The Tides of Darkness missions of the Orc campaign weren't actually completely ignored nor retconed by Blizzard in later games and sources, actually the campaigns weave with one another, mentioning some elements from one campaign in the other. In the novel Tides of Darkness most battles are mentioned, and other sources mention that some battles not mentioned in the novel actually happened.

This article's text is mostly the briefing of all missions with as less changes as possible. The only changes were to just put in past tense or link the briefings with the following ones. The order of some missions were modified in the order of the Tides of Darkness novel so that they could be placed in a single timeline.

The only text of all the briefings that was ignored because it cannot be placed in lore, not even retconing things, was:

The victory pyres burn high into the twilight skies covering the ruined capital of Lordaeron. Your success has led Orgrim Doomhammer - War Chief of the Orcish Hordes - to elevate you to the station of Warlord, thus giving you power and the command of your own clan. The Alliance has finally been crushed, with all those surviving being slain and cremated as is dictated by the rituals. At long last Azeroth and all of its lands belong to the thunderous force known to those foolish enough to stand in its way as the Horde![1]


Six years passed since the First War between man and orc...

The once might army of Azeroth laid among the blackend and charred remains of Stormwind Keep. Those that escaped fled across the great sea bringing tales of the suffering they had faced at the hands of the Orcish Hordes.

Eager to engage in battle once again, the orcs constructed ships of war to bear them across the Great Sea.

The Orcish warriors yearned for the sounds of battle to fill the air and looked to the far horizon for new blood to spill. Using the weapons forged by their new allies, the humans made haste to prepare for the onslaught. While Dwarven cannon were being loaded, others armed themselves with Elven steel and mail.

United in arms with new allies against a common foe, Mankind stood at the shores of destiny and awaited the coming of The Tides of Darkness.

Act I: The Shores of Lordaeron and the Seas of Blood

Southshore operation

The Horde launched an assault against the mainland of Lordaeron. Orgrim Doomhammer - War Chief of the Orcish Hordes and Ruler of the Blackrock clan - ordered a Blackrock commander to establish a small outpost on Lordaeron's southern shores. To secure the Zul'dare region as Doomhammer demanded the commander to construct a Barracks and several Farms to feed his troops. His success helped the Horde to determine the extent of the pathetic Human defenses and what resistance they could offer against the Horde.[2]

Later, their spies reported that a band of Human soldiers captureded a war party led by Troll commander Zuljin and took them to a secret prison near the township of Hillsbrad.[3] Seeing an opportunity to place these captives in debt to the Horde, Doomhammer sent the Blackrock commander to ransom Zuljin and his Trolls and return them to their own encampment nearby. The War Chief believed that this raid upon the unsuspecting prison would strike terror into the hearts of those who would dare resist the Horde.[3] After the Horde arrived to the Troll encampment, Zuljin and his Trolls, eager to take revenge upon the Humans who imprisoned them, agreed to aid the Horde by supplying Axethrowers and Destroyers to assist in defending the Southshore operation.[4] Then, Orcish marauders raided some towns in the area.[5]

Hillsbrad operation

Lord Terenas commanded the regional commander of the southern defense forces to raise an outpost in the Hillsbrad Foothills, as it was rumored that the orcish attacks were part of a greater Horde offensive. The outpost provided food and information for Alliance troops and was a community consisting of four Farms. Then the regional commander of the southern defense forces also constructed a Barracks in order to safeguard the Hillsbrad operation.[5]

The mysterious Elves of Silvermoon sent a contingent of Archers south to survey the supposed Orcish threat for themselves. Alliance spies reported that shortly after passing through the Alterac grasslands the Elves were ambushed by Horde troops,[6] because Aiden Perenolde provided the Orcs with the routes of the Elven strikeforce passing through Tarren Mill.[7] These Elves were held in a small prison camp near the northwest region of Tarren Mill. Lord Terenas, fervently hoping to enlist the Elves into the Alliance, asked the the regional commander of the southern defense forces to search for the missing warriors and deliver them to safety. The Elves sent a cadre of Archers to assist in the regional commander's quest. The regional commander was provided with plans to construct an Elven Lumber Mill and the sylvan craftsman to operate it.[6]

With the safe return of the Elves from the loathsome clutches of the Orcs, the Council of Silvermoon resolved to combine the armies of Quel'thalas with those of the Alliance of Lordaeron. As a show of their support, a mighty fleet of Elven Destroyers was sent to help safeguard the Lordaeron mainland.[8]

