Lorewalking Special: Second War (Parts 1 & 2)

Lorewalking Special: Second War (Parts 1 & 2)

Gerard Mc Auley

Hey everyone! This post is a little special.

This post contains both Part 1 and Part 2 of our Lorewalking Second War Special - and they're both free. Just, you know, as a treat.


Human Campaign

Orc Vs Human

The glorious kingdoms of Lordaeron stood for hundreds of years. Their first, and almost last mistake was watching their sister kingdom fall to ash under the terror of the Orcish Horde. Now, the enemy was at their gate.

As the Orcs plotted their next move, the Kings of Lordaeron convened. Under the iron will of Anduin Lothar, the Alliance was born. Word was sent to the Elves, who owed an ancient debt to humanity, and the Dwarves of Khaz Modan, whose kingdom was the next target of the Horde. From that day, through to our most recent steps in the Dragon isles, The Alliance has existed. But that future wasn’t guaranteed. Welcome to the second war.

  • Warcraft 2’s campaign is decently straight forward, in parts 3 & 4 we’ll be going into the lore that defined modern Warcraft.
  • Warcraft 2 released just a year later than Warcraft 1, in 1995. After Condor’s aquisition and the release of Diablo, a new, Battle.net edition was released, with online play.
  • The story advanced from the First War when Metzen left some notes around the office, unbeknownst to him, these were given to management, who made him narrative lead.
  • Samwise Didier had perfected a fantasy style that looked good on CRT monitors. Big hands, feet, shoulders and weapons.
  • Two factions, but each has auxiliaries from allied races, the Elves, Dwarves, Gnomes, Trolls, Ogres and Undead
  • Oil was added to the macro management, a resource to build ships
    • Ships were boring and everyone hated them
  • Rock was a potential resource that was later cut from the game, but you could still use sappers to blow through walls
  • They got rid of roads, because they realized building a barracks beside your enemies base is a legit tactic
  • Funny voice lines - a future staple.

The Great Dark Beyond’s A Thing Now

The Dark Portal

  • Warcraft 2 introduced the cosmic end of the lore and did it in the best way
    • Taking the seeds sown in the first game, Warcraft 2’s manual was this time addressed from the perspective of Aegwynn
    • She appeared as a mysterious traveller in Warcraft 1, alerting Stormwind to Medivh’s madness and involvement with the orcs turning up
    • Aegwynn is a 1000 year old Guardian of Azeroth
    • There's evil in the Great Dark beyond she protects us from
      • This is never defined, but the Orc entry talks about Kil’jaeden and Sargeras is known as an ancient Demon lord.
    • Medivh’s story is fleshed out
      • She has a child with Nielas Aran, Medivh is born.
      • But back then, Medivh, desiring complete domination of Azeroth, sees the Orcs in an arcane hallucination and sees them as a tool to that end.
      • He astral projects to Gul'dan and makes a bargain with him.
      • Help Medivh take Azeroth and Gul'dan could have what was in the Tomb of Sargeras, enough to make the orc a God.
    • So Gul’dan and Medivh connect their magics through the Great Dark beyond and open the Dark Portal.
      • An immediate retcon. Originally the first war took place over nearly two decades, but this confirmed the canon that the whole thing was wrapped up in five years

Stormwind Burns


  • The Northern Kingdoms didn’t send aid to Stormwind for a number of reason, but many just didn’t take the Horde threat seriously
    • We now know Deathwing had a concentrated diplomatic campaign to keep Lordaeron out of the war - through his puppets in Alterac, which will become relevant today
  • Stormwind burnt down, the few remaining survivors taking every last ship in the city and sailing North
  • Anduin Lothar was made regent of Stormwind in exile and demanded a council with the kings of Lordaeron
  • They finally took the threat seriously and formed the first Alliance between the Six Kingdoms of the North, which we’ll talk about in a moment
  • Originally, the High Elves get on board through Altruism and the Dwarves see the mutual threat to their kingdom - the Gnomes got lumped in with the Dwarves
  • In modern lore, the Elves were called in based on a ancient Oath to help the humans, formed during the Arathi war with the Trolls
  • One man put this all together, Anduin Lothar.

The Seven Kingdoms

The Seven Kingdoms

  • This was the first canon map of Lordaeron - Lets talk about a few of the differences before we talk about the Kingdoms themselves.

