The following article serves as an authentic copy† of the original Warcraft: Orcs & Humans manual (online edition). All material written in this article is of copyright © 1994-1995 by Blizzard Entertainment. The author of this article claims no right of the material written.
NOTE: The following information is taken directly from the Warcraft: Orcs & Humans manual.
Chronicles of the War in Azeroth
A treatise of the events leading to the war between Mankind and the Orcish Hordes as related by Sir Lothar, Knight of the Realm.
I am Sir Lothar, Armsman to the Brotherhood of the Horse, and a warrior in the King’s service. I feel it necessary to inform you of the events that have led us to this time of conflict. The tale of our battle with the Orcs begins some forty years in the past. I tell you of these things so that you might glean some understanding of our plight, and gain insight into our enemy. As a student of history and battle, I have found that only through understanding the past can we make well-thought decisions for the future.
All has been peaceful for many generations, and the reign of King Wrynn III is a prosperous one. The constant bickering and infighting that marred the rules of former Kings has no place in the court of Wrynn. The child sorcererMedivh is born of a coupling between the court Conjurer and a mysterious traveler. After the child is born, the woman disappears, and the baby is taken into the court as a ward of the kingdom.
The child prince Llane is born to King Wrynn and Lady Varia. This is their first and only offspring, but the birth of a son marks the continuation of their line. It is a grand day in the Kingdom that is celebrated by great feasts and tournaments. King Wrynn proclaims the day to be a time for festival for the duration of his rule, and to mark the occasion, gives each citizen of Azeroth one gold sovereign.
The marking of the Age of Ascension from childhood to adulthood is one of great anticipation for both parent and youth. Medivh attains that time and is expected to be given the title as Apprentice Conjurer to the Court. On the eve of this occasion, the boy's sleep is troubled by dark dreams of figures giving chase through deep chasms. Waking in a cold sweat, Medivh makes his way to the bedchamber of his father. As the Conjurer reaches out to touch his fevered brow, a burning fire ignites in the child's eyes. This backlash of power must have reached as far as Northshire Abbey, for within the hour over one hundred clerics arrived at the castle.
Only by combining their abilities with the powers of the Conjurer were one hundred enough to contain Medivh. As magiks unimagined poured forth from him, the boy screamed in unholy pain at the energies that were channeling through him. Hours passed, perhaps even days, for time seemed to stand still as the onslaught grew in fury.
Then, as simply as one snuffs a candle, both father and son crumpled into a heap. The Conjurer lay dead, drained of all life, and Medivh fell into a deep sleep - his heart barely beating, and only the faintest of breath escaping his lips. After long discussion, the King and the Abbot of Northshire agree that Medivh should be taken to the Abbey for the safety of both child and kingdom.
Llane reaches his Age of Ascension, and the full station of Prince of Azeroth is bestowed upon him. At this ceremony, tens of thousands of devoted subjects come to offer their wishes of support and long life. During the evening feast with family, and those close to the crown, a cold wind began to chill the air. A gentle breeze at first, it grew in intensity, until the doors to the great hall were blown off of their hinges. As the guests leaned into the wind, a figure entered, riding the winds like some great bird of prey.
The torches set about the great hall ignited with blue flame and the visage of Medivh was revealed. As he set down in front of the King’s table, the guard sprang to their feet. A mere pass of his hand kept them motionless - frozen in their places. The sorcerer, now a man, explained that his years of sleep had ended. The years of constant tending from the clerics of Northshire Abbey enabled him to gain control over his powers. When his spirit and body became attuned, he awakened himself, and set out to Stormwind Keep at once. Medivh explained that he had come to repay the court for the kindness it had shown to him while he was in their keeping, and to acknowledge the occasion of the Ascension ceremony for Prince Llane. From within his flowing cloak he produced an hourglass, crafted of deepest obsidian, with sands as white as undriven snow. The young prince looked closely, but although the sand seemed to constantly sift from top to bottom, the lower half never filled, and the top never emptied. Medivh claimed that these sands represented the people of the kingdom, and so long as the glass never emptied, the reign of King Wrynn would not fail.
