- 1 The Warcraft Universe
- 2 Key
- 3 Distant Past
- 4 -147,000 (-146,408)
- 5 -65,000 (-64,408)
- 6 -64,000 (-63,408)
- 7 -24,969 (-24,377)
- 8 -15,500 (-14,908)
- 9 -15,012 (-14,420)
- 10 -13,816 (-13,224)
- 11 -13,500 (-12,908)
- 12 -10,250 (9,658)
- 13 -10,000 (9,408): War of the Ancients
- 14 -9,999 (9,407)
- 15 -9,998 (9,406)
- 16 -9,900 (9,308)
- 17 -7,300 (-6,708)
- 18 -6,800 (-6,208)
- 19 -6,726 (-6,134)
- 20 -6,247 (-5655)
- 21 -3,900 (-3,308)
- 22 -2,800 (-2,208)
- 23 -2,700 (-2,108)
- 24 -2,500 (-1,998)
- 25 -1,200 (-608)
- 26 -1000 (-408): War of the Shifting Sands
- 27 -818 (-224)
- 28 -592 (0)
- 29 -500 (92)
- 30 -370 (222)
- 31 -284 (308)
- 32 -230 (362): War of the Three Hammers
- 33 -200 (392)
- 34 -185 (407)
- 35 -100 (492)
- 36 -78 (514)
- 37 -50 (542)
- 38 -46 (546)
- 39 -45 (547)
- 40 -44 (548)
- 41 -43 (549)
- 42 -41 (551)
- 43 -40 (552)
- 44 -37 (555)
- 45 –30 (562)
- 46 -29 (563)
- 47 -28 (564)
- 48 -26 (566)
- 49 -20 (572)
- 50 -19 (573)
- 51 -11 (581)
- 52 -5 (587)
- 53 -4 (588)
- 54 -3 (589)
- 55 -1 (591)
- 56 0 (592?)
- 57 1 (593): WC Orcs & Humans
- 58 2 (594)
- 59 3 (595)
- 60 4 (596)
- 61 5 (597)
- 62 6 (598): WCII Tides of Darkness
- 63 7 (599): WCIIx Beyond the Dark Portal
- 64 8 (600)
- 65 10 (602)
- 66 16 (608)
- 67 17 (609)
- 68 19 (611)
- 69 20 (612): WCIII Reign of Chaos
- 70 21 (613): WCIIIx The Frozen Throne
- 71 22 (614)
- 72 23 (615)
- 73 24 (616)
- 74 24-25 (616-617): World of Warcraft
- 75 26-27 (618-619): WoWx The Burning Crusade
- 76 27 (619-620): WoWx Wrath of the Lich King
- 77 References
- 78 Links
The Warcraft Universe
Over the years, Blizzard has modified the Warcraft Universe over and over. This can make it difficult to create a history for a character, especially for players invested in "keeping to the Lore." Because Blizzard "retcons" their story, this will forever be a work in progress.
There are several different timelines floating around cyberspace currently, some updated more than others, and from all different sources, such as the Warcraft RPG, official books, and older RTS game manuals. For a comparison of several timelines (partly based on Meris' work), see here. The problem is, they are all different.
This is a compilation/modification of reliable sources.
- Year 25-28 (Frozen Throne era) needs some work dividing events into years - the references are very sketchy on this.
- Double check conversion between WoW years and King's Calendar (0 counts as a year...messes everything up)
- Feel free to add character/guild stuff under the invisible < Community Lore > tags :)! Remember to put a space between your entry and the paragraph above it.
- Also feel free to correct/add lore. Please. However, if there's a real debate, the Talk page might be more appropriate.
- The page is rather large. It can be split up, somehow.
- Blizzard Lore
- Major War
- Earthen Ring Community Lore
- Guild Lore
- Character Lore
- ( ## ) King's Calendar (base year set arbitrarily in Orcs & Humans)
The Universe is created. In the millennia following the Universe's birth, the mighty Titans begin molding and shaping worlds from the Great Dark Beyond, bringing order to chaos. The titan's mightiest hero, Sargeras, serves as protector of the titans' myriad works. However, Sargeras becomes corrupted by the evil beings of the Twisting Nether and decides to undo the works of the titans. To this end, he releases and subjugates the demonic Eredar and Nathrezim races to serve as his soldiers. The eredar and nathrezim take their own servants in time, enslaving such beings as the pit lords and the fel stalkers.
Now known as the Burning Legion, Sargeras' army begins a path of destruction, destroying every world they encounter.
The mighty Titans arrive on Azeroth and create two races to reshape the world. The dwarves maintain the land; the sea giants patrol the waters.
The Old God C'Thun is defeated by the Titans, who believe him to be dead. However, C'Thun instead goes into hiding and begins making plans to conquer Azeroth when the Titans depart.
The Titans create the species of life that will inhabit Azeroth. First among them are the dragons, followed later by the trolls, humans, dwarves and others.
C'Thun creates the Qiraji to act as his army. The Qiraji are enhanced versions of the native insects of the Silithus region.