Orcish Armada vs. Lordaeron Fleet

In preparation for a final strike on Hillsbrad, the War Chief directed the Blackrock commander to construct facilities for the Orcish Armada near the Southshore region.[4] A Shipyard was constructed in order to build Horde wave riders but they needed much of the black liquid known as Oil to build their fleet. The assault on Hillsbrad could not begin until this task was completed.[4]

In preparation for the arrival of the Elven Destroyers, Daelin Proudmoore - Lord of Kul Tiras and Grand Admiral of the Lordaeron Fleet - ordered the regional commander of the southern defense forces to began with the construction of naval facilities near the township of Southshore. There was some suspicion that the Horde constructed a secret base near the mainland, so it was imperative to build defense with haste.[8]

With the aid of new Foundry sites that allowed to construct more advanced ships, it was possible to build Transports to deliver the Horde forces across the channel to the cowering Human settlement.[9] Meanwhile, Lordaeron artificers completed designs for a Foundry. With this new innovation, the Alliance was also able to construct Transport ships that could ferry the troops across large bodies of water. These vessels provided great assistance in the completion of the Alliance task.[10]

Final strike on Hillsbrad and destruction of Zul'dare base

Having established some order in the region with a display of naval power, Admiral Proudmoore advised that the time had came to search out the secret lair of the Orcs, and Alliance scouts reported that this base was located somewhere within the Zul'dare region of the Channel Islands, just south-east of Hillsbrad.[10] But at that moment, the Orcish Armada was fully supplied with the precious black substance that the Tankers amassed. Doomhammer felt it was time to make a gruesome example of Hillsbrad.[9]

The township of Hillsbrad was decimated, and throughout the Human kingdoms the rumors of impending doom spread like wildfire;[11] the Horde taught a harsh lesson to the Alliance, leaving no one alive in Hillsbrad.[9] Although the Horde was later driven from the shores of Lordaeron, it left the townships of Hillsbrad and Southshore in ruins. It was clear that the war would cost the Alliance dearly.[12]

Act II: Khaz Modan

Dun Modr

War Chief Doomhammer was pleased with the Blackrock commander's success and deemed him worthy of a more difficult task... Troubles arose in the Dwarven lands of Khaz Modan:[11] The forces of Stromgarde and Kul Tiras stationed along the northern border of Khaz Modan, fighting to keep the Orcs from advancing into southern Lordaeron[12] and a taskforce of Stromgarde warriors laid siege to Dun Modr - a vital staging area for Horde troops. The blackrock commander retook Dun Modr and then brought his forces against Stromgarde's nearby island citadel of Tol Barad.[11]

The Blackrock commander built an Orcish outpost, nestled near the ruins of the ancient Dwarven city of Dun Modr, and repeatedly beat back Alliance troops, then ravaging the surrounding farmlands. However, the High Command, impressed with the regional commander of the sourthen defense forces victories against the Horde in the destruction of the Zul'dare base, decided to dispatch him and his troops to the main battleground. They reclaimed the nearby island Keep at Tol Barad and then launched an attack upon the outpost.[12]

Dun Algaz

Following their defeat at Dun Modr, the Orcs were forced to retreat south, across the Thandol Valley to a secondary outpost at Dun Algaz. Lord Lothar, hoping to push the Orcs even further back into Khaz Modan, ordered the destruction of this newly discovered encampment. To aid the regional commander in his mission, Knights were employed, as they were eager to engage the Horde in glorious battle.[13]

Grim Batol

Meanwhile in the Badlands, Doomhammer sent word that the Ogre-Mage Cho'gall, chieftain of the Twilight's Hammer Clan, would personally inspecting the Refinery at Grim Batol. Cho'gall and his convoy would be traveling through the badlands of Khaz Modan, and an ambush by Stromgarde warriors was expected. The War Chief ordered the Blackrock commander to safeguard Cho'gall and his minions through this region.[14]

