- 1 Introduction
- 2 Orc Campaign
- 2.1 Act I Draenor, The Red World
- 2.2 Act II The Burning of Azeroth
- 2.3 Act III The Great Sea
- 2.4 Act IV Prelude to New Worlds
- 2.5 Ner'zhul's Victory
- 3 Human Campaign
- 3.1 Act I A Time for Heroes
- 3.2 Act II Draenor, The Red World
- 3.3 Act III War in the Shadows
- 3.4 Act IV The Measure of Valor
- 3.5 Khadgar's Sacrifice
- 4 Notes
The game featured two separate storylines, one ending with victory for the orcs, while the other ended with victory for the humans. For the first time the two stories interweave and the only divergences are some minor details.
- Main article: Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal cinematic intro
As the blinding light dimmed, an eerie glow fell across the Black Morass. For though the Portal was destroyed, the rift that joined these worlds at war yet remained...
Draenor, The Red World
You must subjugate an order of Death Knights who have secured the knowledge needed to rebuild the Dark Portal. The renegade Ogre-Mage Mogor, of the Laughing Skull clan, has taken control of these dark soldiers and is seeking to create a powerful spell with the aid of their necromantic magic. His life is also forfeit.
Although we have no Dragons to command, we have learned that Grom Hellscream, leader of the Warsong clan, has been captured by the Laughing Skull and is being held prisoner. Free him and he will surely aid you in your battles.
The skull of Gul'dan is a powerful artifact and essential for resurrecting the Dark Portal. A pathetic Orc Captain of the Bonechewer clan wears the skull as a symbol of his station and does not know of its true power.
Ner'zhul has sent the Ogre hero, Dentarg, to influence warriors from the Thunderlord clan to join in the battle against the Bonechewers. You will also be assisted by the warriors of the Shattered Hand and their leader Korgath Bladefist.[sic]
Move quickly to the Thunderlord village and raise an army to crush the Bonechewer Captain and win the Skull of Gul'dan.
Ner'zhul has met with opposition to his plans from the leaders of both the Thunderlord and Bonechewer clans. They desire to journey to Azeroth and have their clans triumph where Doomhammer had failed. This is a vision not shared by your Warchief...
You are to lead the forces of Shadowmoon against the strongholds of both Bonechewer and Thunderlord. Once these weak fools and their clans are removed, no others will dare to interfere with the dark schemes of Ner'zhul.
From the ranks of the Death Knights comes Teron Gorefiend. The death of Gul'dan has placed these dark horsemen under the authority of no clan, but Gorefiend shares the desires of Ner'zhul to open numerous Portals. He offers his influence over the Death Knights of Draenor in exchange for a world that the Death Knights can claim as their own.
As you lead the forces of Shadowmoon into Azeroth, a human battlement that has been constructed to keep the Portal closed stands before you. Destroy this Citadel and claim the lands that surround the rift.
When the Horde was driven back into the Black Morass, we were able to only take a small portion of our forces through the Dark Portal before it was destroyed. With the Dragon Queen Alexstrasza rescued and the Dragonmaw clan captured by the Alliance, we were no longer able to command these great winged beasts.
While securing the rift and beginning construction of a new portal, your encampment is approached by a haggard Grunt. His uniform marks him as a warrior of the Bleeding Hollow. He tells how those of his clan who did not return through the Portal have eluded capture and imprisonment by the Alliance armies. You also learn that many of the Dragons that were once enslaved have continued to feed upon Humans and are now roosting at Blackrock Spire. If you can break through the Human defenses and gain the trust of these creatures, perhaps you can bring Ner'zhul powerful allies.
VI. New Stormwind
Finding the survivors of the Bleeding Hollow clan and gaining the Dragon Deathwing as an ally has strengthened your position in Azeroth. Your success has not gone unnoticed by Ner'zhul. He rewards your victories by assigning you a dangerous mission.
Gorefiend has sensed a focus of arcane energies within a Castle that has been raised upon the foundations of Stormwind Keep. Ner'zhul believes that this can only be the fabled Book of Medivh. Only a fool would leave such power unguarded, so your assault upon this New Stormwind castle will be a bloody one...