- Shadows & Light
- More Magic and Mayhem
- The Titans and the Shaping of the Universe
- Sargeras and the Betrayal (Minus Eredar related events)
- The Old Gods and the Ordering of Azeroth
The Titans place the Well of Eternity, the source of all magic on Azeroth, in the center of the world’s single continent, Kalimdor.
Before the Titans depart, they empower the dragons to watch over Azeroth and protect it from anything that might threaten the tranquility of the world.
The Old Gods, despite their imprisonment, are able to influence and corrupt the mind of Neltharion the Earth Warder, patron of the black dragonflight. Neltharion descends into madness, and begins plotting against the other dragon Aspects.
Sargeras becomes aware of the Eredar race dwelling upon the planet Argus. The eredar are extremely gifted in the magical arts, and Sargeras has a use for these skills in his Burning Legion. Sargeras approaches the three leaders of the eredar and offers them great power in exchange for their loyalty. Kil'jaeden and Archimonde accept Sargeras' offer and become great demon lords of the Burning Legion, whilst Velen escapes Argus with the aid of the ancient naaru race. Calling his followers "draenei" ("exiled ones" in the eredar tongue), Velen and his supporters begin searching for a safe haven within the Twisting Nether.
A race of feral, nomadic humanoids is drawn to the Well of Eternity. Known as the Kal'dorei, they are transformed by its power and become strong, wise and virtually immortal. Unbeknownst to them, their transformation and subsequent development release magic into the world.
⇒ Thienal Moonshadow, Druid of the Talon, born (approximate).
Malfurion and Illidan Stormrage born.
Tyrande Whisperwind born.
The Kal'dorei begin to actively study and practice arcane magic. They bend magic to their will and use it to create beautiful cities, craft artifacts and reshape the land. Some Kal'dorei resist the lure to use the Well of Eternity's power and warn others of the dangers of abusing it. Their warnings go unheeded.
A group of upper-class Kaldorei begin to call themselves the Highborne and revel in the use of arcane magic.
⇒ Litania Moonhaven, High Healer of Moonglade, Welltender, Grovewatcher, born (approximate).
The highborne unwittingly attract the attention of the Burning Legion. Unable to physically enter Azeroth's dimension without assistance, Sargeras and his lieutenants begin to manipulate the Kaldorei nobles and Queen Azshara.
⇒ Alakthul Moongazer, Demon Hunter and Former Druid of the Talon, born (approximate).
-10,000 (9,408): War of the Ancients
The War of the Ancients
The highborne open a portal deep within the Well of Eternity. This portal stretches between dimensions and forges a path from the Twisting Nether to Azeroth, granting Sargeras and his army entrance to the mortal world.
The Burning Legion pours into Azeroth, led by two of Sargeras' most powerful lieutenants: Archimonde the Defiler and Mannoroth the Destructor. The demons savagely assault the unprepared Kaldorei civilization, attempting to drain Azeroth of its innate magic.
Malfurion, Illidan and Tyrande approach the reclusive demigod Cenarius and request assistance.
Cenarius hears their pleas and calls the ancient dragonflights to defend Azeroth.
Under the pretense of assisting in the war against the Legion, Neltharion convinces the other dragon flights to channel a portion of their powers into a magical device of his own creation: the Demon Soul. The resulting artifact is immensely powerful, and Neltharion has ulterior motives for its potency. The Old Gods also hope to use Neltharion and the Demon Soul to escape their prison.
As Queen Azshara and her perverted highborne work to bring Sargeras himself into Azeroth, Malfurion's forces storm the queen's palace and destroy the Well of Eternity.
The Old Gods, through Neltharion, attempt to use the power of the Demon Soul to free themselves from their Titan prison. The destruction of the Well ends this attempt, however.
The Well's implosion releases a massive shockwave. With Sargeras' link to Azeroth destroyed, the Burning Legion is expelled from the world and hurled back into the Twisting Nether.
The seas rush in to fill the void left by the Well's destruction and permanently split Kalimdor into several smaller continents. A furious, unending storm of elemental energy rages above the spot where the Well of Eternity once stood. It becomes known as the Maelstrom.
Illidan secretly creates a new Well of Eternity using water that he had stolen from original Well during Malfurion's battle with the highborne. Malfurion is enraged when he finds out and locks his brother away in an underground prison beneath Mount Hyjal.
Three of the most powerful dragons - Alexstrasza the Life-Binder, Ysera the Dreamer and Nozdormu the Timeless - endow enchantments upon the Kaldorei in order to keep the race strong should the Legion return. Alexstrasza places a magical acorn into the new Well of Eternity, from which the mighty World Tree Nordrassil ("Crown of the Heavens") grows. Nordrassil will shield and protect the new Well of Eternity from the Legion's attention. Ysera connects the World Tree to her Emerald Dream and forms a pact with the Kaldorei druids. In exchange for spending their years hibernating and wandering the Dream, the druids will be given power over nature. Nozdormu places an enchantment on Nordrassil that makes the Kaldorei immortal so long as the tree stands.
