This text was featured in the manual of the very first Warcraft game, Warcraft: Orcs & Humans. Note: According to Alliance Player's Guide, while the kingdom was renamed sometime after the third war to the current name Stormwind, at the time of the first war, the kingdom was known as Azeroth.
The history and legends concerning the invasion and domination of the Human lands, scribed by Garona of the Shadow Council.
The stories of battle and victory have always been told, and in the past, it was up to the leaders of each assault to document the past. While fine leaders in war, these chieftains lacked the ability to convey those actions with written words. I present as an example:
"Thok go through shiny hole. Then me fall down, but me good. Me find many good things to eat. We find village. We mash them and eat their food. Thok stop now. Head hurt from write."
The fact that I am of both Orc and Human lineage, combined with the skills and schooling I have acquired from my journeys, has elevated me to the position I now hold. As chief interpreter to the Shadow Council, the duty of preserving the accounts of our conquering of this world and the eventual crusade into the land of Humanity, has fallen now upon my shoulders. I, Garona, now humbly present that history. . .
Conquest of the Orcish Home world
Our destiny concerning the domination over these lands has been foretold by the clan mystics for hundreds of years. Having risen from the mire of swamps and marshes, the Orcish hordes have swept across this domain in the fulfillment of that destiny. Many ages passed as our influence slowly spread, causing pain and darkness to follow in our wake. Be they in lush plains, hidden in thick forests, or at the rocky crags overlooking the seaside our armies rolled over what pathetic resistance our enemies could muster. Their crops died on the stalk and their fields lay fallow, for we left none alive to tend them. Using the arcane powers of our Warlocks and Necromancers, not even the mightiest of our foes could long stand against our increasing onslaught. One by one our enemies fell, and we became stronger with each victory. In time, by subjugating all who would oppose our rise to power, and enslaving these weaker races to use as we pleased, we conquered both nature and creatures to finally rise to the pinnacle of this world.
Still we craved more, and decades of constant bickering between clans served to divide our race amongst itself. Soon factions arose, each seeking to control the Orcish domain for themselves. These petty arguments turned to armed conflict, and then to war as the need for conquest burned hot in our blood. If no lands existed that were ruled by enemies, then we would take the lands of our brethren.
The Dark Portal
The only clan to ignore these plays for power were the Warlocks. Secluded in their towers, they saw the danger that was present. Although it pleased the Necromancers that these battles fed the earth and underworld with rivers of blood, the Warlocks feared that no Orc would be left alive. This would serve to upset the delicate balance that allowed them to control the powers that they held in check and called upon to work their magiks. If this balance were to be maintained, the
Orcish hordes would need to be supplied with new battles against a common foe.
It was during a period of research that the small tear in the dimensional fabric was noticed. Many years passed as the Warlocks sought to unlock the mysteries of this tiny rift. The undertaking of numerous trials and tests led to the conclusion that this phenomenon could serve as a portal to another dominion, if it could be controlled. The Orcish Warlocks began experimentation towards focusing the rift, gradually making it larger and more stable. Eventually, they were able to create a small portal, just large enough for one of their clan to pass through.
The stories that this subject returned with almost convinced his colleagues that the experience had left him insane, but the strange, unknown plants he held served as sure evidence of his claims. This allowed the sect to approach the strongest leaders of the splintered Orc clans and request that they cease their war for one year. At the end of that time, they promised the chance to accomplish the taking of a new world.
The First Invasion
Controlling the rift proved to be easier as it grew larger, and within the passing of three moons, it stood ready to send a small detachment of troops to this new world. A blue circle of energy, roughly two and one half Orcs in width, was the sight that greeted the Orcish clan chiefs. Streaks of black and red raced across it as it crackled with otherworldly fires. Seven warriors were to enter the portal and return with a report detailing the type of lands and creatures that were to be found on the other side. As the Warlocks began their incantations to access the power of the rift, a howl began - low at first, then rising in pitch like a darkwolf baying during the bloodmoon. When the sound grew near to deafening, the warriors were motioned into the circle, now alive with a thousand colours intertwined and clashing in some cosmic dance. What awaited these seven was beyond even their wildest imagining.
