Invasion of Outland

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The Burning Crusade Invasion of Outland
Invasion of Outland
Part of: Burning Crusade
Location: Blasted Lands, Outland, Isle of Quel'Danas
Begin: Reopening of the Dark Portal
End: Fury of the Sunwell
Outcome: Decisive Alliance-Horde victory





Burning Legion

Commanders and leaders





Burning Legion

Casualties and losses
  • Light
  • Near annihilation
  • Mortal forces near annihilated, Demonic forces presumably light
Major battles: Battle of the Dark Portal, Battle for Sun's Reach
Previous: Ahn'Qiraj War, First Battle for Hillsbrad
Next: War against the Lich King, Nexus War

The Invasion of Outland[1] was the combined invasion of Outland by the Alliance and the Horde after the Burning Legion's third attempt of invading Azeroth. The goal of the war is to prevent the Legion from securing a foothold on Outland to further their attacks on Azeroth through the Dark Portal.

Later in the conflict, the Alliance and the Horde also came into conflict with Illidan's forces.



New alliances

Draenei join the Alliance.

In Outland, Prince Kael'thas' blood elves discovered the power of Tempest Keep and successfully seized it. To escape, the draenei came out of hiding and managed to wrestle control of a wing of the keep, The Exodar, and tried to use it to flee and find aid in retaking their home. Before they could, however, the blood elves managed to sabotage what is essentially the "engine" of the draenei's transdimensional travel. The remainder of the Keep lies in Outland in Netherstorm and is now the home of Prince Kael'thas.

A month later, a terrible explosion tore open the skies above northern Kalimdor. At that moment, the great ship Exodar, plummeted from the heavens and crashed upon the world of Azeroth. The Exodar crash-landed on a chain of islands, the Azuremyst Isles, off the western coast of Kalimdor. Their arrival on Azeroth wasn't pretty - they ended up tearing up the landscape over on Azuremyst and Bloodmyst Isle. While they were of course concerned about their fellow survivors,[2] they were just as concerned with what they'd done to the land and the creatures on it.[3] Nevertheless, the noble draenei had succeeded in finding a safe haven and a new home. Eventually they came to discover that Kael'thas's blood elves (known as the Sunfury) had followed them to Azeroth to murder them,[4] enslave O'ros,[5] and steal the Exodar.[6] After fending off the blood elven incursions,[7][8] the draenei rescued an injured night elf priestess who thought the draenei to be their demonic eredar kin.[9]

Inspired by tales of the heroic Alliance that stood against the might of the Burning Legion, the draenei have come to enlist aid in retaking their shattered homeland. Dedicated to preserving life and upholding the tenets of the Holy Light, the draenei hope to gather a new coalition of warriors to battle the Burning Legion and put a halt to its horrific Burning Crusade. Armed only with courage and their unshakable faith in the Light, the draenei sought out the Alliance in order to usher them towards the destiny that awaits beyond the skies of Azeroth.[10] Prophet Velen had long foresaw the friendship the draenei would have with the noble Alliance and his prophecy came to fruition when his people made first contact with the residents of Odesyus' Landing.[11][12] Together, they uncovered a conspiracy to harm the Alliance and the draenei involving the Sunfury, the Venture Company, and their traitorous agents: Engineer "Spark" Overgrind[13][14] and Sironas.[15] After further investigation, it is discovered that the traitor eredar Sironas (who has been hiding among the draenei populace) has been leading a group of blood elves called the Sunhawks in abducting draenei survivors, torturing them[16] until they willingly desire to become man'ari eredar,[15] and also opening Sun Gates to prime Kalimdor for a blood elven invasion.[17] After securing Blood Watch, the draenei of the Exodar recognized they would require allies and resources to fend off future threats. Anchorite Paetheus had sent draenei adventurers to Auberdine, the closest Alliance settlement, to propose cooperation in the fight against their common foes.[18][19] They have also sent Emissary Valustraa to Darnassus and Emissary Taluun to Stormwind City to maintain diplomatic ties with their new allies and direct their adventurers to support their allies in their troubled lands. Eventually, the Alliance destroyed the Sun Gate[20] and defeated Sironas and her Sunhawks; which consequently prevented Prince Kael'thas from invading Kalimdor and corrupting the draenei into demons.[21]

Blood elves join the Horde.

In the Eastern Kingdoms, the blood elves were able to reclaim much of Quel'Thalas, coming under the leadership of Regent Lord Lor'themar Theron, Ranger General Halduron Brightwing, and Grand Magister Rommath. When Rommath was sent back to Azeroth, he relayed their beloved prince's message of hope for the blood elves remaining in Quel'Thalas: that one day Kael'thas would return to lead his people to paradise. Rommath had made great progress in teaching the blood elves advanced techniques to manipulate arcane energies.[22] However, new trials appeared on the horizon: the technique of taking magic from external sources resulted in the birth of the "Wretched," a small offshoot of undead-esque, disorganized magical addicts who were unable to keep their withdrawal in check. Their presence became a reminder to the blood elves of the importance of controlling their magical addiction - for if they do not, it will control them. Blood elven adventurers went about putting down a number of the small pockets of Wretched lingering in Eversong. Despite their troubles, many of the blood elves were emboldened by Prince Kael'thas' promises and would even seek to journey to Outland in order to partake in the paradise Kael'thas had promised them.[23]