VII. The Seas of Azeroth
After taking the Castle of New Stormwind, you search in vain for the Book of Medivh. As you sift through the rubble of the fallen human fortress, you discover the corpse of a Footman with a Human dagger in his side.
The spies of the Bleeding Hollow clan have confirmed that this blade was crafted by the weaponsmiths of Alterac. These humans are the same that were willing to betray their own brothers, and it may be that they have stolen the Book of Medivh for their own purposes. They will regret their decision...
To journey to Alterac, you must first establish naval superiority over the warships of the Alliance. The base at Kul Tiras has always been the human's key to the might of their armada. You must establish a strong presence in the Great Sea in order to destroy Kul Tiras and prepare your way into Alterac.
VIII. Assault on Kul Tiras
Now that you have cleared a path to the island of Kul Tiras, you must send your wave riders against the core of the Human fleet. With the naval forces of the Humans defeated, the Horde will have free reign of the Great Sea. We have also learned that Admiral Proudmoore is no longer a member of the Alliance and does not have the support of their armies. Remove his armada and Kul Tiras will fall.
Now that the Great Sea is once again under the dominion of our wave riders, Ner'zhul has come upon a plan to increase the powers of the Dark Portal. While he was the tutor of Gul'dan, the Shaman bound their souls so that he could keep watch over his disciple. Even though Gul'dan knew that this link would serve to inform Ner'zhul of the Warlock's studies with the spirits that dwelt in the Twisting Nether, he was too arrogant to care.
Ner'zhul has ordered you to lead a small band to the tomb in order to find the Jeweled Scepter of Sargeras. The remains of the Stormreaver and Twilight's Hammer encampment surround the entrance to the tomb and the howling of their tortured souls fill the air. Although the inhabitants of this place died long ago, their bodies have been torn from earthen graves by the vile magics of the Daemons and made to stalk this region for all eternity.
Your capture of the Jeweled Scepter has greatly pleased Ner'zhul. Word has come that you are to entrust it to the remaining warriors of the Bleeding Hollow clan as they are to return it to Draenor at all haste.
Deathwing and his Dragons deliver you to the Keep at Alterac. While you could easily bring these curs to their knees, they have hidden the tome you seek. They are also cunning enough to strike a bargain, knowing it is their only salvation. Should they tell you the location of the Book, however, they fear the retribution of the Nations of Lordaeron and Stromgarde. They would be willing to exchange the Book of Medivh for the destruction of these forces that sit along their borders.
You must eliminate the military outposts maintained by Lordaeron and Stromgarde. Then seal your pact by entering into Alterac, contacting the Human Mage who guards the Book, and escorting him to safety.
With the Book of Medivh in your control and the Jeweled Scepter delivered to Ner'zhul, only one artifact remains to be won. The Mages of Dalaran have created a device to focus their magics in an effort to reconstruct the Violet Citadel. Ner'zhul desires this Eye of Dalaran to focus the dark powers of the underworld for the creation of his portals.
Teron Gorefiend has traveled to the stronghold of the Human Mages at Cross Island, where they now rebuild their towers amid heavy fortifications. You must break through their shoreline defenses, establish a base, and capture the Eye of Dalaran. No walls will protect them from the vengeance of the Horde.
XII. The Dark Portal
As the burning remains of your victims fill the air with acrid smoke, the sky fills with a figure as black as night. Deathwing descends, exhausted from his long journey from Grim Batol, bearing grave news from his brothers at Blackrock Spire.
The Alliance has sent a host of warriors to the Black Morass and has engaged the forces of Warsong and Shattered Hand at the Dark Portal. You must rally the forces of Shadowmoon to break through this siege and return the artifacts you have secured to Draenor. Only then can Ner'zhul's plan of opening portals to new worlds be realized.
Succeed and you will command vast armies as they ravage untold worlds. Fail and be slaughtered.
Ner'zhul holds the ancient scepter of Sargeras in the air and intones the final words of the Spell of Conjuration. The air above you begins to swirl and presses down upon the assembled masses of the Horde. Above you, the crimson skies break open and reveal the chaotic pathways of the Twisting Nether.
