Warsong clan

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HordeWarsong clan
Warsong Crest.png
Main leader

Unknown

  Formerly
Race(s)

OrcOrcMag'harMag'har Orc

  Formerly
Capital
Main language
Sub-group(s)
Affiliation
  Formerly
Reputation
Status

Active

Tabard

Warsong Tabard.jpg

"May the Warsong never fade."
Monument to Grom Hellscream

The Warsong clan is a warlike orcish clan originally hailing from the plains of Nagrand. It was formerly led by the legendary Grommash "Grom" Hellscream, and later by his headstrong son, Garrosh Hellscream. The Warsong Outriders form the Horde forces in Ashenvale and Warsong Gulch, while the Warsong Offensive spearheaded the Horde Expedition's assault against the Scourge in Northrend.

History

Early history

Roughly 800 years before the First War, the orcs began to migrate out of Gorgrond. The Warsong clan migrated far to the southwest, deep into Nagrand's open prairies, where they constantly had to fight against the Gorian Empire's ogres to maintain their presence in the region. Some generations of Warsongs thrived more than others. The clan had a taste for battle, but provoking the ogres too much could lead to disastrous consequences.[1]

Rise of the Horde

11 years before the First War, the Warsong were led by a bold warrior named Grommash Hellscream and engaged in constant battle with the ogres of Highmaul. The Highmaul outnumbered the Warsongs, but Hellscream's highly mobile wolf riders used hit-and-run tactics to raid ogre settlements, eventually shattering Highmaul's hold on Nagrand and seizing much of it for themselves. They pushed the ogres back within the walls of their stronghold, and Grommash became a legend among the clans.[2]

Shortly after Blackhand was named Warchief of the Horde, he assigned specific roles to the various clans. The Warsongs were among the clans that would make up the Horde's main fighting force, leading direct assaults on draenei settlements and forming the backbone of the orcish army.[3]

Later, Blackhand tasked the Warsong and Twilight's Hammer clans with toppling Highmaul. Grommash and Cho'gall both took part in the siege, and both relished the opportunity to slay ogres.[4]

After the Horde had conquered much of Draenor, the threat of starvation caused the orcs to hunt most of Draenor's native creatures to extinction. The Warsong raiders turned on their wolf mounts and used them as a source of food. The famine also caused many orcs to grow more agitated and turn on each other, clashing in short-lived battles that left hundreds dead. Several clans, among them the Warsongs, completely lost themselves to the depths of madness. To protect the rest of the Horde, Blackhand banished the violent clans from Hellfire Citadel to the remote areas of Hellfire Peninsula in order to preserve some of the Horde's dwindling strength.[5]

When the Horde prepared to invade Azeroth, Blackhand ordered the troublesome clans to remain on Draenor, since he believed that they would become liabilities if allowed to participate in the invasion. He knew that the clans would grow restless on Draenor, but a few months of waiting while hearing only stories of the lush new world and seeing only scraps of the war spoils would force them to be on their best behavior. If the clans were still uncontrollable, they could stay on Draenor and rot, for all Blackhand cared.[6] After the fall of Stormwind City, the new Warchief Orgrim Doomhammer sent messengers to Draenor to call up the remaining clans in order to replenish the Horde's numbers, but the messengers later returned to inform the Warchief that the clans on Draenor had descended deeper into bloodlust and had begun fighting with one another, allowing only a few orcs and ogres to bolster the Horde.[7]

Beyond the Dark Portal

The Warsong clan banner in color.

Life on Draenor was stark for Draenor's orcs, as the world continued to die and the orcs continued being consumed by bloodlust and violence. The Warsong and Shattered Hand clans, in particular, had insatiable needs for violence. Following the Horde's defeat on Azeroth at the end of the Second War, Ner'zhul rallied the clans still left on Draenor, the Warsongs among them, under his new banner with the intent of opening portals to new worlds for the Horde to conquer. The gathered chieftains easily agreed to Ner'zhul's plans; having sat out the entirety of the First and Second Wars, they thirsted for battle, and any chance to escape their dying homeworld was worth taking.[8] Almost immediately after Ner'zhul reopened the Dark Portal, Grommash led the Warsong, Shattered Hand, Thunderlord and Laughing Skull in an invasion of the Blasted Lands. Teron Gorefiend led a group of orcs and death knights away from the Blasted Lands in search of the artifacts that would allow Ner'zhul to open portals to new worlds.[9] When Gorefiend prepared to return to Draenor with the artifacts, he left behind a large number of soldiers, mainly composed of Hellscream's Warsong orcs as well as the mok'nathal Rexxar, to defend the Azerothian side of the Dark Portal from a potential Alliance invasion. When the Alliance did launch their invasion, the Sons of Lothar smashed through Hellscream's warriors and forced them to scatter into the far corners of the Blasted Lands.[10] Possession of the Dark Portal then switched sides on several occasions and the Warsong was forced to retreat to a neighboring valley for periods of time.[11]

