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For the in-game book, see The Invasion of Draenor. For the Warlords of Draenor conflict, see war in Draenor.
WC2BnE-logo Invasion of Draenor
Chronicle2 Invasion of Draenor
Date 8 ADP[1]
Location Draenor

Decisive Alliance victory

Commanders and leaders

Alliance Expedition


Horde of Draenor

Casualties and losses

Alliance Expedition

  • Heavy

Horde of Draenor

  • Massive
Major Battles Battle of Alterac, Assault on Dalaran, Battle for Nethergarde, Battle of Hellfire Citadel, Battle of Auchindoun, Battle of the Black Temple
Previous Second War
Concurrent Burning Crusade
Next Battle of Grim Batol

The Invasion of Draenor[2] (also referred to as The Destruction of Draenor)[3] was the conflict which followed in the aftermath of the Second War between the Alliance of Lordaeron and the Horde of Draenor. Although its name is taken primarily from the Alliance Expedition's military campaign into the orcish homeworld of Draenor, it also refers to the battles and other major events which took place on both the worlds of Azeroth and Draenor during this time period.


Forming the Horde of Draenor[]

As the fires of the Second War died down, the Alliance of Lordaeron took aggressive steps to contain the orcish threat. A number of large internment camps, meant to house the captive orcs, were constructed in southern Lordaeron. Guarded by both the paladins of the Silver Hand and the veteran soldiers of the Alliance, the camps proved to be a great success. Though the captive orcs were tense and anxious to do battle once more, the various camp wardens, based at the old prison-fortress of Durnholde, kept the peace and maintained a strong semblance of order.

However, on the hellish world of Draenor, a new orcish army prepared to strike at the unsuspecting Alliance. Two years after the destruction of the Dark Portal, Teron Gorefiend and his followers went to Ner'zhul, the former mentor of Gul'dan, and convinced him to rally the remaining orc clans under his dark banner and restore the Dark Portal. Aided by the Shadowmoon clan, the old shaman planned to open a number of portals on Draenor that would lead the Horde to new, unspoiled worlds. Dentarg (Ner'zhul's loyal follower), Grom Hellscream (Warlord of the Warsong Clan), and Kargath Bladefist (Warlord of the Shattered Hand) were the first to hear of Ner'zhul's plan and flocked to his banner. Eventually, Dentarg and Kargath were sent to influence warriors from the Thunderlord clan to join Ner'zhul's Horde.[4]

Before Ner'zhul could rebuild the Dark Portal to Azeroth and send his Horde through to gather the artifacts required for his grand scheme, he required the knowledge held by an order of death knights to complete his preparations. This group of death knights was at that time under the control of Mogor, the renegade ogre-mage of the Laughing Skull clan, who was using their necromantic magic for creating a powerful spell.[5]

Ner'zhul sent his forces, led by the Slayer of the Shadowmoon clan, against the Laughing Skull to subjugate the death knights and kill Mogor for his treachery. With the help of Grom Hellscream, who was freed from captivity at the hands of the Laughing Skull clan, Ner'zhul's attack succeeded.[5] Mogor was defeated but somehow survived, and Ner'zhul gained the knowledge to open the Portal.[6] Obris, a firm believer of Ner'zhul's vision, took command of the remaining Laughing Skull clan.[citation needed]  Ner'zhul sent Grom Hellscream to obtain the Skull of Gul'dan from Hurkan Skullsplinter. Grom slayed Hurkan and appointed Tagar Spinebreaker to take Hurkan's place of the Bonechewer clan who also joined Ner'zhul's Horde.[7]

Procuring artifacts[]

To power his new portals, Ner'zhul needed a number of enchanted artifacts from Azeroth. To procure them, Ner'zhul reopened the Dark Portal using the Skull of Gul'dan and sent his ravenous servants charging through it. Nerz'hul's forces began recruiting orcs stranded in Azeroth, notably among them Kilrogg Deadeye and his Bleeding Hollow clan. After failing to gain the support of the sons of Blackhand (Rend Blackhand and Maim Blackhand), Gorefiend encountered Deathwing, the insane and scheming Aspect of the black dragonflight. He offered his own children for assistance in exchange for safe passage to Draenor and the Skull of Gul'dan. They agreed and Deathwing helped them prepare for several key battles to steal two artifacts from the Alliance.

