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Liberation of the internment camps
Assault of Durnholde Keep - Legends
Date 15 ADP - 18 ADP[1]
Location Hillsbrad Foothills and Arathi Highlands, Lordaeron

Horde victory


Alliance of Lordaeron



Commanders and leaders

Alliance of Lordaeron



Previous Second War
Next Third War

The liberation of the internment camps was a campaign organized by Orgrim Doomhammer and Thrall before the onset of the Third War, leading the New Horde (formed with the Warsong and Frostwolf clans) to liberate all the captive orcs held in the internment camps of the Alliance of Lordaeron.


Lord of the Clans[]

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Thrall's optimism and resilience reignited Orgrim's hopes of restoring the orcs' pride and honor. He made the young shaman his second-in-command. They joined with Grommash Hellscream and his Warsong clan, and they launched a campaign to free the orc prisoners from their internment camps. The lethargy that made the orcs submissive began to fade before the raw energy of Thrall's sense of purpose, and with each toppled camp, the new Horde grew bigger and stronger.

Orgrim Doomhammer fell in battle while liberating one of those camps, and with his last breath, he declared that Thrall should carry on as the new warchief of the Horde. Thrall took up Doomhammer's eponymous weapon, his armor, and his responsibilities, and he sought to dismantle the whole system of internment in one fell swoop. Orgrim's death took a heavy toll on Gor'mul, who then wandered alone and lost for years without direction or hope until his brethren came back to settle Hammerfall.[2]

The Horde marched on Aedelas Blackmoore's fortress, Durnholde Keep, now protected by a group of knights. Thrall offered to parley peacefully. Aedelas responded by executing Taretha Foxton, Thrall's childhood friend. Enraged, Thrall and the Horde stormed the keep, and in a bloody battle, Thrall personally struck down Aedelas.

With Durnholde conquered and the knights defeated, the administration of the internment camps ended instantly. The new Horde had little trouble liberating the rest of the smaller, more isolated camps across Lordaeron. Thrall did not use his numbers to wage wars against Lordaeron itself. Instead, he took his people across the Eastern Kingdoms in search of a place they could call home.[3]

The Alliance splinters[]

The destruction of the internment camps proved to be the tipping point for many among the Alliance of Lordaeron. The high elves of Quel'Thalas were the first to leave the Alliance. The human nations of Gilneas and Stromgarde soon followed. Gilneas built the Greymane Wall as a way to defend itself without military pacts with the Alliance.

Several kingdoms made it known that they had no intention of letting the Alliance collapse. Stormwind, Lordaeron, Dalaran, Kul Tiras, Ironforge and Gnomeregan all reaffirmed their commitment to unity to whatever trials would come.[4]

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By virtue of the Alliance Internment Act, the troops of the Alliance tried to capture the fugitive orcs, offering them to spare their lives if they willingly surrendered.[5] The orcs refused.


  • Thrall personally gifted a morningstar to the orc Byrok after freeing him from bondage.[6]
  • In the original lore, the splintering of the Alliance happened before Thrall liberated the orcs.[7]
  • During the War Against the Nightmare, Thrall was trapped by the power of the Emerald Nightmare and was forced to have nightmares. A part of his dreams was the siege of Durnholde.[8]


See also[]