Durotar (nation)

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This article is about the orcish nation. For the in-game faction reputation, see Orgrimmar (faction). For other uses, see Durotar.
HordeDurotar
Warcraft III Reforged - Orcs Icon.png
Icon of Battle
Main leader

 Thrall

  Formerly
Secondary leaders
  Formerly

 Nazgrim †
 Malkorok †

Race(s)
Capital
Other major settlements
Base of operations
Sub-group(s)
Affiliation
  Formerly
Status

Healthy

Reputation
Tabard

Orgrimmar Tabard.jpg

To pretend it the demonic corruption did not exist is to forget how dreadful the impact was. To make ourselves into victims, rather than claiming our participation in our own destruction. We chose this path, we orcs. We chose it right up until it was too late to turn back. And having made that choice, we can, with the knowledge that we have of the end of that dark and shameful road, choose not to take it.
— Warchief Thrall[1]

The nation of Durotar[2][3] (or kingdom)[4][5] is an orcish nation and a member state of the Horde. Following the Third War, the clans under Thrall's leadership founded the nation of Durotar and the great city of Orgrimmar.

History

The Founding of Durotar

Construction of Orgrimmar the great city.

With the Battle of Mount Hyjal over, and with it the immediate threat to the world, Thrall set out to found the new orcish homeland in Kalimdor. He named the land Durotar in honor of his father, and founded the city of Orgrimmar in honor of Orgrim Doomhammer. With the orcs' new allies, the tauren, becoming part of the Horde and with the support of the Lordaeronian survivors led by Jaina Proudmoore, Thrall was able to build quickly. However, this was not to last. Grand Admiral Daelin Proudmoore, Jaina's father, arrived in Kalimdor (having left before the war was over to look for any surviving forces) and launched an attack against the fledgling orc nation. During the initial assault the Darkspear trolls lost their new home on the Echo Isles and with the help of the Mok'Nathal half-orc Rexxar, came to live with the orcs in Durotar. The shadow hunter Vol'jin pledged the tribe's eternal allegiance to the Horde in return. Thrall, not knowing what humans had attacked him, initially suspected Jaina's forces, but her loyalty was proven when she helped the orcs stop the invading forces of her father Admiral Proudmoore.

World of Warcraft

WoW Icon update.png This section concerns content related to the original World of Warcraft.

The members of the Shattered Hand that remained in Azeroth became an integral part of Thrall's New Horde. With the foundation of Durotar, and the Horde capital of Orgrimmar, the Shattered Hand has become the Horde's clan of assassins, training new rogues in the service of their Warchief.

At some point, a expeditionary force was sent to Badlands in order to explore a new land and Commander Gor'shak was sent to Blackrock Depths. While there, he allowed himself to be captured by the Dark Iron dwarves in order to gather intelligence. Gor'shak learned that Princess Moira Bronzebeard had been captured.[6] Though Thrall sought a strike team to liberate her in order to strengthen relations in the Eastern Kingdoms,[7] it was ultimately Alliance forces who entered the Blackrock Depths and killed Dagran Thaurissan, the Emperor of the Dark Irons.[8]

During the second War of the Shifting Sands, the forces of Durotar was sent to the front lines in Silithus under the command of Varok Saurfang who acted as the Supreme Commander of the Might of Kalimdor.

During the first Scourge Invasion, Orgrimmar was attacked by the Scourge. Prior to the start of the invasion of Outland, the gates of Orgrimmar were invaded by a group of Burning Legion demons led by Highlord Kruul.[9]

The Burning Crusade

The Burning Crusade This section concerns content related to The Burning Crusade.

When word reached Warchief Thrall that the Dark Portal had reopened, he immediately gathered his advisors to plan an expedition through it, eager to find new insights into the history of his people on the other side. After the forces of the Horde, alongside the Alliance, repelled a invasion through the Dark Portal from the Burning Legion, their combined forces pressed through it into the shattered world Outland, the remnants of the homeworld of the orcs, Draenor. There, the Horde expedition, led by Thralls loyal advisor Nazgrel, founded the outpost of Thrallmar.