Six years passed, and the land slowly grew sick. Crops began failing in the richest soils of the kingdom. Children were stricken ill and never fully recovered. Even the moods of the subjects of Azeroth seem dark. The weather would become unseasonably cold during harvest, and the summer sun scorched the earth and made working out of the shade almost unbearable. Neither cleric nor conjurer could fathom what could be the cause of this change in the lands. More and more people became disheartened, and what once would have been looked over, now caused bitter argument.
During a bleak morning, Prince Llane rushed to his father’s side, carrying the hourglass. During the night, the sands had run down from the top, and it was near emptied. King Wrynn took the glass into his hands, and a chill ran through the very core of his being. As the last sands trickled to the bottom of the glass, a great crashing sound was heard at the gates of Stormwind Keep. Suddenly, the grounds were filled with hideous creatures. Gross deformities, a cruel reflection of humanity, they swarmed over the King’s guard and tore them to shreds. King Wrynn sent Llane and Queen Varia with an escort of knights to Northshire Abbey, promising to call for them when the foul beasts had been destroyed. That day has not yet come.
At the age of twenty years, Llane is pronounced King of Azeroth. His task is clear - to rid the lands of these creatures. The few that have survived battle refer to themselves as Orcs. When questioned, they will tell little else, and prefer death to releasing information. They are cruel, sadistic, and vile - making no distinctions between soldier or child, warrior or woman. They will slay anyone who they encounter without a second thought. The only humans who do not fall to the Orcish blade are those who are taken to the swamps that have festered in the east, where the Orcs have made their encampments. What they do with these people is unknown, though the worst is feared for none have ever returned.
Nearly ten years of skirmishes and raids along the Borderlands have kept the people of Azeroth wary, but the Orcish hordes had been beaten back into their swamps. King Llane has found that the Orcs, though incredibly strong and vicious, were seldom well-trained in combat, and always disorganized. This has been the key to holding them at bay, and is the weakness he hopes to exploit in the future. The mystery that no Cleric or Conjurer had found the answer to, though, is the origin of these creatures.
In the tenth year of his reign, King Llane is visited by the mysterious traveler. She has come to the King with a warning that she hopes will aid him in his fight against this nemesis to his land. The coupling between the King’s Conjurer and herself was intended to create a child that she could pass her knowledge and power onto before leaving this place. She did not count upon other forces in this world, and others, that would seek to dominate the child. He has now become a beacon of mystic power.'
She sought him out only a fortnight before, and found that the powers that course through his veins have twisted him, making him insane. Realizing the threat he now posed, she was forced to attempt to destroy him. He all but slew her.
The battle left both combatants drained, but Medivh held enough power to banish her from his sight, and command her never to return. His magics were strong enough that even she cannot break this bond, and so can offer no aid in his downfall. The traveler also informs King Llane that it was Medivh who was responsible for the coming of the Orcs to Azeroth. During the battle with his father, he inadvertently opened a gateway to the domain that they, and many other foul creatures, call home. The Orcs are disciples of chaos, however, and not even Medivh has the power to control them.
Although the battle has Medivh in a greatly weakened state, the traveler warns that there will be a time when Azeroth will be forced to deal with him. Her parting words to the King were of her hope that the sorcerer would not become so strong, by that time, that the whole of this world would suffer.
Stirrings of war now come from the swamps. The attacks upon our settlements, once scattered and poorly-executed, have become more organized. The King has found it necessary to send footmen and archers to protect settlements along the Borderlands. Rumors of the rising of a great Orcish War Chief have been heard about the land. He is heard to be a harsh leader who has gathered the feuding Orcs under one banner. King Llane’s scouts and spies have found him to be as cunning as he is bloodthirsty. This foul creature’s name is Blackhand, and his control of the Orcish hordes could spell doom for Azeroth. The King has ordered me to seek out new recruits to train in the rudiments of combat, for the time has come to call upon the people of Azeroth and prepare the kingdom for war.
