonmaw, including the Crucible.[68][69]

To this day, the Dragonmaw and Wildhammer remain locked in seemingly endless battle in the Twin Peaks, a vitally strategic chokepoint to the Twilight Highlands war effort, each faction hoping to claim definitive ownership of the peaks.[70][71]

A portion of the Dragonmaw remained in the Wetlands. Prospector Whelgar asked adventurers to deal with the Angerfang Dragonmaw and their chief, Gorfax Angerfang.[72] The Dragonmaw near Greenwarden's Grove quickly became a nuisance to the night elves, launching several suicidal but ineffective attacks on the grove. More disturbingly, however, these orcs began rounding up and capturing nearby whelps from the black dragonflight, seemingly in a crude attempt at reviving their dragon-taming traditions. They could also be seen fighting ebon slavehunters, while the black drake Pyrricion assaulted them with fire. Huntress Iczelia of the Sentinels asked Alliance adventurers to cut down the Dragonmaw whelpstealers to put an end to their dragon enslaving and prevent them from pressing further west.[73] Another Dragonmaw group resided in Dun Algaz and stole a keg of ale from the nearby mountaineers Rharen and Grugelm, much to the two dwarves' dismay.[74][75]

Civil war in the Horde[]

Mists of Pandaria This section concerns content related to Mists of Pandaria.
Dranosh'ar Landing

Dranosh'ar Landing in Durotar.

Warlord Zaela vocally admired Garrosh's style of leadership; the Dragonmaw were just as intolerant of insubordination as he was. In the words of Koak, the Dragonmaw now belonged to Hellscream, depending on him for vital resources and military support.[25]

Zaela was summoned by Garrosh to help put down the burgeoning Darkspear Rebellion. During the escalation of the conflict between the rebels and Garrosh's loyalists, Zaela could be found at the Dranosh'ar Blockade, projecting her will onto an enslaved black proto-dragon. When the Gob Squad infiltrated Ragefire Chasm, they discovered a large amount of proto-drake eggs. The Gob Squad member Grit commented "Proto-drake eggs... is Garrosh working with the Dragonmaw? Orcs on proto-drakes sounds bad to me. Very bad."[76]

Zaela and some of her finest soldiers were tasked with the naval defense of Orgrimmar when the Alliance and the Darkspear Rebellion launched their siege on the city. The Dragonmaw defended Dranosh'ar Landing from the invading forces, with Zaela herself overseeing the battle from atop the back of her fearsome proto-drake, Galakras.[77] The defenses were shattered and Galakras was brought down, but Zaela managed to escape with her life. In the Underhold, many crates with the Dragonmaw symbol can be found.

Koak was one of the few Dragonmaw to side with the Horde and the rebellion over his own clan, forever marking him as an outcast.[25] Duroz Scaletaker was another Dragonmaw who sided with the Horde over the clan.

War Crimes[]

WoW-novel-logo-16x62 This section concerns content related to the Warcraft novels, novellas, or short stories.

Zaela and other Dragonmaw orcs still loyal to Garrosh fled to Grim Batol following the Siege of Orgrimmar, where they successfully hid from scouts sent by Vol'jin to look for them in the Twilight Highlands. Kairozdormu contacted Zaela and tasked her with gathering other loyalists in the form of Shokia, Thalen Songweaver and Harrowmeiser.

Later, Kairozdormu provided the Dragonmaw with infinite dragons to attack the Temple of the White Tiger and provide a distraction while he freed Garrosh and helped him escape to Draenor.

Iron Horde incursion[]

Warlords of Draenor This section concerns content related to Warlords of Draenor.

When Garrosh instructed the Ironmarch vanguard as to their mission in Azeroth, he urged them to rendezvous with his old ally, Zaela. The Dragonmaw warlord and her loyalists captured Upper Blackrock Spire in the name of the Iron Horde, joining forces with the Ironmarch to create the Black Iron. Zaela apparently planned to destroy Stormwind City with some form of doomsday weapon,[78] but she and her armies were ultimately destroyed by adventurers from the Alliance and Horde.


Legion This section concerns content related to Legion.

Gorfax Angerfang is present in the Undercity during the prestige ceremony when Sylvanas Windrunner commends a Horde adventurer for their battles against the Alliance.[79]


Dragonflight This section concerns content related to Dragonflight.
Honor and Glory - Dragonmaw

Members of the Dragonmaw clan at the Kosh'harg.