The sack of the village was a simple matter, hardly worth the telling. Yet hundreds of times the tale was recounted, and a hundred more would be expected and relished. A group of strange, sharp edged buildings was the first sign of any true opposition they encountered. A rough dirt path lead into a trio of farms. The gray of dawn was lightening as the sun of this world rose over the hilltops. It was a bright, yellow orb that shone twice as brightly as our own, and made the days exceedingly hot. Then out of the odd little hut came what must have been a member of this lands true race. Small, pink and spare of muscle were these creatures. The warriors grinned wickedly at each other, knowing that if this represented the breed of stock they would need to pen in order to take this world, victory was but a matter of moments. Rushing out of their hiding place, they swarmed upon the village and slew every living thing they could find. The males offered some small resistance, but the females and children were like taking grok to the slaughter. Their homes held few values, but their field were full of a tasty grain. Their livestock, as little as there was, also proved excellent, and what they could not eat or pack was set to the torch. The trinkets brought back from this place were of a craftsmanship unknown to the Orcs, and were quickly taken by the leaders of the clans for their own treasure hordes. This new world, heavy with vast expanses and soft, weak protectors would prove a rich jewel to add the crown of the Orcs.
Our order of ascension is a simple one - only the strongest survive. All matters of politics or dispute are settled in open debate. This can lead to hostilities in many cases, but it is the fastest and simplest way to come to a conclusion on most matters. Each Orc has the right to make heard his arguments, as long as he can back them up with fact - or steel. To gain the upper hand is a sign of strength, and strength is counted highly among the hordes. A decisive victory in battle raises the commander and his warriors to a place of honor and control. This hold is tenuous, however, for the higher one climbs, the farther - and more deadly - the fall.
By this time, we had learned much of this new domain, and those who dwelled here. While difficult to understand in many ways, they proved similar enough to us in many ways. A sharp blow to the head resulted in death. Lack of food led to starvation. Pain also affected them in the same way it had all of our enemies, and proved to be an effective means of extracting information.
The Assault upon Stormwind Keep
To learn that the name of this place was Azeroth, and the inhabitants here were called Humans, was among the first bits of information we gathered. We began the taking of Azeroth by moving out cautiously, and learning what we could, but all too soon rash judgment prevailed as the taste of greed tainted the palettes of the Orcish clan chiefs. After many arguments ensued, it was decreed that an assault upon the tall castle in the north would serve to crush our enemies and place the Orcs upon the throne of power. More and more warriors were brought through the rift, and with them seemed to come the essence of our world. The Warlocks claimed it was some effect of the portal, but the lands about our entryway soon became as desolate as those of our home.
Entry into the castle was a simple matter, for the prosperity that had made this land so attractive to us had also bred weakness in the Humans. Their guards were unprepared as our forces poured through the gates and over the walls of their stronghold. Their males did well to stop us for as long as they did, but our numbers and strength soon tilted the battle in our favor. Victory would have been assured, but for the arrival of their great, mounted soldiers. These fiends rode atop beasts of muscle and sinew that crashed through our ranks and dealt as much damage to our troops as did their riders. These knights, as we have come to know them, rallied what few soldiers remained, and began driving us out of the castle. Our every turn was countered as we were forced to retreat towards the gateway back to our world. Some trick of magic had them always at our back, sides, and in our path. We barely reached the edges of the swamplands that now surrounded the portal and eluded our pursuers in its murky depths.
The Rise of Blackhand
It has been some fifteen years since this costly decision altered the course of our destiny. Many called for the closing of the gate, while other factions fought for another attack upon the Humans with all of our forces. Out of this chaos arose a single Orc with a cunning and guile that few others possessed. Careful manipulations and the use of what support he could muster made his voice ever stronger as time passed. After key opponents were dealt with, few could offer any opposition to his plans, and the rule of the great Orc War Chief Blackhand was upon our people.
His cruelty and dominance in battle is only overshadowed by his lust for power. He has studied the means with which Human armies are able to defeat overpowering numbers of Orcs through strategy and guile. From these tactics he has learned to bring organization to the scattered attacks of our raiding parties. He sought assistance from both houses of the arcane arts, searching for other weapons to add to his arsenal. The culmination of these plans will involve the uniting of all the Orcish clans - Armies, Warlocks and Necromancers alike - to bring about the eventual destruction of the Human race. The Age of Chaos is now at hand.
