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Not to be confused with History of Warcraft or The Story So Far.

This article is a copy of "The Story of Warcraft", a section of the official World of Warcraft website that provides "an abridged timeline of the Warcraft Saga starting from Warcraft: Orcs & Humans". The timeline is divided into "chapters", each providing a brief summary of the story for each major game, expansion, and content patch in the Warcraft franchise, occasionally with links to trailers, wallpapers, and other related content on the official site.

The timeline was added on September 21st, 2012[1] and is sporadically updated; as of September 2021, it has been updated up until the beginning of World of Warcraft: Shadowlands.

Official description
We just released The Story of Warcraft, a comprehensive collection that will bring you up-to-speed with everything that’s happened in the Warcraft universe since the release of Warcraft: Orcs & Humans.
The story of the brave people of Azeroth and beyond has been growing and expanding with each additional release in the Warcraft series of games. It’s a tale of mighty heroes, of powerful foes, a tale of strength, and honor, and of unlimited adventure. Now, you can check out a chronicle of the major events that happened in each Warcraft game, expansion, or major content patch. Each entry includes a short summary, a video trailer, and key art for the chapter. More content such as wallpapers, character cards (so you can keep track of the scores of heroes of the Warcraft universe), and more will be added to this section soon, so stay tuned![1]

Warcraft: Orcs & Humans[]

WCOnH logo

Released in November 1994 | PC / Mac Game

For ages, the fallen titan Sargeras plotted to scour all life from Azeroth. To this end, Sargeras possessed the human sorcerer Medivh and compelled him to contact Gul'dan, an orc warlock on the world of Draenor. There, Sargeras' demonic servants among the Burning Legion worked to corrupt the once - peaceful orcs and forge them into a bloodthirsty army known as the Horde. This cursed force invaded Azeroth through the Dark Portal, a dimensional gateway created by Medivh and Gul'dan, and clashed with the human nation of Stormwind. Aided by the half-orc Garona, human champions like Anduin Lothar fought valiantly to protect their kingdom. Yet, in the end, the mighty Horde shattered Stormwind's defenses. Amid the city's tragic fall, Garona betrayed her allies and assassinated King Llane Wrynn, sealing the nation's defeat.

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Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness[]


Released in December 1995 | PC / Mac Game

The human nation of Stormwind had fallen before the Horde. Knight Champion Anduin Lothar gathered the scattered remnants of the human army and led the refugees north across the Great Sea to the kingdom of Lordaeron. By enlisting the aid of other nations - humans, gnomes, elves, and dwarves - Lothar helped form a great Alliance to stand against the orcs and their ruthless new leader, Orgrim Doomhammer. The seemingly unstoppable Horde continued its rampage, reinforcing its growing army with savage trolls and brutish ogres. But, on the eve of victory, Gul'dan and his followers selfishly abandoned their allies to seek out powerful artifacts, forcing the weakened Horde to retreat. Doomhammer momentarily rallied the orcs when he slew Lothar in a harrowing battle, but the hero's death did not break the Alliance's resolve. Turalyon, Lothar's loyal lieutenant, quickly took up leadership of Azeroth's defenders and finally defeated the Horde.

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Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal[]


Released in April 1996 | PC / Mac Expansion Set

Following the destruction of Azeroth's Dark Portal by the victorious Alliance, the orc shaman Ner'zhul took command of the remaining Horde on Draenor. There, he plotted to create portals to other unspoiled worlds and invade each in turn. To enable the rituals for his dimensional conquest, Ner'zhul sent orcish forces through his world's intact Dark Portal in search of powerful relics on Azeroth. Wary of the Horde's plans, the heroes of the Alliance invaded Draenor to end the orcish threat forever. Facing certain defeat at the hands of his enemies, Ner'zhul succeeded in opening numerous portals to new worlds. The resulting magical stress shattered Draenor, trapping many of Azeroth's greatest heroes on Outland, the damaged remains of the planet.

