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The Horde that existed until the end of the Second War was a ravenous war machine fueled by demonic energy. It was comprised mainly of orcs, but also including forest trolls, ogres, goblins, and undead. It was created through the manipulations of the Burning Legion, in particular, Kil'jaeden the Deceiver.

The Horde's major military victory was the destruction of the former kingdom of Azeroth in the First War. They were defeated in the Second War, with the surviving orcs placed in internment camps, and their allies going their separate ways. The liberation of the orcs from those camps, and eventually from demonic control, marked the beginning of the modern Horde.

Creation of the Horde

The peaceful orcish clans of Draenor were transformed into the ravenous Horde through the machinations of the Burning Legion. Kil'jaeden the Deceiver contacted first the Elder Shaman Ner'zhul, and then the more compliant Gul'dan. Through the pact struck with the clan rulers, the orcs were corrupted by the blood of Mannoroth, developing a bloodlust which drove them on a rampage over their home world.

While Blackhand was the Warchief of the Horde in name, true power rested with Gul'dan and his Shadow Council.

Victory over Azeroth

Following the creation of the Dark Portal, the Horde poured into Azeroth, in the Kingdom of Stormwind. After a long war, they were victorious, utterly destroying the human kingdom.

During the conflict, Orgrim Doomhammer seized control of the Horde from Blackhand and Gul'dan.

New Allies and the Second War

In order to expand beyond their territory among the ruins of Azeroth, the orcs found a number of allies:

  • the forest trolls of Zul'Aman, led by Zul'jin,
  • the two-headed ogres of Draenor, and the ogre-magi created by Gul'dan,
  • mercenary goblins,
  • the Red Dragonflight, subjugated through the dominion of Alexstrasza by the Dragonmaw Clan, and
  • the death knights, an order of undead magic users created from the corpses of the fallen knights of Azeroth and the spirits of the orcish warlocks from the First War.

Despite their bolstered forces, the Horde was ultimately defeated in the Second War, its power in Azeroth forever broken.

Clans of the Old Horde

The following clans were known to have been a part of the Old Horde during the First and Second Wars. Though other, minor clans may have also been present, the following were the only clans to recieve mention in WarCraft II: Tides of Darkness.

  • Blackrock Clan - Leader in WarCraft II: Orgrim Doomhammer, clan colors: Red
  • Stormreaver Clan - Leader in WarCraft II: Gul'dan, clan colors: Blue
  • Bleeding Hollow Clan - Leader in WarCraft II: Kilrogg Deadeye clan colors: Teal (later Orange)
  • Twilight's Hammer Clan - Leader in WarCraft II: Cho'gall, clan colors: Purple
  • Burning Blade Clan - Leader in WarCraft II: The Conclave, clan colors: Orange
  • Black Tooth Grin Clan - Leaders in WarCraft II: Rend Blackhand and Maim Blackhand, clan colors: Black
  • Dragonmaw Clan - Leader in WarCraft II: Zuluhed the Whacked, clan colors: White
  • Frostwolf Clan - Did not appear in WarCraft II, but was known to have been a part of the early Horde. Leader: Durotan, clan colors: Light Blue

Old Horde to New Horde

The alliances which comprised the old Horde were never restored following their defeat in the Second War. Instead, the orcs forged new alliances which reflected their rediscovered shamanistic heritage, including the tauren and the island trolls. Even their pact with the undead Forsaken was based on compassion and a genuine desire to help the restless undead of Lordaeron.

While the modern Alliance still retains representatives from all of the races which comprised the Alliance of Lordaeron, the modern Horde has only one major member race in common with the old Horde, the orcs. A small tribe of ogres, the Stonemaul clan, and the Revantusk forest trolls have also joined the new Horde.