- This article is about the history, geography of the world of prime universe's Draenor up to its destruction. For the history after its destruction, see Outland.
|Map of ancient Draenor|
Largely destroyed; remnants transformed into Outland
- "Draenor was a land of magma and metal, stone and steam."
Draenor [ˈdɹænɔɹ], called Rakshar ("the Sunstone") by the arakkoa and Dawgar ("the Known Earth") by the ogres, was the homeworld of the orcish race and the last refuge of the draenei before their arrival on Azeroth. When the orc shaman Ner'zhul recklessly opened dimensional portals to find new worlds to conquer, Draenor was torn apart and believed completely lost. However, a large fragment of the world remained intact. That fragment is known today as Outland. It's been referred to as the Red World.
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Like many life-bearing worlds Draenor was shaped by the Titans, who promptly left once the process was complete, ultimately spending less time there than on Azeroth. Draenor was a large, fertile world dominated by vast plains, dense forests, and lush swamps. It was originally home to many intelligent humanoid races, including the ancient, bird-like arakkoa; the mighty ogres and their brutal gronn masters; the aggressive tree-men known as botani; and the brown-skinned, shamanistic orcs.
Grond and the Evergrowth
Unlike Azeroth, Draenor did not have a titan world-soul, which led to the distinct differences between Azerothian elementals and Draenic furies: while Azeroth's elementals are chaotic as a result of Azeroth's world-soul devouring much of the element of Spirit (which is essential to keeping the elements in balance), the furies of Draenor are much more harmonious and actually work together to preserve the natural balance of the world. This large amount of Spirit led to an abundance of plant life, including the Sporemounds.
Not even Draenor's elemental energies were safe from the Sporemounds. As their roots wormed deep underground in search of water, they tapped into the fifth element that suffused Draenor's soil. The primordial energy ignited a crude communal sentience within the Sporemounds and the surrounding wilds, allowing Draenor's plants to act as a single massive organism, becoming collectively known as the Evergrowth. If any major threat arose, the Evergrowth reacted in unison. However, such threats were non-existent, for the Evergrowth dominated everything in sight.
When the titan Aggramar came across Draenor in his travels, he was intrigued by the world, but foresaw doom for the planet if the Evergrowth was allowed to grow unchecked, as it would eventually consume everything on the world, including the elemental spirits. Once that happened, the Evergrowth would devour itself, and Draenor would be left a wasteland devoid of life. Aggramar's natural affinity for order compelled him to take action, but he did not wish to completely destroy Draenor's plant life, only to temper it. Thus, he would need to neutralize the Sporemounds, the heart of the Evergrowth's power.
The titan considered destroying the Sporemounds himself, but since his power was so great it risked irreparably damaging or even shattering Draenor and because he could not stand guard over the world forever, he instead decided to create a mighty servant in his own image to uproot the Sporemounds. Using a massive elemental storm, Aggramar caused a mountain to groan to life and named it Grond. Grond began marching across the world to conquer the Evergrowth. He confronted and defeated the nearest Sporemound with ease before tearing it from the world's surface with ease. The other Sporemounds shivered in agony at the destruction of their kin. Mere roots would not topple Grond; instead, the Sporemounds would need to adapt.
According to the ogres, they were the first beings to be created by the Titans (or "Forgers", as they call them), shaped from burning slag when the god-like beings squeezed the light from the great ball of fire that was Draenor.
Arrival of the Draenei
Nearly 200 years before Azeroth's First War, the draenei crashed upon this remote world in their naaru vessel, the Genedar. They believed that this world would be an ideal refuge for their millenia-long exodus and named it Draenor, which meant "Exiles' Refuge" in their tongue; since the native orcs did not have a name for the planet—other than simply "world"—they eventually adopted the Draenei term. The settlers quietly cultivated their society once again and kept their magic hidden, ever wary of being discovered again by the Burning Legion's forces.
Their arrival, however, placed a literal dark burden on the planet. One of the naaru on board, K'ara, was severely injured in the crash and flung into orbit where it entered the 'darkened' stage of a naaru's life-cycle. As a dark naaru its presence was felt by the orc clan who dwelled in the Shadowmoon Valley who called it the 'Dark Star'. Some of its members even began to channel the darkness that K'ara produced, allowing them to defile the dead and summon Void creatures. In horror the chieftain of the Shadowmoon clan banned the use of shadow under any circumstances.
Rise of the Horde
For generations the orcs lived in a clan-based, shamanistic society that existed in deep harmony with the surrounding natural world, though frequently clashed with ogre clans and occasionally the reclusive Primals. Their peaceful way of life, however, ended when the Shadowmoon clan's chieftain, Ner'zhul, was tricked into forming an alliance with the Burning Legion. When he attempted to back out of the deal, his apprentice Gul'dan eagerly betrayed and succeeded him. Gul'dan's manipulations transformed the orcs into a unified army of bloodthirsty conquerors, ultimately leading them to drink the blood of the demon lord Mannoroth and become bound to the will the Legion. The warlock magics wielded by the corrupted orcs turned much of Draenor's vibrant landscape into a dusty wasteland as they, under orders from Mannoroth's master Kil'jaeden, decimated the draenei, enslaved the ogres, and took dark dominion over the world. Velen, leader of the draenei, survived the orcish genocide, and fled with the remnants of his people to the fungal swamps, where they once more hid themselves from the gaze of the Legion. Before the Orcish Horde could destroy itself in its bloodlust, Gul'dan, acting in concert with the possessed human Medivh, opened the Dark Portal, connecting the worlds of Azeroth and Draenor. The orcs spilled through into an unsuspecting world and started a new war – one that would ultimately pave the way for the Burning Legion's second invasion of Kalimdor.
