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- For the expansion, see World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth.
The Blood War (or the Battle for Azeroth) is a global war fought between the Alliance and Horde since the end of the third invasion of Azeroth by the Burning Legion. After the mad titan Sargeras wounded the world, Azeroth's very life essence started bleeding to the surface in the form of an extraordinary material known as Azerite. Both factions recognized its unique properties, but while King Anduin Wrynn sought it to heal and protect, Warchief Sylvanas Windrunner saw it as a weapon and an opportunity to seize.
The tensions between the two superpowers rose and led to the War of the Thorns, where the Horde destroyed Teldrassil, one of the Alliance's major capitals. In return, the Alliance launched the Siege of Lordaeron, resulting in the destruction of the Undercity. Both factions now seek the destruction of the other in a war spanning the entire world, and recruit new allies to bolster their depleted ranks.
This section concerns content related to Legion.
When the Burning Legion at last made its return, both factions initially worked together, but Varian Wrynn and Vol'jin were killed in action during the disastrous Battle for the Broken Shore. King Genn Greymane and Lady Jaina Proudmoore, blaming the Horde for Varian's death, wished to renew hostilities with the Horde. The newly appointed Warchief, Sylvanas Windrunner, became a focus of Greymane's aggression.
Meanwhile, Windrunner sought to strengthen the Horde by scheming of ways to create new Forsaken Val'kyr, so she traveled to Stormheim where the Alliance and Horde forces engaged in battles. Eventually, Sylvanas managed to capture Eyir, but her plans ultimately failed when Genn Greymane tracked her, fought with the Banshee Queen and released Eyir by shattering the Soulcage.
For the reminder of the war against the Legion, the hostilities between the Horde and Alliance ceased, and the kaldorei and sin'dorei elves even put the hostilities aside in order to work together with the nightfallen led by Thalyssra. They aided them in their revolution to liberate Suramar City from Elisande the Legion. Following the deaths of Gul'dan and Kil'jaeden, Prophet Velen called on the Alliance and Horde members to Azuremyst Isle in order to travel to Argus.
Following the Argus Campaign, however, both factions converged on the destroyed Silithus, spying and thwarting each other's efforts, as well as engaging on skirmishes on the newly uncovered Seething Shore where they fought to control the first Azerite nodes and ore.
Before the Storm
- Main article: Gathering (event)
Thanks to the efforts of King Anduin Wrynn, the Forsaken of the Desolate Council met with the chosen human relatives and friends from Stormwind in the Gathering in Arathi Highlands. The meeting wasn't about bringing peace between the two factions, but it reunited long-stranded persons and brought a cease-fire for one day. As Warchief Sylvanas Windrunner and Anduin were aware that their factions are not ready for a war, they agreed to the terms of the Gathering and promised they would not harm the other faction's members. The Gathering, however, ended up in a disaster. Upon seeing the Forsaken trying to defect to the Alliance, Sylvanas ordered her dark rangers to kill her people but spare the humans as to not start a war.
As the Silithus battles raged on, the Alliance and Horde opened new embassies where the leaders of their respective factions discussed how to prepare against the opposite faction. Following the Legion wars, the Alliance and Horde ranks were depleted so they needed to gain new allies. As such, Lady Liadrin and Baine Bloodhoof recruited the nightborne elves of Suramar, who already distrusted the night elves, and the Highmountain tauren tribes of Highmountain, respectively. Thanks to the efforts of Turalyon and Alleria Windrunner, the Alliance gained new allies in the Lightforged draenei of the Grand Army of the Light and the exiled Thalassian blood elves who became void elves.
As the Alliance and Horde entered the new conflict, Kul Tirans learned about it, and Lord Admiral Katherine Proudmoore remained persistent that they will stay neutral and won't rejoin the Alliance. Jaina Proudmoore, impersonating an old woman and hearing the dialogue, resolved to convince them otherwise.
Beginning of the war
This section concerns content related to Battle for Azeroth.
Burning of Teldrassil
- Main article: War of the Thorns
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Battle for Lordaeron
- Main article: Battle for Lordaeron
|This section is a lore stub.|
Great Sea/South Seas theater
The Alliance had managed to capture high value targets of the Zandalar Empire, Princess Talanji, heir to Zandalar and Prophet Zul of the Zanchuli Council, who were imprisoned in Stormwind's Stockades. The Horde had learned of the fact and sent a small group of operatives to rescue the prisoners in hopes of establishing diplomatic relations with the increasingly isolated troll nation, which had a powerful navy at its disposal - an invaluable asset for the Horde's dominance over the seas.
In response to these developments, the Alliance focused on re-establishing friendly relations with another great naval power, an islander human kingdom of Kul Tiras, which was still resentful over Jaina Proudmoore's inaction during Tirassian Invasion of Durotar which led to Grand Admiral Daelin Proudmoore's death that promptly pushed the Proudmoore Admiratly to withdraw from the bloc.
- Main article: Battle for Stromgarde
Northern Kalimdor theater
- Main article: Battle for Darkshore
Ever since the War of the Thorns, the Horde maintained a firm grip on Darkshore, and the Forsaken have moved into the area. The Alliance intends to launch a counter-attack in order to regain control over the region for the night elves.
- The name "Blood War" may partly be in reference to the conflict's focus on Azerite, the blood of Azeroth herself.