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WCOnH logo First War
First War FX
Part of Burning Crusade
Date 0 ADP - 5 ADP[n 1]
Location Continent of Azeroth[7]
Prelude Building of the Dark Portal
Begin First Siege of Stormwind Keep
End Second Siege of Stormwind Keep


Kingdom of Stormwind †[26]


Burning Legion[27] and Orcish Horde[28]

Commanders and leaders

Kingdom of Stormwind †[26]


Burning Legion[27] and Orcish Horde[28]

Casualties and losses

Kingdom of Stormwind †[26]


Burning Legion[27] and Orcish Horde[28]

Previous Gurubashi War (Azeroth)
Genocide of the draenei (Draenor)
Next Second War

“All goes as planned. The orcs will slay the humans and I will control them through warlock-chiefs like Gul'dan. I will lead these misshapened creations to the lost tomb where Sargeras's body is, protected against demon and human but not against orc, and my form will be free. And then I can shed this lumpish body and weakened spirit and burn this world as it so richly deserves.”

Magus Medivh[27]

The First War (also referred to as the first Great War)[41] was a conflict fought between the orcish clans of Draenor and the humans of the Kingdom of Stormwind.[7]


Medivh BlackMorass TCG

Medivh opening the Dark Portal.

The kingdom of Stormwind was a prosperous one. The humans who dwelled there turned the land into a paradise. The Knights of Stormwind, and the Clerics of Northshire Abbey, roamed far and wide, serving the king's people with honor and justice. The well-trained armies of the king were maintaining a lasting peace since the days of the Gnoll War. The people of Azeroth were unaware that the powerful human mage Medivh was seeking a way to destroy this kingdom and wreak havoc on the lands. With the help of an other-worldy being named Gul'dan, the two managed to open a portal between their two worlds, a portal which would later became known as the Dark Portal.[42][43]

Through the portal came the Orcish Horde. The humans did not know from whence these foul creatures came, and none were prepared for the terror that they spawned. When reports of mysterious creatures lurking around the Black Morass reached Stormwind, rumors spread through the streets that they were either vengeful spirits, trolls armed with some new breed of power, or a strange race from across the Great Sea.[44] Their warriors wielded axe and spear with deadly proficiency, while others rode dark wolves as black as the moonless night. Unimagined were the destructive powers of their evil magic, derived from the fires of the Twisting Nether. Filled with the demonic blood of Mannoroth,[45] these creatures lusted for war and would destroy anything that prevented them from reaching their goal; to conquer Azeroth.[46]

With an ingenious arsenal of weaponry and powerful magic, these two forces collided in a contest of cunning, intellect, and brute strength, with the victor claiming dominance over the whole of Azeroth.[47]

The First War[]

Early stages[]

King Llane dispatched Sir Anduin Lothar to uncover what these new creatures were. Lothar led a small force of knights to scout the Black Morass, resulting in the Knights of Stormwind clashing with orcs for the first time in a series of bloody skirmishes. Lothar and his men scored a number of small victories, yet for every orcs killed two more seemed to take its place. The humans were more outnumbered in each subsequent battle, and Lothar was eventually forced to pull back without venturing deep enough into the heavily guarded Black Morass to find the Dark Portal. Lothar informed King Llane the invaders were bringing in reinforcements from somewhere, and the kingdom readied itself for a full-scale war. Elsewhere, the orcs reported to Warchief Blackhand that the region's humans were now aware of their presence. Preparations and scouting ceased, and the First War had began in earnest.[44]

Lothar and his soldiers soon crossed paths with the Guardian Medivh and his apprentice Khadgar on a scouting mission to the Black Morass. He had encouraged his friend to rejoin Stormwind's defense, though understood that Medivh struggled with the power he unleashed on the Gurubashi years ago. The Guardian played along and feigned a fear of tapping into unwieldy magical powers, though his true intention was to buy time for the Horde to gain power. Lothar also spoke with Khadgar, telling him about Medivh's troubled past and asking him to act as a caretaker in addition to an apprentice. Medivh became more erratic afterward, disappearing for days at a time and being exhausted when he finally returned.[48]

Warchief Blackhand ordered raiding parties to cut deep into Stormwind's lands to drive panic into the human populace. Entire villages in Brightwood, Westfall, and the southern Redridge Mountains fell, their inhabitants either killed or forced to flee. By the time Stormwind's patrols rode to defend the villages, the Horde was already gone. They were an enemy unlike any the humans had ever faced.[49]

King Llane had named Lothar the "King's Champion", the highest military rank in the kingdom. Deciding to use the orcs' mobility against them, Lothar studied the pattern of targets the Horde would strike and set up ambushes along their paths of retreat. A loyal knight named Gavinrad the Dire was given command of large numbers of troops by Lothar. In some cases, small units of human knights were able to bring down entire orc raiding parties without any casualties. The orcs soon realized the humans were unlike any enemy they had ever faced as well.[49]