The Dragonmaw are invited to Azeroth's first Kosh'harg festival by Thrall. A number of clan members expressed some disbelief that they were invited, including their chieftain, Gorfax. Gorfax lamented the torrid experiences that Thrall has borne witness to concerning his clan, stating that he hoped the festival could mend ties.

Later in the festival, the clans gathered to allow orcs to choose their clan, including the Dragonmaw. Here, the chieftains described their clans to prospective recruits. Gorfax was honest and described the sad history of the clan, recounting their past as rylak riders, then their dark turn to slavers under the Old and Dark Hordes, as well as their corruption in the True Horde. Gorfax also chastised his own actions for supporting Nek'rosh Skullcrusher, prior to his demise. If questioned on his clan's dishonor, he claimed that he would not have their clan's strength be dictated by enslaving another race, and would like the Dragonmaw to stand on their own merits; or see the clan die trying to redeem themselves. He also re-affirmed his people's place is in the New Horde.[80]

Upon orc champions requesting to join the Dragonmaw, Gorfax reaffirmed that it was their wish.[81] He subsequently instructed them with hunting, tracking, and killing Gor'krosh, the Long Knives, without their armor, in order to test their skills in battle.[82] Following their success, Gorfax accepted the Inv misc eagleclaw blue ["Long Knife"] as a trophy on behalf of the clan.[83]

Artesh and Mallia were offered an invitation by Aggralan to join the Earthen Ring; though the two were hesitant out of fear of prejudices. Mallia stated they would converse with the spirits and do as they bid on this matter.[84]


  • The Dragonmaw do not give their mounts a name until the beast has earned one.[25]
  • The greatest warriors of the clan wear insignias carved out of dragons' teeth and dyed in black blood.[85]
  • Breaking the will of a black dragon is the first step towards becoming a Dragonmaw champion.[69]
  • Whenever the Dragonmaw go on the warpath, everyone stops hunting. According to Griff, the best-tasting food is stolen from the mouths of the enemy.[86]
  • The Dragonmaw of the Twilight Highlands use bandages steeped in the blood of red dragons, whose blood has healing properties.[87]
  • The Dragonmaw in Outland have seemingly learned how to transform some clan members into drakonid. The Dragonmaw Ascendants that roam Netherwing Ledge started out as mere peons,[88] while Zuluhed himself can transform into a drakonid using his "Nether Infusion" ability.
  • The forces at Netherwing Ledge use various materials for a variety of purposes.
  • The clan made the habit of roofing its Twilight Highlands buildings with black dragon scales, as can be seen in Bloodgulch.


Mark of the dragonmaw

Mark of the Dragonmaw, which all non-fel orc members of the clan have.

In World of Warcraft, Dragonmaw clan members originally all had the same chartreuse yellow skin color already accessible to orc player characters, giving them a distinct look as a group. This skin color can still be seen on Garneg Charskull, Ma'ruk Wyrmscale, and Zuluhed the Whacked. Nek'rosh Skullcrusher was another example before his death.

In Cataclysm, the Dragonmaw orc received a new unique model, with gray skin (similar to that of the Blackrock clan), special facial features and distinctive tattoos. However, some Dragonmaw (such as Innkeeper Turk and Warlord Zaela in some appearances) use the standard gray-skinned Blackrock model instead.

After the player character revamp in Warlords of Draenor, the Dragonmaw model lost the unique dragon tattoos and their eyes now glow a bright yellow. The reason for this is unknown.

The Hearthstone card Dragonhatcher combines the two Dragonmaw designs by depicting an orc with both the tattoos of the Cataclysm model and the glowing eyes of the Warlords of Draenor model.

According to Velora Nitely, the Dragonmaw orcs of the Wetlands have nice, thick shinbones.[93]

Reputation rewards[]

Those members of the Horde who endorse the Dragonmaw clan will find themselves rewarded with masterfully crafted pieces of armor and mystic trinkets that reflect the clan's history of domination.[1]