The new Horde, led by veteran chieftains such as Grom Hellscream and Kilrogg Deadeye, surprised the Alliance defense forces and rampaged through the countryside. Grom and Rexxar led the attack on Nethergarde Keep as a distraction for a team of orcs that were about to steal certain artifacts from Azeroth.[8]

Ner'zhul sent Teron Gorefiend through the Dark Portal to claim three powerful artifacts required for his spell: The Book of Medivh, the Jeweled Scepter of Sargeras, and the Eye of Dalaran.

Gorefiend has sensed a focus of arcane energies within a Castle that has been raised upon the foundations of Stormwind Keep. Ner'zhul believes that this can only be the fabled Book of Medivh. At first, Gorefiend entered the Royal Library in Stormwind City only to find the Book of Medivh gone and its guard slain with an Alterac blade.[9]

The death knight leader then sent one of his lieutenants, Ragnok, to accompany Fenris, Tagar and their warriors to the Tomb of Sargeras. Gorefiend also secured the aid of black dragons from Deathwing until they reached the island. Their mission was to locate and retrieve the Jeweled Scepter of Sargeras. First they had stolen three boats from Menethil Harbor, but were discovered before leaving.[10] A Kul Tiras naval armada sent by Admiral Daelin Proudmoore quickly pursed and threatened to destroy them, but the timely arrival of black dragons had destroyed three Kul Tiras vessels and the rest were forced to retreat at the hopeless situation.[11] This allowed the access of the Great Sea to travel to the Tomb of Sargeras, Alterac and Dalaran.[12]

With the help of Deathwing, Teron Gorefiend made a deal with Alterac king Aiden Perenolde and got the Book of Medivh in exchange for the dragon aspect destroying the Alliance outposts in Alterac.[13][14] Afterwards, Gorefiend traveled to the stronghold of Dalaran at Cross Island to steal the Eye of Dalaran, where the mages had built heavy fortification. He broke through the shoreline defenses,[15] then he and his death knights broke into the Arcane Vault of the Violet Citadel, and stole the Eye.[16] Several of the death knights were killed by Antonidas, joined by Krasus and Kael'thas Sunstrider, but the Kirin Tor were unable to prevent the remaining, including their leader, from escaping. They killed Sathera and escaped atop the back of Deathwing and some of his black dragons.[17]

Under Ner'zhul's surgical command, the orcs quickly rounded up all the artifacts that they needed and fled back to the safety of Draenor.

Icon-search-48x48 This section contains information that needs to be cleaned up. Reason: BtDP and Chronicle 2 say that it was Turalyon who decided to lead the army to Draenor, not Terenas and his orders.

King Terenas of Lordaeron, convinced that the orcs were preparing a new invasion of Azeroth, assembled his most trusted lieutenants. He ordered General Turalyon and the archmage, Khadgar, to lead an expedition through the Dark Portal to put an end to the orcish threat once and for all. Those recruited into the Alliance Expedition included veteran heroes of the Alliance such as Danath Trollbane, Kurdran Wildhammer, and Alleria Windrunner.[18]

Alliance Invasion of Draenor[]

The Dusts of Outland - Invasion of Draenor

The invasion as seen in a flashback in Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne.

Turalyon and Khadgar's forces marched into Draenor and repeatedly clashed with Ner'zhul's clans upon the ravaged Hellfire Peninsula over the next several months. After fortifying the Alliance Expedition's position on the Hellfire Peninsula where the Portal was located,[19] they proceeded to establish a fleet to attack the surrounding clans. Their first target was to destroy the Orcish shipyards of Zeth'kur.[20] They also founded Honor Hold as their primary base. The Sons of Lothar received erratic shipments of supplies and manpower from their homeworld then, as the Azerothian side of the Dark Portal switched sides several times during the late stages of the Invasion.[21] The Alliance Expedition later raided Hellfire Citadel, which was defended by Kargath Bladefist, his Shattered Hand clan, and Dentarg. The citadel was captured by the Alliance and Khadgar was able to slay Dentarg, but Kargath and a few of his orcs got away. Though the Horde headquarters was captured and the bulk of its military might was destroyed while the Alliance had few casualties, the Horde's new warchief Ner'zhul wasn't in Hellfire Citadel as the Alliance Expedition believed.[22] Khadgar discovered from Dentarg that Ner'zhul was planning on using the stolen artifacts to make new portals.[23] While examining the remains of the Hellfire Citadel, the Arch-Wizard has learned not only the location of the Book of Medivh, but also of another artifact integral to safeguarding Azeroth — the Skull of Gul'dan. Khadgar believes it will be possible to destroy the Portal and permanently seal the rift created by Medivh if he can acquire these artifacts. Thus they decided to split their forces, with Danath and Kurdran continuing the pursuit of Ner'zhul who still had the Book of Medivh and was en route to the Black Temple, while Khadgar, Turalyon, and Alleria pursued Deathwing who possessed the powerful Skull of Gul'dan.[24]