On Hellfire Peninsula, the Horde came into contact with the Fel Horde - orcs corrupted by the blood of a pitlord and the servants of the ruler of Outland, Illidan. The Fel Horde was lead by none other than Kargath Bladefist, chieftain of the Shattered Hand clan and one of the greatest orc heroes of the younger history. The Horde forces stormed the stronghold of the Fel Horde, the Hellfire Citadel, conquered it and killed Kargath Bladefist. His fall to corruption and death was a heavy blow to the orcs, but they nonetheless honor the memory of the orc Kargath once was, as well as the lesson learned from his downfall.

Later in the campaign, a detachment of Kor'kron were active in the region of Shadowmoon Valley, where they serve as the defenders of Shadowmoon Village, the closest Horde outpost to the Black Temple. From there, they wage war against the Burning Legion as well as the legions of Illidan Stormrage.

Wrath of the Lich King

Wrath of the Lich King This section concerns content related to Wrath of the Lich King.

Bolvar Fordragon and Dranosh Saurfang fight together against the Scourge.

The city of Orgrimmar was once again attacked by the Scourge during the duel between Thrall and Garrosh Hellscream. The duel was interrupted as orcs and some other leaders of the Horde went to defend the city.

After mopping up the few Scourge left, the warchief decided to form and send the Horde Expedition, a coalition of all Horde forces under Garrosh Hellscream's command, towards Northrend, thus properly beginning the war against the Lich King. The Expedition battled its way to the doorstep of the Scourge, Angrathar the Wrathgate. During the Battle of Angrathar the Wrathgate, the Horde and Alliance put aside their differences and combined their forces in a showdown between them and the Lich King. Unfortunately, Forsaken renegades led by Grand Apothecary Putress unleashed the Forsaken Blight on living and Scourge alike in a surprise attack meant to rid themselves of all their enemies in one fell swoop.

The Horde forces suffered heavy casualties from this betrayal, including Dranosh Saurfang. Putress' actions were outside the orders of the Forsaken and, concurrently with the Wrathgate attack, Varimathras and hordes of his demonic brethren overran the Forsaken capital Undercity, slaying all those who would not submit to their dark rule. Sylvanas Windrunner herself was nearly killed in the coup, but managed to escape with a number of loyalists and fled to Orgrimmar. Determined not to allow the Dreadlords a foothold in Horde territory, Thrall and Sylvanas planned an immediate counter-attack. Unwilling to abandon the Undercity to the traitors, Sylvanas, Thrall, and Vol'jin lead a Horde counterattack in order to remove Varimathras from power and restore the Undercity to the Forsaken. After fighting their way through a Burning Legion-controlled Undercity, the Banshee Queen and the Warchief succeed in killing Varimathras and retaking the Royal Quarter. As they prepare to strike at Putress, however, King Varian enters and declares his intention to end it all there. Before the battle can increase in intensity, Jaina Proudmoore swiftly teleports the Alliance forces out of the Undercity, resulting in a successful Horde restoration.

Though tensions remained high, the Horde and Alliance reluctantly remained focused on the Lich King for the remainder of the war; with only skirmishes between the two factions occurring to supplement their war effort in the war. Members of the Horde and the Alliance launched separate campaigns in Northrend, and their efforts resulted in the Lich King’s crushing defeat. Under Overlord Garrosh's leadership, the orcs of Durotar led the Horde to victory against the Lich King in Northrend.

Cataclysm

Cataclysm This section concerns content related to Cataclysm.

Prior to the great Cataclysm, Warchief Thrall found that he needed to leave his position as Warchief to another in order to help heal the world. He gave the title to Garrosh Hellscream. With much of Orgrimmar burned down during the Elemental Unrest and Durotar's geography changing from the over flooded Southfury River, Warchief Garrosh began reinforcing the city and Durotar with iron battlements, barricades and training grounds. The harbor of Bladefist Bay and many watch towers were also added.

During the Elemental Unrest, the northern area of Durotar became a spot of gatherings of concerned citizens and the cultists of the Twilight Hammer cult.