Messengers were dispatched by King Llane to the other human kingdoms, warning of mysterious, fearsome green-skinned invaders. However, no help was received as the reports were not believed. Lordaeron was considered the most likely nation to help. However, Deathwing disguised as a visiting Stormwind noble openly mocked King Llane and claimed the threat was actually a rebellion of disgruntled citizens, causing Lordaeron to only politely wish Llane luck with his troubles. In the past, Stormwind had prided itself on standing alone and developed a policy of isolationism in recent decades, which many other nations saw as arrogant and likely influenced their passiveness.[49]

Other forces[]

While most of the Horde attacks were focused on Stormwind forces, Chieftain Kilrogg Deadeye and his Bleeding Hollow clan led a few raiding parties into the western jungles of Stranglethorn Vale, as the region reminded them of their ancestral home and they had aims of claiming it for themselves. However, the Gurubashi jungle trolls who dwelled in the jungles united to fight back against this new threat and began a guerrilla campaign against the orcs. The fighting between the two groups was unspeakably vicious. While the Bleeding Hollow seemed to outnumber the Gurubashi in every skirmish, they were still at a severe disadvantage against the trolls' knowledge of the region. The Gurubashi were willing to give up vast swathes of jungle to draw the orcs deeper into their territory, only to then launch bloody ambushes from all directions, resulting in horrific losses for the Bleeding Hollow. When Blackhand learned how many orcs were dying in Stranglethorn for no apparent gain, he ordered the Bleeding Hollow to retreat and join the fight against the humans. The Horde would deal with the trolls later.[50]

The clerics from the Brotherhood of Northshire risked their lives to heal soldiers wounded in combat. In the past the clerics were known to heal gnolls and trolls, which had granted them safety on the battlefield in some cases. This was not the case with the orcs, who ruthlessly targetted every cleric they found after learning of their abilities. Many clerics died without armor or weapons, but they never hesitated from joining battle, making their bravery legendary among Stormwind's forces.[51]

As the war unfolded, the Twilight's Hammer clan became a source of irritation for Warchief Blackhand. The clan's members were known to disobey orders, and too many wandered off never to be seen again. Blackhand considered destroying the clan to make an example of them, but the ogre mage Cho'gall, who had been acting as the Twilight's Hammer's de facto leader, offered to become the clan's official leader and keep it in line, which Blackhand allowed. The clan's disciplinary problems ended almost overnight and they became obedient and effective soldiers, to the pleasant surprise of Blackhand. Cho'gall had understood the clan and their beliefs. A clan attuned to the dark energies, they had been hearing the Old Gods whispers louder and clearer after arriving in Azeroth. Cho'gall told the clan the Hour of Twilight was near and depended on the Horde's success. Until then, the clan had to keep up appearances with Warchief Blackhand while obeying their true masters in secret.[52]

The first siege of Stormwind Keep[]

Chronicle2 Map of the First War

Stormwind and Horde territories during the First War.

Three years after the Dark Portal had been opened, the orcish raids on the countryside had razed farms, towns, villages, forges, and trade houses, causing ruin to Stormwind's economy. Even more dire, many sources of food supply had been destroyed or fallen into the Horde's control, threatening Stormwind City with running out of supplies in a few months. With this knowledge in mind, Warchief Blackhand decided to bring the Horde north to conquer Redridge Mountains and from there launch an attack on Stormwind City. The Horde marched on the foothills of Redridge with little resistance and believed the humans would not attack before they reached Stormwind City, which was exactly what Commander Anduin Lothar wanted them to think.[53]

An orc raiding party led by Blackhand went into the mountains hoping to claim Lakeshire. However, Lothar and his knights suddenly charged down the slopes without warning and surrounded the orcs in a spectacular ambush. The Horde raiders fought hard but almost all of them were slain. Lothar himself had almost killed Blackhand, but the two Shadow Council warlocks accompanying Blackhand had turned the tide of battle with their fel fire and forced Lothar to withdraw. Blackhand was humiliated by his brush with death and blamed the Shadow Council for not sensing the ambush. He personally executed the two warlocks that saved his life for incompetence, which angered Gul'dan as they were his subordinates and limited in number. Weeks later, a larger force took Lakeshire and the surrounding land.[54]

After Brightwood, Westfall, and the Redridge Mountains had fallen, the Horde marched onto Stormwind City, the capital of the Kingdom of Stormwind. Thousands of Horde soldiers marched through Elwynn Forest and encircled Stormwind, cutting off all access except for the sea. Blackhand had ordered Kilrogg Deadeye and Cho'gall to lead their Bleeding Hollow and Twilight's Hammer clans in the assault on Stormwind. To weaken the city's defenses, siege engines bombarded the city walls through the night, and at dawn Kilrogg and Cho'gall launched their attack. While orcs charged the battlements, warlocks engulfed Stormwind's soldiers in fel fire, resulting in staggering losses. As it seemed Stormwind would fall that day, there were suddenly cries of an attack from the Horde's rear lines. Lothar and the majority of Stormwind's knights had moved around the Horde by sea. The King's Commander was now leading a charge through Elwynn Forest, catching the orcs in the rearguard completely by surprise as the knights cut through their lines. As the Bleeding Hollow and Twilight's Hammer tried to push back the knights, Stormwind's large gates opened and soldiers poured out of the city to flank the orcs in a counterattack. Outflanked on both sides and suffering many casualties, the orcs were left with no choice but to flee. This was the greatest disaster to ever happen to the Horde. Blackhand was infuriated and barely stopped himself from executing Kilrogg and Cho'gall because their clan members might revolt. The Horde withdrew to Redridge to devise a new plan.[55] Lothar and King Llane had received information about the Horde's battle plans from Khadgar, who had learned them from Garona, which helped prepare for the attack on Stormwind.[56]

The Orcish Horde marches north[]

WCOnH logo This section concerns content related to Warcraft: Orcs & Humans.
Warcraft I - Wallpaper

Orc vs human.