The surviving Kaldorei, now known as night elves, abandon the use of arcane magic. They seclude themselves near Mount Hyjal and the World Tree and begin practicing a safer form of divine nature magic.
Unwilling to give up its precious magics, a small band of highborne night elves is exiled from Kalimdor. The remaining Kaldorei weave a powerful enchantment and seal the borders of Ashenvale Forest in a protective mist.
Traveling to the eastern lands, the exiled highborne found the kingdom of Quel'Thalas and begin to refer to themselves as high elves. The high elves are continually besieged by the native troll war bands.
⇒ Shingetsu Moonsong born.
The High Elves create a new source of arcane magical energy from one of Illidan's vials of water from the original Well of Eternity. They call it the Sunwell.
⇒ Asmodoues Stormsong born (approx).
The human tribes band together in the face of frequent raids by the forest trolls and form Arathor, the first human nation. The high elves are also hard-pressed by the Zul'Aman forest trolls and enter into an alliance with Arathor, teaching humans the ways of arcane magic in exchange for military aid.
Due to the humans' reckless use of arcane magic, agents of the Burning Legion find their way back into the world. The Order of Tirisfal is founded by human and high elf mages. The powerful Guardians of Tirisfal are charged with fighting a secret war against the agents of the Legion, unbeknownst to the general populace.
The Ironforge dwarves awaken in the underground, Titan-created city of Uldaman. Unaware of their heritage, they call their new civilization Khaz Modan.
Arathor splinters into seven kingdoms: Stromgarde, Lordaeron, Alterac, Dalaran, Kul Tiras, Gilneas and Stormwind.
-1000 (-408): War of the Shifting Sands
War of the Shifting Sands
War erupts when C'Thun's Qiraji and silithid attempt to drive the night elves from Silithus, and succeed in doing so when the Qiraji general Rajaxx brutally murders the son of the night elf commander, Fandral Staghelm.
However, the Qiraji forces are unable to expand beyond Silithus, even after the defeat of the night elf army. Whether this is due to interference by artifacts left behind by the Titans, or a deliberate plan by C'Thun, the Un'Goro crater remains free of the Qiraji.
The four uncorrupted dragonflights counterattack and, with the aid of the night elves, manage to seal the Qiraji within their capital city of Ahn'Qiraj through the use of powerful magic. The resulting Scarab Wall ends the War of the Shifting Sands in a stalemate, until such time as the mortal races are able to open the wall and defeat C'Thun's forces once and for all.
⇒ Lianna Moonrunner rescues Drahlan from the fall of Southwind Village they will eventually become the parents of Drahliana Moonrunner.
⇒ Alakthul Moongazer, as a soldier druid, loses his entire regiment at Southwind Village, thus sending him into a brooding depression that results in his choice of becoming a Demon Hunter.
The current Guardian of Tirisfal, Aegwynn, learns of a growing demonic presence on the frozen continent of Northrend. With the aid of the dragons, Aegwynn tracks the demons down and defeats them.
Sargeras himself appears and challenges Aegwynn. Although she easily slays his physical form, Sargeras' spirit secretly enters Aegwynn's body and hibernates inside her.
Aegwynn seals Sargeras' carcass in a hidden tomb and buries it deep beneath the Great Sea.
Sargeras' second in command, Kil'jaeden the Deceiver, discovers another world ripe for conquest. The world is Draenor, homeland of the shamanistic orcs and the peaceful Draenei.
Last of the Gnomish monarchy.
⇒ Esslar Lunari born.
-230 (362): War of the Three Hammers
War of the Three Hammers
The three dwarf factions of Azeroth fight the legendary War of the Three Hammers. While the war initially begins to determine control of Ironforge, it quickly becomes a vicious battle for survival as the Bronzebeard and Wildhammer clans ally to defeat the treacherous Dark Iron clan. However, the final act of the Dark Iron leaders results in the summoning of Ragnaros, an ancient fire elemental who quickly subjugates the remaining Dark Iron dwarves and carves out a base of power in the newly-formed Blackrock Depths. So catastrophic is Ragnaros' arrival that a large portion of the Redridge Mountains is destroyed, becoming the Burning Steppes and Searing Gorge.
⇒The Barony of Northern Redridge is decimated before being completely settled. The DuSang family is killed in the catastrophic return of Ragnaros. The Baron's twin sons and youngest daughter, away in Sunnyglade, are given a home outside Stonewatch. The DuSang Nobility deteriorates after just being started.
Muradin Bronzebeard born.
The first recorded interaction between gnomes and dwarves occurred 200 (approx) years prior to The Burning Crusade. As the story goes, a dwarven explorer came across a small gnomish village. He was shocked to discover that while dwarves had just discovered gunpowder, the gnomes already had a fully automated village with such novelties as mechanical chickens. Contact between the two races grew, and soon, they became quick allies, and the dwarves allowed the gnomes to build their capital city, Gnomeregan in the foothills of Dun Morogh, near the capital, Ironforge.