Following the shattering, Garrosh evicted the majority of non-orc races from central Orgrimmar, as he believed only the orcs possessed the strength to truly defend the city, leading to tensions between Durotar and the other members of the Horde, and began to take a far more ferocious stance in his war with the Alliance - leading his forces in a rampage through Ashenvale in order to secure the much sought after supplies his people need. His actions have caused the orcish people to avoid the famine that threatened Durotar prior to his ascension. He believed that if the blood of the selfish Alliance was required to give his people the essentials they need to exist, then so be it. Hellscream's ascension has been applauded by most orcs, who felt that his brash warrior instincts and unwillingness to negotiate for needed resources were more in tune with the true orc way.[10]

Garrosh ordered the Forsaken to invade Gilneas, as the Horde needed a port in the Eastern Kingdoms. Though Gilneas was initially conquered, the Gilneans were able to counterattack and push the Forsaken forces out of the city. Growing irritated, Garrosh sent his own forces to support the Forsaken, and a stalemate was reached. Garrosh later met with Lady Sylvanas Windrunner in Silverpine Forest, and was present during her demonstration of the Val'kyr's great necromantic abilities. Though the Forsaken were appeased enough by this solution to their plight as a people, Garrosh was disgusted. He dispensed High Warlord Cromush to "guard" Lady Sylvanas, and after an insulting exchange with her, left.[11]

The Horde forces under Garrosh's command launch assault into the Twilight Highlands, organizing an impressive air fleet to obliterate the Twilight's Hammer cult and claim the land for the Horde. Garrosh was informed of an Alliance fleet nestled below- and ordered his air support to destroy them. This backfired when - due to treachery from within - the Horde fleet was ambushed, undefended, by Deathwing and his twilight drakes. Although Garrosh was personally able to fend one such drake off, his ship itself suffered massive damage and fell into the ocean below. The remainder of the fleet suffered a similar fate, crashing down into the sea. Garrosh himself was considered missing in action.[12]

Without Garrosh's direct leadership, the Horde turned to the neighboring Dragonmaw clan to strike up an alliance. After failed negotiations with their master, Overlord Mor'ghor, the Horde forces joined a Dragonmaw rebellion led by Warlord Zaela, successfully dethroning Mor'ghor and his fel orcs. Garrosh, who had survived the crash, arrived at Dragonmaw Port and officially inducted Zaela and the Dragonmaw into the Horde.[13]

Tides of War

WoW-novel-logo-16x62.png This section concerns content related to the Warcraft novels, novellas, or short stories.

Many members of the Blackrock clan were later granted amnesty and joined the new Horde at the behest of Warchief Garrosh Hellscream. His own bodyguard, Malkorok, was of Blackrock descent. He also became a leader of the Kor'kron who began acting akin to a secret police, ensuring the loyalty of other Horde races (and, in some cases, orcs), while abducting, brutalizing, and in some cases even murdering those they deemed treasonous or troublesome.[14]

With the Cataclysm over and the threat of Deathwing subsided, Garrosh has reinvigorated his plans for conquest. Garrosh aimed to forcibly expel the Alliance from Kalimdor, and claim the continent for the good of the Horde. He expressed this desire in a meeting with the other Horde leaders (Baine Bloodhoof, Vol'jin, Sylvanas Windrunner, Lor'themar Theron, and Trade Prince Gallywix, along with Malkorok and Eitrigg, the only advisor remaining from Thrall's reign), much to the chagrin of the former three. Garrosh intended to scour Theramore from the continent and stunt the Alliance's military presence. With that done, he then aimed to take the night elves' land.

After the successful destruction of Theramore, the battle force returned to Orgrimmar to celebrate their victory. Many cheers rose to Garrosh's victory. This victory would not be without its consequences, the Alliance retaliated with a large naval battle occurring in Durotar's Bladefist Bay. As the tide turned against him, Garrosh used his dark shaman to summon Kraken to tip the scales. The Alliance under King Varian Wrynn eventually broke the blockade. Following these events, Garrosh made a dark proclamation: every man, woman, and child was to assist in the war effort against the Alliance, and any found shirking their duties would face the wrath of the Kor'kron.

Mists of Pandaria

Mists of Pandaria This section concerns content related to Mists of Pandaria.