After Prince Kael'thas Sunstrider's conquest of Tempest Keep, he captured a naaru named M'uru and sent it to Quel'Thalas so that the magic-addicted blood elves could feed upon it. Back in the capital city of Silvermoon, Magister Astalor Bloodsworn was not content with this idea. After long months of study and experimentation, he and his fellow wizards learned how to manipulate and corrupt the naaru's luminous energies. In the end the wizards devised a process by which the powers of the Light could be transferred to recipients who had not earned such abilities. Instead of feeding upon the naaru's magic, the blood elves would wield the naaru's Light-given powers themselves. Lady Liadrin, formerly a priestess, had recently renounced her vows, for she felt the Light had abandoned her people. She learned of the wizards' achievement and volunteered to be the first to bend the stolen powers to her will. With her decision a new order was born: the Blood Knights. These renegade paladins would be able to harness the sacred powers of the Alliance's noblest heroes, an advantage that enticed Warchief Thrall and High Chieftain Cairne Bloodhoof despite their distaste for the blood knights' methods.

The blood elves were caught in the throes of constant combat: with the Scourge presence emanating from Deatholme on one hand, and continued raids and attacks coming from the Amani trolls, who maintain their own holdings within the ruins and ziggurats of Zul'Aman on the other. The former threat was ultimately neutralized, thanks to the combined efforts of the sin'dorei Magisters and Farstriders, along with support from the Forsaken. Under direction from leaders within the Ghostlands, this culminated with the eventual battle with and demise of the Scourge leader, Dar'Khan Drathir, whose head was sent to Regent Lord Lor'themar. Concurrent with failed negotiations with the Alliance, and night elven incursions into Quel'Thalas, Lor'themar began to forge an alliance with the faction his Forsaken allies now belonged to: the Horde. Several ambassadors were sent to and from Silvermoon, and Dar'Khan's death cleared any doubts that the blood elves would be a hindrance to the Horde.[24] With the blood elves' induction into the Horde, the sin'dorei now have the military might to secure their lands and the logistical aid for their pilgrimages to Outland, while the Horde gains the diverse expertise of the blood elves and a guide for Thrall to find the uncorrupted Mag'har orcs.[25][26]

Dark Portal Opens

Main article: Dark Portal Opens
The reopened Dark Portal.

After Illidan Stormrage destroyed the dreadlord homeworld of Nathreza and dealt the greatest blow that the Burning Legion had felt in ten thousand years, the Legion was now clearly aware of the threat that Illidan posed and would learn from spies from within the Illidari that Illidan planned to launch a similar assault on Argus. Seeking to put an end to Illidan, the Betrayer believed that Kil'jaeden had decided to attack the forces of Azeroth, and lure them into entering Outland. Once within the shattered realm, the Horde and Alliance would begin striking against both the Legion and the Illidari. Kil'jaeden manipulated his enemies into fighting each other, and when they were weakened from the battle he planned to destroy them all.[27]

Prior to the re-opening of the Dark Portal, the Burning Legion launched several attacks on Azeroth from Outland. The demons opened portals to several areas in Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms as well as in the capital cities. Illidan Stormrage's demon hunters closed the portals on the Outland side.[28]

Doomlord Kazzak discovered an unknown relic and used its power to re-open the Dark Portal. In his stead he left fellow doomlord Highlord Kruul to sow discord across the major cities of Azeroth. Several waves of contingents from the Burning Legion attempted to breach the portal from Outland's side, but were kept at bay by the soldiers and mages from Nethergarde Keep, supported by reinforcements from the ever-vigilant Argent Dawn and mercenary troops from across Azeroth. Alliance and Horde forces under Watch Commander Relthorn Netherwane and Warlord Dar'toon arrived later in the battle and were able to successfully repel the Legion's forces.

This part of the war is officially called the Battle for the Dark Portal.[29]

Conjoined invasion of Outland

The Invasion of Outland begins.

After repelling the Legion's forces, Netherwane and Dar'toon dispatched[citation needed]  contingents under Commander Duron and Lieutenant General Orion in a conjoined effort to claim the Stair of Destiny and establish footholds in Hellfire Peninsula. The Alliance was able to reinforce their already established base at Honor Hold, still under the leadership of Danath Trollbane after two decades, while the Horde forces under Thrall's trusted advisor Nazgrel established the new settlement of Thrallmar.

Disruption of the Legion invasion

After the initial azerothian victory at the Stair of Destiny, the Legion attempted to retake the Portal in order to cease the flow of troops into Outland and resume their invasion of Azeroth.

Legion teleporters set behind the enemy lines provided a constant flow of troops to throw themselves at the Stair of Destiny. A nameless Pit Commander organized an army of Infernal Siegebreakers, Fel Soldiers and Wrath Masters in an attempt to push back the azerothian forces. The joint-faction army, inspired by the champions Justinius the Harbinger and Melgromm Highmountain fought a tireless battle to keep the Portal safe. The Legion invasion was finally broken when Alliance and Horde forces under Forward Commander Kingston and Forward Commander To'arch later managed to take down the Fel Reavers that were protecting the Legion's front teleporters and proceeded to destroy the portals with decisive air-raids employing technology developed by Area 52.