⇒ Pellinor Runegear born.
Kil'jaeden, aware of the Draenei's presence on the orc world, contacts Ner'zhul, one of the most powerful orc shamans. Through quiet manipulations, Kil'jaeden starts to spread violence and savagery throughout the orc race as part of his plan to destroy the Draenei.
⇒ Drahliana Moonrunner daughter of Lianna and Drahlan, born around this time.
Cairne Bloodhoof born.
Anduin Lothar of Stormwind born.
The future Archmage Antonidas born.
Ner’zhul’s eyes open to the damage done to his race, and he cuts contact with Kil’jaeden. Kil'jaeden quickly replaces him with Ner'zhul's most powerful apprentice, Gul'dan.
Gul'dan gathers the most powerful shaman in the orc clans and teaches them how to communicate with spirits in the Twisting Nether. A pact is formed between Gul'dan's followers and the dark forces of Kil'jaeden. Together, they create the Shadow Council.
The Shadow Council infiltrates the highest political ranks within each of the orc clans.
Aegwynn decides to bear a child and make it the new Guardian of Tirisfal. Sargeras’ hibernating spirit quietly infects her unborn son.
Uther Lightbringer born.
Gul'dan teaches the dark arts of demon magic to other orcs, turning shaman into warlocks and training them in necromancy.
The Shadow Council manipulates the clans into forming a single, unified Horde. Gul'dan coerces its leaders into outlawing shamanism and installing his warlocks as key advisors.
Kil'jaeden dispatches Mannoroth to Draenor in order to bind the orcs to his will. Chieftains from each of the twelve orc clans are tempted by his promise of power and drink from Mannoroth's blood, ensnaring themselves in the curse of bloodlust and initiating a slow corruption of their entire race.
⇒ Saphrina Ayls, future Shadowmancer, is born in Corrin's Crossing.
Aegwynn’s son Medivh falls into a coma on his 14th birthday. Sargeras’ spirit begins to corrupt the boy.
⇒ Caracharan Swiftbrook takes the post of Tutrix of Novices for the Kirin Tor.
The orcs give in to rage and attack their longtime neighbors - the peaceful Draenei. Virtually unchallenged, the Horde defeats the vastly overmatched Draenei over the next eight years. Over eighty percent of the Draenei race perishes in this conflict.
⇒ Roh'rik SplinterTree born, Bleeding Hollow Clan, Terokkar Forest.
Grom Hellscream born. (Up to debate!)
⇒ Saphrina Ayls is sent to Stormwind to begin training in the Light.
The orcs track down the last organized forces of the Draenei and finally conquer all of Draenor. The widespread practice of necromancy drains Draenor completely, leaving the land dead.
The remaining Draenei begin a guerilla war against the orcs and their demonic masters. Though outnumbered, the Draenei manage to survive until the coming of Illidan's forces in the year 27 (619)? turns the fight in their favor.
With no enemies left to fight, the orc clans fall into anarchy and begin waging war against each other.
Prince Llane of Stormwind born.
⇒ Tai Jiang born, Boralus, Kul Tiras.
Medivh awakens from his coma, now a grown man and fully owned by Sargeras. The demon sends Gul’dan visions, showing him images of ripe-for-the-conquering Azeroth. Medivh forges the Dark Portal between Draenor and Azeroth. It is tiny, but it grows.
⇒ Ahriman Hakim is born in a traveling caravan.
⇒ Lenora Dawnweaver born.
⇒ Calithos Blyde is born.
⇒ Stigg'attu born in the Broken Isles.
Orc scouts enter the Portal and begin exploring for a settlement area. They construct a small outpost in the uninhabited marshlands known as the Black Morass.
1 (593): WC Orcs & Humans
The First War
Gul’dan forces Medivh’s Portal wide enough for the Horde to pour through and begin its invasion.
The initial battles prove the orcs unprepared for the strength of the humans, and they are defeated repeatedly with few survivors.
Gul'dan invokes shadow magic to enshroud the Black Morass in a blinding mist. The mist obscures the retreat of the last remaining orcs and prevents the human forces from pursuing them.
The Horde is humiliated by its unexpected defeat, and the clans swiftly polarize into factions behind either Cho'gall or Kilrogg. Chaos ensues, with factions blaming each other for the Horde's defeat.
Prince Llane becomes King of Stormwind.
⇒ Shisou born.
Gul’dan forces a new Warchief to power: Blackhand the Destroyer. This cruel leader encourages the orcs to regroup for a new assault. The warlock receives another vision, tempting him with the location of the Tomb of Sargeras.
Durotan, chieftain of the Frostwolf clan, is ambushed by rival orcs. Gul'dan's assassins leave Durotan’s infant son to the elements, but a human caravan under the command of Aedelas Blackmoore discovers the child and saves him. He is raised as a slave under the name of Thrall.
Aegwynn, sensing Sargeras' influence on her son, confronts Medivh. However, she is easily defeated by the Magus, who banishes her from his tower of Karazhan.