Deathwing believed Draenor would be a relatively safe haven for his offspring and secreted away a cache of black dragon eggs there. However, the gronn did not take kindly to Deathwing and his black dragons trying to take over their territory and conflict arose between the two races.

Chronicle Deathwing vs Gruul

Gruul fighting Deathwing.

Gruul, the leader of the Gronn, eventually met the Alliance expedition heroes — Khadgar, Turalyon, and Alleria Windrunner — who were after the Skull of Gul'dan which Deathwing possessed (he demanded it as payment from Ner'zhul). Seeing as they had a common enemy, the Gronn and the Alliance Expedition heroes formed an alliance to take down Deathwing. Gruul and his ogre minions, along with the heroes, challenged Deathwing from his perch in Gorgrond — killing his eggs and impaling his lesser black drakes on the mountain spikes.[25] Infuriated by this act, Deathwing landed on top of them and attacked Gruul. Although clearly no match for the mad Aspect's power, Gruul distracted the dragon aspect while Khadgar cast a simple yet miraculous spell that disassembled some of the adamantium plates that were holding Deathwing's unstable body together, causing excruciating pain and resulting in Deathwing's retreat back to Azeroth. Khadgar took the Skull of Gul'dan and decided to meet with Danath's forces at the Black Temple.[26]

Kilrogg death vision

Kilrogg Deadeye's death vision on a battlefield between the Horde and the Sons of Lothar.

Meanwhile, Danath and Kurdran pursued Ner'zhul but Kurdran was struck down and captured by Ner'zhul, who took his men to be holed up in Auchindoun. Danath and his forces established Allerian Stronghold and prepared to besiege the Auchindoun fortress.[27] An arakkoa by the name of Grizzik was captured shortly after by Alliance forces, as he had been following the expedition. He promised to guide the Alliance into Auchindoun, where Ner'zhul was hiding. There they encountered one of the last draenei, Nemuraan.[28] Nemuraan assisted Talthressar, Danath, and Rellian by allowing them to use seldom traveled passages, and he invoked the ghosts of dead draenei to assist the Alliance in their ambush against the orcs and their new allies, the Cabal of Vorpil. The Alliance fought valiantly and rescued Kurdran. Kilrogg Deadeye stayed behind to aid in Ner'zhul's escape and was slain by Danath Trollbane in honorable combat.[29] Ner'zhul and Teron Gorefeind teleported to the Black Temple where Ner'zhul began invoking the Spell of Conjuration.

Unfortunately, seeking out the artifacts needed to seal the rift has given the Horde time to mount a strike against them. A great Orcish armada threatens the coasts of Shadowmoon Valley that the Alliance Expedition have captured, and the armies of the Alliance have been hard-pressed on many fronts. Khadgar and Danath's forces regrouped and razed the orc strongholds that guard the coastline of the Black Temple.[30] Afterwards, the Alliance Expedition pressed their attack by raiding the Black Temple itself. Yet even though Turalyon had slain Teron Gorefiend and scattered the remnant orcish death knights, Khadgar's party was unable to prevent Ner'zhul from opening his portals to other worlds. Unbeknownst to the other orc clans, the Skull of Gul'dan had slowly corrupted Ner'zhul until he became more concerned with his own power and well-being rather than that of the Horde. Feeling the surge of power that came with having control of Draenor's magic, Ner'zhul stopped caring about the welfare of the Horde, and thought only of harnessing his new powers. In his hubris, he ordered his followers through the portals he created, leaving behind the Horde. Obris, one of his servitors, protested at Ner'zhul's choice to abandon the rest of the Horde. In response, Ner'zhul blasted him aside; he no longer cared. Inundated with power he previously could only have dreamed of, Ner'zhul's greed overcame him, and whatever vestiges of honor and altruism still remained in him vanished as he and his followers went through the first portal, abandoning the rest of the Orcish Horde to its fate. Obris in his dying breath relinquished the Book of Medivh to Khadgar as a last act of defiance to his traitorous warchief.[31]

