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For other timelines, see Timeline (disambiguation).

Warcraft: Orcs & Humans based timeline[]

The original Warcraft Timeline as published in the manual of Warcraft: Orcs & Humans (559-593). This timeline also includes information from the manuals and games of Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness, Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal, and Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos.

The years are given according to the King's Calendar mentioned by Lord Lothar in Chronicles of the War in Azeroth. In parentheses, the year is given using the beginning of the First War as year 0.

  • -c. 5000
Draenei worked the fields of Draenor for nearly 5000 years.[1]
  • 559 (-34)
Aegwynn gives birth to her son, Medivh, who is destined to become the Last Guardian. He is raised at the Azerothian Court (later known as Stormwind) with his father, Conjurer Nielas Aran.
  • 564 (-29)
Prince Llane of Azeroth, son of King Wrynn III and Queen Varia, is born.
  • 571 (-22)
Medivh reaches his Age of Ascension, and his powers awaken, releasing a backslash of tremendous power. His father, along with a hundred clerics, are able to contain the energies emanating from Medivh. Nielas dies from the effort, and Medivh falls into trance. A small dimensional rift is created due to the energies released in the battle.
  • 577 (-16)
Prince Llane's Age of Ascension comes. Medivh awakens and gives the Hourglass of Fate as a gift to the Prince. Very slowly, the Kingdom of Azeroth begins to grow sick. Medivh contacts the orcish warlock Gul'dan, and begins preparations for an orcish invasion of Azeroth. Medivh promises to reveal to Gul'dan the location of the Tomb of Sargeras in exchange for the destruction of Azeroth. The rift appears on Draenor.
  • 583 (-10)
Medivh opens the Dark Portal and the Orcish Horde begins its invasion of Azeroth. They attack Stormwind Keep and kill King Wrynn, but are driven back by the knights.
  • 584 (-9)
Llane is pronounced King of Azeroth. The orcs are beaten back to the Black Morass. The orcs establish small footholds along the swamps.
  • 593 (0)
Aegwyn battles with Medivh and tries to restrain him. Medivh defeats her and banishes her from Azeroth. She warns King Llane about the dangerous Medivh. Ten years of intermitent skirmishes along the Borderlands weaken Azeroth.
Gul'dan unites the bickering clans under his puppet Warchief, Blackhand the Destroyer. The united Horde begins a new campaign against Azeroth. The beginning of the First War.[2]
  • 594 (1)
Anduin Lothar is freed from the Dead Mines after twenty months captivity.
  • 598 (5)
Medivh's madness is uncovered. He is killed by his best friend, Lord Lothar. After five grueling years of attrition, the Horde finally conquers the kingdom of Azeroth and most of Khaz Modan and claims Blackrock Spire as its base of operations. King Llane is killed by the half-orc spy Garona.[3]
Gul'dan enters into trance as a result of Medivh's death. Blackhand's power wanes as a result, and Orgrim Doomhammer slays him and becomes the new Warchief. By torturing Garona, Doomhammer learns about the Shadow Council and the real intentions of the Warlocks. He disbands the Raiders and slaughters the Horde Warlocks. Gul'dan is forced to bow to Orgrim, who decides to keep him alive. Gul'dan destroys his Necrolytes, and creates the Death Knights from the spirits of the fallen Warlocks, pretending them to be loyal to Orgrim.
Lord Lothar leads an exodus of Azerothien refugees to the northern nation of Lordaeron. Once there, he convinces the leaders of the seven human nations to unite in arms against the Horde in the Alliance of Lordaeron. Gilneas remains separate. The elves of Quel'Thalas and the remnants of the dwarves of Khaz Modan join the Alliance, too.
  • 604 (11)
Orgrim Doomhammer, the Warchief of the Horde, launches his mighty fleets to invade the shores of Lordaeron. The unstoppable Horde pushes its way into the heartland of Lordaeron and succeeds in ravaging the High Elves' ancient kingdom of Quel'Thalas. The nation of Gilneas, being seriously damaged by the orcish raids, joins the Alliance.
Alterac secretely helps the orcish invaders, but its treason is discovered by the Alliance. The nation of Alterac is completely destroyed by the Alliance.
As the Horde prepares its final attack on Lordaeron, Gul'dan and his clan abandon their brethren and set out to find the Tomb of Sargeras. They only find crazed demons inside, and Gul'dan is destroyed by them. The Horde looses precious time and people punishing the betrayers, and their forces are driven back into Azeroth.[4]
The Alliance forces push harder, but Lord Lothar is killed during the siege of Blackrock Spire by Orgrim Doomhammer. Spurred by the death of their beloved leader, the Alliance armies crush Blackrock Spire and push the Horde back to the threshold of the Dark Portal. In the final battle of the war, the Dark Portal is destroyed and the Horde is defeated.
  • 605 (12)
The renegade Orcs are rounded up and placed into internment camps by the Alliance. Orgrim Doomhammer is placed under arrest as an honored prisoner in Lordaeron. Kilrogg Deadeye and the Bleeding Hollow clan escape detection.
The Citadel of Nethergarde is constructed upon the remains of the Dark Portal. Khadgar is entrusted with the safekeeping of the dimensional rift.
Varian Wrynn is crowned King of Azeroth, and New Stormwind Keep is built. The Kingdom of Azeroth is slowly rebuilt.
  • 606 (13)
The ancient Orc Shaman, Ner'zhul, rallies the few clans still left on Draenor and reopens the Dark Portal. On the eve of summer, he helps the Bleeding Hollow clan to get back to Draenor.[5] He orders his clans to steal a number of artifacts from Azeroth that will allow him to open multiple Portals in Draenor, including the Skull of Gul'dan and the Tome of Medivh.
The Alliance sends its armies, led by the wizard Khadgar, through the Dark Portal in order to stop Ner'zhul's schemes. The two armies clash throughout the hellish world of Draenor for months.
Empowered by the stolen artifacts, Ner'zhul opens a number of Portals in Draenor. However, before he can lead his clans through them, their energies spiral out of control and begin to destroy the very fabric of that world. Selfishly, Ner'zhul and his closest followers escape through one of the portals. The Warsong and Bleeding Hollow clans are able to fight their way through the human army, and they escape through the Dark Portal back to Azeroth. The Alliance heroes decide to stay in Draenor and destroy the Dark Portal so that Azeroth is not consumed by the raging energies. The blasted world of Draenor tears itself apart.[6]

Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness based timeline[]

The following timeline is based on the Warcraft II retcon that the First War lasted "nearly five years" total, instead of lasting fifteen years (a combination of the Warcraft manual's ten years with the Warcraft II manual's five years explanation). It is further meant to be in conformity with Of Blood and Honor and Day of the Dragon.

  • 583
Medivh opens the Dark Portal, and the Orcish Horde begins its invasion of Azeroth. Beginning of the First War.[7]
  • 588
Stormwind Keep falls, and King Llane is assassinated.[8]
The Nation of Azeroth flees to the shores of Lordaeron. Among the many events to occur in the First War's aftermath, Alonsus Faol founds the Knights of the Silver Hand.[9]
  • 594
At some point before or during this year, the Horde begins invading Khaz Modan.[10]
During winter, the Horde appears off the coast of Lordaeron. Beginning of the Second War.[11]
  • 606
Destruction of the Dark Portal and end of the Second War.[12]
A few months later, the Battle of Grim Batol occurs.[13]
On the eve of summer, the Bleeding Hollow Clan crosses from Azeroth to Draenor. At some point during or after this year, the Invasion of Draenor begins.[14]

See also[]


  1. ^ Blizzard Entertainment. Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness Manual, 61. 
  2. ^ Note that according to Garona's account, this happens "some 15 years" after the failed attack on Stormwind Keep, which would be 598 (6).
  3. ^ Blizzard Entertainment. Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness Manual, 39. 
  4. ^ Blizzard Entertainment. Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos Manual, 79. 
  5. ^ Blizzard Entertainment. Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal Manual, 7. 
  6. ^ Blizzard Entertainment. Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos Manual, 81. 
  7. ^ "Thus, in the year 583, the first of Medivh's unnatural Portals was opened between the world of Azeroth and the red world of the Orcs." Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness Manual. This year is in agreement with the timeline of Warcraft: Orcs & Humans.
  8. ^ "The arrival of Gul'dan and the Horde War Chief Blackhand heralded a war that tore the realm of Azeroth asunder for nearly five years." Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness Manual.
  9. ^ "Yet Tirion Fordring was no fool. After thirty years of serving the Alliance as a Paladin[...]" Of Blood and Honor, p. 3
  10. ^ "From the ancient subterranean halls of Khaz Modan came the stoic Dwarves of Ironforge, reporting that the Orcs had already begun to assault their mountain kingdom." Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness Manual
  11. ^ "Six years have passed since the First War between man and orc." Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness introduction text.
  12. ^ "It had been nearly twelve years since the war against the orcish Horde had ended." Of Blood and Honor, p. 3. (With the other quote, this makes 18 years between the founding of the Paladins and the end of the Second War.)
  13. ^ "The bulk of the Horde was broken a few months back, and Doomhammer has disappeared." Day of the Dragon, p. 260
  14. ^ "On the Eve of Summer in the year 606, a freak darkness swept across the Black Morass." Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal Manual. Note the same narrative states the Bleeding Hollow Clan "had been living in the Human lands for over thirty years." This would place the opening of the Dark Portal earlier than 576.