Wellspring Lake is a small lake northeast of Darnassus and southeast of The Oracle Glade in Teldrassil. Fed by a natural spring deep within the land of the World Tree, this small lake is drained by the Wellspring River. Previously a favored spot for night elven fishermen, the lake is now the home of corrupted timberlings. The surrounding area is also a dangerous place, as nightsabers and spiders infest the landscape.
Addle's Stead is located in southwestern Duskwood, south of Raven Hill and west of the Vul'Gol Ogre Mound. It is one of the many abandoned farmsteads, presumably left behind when the darkness crept into Duskwood. The farm was completely taken over by agents of the Defias Brotherhood.
When the Cataclysm shook the world, even the Defias fled the farmstead. Now, inhabited solely by Forlorn Spirits.
Elwynn Forest, aka the Forest of Elwynn or simply Elwynn, is a vast woodland of stately hardwoods nestled just below the foothills of the Burning Steppes to the north. To the west are the dry prairie fields of Westfall. The idyllic Redridge Mountains lie to the east, and to the south, across the Jerod's Landing is where Duskwood is located.
It is the heartland of the human Kingdom of Stormwind and consequently is the starting point of all human characters. Elwynn is a gorgeous span of fertile land and thick forests. The weather is sunny and cheerful during the day and silent and peaceful at night. Unlike Duskwood, it is close enough to Stormwind to enjoy considerable Alliance guardianship.
Home to many farmers, loggers, and miners, Elwynn Forest is a tranquil region with several friendly places to stop. Little troubles this region; kobolds infiltrate some mines such as the Fargodeep Mine and Jasperlode Mine, and murlocs have moved inland to reside in some lakes and rivers such as Crystal Lake and Stone Cairn Lake, but overall it is safe.
One should stick to the roads though, as the forest is home to many fearsome and territorial creatures such as bears and wolves. Those who can defend themselves are not in any danger, but others may not be so lucky. Elwynn enjoys consistently good weather, warm and humid with very few stormy days. Gentle rain falls just enough to make everything grow full and lush. This woodland is pleasant and tranquil. Loggers and fishers fuel Stormwind’s economy, and a diligent militia keeps it safe from the kobolds and murlocs that occasionally surface. The Defias Brotherhood, a group of robbers and bandits wearing red masks, were once a growing menace in the region.
It is under guardianship of the kingdom of Stormwind, but has its own democratic government.Marshal Dughan is the elected ruler. Though much of the forest was burned down during the First War trees and lush glades have grown back. Stormwind City lies northwest of the forest and is heavily patrolled by the Stormwind guards.
The humans have lived in Elwynn for centuries, but members of all Alliance races can be frequently seen traveling and residing in Elwynn due to its proximity to the capital, Stormwind. Most residents of Elwynn are involved in one of its major industries: logging, farming, fishing or mining. The people are hardy and hard-working.
The region organizes its festivals and celebrations around the planting calendar, its two biggest parties being the planting and harvesting festivals. Elwynn is also visited periodically by the famous, traveling Darkmoon Faire monthly. True criminals in the area are usually sent to Stormwind for trial and punishment in the Stockade which is also a dungeon, as most people care more for their jobs than housing criminals. Goldshire has a small holding area for drunks and pickpockets, but few stay in the clink for very long. Elwynn’s towns will welcome most any travelers, especially those who want to shop or trade to help the local economies. They are especially kind to those willing to lend a hand in a tough spot.
Little is known of Elwynn's history before Stormwind was founded centuries ago by the Arathi bloodline of Stromgarde in Lordaeron. Ever since humans first settled in the forest, it has thrived under their stewardship.
Elwynn Forest was captured by the Horde during their bloody campaign to Stormwind in the First War. The resources culled from the bountiful woods helped fuel the Horde's war machine. Much of the forests were razed as the orcs marched across Elwynn. The town of Goldshire and the Abbey at Northshire were both tragically destroyed. When Stormwind fell to the orcs and Anduin Lothar led the humans to Lordaeron, the Stormreaver and Twilight's Hammer clans assumed domains in Elwynn Forest. When the humans of Stormwind finally retook their city at the end of the Second War, they regained Elwynn as well. It cost the kingdom of Stormwind a significant amount of gold and resources to rebuild their broken homeland. As a result, the kingdom's economy has flagged since it was rebuilt. Many of the middle and lower classes became fed up with high taxes and unpaid labor in service of the kingdom.