Due to the destruction of Theramore, the Alliance has become motivated to the war effort instead of crushed as Garrosh originally intended. While being informed about the various navy battles by the newly promoted General Nazgrim, the Warchief was shocked to learn that during a naval battle in the south, Alliance forces were run aground. Upon learning about this new uncharted land, Garrosh became enraged that the Alliance got there first and quickly ordered the General to gather his best men to secure the new land for the Horde.[15]

Landfall

Durotar Grunts fighting in Pandaria

Roughly two months after the initial foray into Pandaria, Garrosh himself arrived with the bulk of the Horde fleet,[16] and quickly went about removing the local Alliance presence along the shore of Krasarang.[17] The Horde, under the weight of Garrosh Hellscream’s command, continued to fracture, Garrosh and Vol'jin had yet another clash of opinions about his warmongering at the newly-constructed Domination Point, resulting in Garrosh, long-tested by the Darkspear chieftain's criticism, ordering his rival's outright murder (under the guise of Vol'jin being sent on a mission with the Kor'kron).[18] Vol'jin survived the attempt on his life, and it was revealed that Garrosh had put the Darkspear Isles under martial law.

Escalation

Fed up with Garrosh's warmongering, large portions of the Horde rose up against him.[19] Garrosh branded the entirety of the Darkspear tribe as traitors to the Horde, forcibly taking over their holdings while oppressing and executing their members. The already precarious racial division of Orgrimmar took another hit, as the Valley of Spirits was then dominated by the Kor'kron, and various non-orc members of the city are rounded up, chiefly among them the tauren.

The Darkspear Rebellion took the southern Durotar back from the Kor'kron. In response, Garrosh reinforced Orgrimmar's front gates with troops, wolf riders, and farseers. He also allied himself with the Dragonmaw clan, bringing in a number of proto-drakes and Zaela's mount Galakras to defend Bladefist Bay.

Warchief Garrosh had sent crews into the Vale of Eternal Blossoms and into the Northern Barrens in search of resources to push his war machine forward. In the Vale of Eternal Blossoms, Garrosh seized the desiccated heart of an Old God to use as a tool of war, unleashing horrors upon the sacred valley, and consequently caused tensions to reach a boiling point.

Siege of Orgrimmar

Garrosh's forces during the siege.

During the Siege of Orgrimmar, the city and the northern Durotar is put under siege by the forces of the Horde rebels and the Alliance. Kor'kron barricades block access to most of the city's districts. Vol'jin's revolutionary forces have entrenched themselves along the main road, launching a frontal assault on the city's gates to break into the Valley of Strength. Alliance frigates storm the Bladefist Bay and landing parties attempt to capture the docks around Orgrimmar. Invading forces discover a massive underground compound constructed by Garrosh's forces for his own purposes. Skirmishes at the gates occurred before a full-scale battle erupted between the forces led by Vol'jin and the defenders still loyal to Garrosh. Despite Vol'jin's attempts to ram the gate and attack the walls with siege engines, the walls could not be breached. The arrival of a combined rebel and Alliance armada under the command of Lor'themar Theron, Varian Wrynn, Jaina Proudmoore, and Sylvanas Windrunner disabled Orgrimmar's naval defenses. Eventually, the Kor'kron were pushed back into the gates and the arrival of Night Elf reinforcements under Tyrande Whisperwind. Night Elf glaive throwers brought the gate down, and the allied forces charged into Orgrimmar. The Valley of Strength was quickly liberated, and the death of General Nazgrim brought the upper city under Alliance/rebel control. The Underhold eventually fell when adventurers defeated and imprisoned the Warchief Garrosh. Vol'jin was quickly nominated and initiated as the new Warchief by Thrall and the other Horde leaders. Alliance forces left the city, and the rebels began rebuilding the damage that was done during the siege, but, the rebellion caused the nation to lose its top leadership.[20]

Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor This section concerns content related to Warlords of Draenor.

Following the events of Siege of Orgrimmar, Garrosh Hellscream was imprisoned to be tried in Pandaria. Before the trial could conclude, aided by an ally who can manipulate the timelines, Garrosh escaped to Draenor of the past, and prevented the orcs from ever drinking the blood of Mannoroth, creating an untainted Iron Horde under the leadership of Grommash Hellscream. Warchief Vol'jin declared war on the Iron Horde and formed an expedition of all Horde forces under the command of numerous talented commanders to face the enemy.

Legion

Legion This section concerns content related to Legion.

The Horde armies sailed from Durotar to the Broken Shore to deal with the Burning Legion.