These are the people of the Kingdom of Azeroth. Being of sturdy and hardworking stock, they will harvest the forests for necessary woods, or mine for gold in the hillsides as needed. Oftentimes they gather in the Town Hall, and there is always a large supply of them willing to assist in your fight against the Orcs. They are also skilled craftsman, able to construct any type of building you could desire. They are unskilled in the ways of war, however, and will flee when engaged by the enemy, often ignoring a safer route for a faster one.
These fighters are the backbone of the King’s armies. They are foot soldiers trained in the art of melee combat using the sword and shield. Well armored for maximum defense against attacks, they can also deliver a solid blow with their double edged weapons.
These warriors use their skill in the crossbow to deal death from a distance. They are slightly more maneuverable than Footmen, but the cost is the lighter armor they must wear. The ability to launch their deadly rain of missiles from a distance makes them a force not to be discounted.
The fighting elite in his Majesty’s service. Using the difficult skills required for mounted combat, these warriors wield huge maces in order to crush their opponent’s skulls. Their warhorses make them fast and deadly, as they can maneuver much more quickly than an unmounted foe. Knights are well respected throughout the realm, and the tales of their fighting prowess are known far and wide.
On occasion you may find someone who is wounded. In such cases, the disciples from Northshire Abbey are bestowed with the ability to heal the wounds and maladies of others, and may be of assistance. If your soldiers become wounded during battle, their condition will worsen, and they should also seek the assistance of your clerics.
As the ultimate machine of war, the catapult brings fiery death to all who stand in its way. Capable of destroying any target in its range, the projectile from a catapult can smash the toughest of defenses, or through the sides of buildings. This behemoth is large, slow, and difficult to maneuver, but the power that it holds makes it an essential part of your forces.
These are the holy men of our kingdom. Their spiritual leadership keeps both the people and the troops of Azeroth focused upon our mission of everlasting peace. Their ability to channel the spirit of humanity through their bodies makes them truly wondrous, and stories of their ability to heal the sick and injured, as well as being able to affect the perceptions of others, are miraculous in nature. The transgressions against Humanity by the Orcs have forced them to devise ways to defend themselves, but their true path remains the healing of men’s souls.
Seers of mystery, holders of secrets and dwellers in dream. These practitioners of the Arcane Arts have learned through researching the ancient tomes to bend the forces of nature to do their will. They can make the energies of nature strike down opponents, summon forth great creatures or command the elements. They are a secretive sect, and will only gather and train in their own specially prepared mystic towers.
Knowledge is the key to understanding, and it is with the hope that by having knowledge of our powers, you will understand how we may best serve the Kingdom. I pray that the words to follow will assist you in our quest of freeing Azeroth from the threat of the Orcish hordes. Concerning the abilities possessed by the clerics from the Abbey, I am most knowledgeable. The conjurers, however, have refused to divulge their secrets, and therefore my understanding of the intricacies of their magiks is not as complete. God speed in your fight.
The Abbot of Northshire Abbey
The invasion of the Orcish hordes has necessitated our divining a method to protect not only ourselves, but the whole of the people of Azeroth, as well. The use of physical violence is not the calling of our order, but each force must be met with an equal force for the balance of good and evil to be preserved. As the archangels took up swords of light to defend the heavens, so must we take up holy arms to defend our lands. The pure essence of the casters heart, mind, and soul strikes out to defend him from threat, and enters into the soul of the target. This is especially effective against the Orcs because of their dark and evil origins.
The aiding of our brothers and sisters in times of sorrow, grief, and illness is the primary concern of the disciples from Northshire Abbey. This has required us to devise a way to ease the burdens of those about us, with out causing another an equal burden. This has led us to using the spirit of humanity itself to heal all forms of injury or disease. The effect is that the pain and injury of the one afflicted is divided amongst all humanity, making the burden easier to bear (carrying the cross of another).
As dispensers of peace and understanding to the people, the need to keep a clear perspective is a vital one. This ability has developed from that need, and therefore allows the caster to see in an all encompassing fashion, as God does. His vision extends to all corners of the land, and his view is omnipotent. The power of this divination is limited, for when one strives to see the world as God does, the human mind can only partake of a meager portion before it is forever blinded by the clarity of that sight.