Many of these dissidents defected to form the Defias Brotherhood (led by the Stonemasons Guild, the architects who reconstructed Stormwind and weren't paid anything). The Brotherhood reaches into Elwynn Forest from time to time, preying on lone travelers, although their main center of operations lies somewhere in Westfall. Some say they have a case against Stormwind, as they weren’t paid for their work rebuilding the city; others say they are whiners who charged too much in the first place. Others (such as Brann Bronzebeard) did their work and were paid, and don’t understand the problems.
Yet, against all the odds, Elwynn has returned to much of its former majesty and glory. Northshire Abbey was rebuilt and has become a recruiting center of sorts for the Stormwind army. Goldshire and its famous Lion's Pride Inn have returned to their former glory as a bustling hub of activity. Today, the only reminders of the Horde's occupation are a few scattered orcish catapults, broken and rotting. Meanwhile, the humans of Stormwind rejoice as Elwynn once again becomes the pride of the Kingdom of Stormwind.
Though the majority of Elwynn remained untouched during the devastating Cataclysm, the Northshire Vineyards were not as lucky. The Defias that once roamed here harassing the settlers have all been killed, and the area burns as Blackrock orcs harry the countryside. The Blackrock Orc
leader, Kurtok the Slayer replaces Garrock Padfoot who was one of the leaders of the Defias.
The Defias Brotherhood had camps throughout Elwynn Forest, but with the ascendance of Marshal Gryan Stoutmantle and the Westfall Brigade having largely crushed the Defias in Westfall, not even a few scattered ruffians remain. Dead-Tooth Jack, Morgan the Collector, Erlan Drudgemoor and Surena Caledon still harass the locals, but no longer as part of an organized gang. There are rumors the Defias had a relationship with the kobolds in Elwynn Forest, enlisting them to collect gold from the mines. They may have been associated with the Riverpaw Gnolls along the border of Westfall. The Westbrook Garrison still sends out patrols to search for thieves entering Elwynn Forest from Westfall.
Elwynn lies below the southern foothills of Blackrock Mountain. The forest is a labyrinthine mixture of rushing rivers, various lakes, gold mines, and forests of magnificent trees and lush glades. Its rich farmland is a result of frequent rains. Recently several of the lakes have been found to be inhabited by hostile murlocs. Stormwind City itself sits proudly in the northwestern hills of the region, its gates opening down onto the Forest. East of Stormwind and behind a thick wall lies the peaceful Northshire Valley and its Abbey. Northshire was the pride of Stormwind's vineyards until recently, when Defias bandits drove off the farmers and occupied the farm and fields. In addition, the Echo Ridge Mine north of the abbey has been infested by kobolds.
Bears, wolves, spiders and boars constitute the bulk of the region's large wildlife. The creatures are hostile everywhere except for Northshire. The roads leading from Stormwind and Northshire converge to the southeast just north of Goldshire. Goldshire is Elwynn's largest settlement besides Stormwind itself. Second to Goldshire is the Eastvale Logging Camp in the east near the border with Redridge Mountains. Eastvale is the center of Elwynn's lumber industry. On the road from Goldshire to Eastvale is the Tower of Azora where mages conduct arcane experiments in seclusion. On the road to Westfall from Goldshire is the imposing Westbrook Garrison. This barracks and surrounding grounds house a number of the Stormwind Guard, and protects Elwynn's western border. Dotted throughout the forest are small farmsteads growing crops such as wheat, pumpkins, melons and grapes.
Kobolds infested the Jasperlode Mine and Fargodeep Mine. Gnolls have erected camps in the Forest's Edge region and the northern rim of Stone Cairn Lake. It is rumored that both the kobolds and gnolls were somehow associated with the Defias Brotherhood. Murlocs have taken up residence in and around Stone Cairn Lake and Crystal Lake. The Defias once had holdings at Mirror Lake Orchard, the Brackwell Pumpkin Patch, Jerod's Landing and Stone Cairn Lake.