When the news later came that Draenor had been destroyed by Ner'zhul's reckless magic, Grommash was devastated, for his only remaining family — his son, Garrosh — had still been on Draenor. Grommash put aside his grief and led the Warsong clan north to take shelter in the Swamp of Sorrows. He was not giving up, merely regrouping. He believed that there would never be peace between orcs and humans, and he wanted his fighters to be ready for battle.[12]

Revitalization of the Horde

While many of the orcs were captured by the Alliance and placed in internment camps, Grommash and the Warsong managed to evade capture,[13] traveling to the wilds of Lordaeron. Despite being constantly hunted by humans, Hellscream held onto the Horde's unquenchable will to fight. He and his devoted Warsong continued to wage an underground war against the oppression of the orcs, but they never found a way to rouse the captured orcs from their stupor. Thrall, a young orc raised in an internment camp, sought out Grom and was inspired by the chieftain's idealism. Together with the former Warchief Orgrim Doomhammer, Thrall set about liberating the orcs from the internment camps and revitalizing the Horde. Encouraged by his best friend and mentor, Grom Hellscream, Thrall worked to ensure that his people would never be slaves again.[14]

The Third War

Grommash and the Warsong rampaging through the forests of Ashenvale.

One day, Thrall was instructed by Medivh to sail west away from Lordaeron to the continent of Kalimdor. While Thrall was assembling the orcish clans, Grommash and the Warsong were captured by the Alliance and placed in a naval base. Before long, Thrall's forces freed the imprisoned Warsong and set sail across the ocean.[15] However, during the voyage the Warsong were separated from the rest of the Horde, and there was no sign of Grommash's forces during the initial landfall on Kalimdor,[16] though a party of Warsong warriors and several catapults managed to find Thrall's forces shortly thereafter.[17] When the Warsong were finally found, they were in the process of battling the human forces under Jaina Proudmoore's command. Grommash directly disobeyed Thrall's orders by continuing to attack the humans, leading the Warchief to instead send the Warsong north to construct a settlement while the main force journeyed to Stonetalon Peak in search of the mysterious Oracle.[18] Once in Ashenvale, the Warsong came under constant attack by the night elves of the forest and even the demigod Cenarius, leading Grommash to drink from a pool cursed with the blood of Mannoroth — the very same blood that had once made the Horde slaves of the Burning Legion. Grommash transformed into a chaos orc and urged his warriors to do the same, and with their newfound strength they managed to kill Cenarius. Shortly afterward, Mannoroth himself appeared to bring the orcs "back into the fold", despite Grommash's meek protests.[19]

Meanwhile, Thrall, Cairne Bloodhoof and Jaina Proudmoore found the Oracle, who was revealed to be Medivh. He told the gathered leaders that Grommash had fallen to demonic influence and that he and all of the orcs would soon be lost forever.[20] With the aid of Cairne and Jaina, Thrall's forces managed to lay siege to the Warsong encampment and capture Grommash in a soul gem, allowing him to be purified of Mannoroth's influence by priests and shaman.[21] Together, Thrall and Grommash proceeded to face and slay Mannoroth in a nearby canyon, finally freeing the orcs from demonic influence, but Grom was killed in the battle.[22] The Warsong chieftain was buried in the canyon, and a monument was erected in his honor.

Modern history

The Warsong orcs who name themselves Outriders continue to fight against the night elven Silverwing Sentinels in the Warsong Gulch of Ashenvale, intending to claim the lumber resources of the forest.[23] From their labor and lumber camps, the main forces of the Warsong continue their logging operations, but in their warring zeal cutting even more wood than they can possibly use, leaving it to rot while their blades bite into fresh trees.[24]

During the War against the Lich King, Garrosh Hellscream, son of Grommash, spearheaded the Horde Expedition to Northrend as Overlord of the Warsong Offensive from the fortress of Warsong Hold.

With Garrosh having been overthrown at the end of the Siege of Orgrimmar, it is unclear who currently leads the Warsong. Gargok, a member of the Warsong Outriders, is present in the Undercity during the prestige ceremony in which Sylvanas Windrunner commends a Horde adventurer for their battles against the Alliance.[25]

Culture

Banner of the Warsong clan in Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal.