Cho'gall reported that the Khaz Modan Refineries were well maintained and fulfilling their quotas. The Horde had more than enough Oil to mount a fierce campaign in the lands far to the north.[15] But advance scouts of the Alliance reported that they had located Grim Batol - the primary base of the Horde's Refinery operations in Khaz Modan. Seeing a chance to strike a decisive blow against the Horde, Lord Lothar ordered to infiltrate Grim Batol and put an end to all Orcish activity there, as Lothar believed that the Orcs would have no further use for Khaz Modan, thus pulling their forces back to the mainland of Azeroth. Victory could secure the shores of Lordaeron and greatly impede the Horde offensive.[16]


To manage to enter to the Northlands and send the Horde on its next sojourn, only the troublesome Human defenders of Stromgarde were left to be dealt with. The Human fleet captured a group of Horde Transports just south of Stromgarde. But the Horde recaptured the vessels and then laid waste to their capital.[15] But meanwhile, the Alliance sent an attack to Grim Batol. With the destruction of Dun Modr and the downfall of Grim Batol, the Orcs made a completely withdrawn their armies from Khaz Modan.[17]

Act III: The Northlands and Quel 'Thalas

Defense of Tyr's Hand

While the Alliance's victories were notable, the menace of the Horde still hanged over the head of the Alliance. Lord Lothar stationed troops in the northlands to protect the borders of Quel'thalas. Troubles arose in the township of Tyr's Hand, with the local peasant population in a state of minor revolt.[17] The rebellion at Tyr's Hand was started by Alterac spies in hopes of concealing the Orcish mining facility located there.[7] This uprising was quelled and then the Knights of the Silver Hand were summoned to watch over the populace. To maintain order in the region, all of the Horde forces in the area were searched and destroyed.[17]

Caer Darrow

With his Paladins keeping vigilant watch over the northlands, the Archbishop's assistant, Uther Lightbringer of Lordaeron, went to offer comfort to those who were suffering the misfortunes of war. Lord Lothar entrusted the regional commander of the sourthen defense forces with the protection of the Paladins' Commander and his entourage as they travel to the island township of Caer Darrow.[18]

The Blackrock commander forces were assigned to an area along the southern border of the Elven kingdom of Quel'thalas. Gul'dan, hoping to sow the seeds of chaos among the Human and Elven allies, located a mysterious Elven artifact near the Keep of Caer Darrow. This huge, monolithic Runestone was guarded by a Human Castle on the small island located in the middle of Darrowmere Lake. After Uther left Caer Darrow, the Horde destroyed the forces that guarded the relic and gained control of the Runestone for use by the Horde.[19]

However, following the battle at Caer Darrow, a number of renegade Alterac soldiers were captured. A crew of Alterac sailors were also caught assisting the Horde during the battle and were placed under close guard. Under the edict of Lord Lothar, the prisoners were escorted to the capital of Lordaeron for interrogation.[20]

Destruction of Tyr's Hand

But with the capture of the Elven Runestone, Gul'dan was able to warp the power it contained to mutate an entire legion of his loyal and ruthless Ogres into wielders of arcane magiks. Along with this transformation these Ogre-Magi were granted deadly magiks and a malicious cunning rivaling that of Gul'dan himself. The Horde employed the Ogre-Magi in the creation and defense of a Fortress at the mouth of Tyr's Bay, cutting off the Human supply lines into Quel'thalas.[21]


Later on, the Horde moved to Stratholme, the chief source of Alliance Oil in the north, that was preparing to deliver massive amounts of Oil to the kingdoms in western Lordaeron. They sabotaged their Refineries and Platforms to halt this shipment. Once Stratholme's ability to gather and process Oil was destroyed, the Horde proceeded to crush any and all resistance offered by the Alliance.[22]


With the destruction of Stratholme, the Alliance supply lines to Quel'thalas were severed. Only a handful of Human and Elven defenders remained to safeguard the ancient Elf kingdom from the onslaught of the Horde. The enchanted domain of the Elves inspired Gul'dan to unleash his most perverted creation - the Death Knights. Formed from the corpses of the fallen Knights of Azeroth, these once proud defenders of Humanity now served the Horde in a blasphemous state of eternal undeath. Conjuring dark spells of necromantic horror upon their terrified foes, these Death Knights unleashed their wrath upon any foolish enough that stood in their way.[23]


The Horde couldn't enter to Silvermoon because of the Sunwell's powers,[24] so they left and with the help of Alterac they managed to cross Alterac Mountains.[25]