After their initial assault on Stormwind Keep, the Orcish Horde now knew what to expect from the human troops. Blackhand assigned Orgrim Doomhammer to oversee the construction of an outpost in the Swamp of Sorrows. The task was simple enough, the orcs had to build at least six farms, so that they could keep their troops well fed and ready to do battle, and a barracks; to protect the farms and to create a strategic outpost, Kyross.[57] From the Swamp of Sorrows, Orgrim led his troops onward, while crushing any opposition that they encountered.[58] His troops' first real opposition was Grand Hamlet. With orders from Blackhand, Orgrim built a simple outpost nearby and prepared his troops for battle. Orgrim's troops razed Grand Hamlet to the ground and left no survivors standing.[59]

One night a runner sent by Warchief Blackhand reported that Griselda, the Warchief's own daughter, had run off with the outlaw Turok and his band of ogres. Wolfriders were assigned to track them down; they were discovered to be hiding out in the dungeons below the Deadmines. By order of his Warchief, Orgrim led a small group of warriors into the dungeons and eliminated Turok, his forces and even Griselda.[60] On their return from the dungeon, Orgrim received word from advanced scouts that the recently established outpost near the Redridge Mountains was under siege. A group of raiders were dispatched to assist Orgrim's troops in taking back the outpost and crushing the human opposition. After saving the outpost from destruction, Orgrim's troops were ordered to search the area and seek out from whence the human troops came from. Once the location was found Orgrim ordered the remainder of his troops to dispose of it. The encampment was completely destroyed and the threat was put to an end for good.[61]

Wanting for his troops to learn how the humans' magic was created, Blackhand ordered Orgrim to lead an army into the town known as Sunnyglade and ravage it, leaving intact the mage tower to study its knowledge. The humans of the town were fat and lazy with their prosperity and their weak human armies were easily smashed into pieces.[62]

The Kingdom retaliates[]

WCOnH logo This section concerns content related to Warcraft: Orcs & Humans.

The kingdom of Stormwind sent emissaries to the orcs hoping to negotiate with them but if any returned, they did so in pieces. The mages of Stormwind also asked Dalaran's Kirin Tor for help but they thought the orcs little more than a local nuisance.[63]

As a test for his abilities, King Llane appointed the Defender of the Crown as Regent over a small parcel of land; the Defender of the Crown changed the town into a farming center with six farms in order to feed Stormwind's troops. A barracks was also constructed in the farming center, as spies reported that there were orc patrols in the area. The few orc patrols in the vicinity were wiped out.[64] Some time later, spies reported that the orcs around Grand Hamlet were amassing a large army to march against the town. The King sent the Defender of the Crown along with a small detachment of troops to rally the townspeople of Grand Hamlet and defend the town from any attack. The Defender of the Crown was successful in rallying the townspeople and managed to save Grand Hamlet from being overrun.[65]

With Grand Hamlet saved and Blackhand's raiding parties routed, the time to secure a lasting peace in the area around Grand Hamlet arose. The Defender of the Crown sought out the outpost known as Kyross, from whence the army against Grand Hamlet amassed. After building a small encampment in the vicinity of the outpost to gather his troops, the Defender of the Crown led them into battle against the outpost, managing to destroy it.[66]

By that time it had been some twenty months since Sir Anduin Lothar had led an expedition into the Deadmines to search for the lost Tome of Divinity. They were never heard from again. However, the King's Champion had recently appeared to the Abbot of Northshire Abbey in a vision - battered and pleading for assistance. The King, having heard of the news, sent the Defender of the Crown along with a detachment of warriors and healers into the mines in an attempt to find Sir Lothar and his expedition crew, heal them and bring them back alive. Even though the mines were littered with ogres, the Defender of the Crown along with his soldiers still managed to cut through the ogre's ranks and finally managed to find the gravely wounded Sir Anduin Lothar along with some other injured members of his expedition. The healers at the scene immediately healed Sir Lothar and soon after he resumed his job as the King's Champion.[67]

After a period of time, the King assigned some of his knights to aid the Defender of the Crown so that the latter's task of ridding Elwynn Forest from Blackhand's dark minions could be more readily completed. They set up in an outpost near the south-east edge of the forest. It wasn't long before an orc encampment filled with orc warriors was found and destroyed, thus earning the Kingdom of Stormwind a strategic key to securing the Borderlands.[68] Later on, the King ordered the Defender of the Crown to go defend Northshire Abbey; the monks living in the town were under siege by a band of human warriors that had been convinced by enemy agents to fight against the crown. A platoon of knights was once again put under the Defender of the Crown's army, whom with them managed to successfully defend Northshire Abbey in time. With the Abbey secured, the Defender of the Crown marched his army to the source of the attackers and laid waste to them.[69]