Grot Deathblow
<Dragonmaw Clan Quartermaster>
Item Cost Type
Friendly Inv misc tabard dragonmawclan [Tabard of the Dragonmaw Clan] 1g Tabard
Honored Inv gauntlets robe dungeonrobe c 04 [Bone Fever Gloves] 24g 90s 80c Cloth Hands (caster)
Inv helmet mail dungeonmail c 04 [Helm of the Brown Lands] 56g 24s 22c Mail Head (spirit)
Inv pants leather 44 [Leggings of the Impenitent] 62g 5s 42c Leather Legs (agility)
Inv shoulder 153 [Spaulders of the Endless Plains] 56g 37s 45c Leather Shoulder (spirit)
Revered Inv misc kingsring1 [Band of Lamentation] 21g 37s 37c Ring (caster)
Inv gauntlets plate dungeonplate c 04 [Gauntlets of Rattling Bones] 45g 81s 56c Plate Hands (strength)
Inv helmet plate dungeonplage c 04 [Grinning Fang Helm] 62g 15s 95c Plate Head (tank)
Inv helmet mail dungeonmail c 04 [Snarling Helm] 53g 18s Mail Head (agility)
Exalted Inv boots plate raiddeathknight i 01 [Boots of Sullen Rock] 81g 83s 7c Plate Feet (tank)
Inv glove leatherraidrogue i 01 [Liar's Handwraps] 43g 22s 4c Leather Hands (agility)
Inv belt leather raiddruid i 01 [Withered Dream Belt] 39g 32s 73c Leather Waist (spirit)
Inv misc necklacea9 [Yellow Smoke Pendant] 21g 37s 37c Neck (caster)


Name Role Status Location
Mob IconSmall Zuluhed Zuluhed the Whacked Former chieftain of the Dragonmaw Deceased Dragonmaw Fortress, Shadowmoon Valley
Horde IconSmall Orc Male Nekros Skullcrusher Second-in-command to Zuluhed, wielder of the Demon Soul and warden of Alexstrasza Deceased Unknown
Mob IconSmall Orc Male Nek'rosh Skullcrusher Son of Nekros, leader of the Dragonmaw forces in the Wetlands Deceased Formerly Angerfang Encampment, Wetlands
Mob IconSmall FelOrc Male Mor'ghor Former Warchief of the Dragonmaw, former overlord of Netherwing Ledge Deceased Various Locations
Neutral IconSmall Zaela Warlord Zaela Warlord of the Dragonmaw after Mor'ghor's death, Warlord of the Ironmarch Deceased Various Locations
Horde IconSmall Gorfax Gorfax Angerfang Chieftain of the Dragonmaw after Zaela's death. Adamant to rebuild the reputation of the clan without enslaving another race to do their bidding. Leader of the Angerfang sub-group. Alive Angerfang Encampment, Wetlands
Horde IconSmall Dragonmaw Female Artesh Shaman, helps open a portal between Dragonmaw Port and Orgrimmar Alive Dragonmaw Port, Twilight Highlands
Horde IconSmall Orc Male Bradok One of the first dragon riders during the Second War, killed by Gul'dan over the Great Sea Deceased Unknown
Horde IconSmall Orc Male Brogas Chief handler of dragons at Grim Batol after the Second War Unknown Unknown
Neutral IconSmall FelOrc Male Corlok the Vet Participant of the Dragonmaw flying race Alive Dragonmaw Base Camp, Shadowmoon Valley
Mob IconSmall Dragonmaw Female Master Cannoneer Dagryn Lieutenant of Zaela Killable Dranosh'ar Landing, Siege of Orgrimmar
Mob IconSmall Orc Male Garneg Charskull Shaman Killable Angerfang Encampment, Wetlands