This is the ability to cloud the perceptions of others so that they do not recognise the physical existence of the caster. This was originally employed as a tool to make the confessing of secrets that weighed heavily upon the souls of worshippers easier to speak. The clerics of Northshire Abbey have found it very useful in assisting the armies of King Llane in ridding Azeroth of the Orcs.
Conjurers maintain a close relationship with the elements about them, and the ability to focus those forces is the basis of this spell. This channeling manifests itself as a sphere of charged energy that issues forth from the hands, enabling the caster to strike an enemy from a great distance. This is one of the basic magiks taught to conjurers and serves as the cornerstone for training the caster in focusing both mind and will to the task of summoning.
The caster calls upon the creatures of the desert by magically transporting them to do his bidding. They are under the conjurer's direction and will do his bidding to the death. Research has proven that it is simpler for the conjurer to transport several smaller scorpions in a short time than to drain his energies further by summoning a single, large creature.
The caster uses the forces of nature to create a water elemental. He summons the forces of air and water and combines them into a simulacrum to defend the lands. They are excellent creatures, and will never turn upon their creators. The element of water was chosen because it is persistent as in the state of erosion, and it is the opposite of fire, which seems to be the element that the Orcs favor.
Rain of Fire
This is a very powerful spell that combines the natures of flame and water. It calls forth the essence of fire and delivers it through massive thunderheads of vapor and brimstone, creating an actual firestorm. This spell is very destructive, and will cause damage to any foes and buildings in its sphere of influence. Use this spell with care, for the rain of fire knows no friends.
This is where the people of a settlement meet to discuss the issues of the day. The King’s servants, be they farmer, craftsman or peasant, will share their fears and hopes with the community in this building. It is also where the details of commerce are dealt with - the distribution of resources, and the spending of moneys. All shipments of gold and wood are routed through the Town Hall. The allocation of funds to build roads and walls are also addressed here. Additionally, it serves as a center where peasants can receive training in harvesting and mining, as to better serve the kingdom. Being the center of the settlement’s economy, there can only be one Town Hall. If it is destroyed, however, another can be built to take its place.
Producing needed sustenance, these sites are a vital part of any community. Farms produce grains and foodstuffs to feed not only the populace and peasants, but the armies as well. You must have enough food to supply all of your units, so keep a close eye on how much you can expect to harvest. Farms are self sufficient in that they supply their own workers,but if they are destroyed, your available food supply will be affected.
This is where the men of arms come for training and recruitment. Footmen, Knights, and Archers can be found here, constantly honing their skills as they wait to be called forth into battle. When you need more fighting men, you will come here to get them. The crews that man catapults are also trained here, and when you require the services of one of these great machines, it will be routed through this site.
This is where the raw wood supplied by peasant harvesters is made into building supplies, arrows, and catapults. The ability to craft wood to the specific shapes and sizes needed to make certain buildings makes them an essential part of your community. The Mill can also provide your Archers with better shafts for their arrows that will make them fly truer, and increase the amount of damage that they inflict.
As the metalworker of the town, he is responsible for the grade and quality of the steel used in your weapons and armor. If funds are devoted to the refining of his craft, he can upgrade the materials and skills used, allowing the creation of better swords and shields. His talents are also sought after in the construction of specific goods and building materials that are essential to other professions.
The care and feeding of the Knight’s mount is the main concern of this site. Horses are specially bred and trained here to be more effective for use in combat. By making them faster, stronger, and more responsive to their rider's commands, the stable serves as a link between warrior and steed. The stables must be supplied with riding bits, stirrups, shoes, and horse armor for their training and outfitting - so you can not build a stable without the aid of a blacksmith.