After the disastrous battle Sylvanas Windrunner took the mantle of Warchief,[21] and Varok Saurfang was stationed inside Grommash Hold presiding over Orgrimmar[22] as the leader of the orcs. Several orcish forces were present in several areas of the Legion's assaults across Azeroth where they established military camps to protect Horde assets.

Following the end of the Argus Campaign, Varok Saurfang was the last Horde leader to join the Orgrimmar parade. Though Warchief Windrunner grudgingly respected Varok, she also sensed that out of all the Horde leaders, Varok was most likely the one to challenge or outright oppose her should she misstep too badly.[23]

Battle for Azeroth

Battle for Azeroth This section concerns content related to Battle for Azeroth.

War of the Thorns

WoW-novel-logo-16x62.png This section concerns content related to the Warcraft novels, novellas, or short stories.

Orcish invaders facing night elven defenders.

Following the Gathering, Orgrimmar had been saturated with Alliance spies. Since it would be too costly for the Horde to uproot them all, Warchief Sylvanas Windrunner had chosen to tolerate their presence. With both factions debilitated in their ability to reinforce Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms, the Horde came up with a plan to secure Kalimdor and elicit a political crisis in the Alliance that would lead to its downfall. After luring a majority of the night elven forces to Silithus through misinformation, the Horde would seek to hold Darnassus hostage and use the political crisis to sow division in the Alliance. That can only happen if the Horde wins in an honorable victory, which Sylvanas knows the Horde doesn't trust her to do. Thus, Sylvanas authorized Saurfang to create the battle plans and execute their strategy. Furthermore, Warchief Sylvanas Windrunner wanted to kill Malfurion Stormrage in order to kill the kaldorei's spirit and end them as a nation.[24]

The orcish forces gathered in front of Orgrimmar gates yet again and later marched with their Horde allies through Durotar into the Northern Barrens and Ashenvale to participate in the War of the Thorns.

The Fourth War

The genocide at Teldrassil had rallied the Alliance to seek retribution. Saurfang command the defense of Undercity and Durotar's forces joined with other Horde forces to defend the city. After the battle, many Forsaken refugees arrived at Orgrimmar seeking refuge.

During the Battle for Stromgarde, Eitrigg is one of the Horde commanders, leading the forces of Durotar, and carrying the banner of the nation.

Saurfang's rebellion
Horde rebel army and Alliance army in front of the Gates of Orgrimmar.

To protect Azeroth and depose of Sylvanas, the Horde revolutionaries and Alliance planned to strike at Orgrimmar and to that end set up camp in Razor Hill. The Banshee loyalists collapsed the tunnel between Razor Hill and Orgrimmar. As a response, Saurfang turned to Gazlowe and Tinkmaster Overspark breach the canyon.[25] With his forces established within the Dranosh'ar Blockade, Saurfang turned to dealing with Sylvanas's spies and protecting their siege weapons.[26][27] Knowing that Orgrimmar's greatest weakness was its multiple entrances Saurfang's strategy relied on attacking all three entrances at once. To that end, he directed for Genn Greymane's forces to attack Orgrimmar from the Northern Barrens, Lor'themar Theron and Shandris Feathermoon to lead their forces to attack the city from Azshara, and he, Thrall, and Anduin would lead their forces to attack Orgrimmar from Durotar. He further ordered Mayla Highmountain to lead her people to protect Thunder Bluff in case of Sylvanas launching a counterattack.[28]

However, before the battle could commence, Saurfang, recognizing Sylvanas's loyalists as their brothers and sisters in the Horde and unwilling to spill more Horde blood, challenged Sylvanas to Mak'gora, Sylvanas initially had the upper hand against Saurfang, however, when she began to mock him about hope, Saurfang got his second wind by declaring that Sylvanas couldn't kill hope. As Saurfang turned the tide against Sylvanas he claimed that she failed to kill hope at Teldrassil, failed in getting the Horde and Alliance to keep killing each other, he further declared that the Horde would endure, that Horde was strong and was able to slash Sylvanas across her eye. This turn caused an enraged Sylvanas to declare that Horde was nothing, that they were all nothing. Sylvanas then killed Saurfang quickly with a blast of unknown magic and abandoned the Horde altogether.