Horde IconSmall Dragonmaw Male Gorosh the Pant Stealer Stealer of Bahrum Forgehammer's pants Killable Gorshak War Camp, Twilight Highlands
Horde IconSmall Dragonmaw Male Gralok In charge of fighting off the Blackscale naga Alive Slithering Cove, Twilight Highlands
Horde IconSmall Dragonmaw Male Gregor Medicine man Alive Dragonmaw Port, Twilight Highlands
Horde IconSmall Dragonmaw Male Warlord Halthar "Terror of the shire", Dragonmaw commander in the Thundermar Ruins Killable Thundermar Ruins, Twilight Highlands
Horde IconSmall Dragonmaw Male Herezegor Flametusk Patron of the Wyvern's Tail, formerly led legions of Dragonmaw warriors Alive The Wyvern's Tail, Orgrimmar
Horde IconSmall Dragonmaw Male Grot Deathblow Dragonmaw quartermaster Alive Bloodgulch, Twilight Highlands
Neutral IconSmall FelOrc Male Drake Dealer Hurlunk Nether drake vendor Alive Dragonmaw Base Camp, Shadowmoon Valley
Neutral IconSmall ChaosOrc Male Ja'y Nosliw Skybreaker General Alive Dragonmaw Base Camp, Shadowmoon Valley
Horde IconSmall Dragonmaw Male Karkrog the Exterminator Dragonmaw commander in the Thundermar Ruins Killable Thundermar Ruins, Twilight Highlands
Horde IconSmall Orc Male Koak One of the few Dragonmaw that stood against his clan during the Siege of Orgrimmar, friend of the cloud serpent Steel Alive Unknown
Mob IconSmall Dragonmaw Female Korgra the Snake Lieutenant of Zaela Killable Dranosh'ar Landing, Siege of Orgrimmar
Mob IconSmall Dragonmaw Male Lieutenant Krugruk Lieutenant of Zaela Killable Dranosh'ar Landing, Siege of Orgrimmar
Mob IconSmall Orc Male Ma'ruk Wyrmscale Dragonmaw Warlord Killable Dun Algaz, Wetlands
Horde IconSmall Dragonmaw Female Mallia Seer Alive Bloodgulch, Twilight Highlands
Neutral IconSmall ChaosOrc Male Chief Overseer Mudlump Beater of peons Alive Dragonmaw Base Camp, Shadowmoon Valley
Neutral IconSmall ChaosOrc Male Murg "Oldie" Muckjaw Participant of the Dragonmaw flying race Alive Dragonmaw Base Camp, Shadowmoon Valley
Horde IconSmall Dragonmaw Male Narkrall Rakeclaw Drake-tamer, wielder of the Demon Chain Deceased Bloodgulch, Twilight Highlands
Neutral IconSmall FelOrc Male Ronag the Slave Driver Slave driver Alive Netherwing Mines, Shadowmoon Valley
Mob IconSmall FelOrc Male Captain Skyshatter Champion of the Dragonmaw flying race Killable Dragonmaw Base Camp, Shadowmoon Valley
Mob IconSmall Dragonmaw Male High Enforcer Thranok Lieutenant of Zaela Killable Dranosh'ar Landing, Siege of Orgrimmar
Horde IconSmall Dragonmaw Male Torg Drakeflayer Dragonmaw champion, Crucible of Carnage gladiator Killable Crucible of Carnage, Twilight Highlands
Horde IconSmall Orc Male Torgus Well-known dragonrider during and after the Second War Unknown Unknown
Neutral IconSmall FelOrc Male Taskmaster Varkule Dragonbreath Netherwing Ledge taskmaster Alive Dragonmaw Base Camp, Shadowmoon Valley


