For naval mission, see Riders on the Storm (naval mission).
Riders on the Storm
Location Darkspear Islands

Orcish victory


Orcish Horde

  Kul'Tiras Marines
  Underworld Minions
Commanders and leaders

Orcish Horde


Kul'Tiras Marines


Underworld Minions

Casualties and losses

Orcish Horde


Kul'Tiras Marines


Underworld Minions

Previous Departures
Next The Fires Down Below
This article contains lore taken from Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne, the manuals, and/or official bonus maps.

Riders on the Storm is the chapter three (3) of the prologue campaign, Exodus of the Horde, in Warcraft III Demo and the chapter one (1) of the custom campaign of Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne.

Full map.


Loading Screen

As Thrall and his companions set out for Kalimdor in their fleet of stolen ships, they are beset in the open seas by a sudden, fierce storm. To prevent the ships from taking a heavy pounding, Thrall orders the fleet to seek shelter in the cove of a nearby, remote island.


Main Quests

Human Outpost
  • Destroy the Human outpost

The existence of a Human outpost on the island poses an immediate threat to you and your warriors. You must destroy the outpost before they can prepare a massive assault.

Optional Quests

Defiled Fountain

The Fountain of Health once healed anyone who drank from it, but lately the water has become foul. You must retrieve the Vine of Purification and the Seed of Expulsion and bring them back to the Fountain so Sen'Jin can concoct a purifying potion.

Mission Fails

  • All of your buildings have been destroyed.



  • Raiders and Catapults are especially effective at destroying enemy buildings.
  • Pillage can be learned at your Great Hall, and gives Peons, Grunts and Raiders the ability to gather resources by damaging enemy buildings.
  • Peons can garrison inside Orc Burrows to attack enemy units.
  • Thrall has died and can now be revived at an Altar of Storms. To revive him, select your Altar of Storms and LEFT-CLICK on the REVIVE FAR SEER - THRALL button.
  • To unload your Peon from the Burrow, select the Burrow and CLICK on the STAND DOWN button in the command card.
  • To unload your Peon from the Burrow, select the Burrow and CLICK on the STAND DOWN button in the command card.
  • Upgrade your Great Hall to gain access to advanced units and structures, such as Raiders, Catapults, and Shaman. To do this, select your Great Hall and LEFT-CLICK on the UPGRADE TO STRONGHOLD button.

New unit acquired

  • Troll Headhunter - Headhunters are versatile spear-throwers, effective at ranged combat.

New unit available

New item received


Intro cinematic

Thrall and his warriors are looking at their ships.
IconSmall Thrall.gif Thrall: "It was lucky we happened onto this cove. I don't think our ships would have held out much longer in that storm."
BTNGrunt.png Grunt: "Warchief, half of the ships are missing, and the rest are badly damaged."
IconSmall Thrall.gif Thrall: "We had better get settled, then. We may be on this island for awhile."
Two Shamans approach Thrall.
BTNShaman.png Shaman: "Warchief, I sense strange magic all around us."
IconSmall Thrall.gif Thrall: "Hmmm..."
Thrall uses his BTNFarSight.pngFar Sight-ability which is able to reveal invisible units. It reveals some Sentry Wards within the base.
IconSmall Thrall.gif Thrall: "There's the source of your magic. Someone is watching us!"
BTNWitchDoctor.png Sen'Jin: "It is you!"
Sen'Jin, accompanied by two Troll Headhunters, appears on a nearby hill.
BTNWitchDoctor.png Sen'Jin: "I saw your arrival in a vision! Especially you... the Seer. Or is it just my old mind playin' tricks on me?"
IconSmall Thrall.gif Thrall: "Looks like this troll's been on the island a little too long... We're real enough, old one. My name is Thrall."
BTNWitchDoctor.png Sen'Jin: "I be Sen'Jin, leader of the trolls. This island used to be ours alone, but no more. You and your friends must be careful; the humans established an outpost on this island some time ago."
IconSmall Thrall.gif Thrall: "Humans?"
The cinematic shows the player the human base.
BTNWitchDoctor.png Sen'Jin: "Yes! They hound us day and night! Their patrols be all over the place. It not be long 'til they find you too!"
The cinematic returns to Thrall and Sen'Jin.
IconSmall Thrall.gif Thrall: "Well, I'd rather find them first! We can't risk their patrols' alerting the outpost about us! Lok-Tar, my brothers! We're moving out!"
BTNWitchDoctor.png Sen'Jin: "Good luck, my friend! I got important matters to tend to, but I be seein' you soon."
Sen'Jin walks away, leaving the two Headhunters with Thrall.

Defiled Fountain discovered

BTNHeadhunter.png Troll Headhunter: "Hey, mon. Sen'Jin told me you help us get rid of the humans! You know, this fountain once healed whoever drink from it, but strange gasses from underground been foulin' the water. With a few ingredients, Sen'Jin can make a purifying potion. Maybe you can help?"