Bombing raids were carried out on the crucial Murketh and Shaadraz gateways and the forge camps of the Abyssal Shelf. Efforts to disrupt Legion factories at Forge Camps: Mageddon and Rage were also carried out by Horde and Alliance troops.

Later on, during the assault on Invasion Point: Annihilator, Warbringer Arix'Amal was killed and the portal shut down.[30][31]

The Scryers and Aldor with the help of the adventurers learned about the alliance of Kael'thas and Kil'jaeden. Several attacks on the demonic forces in Netherstorm led to the death of Socrethar.

The final nail in the coffin for the Burning Legion's invasion was the defeat of Kazzak the Supreme at the Throne of Kil'jaeden.

The conflict with Illidan

Illidan the Lord of Outland.

With the Legion threat diffused, the Alliance-Horde entente became less of a united, cohesive force. Both factions, however, turned to the threat of Illidan Stormrage, who was the hegemonous power in Outland, ruling from his seat at the Black Temple of Karabor.

This conflict was not conducted as an organized war effort, but rather as a series of smaller-scale conflicts across Outland, against fel orcs, blood elves, demons and naga loyal to Illidan. Only the forces of Shattrath City offered any form of organized attack; Xi'ri, a naaru general under the command of A'dal offered to push back Illidan's troops at the gates of the Black Temple with a joint Aldor-Scryer force. This provided an elaborate distraction for the liberated Maiev Shadowsong, Illidan's tireless jailer and Akama, Illidan's once-ally, to enter the Temple.

Adventurers, with the help of the Ashtongue Deathsworns, proceeded to bring down the high command of Illidan's vast empire, and even Illidan himself, from the inside.[32]

The Battle for Quel'Danas

Main article: Battle for Quel'Danas
The Isle of Quel'Danas occupied by the Legion.

The final stage of the conflict on Outland would transpire outside of Draenor itself, on the Isle of Quel'Danas. Kael'thas Sunstrider, once Illidan's most trusted advisor, had aligned himself and those of his still loyal subjects with the Burning Legion.

After extracting enormous amounts of arcane energy from Netherstorm via hijacked naaru-technology, Kael'thas was confronted and seemingly defeated at Tempest Keep. The Prince, however, managed to survive, albeit as a wretched mana-hungry fiend. Using the great amount of energy taken from Outland[citation needed]  and the captured naaru, M'uru,[citation needed]  Kael'thas triumphantly restored the shattered Sunwell for the most abominable purpose; the summoning of Kil'jaeden into Azeroth.

A united effort of the Aldor, Scryers and of the Blood Knight order, the Shattered Sun Offensive, successfully repelled the Burning Legion from Quel'Danas. With the Legion driven back from the Isle, the proud defenders of Azeroth invaded the Magisters' Terrace and at long last killed the Sun King.[33]

These brave adventurers then turned their attention to stopping Kil'jaeden's summoning into Azeroth. Within the Sunwell Plateau the demon lord was in the process of being completely summoned and only with the sacrifice of Anveena and the support from the blue dragonflight was he banished from Azeroth.

Restoration of the Sunwell

Main article: Sunwell Plateau epilogue
The Sunwell restored by the spark of M'uru.

Using the spark of the fallen naaru M'uru the draenei leader Velen reignited the Sunwell, explaining:

"In time, the light and hope within will rebirth more than this mere fount of power. Mayhap, they will rebirth the soul of a nation."

This strongly indicates that the Sunwell has indeed been restored using the energies of M'uru, returning the blood elves' "fount of power". The Sunwell's new energies are possibly derived from M'uru's powers of the Light rather than arcane magic.

Furthermore with Illidan dead the Elder Sage Akama swears to fill the halls of the Black Temple with Light once again.


The aftermath of the invasion, due to the conflicts primarily staying on Outland, left the politics of Azeroth for the most part unchanged. However, shortly after of this events, Varian Wrynn reclaimed his throne as King of Stormwind, and Warchief Thrall found and appointed the son of his close friend Grom, Garrosh Hellscream as his advisor.

The blue dragon Tyrygosa, while on Outland discovered and researched the eggs of the Netherwing dragonflight, prized tools in Illidan's war machine. At the start of the war, she took some of the eggs back to the Nexus where she cured her flight's patriarch, Malygos, of his insanity. In turn, Malygos would declare war on all magic users for their rampant misuse of magic over his long exile.

And the battle for Quel'Danas, while primarily a organized battle against the Burning Legion, saw the first organized movement of Scourge forces since Naxxramas appeared over the Plaguelands. If the Lich King subconsciously sent the Scourge there himself to halt the Legion's advance, or an unseen necrolord believing he was doing his what was best for his master is unknown. However, soon after the crisis, the Lich King himself awoke from his long dream and attacked Stormwind, Orgrimmar, and then declared war on the living, intending to wipe out all life on Azeroth.