The History of the Orcs, Part 1

The easiest assumed ‘Bad Guys’ of the World of Warcraft are the Horde. Led by a race known as Orcs, they are often categorized as bloodthirsty savages intent on the destruction of the human race. But where did the Orcs come from? And why on earth would they up and decide to annihilate an entire race of beings? To answer this, we have to go way back, deep into Warcraft history and take a look at the origin of the Orcs. More specifically, where they came from: Draenor.


Once upon a time, there was a world called Azeroth, and a world called Draenor. For now, we’re going to focus on Draenor. Don’t worry, Azeroth will be covered eventually!

The ‘Draenei’

Draenor was a planet co-habitated by two races, the orcs, and the draenei. While the draenei are often portrayed and spoken of by many as the ‘good guys’ of Draenor, the truth is, they weren’t the original habitants of the planet. The original race were the orcs – born and raised, and the only reason Draenor is called Draenor is because the draenei decided to call it that upon landing on the planet. The orcs themselves were generally quiet, shamanistic, and not really prone to violent outbursts, and easily manipulated. Unfortunately, the orcs were placed squarely in the middle of a game impossible to win.

The draenei that settled on Draenor weren’t really ‘draenei’ at all – it was simply a name they adopted, that meant ‘exiled ones’ in their native tongue. These ‘draenei’ were actually part of the eredar race, who originated on a world called Argus. The Eredar were led by three leaders – Archimonde, Kil’jaeden, and Velen. Twenty-five thousand years ago, the three leaders were approached by Sargeras, who offered to transform the entirety of the eredar into a much more powerful race, in order to unify all the races of the universe. The new improved eredar would act as Sargeras’s spellcasters, spreading this universal love all through the universe and uniting everyone into one big happy singsong land of candy, flowers, fluffy bunnies, and basic campfires.

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An Introduction: Welcome to the World of Warcraft!

Oh lore, how I love thee, and how I hate to see thee relentlessly murdered and twisted out of context. At the same time, I enjoy seeing the possibilities and doors left open, just a crack mind you, for speculation and analysis. The larger question on anyone’s mind would be, of course – why, Shade, are you so interested in the comings and goings of a fictional world? Why does it matter?

The answer is that it doesn’t matter, really – it’s a matter of being enthralled with a story, one that despite its best efforts can never remain simple, or as black and white as everyone would have it be. The story of Warcraft trails all the way back to 1994 with the first release of the video game Warcraft: Orcs and Humans. A real-time strategy game, it caught the attention of many, not just for the gameplay itself, but for the story involved with it. You see, every great fantasy story has a good side and a bad side; but the very best of the genre incorporate so many shades of grey that you simply can’t define what is good and what is bad anymore. Which is why I’m writing this I suppose; the story elements of Warcraft, particularly the World of Warcraft game currently played by millions upon millions of people, are now so muddled that it’s difficult for people to see who, ultimately, are the good guys, and who are the bad, and the internet is full of people arguing for one side, or the other. So just who IS Good, and who is Evil?

The answer to that, of course, is that things really just aren’t that simple, and never will be.

I’ve spent years tracking down bits and pieces of Warcraft lore, and while there are dozens of marvelous resource guides out there, it’s very difficult to find one that simply goes through and lists everything in layman’s terms that anyone can understand. Since I enjoy a good story as much as the next individual, and I enjoy writing, I’ve decided to throw together this blog and hopefully clear up a few things, start a few discussions, and shed some light on Warcraft, Good Guys, Bad Guys, and whether or not they really exist.