With Sunnyglade completely overrun by the Orcish Horde, a group of scouts were sent into the remnants of the city to scout out the place; they reported back that the survivors had been taken to a hidden orcish compound to serve as slaves. Intelligence had also confirmed that all the slaves were grouped together in a offsite location and that an enclosure had to be destroyed in order to make a path for the prisoners from which they could escape from. The Defender of the Crown took a detachment of warriors to the town and managed to crush all opposition, destroying the orcish encampment in the process. With the peasants of Sunnyglade set free, the rebuilding of Sunnyglade was commenced.[70]

The final march towards Stormwind Keep[]

WCOnH logo This section concerns content related to Warcraft: Orcs & Humans.

After the destruction of Sunnyglade, the orcs mastered the newfound magic. With this power in their hands, the time was ripe to burn the human occupation from the nearby lands. The Kingdom of Stormwind held two outposts to the south of Orgrim's encampment. After a reconnaissance of the area, orc scouts reported that the key to a victory for them in this confrontation would be to hold back the human forces at their bridges while strengthening the orc's attack force to prepare for a massive all-out attack. After all the troops were prepared, the attack commenced; the outposts were laid to waste and all the human troops were slain.[71]

After tasting victory at the battle in northern Elwynn Forest, it was clear to Orgrim that one decisive blow to the Kingdom of Stormwind would make the total and complete domination of the humans a simple matter. His spies had gathered intelligence that pointed to an encampment near the center of the Kingdom, a place where their knights and soldiers were sent to be trained. Since the humans were not expecting an attack, it was a simple task. Orgrim's troops destroyed the entire place and left no survivors, in the process greatly weakening the Kingdom's forces.[72]

The final march towards King Llane's home, Stormwind Keep, was at hand. Only two settlements stood in the Orcish Horde's way. The hour of doom had arrived for the humans; Orgrim had ordered the complete and utter destruction of the twin cities, Goldshire and Moonbrook, in order to sever the lifeline between the King and his people. The orc troops, under the command of Orgrim, marched onto the twin cities, and after a lengthy battle, razed them both to the ground. With this decisive battle, the only stronghold that the Kingdom of Stormwind had left was the capital itself, Stormwind City.[73]

The death of Medivh[]

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

Medivh the Corrupted.

Medivh's death in Warcraft comic

Medivh's death in the Warcraft comic.

Khadgar and Garona were the first to discover that Medivh aided in the bringing of the Orcish Horde into Azeroth. To attempt to try and find out how the orcs entered Azeroth and from where the Dark Portal came from, Garona requested that Khadgar summon a vision of the past concerning Gul'dan and the Dark Portal; in the vision the two observed Gul'dan being given instructions by someone who referred to himself as the Guardian, whom Khadgar and Garona knew to be Medivh.[74]

After the horrifying discovery, Khadgar and Garona escaped from Karazhan to bring the disturbing news to the King of Stormwind, King Llane, and to his Knight Champion, Anduin Lothar.[75] While Lothar was quick to accept the news, the King had to take the matter into consideration. In the wee hours of the morning, without alerting the King, Lothar awoke Garona and Khadgar and led them to the top of one of Stormwind Keep's towers. There, waiting for the trio were a pack of gryphons (sent by the dwarves) and a couple of other footmen under Lothar's command. As soon as the group readied themselves, they took off to the tower of Karazhan. Lothar charged Gavinrad with commanding Stormwind City's defenses in his absence.[76] After arriving in the tower, the group couldn't find any trace of the Magus and declared that he had escaped. However, before leaving the tower, Garona managed to locate a hidden secret door leading into what seemed like an inverse version of Karazhan. As the company started their descent into the inverse of Karazhan, a magic trap, set by Medivh, was triggered and unleashed a group of demonic beasts onto the company. While Lothar and his men held the beasts off, Khadgar and Garona continued their descent to find Medivh.[77] Finally reaching the inverse observatory, the duo found Medivh.[78]

While the brace were confronting the Magus, Medivh confirmed to them that he truly was Sargeras and that he had been planning this war for hundreds of years; to free his physical form from his tomb so that he could destroy Azeroth and all of its inhabitants. While Medivh was still talking, Garona attempted to stab him in the back but Medivh noticed her and cast a spell on her, causing her to stagger backwards. With this move, the brace started their attempts in disposing the Magus, but he proved to them that he was far too powerful for them to handle. Not long after their brawl, the duo was on their knees, dazed and wounded, and the Magus was preparing to kill Khadgar, but by a stroke of luck, the King's Champion, Lothar, appeared at the scene at this exact moment and forced his old friend to do battle with him in order to buy the others some time. While Lothar was keeping the Magus preoccupied, Khadgar managed to sneak around the room without being noticed. Lothar, in the end, too proved to be no match for the Master Mage and before long he too was wounded and dazed. With that being done the Magus returned to where Khadgar had been kneeling to finish him off, but to Medivh's surprise he was not there; Khadgar was standing behind Medivh with his sword pressed against Medivh's breast. At the first flinch from Medivh, Khadgar lunged forward and drove his rune sword into Medivh's heart, mortally wounding him in the process; with Medivh about to die, the Demon Lord Sargeras attempted to emerge from within the Magus to avoid being 'destroyed' along with Medivh, but before he could release himself, Sir Lothar decapitated Medivh's head, causing the titan to dissipate away and Medivh to die.[79] Medivh was the first Guardian to be killed in combat in centuries.[76]

