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For other uses, see Horde (disambiguation).
HordeHorde of Draenor
Main leader IconSmall Ner'zhul Warchief Ner'zhul
Secondary leaders

IconSmall Teron Teron Gorefiend
IconSmall Dentarg Dentarg
IconSmall Grom Grom Hellscream
IconSmall Kargath Kargath Bladefist
IconSmall Kilrogg Kilrogg Deadeye
IconSmall Orc Male Fenris the Hunter
IconSmall Orc Male Tagar Spinebreaker
IconSmall UndeadDeathKnight Gaz Soulripper
IconSmall UndeadDeathKnight Ragnok Bloodreaver
IconSmall Orc Male Obris

IconSmall Deathwing Deathwing
Race(s) OrcOrc Orc
OgreOgre Ogre
Forest trollForest troll Forest troll
GoblinGoblin Goblin
IconSmall OgreMageIconSmall OgreMage2 Ogre mage
UndeadUndead Undead
DemonDemonDemonDemon Demon
Black dragon Black dragon
Red dragon Red dragon
Capital Shadowmoon Fortress
Base of operations Shadowmoon Valley
Theater of operations Draenor
Status Defeated and disbanded during the invasion and destruction of Draenor, many surviving members became part of the Fel Horde

The Orcish Horde of Draenor[1][2] (also called the Shadow Clans)[3] is the term given to the loose alliance of orc clans that remained on their homeworld of Draenor during the Old Horde's invasion of Azeroth. Following the Old Horde's defeat on Azeroth in the Second War, the elder shaman Ner'zhul rallied the clans on Draenor with the intent of stealing a set of powerful artifacts—the Skull of Gul'dan, the Scepter of Sargeras, the Book of Medivh, and the Eye of Dalaran—in order to open portals to new worlds for the orcs to conquer, an effort in which they were opposed by the Alliance Expedition. Ner'zhul's army is sometimes called a new Horde,[3][4] other times described as simply a remnant of the main Horde.[5]


During the First and Second Wars, the orcs of Draenor still considered themselves part of the original Horde. Couriers and messengers sometimes passed news back from Azeroth, such as about Orgrim Doomhammer's victory against Blackhand, and the massacre of Gul'dan's Shadow Council. The Draenic clans welcomed these turns of events, accepting Doomhammer as their new Warchief[6] and purging their own ranks of warlocks before the dark magic users could afflict any more of them. The destruction of the Dark Portal, however, led to the loss of this Horde identity and the clans fell back to infighting.[7]



Kilrogg leading his clan to Draenor.

Following the end of the Second War, the Horde of Draenor was rallied by the elder shaman, Ner'zhul,[8] who declared himself warchief.[2] When Kilrogg Deadeye returned to Draenor after the Horde's defeat in the Second War, he was informed of the situation and received orders that the death knights, forest trolls, and dragons he had brought with him should be used by all the clans collectively. Ner'zhul's plan was to steal certain artifacts from Azeroth that would enable him to open rifts to other worlds.[8] Ner'zhul used fear and the brute force of his own Shadowmoon clan to maintain the fragile unity among the clans.[9]

The Laughing Skull clan betrayed the Horde and controlled a special order of death knights who had the knowledge needed to rebuild the Dark Portal. They also captured Grom Hellscream and other members of the Horde. A Slayer of the Shadowmoon managed to defeat Mogor and his clan, freeing Grom and subjugating the order of death knights.[10]

Ner'zhul then sent part of his clan, the Thunderlord clan, the Shattered Hand clan and the ogre mage Dentarg to attack the Bonechewer clan and steal the skull of Gul'dan. But after they killed the captain of the Bonechewer and stole the skull,[11] both the Thunderlord and Bonechewer clans desired to journey to Azeroth and have their clans triumph where Doomhammer had failed; Ner'zhul did not share that vision and attacked them. After that, there was no opposition to the reformed Horde and they prepared to enter Azeroth.[12]

Offensive to Azeroth[]


The reconstructed Dark Portal.