Organization

People and culture

Since Thrall took leadership of the Horde there is no discrimination between genders in orcish society.[29] Women are able to pursue the same career choices as men, rise to positions of power and are even expected to answer to the call for battle just as men are. Strength (both physical and mental), courage, initiative, and independence are prized traits in all orcs. Traditionally, children are seen as children of the parents but are raised as children of the clan. However, because of the newly unified Horde and the current diaspora of individual orc families creating homes and settling down in various areas around Durotar, the Barrens and beyond, this typical clan scheme has been changing, and life is beginning to become more centered around the nuclear family rather than the greater clan.

Orcs instinctively revere the rugged forces of the natural elements, and as such, shaman are held in high regard. They generally have a close relationship with the nature elements and angering them is considered a grave offense.[30] Over the ages, shaman-like Thrall have communed with these spirits and, through patience and dedication, learned to soothe roaring infernos, bring rain to sun-scorched lands, and otherwise temper the elementals' ruinous influence on the world of Azeroth. Since Durotar is a barren place with little water or plant life, orcs are reliant on shamans to negotiate with the elementals to provide necessities such as drinking water from fallen rain or fire to warm their hearths.[31]

Political structure

The nation of Durotar is the union of the many clans. Each clan has a different culture, tradition or behavior which sets them apart from the other clans and often also gives them their name. The Warsong clan, for example, is named because of the rhythmic songs they chant in battle, while the Shattered Hand clan is named for the tradition of their warriors to cut of their own hand and replace it with a weapon.

Every orc clan is led by a chieftain, the chieftain is usually the strongest member of the clan and there are two ways of becoming a chieftain. Either you challenge the old chieftain and beat him in a Mak'gora or you inherit the status of chieftain.

While there are still many different clans in the Horde, they don't live as strictly separated as they once did. However, some clans still maintain a large amount of individuality and separate themselves from the other clans, like Warsong or Dragonmaw.

Notable leaders

Name Notes Status Location
Horde  Thrall Current leader of Durotar and former Warchief of the Horde. Son of Durotan, liberator of the orcs and founder of the nation of Durotar. As the greatest shaman ever known, he stepped down to join the Earthen Ring in stabilizing the world following the Cataclysm. Alive Various
Horde  Garrosh Hellscream Former Warchief of the Horde. Son of Grom Hellscream. He was chosen by Thrall to be the Warchief when he stepped down to join the Earthen Ring. Deposed by the Alliance and Darkspear Rebellion due to the warmongering and genocidal policy towards non-orcs. Deceased Various
Horde  Varok Saurfang High Overlord of the Horde. A famed veteran of the First, Second, and Third Wars. Became leader of Durotar following the tragic battle on the Broken Shore until his death. Deceased Various
History WC3tFT-logo.png WoW Icon update.png The Burning Crusade Wrath of the Lich King Cataclysm Mists of Pandaria Warlords of Draenor Legion Battle for Azeroth Shadowlands
Ruler Thrall Garrosh Hellscream None[32] Varok Saurfang Thrall

Military

The nation of Durotar possesses an array of military organizations:

Organizations Leader(s) Role Status
Kor'kron IconSmall OrcGray Male.gif Malkorok †
IconSmall Varok.gif Varok Saurfang †
A elite fighting force of the Horde, serving as the personal bodyguards of the Warchief and enforcers of their command. Active
Orgrimmar Legion Unknown A battalion of orcs and jungle trolls sent from Orgrimmar to Hive'Regal in Silithus to aid the Cenarion Hold. Unknown
Warsong Outriders IconSmall Orc Male.gif Gargok (Presumed)
IconSmall Garrosh.gif Garrosh Hellscream †
Are the Horde forces of the Warsong Gulch battleground. Active
Hellscream's Vanguard IconSmall Nazgrim.gif Nazgrim † A force of orcs led by Legionnaire Nazgrim, commanded to conquer the land recently raised in the area of Vashj'ir. Unknown
Hellscream's Reach IconSmall Garrosh.gif Garrosh Hellscream † Is the Horde faction on Tol Barad that fought the Alliance-aligned Baradin's Wardens for control of the prison island. Unknown
Orgrimmar guard IconSmall Thrall2.gif Thrall
IconSmall Varok.gif Varok Saurfang †
IconSmall Garrosh.gif Garrosh Hellscream †
Are the law enforcement and protectors of Orgrimmar. Active

References