The old orcish Horde, dwarves, and other races are separated into many clans. What defines a clan, and how one is started, is largely up to interpretation. The term clan is sometimes used interchangeably with the term tribe. The RPG describes the organization of murloc clans as being larger than murloc tribes.
Clan and tribe appear to be interchangeable terms when referring to centaurs groups. Centaur clans are led by khans.
- Eastern Kingdom clans
- Galak tribe
- Gelkis clan
- Kolkar clan
- Krenka tribe (aka Krenka clan)
- Magram clan
- Maraudine clan
Dwarven clan system
Dwarves count their blood connections in many ways. The most prominent of ties is the clan. The main dwarven clans are the Bronzebeard clan, the Wildhammer clan, and the Dark Iron clan. Each of them have smaller clans, like Rom's clan, the clans of the Twilight Highlands, and the Shadowforge clan, respectively.
Each main clan is ruled by a thane.
Dwarven culture is made up by a clan-like caste system. The original clan that evolved from the earthen was known as the Ironforge clan. It later split into the three main Clans known as the Dark Iron clan (Ruled by line of Thaurissan), Ironforge clan (ruled by members of the Bronzebeard clan), and the Wildhammer clan (ruled by line of Wildhammers), but many lesser clans exist as well.
Family names often indicate clan names as well and are the lesser clans within one of the three main dwarven cultures. Some family names are names of honor earned through some feat, which replace the family's true name. For example, Falstad Dragonreaver's real name is Falstad Wildhammer. In which case the new name may be passed on to their descendants or not, depending on the choice of the individual. Another example are some of the members of the "Thunderaxe" family who joined the Dark Iron clan during the War of the Three Hammers, taking on the name "Pikesplitter".
- Anvilmar clan (presumed)
- Anvilrage clan (presumed)
- Bronzebeard clan
- Dark Iron clan
- Hammersmith clan (presumed) - Yulanini Hammersmith was said to have spent most of his life in a small clanhold on the shores of Loch Modan.
- Shadowforge clan
- Stormpike clan
- Stonefist clan
- Wildhammer clan
- Firebeard clan
- Thundermar clan
- Mullan clan
- Moore clan
- Doyle clan
- Dunwald clan
Murloc clan system
A murloc clan is an organized from multiple tribes in an area. Each tribe to its own village of usually six to twelve individuals. Every so often a clan meets to discuss issues of importance. However, keeping a large group of murlocs coordinated and in agreement for any significant length of time is difficult.
- Dark Ray
- Storm Bay
- Torn Fin
- Underworld Minions
- Vile Fin
- White Shark
- Wide Grin
Orcish clan system
There are several orcish clans, some older than others. Some, like the Bleeding Hollow clan, appear to be ancestral and well-established, indicating perhaps that they evolved over time out of a family or tribal network. Some, like the Shattered Hand clan, would appear to be associated with a specific class within orc society (in this case, rogues), leading to speculation that they may have originated as some form of class-oriented guilds.
Many Orc clans appear to be huge, ruling huge swaths of lands, including much of Draenor, somewhat similar to a human nation.
Some clans also accept members from other races, adopting them into the clan. Laughing Skull clan was led by an ogre Mogor, and had ogre members. Twilight's Hammer clan was once led by an ogre, Cho'gall, and has been accepting in humans and other races from the Alliance as of late.
In the World of Warcraft, when an orc player takes out a charter to add a new guild to the registry of Orgrimmar, the guild master there refers to it as adding a new clan to the Horde.
Still, other clans, like the Black Tooth Grin clan and Stormreaver clan, were clearly organized recently (relatively speaking), by specific people, for a specific purpose. In this case, loyalty in the clan tends to be solely to the clan leader, and when this leader dies, the clan tends to disintegrate.
Orc clan leaders are referred to as chieftains, while the leader of all clans is called a warchief. Thrall used to be the Warchief of the New Horde. The chieftain is usually the strongest member of the clan and, according to the old orcish hierarchy, to become one you must first fight the old chieftain to the death. Alternatively, you can inherit the status of chieftain.
When Thrall brought about the new Horde, the clan system was largely abolished. Although many orcs still proudly carry the name of their clan, the clans themselves are all united under the banner of one Horde. The orc Urtrun Clanbringer is the guild master of Orgrimmar and describes many clans fighting beneath the banner of the warchief; Orgrimmar itself is said to be home to many of the orc clans of Durotar; and orc adventurers are said to belong to a clan. The Warsong, Frostwolf, Blackrock, Shattered Hand, and Dragonmaw clans all retain some individualism.
- Black Tooth Grin clan - A splinter group of the Blackrock clan created by Rend, and Maim. Later merged into the Blackrock clan under Nefarian.
- Blackrock clan - An industrial clan that was, and is still one of the largest orc clans.