Ner'zhul finally opened his portals to other worlds, but he did not foresee the terrible price he would pay. The portals' tremendous energies began to tear the very fabric of Draenor apart. Worse, a multitude of Orcs have laid siege to the Alliance's fortifications at Hellfire. Although the attacking warriors were not well equipped, their sheer numbers threatened to spell the downfall of the Alliance's forces there.[32] Sometime during the war, the Kirin Tor members of the Alliance Expedition settled on Farahlon and created Kirin'Var Village. After Nerz'hul's betrayal, the Laughing Skull clan established a truce with the Alliance[33]; which allowed the Alliance to secure the passes of the Blade's Edge Mountains unimpeded and take out the Thunderlord clan stronghold in the region.[34]

As Turalyon's forces fought desperately to fend off the abandoned orc clans and return home to Azeroth, the world of Draenor began to buckle in upon itself.[35]

On Draenor, Turalyon and Khadgar agreed to make the ultimate sacrifice by destroying the Dark Portal from their side. Though it would cost their lives, and the lives of their companions, they knew that it was the only way to ensure Azeroth's survival. Even as orcs attacked the human ranks in a desperate bid for freedom, the Alliance held their ground and protected Khadgar as he used the Skull of Gul'dan and the Book of Medivh to destroy the Dark Portal.[35] For the remaining orcs stranded on Azeroth like Grom Hellscream, there would be no going back.[36]

Ner'zhul and his loyal Shadowmoon clan passed through the largest of the newly created portals, as massive volcanic eruptions began to break Draenor's continents apart. Ner'zhul and his followers however were immediately apprehended by the demon lord Kil'jaeden in the aftermath of their escape from Draenor.[37] Kil'jaeden turned his captives into monstrosities, with Ner'zhul himself eventually becoming the Lich King. After the Dark Portal's destruction, Khadgar and the remnants of the Alliance Expedition also escaped through one of Ner'zhul's portals. As the burning seas rose up and roiled the shattered landscape, the tortured world was finally consumed in a massive, apocalyptic explosion causing the Outland it is today.[38]


Outland, though the broken remnant of Draenor, was still a surviving world full of resources, people, and open portals for the Burning Legion to infiltrate. The Burning Legion would once again turn its gaze upon the broken planet to subjugate it, with Magtheridon and his forces conquering it and ruling the surviving populace under his tyranny. The remnants of the Alliance Expedition returned to Outland to reclaim their abandoned fortifications, and renamed themselves the Sons of Lothar — a group dedicated to holding a vigil to staunch demonic influence over Outland and the worlds beyond. A new race called the Naaru would eventually travel to Outland as well to give its people hope and to spread the salvation of the Light during Outland's time of peril.


