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Warcraft II: The Dark Saga manual

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This article contains lore taken from Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness, Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal, the manuals, and/or official bonus maps.

NOTE: The following information is taken directly from the Warcraft II: The Dark Saga manual (UK edition).

The following article serves as an authentic copy of the original Warcraft II: The Dark Saga manual (UK edition). All material written in this article is of copyright ©1997 by Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. The author of this article claims no right of the material written.

The following sections were removed to preserve only or mostly the lore-related information:

  • Warning: To Owners of Projection Televisions
  • Epilepsy Warning
  • Contents
  • Starting the Game
  • Control Summary
  • Getting Started
  • Main Menu
  • Playing the Game
  • Building Dependencies: The Orcish Horde
  • Building Dependencies: The Human Alliance
  • Unit Dependencies: The Orcish Horde
  • Unit Dependencies: The Human Alliance
  • Special Commands
  • Saving and Loading
  • Credits

Introduction

A Brief History of the Fall of Azeroth

The fall of Azeroth is seldom mentioned without the name of Aegwyn. The last of a great order of powerful magic users dedicated to sheltering mortal men from the mysteries of the Great Dark, Aegwyn came to Azeroth in search of a mortal to sire the heir of all her great powers. The great conjurer Nielas was found and fathered Aegwyn a son. He was named Medivh, and he indeed inherited the powers and knowledge gathered in the thousand years of his mother's life. On the eve of his thirteenth birthday the powers locked inside Medivh were revealed. Unable to deal with the cosmic energies surging within him, he suffered a massive psychic trauma that left him insensible for almost six years.

When Medivh awoke, it was apparent to Aegwyn that the wisdom and power that was his birthright had become malevolent and corrupt. The distant forces within the Twisting Nether had marked Medivh's soul. He set out then to test his powers and in time delved deeper into the dark abyss of evil madness and the forbidden arts of Necromancy. Pursuit of these black arts led him to spiritual contact with Gul'dan the Warlock — the mightiest of the rulers on the dark, red world that haunted Medivh's visions. In his pursuit of power over Azeroth an unholy pact was written with Gul'dan and the Orcs that he ruled. The Orcs vowed to destroy Azeroth and in return were promised all of the spoils. Gul'dan was promised the vast power of an ancient wizard imprisoned in the great sea of Azeroth. Unnatural portals were opened between the world of Azeroth and the red world of the Orcs. The arrival of the Orcs tore the realm of Azeroth asunder for nearly five years. The once rich lands of the kingdom were razed and left fallow by the merciless Orc armies.

Medivh was slain in one of the countless battles that followed and did not live to see the fruition of his plans. The portal, however, remained open and continued to channel hundreds of Orcs into the Human lands every day.

The History of Orcish Ascension

Like an elemental force of destruction the Orcish Horde thunders through the lands of their enemies. Not a life is spared. No building is left standing. It has always been so with this kind. The savage, brutal tendencies of the masses are easily manipulated by those who hold true power — the real force that drives the great destructive machine that is the Horde. Thus, when they conquered the whole of their native world nothing was left upon which the great beast of war could feed. Tensions and violence among the clans began to rise. Minor disputes disintegrated into open battle and massive bloodshed.

New territories had to be found lest the clan destroy itself. It was at this point that Gul'dan, the mightiest warlock, was contacted by a dark force calling itself Medivh. Medivh promised the spoils of a kingdom for the Horde and incomprehensible powers for Gul'dan. An agreement was reached and a portal between the worlds was conjured. The kingdom of Azeroth, however was not as easy to defeat as they first seemed, and the old tensions between the Orcish clans begin to rise once more...

The Aftermath of the Second War

For long months the forces of the Alliance sought the renegade Orcs that had gone into hiding after the fall of the Dark Portal. Most of the clans were captured by the Alliance and herded into guarded reserves and prison camps. The Alliance leaders argued whether the imprisoned Orcs should be exterminated or sentenced to life in prison. As they argued the Alliance began to weaken and the remaining Orcs made plans to return to their home world.

On the eve of the summer of 606, the remnants of the Horde used a magic unknown in Azeroth to use the ancient portal once more to return home. Upon their arrival they were hailed as heroes for surviving some thirty years in enemy lands. The talents of these warriors were divided among the clans of the home world in order to put their new plans into action. For the Orcs had decided to retrieve certain artifacts from Azeroth, and planned to use them to open rifts into other worlds to take the Orcish Hordes to great victories beyond the Dark Portal...

