Draenor

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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.
For the parallel, alternate timeline's Draenor featured in Warlords of Draenor, see Draenor (alternate universe).
NeutralDraenor
Ancient Draenor Map.jpg
Map of ancient Draenor
Type

World

Races
Languages
Location
Status

Largely destroyed; remnants transformed into Outland

"Draenor was a land of magma and metal, stone and steam."[1]

Draenor, [ˈdɹænɔɹ] called Rakshar ("the Sunstone") by the arakkoa and Dawgar ("the Known Earth") by the ogres,[2] was the homeworld of the orcish race and the last refuge of the draenei before their arrival on Azeroth. It was a large, fertile world dominated by vast plains, dense forests, and lush swamps. Besides the orcs and draenei it was originally home to many other intelligent humanoid races, including the ancient, bird-like arakkoa; the mighty ogres and their brutal gronn masters; and the aggressive tree-men known as botani.

Due to the corruption of fel, during the last days of its life, Draenor was referred to as the Red World.[3] 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.

Background

The territories of the orc clans.

Grond and the Evergrowth

Unlike Azeroth, Draenor did not have a titan world-soul, which led to the distinct differences between the native elementals. 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 elementals of Draenor were far more calm, and the planet's abundance of Spirit actually prevented them from taking on physical forms. This large amount of Spirit accelerated the growth of life on Draenor, creating a savage ecosystem. At the top of the food chain was a carnivorous, invasive species known as the Sporemounds.[4]

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.[4]

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.[4]

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.[4]

Draining the life essence of the surrounding forests and jungles, three Sporemounds arose and walked to face Grond: Zang, Naanu and Botaan. Although the Evergrowth allowed the three Sporemounds to fight in unison, Grond's elemental might allowed him to crush Zang and Naanu. Zang's corpse would become the Zangar Sea, and Naanu became Tanaan Jungle. Despite these victories, Grond began to weaken. Botaan sensed its enemy's weakening state and absorbed the life energies from the fallen Zang and Naanu. This allowed it grow even larger, and it pressed the attack. It thrust thousands of vines into Grond's cracks and fissures, wrenching them further until the elemental giant collapsed on his own weight and crumbled. Much of his corpse then formed a mountain range at the edge of a region that would later be called Nagrand. [5]

Grond's death also released the primordial elemental energies that once gave him life, and these coalesced into pools of power from which the elemental spirits of Draenor were finally able to take on physical form. Among these arose the Furies, and they dwelled near the remains of Grond's head, a place that would become known as the Throne of the Elements.[6]

During the battles between Grond and the Sporemounds, pieces of both parties fell to earth and from them new creatures arose. From the pieces of the Sporemounds emerged a number of plant beings, the most powerful of which were the genesaur. The debris that fell off Grond became the colossals. When Aggramar saw the colossals, he lent them his aid in defeating Botaan. From the remains of Grond, the titan fashioned great stone discs infused with runes of power, which he then affixed onto the colossals like armor. This gave the giants enhanced strength and endurance. Empowered, they set out to face the Sporemound and the genesaur. [7]

Just as the colossals marched to battle, Aggramar detected the death of a constellar somewhere across the Great Dark Beyond. Although Aggramar's work with Draenor was far from over, he was compelled to investigate the dire signal. He charged the colossals with defeating the Evergrowth in his absence and promised to return one day, then left the planet. He would never return, for his investigation eventually led to a fatal confrontation with Sargeras, who had just unleashed the Burning Legion on the physical universe.[8]

Although the colossals would never know of their master's fate, they continued with their mission. The battles with the Evergrowth whittled down the numbers of the stone giants, and like Grond before them the bodies of the fallen colossals gave birth to new creatures: the magnaron. The magnaron were not as intelligent as the colossals and felt no loyalty towards their progenitors, but they still opposed the Evergrowth, clashing with genesaur that crossed their path as they migrated to places rich with volcanic activity. [8]

After millennia of being withered by constant fighting, the remaining colossals decided to launch a final, suicidal attack directly on Botaan. Swarming over the Sporemound, they unleashed the energies of the titan relics. The resulting explosion utterly destroyed both parties, and their remains scattered across Draenor. The colossals who gave their lives to slay the Sporemound would not give rise to new races of stone creatures, as drawing on the power of the titan relics had burned away their life essence. Instead, their corpses sank into the earth and formed veins of blackrock ore. Botaan's corpse would become the region of Farahlon, and the communal sentience of the Evergrowth was destroyed.[9]

From Botaan's corpse, innumerable spores were released. These spores were infused with the Spirit of Life, and whatever they touched would be warped and changed. The surviving colossals became creatures of flesh and blood. The magnaron were weakened by the spores, and some of them even devolved into a new race of predatory half-flesh, half-stone giants, the gronn. Likewise, some gronn had further degenerated into the smaller but smarter ogron, a race that came to worship the gronn as gods. A number of ogron transformed into creatures of pure flesh, the ogres, and from the ogres came the orcs. The ogres became slaves to the brutish ogron, while the orcs huddled underground to avoid their enormous relatives. The magnaron, gronn and ogron became collectively known as the Breakers, and they seized control of the barren tracts of the world. At the same time, new races of plant creatures emerged from the forests and jungles touched by the spores, such as the podlings, sporelings and botani. Alongside the genesaur, they became known as the Primals. The botani retained faint memories of the Evergrowth, enough to shape their culture into revering the genesaur as gods and adopting the belief of a collective spirit existing across all plant life. These two factions inevitably clashed, and the face of Draenor was carved into territories between them. The Primals and the Breakers would fight for ages to come, but neither side could completely destroy the other, achieving balance. [10]

This era would later be known as the Age of Colossals.[11][12][13]

Early history

The ogres believed that 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.[14]

During a period known as the Age of Order, the mighty arakkoa civilization known as the Apexis rose to power before abruptly vanishing.

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.[15][16][17] They believed that this world would be an ideal refuge for their millenia-long exodus and named it Draenor,[18][19] 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.[20] 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

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.[21]

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.[22] 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.[23]

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.

Alternate timeline

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.

Geography

Outposts and cities

The draenei

The Horde

Trivia

  • The draenei temporarily visited dozens of worlds aboard the Genedar,[24] but not all of them were aboard the ship. After the crash of the Genedar, it was said that there were still other naaru and draenei besides those left stranded on Draenor.[25]
  • The rivers of Draenor were filled with moray.[26]

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.
  • 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.

Gallery

Videos

Film universe

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Draenor is the homeworld of orcs and is currently dying because of the fel.

References