Middle cinematic (completing the optional quest)

BTNWitchDoctor.png Sen'Jin: "Hello again, outlanders! These ingredients be exactly what I need."
Sen'Jin purifies the fountain.
BTNWitchDoctor.png Sen'Jin: "Now our warriors can heal themselves! Let me give you a little something for the trouble."
Sen'Jin places a Healing Ward in front of Thrall.
BTNWitchDoctor.png Sen'Jin: "These wards contain healing magic. No doubt you'll find them useful."
When the cinematic ends, Thrall has Healing Wards in his inventory.

Between the battle

  • BTNFootman.png Footman: "Hey, it's the orcs who stole the ships from the mainland! Send for reinforcements!"
  • IconSmall Thrall.gif Thrall: "These vents are active. The island's volcano may not stay dormant for long."
  • IconSmall Thrall.gif Thrall: "These are the same wards the old troll used to spy on us. They may prove useful."
  • BTNHeroArchMage.png Archmage: "Your insolence astounds me! You ignorant brutes shall only succeed in dying!"
  • BTNHeroArchMage.png Archmage: "Your feeble attacks are fruitless! Why don't you just give up?"

Ending cinematic

The orcs destroy the human base.
IconSmall Thrall.gif Thrall: "For the Horde!"
An army of murlocs emerge from the sea.
IconSmall Thrall.gif Thrall: "Watch your backs! This battle's not over yet!"
BTNHeadhunter.png Troll Headhunter: "The fish-creatures have come to take us away!"
The Murloc Sorcerer appears before the prisoners.
BTNMurloc.png Murloc Sorcerer: "Your meddling magics will no longer interfere with our plans, land-dweller."
The prisoners are led into a cave to the north-west.

Unused quotes

  • BTNGrunt.png D03Grunt17: "Warchief, one of the humans escaped!"
  • BTNHeadhunter.png D03HeadHunter19: "Our spears would be no good against that shields, run!"
  • IconSmall Thrall.gif D03Thrall16: "Humans, just what we needed... Don't let them get away!"
  • IconSmall Thrall.gif D03Thrall18: "Damn, they'll alert the outpost for sure. Prepare for battle!"
  • IconSmall Thrall.gif D03Thrall25: "Stay alert, not all the island inhabitants are friendly."
  • IconSmall Thrall.gif D03Thrall30: "This wards contain healing power."
  • BTNHeadhunter.png D03Troll26: "Welcome to the village mon."
  • BTNHeadhunter.png D03Troll27: "You are green or I'm just seeing things?"
  • BTNHeadhunter.png D03Troll28: "I hope you help us get rid of those nasty humans."




The battle

After making it halfway to Kalimdor, the Horde forces land on the Darkspear Islands, near the Maelstrom. The orcs' ships were badly damaged and need to be repaired before the journey may continue. Soon after landing, the orcish shamans detected magic around them and found out some troll sentry wards. The trolls' chieftain, Sen'jin, revealed himself and told the orcs that humans had landed on the islands too and are now were hunting his tribesmen. The orcs and trolls agreed to join forces and set up a base to defend themselves from the humans. As soon as the basic camp was set up, Thrall is tasked by a troll to find the Seed of Expulsion and the Vine of Purification to purify a poisoned Fountain of Health. After purifying the Fountain, the orcs and trolls assaulted the humans' base, led by an Archmage. Before managing to destroy the whole camp, murlocs led by a Murloc Sorcerer appeared and net the humans, trolls, and orcs. They were then taken to a cave to be sacrificed to a mysterious Sea Witch.[4]


Orcish Horde
Kul'Tiras Marines


  • This level is named after the song Riders on the Storm by The Doors.
  • This mission was cut out of the full game with just the tutorial levels left in Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos. The mission was first seen in the Warcraft III Demo which was made available after the release of the game. In Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne, Blizzard Entertainment made a custom campaign which included the missions that were exclusive to the demo campaign; however, the voice acting was removed as the demo voice acting had only been recorded in English and Blizzard was unable to localize it for other regions.
  • The Archmage probably dies during the battle as he has to be killed for an easy win or he is killed when he invades Thrall's base. Although there is an unused trigger in the custom campaign of Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne where he is captured by the murlocs, there are no indications that this has happened as the said trigger is disabled and so isn't used in the mission. Nevertheless, if he was captured, then he would have been killed with the rest of the humans in the cavern during the next mission.
  • A trigger was going to change the Kul Tiras Marines' color to green (emerald) to match Kul Tiras's nation color, rather than blue. It was disabled for an unknown reason.



  1. ^ The mission is easy and it's very likely that the player win losing less units than the enemy.
  2. ^ The Horde destroys the human base, razing the buildings and then the Underworld Minions attack the base.
  3. ^ They just appear in the ending cinematic where none of them are seen to die.
  4. ^ "Exodus of the Horde: Riders of the Storm", Warcraft III Demo. Blizzard Entertainment.