With Medivh's death, Gul'dan was comatosed due to entering Medivh's mind to search for information at his time of death.[80] Orgrim saw this as an opportunity to take down Blackhand, and so he marched to him and challenged him for supremacy of the Horde, a challenge which he won.[81]

The second siege of Stormwind Keep and the fall of the kingdom[]

The Orcish Horde was gathered like buzzards to carrion, as the moment of destiny was close at hand. A low growl filled the air as the wolfriders whipped their savage mounts into a frenzy. The earth shook as catapults were loaded and moved into position.[82] Under the mantle of Orgrim Doomhammer, the various orcish clans began their siege on Stormwind Keep. The catapults let loose their fiery rocks as the bulk of the main Horde marched towards the main gate, with the Blackrock clan charging from the Eastern Wall. Within moments, Stormwind Keep was ablaze with shadows dancing on the walls. While the militia were busy trying to put out the fires, Garona, under the command of the Shadow Council, assassinated King Llane while delivering her report, which stated that as long as a strong heart was on the throne, the mens' morale would not falter. With the assassination of the king, the men lost their morale and Stormwind Keep fell under the might of the Orcish Horde.[83]


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

The aftermath of the war for the Orcish Horde[]

WC1 Orc Victory

The orcs celebrating their victory.

Orgrim, wanting to turn the Horde into an honorable force, tortured Garona into revealing whatever secrets lied beneath the Horde. Her non-orc blood made her too weak to withstand much pain, and she quickly revealed the Shadow Council and its location. Orgrim burst into their meeting and slaughtered them on the spot, leaving only a couple of the warlocks, Cho'gall, and Gul'dan alive.[84][85] Soon after, Orgrim formed an alliance with Gul'dan[86] and preparations for the Second War began.

The aftermath of the war for the Kingdom of Stormwind[]

Chronicle Stormwind refugees

Anduin Lothar and other refugees flee Stormwind City.

Anduin Lothar had no other choice than to declare the war lost[87] and save what remained by gathering the tattered remnants of the army and as many civilians as he could to lead them in a desperate retreat across the Great Sea, toward the northern kingdom of Lordaeron to beseech aid from King Terenas Menethil II.[88] Not all survivors could flee on time and the orcish hunter Zigris became infamous for tracking down Stormwind refugees and slaughtering them for sport.

Following Lothar's impassioned speech in Lordaeron, Terenas called for an emergency council of war to discuss the Orcish threat.[89] Terenas, through skilled political maneuvering, petitioned the support of the human kingdoms of Stromgarde, Kul Tiras, Alterac, and Gilneas and also the city of Dalaran. While most of the human nations banded together and pledged their support for this new alliance, King Perenolde of Alterac and King Genn Greymane of Gilneas withheld their allegiance; Perenolde because he feared the humans would be defeated by the orcs, and Greymane because he felt that Gilneas was strong enough to stand on its own.[90] With this, preparations for the Second War began.

Some time after the end of the war, the Stone of Remembrance, a monument located in Heroes' Vigil in the center of Stone Cairn Lake, was erected to commemorate the humans who lost their lives during the war.

Notes and trivia[]

Orcs First War RPG

Depiction of orcs in the First War in Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game.