Housed here are the holy men of Azeroth, as the church provides a place for them to commune with the people of the land. This is the only place where clerics will come together for their ceremonies, and many can be recruited here to assist in ridding the land of the hellspawned Orcs. A tithe must be made to the church for their services in order that new clerics may be trained, and other sites made sacred. A Church must be built entirely of a rare wood known as Holyoak, hence a lumber mill must be active to specially cut and prepare this sacred wood. Also, clerics continue training here to increase their understandings of the spiritual forces. When they are enlightened by a new revelation, the kernel of that knowledge is sown among all followers of the faith, and it blossoms into the minds of all clerics throughout the lands.
This is the mystic place where magiks are taught. These strange and mysterious workers of magic are a reclusive lot, and place themselves above the law in many ways. They also demand absolute secrecy and privacy for their studies, and so require their own domicile. Conjurers gather at the Tower to practice and train in their arcane arts. When new magiks are learned, that knowledge is immediately sent by thought to other conjurers wherever they be in the realm. The recruiting of Conjurers is a common practice, but a price must be paid in gold for their services, as few hold duty to anyone. The massive energies used in their spells require that the Tower be constructed with long shafts of metal placed within the stone walls to act as a mystic lightning rod, for without these, the building would explode into a thousand pieces. A blacksmith must be made available to create these devices to the exact specifications provided by the Conjurers.
King Llane has sent many a surveyor into the hills and mountains throughout the kingdom in search of new deposits of gold. You may discover one of these sites, and find that there are still veins of the precious metal to be mined. Peasants can be trained in the skills required to mine and deliver this gold to your Town Hall for disbursement as you see fit.
Brethren to the Orc clans, these brutes have less intellect and more strength, making them a fearsome opponent in any battle. Often found dwelling in secluded areas of the kingdom, they do not like to be disturbed. They are ponderous and necessarily single-minded to the task at hand, which is usually the killing of anyone they do not recognise. Their massive jaws and glazed eyes give them the look of a crazed animal, and they have the temperament to match.
Creatures of the arid lands, these giant arachnids strike with venomed stingers that are located in their tails to kill their prey. The poison they employ is extremely painful, and is a slow and wicked death. They are hunters by nature that will attack anything that strays near their nests.
Poisonous and huge, these spiders are found in dwellings long forgotten by time and man. Their bite is venomous, and their many legs make them an agile opponent. Having grown so large from years of hunting increasingly larger prey, they have learned to hide in dark places and attack from the shadows.
Many of these evil bandits were once loyal subjects of the King, but their greed and hatred has turned them against their own people. Like all cowards, they hide in the shadows, waiting to overpower their victims with surprise and numbers. Having been driven out of lawful settlements, they seek refuge wherever they can find it. Often armed with short swords and daggers, they rely upon their speed to fill their purses with ill gotten gains.
Not all of the putrid, slick goo that oozes from openings in the floors and walls is merely disgusting. Some of it poses great danger as well. While slime has no intelligence, it is attracted to the heat that bodies generate. This ichor will literally drain the life from its victims, as heat is what it uses as food. No magical properties have been found to exist within the slime, but nature is often a magik unto itself.
These abominations are magical constructs made from the bones of the dead. They roam the forbidden lands and forgotten realms of Azeroth, seeking to take their anguish out on the living. They know only pain and death, and strive to embrace the living in their arms so they may drag them into the pits of hell.
These creatures are made of the magical essence of water. Once created, they are loyal servants, and will unerringly do the bidding of their masters. Should they escape the control of their master, they become free creatures to do as they will. They are excellent fighters and will defend those whom they serve to the death.
The creation of a simulacrum of the elements of fire. While these servants can be constructed and controlled by powerful mages, many have proved too difficult to hold in the summoner’s power. Should they escape their creator these creatures rage uncontrollably, determined to destroy all those who are like the one that imprisoned them in this domain.
Denizens of the underworld, these creatures are the most powerful entities to ever exist in the lands of Azeroth. Their aptitude in the arts of deception and combat are only equaled by their sadistic nature, and the puissance they possess in the black arts of magic. They command the searing fires of Hell as if it were their plaything. They are the true lords of chaos, wreaking havoc at every step and destroying what they wish. There is rumored to be a gateway that appears every thirteenth full moon that bridges the gap between Azeroth and the underworld, and it is during these brief moments that the daemons can come to this place. Legend also states that some have the power to summon these creatures and control them, but if this is so, none are alive to tell the tale of how it is accomplished.