Warcraft 2 had seven base race colours. From that we got the Seven Kingdoms, and the Seven Orcish clans. It’s amazing what happens when humans are creatively restricted.

  • Stormwind - Anduin Lothar
    • Razed during the first War, basically a speed bump for the Orcs. It’s regent, Anduin Lothar, forged the Alliance of Lordaeron and was it’s general, but not its leader
  • Lordaeron - King Terenas
    • That was Lordaeron, the largest kingdom. Led by the benevolent king Terenas, they were the first and most enthusiastic members of the Alliance. But ultimately, if Lordaeron city was to fall, then the North would be lost.
  • Stromgarde - Thoras Trollbane
    • A martial kingdom with a long history of war against the trolls. This is likely the seed to the majority of humanity's earliest history. Stromgarde’s lore eventually revealed it was the direct cultural ancestor to Strom, the first human nation, who indeed did fight against Trolls. In that war humanity forged its first Alliance with the Elves and learned magic.
  • Kul Tiras - Admiral Daelin Proudmoore
    • The most prosperous kingdom, wealth built on a massive merchant navy. Only recently have they turned their production to Warships.
  • Dalaran - Kirin Tor
    • Very bare on lore - Wizard city ruled by a conclave of Wizards. Thats about it. In Beyond the Dark Portal the cosmic consequences of the city expand with the Book of Medivh and Scepter of Sargeras. But not the Kirin Tor we’ll come to know.
  • Gilneas - Genn Graymane
    • Ruled by Genn during his bonkers phase. Once upon a time Genn was a paranoid asshole who wouldn’t join the Alliance. Gilneas had one of the biggest armies, but thought they could take the Orcs themselves.
  • Alterac - Lord Perenolde
    • At the beginning of the War Perenolde is afraid his little mountain kingdom will be taken by the Orcs, so secretly sends diplomats to the Orcs. Otherwise, Alterac is a backwater Kingdom of mountaineers. Let’s see how it goes for Perenolde.


The Human Campaign

  • Shore of Lordaeron

    • The Orcs have been cooking an invasion fleet in the husk of Stormwind. They're preparing to launch a two pronged assault, one by foot into Khaz Modan, and another doom fleet to Invade Lordaeron by sea. But the humans are prepared. They have sent word to the six kingdoms of the North, as well as the Elves of Quel'thalas and the Dwarves of Khaz Modan. A silence grows over the Northlands as humanity prepares for the Storm to break on their shores
    • King Terenas has sent you, a lowly regional commander, to the Hillsbrad Foothills to make sure the home effort is in order - Build farms and barracks
    • Quel'thalas sends a regiment south, but they're ambushed in Alterac, farther north than they should be
    • The orcs have begun building their first outposts in the North. With the sage return of the High Elves, Quel'thalas send a fleet of Destroyers. Under the command of Daelin Proudmoore, they're outnumbered, but not outgunned by the Horde.
    • With the homefront secured, under the command of Kul Tiras, you invade Zul'Dare and Tol Barad, pushing the Orcish invasion back from the shore of Lordaeron
  • Khaz Modan

    • Now it's time to turn attention to Khaz Modan.
    • The Orcs marched north as far as Dun Algaz pass, keeping the Dwarves hemmed into Dun Morogh
    • This is where the timeline becomes fuzzy. Humanity did push the Orcs back from this point, but it happened later in the war, after the Orcs laid siege to Lordaeron. So to smooth it out, we can assume a modern timeskip, the Orc campaign takes place and we get back to Dun Algaz
    • The Alliance over run Grim Batol, the once home to the Wildhammer Dwarves, and discover it has been turned into a prison Aviary for the Red Dragonflight
    • Red Dragons are unleashed, but the Horde is on the retreat and disorganised
    • Alexstrasza has been captured, but was removed before she could be saved, that happened after the second war.