  1. ^ The official ruling is that Anduin Lothar declared the war to be lost in the Year 4 and began gathering people for the exodus. Fighting continued until the ultimate fall of Stormwind in Year 5.[1] Prior to this ruling, there were multiple contradictory sources that stated how long the First War lasted:
    • 5 years according to the Ultimate Visual Guide timeline, with the fall of Stormwind set to 3-5 years.[2]
    • Roughly 5 years.[3][4]
    • Roughly 10 years, this reference refers to before the first siege upon Stormwind.[5]
    • Roughly 15 years, this reference may be referring to before the creation of the Dark Portal, thus it is unknown which year the orcs stepped forth into the portal.[6]
    • Less than a year. The introduction to the Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness campaign states "Six years have passed since the First War between man and orc." Noting this, the official timeline created by Blizzard Entertainment shows that Warcraft: Orcs and Humans takes place in Year 0 and Warcraft II takes place in Year 6, indicating that the First War lasted less than a year.
  2. ^ Early sources state the Bleeding Hollow clan participated in the First War.[21][22] However, Rise of the Horde states that the clan stayed on Draenor instead.[23] The Ultimate Visual Guide states that Kilrogg in fact participated in the First War,[24] likely with his clan-mates.
  • In the old lore, the order of battles was different: following the early initial attacks carried out by orcish raiding parties on human farms,[91] the Shadow Council ordered a massive attack against Stormwind City, the capital of the Kingdom of Stormwind. The orcish forces, under the command of Chieftains Kilrogg Deadeye and Cho'gall, expected an easy victory taking into consideration the weak resistance offered by the villages the Horde had already ravaged.[92] The footmen were unprepared as the orcish forces poured through the gates and over the walls of Stormwind Keep. Their guards did well to stop the orcs for as long as they did, but the sheer orcish numbers and strength soon tilted the battle in favor of the Horde. Victory would have been assured, but for the arrival of their great, mounted soldiers. The knights rode atop beasts of muscle and sinew that crashed through the orcish ranks and dealt as much damage to their troops as did their riders. The orcs, who had never before faced knights and their warhorses, broke into a full rout. These knights rallied what few soldiers remained, and began driving the orcs out of the castle. The Horde's every turn was countered as they were forced to retreat towards the gateway back to their world. Some trick of magic had the Stormwindians always at their back, sides, and in their path. They barely reached the edges of the swamplands that surrounded the portal before they managed to elude their pursuers in its murky depths. The orcish clans were thrown into chaos after the egregious outcome, and the two clan chieftains were blaming each other for the loss.[93][92] Only after this failed siege of Stormwind did the First War truly began.
  • The date of the events that are stated in the sub-sections "The Orcish Horde marches north" and "The Kingdom of Stormwind retaliates" are unknown and thus, events in the former sub-section could have happened after the latter sub-section and vice-versa.
  • There are conflicting sources on who led the final siege on Stormwind City. The Last Guardian and Yogg-Saron's vision say it was Blackhand. Warcraft I and the Ultimate Visual Guide imply, and The Dark Portal and the Fall of Stormwind directly says, that Orgrim Doomhammer led the final siege. Tides of Darkness also has Orgrim as the victor of the siege.
  • The Horde's first assault on Stormwind City led by Kilrogg and Cho'gall seems to have two versions, the first being at the start of the war as per the first manual, the second being in Year 3 as per The Last Guardian and the World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2.
  • The initial name for the human kingdom was the Kingdom of Azeroth. In later sources, it was always referred to as the Kingdom of Stormwind.
  • Among the known people who participated in the First War are knight Gavinrad, Natalie Seline, Jem, Diodor, John J. Keeshan and his comrades of Bravo Company, the orcs Thok, Broxigar and Eitrigg, the half-breeds Rexxar and Lantresor, as well as Hjalmar and Thargas Anvilmar the dwarves. Jalod might have fought there too.
  • The conflict revealed several weaknesses in the ranks of the Stormwind Army, such as having no flying scouting units,[94] the lack of offensive power of the Northshire clerics[95] and its conjurers being unprepared for the rigors of warfare.[96] The Alliance of Lordaeron learned of this defeat, deploying new units such as gnomish flying machines, paladins and battle-ready mages against the Horde during the Second War.
  • King Barathen Wrynn was originally said to have fought and died during the early days of the war,[97] with Llane succeeding him soon after as the new king and starting to organize the defense of the kingdom.[29]
  • According to Matt Burns, Chronicle Volume 2 has a very high-up view of the first great wars compared to the original games so their unmentioned battles and events still could have happened.[98][99]
  • Joanna Blueheart mentions that her parents died when the orcs started the war with an attack on a small unnamed town to the west of the Swamp of Sorrows.
  • Back during the genocide of the draenei, Blackhand had shocked the other orc clans by integrating some of their former ogre enemies in the Horde. Once on the world of Azeroth, Blackhand tried at some point the same thing with the local forest trolls, sending his second Orgrim Doomhammer to meet with them. Though Zul'jin refused, this paved the way for his later alliance with the orcs during the Second War.[100]
  • Warcraft III: Reforged originally intended to feature its own take about the depiction of the First War.



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.

Jalod may have participated in the war.



See also[]