On Draenor, the Warsong roamed the prairies of Nagrand as nomads, rarely staying in the same place for more than a few months.[1] The riders of the Warsong were always on the move. In camp, a family's tent was marked with a long pike thrust into the ground, often adorned with the skulls of defeated enemies and sometimes branded with the names of key battles.[26]

Relying on shock and awe to overwhelm their enemies, the Warsong earned their name from their fearsome battle cries and thunderous drum marches.[27] Ripping into every combat crying epic battle-hymns of blood and death, they were the most distinguishable of the Draenor clans.[28] A bullroarer is an arm-length piece of rigid wood affixed to the end of a long rope and spun over the wielder's head to generate a droning noise capable of traveling long distances. The bullroarers used by the Warsong were grooved to emit a high-pitched whistling noise rather than the low hum used by most other clans.[29]

To earn the status of wolfrider, a Warsong had to go through a series of arduous trials. To prove themself worthy of the wolf, the orc had to first test their strength and tenacity by gathering a heavy stone from a quarry and carry it on their back into the lands of their enemy. After cutting their way through the enemy's ranks, the orc was to place the stone in a place of prominence and set upon it a trophy of their foe in order to display their strength for all to see.[30] Once the display of strength was completed, the orc had to head to the wolves' hunting grounds and subdue the largest member of the pack in the presence of the beast's kin. If they survived the ordeal, the wolf would answer to the orc as its new master.[31] Finally, the Warsong believed that it was not enough for a wolf to regard an orc as its master; instead, to ready the beast for riding, its will had to be broken completely. Once the aspiring wolfrider had subdued their beast, they would mount it and ride it to the top of the tallest peak in Nagrand. If the wolf was willful, the orc would be thrown to their death on the mountain slopes, but if they survived, the will of their mount would have been successfully broken. Then, the orc could finally call themself "Wolfrider".[32]

It is expected that members of the Warsong wear the bones of his or her first kill, and inscribe them with personal runes.[33] Members of the Warsong long hunted the bloodhoof clefthoof to user their crimson-hued skin for battle standards.[34]

Known members

Name Role Status Location
Horde  Grommash "Grom" Hellscream Former chieftain, liberator of the orcs from the blood-curse Deceased Buried in Demon Fall Canyon, Ashenvale
Neutral  Garrosh Hellscream Son of Grom, former chieftain, Warchief of the Horde and mastermind behind the Iron Horde Deceased Various Locations
Horde  Gargok Warsong Gulch battlemaster Alive Mor'shan Base Camp, Northern Barrens
Neutral  Golka Mate of Grommash, father of Garrosh Deceased Unknown
Neutral  Iskar Advisor to Grommash Unknown Unknown
Horde  Malak Wolf companion of Garrosh Unknown Unknown
Neutral  Rekshak Leader of a Warsong group encountered by Thrall Unknown Unknown
Neutral  Tragg Member of Rekshak's group Unknown Unknown
Horde  Tolven Warsong Author of The Horde's Hellscream Unknown Unknown

Leadership

History Shamanism Rise of the Horde First War Second War Interbellum Third War World of Warcraft The Burning Crusade Wrath of the Lich King Cataclysm Mists of Pandaria Warlords of Draenor
Ruler Neutral
Grommash Hellscream
Horde
Grommash Hellscream
Horde
Unknown
Horde
Garrosh Hellscream
Horde / Combat
Garrosh Hellscream
Horde
Unknown

Trivia

Orcs wearing the tabard of the Warsong Outriders.

In Beyond the Dark Portal

WC2BnE logo 16x42.png This section concerns content exclusive to Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness or its expansion Beyond the Dark Portal.

Leader: Grom Hellscream

Color: Red

Ripping into every combat crying epic battle-hymns of blood and death, the Warsong clan is the most distinguishable of the Draenor clans. Led by the ravenous Grom Hellscream, the Warsong clan awaits Ner'zhul's order to invade Azeroth and bathe in the blood of their enemies.[28]

In the RPG

The RPG Icon 16x36.png This section concerns content exclusive to the Warcraft RPG and is considered non-canon.

The Warsong banner, a violet sashimono banner, is worn only by the chief of the Warsong clan. It provides the wearer with great physical ability and inspires those around him. As a gift to the orcs who rescued them, Darkspear shadow hunters recently improved its capabilities.[37]

Speculation

Questionmark-medium.png
This article or section includes speculation, observations or opinions possibly supported by lore or by Blizzard officials. It should not be taken as representing official lore.

Leadership

Gargok's presence during the prestige ceremony may suggest that he is the current leader or representative of the Warsong clan.

References