Conflict with the draenei
99 years before the First War, the year after the draenei repelled an ogre attack on their city of Shattrath, the orcish Kosh'harg festival was marked by arguments on how the orcs would respond to the draenei. Some clans wanted to avoid them, others saw them as enemies and some chieftains speculated that the draenei hated fighting and would shrink away from a worthy opponent; the fact that the draenei had taken care to minimize ogre casualties was seen as a weakness. The Kosh'harg ended without a consensus and most clans were content to simply keep their distance. The Bladewind clan took a different approach. Due to inhabiting the area between Terokkar and Nagrand, they knew of the draenei's favorite trade routes and caravan schedules. When a number of caravans went missing on a single day, the draenei leader Velen and the exarchs took notice. Among the burning remains of the dead traders were orc corpses wearing Bladewind clan tattoos, and most distressingly, several traders had gone missing, meaning that the orcs had taken prisoners.
Many draenei wanted to forcefully retaliate, but Velen forbade it. He allowed the Rangari order to launch covert missions to rescue prisoners, but an offensive campaign would only lead to disaster. The clan was not large and would be relatively easy to defeat, but the orcs were not known to surrender and the conflict would only end once nearly all of the Bladewinds were dead, and it was uncertain how the other orc clans would react. Velen did, however, know that the orcs respected bravery in combat, and future caravans were well guarded by squads of Vindicators openly displaying weapons glimmering with the Light. Any orc raiders who attacked the traders were usually defeated, but sometimes caravans fell and more prisoners were taken. The Rangari managed to save several, but not all of the draenei prisoners. The ones who were not rescued remained in slavery for the rest of their lives, and some bore half-breed offspring for their masters. The Bladewinds soon developed a respect for the draenei, and raids only took place on lightly guarded caravans or when the clan was led by a particularly bold or foolish chieftain.
Massacre of the Bladewind
Around 8 years before the First War, Gul'dan turned to the Bladewinds to incite conflict between the orcs and the draenei. For decades, tensions had simmered between the largest of the Bladewind villages and their draenei neighbors. When the elemental spirits were thrown out of balance, the Bladewinds suffered greatly as their water sources went dry and their wild game died off. Nearly seventy percent of the Bladewinds succumbed to the red pox. The clan was desperate, which made them vulnerable. Gul'dan approached the largest Bladewind village as a representative of the Shadowmoon clan and convinced them that the draenei were responsible for the current hardships, assuring the orcs that spilling draenei blood would appease the elements. The orcs all respected the Shadowmoon and the Bladewinds had no reason to question Gul'dan. Eager to change their fortunes, they gathered lightly armed raiding parties and began attacking draenei caravans in greater numbers than ever before, murdering dozens of innocents and taking just as many prisoners. One of these prisoners was Leran, the sister of Vindicator Maraad. Upon learning of this, Maraad and many of the other Vindicators urged the draenei leadership for action, saying that it was time to eliminate the Bladewinds once and for all. Velen, who had received strange visions of a great shadow looming over the orcs and guiding their actions, appealed for calm. He and the exarchs sent Rangari to report on the orcs' activities, and the scouts returned with horrific stories: the Bladewinds were sacrificing their prisoners in gruesome rituals to appease the elements, and only a few prisoners — among them Leran — had not yet suffered this fate.
At Maraad's urging, the draenei leadership reluctantly agreed to launch an offensive against the orcs. Maraad led a small force of Vindicators and Rangari to storm the Bladewind village, but by the time they arrived Leran and the other captives were already dead. The sight of his sister's body sent Maraad into a rage and he rampaged through the village. The orcs were so desperate to appease the elements that they fought until nearly every single one was dead. Gul'dan watched from a distance as violence engulfed the village and murdered the few survivors before they could flee east towards Shadowmoon Valley. Only his version of events would survive: he claimed the draenei had attacked unprovoked and killed men, women, young, and old. Word of the bloodshed spread throughout the clans, and Kil'jaeden appeared to the Shadowmoon leader Ner'zhul in his dreams, disguised as his deceased mate Rulkan, and told him that the draenei were planning to destroy the orcs. Ner'zhul called for a clan meeting at Oshu'gun, where he told the orcs that the slaughter of the Bladewind was a precursor of the draenei's plans to completely annihilate the orcish race. Shaman from other clans had received similar visions from the ancestors, and at dawn nearly all of the orcs agreed to unite into the Horde.
The half-breed Garona hailed from the Bladewind clan, the daughter of a great orc warrior and a female draenei prisoner. After the destruction of the main Bladewind village, she fled into the wilds of Terokkar, traveling east until she came across the Shadow Council, who recruited her.
Some among the Bladewinds initially resisted and opposed the commands of Kil'jaeden through Ner'zhul.
Over the following years, the Bladewind clan fought with the Warsong clan in small skirmishes. After the Second War, Ner'zhul attempted to rally the clans with the promise of new worlds to escape to and the Bladewinds fell in line with the reforged Horde.
- The Bladewind clan first appeared in Rise of the Horde where Ner'zhul mentions to Kil'jaeden that some notable voices in the Bladewinds sympathized with Durotan and the Frostwolf clan in his opposition to the war against the draenei. However, when the clan reappeared in World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2, their history was retconed so the clan regularly attacked the draenei; the survivors of these attacks being kept as slaves and Garona being the product of one of these assaults. The clan is also presented as one of the first orcish clans to take part in the draenei genocide under Gul'dan in contrast to their opposition to it in Rise of the Horde. The combined result of these changes seems to make the Bladewind clan less sympathetic.
- ^ a b c World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2, pg. 57
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2, pg. 39 - 41 (map)
- ^ a b c World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2, pg. 71 - 74
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2, pg. 78
- ^ a b Rise of the Horde, pg. 194
- ^ Golden, Christie & Rosenberg, Aaron; Christie Golden. Beyond the Dark Portal, 30. ISBN 978-1416550860.
- ^ Golden, Christie & Rosenberg, Aaron; Christie Golden. Beyond the Dark Portal, 34. ISBN 978-1416550860.