Ner'zhul sent a renewed offensive into Azeroth with the intention of stealing a number of magical artifacts and using them to open new dimensional gateways on Draenor. They destroyed Nethergarde Keep,[13] enlisted the aid of the black dragonflight and the survivors of the Bleeding Hollow clan that hadn't crossed to Draenor[14] and then attacked New Stormwind.[15]

The objective of destroying New Stormwind was to steal the book of Medivh, but it wasn't found as it was stolen by Alterac soldiers before the Horde managed to steal it. Without choice, the Horde constructed a naval fleet and prepared to leave towards Alterac,[16] but they attacked Kul Tiras first. Kul Tiras was not supported by the Alliance and was defeated,[17] so the Horde controlled the seas once again. But before they continued to north, Ner'zhul ordered to enter the Tomb of Sargeras and steal the Jeweled Scepter of Sargeras. The Scepter was guarded by a daemon but it was defeated.[18]

The Bleeding Hollow clan returned to Draenor while Deathwing delivered the rest of the army in Alterac. Aiden Perenolde made a deal with the Horde, if they destroyed Stromgarde and Lordaeron nearest bases, Alterac would give them the Book of Medivh.[19][20]

After the Horde of Draenor defeated the Stromgarde and Lordaeron forces they attacked Dalaran and stole the Eye of Dalaran.[21] After the victory, Deathwing arrived, exhausted and bringing news from Blackrock Spire, the Alliance sent a host of warriors to the Black Morass and engaged the forces of Warsong and Shattered Hand at the Dark Portal,[22] retaking Nethergarde Keep[23] and managed to capture the Dark Portal.[24] The Slayer of the Shadowmoon rallied his forces and broke through the siege, returning the artifacts to Draenor.[22]

Battles in Draenor[]

Draenor map

Territories of each clan.

Although the artifacts were returned to Draenor, Khadgar discovered that Ner'zhul wanted the knowledge of how to open portals. It was decided that an expedition should venture through the Dark Portal, both, to recover the stolen artifacts and to ensure that the Horde can never again threaten Azeroth. The Horde of Draenor opposed the Alliance Expedition, at the Dark Portal they even sent some daemons to defeat the Alliance, but this opposition was defeated.[25] In an ironic twist, while the Sons of Lothar would keep their own side of the Dark Portal firmly under control, the Azerothian side of the Dark Portal switched sides several times during the late stages of the invasion, stranded forces of the Horde of Draenor stopping the larger Alliance of Lordaeron from keeping its expedition properly supplied and reinforced.[26]


Deathwing in his Lair.

The Alliance attacked the shipyard of Zeth'kur, but the Horde's clans were driven to new heights of fury and were superior in numbers; the clans were defeated and the Alliance constructed ships of war to cross the Devouring Sea.[27] Meanwhile, the Horde was preparing for another attack on Azeroth, but this was discovered by the Alliance and although the Horde's army was too large to be defeated by the Alliance, they launched a strategic attack against Auchindoun to force the orcs to retreat.[28] During the battle the Bleeding Hollow clan was defeated[29] and Kilrogg slain,[30] but at a high price for the Alliance as Kurdran was captured. Khadgar discovered in the ruins of Auchindoun that the Horde also needed the Skull of Gul'dan, but this artifact could also be used to seal the Dark Portal forever. With the objectives of saving Kurdran and recovering the Skull of Gul'dan, the Alliance attacked Deathwing's Lair, after a battle they managed to defeat Deathwing and completed their objectives.[29]

While Deathwing was defeated, the Horde used that time to strike against other Alliance forces: A great orcish armada threatened the captured coasts, and the armies of the Alliance were hard-pressed on many fronts. The Alliance decided to advance further into Shadowmoon Valley, as their only chance for victory was to recover the Book of Medivh from Ner'zhul. The Horde fortified the coastlines but was defeated,[31] the Bonechewer clan managed to capture some Alliance soldiers, but their base was destroyed and the prisoners were released. Then the Shattered Hand clan blocked the pass to Shadowmoon Fortress but were defeated. The Shadowmoon clan, aided by some forces of the Warsong clan and some survivors of the Bleeding Hollow clan fought in the fortress itself, all led by Teron Gorefiend and a special order of death knights.[32] During the battle the Laughing Skull clan used the distraction to steal the Book of Medivh[33] and Ner'zhul escaped with the necessary knowledge to construct the portals in his mind.[34] During the battle Teron was slain and at the end of the battle the Horde was defeated.[32]