The Destiny of the Orcish Hordes
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…
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 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.
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 Orcishclan 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 colors 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 fields 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.
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.
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 theHumans 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 andNecromancers alike - to bring about the eventual destruction of the Human race. The Age of Chaos is now at hand.
Garona of the Shadow Council
The lowliest of the Orcs, these dogs are good for little more than rough work. Command them to cut wood or mine the pits for gold. They also make strong laborers in the construction of all manner of buildings. They are all cowards, and will run like little children if attacked.
The first level of warrior in the service of our armies. Trained for close combat, these soldiers make excellent fodder for wading through Human forces. Use of the ax and shield is their specialty, and they are hearty fighters with a taste for blood.
Grunts trained in the use of the spear. They are faster than their ax wielding brethren, but have lighter armor so that they may move about more freely. The ability to hurl their deadly missiles across a battlefield makes them a formidable unit to employ.
The most vicious of the Orcish hordes, these minions of Blackhand are trained to show no mercy. Riders of the darkwolves, these savage warriors use the speed and ferocity of their mounts to make them a deadly enemy. Faster than those who attack on foot, they have perfected the tactics of tearing through columns of enemy soldiers like a hot wind.
When any unit is killed, it will begin to decompose and the remains will slowly seep into the ground. Necrolytes are trained in the black arts, and can raise these fallen warriors if they can reach the corpse before it disappears into the earth forever.
Destruction and mayhem are its purpose, and those who are its target will reap only death. Chaos reigns supreme as the ground shakes with the approach of these gruesome machines. Walls and buildings prove no barrier to the devastation of the Orcish catapult. Although they are sluggish and huge, your forces will prove unstoppable when you command these devices.
Practitioners of the Orcish religions, these binders of souls command the black powers that hold control over the earth. Linked into the dominions of the lower plains, Necrolytes have power over all things dark and evil, including the raising of fallen warriors to create armies of the undead. Through ceremonies performed at their Temples, they learn to warp the essence of shadow to use for their advantage.
If the energies of this world can be used for destruction, then the energies of the underworld could destroy Azeroth. It is this destructive power that the Orcish Warlocks use in their incantations and rituals. As the most powerful of the Orcish sects, these dark brethren of Hades go where none others dare in search of ultimate power. Their Towers hold the keys to unleashing the very essence of evil upon those they see as a threat to their devious plans. Spells that channel the fire and brimstone of hell through their bodies, or can summon forth great creatures - even daemons - are theirs to use.
By commanding the powers of darkness and death, tendrils of blackness stretch across the land to envelop the unwary and careless . It is upon these fools that the Necrolytes prey, filling their temples with fresh sacrifices and our armies with undead warriors.
This is a spear of energy culled from the evils of the Orcish clans. When an Orc dies, his soul descends into Hades for judgment, and his essence is divided into good and evil. The Orcish Necrolytes have learned to siphon the black energies from this plane and use it for their own purposes. This weapon of darkness is the manifestation of those black souls, and causes excruciating pain to those it strikes.
The Necrolytes have close ties to the dark forces of Hell, and in consequence study the forbidden arts of the dead. They have gained the ability to bind the bodies of the dead to this domain, creating armies of soulless creatures. With no minds to speak of, they will disdain the use of weapons, seeking to rend the flesh of those they are directed to attack with their bare boned hands.
Wherever there is light, there is shadow, and it is this shadow that the Orc Necrolyte uses to see into places he cannot travel. Wherever the slightest shadow is cast, the sight of the Necrolyte can enter and view. The effects of this spell are limited in size, for too much knowldege of the confines of shadow has been known to forever trap the caster within the realm of darkness.