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Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos[]


Released in July 2002 | PC / Mac Game

After years of languishing in captivity, the remaining orcs on Azeroth were liberated by a former slave named Thrall. This young shaman and his reformed Horde fled to the continent of Kalimdor to escape the invasion of the Burning Legion, a demonic army that sought to ravage all of Azeroth. To weaken the world's defenses, the Legion unleashed a horrifying new weapon: the undead Scourge. Prince Arthas Menethil of Lordaeron fought bravely to protect his lands from this dreaded enemy, but his fear and desperation led him to join forces with the Scourge's mysterious leader, the Lich King. On Kalimdor, Thrall's Horde set aside old hatreds and united with other races to thwart a massive Legion assault helmed by the demon lord Archimonde. At great cost, the unlikely union of humans, night elves and orcs defeated their enemies atop sacred Mount Hyjal.

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Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne[]


Released in July 2003 | PC / Mac Expansion Set

While the armies of humans, orcs, and their allies recovered from their battle against the Burning Legion, Arthas Menethil - now a Death Knight - slaughtered the living denizens of Azeroth's Eastern Kingdoms in the name of the Scourge. But new forces emerged that threatened to destroy Arthas and his minions: the banshee Sylvanas Windrunner rebelled, creating a splinter faction of undead known as the Forsaken, and the demon-tainted night elf Illidan Stormrage sent his armies to the icy continent of Northrend to strike at the Lich King. Arthas rushed to his master's defense and defeated Illidan, who fled to Outland in shame. At last close to the seat of the Scourge's power, Arthas did the unthinkable, and willingly merged his own spirit with that of the Lich King.

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World of Warcraft[]


Released in November 2004 | PC / Mac Game

Intent on settling the arid region of Durotar, Thrall's new Horde expanded its ranks, inviting the undead Forsaken to join orcs, tauren, and trolls. Meanwhile, dwarves, gnomes and the ancient night elves pledged their loyalties to a reinvigorated Alliance, guided by the human kingdom of Stormwind. After Stormwind's king, Varian Wrynn, mysteriously disappeared, Highlord Bolvar Fordragon served as Regent but his service was marred by the manipulations and mind control of the black dragon Onyxia, who ruled in disguise as a human noblewoman. As heroes investigated Onyxia's manipulations, ancient foes surfaced in lands throughout the world to menace Horde and Alliance alike.

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Assault on Blackwing Lair[]


Released in July 2005 | World of Warcraft Patch 1.6

Deep within the fiery heart of Blackrock Mountain, the black dragon Nefarian conducted twisted experiments with the blood of other dragonflights. Intent on seizing the entire region for his own, he marshaled the remaining Dark Horde, a rogue army that embraced the demonic bloodlust of the old Horde. These corrupt orcs, trolls and other races battled against the Firelord Ragnaros and the shadowy Dark Iron dwarves for control of the smoldering mountain. Before he was vanquished by fearless heroes, Nefarian created the twisted chromatic dragons and a legion of other aberrations in his bid to form an army powerful enough to control Azeroth and continue the legacy of his infamous father, Deathwing the Destroyer.

Rise of the Blood God[]


Released in September 2005 | World of Warcraft Patch 1.7

Years ago, in the ruined temple of Atal'Hakkar, loyal priests of the Blood God Hakkar the Soulflayer attempted to summon the wrathful deity's avatar into the world. But his followers, the Atal'ai priesthood, discovered that the Soulflayer could only be summoned within the Gurubashi tribe's ancient capital, Zul'Gurub. Newly reborn in this jungle fortress, Hakkar took control of the Gurubashi tribe and mortal champions of the trolls' mighty animal gods. The Soulflayer's dark influence was barely halted when the wise Zandalari tribe recruited heroes from the Horde and the Alliance and staged an invasion of Zul'Gurub.

The Gates of Ahn'Qiraj[]


Released in January 2006 | World of Warcraft Patch 1.9

The great desert fortress of Ahn'Qiraj, long sealed behind the Scarab Wall, was home to the insectoid qiraji, a savage race that had once mounted an assault to devastate the continent of Kalimdor. But something far more sinister lurked behind Ahn'Qiraj's walls: the Old God C'Thun, an ancient entity whose pervasive evil had suffused Azeroth since time immemorial. As C'Thun incited the qiraji to frenzy, both the Alliance and Horde prepared for a massive war effort. A mixed force of Alliance and Horde soldiers, dubbed the Might of Kalimdor, opened the gates of Ahn'Qiraj under the command of the indomitable orc Varok Saurfang. Their charge: lay siege to the ruins and temples of Ahn'Qiraj, and vanquish the terrors of ages past.