⇒ Ethne Perrine Woodward is born near Thoradin's wall.
Lord Anduin Lothar discovers Medivh’s betrayal. He and Khadgar slay Medivh, also destroying the spirit of Sargeras. Medivh’s spirit escapes, however.
Gul'dan, inside Medivh's mind during the mage's death, is shocked into a catatonic state.
⇒ Nerit Doherty born.
Blackhand the Destroyer is assassinated by Orgrim Doomhammer, who takes the mantle of Warchief of the Horde. He leads the Horde to sack Stormwind Keep. During the battle, Doomhammer’s loyal spies capture one of Gul’dan’s assassins, Garona. They extract information from her concerning the Shadow Council. Gul’dan’s warlocks are killed, but he is granted mercy.
Stormwind Keep falls before the full might of the Horde and is sacked. During the battle, King Llane is slain by one of Gul'dan's assassins, the half-orc Garona.
The humans concede the loss of Stormwind Keep and flee north to Lordaeron, led by Lothar.
The First War ends.
Gul’dan raises Stormwind’s fallen soldiers and names them death knights.
⇒ Saphrina Ayls while being held for Heresy escapes in the chaos.
King Terenas of Lordaeron offers the refugees sanctuary. The humans, dwarves, gnomes and high elves form the Alliance, vowing to defeat the orcs. Sir Uther Lightbringer founds an order of holy warriors known as the Knights of the Silver Hand.
The Horde brings more forces through the Dark Portal to replenish their army.
⇒ Onimoru born.
6 (598): WCII Tides of Darkness
Afraid for the survival of his people, the troll warlord Zul'jin coordinates an alliance between the forest trolls and the Horde. The Second War begins as the Horde takes its new army north. They push into Lordaeron, destroying much of Quel’Thalas. The Alliance rallies and pushes the Horde back to Stormwind Keep.
Nekros Skullcrusher, chief of the Dragonmaw clan, uses the Demon Soul to capture Alexstrasza and enslave her young for the Horde's use.
King Perenolde and the other nobles of Alterac abandon the Alliance and defect to the Horde, believing that the orcs cannot be stopped. Alliance forces quickly crush the insurrection and leave Alterac in ruins. The nobles of Alterac are exiled from the Alliance nations, later forming a powerful crime empire known as the Syndicate.
Gul’dan, while trying to aid the Horde, is still obsessed with his own ambitions. He continues his search for Sargeras’ tomb, entering a pact with demons loyal to the fallen Titan. He raises the Tomb from the ocean, freeing a swarm of demons trapped inside that kill him. They do considerable damage to the Horde forces as well, weakening them.
The Alliance pushes the disorganized Horde all the way back to the Dark Portal. Beloved Lord Anduin Lothar falls during the final battle, but the Dark Portal is shattered. Many of the orcs who remain in Azeroth are incarcerated in prison camps by the Alliance.
⇒ Krelle born in a village near Brill.
7 (599): WCIIx Beyond the Dark Portal
Deathwing, the ancient and powerful black dragon, assumes the form of Lord Prestor - a young human diplomat - and infiltrates the high council of the Alliance. Using subtle magic, the dragon ensnares the minds of the human leaders and convinces them to name him king of Alterac.
The renegade orcs are rounded up and placed into internment camps by the Alliance.
The Black Morass, drained by the powerful warlock magic surrounding the Dark Portal, becomes the Blasted Lands.
The ancient orc shaman Ner'zhul rallies the few clans still left on Draenor and reopens the Dark Portal. He orders his clans to steal a number of artifacts from Azeroth that will allow him to open multiple portals in Draenor.
The Alliance sends its armies, led by the wizard Khadgar, through the Dark Portal in order to stop Ner'zhul's schemes. The two armies clash throughout the hellish world of Draenor for months.
Empowered by the stolen artifacts, Ner'zhul opens a number of portals in Draenor. Yet, before he can lead his clans through them, their energies spiral out of control partially destroy the very fabric of that world. The Alliance heroes, knowing that they would be trapped forever, are forced to destroy the Dark Portal so that Azeroth is not consumed by the raging energies. The blasted world of Draenor tears itself apart, leaving a broken remnant known as Outland.
Ner'zhul and the members of his Shadowmoon clan are captured by Kil'jaeden's forces as they enter the Twisting Nether. Ner'zhul is transformed into the Lich King and encased inside a block of diamond-hard ice.
- Warcraft 2: Beyond the Dark Portal
- The Invasion of Draenor
- The Birth of the Lich King
- Icecrown and the Frozen Throne
Nekros Skullcrusher, warlock of the Dragonmaw clan, continues to use the red dragonflight of Alexstrasza to stage hit and run attacks on human forces in Lordaeron from his base in the Wetlands' Grim Batol fortress. Nekros retains control over Alexstrasza with the Demon Soul.
