The Horde

Author: WoWAnalytica
Posted: 05/03/2021

The Horde, also referred to as the New Horde or Thrall’s Horde, is one of the two main factions of the mortal races of Azeroth and the main opponent of the Alliance. This faction unites various races, mainly outcasts, who, because of the suspicious or hostile attitude of the world towards them, decided to unite and create their own homes, as well as fight for them.

Throughout history, the Horde has overcome numerous obstacles that have shaped it, fighting as family, comrades in arms, or even uneasy allies. In the past, its predecessor has been called the Old Horde, the Orc Horde, and the Horde of Orcs, Trolls, and Tauren. The capital of the Horde is the Orc city of Orgrimmar, and it is headed by a Warlord, who is elected by another Warlord or by an assembly, ruling supreme and directing all internal and external affairs, as well as being the commander-in-chief of all Horde forces.

This faction was created in the year 22 ADP, shortly after the end of the Third War. Initially, it was made up of orcs and trolls from the Darkspear tribe, but later another race, known as tauren, joined them. When the Third War ended the Horde eventually established their own factions and cities. The orcs created Durotar, the tauren Thunder Bluff and the trolls settled in the Echo Isles. Additionally, the Horde was joined by the Forsaken, undead of Lordaeron, now free of their masters, whose capital city was beneath the ruins of the Capital City, a place now known as the Undercity. Other additions to the ranks of the Horde were the Blood Elves, the remnants of the High Elf population who were an entirely new race living in the Kingdom of Quel'Thalas, as well as the goblins of the Bilgewater Cartel who had to flee the destruction of the Isle of Kezan, when Mount Kajaro erupted.

Somewhere in the year 28 ADP, a civil war broke out within the faction. The faction split into two – the True Horde of Warlord Garrosh Hellscream consisting almost entirely of orcs, and the Darkspear Rebellion seeking to overthrow Garrosh, led by the troll leader, Vol'jin. After the Siege of Orgrimmar and the defeat of Garrosh, Vol'jin was proclaimed the new Warlord of the Horde, a choice supported by all the Horde chiefs, even Thrall himself. This is the first time that the office of War Chief is not held by an orc, emphasizing the bond between the member races. However, now that Vol'jin has died in battle on the Broken Shore, the leader of the Forsaken, Banshee Queen, Sylvanas Windrunner, has become the new War Chief.

The representatives of the Horde believe that since the world has always been hostile towards them, they must be prepared for any possible act of aggression. Therefore, they are ready for any possible attack from anyone and are always suspicious of others – no matter if they are the Alliance, or Old Gods, or something else. They are willing to do anything, whether it is the most noble or the most despicable thing, just to save their homes, their lives, and their families, all of that for which they have fought for so long.

A dark past of the Horde

Many years ago, the Horde destroyed the proud Kingdom of Azeroth in the First War, but it was a group of orcs and ogres who, corrupted by the Burning Legion, were led by the Shadow Council, which included orc warlocks led by Gul'dan, who pursued his goals through special agents. They influenced Blackhand, but at one point he himself was killed by Orgrim Doomhammer, who slaughtered everyone in the Council except Gul'dan, whom he forced into servitude.

The Horde lost the next conflict, the Second War, where they were up against the Alliance of Lordaeron, which united the humans of the Seven Kingdoms, the dwarven clans of Ironforge, and the elven kingdom of Quel'Thalas. However, the Horde found allies in the form of the Forest Trolls and the goblins of the Steamwheedle Cartel. Soon the orcs were sent to internment camps and the pre-emptive invasion of Draenor ended with the destruction of the orc and ogre homeland. The orcs returned to their old beliefs, the ogres took to working as mercenaries, the goblins broke agreements, and the forest trolls returned to their own affairs.