"Master", you ask. "Should we not recall all of our forces from Azeroth?" "No," the ancient Shaman replys[sic] coldly. "They have served their purpose. From this point on, all that we gain will be ours alone." Ner'zhul gives a wicked grin as you unquestioningly follow him into the swirling madness of the Twisting Nether.
Lord Khadgar, Keeper of the Eternal Watch and master of the mystic Citadel of Nethergarde, has sensed a dark power gathering around the remnants of the rift that lies within the Black Morass. He believes that a new Orcish invasion is imminent, and has urged the Alliance to act. The Elven Ranger Alleria, and a small band of her elite guard, have been sent as escort so that you may gather reinforcements to counter this threat.
Your travels to the Castle of New Stormwind will lead you across the paths of both the Paladin called Turalyon and a mercenary captain known as Danath. Engage their aid during your journey, as their leadership may be needed by the Alliance in the dark days ahead.
Danath has been asked to raise an army from New Stormwind to relieve the beleaguered forces at Nethergarde and drive the Horde back towards the Portal. You must lead the forces of Azeroth in an attempt to break the vanguard of the invading Horde, for unless their assault is stopped, they will gain dominion over the Black Morass.
Having broken the momentum of the Horde offensive at Nethergarde, the time is ripe for a decisive counter attack. The High Command agrees that a strong assault upon the fortress that the Orcs have raised near the Dark Portal may well end the conflict before it has rightly begun.
The Arch-Wizard Khadgar, however, believes that the Orcish Hordes may not be here for the sake of mere conquest. He believes that if the Portal can be captured, and not destroyed, he can uncover the purpose for the Horde's present invasion into Azeroth.
Draenor, The Red World
Elven scouts bring chilling news from Azeroth. A tearing of shadows heralded the arrival of the mighty Orc Shaman Ner'zhul and his guard of Death Knights within the Royal Library of New Stormwind. Unleashing their black magiks, they slaughtered all who opposed them and then fled into the night with their prize - the Book of Medivh.
This serves to confirm what Khadgar has gleaned from the Battle of Nethergarde. He is convinced that the Horde is attempting to learn how the great sorcerer opened the rift between our world and that of the Horde, known in the Book of Medivh only as Draenor.
With countless domains to plunder, the Horde would become an unstoppable power. The High Command believes that our only recourse is to venture through the Portal - both to reclaim the Book of Medivh and to ensure that the Horde can never again threaten Azeroth.
Having fortified your position on the Hellfire Peninsula where the Portal is located, the time has come to establish a fleet to attack the surrounding clans. The Orcish shipyards of Zeth'kur lie nearby, and for our plans to progress you must destroy them and the ships of war that are stationed there.
While the Horde has been stunned by the ferocity of your attack, our presence here has driven the clans to new heights of fury. You will be unable to maintain this foothold for long against their numbers, so your victories must be daring and swift.
Kurdran — Gryphon Rider of Northeron — has returned from his patrol with vital news. He has located the hidden Fortress of Auchindoun and the battlements that serve as stronghold to the Bleeding Hollow clan. Alleria's Rangers also report that they have seen a massive force moving towards the North, and suspect that these troops are staging for another attack upon Azeroth.
Although the Orcish army is too large for your forces to battle alone, you may be able to launch a raid against Auchindoun. Should your strike succeed, you would force their army to retreat - or be cut off and destroyed.
Raze the Fortress of Auchindoun and retreat before their forces can rally against you.
The arcane powers that surround the blazing ruins of Auchindoun have made urgent the summoning of Khadgar to the dark lands of the Orcs. The destruction of the Bleeding Hollow clan was not without great price, however, for both Kurdran and his mount Sky'ree were captured by the Horde.
While examining the remains of the great fortress, the Arch-Wizard has learned not only the location of the Book of Medivh, but also that another artifact is needed for Ner'zhul's plans to reach fruition - the Skull of Gul'dan. Khadgar believes it will be possible to destroy the Portal and permanently seal the rift created by Medivh if he can acquire these artifacts.