The Kirin Tor attempt a last-ditch effort to eradicate the orcish threat through a covert mission including the mage Rhonin, the elven ranger Vereesa, and the dwarf Falstad to destroy the Demon Soul and release the dragonflight. The mission succeeds, not only in destroying the last major orcish clan in Azeroth, but also in foiling the plans of Deathwing, who hoped to use the Demon Soul to defeat the other dragon aspects and claim Azeroth as his own.
With the Demon Soul destroyed, the dragon aspects regain full use of their powers and drive Deathwing into exile.
The Alliance grows uneasy as the orcish internment camps are reopened. Only a few, scattered orc clans evade the Alliance's wrath and eke out a living in the harsh wilderness.
Blackmoore begins instructing Thrall in how to fight. The young orc is a good student and quickly becomes an accomplished warrior. At the same time, he secretly learns to read and speak Common.
⇒ Bellatris de Chalons born.
Kil'jaeden casts the Lich King's icy prison into Azeroth. It comes to rest on the continent of Northrend, buried deep within the Icecrown Glacier. Ner'zhul's warlocks and spellcasters, now remade into skeletal liches, are also dispatched to aid their master. A demonic contingent of nathrezim Dread Lords is deployed to monitor the Lich King and ensure he fulfills his mission of spreading an undead plague across Lordaeron.
The War of the Spider begins as Ner'zhul's undead minions attempt to secure their base in Northrend from the ancient, shadowy empire of Azjol-Nerub. The arachnid-like Nerubians are eventually defeated by the Lich King's endless supply of undead warriors and aid from the Dread Lords; Ner'zhul is able to claim the frozen continent as his base of operations.
Ner’zhul, still powerful, corrupts the Archmage Kel’Thuzad and directs him to spread a plague of undeath across Lordaeron. The wizard forms the Cult of the Damned to aid him.
⇒ Saphrina Ayls joins the Cult of the Damned and begins practicing Necromancy.
Thrall escapes from Blackmoore and searches for other orcs to teach him of his heritage. He hears of the Warsong clan — the only free orc clan remaining — and of its ferocious leader, Grom Hellscream.
⇒ Caracharan Swiftbrook takes the post of Proctor of Applicants for the Kirin Tor.
With the threat of a new Horde looming over them, the Alliance nations begin to bicker and quarrel. Tensions run high amongst the human leaders.After joining with Orgrim Doomhammer and Hellscream, Thrall frees the captive orcs and reforms the Horde.Doomhammer is slain in battle and Thrall becomes Warchief of the Horde. He reintroduces his people to the abandoned shamanistic culture of their ancestors.
20 (612): WCIII Reign of Chaos
The Third War
The Cult of the Damned infects Lordaeron with the Lich King’s plague. The Knights of the Silver Hand try to cure the disease, but fail. Prince Arthas of Lordaeron tracks the source of the plague to the Lich King in Northrend. He loses his soul to the cursed blade Frostmourne, becoming the Lich King’s servant as a death knight. Arthas returns to Lordaeron, assassinates King Terenas, and takes charge of the Scourge.
Prince Arthas Menethil fears that the spread of the plague will tear the Alliance apart and eventually lead to the downfall of the entire human race. After assassinating Kel'Thuzad in Lordaeron, the prince tracks the source of the disease to Northrend. There, Arthas attempts to slay the Dread Lord Mal'Ganis, whom he believes is the leader of the Scourge. The paladin succeeds in this endeavor, but in the process he takes up the runeblade Frostmourne and loses his soul to the Lich King's elaborate trap. The Lich King transforms Arthas into the first of a new generation of Death Knights. He returns to Lordaeron, assassinates his father King Terenas, and takes charge of the undead forces.
The undead army completely annihilates the high elf kingdom of Quel'Thalas and its capital city of Silvermoon, as Arthas uses the Sunwell's energies to resurrect Kel'Thuzad as a lich. Arthas also murders and resurrects Sylvanas Windrunner, Ranger-General of the high elves and sister to Alleria and Vereesa, as a banshee.
Kel’Thuzad, now a lich himself, summons forth the Burning Legion with Medivh's book. Archimonde and his host of demons arrive in Dalaran. Fleeing the demons and undead, Alliance and Horde forces both travel west to the forgotten continent of Kalimdor.
Medivh’s spirit has attained form and seeks to aid the Alliance and Horde forces against the Burning Legion. He urges their leaders — Jaina Proudmoore and Thrall — to unite, but they resist.
Thrall's ships land on a mysterious island chain in the Maelstrom and encounter the Darkspear tribe of jungle trolls. Thrall helps the trolls escape from their sinking island, and the Darkspear trolls respond by joining the Horde.
The Horde unwittingly offends the night elves by gathering lumber, and the following battles push Grom Hellscream to drink demon blood for greater power. Cenarius, an Ancient, is slain in the subsequent battle; and the night elves awaken the sleeping druids, including Malfurion Stormrage.
The Burning Legion arrives on Kalimdor, seeking the World Tree and the Well of Eternity.
Desperate for help, Tyrande Whisperwind frees Illidan from his prison. Illidan slays the demon responsible for corrupting Hellscream and his orcs, but is transformed into a demon in the process. Malfurion banishes him.