    Uther Lightbringer

  • Northlands

    • Back home, a peasant revolt has broken out. This is funny, in that, the first canonical appearance of Paladins in the game is putting down the peasants revolt.
    • To put the unease at home to bed, the Archibishop of Lordaeron sends his main man out into the lands, making sure the peasants kept quiet. Introducing Uther Lightbringer
  • Return to Azeroth
    • Back to the Story. Whilst Uther was travelling Lordaeron, he was ambushed by soldier from Alterac. Then it all became clear. Perenolde had thrown in with the Orcs, that's why they could capture the High Elves at the beginning of the campaign, and that’s, in the Orcs campaign, how the Orcs napoleoned Lordaeron.
    • So the Alliance turns its full might on Alterac, burning it to the ground. What remains was later ingested by ogres. The ruling elite of Alterac became gangsters known as the Syndicate, thats why they have orange face masks. Ravenholdt likely had a link to the kingdom.
    • On the Orcs side, Orgrim Doomhammer has laid siege to Lordaeron, Gul'dan backstabbed him and took two clans on an adventure to the Tomb of Sargeras and the Alliance push the Orcs back.
    • So far back they get to the centre of Orc power, Blackrock Spire. Now inhabited by the Dark Horde, the remnant of Orc forces in the region post Second War.
    • This was a climactic battle where Anduin Lothar faced off against Orgrim and was killed, leading to Turalyon taking up Lothar’s banner, galvanising the Alliance and defeating the Horde once and for all.
    • The campaign ends with the Alliance pushing the last of the Orcs through the Dark Portal.
    • Khadgar destroyed the Portal, but no one felt safe.
    • Stormwind was rebuilt and Nethergarde keep was staffed by every nation of the Alliance, in preparation for the Horde ever returning.
    • But the Alliance didn't need to worry about Orcs coming to Azeroth. they needed to worry about Humans going to Draenor. Which we'll get into in Part 3!

Orc Campaign


Stormwind was cut down like wheat to the Orcish scythe. A minor inconvenience in the glorious march of the unstoppable Horde. Its burning husk was proof that no force on Azeroth could oppose the Orcs. They built great fortresses throughout the land, carving out Blackrock Mountain as their capital. But as the Horde readies for war, Orgrim Doomhammer rises up against Blackhand the Destroyer, smashing his body and rule over the Horde. Orgrim is now Warchief, but has discovered a plot leading back to the Warlocks of the Shadow Council. These weak Warlocks have no right to rule the Horde from the shadows and are all executed. Now with a united Horde under his control, he turns his bloodthirsting gaze north.

History of Orcish Ascension


  • Lets talk about Draenor in the same way as Lordaeron - Things to note
    • Shadowmoon Fortress - Temple - Fortress Auchindoun
  • The Orcs Introduction goes way harder than humanity’s. Even back then, Horde lore was more fun to write.
    • It is called the History of the Orcish Ascension and goes back to the hordes origin on Draenor.

“Like an elemental force of havoc and destruction we thundered through the lands of the Draenei devastating all that we beheld. Not one life was spared. No building was left standing. The only traces of their existence were the blood-soaked fields they had worked for nearly five thousand years and the rank, acrid smell of the huge victory fires that consumed the bodies of their young. The Draenei were a weak people - hardly worth the effort of our raiding sweep. In the end, however, even these simple victories serve to keep the inferior in their place.”

  • We know where this lore went!
  • It goes on; it has always been so with Orcs, brutal, savage. A clear change.
  • It's from the perspective of Gul'dan. He was a Dark Shaman who turned Warlock
  • He was obsessed with the Great Dark Beyond, where he discovered Kil'jaeden
  • This stuff goes so hard - Under the tutelage of Kil'jaeden, I realized how limited even my understanding had been. Untold histories of ancient Daemon races and primal magical dimensions were made known to me.
  • He started the Shadow Council and took over the Clans
  • He forged the Horde, but knew the new order wouldn't last, that they needed to find another planet
  • He dominated Blackhand into his puppet, and Kil'jaeden put him in touch with Medivh, opening the links between worlds.
    • That's when Warcraft 1 happened.
    • Orgrim coups the Horde and wipes out the Shadow Council, making Gul'dan submit
    • In return, Gul'dan created the first Death Knight by combining the souls of Shadow Council members with the bodies of Stormwind Knights.
    • so we get to just before the Campaign. Orgrim is in control of the horde, now he has a unified army. What to do?
  • Two plans. First, March into Khaz Modan. Second, surprise everyone by building a massive fleet and invading the human kingdoms to the north at the same time!
  • Who's he going to do it with? The Clans of the Horde

The Clans

Clan Banner

  • Black Rock Clan - Orgrim Doomhammer

They took the brunt of the fighting in the first war, reducing their numbers, but still the largest and most brutal Orc clan. Once lead by Blackhand, Orgrim Doomhammer is now Warchief and leader of the Horde

  • Stormreaver Clan - Gul'dan

Gul'dan knew he needed a power base, so asked to form a clan of his own. Formed by the outcasts, he'll use them to shatter the Horde in search of his personal ambitions.