A great mountain isle lies to the northeast, atop which the Black Dragon Deathwing dwells. The Skull of Gul'dan lies within his lair. Alleria and Khadgar have agreed to aid you in stealing away the Skull and - if possible - destroy the great Dragon.
It is rumored that Orcish tribes live on this island and offer captives from the Great War as sacrifices to Deathwing. If you can rescue them, they may know of some weakness in the creature...
VIII. Coast of Bones
Seeking out the artifacts needed to seal the rift has given the Horde time to mount a strike against us. A great Orcish armada threatens the coasts that you have captured, and the armies of the Alliance have been hard pressed on many fronts.
Our only chance for victory now lies in obtaining the Book of Medivh.
All knowledge of the Portal rests in the keeping of Ner'zhul and his Order of Death Knights at the Fortress of Shadowmoon. You must storm and raze the strongholds that guard the coastline of his lands so that our forces may be brought to bear in an effort to isolate and destroy his cursed sanctuary.
The towering spires of Shadowmoon reach upwards as obsidian blades to cleave the hostile amber skies above. The corrupt heart of the mighty Shaman's power is within reach. Press your attack and the bane of Ner'zhul and his Order of Death Knights will be wiped from the face of Draenor, forever.
Although the Fortress of Ner'zhul has been destroyed and the Death Knights scattered, neither the Shaman nor the Book of Medivh has been found. As Khadgar and Turalyon use their magiks to search the ruins for some clue as to the location of the mystic tome, a Gnomish flying machine descends, bringing news from the Hellfire Peninsula and the Portal.
You must take command of the Alliance armies at Hellfire and break the siege before our troops are pushed back through the Dark Portal. We must withstand their charge long enough for the Book of Medivh to be recovered and the rift forever sealed.
You have proven your strength in battle, but none can stand against the combined might of the Horde. We of the Laughing Skull clan, however, seek advantage from the turmoil of this war. With the aid of your strongest warriors, our clan can gain dominance over the northern clans of Draenor.
You must secure the passes across the Blade's Edge Mountains and destroy the stronghold of the Thunderlord clan that dwell there. We will supply you with warriors and supplies culled from our villages. In return, we will give you the Book of Medivh, which we seized from Ner'zhul's stronghold before your armies could destroy it.
Khadgar has discovered that although the Book of Medivh was stolen from Ner'zhul, the ancient Shaman has learned enough of its secrets to conjure his darkest spell. Over the blood red skies of Draenor, huge dimensional rifts appear, crackling with the cosmic energy of the Twisting Nether. Alleria's scouts report that Ner'zhul and his followers escaped through the largest of the new rifts as Draenor felt the first of its death throes. The tremendous energies emitted from the converging rifts have succeeded in breaking down the fabric of reality in Draenor; unleashing massive earth quakes and tidal waves upon its shores.
Using the combined powers of the Book of Medivh and the Skull of Gul'dan, you must return Khadgar to the Dark Portal and seal the rift between Azeroth and the doomed world of Draenor, forever.
As the flames die to embers and the arcane energies that once bound two worlds slowly fade, the Dark Portal crumbles into dust as its powers subside and dissolve. The finality of what has been done here becomes manifest. The moment is shattered as volcanoes erupt in fiery fury as the earth begins to shake beneath your feet. The world of Draenor is dying...
Khadgar motions toward the remaining rifts created by Ner'zhul and beckons you to follow him. The warriors of Azeroth under your command gaze upon the rifts with uncertainty - but to remain would be suicide. Knowing that their beloved Azeroth is safe from harm, they gather up weapons and wounded companions alike as you lead them into the swirling, unknown reaches of the Twisting Nether.
- Many events of the game have been retconned, ignored or more detailed by the novel Beyond the Dark Portal. Such as:
- The initial idea of a new warchief, Horde of Draenor and the reopening of the Dark Portal was Teron's not Ner'zhul's. Thus, the death knights were not needed to be "subjugated".
- There is no character titled as the Slayer of Shadowmoon. Instead, the whole campaign was done by various characters, such as: Grom, Teron, Fenris, Tagar, Kilrogg and Kargath.
- Grom's imprisonment by the Laughing Skull clan wasn't mentioned. He joined Ner'zhul because he was just invited and not freed.