The now-desperate Alliance, Horde and night elf forces unite against the Burning Legion. Their final stand at the World Tree fails, but the night elves imbue the Tree with their immortality and all their power. The sheer glut of power rushes out of the tree and destroys Archimonde and his forces.
The Third War ends.
The night elves join the Alliance, recognizing the need for allies now that they are without their former power. Thrall and the Horde found a homeland in the desert of Kalimdor, naming it Durotar.
Jaina leads the Alliance to an island off the coast of Kalimdor, founding the new home of the Alliance, called Theramore.
Illidan, obsessed with finding artifacts such as the one that transformed him, awakens the amphibious race of naga. He journeys to the Tomb of Sargeras and finds the Eye of Sargeras.
- Warcraft 3: Reign of Chaos
- Sunwell - The Fall of Quel'Thalas
- The Scourge of Lordaeron
- Archimonde's Return and the Flight to Kalimdor
- The Battle of Mount Hyjal
- The Betrayer Ascendant
- Warcraft 3: The Frozen Throne
- Warcraft RPG
21 (613): WCIIIx The Frozen Throne
Most of the remaining high elves of the Alliance, reeling from the loss of their homeland during the Legion's invasion, embark on a dark path of vengeance to bring justice to the remaining undead and demons. To symbolize their new ideals, they begin referring to themselves as "blood elves". The leader of this "new" race is Prince Kael'thas Sunstrider. However, the blood elves' desire for revenge and magical energy corrupts them into shadows of their former selves.
Kil'jaeden the Deceiver appears to Illidan and orders him to destroy the Frozen Throne, as the demonlord is aware that the Lich King has betrayed him. To this end, Illidan summons a faction of the ancient naga race from the sea and sails to the Broken Isles of the Maelstrom. The naga are the descendants of Queen Azshara's highborne, and they are quite willing to pledge their loyalty to Illidan in exchange for a chance to prove their prowess and invade the surface world. The Broken Isles contain legendary Tomb of Sargeras, and inside Illidan claims the powerful demonic artifact known as the Eye of Sargeras. Illidan plans to use the Eye to destroy the Icecrown Glacier from afar and bypass the bulk of the Scourge armies completely.
Traveling to the ruined city of Dalaran, Illidan attempts to put his plan into action. However, his plans are interrupted when Malfurion and Tyrande, along with the Warden Maiev Shadowsong, destroy the Eye before the spell can be completed. Realizing that he can no longer destroy Ner'zhul from afar, Illidan decides to flee Azeroth. Illidan opens a portal from Lordaeron to Outland and flees there with his allies. The Warden Maiev, consumed with rage and obsessed with apprehending the demon hunter, follows the Betrayer into the portal.
Arthas begins seeing visions of Ner'zhul's Frozen Throne in Northrend, as the Lich King orders him to return to the icy continent immediately.
Kael and his blood elves march to Grand Marshal Garithos' base near Dalaran, where they are to receive new orders. After completing a series of menial tasks assigned by Garithos, the blood elves stumble upon a group of naga led by Lady Vashj. Vashj offers to assist the blood elves, since their races share a common heritage and a common foe in the undead. However, Garithos does not approve of the naga/blood elf partnership, and imprisons the elves as traitors to the Alliance.
While awaiting their executions, Kael and his elves are freed from Dalaran's prisons by Vashj, and both races escape the dungeons to the streets of Dalaran, where they retreat into Outland through the very portal that brought Archimonde into Azeroth.
Upon arriving in Outland, the naga/blood elf forces rescue Illidan from Maiev Shadowsong's army and consult with their leader. Illidan has decided to destroy the Pit Lord Magtheridon and conquer Outland, in order to hide from Kil'jaeden's wrath by sealing the blasted world off from the Nether. While Illidan's armies (with the aid of the remaining Draenei?) accomplish this task, they are unable to hide from Kil'jaeden, who orders Illidan and his forces to Northrend to destroy the Frozen Throne, or risk suffering the demonlord's wrath.
As the Lich King's powers weaken, Balnazzar, Detheroc, and Varimathras, a group of Archimonde's Dread Lords, seize control over the majority of Scourge forces in Lordaeron and attempt to depose King Arthas. While the insurgents succeed in toppling the capital, Arthas escapes and heads to Northrend to defend the Lich King from Illidan's forces.
Sylvanas Windrunner, cruelly struck down and resurrected as a banshee by Arthas during the Third War, is now an undead dark ranger. With the weakening of Ner'zhul, Sylvanas reclaims her free will and sets out to leave her own mark on the world. By turning the Varimathras to her side, she is able to topple Balnazzar and Detheroc, securing independence for her followers, whom she has freed from the Lich King's control. Now calling themselves the "Forsaken", Sylvanas' group lies in wait in the Tirisfal Glades of Lordaeron, plotting against the Scourge and the remaining humans...