- Bladewind clan - A clan that resisted Kil'jaeden's commands.
- Bleeding Hollow clan - A large, and resilient clan that fought in almost every incarnation of the Horde.
- Bonechewer clan - A clan that decorated its warriors with the bones of their enemies. Supposedly all known members have been forcibly turned into fel orcs.
- Burning Blade clan - A wild clan. Some of its warriors were recruited into the Horde, forming the Blademasters.
- Dragonmaw clan - A clan known for taming Dragons. Some rejoined the Horde in the Twilight Highlands. Later, some of the clan loyal to Garrosh joined the Iron Horde.
- Frostwolf clan - A shamanistic clan that rejected demon blood.
- Laughing Skull clan - An ogre led clan known for its underhandedness.
- Lightning's Blade clan - Known for its harsh initiation rights, and ties to the Thunderlord clan.
- Mok'Nathal clan - A clan made up of mostly half-ogres, but also includes orcs.
- Redwalker clan - A clan that opposed Warlock magic.
- Shadowmoon clan - One of the largest clans, and known for heavy spiritualism. Survivors remain in Shadowmoon Village.
- Shattered Hand clan - A rogue-ish clan were grunts cut off their hand, and replaced it with a weapon.
- Stormreaver clan - A small clan created by Gul'dan to help in his pursuit of power.
- Thunderlord clan - A clan known for wolfriders. Supposedly all known members have been forcibly turned into fel orcs.
- Twilight's Hammer clan - An ogre led clan that believes in the apocalypse. Later recruited members from all races.
- Warsong clan - A clan of warriors known for its battlecries.
- Whiteclaw clan - A clan that opposed fighting the draenei.
- Dark Scar clan - An orc or ogre clan defeated by Kash'drakor.
- Flowerpicker clan - An obscure clan.
- Necrolyte clan - A clan of necrolytes.
- Rageroar clan - A recent clan known for attacking Northwatch Hold.
- Searing Blade clan - An offshoot of the Burning Blade.
- Warlock clan - A clan of warlocks, connected to the Shadow Council.
- Kil'sorrow clan - A sect of the Shadow Council.
- The many unnamed clans fighting for Orgrimmar mentioned by Urtrun Clanbringer.
- In the Second War one unnamed clan was left in the Hinterlands to distract the Alliance while the rest of the Horde marched to Quel'Thalas, but the clan was annihilated by Lothar and his warriors.
Clans of the Iron Horde:
- Blackrock clan - Led by Blackhand.
- Bleeding Hollow clan - Led by Kilrogg Deadeye.
- Burning Blade clan - Led by Azuka Bladefury.
- Shadowmoon clan - Led by Ner'zhul.
- Shattered Hand clan - Led by Kargath Bladefist.
- Thunderlord clan - Led by Fenris Wolfbrother.
- Warsong clan - Led by Garrosh Hellscream.
- Frostwolf clan - Led by Durotan.
- Laughing Skull clan - Led by Kaz the Shrieker.
- Shadowmoon Exiles - Led by Rulkan.
- The Gul'dan of alternate Draenor was born into an unnamed clan. The entire clan eventually was killed and their villaged destroyed by Gul'dan after Kil'jaeden granted him power over the fel magics.
Manual of Monsters refers to ogres as having tribes, but later books refers to them as having clans, for example, Horde Player's Guide of 2006. In The Burning Crusade ogres are described as being in tribes or clans.
- Laughing Skull (an orcish clan led by an ogre.)
- Mok'Nathal (a clan consisting of mostly half-ogres.)
- Splinter Fist
- Twilight's Hammer (an orcish clan led by an ogre.)
The vrykul are also organized into clans:
The initial development of Pandaria's pandaren had them divided into their own clans. The concept didn't make it into the game.
- ^ a b Manual of Monsters, pg. 63
- ^ Dark Factions, pg. ??
- ^ Night of the Dragon, chapter 1
- ^ Day of the Dragon, chapter 15
- ^ War of the Three Hammers (History of Warcraft)
- ^ Lands of Conflict, pg. 67
- ^ Lands of Conflict, pg. 98
- ^ Alliance Player's Guide, pg. 168
- ^ Lands of Conflict, pg. 131
- ^ Lands of Conflict, pg. 162
- ^ a b Lands of Conflict, pg. 135
- ^ Dark Factions, pg. 10
- ^ Ultimate Visual Guide, pg. 114
- ^ Orgrimmar faction description: Founded by Thrall, this Horde capital city is home to many of the proud orc clans of Durotar.
- ^ : You do your clan proud, <name>.
- ^ a b Cycle of Hatred, pg. 97
- ^ Tides of Darkness, pg. 166
- ^ Tides of Darkness, pg. 325
- ^ Tides of Darkness, pg. 332
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2
- ^ Harbingers - Gul'dan
- ^ Alliance Player's Guide, pg. 60