Shadow of the Necropolis[]


Released in June 2006 | World of Warcraft Patch 1.11

In the Lich King's haste to spread the plague of undeath over Azeroth, he gifted one of his greatest servants, the lich Kel'Thuzad, with the flying citadel of Naxxramas, a horrific base of operations for the Scourge. Consistent attacks from the Scarlet Crusade and Argent Dawn factions weakened the defenses of the floating fortress, enabling an incursion that led to Kel'Thuzad's defeat. However, a traitor among the ranks of the knightly order of the Argent Dawn absconded with Kel'Thuzad's cursed remains and fled to Northrend, where the fallen lich could be reanimated.

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The Burning Crusade[]


Released in January 2007 | PC / Mac Expansion Set

The Doom Lord Kazzak reopened the Dark Portal to Outland, flooding Azeroth with the ravenous demons of the Burning Legion. Expeditions from the Horde and Alliance, reinforced by their new blood elf and draenei allies, passed through the gateway to stop the invasion at its source. On Outland's desiccated Hellfire Peninsula, the Alliance discovered several of their heroes who had crossed through the portal many years before, while the Horde made contact with the Mag'har - 'uncorrupted' orcs who had not participated in their race's original invasion of Azeroth. The expedition into Outland dragged Horde and Alliance armies further into conflict with the agents of the Legion and the lieutenants of Illidan Stormrage, who had claimed the shattered realm for his own.

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The Black Temple[]


Released in May 2007 | World of Warcraft Patch 2.1

In his quest to reign over all of Outland, Illidan the Betrayer had established a mighty stronghold for his forces within the Black Temple, a former draenei citadel. Yet his influence began to wane after the defeat of his most trusted lieutenants, including the traitorous former leader of the blood elves, Kael'thas Sunstrider. The resulting window of opportunity permitted Akama, an elder sage of devolved draenei known as the Broken, to rebel against the self-styled "Lord of Outland." Along with Illidan's former jailor, the stoic night elf Maiev Shadowsong, Akama helped a group of heroes infiltrate Illidan's seat of power and put an end to the Betrayer's reign once and for all.

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The Gods of Zul'Aman[]


Released in November 2007 | World of Warcraft Patch 2.3

Following years of battles alongside the old Horde, the troll warlord Zul'jin retired to the city of Zul'Aman, capital of the Amani trolls, where he called upon mysterious dark powers to rebuild his army. While the eyes of Azeroth focused on the fight against the Burning Legion and the expedition to Outland, treasure-seekers invaded Zul'Aman, rekindling Zul'jin's hatred of the outside world - particularly the high elves of Quel'Thalas. Upon hearing that these newly christened "blood elves" had become part of the Horde in his absence, the infuriated Zul'jin declared war on both Horde and Alliance.

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Fury of the Sunwell[]


Released in November 2007 | World of Warcraft Patch 2.3[sic]

Fresh from his defeat in Outland, Kael'thas Sunstrider returned to the blood elf city of Silvermoon. Rather than lead his people to glory as he had promised, the disgraced prince betrayed them. Kael'thas plotted to use the legendary Sunwell, source of the blood elves' magical power, to summon the demon lord Kil'jaeden into Azeroth. Aided by a joint task force of blood elves and draenei, the Shattered Sun Offensive, Horde and Alliance heroes narrowly stopped both Kael'thas and Kil'jaeden, purifying the Sunwell with the help of the draenei prophet Velen.

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Wrath of the Lich King[]


Released in November 2008 | PC / Mac Expansion Set

In the wake of the Sunwell's purification, a period of suspicious quiet had swept over the world. As if on cue, the undead Scourge launched a massive assault against the cities and towns of Azeroth, this time extending its reach far beyond the Eastern Kingdoms. Under pressure to respond with a full army, Warchief Thrall deployed an expedition force to Northrend led by Overlord Garrosh Hellscream. Meanwhile, the missing human king Varian Wrynn at last returned to Stormwind City and reclaimed his crown. He sent an equally powerful Alliance army, commanded by Bolvar Fordragon, to defeat the Lich King—and any Horde forces who would stand in their way.