Destruction of Draenor
- Main article: Outland
Despite its surprise assault and demonic backing, the orcish horde was eventually beaten back by the forces of the Alliance of Lordaeron, and Draenor became the focus of a furious counterattack via the same Dark Portal the orcs had used to invade Azeroth. In the midst of the ensuing battle, the elder shaman Ner'zhul attempted to provide his fellow remaining orcs a means of escape by opening more dimensional portals to other worlds; his reckless use of magic backfired, however, and the presence of so many portals began to tear the very fabric of the planet apart, causing massive tidal waves, earthquakes, and volcanoes to erupt.
In a desperate bid to save Azeroth from the impending chain reaction, the ill-fated but heroic Alliance Expedition closed the Dark Portal from Draenor, trapping themselves there even as it began to crumble beneath their feet. Draenor ceased to be a material world, and its barely-hospitable remnants were rechristened Outland – the torn fragments of a once verdant realm cursed to float in the darkness of the Nether until the end of time.
Though Ner'zhul's gambit had doomed Draenor itself, it did not doom his people: Many orcs managed to weather the savage storm of Draenor's end, while others escaped the destruction of their homeworld by remaining in Azeroth during the Alliance counterattack. Of these survivors, some would go on to be captured and enslaved, others would eke out a living as free but listless warriors on the fringes of a foreign world, and one would even prove strong enough to rise from the ashes of a broken land. Their deeds would go on to deeply affect Draenor's future – or perhaps, more accurately, its past.
- Main article: Draenor (alternate universe)
35 years ago, on an alternate version of Draenor, a rogue Bronze Dragon and Garrosh Hellscream arrived to instigate the creation of a different horde. Kairoz was killed and Garrosh took charge of the dragon's plans, and manipulated this universe's version of Grommash Hellscream into binding the orc clans into a single force united by their iron will called the Iron Horde. Equipped with advanced Goblin technology from Azeroth-Prime's modern day the Iron Horde eagerly pursues their new destiny as free-willed, but equally cruel and bloodthirsty conquerors.
- Ashran, known as Deathwing's Lair during the invasion of Draenor.
- Barrier Sea, known as the Devouring Sea during the invasion.
- Farahlon, sundered into Netherstorm when the planet was destroyed.
- Frostfire Ridge and Gorgrond, later merged as the Blade's Edge Mountains when the planet was destroyed.
- Talador, changed into Terokkar Forest and the Bone Wastes.
- Tanaan Channel, known as the Shadowed Seas during the invasion.
- Tanaan Jungle, scorched into Hellfire Peninsula before the Second War.
- Shadowmoon Valley
- Spires of Arak, destroyed alongside the planet although Skettis remained in Terokkar Forest.
- Zangar Sea, transformed into Zangarmarsh at an unknown point.
Outposts and cities
- Shattrath City (draenei capital)
- Auchindoun (necropolis)
- Temple of Karabor (sanctum of the Prophet)
- Hellfire Citadel (Horde capital)
- Black Temple (formerly Temple of Karabor)
- Fortress Shadowmoon
- Fortress Auchindoun
- In the Human Campaign of Warcraft: Beyond the Dark Portal, the humans close the Dark Portal and save Azeroth, but must escape a crumbling Draenor by entering one of the various rifts that have been opened by Ner'zhul, who with his followers have escaped into one of these rifts. In the Orc Campaign, the orcs are victorious and Ner'zhul with his followers travel to Draenor, where they enter a rift into the Twisting Nether to gain new glory. Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos does not follow either outcome directly but instead continues the story in Azeroth. It takes a bit more from the human conclusion though as the Horde were not totally victorious on Azeroth, and instead were mostly scattered or taken to internment camps.
Draenor is the homeworld of orcs and is currently dying because of the fel.
- ^ Annual 2015
- ^ Chronicle Volume 2, pg. 12
- ^ Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal missions#Act I Draenor, The Red World
- ^ Dave Kosak at BlizzCon 2013 - World of Warcraft Panel. "Their finger prints are all over the universe. The titans actually visited Draenor... They kinda helped shaped Draenor and then they peaced out of there pretty early on so they didn't leave quite a big a mark."
- ^ a b c d World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2, pg. 12-13
- ^ Beasts of the Savage Lands - Shadowmoon Valley
- ^ Beasts of the Savage Lands - Gorgrond
- ^ Code of Rule
- ^ Micky Neilson on Twitter
- ^ Rise of the Horde - "It was over two hundred summers ago that your people came here. We were not as We are now."
- ^ The Comic Volume 4
- ^ Beyond the Dark Portal - "Draenor is name they call world, yes. They proud of selves, they name whole world for selves. They strong . . . before."
- ^ Rise of the Horde - And they had named the world Draenor., or "Exiles' Refuge"
- ^ Rise of the Horde, page 57.
- ^ The Bitter Taste of Victory (WC2 Human)
- ^ Beyond the Dark Portal
- ^ Dungeons & Dragons Warcraft The Roleplaying Game, pg. 157