- Rise of the Blood Elves
- Civil War in the Plaguelands
- The Lich King Triumphant
- The Betrayer Ascendant
- Warcraft 3: The Frozen Throne
- Old Hatreds - The Colonization of Kalimdor
Arthas and his Scourge travel to Northrend to investigate the Lich King’s throne while Illidan’s forces return from Outland and lie in wait for Arthas’ undead. Despite facing many dangers in the dark, ruined tunnels of Azjol-Nerub, the death knight successfully reaches the Icecrown Glacier in time. Defeating Illidan's forces and opening the prison, Arthas confronts Illidan one-on-one. After a vicious battle, the power of Frostmourne wins out, and Arthas enters the glacier as Illidan lies defeated in the snow. Upon freeing the Lich King from his prison, Arthas' body is possessed by the undead king, and the two evil beings are joined.
Human forces begin to raid Durotar’s small villages. Thrall sends scouts to investigate the situation.
Rexxar sneaks into the human settlement on Theramore Isle and confronts Jaina about the recent attacks on the orc territories.
Grand Admiral Daelin Proudmoore, Jaina's father, arrives on Theramore with the remainder of the Kul Tiras navy and reveals himself as the force behind the recent attacks on Durotar.
Admiral Proudmoore's troops land on Kalimdor and engage Thrall's Horde in a series of battles. The Kul Tiras marines lose badly and are forced to make a last stand on Theramore Isle. Jaina pleads with Thrall for mercy on the citizens of Theramore who are still loyal to her.
The Horde assaults Theramore Isle, slaughtering the Kul Tiras forces and killing Admiral Proudmoore. Thrall honors Jaina's request and orders the Horde to withdraw, leaving Theramore damaged and in flames but still standing.
The Circle of Ancients and powerful druids combine their powers to grow an immense new World Tree on the island of Teldrassil, just off the northern coast of Kalimdor. They also call the tree Teldrassil, meaning "Crown of the Earth" in their native tongue. The night elves make their new home in the boughs of Teldrassil, creating a forest of mighty trees and flowing rivers, bathed in the endless night that has fallen over the lands of the elves from the dawn of time. The night elves flock to Teldrassil as a sanctuary while the remaining demonic tinge of the Legion is cleansed from Ashenvale Forest on Kalimdor itself.
⇒ Alakthul Moongazer exiled from the Druids for Desertion prior to the Battle at Mount Hyjal, barely escaping an imprisonment sentence.
24-25 (616-617): World of Warcraft
The non-aggression pact in Kalimdor between the Horde and Theramore Isle is tenuous at best, and tempers still run hot over the recent conflict. Both humans and orcs begin to expand across Kalimdor, settling in whatever habitable locations they can find.
Lordaeron remains loosely controlled by the undead, although a civil war rages between the Lich King's Scourge and Sylvanas' Forsaken. Demons roam freely across the continent, terrorizing what few human forces remain. Pockets of human knights and dwarven warriors slowly gather in an attempt to regroup and intiate a counterattack. A crazed group of humans known as the Scarlet Crusade are attempting to retake control of Lordaeron, but often slaughter innocents in the process, making them enemies to all factions but other Crusaders.
Although Azeroth has been battered by bloodshed and warfare for years, there is still no indication that the turmoil will soon come to an end. Each of the mortal races begins to position itself for what could soon the most crucial period of time in the world's history. The Old Gods, still seeking to escape their ancient prison, begin to infiltrate Ysera's Emerald Dream and corrupt its inhabitants. Emeriss, Lethon, Taerar and Ysondre, Ysera's primary lieutenants are afflicted by this corruption and enter into the mortal world to wreak havoc at the Dream's entrances.
In the ancient troll city of Zul'Gurub, the Blood God Hakkar manifests. Channeling the powers of the trolls' greatest champions to increase his own, Hakkar sets his plan of world conquest into action.
Silithus also grows restless as rumors of the Qiraji's return begin to circulate. The time of the great alliance and the final assault on Ahn'Qiraj seems to be near...
Van Cleef, head of the Defias Brotherhood, is defeated, along with Arugal, the Twilight Cultists...even the avatar and Blood God Hakkar, the Old God C'thun, and Deathwing's favorite son and daughter are defeated by marauding groups of adventurers. Countless other enemies of the Alliance and Horde are downed at this time, yet many remain and more have yet to arise.
- World of Warcraft RPG
- Lands of Mystery
- World of Warcraft
- Alliance Player's Guide
- Horde Player's Guide
- Monster Guide
26-27 (618-619): WoWx The Burning Crusade
The Dark Portal is reopened!
Illidan and Kael'thas, among others, are defeated.
27 (619-620): WoWx Wrath of the Lich King
(Often referred to as 621 in non-streamlined accounts.)
A new plague breaks out across the globe; this highly virulent disease transforms humanoids and wipes out huge populations in the capitals. However, the Horde and Alliance soon recover to invade Northrend and take the battle to the Lich King's gates.
- Official Blizzard Timeline "Note: Certain parts of the History section are outdated and may therefore conflict with other pieces of lore or stories. We plan on updating this section in the future to bring it up to date."