  • Twilight's Hammer Clan - Cho'gall

Obsessed (even then) with the idea that the Horde were the bringers of Apocalyptic Doom, the Twilight's Hammers embody the world ending aspect of the horde. Led by Cho'gall and turned into the Twilight's Hammer cult.

  • Black Tooth Grin Clan - Rend and Maim Blackhand

Originally part of the Blackrock, they splintered before the first war. Have beef with Orgrim because he killed Blackhand. Knock out a tooth to show loyalty.

  • Bleeding Hollow Clan - Kilrogg Deadeye

The most savage of the Orcs, lead by Old Orc Kilrogg. They are the Oil Tankers of the horde for some reason. Go on to be the jungle boys of Draenor.

  • Dragonmaw Clan - Zuluhed the Whacked

A traditionalist clan of ancestor worshippers who are also unparalleled Beast Masters. They captured Alexstrasza and the Red Dragonflight at the beginning of the Second war.

  • The Burning Blade - None

They're a mismatch of insane orcs brought together to be fodder in the wars. They're seen as a threat to even orcs. BUT! They became the cool Blademaster Orcs who also had cousins who formed a cult that didn't go anywhere.


  • The invasion begins!

    Orcish fleet of DOOM

    • The orc Fleet is about to set out, But they need outposts scattered throughout the islands between Stormwind and Lordaeron
    • The first target is Zul'Dare. A young aspiring Orc in the Blackrock Clan sets up base, with farms and a barracks.
    • But a time sensitive mission has come up and you're the closest commander.
  • Trolls, long antagonistic to the Alliance, have been captured, if they can be freed, then the Trolls will join the horde

Burn It All Down

  • The Orcs use their fleet viciously, razing Southshore, Hillsbrad and Tol Barad. this culminated with the siege and destruction of Stromgarde, leaving it split between the remnants of the kingdom, Ogres and criminals.
  • That’s when Cho'gall shows up

An Orcish Army

  • Cho'gall, being so magical, headed the invasion of Quel'thalas.
    • The Orcs burnt the borderlands, desecrating the Runestones protecting the Forests, transforming them into powerful locus of power with which to empower Ogre Magi
    • The Windrunner sisters fought in the war, with their brother killed.
    • With a Legion of Ogre magi at his command, Gul'dan play the loyal puppet, pushing the Horde deep into Lordaeron, putting the major cities of Tyr's hand and Stratholme under siege.
  • Dalaran was invaded, with the Kirin Tor barely holding the orcs off
    • But again, they were a very generic magicky kingdom at the time
  • The capital was under siege and about to fall,
    • Everything seemed lost, when Gul'dan decided it was his time
  • What Gul'dan out of this whole thing was the location of the Tomb of Sargeras and it was time
    • He took the Twilight's Hammer Cult of Ogre Magi and his own Stormreaver across the Ocean to the Tomb of Sargeras
    • Orgrim, Enraged, sent two clans after them. Whilst Gul'dan was in the tomb being torn apart by demons, four orc clans destroyed each other
  • By the time the two loyal clans returned, the Horde was in disarray and pushed back.
  • In Warcraft 2's orc campaign, the orcs successfully take Lordaeron, securing the entirety of the Eastern Kingdoms. But in canon, the Alliances last three missions of pushing the Orcs back to Dun Algaz, sieging black rock and then pushing the Orcs back through the Portal, became canon.
  • After the War, Gul'dan was dead. Cho'gall disappeared across the sea to a mysterious new continent. Zul'jin returned to his forests. The remaining Orcs on Azeroth were put into internment camps. Some, like Orgrim Doomhammer, escaped and found a long lost clan of Orcs in Alterac. The Frostwolves. Later, a young Orc Shaman would find that same clan and reignite the Horde into the dysfunctional fellowship of races we know today.