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Secrets of Ulduar[]


Released in April 2009 | World of Warcraft Patch 3.1

The march of Horde and Alliance armies through Northrend led to a number of victories, but these successes paled before a discovery made by the explorer Brann Bronzebeard within the ancient titan complex of Ulduar. This mysterious fortress had long served as the prison of the Old God Yogg-Saron, a being of unfathomable evil whose influence had spread into the continent of Northrend itself. With Brann's assistance, small bands of Alliance and Horde champions infiltrated Ulduar to confront Yogg-Saron, who blasted the invaders with cryptic visions: the millennia-old creation of an artifact known as the Dragon Soul, the assassination of Stormwind's King Llane, and a glimpse of the Lich King's future.

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Call of the Crusade[]


Released in August 2009 | World of Warcraft Patch 3.2

In preparation for the final offensive against the Lich King, the Argent Crusade—a union of holy warriors from the Order of the Silver Hand and the Argent Dawn—assembled a base near Icecrown Citadel to gather resources and identify the champions who would serve at the vanguard of their army. Highlord Tirion Fordring organized a tournament to test potential heroes of the Horde and the Alliance, but agents of the Scourge quickly emerged to sabotage the event. The undead attack culminated with the appearance of the monstrous crypt lord Anub'arak, who attempted to exterminate Tirion's elite force before it could be assembled.

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Fall of the Lich King[]


Released in December 2009 | World of Warcraft Patch 3.3

As the final battle against the Lich King approached, the human sorceress Jaina Proudmoore and the Banshee Queen Sylvanas Windrunner journeyed to the icy heart of Northrend. Both had come for different reasons: Jaina hoped to discover whether a part of her former friend and lover, Arthas Menethil, still lived; Sylvanas longed to take revenge on her old enemy. With the aid of these two heroes, Azeroth's champions stormed Icecrown Citadel and vanquished the Lich King's minions. Their confrontation with the Lich King involved thousands of souls consumed by Arthas's blade, Frostmourne. Ultimately, Arthas was slain, and the heroes who triumphed over him learned a chilling truth about the existence of the undead Scourge.

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Released in December 2010 | PC / Mac Expansion Set

The victorious Northrend expeditions returned home to find all of Azeroth shaken by erratic elemental forces. This unrest preceded the return of the maddened Dragon Aspect Deathwing the Destroyer, who erupted from his lair in the bowels of the Elemental Plane, shattering Azeroth in the process. With the elemental realms now open to the world, chaotic elemental spirits and their tyrannical lords emerged to help the Destroyer and the nihilistic Twilight's Hammer cult bring about the Hour of Twilight: the end of all life on Azeroth.

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Rise of the Zandalari[]


Released in April 2011 | World of Warcraft Patch 4.1

Alarmed by the terrible losses of life among all trolls, the Zandalari tribe traveled around the world to reunite their race and rebuild their once-powerful empire. The Zandalari restored the fallen cities of Zul'Gurub and Zul'Aman, and begun to conduct bloody raids on territories that had once been "theirs." The burgeoning troll force hoped to lead a great war against the other races of Azeroth, but the honorable Vol'jin of the Darkspear tribe stood against their murderous agenda, and recruited champions from both the Horde and the Alliance to invade the ancient cities and stop the onslaught.

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Rage of the Firelands[]


Released in June 2011 | World of Warcraft Patch 4.2

After a ferocious series of battles, Azeroth's heroes banished Ragnaros the Firelord and his elemental minions from Mount Hyjal. Yet, threats to Hyjal persisted, including traitorous druids who had abandoned their allies and joined forces with the elementals. Fearing another elemental invasion, the defenders of Azeroth made a daring assault into Ragnaros' blazing realm: the Firelands. Among the seething flames of this elemental domain, Ragnaros was at his most powerful; only the greatest champions of the Horde and the Alliance, aided by druidic champions like Malfurion Stormrage, could dare hope to defeat the Firelord.