Alliance Expedition VS Old Horde WCIII

A flashback in Warcraft III showing the Alliance Expedition fighting the Horde of Draenor, presumably in Hellfire Peninsula. The trolls came from Azeroth and had passed through the Dark Portal as the orcs' allies. Notice that the scenery is identical (even having floating islands) to after the sundering, even though this battle took place before it happened.

The Horde then launched an attack on the Alliance fortifications at Hellfire Peninsula, although not well equipped their numbers were very great. The Alliance forces in Shadowmoon Valley returned to Hellfire Peninsula and reinforced the base, the orcs never managed to enter the base and had a complete defeat.[34] At the end of the battle the Laughing Skull clan betrayed the Horde of Draenor and made a pact with the Alliance, at the trade of the Book of Medivh, they would destroy the Thunderlord clan to gain dominance in the northern clans of Draenor. The Alliance had to accept and secured the pass in the Blade's Edge Mountains with the support of the Laughing Skull.[33]


Ner'zhul opening the portals.

Ner'zhul held the ancient scepter of Sargeras in the air, intoning the final words of the spell of conjuration. The air began to swirl and pressed down the assembled masses of the Horde, the crimson skies broke open and revealed the chaotic pathways of the Twisting Nether. As Ner'zhul deployed his remaining forces towards the new portals, the Slayer of the Shadowmoon asked: "Master, shouldn't we recall all of our forces from Azeroth?", but the ancient shaman replied coldly "No, they have served their purpose. From this point on, all that we gain will be ours alone." The Slayer unquestioningly followed him into the swirling madness of the Twisting Nether.[35] Ner'zhul and his followers escaped through the largest of the new rifts as Draenor felt the first of its death throes, the spell of Ner'zhul broke down the fabric of reality in Draenor; unleashing massive earthquakes and tidal waves upon its shores. Without choice, Khadgar and the Alliance had to return to the Dark Portal and destroy the rift between Azeroth and the doomed world of Draenor with the Skull of Gul'dan and the Book of Medivh.[36]

Dark Portal Draenor side (human)

Khadgar closing the portal.

The Alliance fought their way desperately to return to Azeroth,[37] while Grom Hellscream, realizing that Ner’zhul's mad plans would doom their entire race, rallied the remaining orcs and intended to cross the Dark Portal.[38] As the Alliance had a base surrounding the Dark Portal Grom and his forces had to fight for their escape to succeed. They attacked the Alliance base but were later attacked from behind by the rest of the Alliance forces that were returning from Blade's Edge Mountains.[36] As Hellscream and his orcs hacked their way through the human ranks in a desperate bid for freedom, they crossed through the portal,[38] but the diminished Alliance Expedition forces were still holding back many orcs in Draenor's side while protecting Khadgar, and with help of the artifacts he destroyed the Dark Portal.[39] In Azeroth's side, the Dark Portal suddenly exploded behind the orcs who have crossed, for them there was no going back.[38]

Fate of the clans[]

The Shadowmoon, Laughing Skull, Shattered Hand, and Bonechewer clans now make up the core of the Fel Horde, transformed into fel orcs created by the blood of Magtheridon and now on service in Illidan Stormrage's forces. The Thunderlord clan was almost completely destroyed and the survivors were transformed into fel orcs[40] through the blood of Mannoroth.[41]

The Warsong clan managed to escape from Draenor before Ner'zhul opened his portals, alongside part of the Bleeding Hollow[38] and part of the Shattered Hand clan. These three clans later joined Thrall when he revitalized the New Horde.

The Thunderlord clan maintained some of its holdings in the Blade's Edge Mountains, and a remnant of the Shadowmoon clan maintained one of its villages in the Shadowmoon Valley; when the Dark Portal was reopened during the Burning Crusade, these clans joined Thrall's New Horde as well.