In Warcraft II[]


The Dragonmaw clan banner in the Warcraft II manual.

WC2BnE-logo This section concerns content related to Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness or its expansion Beyond the Dark Portal.

Chieftain: Zuluhed the Whacked

Clan Colors: White

Background: Led by the Shaman Zuluhed, the Dragonmaw clan is a small but elite faction within the Horde. With its legacy dating back into the time before the Warlocks, the Dragonmaw was quick to become one of Blackhand's strongest supporters in Azeroth. After his demise, the Dragonmaw honored its fealty to Blackhand by pledging itself into the service of his sons and The Black Tooth Grin. Using ritualistic magiks dowered by the ancient Shaman, the Dragonmaw clan was responsible for the capture of the Dragon Queen Alexstraza[sic] and the Horde's current subjugation of the Dragons of Azeroth.[11]

Domain: Grim Batol, Khaz Modan

In the RPG[]

Icon-RPG This section contains information from the Warcraft RPG which is considered non-canon.

The Dragonmaws employed several goblins, such as Mulfseam‎, when they were still holding Grim Batol. They also constructed the Dragonmaw Gates.[94]

Notes and trivia[]

  • Dragonmaw clan banners can be found in Crestfall.
  • During the Iron Horde Incursion in the Blasted Lands, cut rare elite mobs included several Dragonmaw orcs, including Warcaster Bargol, Pathstalker Draga, Kalgor Foeslayer, Lorgrun Ironfist, Scarhide Kragor, Caldera Makrah, Earth-Master Rogok, Forge Matron Targa, and Pyrecaster Zindra.
  • The name of the Dragonmaw clan was long a point of confusion, since the clan existed before the First War but the orcs could never have encountered dragons before that point due to Draenor's lack of native dragons. Sean Copeland at one point explained that dragon-like creatures were a popular part of orcish folklore and myth even before the clan's arrival on Azeroth.[95] Some speculated that the clan name was derived from Draenor's faerie dragons, rylaks or wind serpents, which all resemble dragons to an extent. This matter caused issues for the developers during the development of Warlords of Draenor, as the Dragonmaw's clan identity could not yet have existed. The Dragonmaw, therefore, do not appear on the alternate Draenor and are the only Iron Horde clan to not have an alternate equivalent.[96] World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2 finally reconciled this by establishing that the clan's Orcish name originally referred to rylaks but later came to be used to refer to dragons as well.[2]
  • The Dragonmaw clan is the only known clan to serve in every incarnation of the Horde: Old Horde, Dark Horde, Fel Horde, New Horde (aka, Thrall's Horde) as well as the True Horde and Iron Horde.
  • The exact details of the Dragonmaw orc skin color are not known. It's possible their grey skin tone is a full-body tattoo, or that (like the Blackrock clan) years of dwelling underground without light has altered them. It could be explained by the years they spent in Grim Batol; they might have been "fundamentally altered".[97] It could also be natural pallor already present to a degree before the blood-curse.
  • After Overlord Mor'ghor returned from Outland, he seemed to have brought some other fel orcs with him, reuniting the clan, but after the clan joined the New Horde the fel orcs are nowhere to be seen, presumably all killed by Garrosh's forces.
  • An unused datum from early Legion builds suggests that Dragonmaw Captives were set to appear in the expansion, very likely as a part of the scrapped Legion Invasions in the Wetlands.
  • Two of the realms, Dragonmaw US and Dragonmaw EU, are named after the clan.
  • Zaela does not use the glowing yellow eyes that all Dragonmaw received in Warlords of Draenor, except in her pre-Warlords appearance, which were updated.


This article or section includes speculation, observations or opinions possibly supported by lore or by Blizzard officials. It should not be taken as representing official lore.


Fate of the dragons[]

With Wrathion claiming to be one of the last known black dragons alive on Azeroth at the end of Cataclysm, it seems that all of the black dragons under the Dragomaw's command either perished in battle against the Alliance or the Twilight's Hammer, or broke free from their masters' will, forcing the Dragonmaw to put them down (such as was the case with Torth). Whichever the case, it's clear that the Dragonmaw no longer had black dragons under their control by the time of Mists of Pandaria.


It is unknown if the Dragonmaw clan ever reconciled with the red dragonflight during their time in the Horde. Golluck Rockfist, a Horde ambassador to Wyrmrest Temple and later the Vermillion Redoubt, mentions that "Zuluhed and Nekros are dead, but the debt we owe to the reds is far from repaid."

On the alternate Draenor[]