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Hour of Twilight[]


Released in November 2011 | World of Warcraft Patch 4.3

At the peak of his insanity, Deathwing the Destroyer fought to drive the world into twilight - a devastated future bereft of all life. The Dragon Soul, a powerful artifact lost in the past, was the only weapon capable of truly stopping Deathwing, and so the guardians of Azeroth - the Dragon Aspects - sent a number of valiant heroes racing through time to retrieve it. Despite being attacked by the mysterious Infinite Dragonflight as they travelled the timeways, the champions returned the artifact to the present and delivered it to the wise shaman Thrall. With his aid, the Dragon Soul was deployed against the Destroyer during a brutal battle that began in Azeroth's skies and continued into the roiling heart of the Maelstrom at the center of the world. Through the combined efforts of the Aspects and their allies, the madness of Deathwing was finally brought to an end.

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Mists of Pandaria[]


Released in September 2012 | PC / Mac Expansion Set

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.

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Released in November 2012 | World of Warcraft Patch 5.1

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[]


Released in March 2013 | World of Warcraft Patch 5.2

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.

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Released in May 2013 | World of Warcraft Patch 5.3

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...

Siege of Orgrimmar[]


Released in September 2013 | World of Warcraft Patch 5.4

Orgrimmar, heart of orcish civilization on Azeroth, was set ablaze by revolution. When Warchief Garrosh Hellscream revived the heart of the Old God Y’shaarj to empower his army, he desecrated Pandaria’s sacred Vale of Eternal Blossoms. This affront, alongside Garrosh’s increasingly dangerous conquests, led Horde rebels and Alliance stalwarts to assail the great walls of Orgrimmar, hoping to dethrone the tyrant before he ravaged an entire world. Alongside Thrall, champions of the Horde and Alliance fought their way to the Warchief’s lair beneath the city, where the battle grew so desperate that Garrosh absorbed the energies of the Old God to halt his downfall. It was not enough. At the behest of King Varian Wrynn, a defeated Garrosh was brought to trial before the August Celestials of Pandaria – but the scars of his rule will bleed for some time.

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Warlords of Draenor[]


Released in November 2014 | PC / Mac Expansion Set

Garrosh Hellscream escaped justice with the assistance of the bronze dragon Kairozdormu, eventually finding himself in an alternate Draenor in the time before the original Horde had come to Azeroth. Hungry for vengeance, Garrosh provided his father, Grommash Hellscream, with the technology to assemble his ideal army—the conquering force called the Iron Horde. Grommash was quick to unite Draenor's orcish clans under his banner, and the clan leaders became the Iron Horde's warlords. Among them were the bloodthirsty Kargath Bladefist, the cunning Blackhand, the elder shaman Ner'zhul, and the fearless Kilrogg Deadeye. The Iron Horde took command of several vital locations on Draenor, subjugated the ogre city of Highmaul, and built massive fortifications like Blackrock Foundry to outfit the warlords' armies. Once the Iron Horde had Draenor in its grasp, the orcs invaded Azeroth through the Dark Portal, razed Nethergarde Keep, and seized control of Dreadmaul Hold. In retaliation, Khadgar assembled the champions of the Alliance and the Horde, leading them through the portal to stop the Iron Horde on Draenor once and for all. Garrosh ultimately met his end at Thrall's hands, and after an exhausting campaign, the heroes of Azeroth were able to defeat most of the Iron Horde's warlords. Khadgar's offensive dealt a crushing blow to the Iron Horde. Grommash's failure to give his warriors the victory he had promised bred dissent within the ranks, affording the warlock Gul'dan the opportunity to usurp the Iron Horde and summon the demonic Burning Legion to Draenor...

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Fury of Hellfire[]

Fury of Hellfire logo

Released in June 2015 | World of Warcraft Patch 6.2

The warlock Gul’dan persuaded the Iron Horde's remaining leaders— who were enduring crushing defeats against the champions of Azeroth—to serve the Burning Legion. Their servitude, they believed, would give them one last chance to turn the tide of battle. Only Grommash Hellscream proved difficult to break, and so Gul’dan imprisoned him, hoping to make an example out of the former warchief. Gul’dan took control of Hellfire Citadel, intending to use it as a staging area for the Legion to invade Draenor. He then proceeded to summon the demon lord Archimonde. Meanwhile, the heroes of Azeroth assaulted the citadel’s gates, invading from both land and sea. Aided by Khadgar, Yrel, Durotan and a freed Grommash, Azeroth’s champions battled their way through the horrors unleashed within Hellfire Citadel. After a harrowing struggle that nearly destroyed Draenor, the heroes were able to cast down Archimonde. Yet, even as he fell, the demon hurled the treacherous Gul’dan through a portal. His pact with the Legion was far from being fulfilled.