  • Once every five hundred and forty-seven years, a celestial event involved three of Draenor's constellations alongside one of its moons. An occurrence of such event was directly responsible for the invasion of Draenor, for Ner'zhul needed it to happen to gather enough energy to cast his Spell of Conjuration.[39]
  • During the conflict, the scattered and desperate draenei secretly saw Alliance forces drive back the Horde and destroy the Dark Portal. These acts gave the draenei hope, and they began plans to send some of their people on a diplomatic mission, preluding their move to Azeroth decades later.[40]
  • Many sieges happened during the invasion, as evidenced by the remaining wrecks of siege towers, human cannons and orcish blade throwers.
  • Among the known people who participated in the war are Aedis Brom and Christoph Faral, and the half-breed Lantresor.
  • Near the end of the invasion, the Expedition Armory in southern Hellfire Peninsula was attacked and destroyed by Horde orcs and death knights. The death knights cursed the Armory's defenders, causing the soldiers' souls to remain as the Unyielding: vengeful spirits trapped between the realms of the living and the dead and locked in eternal battle against the fel orc clans.[41][42][43]
  • 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.[44][45]
  • Many events depicted in Warcraft II were not mentioned in later lore.
    • Notably, there were more naval battles, the order of several battles was changed, and the treacherous actions of both Alterac and the Laughing Skull clan were given more importance. The latter were shown siding with the Alliance and giving them the Book of Medivh in exchange for helping them dominate the lands of Draenor. They were also led by Mogor whom is unmentioned in the novel.
    • The RTS also said that death knights, forest trolls and enslaved dragons crossed the Dark Portal alongside Kilrogg Deadeye and were shared among the Draenor clans. Deathwing's dragons were also shown to inhabit Blackrock Spire and to willingly join the orcish side.
    • In the RTS, Kul Tiras was attacked by the Horde of Draenor, which was never mentioned again. However, in Battle for Azeroth, Kul Tiras was attacked by the Old Horde, an event not mentioned earlier, as there is a ship from the Second War sunk in Stormsong Valley.[46]
    • In the RTS, Kargath Bladefist traveled to Azeroth with Grom and was subsequently stranded there when the portal was destroyed, but this was retconned in The Burning Crusade.


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.


See also[]


  1. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2, pg. 182
  2. ^ The Invasion of Draenor
  3. ^ Ultimate Visual Guide, pg. 29
  4. ^ The Skull of Gul'dan (WC2 Orc)
  5. ^ a b Slayer of the Shadowmoon (WC2 Orc)
  6. ^ The Rift Awakened (WC2 Orc)
  7. ^ Beyond the Dark Portal, pg. 78
  8. ^ The Battle for Nethergarde (WC2 Human)
  9. ^ Beyond the Dark Portal, pg. 109
  10. ^ Beyond the Dark Portal, pg. 153, 154
  11. ^ Beyond the Dark Portal, pg. 154-156
  12. ^ The Seas of Azeroth (WC2 Orc)
  13. ^ Alterac (WC2 Orc)
  14. ^ Beyond the Dark Portal, pg. 149
  15. ^ The Eye of Dalaran (WC2 Orc)
  16. ^ Beyond the Dark Portal, pg. 161
  17. ^ Beyond the Dark Portal, pg. 163-165
  18. ^ The Invasion of Draenor
  19. ^ Beyond the Dark Portal (WC2 Human)
  20. ^ Upon the Shadowed Seas (WC2 Human)
  21. ^ Beyond the Dark Portal, chapter 16
  22. ^ Beyond the Dark Portal, pg. 253, 261
  23. ^ Beyond the Dark Portal, pg. 258
  24. ^ Beyond the Dark Portal, pg. 264
  25. ^ Beyond the Dark Portal, pg. 339, 340
  26. ^ Beyond the Dark Portal, pg. 346, 347
  27. ^ The Fall of Auchindoun (WC2 Human)
  28. ^ Beyond the Dark Portal, pg. 303
  29. ^ Beyond the Dark Portal, pg. 322
  30. ^ Coast of Bones (WC2 Human)
  31. ^ Beyond the Dark Portal, pg. 389
  32. ^ Siege of Vanguard (WC2 Human)
  33. ^ Excerpts from the Journal of Archmage Vargoth
  34. ^ Dance of the Laughing Skull (WC2 Human)
  35. ^ a b The Bitter Taste of Victory (WC2 Human)
  36. ^ Beyond the Dark Portal, pg. 410
  37. ^ Beyond the Dark Portal, pg. 423
  38. ^ Beyond the Dark Portal, pg. 419
  39. ^ Beyond the Dark Portal, chapter 16
  40. ^ The Burning Crusade Flash site#Draenei
  41. ^ A [10-30] Unyielding Souls
  42. ^ H [10-30] Make Them Listen
  43. ^ H [10-30] The Battle Horn
  44. ^ 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.”
  45. ^ 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.”
  46. ^ Leo Shealds#Quotes
  47. ^ Inv lightforgedelekk [Glorious Felcrusher]