This ritual invokes the recipient with a mystic armor of invulnerability. Weapons will have their effects dissipated when striking the wearer. This armor is constructed from the souls of the damned, and they absorb the pain that any blows would normally inflict upon the wearer. The price that is exacted from those who are bestowed with this invulnerability is a high one, however, for they must sacrifice a portion of their soul to act as a magnet to bind these lost souls to themselves. After some time, this binding will weaken, and those who make up the armor will be released back into their eternal torment.
The fires of hell rise up to meet the enemies of the Warlock clan. Their sorceries are rooted in the deepest pits of the underworld, and their command over flame and the monstrosities they create is a cause for great fear to their victims.
The basic fire spell which all followers of the Orcish cults (the underworld) first learn. It channels the flames of Hades through the caster’s body, allowing the wielder to direct it as a missile at anyone he chooses. It is a dangerous magik to employ, but the effects seem to delight even the lowest circle of Warlock to no end.
The Warlock calls forth hordes of deadly, poisonous spiders to aid him. Several spiders come at any one summoning, and will swarm over the enemy as the caster directs. They crawl through gaps in the enemies armor and bite them with their poisoned fangs, injecting their deadly juices into the bloodstream. As the enemy falls to the ground, he literally burns from within.
The caster creates a cloud comprised of brimstone, acid, and poisonous gases to envelop and choke his targets. This foul stench eats through anything that stands in its way, and chokes the very life out of anyone unlucky enough to be in its path. It is a mix of the sickly stench of rotting corpses and the essence of evil, designed to decay and corrode all that it comes in contact with.
The most powerful spell ever rumored to exist. Legends say that the caster would have the ability to summon forth a daemon by allowing his body to be sacrificed to enable its existence in this plane. The daemon would then be guided by the spirit of the caster to do his bidding, but should the daemon be destroyed, the warlock’s life would be forfeit. The truth to this tale is questionable, but the incantations and rituals used to summon the creature may lay in some lost runic writings. The dream of every follower of the underworld is to rediscover these incantations and be able to command the power of the Daemon.
This is where the denizens of an encampment come to meet and make their arguments heard. The constant bickering and backstabbing that occurs here is necessary, however, for it keeps them from killing each other in the street. The Town Hall is also where the encampment’s Overseer can keep a close eye on the resources and funds that are available, and use them as he sees fit. All shipments of wood and gold are brought here for his inspection. This is also where peons are given the training to do the simple tasks demanded of them by the Orcish empire. Blackhand has ordered that only one Town Hall be allowed to stand in each encampment, so that separate factions of Orcs will not arise. If the Town Hall is destroyed in battle, another can be built to replace it.
Farms produce the grains and animals needed to keep the encampment and the army well fed. You must produce enough food to supply all of the Orcs you control. Once your peons have constructed the site, the farm will prosper with no further concern on your part. If you have a farm destroyed in battle, your ability to produce enough food will be affected.
The training of Orcish armies takes place in this structure. Grunts, Spearmen, and Raiders all practice the skills needed to slay the enemy in the cruelest form imaginable. When your forces have been depleted and more warriors are needed, fresh recruits can be found here. The crews that man the awesome catapults are also trained here, and when one of the mighty devices is required, it will be routed through here as well.
This is where the roughly cut wood supplied by the peon laborers is made usable by skilled workers for buildings, spears, and catapults. If other Orcs require specific woods for their sites, only your Lumber Mill will have the necessary workers to complete the task. When funds are directed to the craftsmen of the Mill, they can increase the quality of your spears, making them bite even deeper into the hide of the Human scum.
All objects that require the strength of iron are made here. As money is spent to build hotter forges and mine for better metals, the quality and deadliness of the axes and shields that are produced will increase. Metal is also a vital component in the construction of some Orc’s buildings and materials, and to create a site for them will be impossible without the aid of the Blacksmith.
This is the foul hole where the darkwolves are penned. They are bred and trained here from an early age to crave the taste of human flesh, making them savage when in battle. The breeding of faster and stronger wolves has become an art that greatly increases the effectiveness of your Raiders, if you will but pay the price in gold. The training of these creatures demands specific implements and cages that only the blacksmith can provide.