Ner'zhul selfishly abandoned all the clans and escaped with just his elite followers in tow. The evil group of orcs crossed through their chosen portal just as Draenor blew apart in an apocalyptic explosion. As they thought that they had survived, Kil'jaeden and his demonic minions ambushed them and turned Ner'zhul into the Lich King, while his followers were turned into liches.[42]

The Cabal survived and are still in the Bone Wastes.

It is unknown what happened to the Bladewind clan and the Lightning's Blade clan.

Clans of the Horde of Draenor[]

Though the unity of these clans was constantly threatened, fear of Ner'zhul[9] and his Ogre-Mage, Dentarg, kept the clans in the line[43] (excepting a few outstanding incidents).

Other factions in the Horde of Draenor[]


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.

The various goblin merchants and laboratories that could be found in Outland during The Frozen Throne could have been survivors of the goblin mercenaries that followed the Horde of Draenor. Alternatively, they could be non-canon, similarly to the goblins in Quel'Thalas that sold Arthas and the Scourge zeppelins to cross a river in Warcraft III,[45] (in Arthas: Rise of the Lich King Arthas simply crossed the body of water on top of undead bodies).


  1. ^ Lich
  2. ^ a b Blizzard Entertainment. Lich (English) (HTML). Concept art. Archived from the original on 2009-10-02.
  3. ^ a b Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos Game Manual, Orcish History, Ner'zhul and the Shadow Clans
  4. ^ The Invasion of Draenor
  5. ^ The Story of Warcraft: Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal
  6. ^ Beyond the Dark Portal, prologue
  7. ^ Beyond the Dark Portal, chapter 1
  8. ^ a b c d e f Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal manual, pg. 8
  9. ^ a b c d e Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal manual, pg. 14
  10. ^ a b Slayer of the Shadowmoon (WC2 Orc)
  11. ^ The Skull of Gul'dan (WC2 Orc)
  12. ^ Thunderlord and Bonechewer (WC2 Orc)
  13. ^ a b The Rift Awakened (WC2 Orc)
  14. ^ a b Dragons of Blackrock Spire (WC2 Orc)
  15. ^ New Stormwind (WC2 Orc)
  16. ^ The Seas of Azeroth (WC2 Orc)
  17. ^ Assault on Kul Tiras (WC2 Orc)
  18. ^ The Tomb of Sargeras (WC2x Orc)
  19. ^ a b Alterac (WC2 Orc)
  20. ^ a b Beyond the Dark Portal, pg. 146 - 151
  21. ^ The Eye of Dalaran (WC2 Orc)
  22. ^ a b The Dark Portal (WC2 Orc)
  23. ^ The Battle for Nethergarde (WC2 Human)
  24. ^ Once More Unto the Breach (WC2 Human)
  25. ^ Beyond the Dark Portal (WC2 Human)
  26. ^ Beyond the Dark Portal, chapter 16
  27. ^ Upon the Shadowed Seas (WC2 Human)
  28. ^ The Fall of Auchindoun (WC2 Human)
  29. ^ a b Deathwing (WC2 Human)
  30. ^ Beyond the Dark Portal, 322
  31. ^ Coast of Bones (WC2 Human)
  32. ^ a b The Heart of Evil (WC2 Human)
  33. ^ a b Dance of the Laughing Skull (WC2 Human)
  34. ^ a b Siege of Vanguard (WC2 Human)
  35. ^ Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal missions#Ner'zhul's Victory
  36. ^ a b The Bitter Taste of Victory (WC2 Human)
  37. ^ Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos manual, pg. 4
  38. ^ a b c d Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos manual, pg. 19
  39. ^ Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal missions#Khadgar's Sacrifice
  40. ^ H [20-30] Thunderlord Clan Artifacts
  41. ^ H [20-30] The Encroaching Wilderness
  42. ^ Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos manual, pg. 32 - 33
  43. ^ Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal manual, p.13
  44. ^ a b c d Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal manual, p.15
  45. ^ Key of the Three Moons (WC3 Undead)