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Released in August 2016 | PC / Mac Expansion Set

Following the battle for Draenor, the deceitful Gul’dan found himself on Azeroth. Gul’dan, tormented by whispers of Kil’jaeden the Deceiver, opened the Tomb of Sargeras and with it a gateway for the Burning Legion to invade Azeroth. The warlock bent the denizens of the Broken Isles to his will, including the ancient nightborne city of Suramar and their leader, Grand Magistrix Elisande. The Alliance and the Horde assaulted the Broken Shore, hoping to preemptively stop Gul’dan and the Legion’s forces. Their efforts ultimately failed, costing High King Varian Wrynn and Warchief Vol’jin their lives. A desperate effort by Archmage Khadgar to unite the shattered factions ultimately resulted in the recovery of the Pillars of Creation, the only instruments capable of sealing the Tomb once more. As the dwellers of the Broken Isles are rescued from the Legion’s grasp, the forces of the Alliance and the Horde close in on The Nighthold—Gul’dan’s base of operations, poised to end the warlock’s menace once and for all…

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Return to Karazhan[]

Return to Karazhan logo

Released in October 2016 | World of Warcraft Patch 7.1

As conflict raged across the Broken Isles, the Burning Legion focused its efforts on Karazhan, Medivh's ancient seat of power, hoping to find anything they could use to keep the tide of battle moving in their favor. Khadgar and a small band of heroes were successful in stopping this menace, which gave the forces still fighting on the Isles the momentum they needed to strike. Heroes, aided by First Arcanist Thalyssra, Tyrande, and Lady Liadrin, led an insurrection against Grand Magistrix Elisande, regent of the ancient city of Suramar. With the city liberated, the heroes then struck at The Nighthold—ending Gul'dan's reign of terror at last. Azeroth's champions now possess the Eye of Aman’Thul—and the power they need to close the Tomb of Sargeras forever.

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The Tomb of Sargeras[]

The Tomb of Sargeras Logo WoW

Released in March 2017 | World of Warcraft Patch 7.2

Though Gul'dan was defeated at the Nighthold, and the heroes of the Alliance and the Horde recruited new allies to their cause—including Illidan Stormrage—the Legion's menace was far from over. Kil'jaeden the Deceiver, one of Sargeras' most trusted lieutenants, bolstered the Legion's defenses at the Broken Shore, hoping to use the Tomb of Sargeras and the power within it to end all life on Azeroth. The Armies of Legionfall ,[sic] a special force of Azeroth's greatest heroes, fought their way into the Tomb--and found that the Deceiver had nearly accomplished his goal. Kil'jaeden transported the heroes to Argus, the fel-wrought Legion homeworld, intent on exterminating them all, but the Eredar Lord met his end at the hands of Khadgar, Velen, Illidan and Azeroth's champions. To save those on Argus and to seize an opportunity to fight the Legion on his terms, Illidan did the unthinkable—he used a device known as the Sargerite Keystone to open a rift that brought the worlds of Argus and Azeroth together. The Alliance and the Horde are now at a crossroads. They must strike at Argus with all of their might, or risk destruction by the persistent threat of the Legion.

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Shadows of Argus[]

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Released in August 2017 | World of Warcraft Patch 7.3

Led by Prophet Velen, the champions of Azeroth embarked on a journey to the shattered world of Argus, home of the demonic Burning Legion, to put an end to their crusade against life. There, they joined forces with the Army of the Light—a host of Lightforged warriors who spent millenia[sic] fighting the Legion across the stars, and whose ranks included the legendary paladin Turalyon and ranger-captain Alleria Windrunner. Together with the champions of Azeroth, the Army of the Light mustered their scattered forces and embarked on a desperate quest to storm the Legion’s seat of power: Antorus, the Burning Throne. There, the heroes discovered that the fallen titan Sargeras had corrupted not only the soul of the world of Argus, but the titan Pantheon as well. After a tremendous struggle, the heroes of Azeroth defeated the soul of Argus and freed the titans, who imprisoned Sargeras for his transgressions—and appointed Illidan Stormrage as his jailor. As a last act of defiance, the Dark Titan plunged his sword into Azeroth, inflicting a deep wound in the planet that would leave her fate uncertain...