Later Lord Lothar sent word that the Alliance was betrayed. Lord Perenolde - sovereign ruler of Alterac - had been working with the Horde since the beginning of the war. The High Command decreed that the nation of Alterac had committed treason against the Alliance and their union with the Orcish Hordes had to be broken. The Alliance freed those unjustly held by Perenolde and enlisted their aid in launching an attack against Alterac's capital.[7]

Act IV. Tides of Darkness


The hour of judgment was close at hand as the Orcish Hordes stood ready to sweep across the Lordaeron domain like a pestilence and seize their capital. Standing vigilant above the plains like the descending arm of twilight itself, was the Violet Citadel of Dalaran. The Citadel - serving as sanctum and haven to the Mages of Lordaeron - was the last barrier between the Orcs and their subjugation of Humanity. Manifested in the combined magical prowess of all Mages within the Alliance, this place had to fall for the Horde to conquer Lordaeron. Fortunately, Orgrim Doomhammer saved his greatest weapon, ready to unleash it upon the unsuspecting Alliance at just that moment - Dragons.[26]


Meanwhile, the alabaster parapets of Lordaeron's capital loomed before the Horde in the distance. The proud, defiant armies of the Alliance stood resolute in their final, fleeting moments. All that remained was the shrill, clarion call to battle and the fulfillment of the orcs destiny. The tides of darkness were at their hand![1]

Retreat of the Horde

The Northlands had fallen to the Horde, and now only the western regions of Lordaeron stood defiant before their ultimate supremacy,[27] they were in a battle to destroy Dalaran and Lordaeron but then, they suddenly retreated. The Alliance thought that with the destruction of Alterac, the Orcish armies in the north had staged a massive retreat.[28] But in truth, the Orc clans prepared for their final, massive campaign against the weakening Alliance, when the War Chief recieved ill tidings... Gul'dan and his Stormreaver Clan betrayed the Horde and coerced the Twilight's Hammer Clan to set sail and search for an ancient tomb said to be buried beneath the waves. An infiltrator under the direction of Doomhammer reported that Gul'dan had indeed raised volcanic islands from the ocean floor and thus had opened a hidden vault. While it was unknown what the great Warlock had released from this tomb, the War Chief sent part of his forces to hunt Gul'dan and issued this command: Destroy the renegade clans and return with the head of Gul'dan.[27]

VI. Return to Azeroth


After Gul'dan was defeated the Horde tried to attack the Alliance again, but Admiral Proudmoore sent word that Gnomish Submarines located the Horde's main naval base near Crestfall. Proudmoore believed that the Orcs planed to launch the remainder of their armada and retreat to the mainland of Azeroth. Lord Lothar ordered the destruction of the base at Crestfall before the fleet could escape or launch an attack.[28]

Blackrock Spire

The remnants of the routed Orcish fleet managed to reach the northern shores of Azeroth. Admiral Proudmoore believed that the Horde would attempt to reinforce their main Fortress at Blackrock Spire. Leading a large strikeforce of Lordaeron troops, Lord Lothar was sent to attempt a parlay with the Orcish Chieftain Orgrim Doomhammer. No reports were heard in days... Assuming the worst, Admiral Proudmoore and King Terenas agreed that it falled upon the regional commander of the sourthen defense forces[29] and Turalyon[30] to stage a final siege upon Blackrock Spire. The feral Dwarves of the Northeron wildlands offered the service of their Gryphon Riders to assist in the decimation of the foul Orcs that had desecrated their homeland and slain the leader of the Alliance forces.[29]

Dark Portal

The Orcs were driven from the Northlands as the hulking remains of Blackrock Spire laid silent amongst the freed lands of Azeroth. The battered remains of the once mighty Horde rallied to protect their last bastion of hope - the Great Portal. With Lord Lothar dead, the regional commander,[31] Uther the Lightbringer[32] and Turalyon[30] were given the duty of leading the forces of Lordaeron to ultimate victory over the Horde - a victory that lied with the destruction of the Great Portal itself...[31]

Quiet settles over the Black Morass with the blackened, burning remains of the cursed Portal serving as a solemn reminder of the evil that once stood there. After the long and savage battle, the Alliance stood victorious over the tattered remnants of the once mighty Orcish Hordes. Those Orcs that survived the conflict fled to the northeast in hopes of escaping vengeance. They were allowed to retreat, knowing that the power of the Horde had been forever broken and that the lands of Azeroth belonged to its native sons and daughters once again.[31]

Reference list