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For other stories, see The Story So Far.

This article is a copy of "The Story So Far: Iron Tide Rising", an official article by Blizzard Entertainment. It presented the story leading up to World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor, recapping World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria.

The original article, formerly located at http://us.battle.net/wow/en/blog/16354140/, did not survive the overhaul of the World of Warcraft Official Website.

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With the impending Iron Tide, we thought we'd take a moment to look at the story so far and the treacherous journey the Horde and Alliance have traversed through Pandaria. All too soon they will face a new menace with a familiar face.

Parting the Mists

With Deathwing's menace ended, Warchief Garrosh Hellscream seized the opportunity to strike at the Alliance and expand the Horde's territory on Kalimdor. His assault completely obliterated the human city of Theramore, causing world-wide violence between the factions to erupt anew. A destructive naval skirmish left Alliance and Horde forces washed ashore on the fog-shrouded island of Pandaria, which had appeared in the open sea, defying modern maps and charts. As both warring factions established footholds on the resource-rich continent, they made contact with the noble pandaren, one of its most prolific peoples. This ancient race worked with the Alliance and Horde in the hopes of dispersing the Sha: dark, ephemeral beings roused from beneath Pandaria by the bloody conflict.

Theirs is a tale with a history best told by the last of the pandaren emperors, Shaohao.

Landfall

The conflict between the Horde and the Alliance entered a bloody new chapter in Pandaria. As the two factions' armies clashed on the shores of the continent, Warchief Garrosh Hellscream dispatched elite troops to find the Divine Bell—an ancient mogu artifact capable of endowing his soldiers with unimaginable power. Garrosh's bold and reckless actions, however, had dire consequences for the Horde, including the outbreak of violence against the Darkspear trolls and the expulsion of the blood elves from the once-neutral mage city of Dalaran. Although Garrosh claimed the bell, Prince Anduin Wrynn and the Alliance secret agents of SI:7 closely tracked the warchief's every move. On the highest peaks of Kun-Lai Summit, the brave prince thwarted Garrosh's plans, leading to the fabled mogu artifact's destruction.

The Thunder King

While war between the Horde and the Alliance raged across Pandaria, the scattered mogu plotted a return to their terrible former glory. They rekindled their historical alliance with the Zandalari trolls, who managed to resurrect the tyrannical mogu emperor, Lei Shen the Thunder King, in the hopes of restoring mogu dominion over the continent. The valiant Shado-pan rushed to suppress their enemies, creating a task force, the Shado-pan Assault, originally composed of pandaren warriors and later supported by heroes of the Horde and Alliance. These fearless champions strove to defeat the Thunder King, though they also simultaneously served their factions' interests on Pandaria. Jaina Proudmoore led the Kirin Tor Offensive on a quest to uncover the source of all mogu power (and keep it from the Horde), and Lor'themar Theron took the Sunreaver Onslaught in search of mighty mogu weaponry to aid a daring plan…an insurrection against Warchief Garrosh Hellscream.

Escalation

Garrosh Hellscream's quest for power in Pandaria leads him to excavate part of the sacred Vale of Eternal Blossoms in search of a sinister artifact, a decision that puts the Horde at odds with the Shado-pan and other influential pandaren. Meanwhile, in the Horde capital of Orgrimmar, Chieftain Vol'jin and the Darkspear trolls are declared traitors and hunted by the Kor'kron, Hellscream's personal guard. Vol'jin's people retreat to Durotar and the Barrens to gather supplies and reinforcements for their counter-strike, relying on the support of their former warchief, Thrall, and a particularly tenuous pact with the Alliance, whose interest in ending Garrosh's rule may not bode entirely well for the Horde...

The Siege of Orgrimmar

The tensions stoked by Garrosh Hellscream's arrogance have reached a boiling point with the destruction unleashed upon the Vale of Eternal Blossoms. Leaders of the Alliance and Horde lay siege to Hellscream's capital in order to topple the ruthless Warchief once and for all!

Garrosh's subsequent defeat and trial should have been the end of his reign of terror, but it was not to be and now a new threat is building on Draenor. The Iron Horde is on the march and readying to take Azeroth in a flood of iron and blood.

Now: Treacherous Developments

The Dark Portal in the Blasted Lands has turned blood red. Hundreds of strange-looking orcs are violently pouring into Azeroth, killing everything that stands in their path. Nethergarde and Okril'lon have already fallen, and while the Horde and the Alliance moved as quickly as they could to get reinforcements to their people, they are too late. The Iron Horde invasion has begun.

In this desperate hour, King Wrynn and Warchief Vol'jin have called upon their greatest champions to join the front lines in the Blasted Lands and do whatever they can to stop the Iron Horde . . . before the rest of Azeroth falls before them.

Meanwhile, an advance party of Iron Horde forces has pushed through the Blasted Lands and on into Blackrock Mountain, where they've found refuge and supplies in Upper Blackrock Spire.

Will you be prepared to face this new peril?

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