  1. ^ Loreology on Twitter (dead link)
  2. ^ World of Warcraft: Ultimate Visual Guide, Updated and Expanded
  3. ^ Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness manual, A Brief History of the Fall of Azeroth: "The arrival of Gul'dan and the Horde War Chief Blackhand heralded a war that tore the realm of Azeroth asunder for nearly five years."
  4. ^ World of Warcraft. Blizzard Entertainment. The Dark Portal and the Fall of Stormwind: "After a few years the majority of the orcish Horde had crossed into Azeroth, and Gul'dan deemed that the time for the primary strike against humanity had come.".
  5. ^ Entertainment, Blizzard. "Chronicles of the War in Azeroth", Warcraft: Orcs & Humans Manual, Human - 19. “Nearly ten years of skirmishes and raids along the Borderlands have kept the people of Azeroth wary” 
  6. ^ a b Entertainment, Blizzard. "The Destiny of The Orcish Hordes", Warcraft: Orcs & Humans Manual, Orc - 20. “It has been some fifteen years since this costly decision altered the course of our destiny.” 
  7. ^ a b c Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness manual, Nations of the Alliance: "After the First War, Azeroth and all of its lands were devastated by the Horde."
  8. ^ Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness manual, Nations of the Alliance: "Before the coming of the Age of Chaos when the Portal was first opened..."
  9. ^ a b The Last Guardian, chapter 16, pg. 299-300
  10. ^ a b The Last Guardian, chapter 15, pg. 288
  11. ^ Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness manual, The First War of Orcish Ascension: "We took the lands of Azeroth from the Humans and razed all that we surveyed."
  12. ^ Tides of Darkness, pg. 16, chapter 2
  13. ^ Tides of Darkness, chapter 2, pg. 17
  14. ^ Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness manual, Legends of the Land (Azeroth): "Lothar rallied his countrymen and charted their retreat across the Great Sea - and onto the shores of Lordaeron."
  15. ^ Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness manual, Alliance Ground Units
  16. ^ Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness manual, Legends of the Land: "Holy Order of Northshire Clerics that guided the kingdom of Azeroth during the First War"
  17. ^ a b c The Last Guardian, chapter 15, pg. 286
  18. ^ Entertainment, Blizzard. "Chronicles of the War in Azeroth", Warcraft: Orcs & Humans Manual, Human - 19. 
  19. ^ Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness manual, The Rise of the Shadow Council
  20. ^ a b c The Last Guardian, chapter 15, pg. 287
  21. ^ a b The Last Guardian, chapter 12, pg. 225: "Thrown back before they reached the gates by Llane's troops. From the descriptions, it sounds like Kilrogg's Bleeding Hollow and the Twilight's Hammer clans."
  22. ^ Entertainment, Blizzard. "Clans of Draenor", Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal manual. “This clan has achieved legendary status for battling the forces of Azeroth throughout both the First and Second Wars.” 
  23. ^ Rise of the Horde, chapter 22, pg. 342: "Some clans had been requested to remain behind. Gul'dan had done his best to convince the chieftains of the Shattered Hand, Shadowmoon, Thunderlord, Bleeding Hollow, and Laughing Skull clans that they were needed here."
  24. ^ Entertainment, Blizzard. Ultimate Visual Guide, 122. “The cunning leader of the Bleeding Hollow clan, Kilrogg fought in the First and Second Wars.” 
  25. ^ Entertainment, Blizzard. "Creatures of the Land", Warcraft: Orcs & Humans Manual, Orc - 31. 
  26. ^ Entertainment, Blizzard. "Chronicles of the War in Azeroth", Warcraft: Orcs & Humans Manual, Human - 20. “the time has come to call upon the people of Azeroth and prepare the kingdom for war.” 
  27. ^ a b c The Last Guardian, chapter 16, pg. 292
  28. ^ Entertainment, Blizzard. "The Destiny of the Orcish Hordes", Warcraft: Orcs & Humans Manual, Orc - 20. 
  29. ^ a b Entertainment, Blizzard. "Chronicles of the War in Azeroth", Warcraft: Orcs & Humans Manual, Human - 19. “Llane is pronounced King of Azeroth. His task is clear - to rid the lands of these creatures.” 
  30. ^ Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness manual, Legends of the Land (Azeroth): "Sir Lothar led the armies of Azeroth into battle against the Orcish Horde."
  31. ^ Tides of Darkness, chapter 5, pg. 33-43: "Gavinrad. He was one of my knights in Azeroth, the most faithful of us, and a good man."
  32. ^ World of Warcraft. Blizzard Entertainment. Lady Mara Fordragon: "Patron of the Refugees who fled to Lordaeron after the First War.".
  33. ^ "Human: Black Rock Spire", Warcraft: Orcs & Humans. Blizzard Entertainment.
  34. ^ "Human: The Dead Mines", Warcraft: Orcs & Humans. Blizzard Entertainment.
  35. ^ Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness manual, Clans of the Horde: "Gul'dan, who secretly ruled the Horde through his unwitting puppet Blackhand"
  36. ^ Tides of Darkness, chapter 2, pg. 18
  37. ^ Entertainment, Blizzard; Zarhym. Ask CDev #1 Answers - Round 1 (English) (HTML). Ask CDev. Retrieved on 2010-08-11.​ “Varok led forces in the sacking of Shattrath, Stormwind, and everything between”
  38. ^ a b Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness manual, The Mastery of Forces - Medivh and Blackhand: "Cho'gall, the Ogre-Mage of the Twilight's Hammer clan, and Kilrogg Deadeye of the Bleeding Hollow clan. These powerful leaders were expected to direct the Horde to a swift and savage victory over the Humans."