- The role of the Laughing Skull clan in the novel was minimal and many of their appearances from the game were retconned. Mogor wasn't mentioned at all. In the game, he needed to be defeated to gain death knight's knowledge that would be used to reopen the rift in the Dark Portal.
- The Orc Captain wearing the Skull of Gul'dan was in fact the Bonechewer leader, Hurkan Skullsplinter, who got it from a warrior that killed a warlock who had it. In the game, Dentarg was sent to convince the Thunderlods to join the Shadowmoon clan, Shattered Hand clan and Kargath to battle the Bonechewers. In the book however, it was Grom and his Warsongs who attacked the Bonechewers and killed Hurkan. The Bonechewers were not annihilated, and succeeded by Tagar, the clan joined Ner'zhul. In the game it is said that the Bonechewers refused Ner'zhul's plan and wanted to finish the job Doomhammer failed to do.
- The role of Thunderlords was also changed. As the Bonechewers, they wanted to continue in Doomhammer's war, thus the Shadowmoon clan annihilated the clan. However, in the novel, there wasn't annihilation and the clan joined the Horde of Draenor a little bit later.
- The description of the Rift Awakened implies that Nethergarde Keep was destroyed. As per the book, the attack on the keep was just for distraction.
- The game mentions Alexstrasza being freed and the Dragonmaw clan being captured. As per the lore, Alexstrasza and her red dragons were still imprisoned and Dragonmaws weren't captured as they operated in Grim Batol. It also mentions dragons being in the Blackrock Spire. Yet, at that point dragons were not in the spire.
- In a mission a haggard grunt of the Bleeding Hollow clan was described to approach the orcs and told them about the free orcs on Azeroth, dragons and the Alliance. In the book, it was Kilrogg Deadeye that approached the Horde of Draenor thanks to a vision that the death knights had sent to Azerothian orcs and told the current situations of orcs trapped on Azeroth. The haggard grunt also mention dragons in the Spire, in the novel Kilrogg says it correctly.
- New Stormwind mission mentions finding the dragons in the Blackrock Spire is the objective. Yet, as per the book, the Horde wanted to have the Blackrocks join the Horde too. After they refused, Deathwing found Teron whom he convinced to become allies. Game's order is that visiting the spire happened before Stormwind. In the book it was changed to be vice-versa.
- Though there is a mission to attack the new Stormwind Castle, the book changed that to be an undercover mission.
- The book specified that "the spies of the Bleeding Hollow clan that confirmed Alterac involved in the theft of the Book of Medivh" was Pargath Throatsplitter.
- Missions The Seas of Azeroth and Assault on Kul Tiras were slightly changed. Teron and his group traveled to Alterac and Dalaran with Deathwing not via ships. Fenris and Tagar traveled to the Menethil Harbor with Sabellian and took boats to the Broken Isles from there.
- It is also mentioned that Kul Tiras was no longer a member of the Alliance. That's not the case - Daelin was present with other kings at Nethergarde Keep and kept informing the Alliance of Lordaeron with the Horde progress throughout the Eastern Kingdoms.
- While in the game Kul Tiras was attacked and destroyed, in the novel the island was not touched at all and only sent some ships that were burned by black dragons accompanying Fenris and Tagar.
- When Teron and Deathwing managed to get to Alterac, they spoke with king Aiden Perenolde not with a mage. The black dragons and Deathwing then destroyed the Alliance troops stationed in Alterac.
- The Scepter wasn't given to the Bleeding Hollow orcs, but Fenris gave it to Teron.
- The Horde didn't invade the Violet Citadel and destroyed its wall. Instead they sabotaged a vault, killed its keeper and then flew off with Deathwing.
- Cross Island may have been retconned as it was not mentioned in the novel and the Citadel is located inside of Dalaran.
- Deathwing is not mentioned warning the orcs of the approaching Alliance at the site of the Dark Portal. During the battle, Teron, Deathwing and the artifacts were already on Draenor.
- The Shattered Hand is not mentioned to be at the site of the Dark Portal.
- It was Kilrogg who asked Ner'zhul about Grom and his clan still on Azeroth not the Shadowmoon Slayer.