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Battle for Azeroth[]

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Released in August 2018 | World of Warcraft Expansion

The wounds inflicted by Sargeras the Dark Titan on Azeroth brought forth a volatile substance known as Azerite—the blood of Azeroth herself. Tensions escalated between the Alliance and the Horde as both factions came to realize the true power of Azerite, igniting a full-scale war leading to the fall of Teldrassil and the Undercity.

Weakened and in need of new allies, the Alliance and the Horde called upon their greatest heroes to bolster their ranks. Jaina Proudmoore traveled to her home kingdom of Kul Tiras, hoping to bring them once more into the Alliance. She found squabbling nobles and a resentful people, united only in their contempt for Jaina's past actions. Meanwhile, the Horde rescued the Zandalari princess Talanji from the Stormwind Stockade. Talanji worked to convince the Zandalari trolls to aid the Horde, though her father—King Rastakhan—initially refused to listen. Both factions' diplomatic efforts were successful in building trust, however, and their war campaigns alongside new allies led to new footholds being established in Zandalar and Kul Tiras.

United in arms with new allies, the Alliance and the Horde stand once more upon the shores of war, as the tides of vengeance loom on the horizon...

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Tides of Vengeance[]

Tides of Vengeance logo

Released in December 2018 | World of Warcraft Content Update

Lord Admiral Jaina Proudmoore led Alliance forces on a daring gambit to besiege the golden pyramid of Dazar’alor. They disabled most of the Zandalari fleet with clandestine explosives and distracted the Horde’s armies in the swamplands of Nazmir. By the time the Horde’s champions discovered the deception, the Alliance had already reached the steps of Dazar’alor. The ruler of Zandalar, King Rastakhan, fought to the death rather than surrender his ancient kingdom. Though their attack dealt a crippling blow to the Zandalari, the Alliance was forced to retreat as the Horde took back the city and mortally wounded High Tinker Mekkatorque.

Determined to regain the upper hand in the war, Warchief Sylvanas Windrunner plotted to undermine the Alliance from within. She revealed a plan to twist the mind of Derek Proudmoore—Jaina's long dead brother, newly raised into undeath—and unleash him as a weapon against his family. Baine Bloodhoof refused to permit Sylvanas's warped scheme to unfold, so he chose to free Derek and return him to Jaina. When his defiance was discovered, the tauren chieftain was imprisoned as a traitor.

Meanwhile, naga invaders assaulted the coastlines of Kul Tiras and Zandalar in increasing numbers. Repelling those attacks led Azeroth's champions to rediscover a lost artifact: Xal'atath, Blade of the Black Empire. The dagger's maddening whispers drew a band of heroes into the Crucible of Storms, where dark forces gathered to awaken the long-imprisoned Old God, N'Zoth. While the threat appeared to be contained, N'Zoth's numberless servants will not rest until their master rises once again...

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Rise of Azshara[]

Rise of Azshara logo

Released in June 2019 | World of Warcraft Content Update

In the aftermath of the Battle of Dazar'alor, Warchief Sylvanas Windrunner ordered Nathanos Blightcaller to set sail with the remnants of the Horde fleet. Using Xal'atath, Blade of the Black Empire as a compass, the Horde hoped to turn the war in their favor. The Alliance fleet engaged in pursuit, and both groups were ambushed by the naga as the sea opened beneath them. Trapped in Nazjatar, the ancient home of the naga, both factions were met by an ancient enemy: Queen Azshara, ruler of the naga and servant of the Old God N'Zoth.

Meanwhile, Sylvanas Windrunner planned to execute Baine Bloodhoof for freeing Jaina Proudmoore's risen brother Derek. Unbeknownst to her, Alliance and Horde forces were already on route to rescue the tauren chieftain. Upon meeting on the battlefield, the outfits led by Thrall and Jaina realized that only by working together they could hope to destabilize Sylvanas's command over the Horde, and decided to join forces.