This is where the knowledge of the dark magiks are revealed. Warlocks reside here to focus their energies towards harnessing the forces of the underworld. Their sect demands payment in precious metals for any services they may offer, as it is then converted into the mystic symbols used in their castings. Metal cages in which to place the subjects of their experiments must be constructed, as well as the ornate metal runes that need to be built into the stone floors for their spells of summoning. Only the blacksmith can provide the needed materials and skills required to meet these exacting specifications.
The unholy place where Orcs come to make sacrifices to their gods, and the Necromancers of the land gather to invoke the will of their dark masters. This is the only place where Necrolytes can be recruited to assist you in purging the land of Human settlements. The need for a blood offering has only recently been replaced by one of gold, and no assistance will be sanctioned until it is made. The immense, sacrificial alters used in the Necrolytes’ rituals must be built of the mystic Blackroot, hence a lumber mill must be used to locate and specially prepare the wood.
Some rock faces hold deposits of gold. You will recognise them because Blackhand has sent searchers out, and any that were located will have an entry way clearly marked. Peons will mine these holes and deliver the gold to your Town Hall for disbursement as you see fit.
Creatures of the Land
The Ogres came through the portal that brought the Orcs to this land. Their blood hatred of the Orcs remains second only to their hatred of humans. They are a vicious opponent, with the strength to rip off a warrior's limbs should they so choose. The Ogres favor huge, spiked clubs that they use to bash in the skulls of their enemies and to bring down the large prey they hunt. Ogres favor lands not frequented by the Orcs, and are seldom seen near the encampments.
Hunters of the underground, these are as venomous and deadly as any creation of the Warlocks. Their tails are tipped by a sharp spike, and can tear through the armor and flesh of their prey to inject a deadly and painful poison into the unfortunate. The Humans have learned to command the smallest of these fiends, and can summon them to do their bidding.
The Warlock Clan have used their magiks to create the hideous abomination that they call spiders. Mutated from the smaller creatures commonly found in the area, these huge poison fanged beasts are twisted and predatory. While some are controlled by the Warlocks, many grow too large to maintain control over, and are released into the forbidden lands. These giant spiders lurk in dark, dank places and spin their webs, seeking to entrap the unwary.
These are the diabolical Humans, whom even their brethren distrust. They use numbers and tactics to overpower much stronger units, and will fight like rabid wolves when cornered. They hide in untraveled lands, and are turned away from any village or encampment where they seek shelter. The short blades they wield are made for quick slashing attacks, and are most effective.
The Necrolyte Clan believes that the strange slimes found in certain areas seek to eat the blood of the Orcs. No magiks could have created these crawling masses, but yet they exist. This slime seems attracted to the heat of Orcish bodies, and will seep through even the tightest armor to drain into the pores of its victims skin and sap them of strength and life.
Uncontrolled spirits of the underworld sometimes roam the lands where their bodies were slain. Rotted cloth and flesh hangs from their bones as they seek revenge upon those who caused them to endure this eternal damnation. Held together by forces too dark for most to comprehend, they are more difficult to destroy than might be anticipated.
These are creations of Human magiks. Occasionally found in the service of their Conjurers, these simulacrums have the powers of water to use as they will. When found uncontrolled, they prove to be difficult to disperse, as they gain some semblance of independent thought and motivation. In either case, these elementals will attack until they are destroyed or their foe is dead.
While their watery brethren fall under the domain of the Humans, these creatures serve no other. They only seek to destroy anything or anyone that they come in contact with. No one knows if these are summoned beings, or the result of some rogue magiks. The only sure thing is that they are deadly, and seem to take some dark pleasure in the pain they inflict.
These hellspawn are evil incarnate. The ability to summon these dark minions of the underworld has long been lost, though the Warlocks seek to find those secrets once again. Breathing flame and wielding a blade forged in the fires of Hades, destruction and death are their greatest desire. These daemons possess cruelty beyond the imagining of even the sickest mind, and delight in the execution of their plans. If there is a way to send these monsters back into the pits that spawned them without the loss of many lives, it too is a secret locked away in time.