More than fifteen years after those events, the Plague of Undeath broke out in Lordaeron, spreading rapidly thanks to poisoned food. The heir to the throne, Arthas Menethil, dedicated everything to stopping the Plague. However, not only did he fail, but he himself became its champion as a Death Knight. King Terenas died by his hand, and the Scourge swept across Lordaeron, destroyed Quel'Thalas and Dalaran, and brought the Burning Legion to this world.

Meanwhile, Thrall gathered the orcs from their internment camps months earlier, and along the way encountered trolls from the Darkspear tribe, who swore allegiance to him in return for his rescue. Thrall's goal was to reach the ancient continent known as Kalimdor and find redemption for his people. Once there, they encountered the Tauren, a nomadic people in search of a new home, plagued by nomadic centaurs. The orcs and trolls immediately helped them, and then did them the favour of supporting a caravan of tauren mounts, the kodos. As soon as the people were safe, their leader – Cairne Bloodhoof, showed them the way to the oracle, which the orc shaman was searching for. After those events, he led his people to Mulgore.

He promised, however, to return the favour. Soon they encountered people who had also fled from Lordaeron. Both sides fought each other and believed that the other was following them. In the oracle’s chamber, beneath the Stonetalon Peak, they met the Prophet, who said that the orcs' freedom depended on freeing Grom Hellscream from the captivity of Mannoroth, who had corrupted the orcs years ago. As the Prophet had advised, Jaina Proudmoore, the leader of the remnants of the people of Lordaeron, and Thrall, joined forces. Grom forfeited his own life to slay Mannoroth and free all his kind from demonic hold. Hellscream's sacrifice was remembered by all orcs, and they proudly remembered him as a hero.

Soon after that, understanding that only together would they be able to do so, the Horde and the Alliance buried the hatchet for the first time and decided to join forces to fight the Scourge and the Legion. The two groups became embroiled in a battle with the natives of the north, the Night Elves, after they dared to cut down some of the sacred trees of Ashenvale. It was not long before the leaders of the three factions met. The side of the Night Elves was represented by Malfurion Stormrage and Tyrande Whisperwind. The prophet who brought them to this meeting introduced himself as the one who brought the orcs to this world, but unknowingly he also brought the demons. He was slain for his sins by those closest to him, but despite his death, war raged on in the east for a long time. The Prophet turned out to be Medivh, the Last Guardian of Tirisfal, who returned to stop the Legion and Archimonde. Thanks to him, the three factions united and fought together against demons and the undead. During the Battle of Mount Hyjal, the bases of the humans and the orcs were destroyed, but the survivors were quickly evacuated.Jaina travelled to the Alliance’s landing site, where she founded the city of Theramore, while Thrall went to the Horde’s landing site, where he established Durotar, with its capital in Orgrimmar.

Reconstruction after the war

When Archimonde was defeated the Horde did not engage in the Plaguelands civil war or the race for the Throne of Frost, nor did the Alliance. Instead, they focused on rebuilding their factions. The Alliance renewed contact with forces in the Eastern Kingdoms, namely Iron Forge, Gnomeregan, and Stormwind City. Theramore became the informal headquarters of the Alliance. Meanwhile, the Horde began not to rebuild, but to lay its foundations. The Trolls of the Darkspear settled on the local Echo Isles, while the Tauren settled in Mulgore, establishing the city of Thunder Bluff on the hilltops. The Orcs, on the other hand, settled on the eastern shores, where they founded Durotar with its capital in the city of Orgrimmar. The three peoples lived peacefully together, forming the Horde, as the people of Theramore represented the Alliance of Men, Elves and Dwarves. Thus, the Alliance and the Horde lived with each other in relative peace.

Unfortunately, not for long. At one point, Lord Admiral Daelin Proudmoore, Jaina's father, arrived in Theramore. While, Rexxar and Rokhan were investigating the recent attacks on Horde settlements there. While investigating, they discovered that it wasn't Jaina and she told the people to leave the Horde alone. When one of the foot soldiers was defeated by the duo of Jaina and a Pandaren traveller Chen Stormstout, the sorceress began to understand what was going on. She teleported everyone to Theramore, and there they were greeted rather coldly by Jaina's father. Daelin thought the Horde had captured her, which his daughter tried to explain and calm the situation down, but he listened to nothing. He ordered the Horde representatives to be killed and Jaina arrested. However, she teleported away from Theramore. Rexxar, Chen and Rokhan also escaped. The result was the escalation of the conflict, which led to the invasion of Durotar.