  39. ^ "Orc: Stormwind Keep", Warcraft: Orcs & Humans. Blizzard Entertainment.
  40. ^ Tides of Darkness, chapter 1, pg. 4: "We are refugees, fleeing a terrible, terrible battle."
  41. ^ Miss Danna#Quotes
  42. ^ Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness manual, A Brief History of the Fall of Azeroth: "the first of Medivh's unnatural Portals was opened between the world of Azeroth and the red world of the Orcs."
  43. ^ The Last Guardian, chapter 12, pg. 231: "There a great portal had been erected by Gul'dan and other powerful warlocks."
  44. ^ a b World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2, pg. 119
  45. ^ "The Invasion of Kalimdor: The Blood of Mannoroth", Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos. Blizzard Entertainment. Tichondrius: "Spill your blood into this pool. Its corruption will lure the orcs to it, and once they've tasted your blood again, they will be unstoppable!".
  46. ^ Rise of the Horde, chapter 22, pg. 350-351
  47. ^ Warcraft: Orcs & Humans - Intro Cinematic
  48. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2, pg. 121
  49. ^ a b c World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2, pg. 124
  50. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2, pg. 125
  51. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2, pg. 125-126
  52. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2, pg. 127-128
  53. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2, pg. 129
  54. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2, pg. 131
  55. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2, pg. 132
  56. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2, pg. 133
  57. ^ "Orc: The Swamps of Sorrow", Warcraft: Orcs & Humans. Blizzard Entertainment.
  58. ^ "Orc: The Borderlands", Warcraft: Orcs & Humans. Blizzard Entertainment.
  59. ^ "Orc: Grand Hamlet", Warcraft: Orcs & Humans. Blizzard Entertainment.
  60. ^ "Orc: The Dead Mines (Orc)", Warcraft: Orcs & Humans. Blizzard Entertainment.
  61. ^ "Orc: The Red Ridge Mountains", Warcraft: Orcs & Humans. Blizzard Entertainment.
  62. ^ "Orc: Sunnyglade", Warcraft: Orcs & Humans. Blizzard Entertainment.
  63. ^ Tides of Darkness, chapter 3
  64. ^ "Human: Regent", Warcraft: Orcs & Humans. Blizzard Entertainment.
  65. ^ "Human: Grand Hamlet", Warcraft: Orcs & Humans. Blizzard Entertainment.
  66. ^ "Human: Kyross", Warcraft: Orcs & Humans. Blizzard Entertainment.
  67. ^ "Human: The Dead Mines (Human)", Warcraft: Orcs & Humans. Blizzard Entertainment.
  68. ^ "Human: The Forest of Elwynn", Warcraft: Orcs & Humans. Blizzard Entertainment.
  69. ^ "Human: Northshire Abbey", Warcraft: Orcs & Humans. Blizzard Entertainment.
  70. ^ "Human: Sunnyglade", Warcraft: Orcs & Humans. Blizzard Entertainment.
  71. ^ "Orc: Northern Elwynn Forest", Warcraft: Orcs & Humans. Blizzard Entertainment.
  72. ^ "Orc: The Center of the Human Lands", Warcraft: Orcs & Humans. Blizzard Entertainment.
  73. ^ "Orc: Goldshire and Moonbrook", Warcraft: Orcs & Humans. Blizzard Entertainment.
  74. ^ The Last Guardian, chapter 12, pg. 233-237
  75. ^ The Last Guardian, chaoter 14, pg. 267: "I have a prisoner and important information for King Llane. I need to see Lord Lothar, at once!"
  76. ^ a b World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2, pg. 134
  77. ^ The Last Guardian, chapter 15, pg. 271-283
  78. ^ The Last Guardian, chapter 15, pg. 290
  79. ^ The Last Guardian, chapter 16, pg. 291-300
  80. ^ Tides of Darkness, chapter 2, pg. 22
  81. ^ Tides of Darkness, chapter 12, pg. 34-35
  82. ^ "Orc: Stormwind Keep", Warcraft: Orcs & Humans. Blizzard Entertainment.
  83. ^ The Last Guardian, chapter 14, pg. 286-288
  84. ^ Tides of Darkness, chapter 2, pg. 35
  85. ^ Tides of Darkness, chapter 2, pg. 17: "Only you and I and a few of the lesser warlocks remain!"
  86. ^ Tides of Darkness, chapter 2, pg. 21
  87. ^ Loreology on Twitter (dead link)
  88. ^ Tides of Darkness, chapter 1, pg. 4-6
  89. ^ Tides of Darkness, chaoter 1, pg. 32
  90. ^ Tides of Darkness, chapter 3, pg. 33-43
  91. ^ Entertainment, Blizzard. "The Destiny of The Orcish Hordes", Warcraft: Orcs & Humans Manual, Orc - 19. 
  92. ^ a b Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness manual, The Mastery of Forces - Medivh and Blackhand
  93. ^ Entertainment, Blizzard. "The Destiny of The Orcish Hordes", Warcraft: Orcs & Humans Manual, Orc - 20. 
  94. ^ The Last Guardian, pg. 78
  95. ^ Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness manual, Alliance Ground Units, Paladin
  96. ^ Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness manual, Alliance Ground Units, Mage
  97. ^ Entertainment, Blizzard. "Chronicles of the War in Azeroth", Warcraft: Orcs & Humans Manual, Human - 19. 
  98. ^ Matt Burns on Twitter (2017-03-08).​ “I think some of that still could have happened. We are just presenting things from very high up.”
  99. ^ Matt Burns on Twitter (2016-09-12).​ “I don't think we mention ["The Dominion of Lordaeron" or "The Annals of the Great Alliance"] in [Chronicle volume 2]. [...] In general we're leaning more toward the War II novelization. But that doesn't necessarily mean things mentioned by Milan aren't canon anymore.”
  100. ^ Tides of Darkness, chapter 4
  101. ^ a b c d e f g h i Warcraft: Orcs & Humans manual, Azeroth Army of the First War
  102. ^ "Orc: Northshire Abbey", Warcraft: Orcs & Humans. Blizzard Entertainment.
  103. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Warcraft: Orcs & Humans manual, Orcish Horde of the First War
  104. ^ File:First War FX.jpg