  1. ^ a b c d Dragonmaw Clan - Game Guide - World of Warcraft. Archived from the original on 2013-03-13. Retrieved on 2017-04-15.
  2. ^ a b c World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2, pg. 42
  3. ^ Ragewing the Untamed's journal entry.
  4. ^ H IconSmall Orc MaleIconSmall Orc Female [50-70] The Blessing of the Clan, Gorfax's dialogue.
  5. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2, pg. 39 - 41 (map)
  6. ^ Rise of the Horde, chapter 7
  7. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2, pg. 82
  8. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2, pg. 98
  9. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2, pg. 99
  10. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2, pg. 123
  11. ^ a b Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness manual, Clans of the Horde, Dragonmaw Clan
  12. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2, pg. 140 - 141
  13. ^ a b World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2, pg. 155 - 157
  14. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2, pg. 164 - 165
  15. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2, pg. 167 - 168
  16. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2, pg. 171
  17. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2, pg. 175
  18. ^ a b World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2, pg. 197
  19. ^ The Great Portal (WC2 Human)
  20. ^ Day of the Dragon, chapter 3
  21. ^ a b Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos manual, The Battle of Grim Batol
  22. ^ a b The Battle of Grim Batol
  23. ^ Day of the Dragon
  24. ^ Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal manual, The Aftermath of the Second War
  25. ^ a b c d The Strength of Steel
  26. ^ A [26] War Banners
  27. ^ A [21] The Algaz Gauntlet
  28. ^ A [26] Nek'rosh's Gambit
  29. ^ A [26] Defeat Nek'rosh
  30. ^ a b H [30-35] Crushing the Wildhammer
  31. ^ A [30-35] Dragonmaw Takedown
  32. ^ N [25-30] Neltharaku's Tale
  33. ^ N [25-30G] Karynaku
  34. ^ a b N [25-30G] Zuluhed the Whacked
  35. ^ a b N [25-30] In Service of the Illidari
  36. ^ N [25-30] Seeker of Truth
  37. ^ N [25-30] The Great Netherwing Egg Hunt
  38. ^ Conversation between Overlord Mor'ghor and Lady Sinestra
  39. ^ N [25-30] The Force of Neltharaku
  40. ^ N [25-30] Lord Illidan Stormrage
  41. ^ Shadow Wing
  42. ^ a b H [30-35] Madness
  43. ^ a b H [30-35] Negotiations Terminated
  44. ^ a b H [30-35] Insurrection
  45. ^ a b H [30-35] Death to Mor'ghor
  46. ^ a b World of Warcraft: Cataclysm - Features - Twilight Highlands. Archived from the original on 2011-08-16. Retrieved on 2017-04-18.
  47. ^ H [30-35] You Say You Want a Revolution
  48. ^ H [30-35] Cementing Our Victory
  49. ^ H [30-35] Return to the Highlands
  50. ^ H [30-35] The Southern Flank
  51. ^ H [30-35] The Northern Flank
  52. ^ H [30-35] Blood in the Surf
  53. ^ H [30-35] Blast Him!
  54. ^ H [30-35] Narkrall, the Drake-Tamer
  55. ^ H [30-35] Drag 'em Down
  56. ^ H [30-35] Total War
  57. ^ H [30-35] Bait and Throttle
  58. ^ A [30-35] Tear Them From the Sky!
  59. ^ A [30-35] Last Stand at Thundermar
  60. ^ A [30-35] Narkrall, The Drake-Tamer
  61. ^ H [30-35] The Demon Chain
  62. ^ H [30-35] Fury Unbound
  63. ^ H [30-35] Skullcrusher the Mountain
  64. ^ A [30-35] Firebeard Bellows
  65. ^ A [30-35] Death Worthy of a Dragonmaw
  66. ^ A [30-35] Anything We Can Get
  67. ^ N [30-35] Pushing Back
  68. ^ N [30-35G5] The Crucible of Carnage: The Bloodeye Bruiser!
  69. ^ a b A [30-35G5] The Crucible of Carnage: The Deadly Dragonmaw!
  70. ^ Twin Peaks - Game Guide - World of Warcraft. Archived from the original on 2014-05-16. Retrieved on 2017-04-18.
  71. ^ World of Warcraft: Cataclysm - Features - Twin Peaks Battleground. Archived from the original on 2011-12-14. Retrieved on 2017-04-18.
  72. ^ A [10-30] The Angerfang Menace
  73. ^ A [10-30] The Crazed Dragonmaw
  74. ^ A [10-30] The Stolen Keg
  75. ^ A [10-30] Cleaning Hovel
  76. ^ Secrets of Ragefire
  77. ^ Adventure Guide entry for Galakras
  78. ^ Adventure Guide entry for Warlord Zaela
  79. ^ H [10-45] A Royal Audience
  80. ^ H IconSmall Orc MaleIconSmall Orc Female [50-70] The Blessing of the Clan, Gorfax's dialogue
  81. ^ H IconSmall Orc MaleIconSmall Orc Female [50-70] The Blessing of the Clan, Gorfax's dialogue.
  82. ^ H IconSmall Orc MaleIconSmall Orc Female [50-70] The Long Knives
  83. ^ H IconSmall Orc MaleIconSmall Orc Female [50-70] Cornering Gor'krosh
  84. ^ Orc Heritage armor questline, Mallia's dialogue.
  85. ^ A [30-35] Dragonmaw Takedown, Inv jewelry trinket 01 [Dragonmaw Insignia]
  86. ^ H [30-35] War Forage
  87. ^ H [30-35] Dangerous Compassion
  88. ^ N [25-30] Enter the Taskmaster
  89. ^ N [25-30 Daily] Netherwing Crystals
  90. ^ N Mining [25-30 Daily] Nethercite Ore
  91. ^ N Herbalism [25-30 Daily] Netherdust Pollen
  92. ^ N Skinning [25-30 Daily] Nethermine Flayer Hide
  93. ^ H Warrior [30] Dragonmaw Shinbones
  94. ^ Lands of Conflict, pg. 74
  95. ^ Sean Copeland on Twitter (2014-07-05). Archived from the original on 2014-10-03.
  96. ^ Blizzcon 2013 - World of Warcraft - The Adventure Continues Panel
  97. ^ Sean Copeland on Twitter (dead link)

External links[]