Thrall, knowing that Daelin was a hero of the Second War who lost his son during the conflict between the Lordaeron Alliance and the Old Horde, and who would not let go easily, as he still sees them as a race corrupted by demons that must be slaughtered at all costs. So, he decided to gather his old allies: Vol'jin, leader of the trolls, and Cairne Bloodhoof, the leader of the tauren. They assaulted Theramore, however, Jaina asked them to spare the others as they were simply following their orders. As such, the Horde did what they could to kill as few Theramore and Kul’Tiras soldiers as possible. In the end, Rexxar, Chen, and Rokhan confronted the Lord Admiral, who eventually met his demise. Rexxar regretted that it was necessary, then he and the Horde left Theramore as the sorceress had asked them to. The daughter mourned her father's death for a very long time to come. Jaina, like her ally from the Third War, knew that unfortunately the Alliance and the Horde would not let go of their animosity.

Back to the great conflict

Soon, as Jaina and Thrall had predicted, old feuds did, indeed, begin to resurface. The old Alliance, consisting of Dwarves, Humans, and High Elves fell apart. Fearing that the Horde would destroy them they reorganized their faction into the New Alliance. The High Elves remained members of the Alliance but were few in numbers due to their culling several years earlier. Another race that returned to the Alliance were the gnomes, who were earlier preoccupied with the attack of the Trogg forces and the betrayal of Sicco Thermaplugg. The people of the Kul’Tiras chose isolation, and Dalaran declared neutrality, as a result of which only Theramore, Stormwind, and Stromgrade remained. The Bronzebeard and Wildhammer dwarves remained in the Alliance, supporting local forces. The Kaldorei, who already had a tense relationship with the orcs, also joined the faction.

While a New Alliance was formed in the east with its capital in Stormwind City in the southern Eastern Kingdoms, the Horde knew it had to act. Thrall remained the Warlord of the Horde, at the same time he convened a meeting of the three races, namely the orcs, tauren and trolls of the Darkspear, in the capital of Durotar – Orgrimmar. Understanding that a cold war between the two factions was inevitable Cairne, Thrall and Vol'jin decided to join forces and create the New Horde, in the same fashion as the New Alliance was born, the New Horde was formed in 22 ADP, and Orgrimmar became its capital. From now on, the Horde included the United Tauren Tribes led by Cairne the Bloodhoof, the Orc Clans led by Thrall, and the Tribe of the Darkspear led by Vol'jin, who vowed to support each other and stand together to fight a common enemy no matter what. The Horde was soon joined by another faction – the Forsaken. These were undead who broke free from the Lich King's rule and now became a free people. Led by Sylvanas Windrunner, a former Silvermoon ranger-general, they joined the Horde forces as they wanted to gain the support of others in hopes that the forces of the Alliance would not simply attack them and reclaim the lands of Lordaeron from their rule.

The forces of the Horde learned of the plot of the dragoness Onyxia, acting under the guise of Katrana Prestor, and the disappearance of the High King. The Horde leader Thrall made efforts to check if he was in the Horde territory. As it turned out, there was one warrior matching his description, called Lo'Gosh, who fought in the gladiatorial arena in Orgrimmar. It was decided, that this should be checked. During the arrival of the Alliance forces, it turned out that another king Varian had been found. Further investigation proved that it was a conspiracy by Onyxia, who planned to leave Wrynn divided into two entities – a good warrior and an evil king. Onyxia was defeated by the Alliance forces, and the Horde allowed their Varian to leave for Stormwind City, where the two king's swords then came together and they merged into one.

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