As Queen Azshara continued to dare those stranded in Nazjatar to face her, the champions learned from Magni Bronzebeard that a titan console was keeping N'Zoth prisoner within the Eternal Palace. As they fought their way through the Palace, the heroes discovered too late that it was a trap—though Queen Azshara was defeated, she successfully tricked the heroes into activating the console, releasing N'Zoth from his imprisonment. The Old God retrieved Queen Azshara and disappeared into the shadows, ready to once more unleash his terrifying might upon Azeroth. Left with no choice but to join forces completely against this new threat, the Alliance and the Horde headed into battle... but first, Sylvanas had to be stopped.

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Visions of N'Zoth[]

Visions of N'Zoth logo

Released in January 2020 | World of Warcraft Content Update

Freed at long last from his titan-wrought prison, the Old God N'Zoth returned to his seat of power—Ny'alotha, the Waking City. There he gathered his forces and prepared to unleash a new age of madness upon the mortal world.

Elsewhere in Azeroth, a different battle raged on. Varok Saurfang, after rescuing Baine Bloodhoof, recruited assistance from Thrall, Anduin—who mustered the Alliance—and Horde dissidents. Saurfang's was a battle for honor, for the very soul of the Horde. The combined army traveled to the gates of Orgrimmar where Saurfang challenged Sylvanas Windrunner to Mak'gora, a duel for the title of Warchief. Empowered by a mysterious force, Sylvanas struck a lethal blow to the old soldier after proclaiming that "the Horde is nothing". She discarded the mantle of Warchief and left Orgrimmar, losing support from all but a few clandestine loyalists.

With the armies of both the Horde and Alliance depleted from the long war, N'Zoth sensed the perfect time to strike. As his shadowy servants assaulted the Forge of Origination in Uldum and the Engine of Nalak'sha in Pandaria, the heroes of Azeroth were aided by the return of Wrathion. The black dragon provided the means to resist the Old God's seductive promises of power and his nightmarish visions of a horrific future. The heroes of Azeroth stormed Ny'alotha and fought through the twisted armies of the Black Empire. In the end, they channeled the full power of the Forge of Origination through the Heart of Azeroth, defeating N'Zoth and purging his corruption from the world.

The leaders of the Horde and Alliance signed a treaty to bring the Fourth War to an end. The Battle for Azeroth was over, but the whereabouts of Sylvanas were still unknown....

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Shadowlands logo

Released in November 2020 | World of Warcraft Expansion

Leaving Orgrimmar and the Horde behind, Sylvanas Windrunner journeyed to Icecrown Citadel. There she defeated the Lich King, Bolvar Fordragon, and claimed possession of the Helm of Domination. With a single act of destruction, Sylvanas ripped open the way to the Shadowlands—a realm of infinite afterlives never before seen by the living.

In a further act of treachery, the Banshee Queen sent her agents to kidnap Anduin, Baine, Jaina, and Thrall. The heroes of Azeroth pursued Sylvanas into the Shadowlands only to find themselves trapped in the Maw, a prison for the vilest, most irredeemable souls in existence ruled by Sylvanas's ally, the Jailer. Escaping was no easy feat, but the heroes made their way to Oribos, the Eternal City—the arrival point for all souls who enter the Shadowlands. There they discovered that the impassive Arbiter, responsible for judging souls and sending them to their final destination, had gone dormant, unable to discharge her duties. Furthermore, the four Shadowlands covenants were in disarray, deprived of souls and starving for a crucial resource vital to their existence: anima.

The heroes of Azeroth fought to rebuild the strength of the covenants as they attempted to thwart Sylvanas's plan and rescue their allies from the Jailer's stronghold: Torghast, Tower of the Damned. A traitor was revealed among the covenants—Denathrius, the Sire of Revendreth, home of the venthyr covenant. Denathrius had been hoarding anima to empower his true ally, the Jailer. Though the Sire was defeated atop his seat of power, Castle Nathria, Sylvanas and the Jailer had already set their plan in motion: to dominate Anduin Wrynn and use him as a weapon to further their nefarious plans.

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Shadowlands cinematic trailer[]


See also[]


  1. ^ a b Frost 2012-09-21. Of Orcs and Humans: The Story of Warcraft. Retrieved on 2019-03-13.

External links[]