Playing the Game

Resources of the Land

Gold

Mined from the rich earth of Azeroth, this precious metal is commonly used in exchange for goods and services. Gold must be dug out from within established Gold Mines.

Lumber

Harvested from the abundant forests that inhabit all but a few regions in the realm, the uses for lumber are nearly infinite. Craftsmen use this raw material to build many different structures and ships, as well as certain weapons and machines of war.

Oil

Large deposits of this valuable resource are found far beneath the surface of the sea. Special platforms must be constructed in order to drill deep enough to withdraw the oil. Dark, oily patches created by small geysers spewing modest amounts of oil into the surrounding waters serve as a beacon to Oil Tankers hunting for the rich black fuel. Although oil is most commonly used in the construction and powering of ships, it has also been utilised in the development of extremely powerful weapons and the upgrading of some structures.

Unit Descriptions

The Orcish Horde

Ground Units

  • Peon - These slaves of the Orcish war machine toil tirelessly harvesting raw materials and building and repairing your defenses.
  • Grunt - Barbarous fighters wielding giant axes who fearlessly wade into battle at your command.
  • Troll Axethrower - Fast, quick, and accurate with throwing axes.
  • Troll Berserker - A bloodthirsty sect of more fearsome trolls.
  • Ogre - These two-headed monstrosities are the strongest, fiercest warriors in the Horde.
  • Ogre-Mage - Ogres bestowed with magical powers.
  • Catapult - Deadly siege engines launching explosive projectiles.
  • Death Knight - Evil necromantic wizards capable of invoking powerful spells.
  • Goblin Sapper - Diabolical goblins carrying potent explosives designed to demolish any obstacle in suicide raids.

Air Units

  • Goblin Zeppelin - Unarmed flying scouts capable of detecting underwater enemies.
  • Dragon - These winged creatures are the most powerful weapons in the Orcish arsenal.

Naval Units

The Human Alliance

Ground Units

  • Peasant - The hardworking denizens of Azeroth are always "ready to serve". Good for mining, building, repairing, and harvesting.
  • Footman - The first line of defense in the Human alliance. Armed with broadsword and shield, they defend the land with grim resolve.
  • Elven Archer - Elven allies with deadly bows as their weapon of choice.
  • Elven Ranger - The elite of the Elven Archers.
  • Knights - Courageous warriors armed with mighty war hammers capable of crushing the fiestiest of foes.
  • Paladin - Mounted warriors wielding magics as easily as weapons.
  • Ballista - Giant mobile crossbows capable of tremendous damage.
  • Mage - Wizard warriors trained to unleash terrifying spells of defense and destruction.
  • Demolition Squad - Kamikaze dwarfs able to demolish any obstacle.

Air Units

Naval Units

Spell Descriptions

The Orcish Horde

Ogre-Mage Spells

  • Eye of Kilrogg - Creates a free-floating apparition in the form of a disembodied eye that can be directed through the air to look down on enemy forces and encampments.
  • Bloodlust - An enchantment used to instill an insatiable lust for blood into a fellow warrior, causing him to fall into a savage rage.
  • Runes - Creates a stealthy trap that explodes when approached causing massive damage to anyone unlucky enough to be near.

Death Knight Spells

  • Touch of Darkness - A directed charge of the energy of evil essence that drains energy from its target.
  • Death Coil - A particularly potent variation of the Touch of Darkness, Death Coil transfers energy from target to caster.
  • Haste - By magically increasing the speed at which a body generates vital energy, the caster may bestow great speed to any being.
  • Unholy Armour - This ancient Necromantic spells transforms a portion of the recipient's life force into an unearthly, phantasmal suit of armour.
  • Death and Decay - Conjures pestilent clouds that cause anything in their path to rot and decompose.
  • Whirlwind - This focusing of the winds of the underworld causes anyone caught within to be cast about with great force and violence.
  • Raise Dead - This dark magic can animate corpses of the freshly dead and then command these hideous embodiments to attack their enemies.

The Human Alliance

Paladin Spells

  • Holy Vision - A spell granting vision of virtually unlimited range.
  • Healing - Through the focusing of spiritual powers, this spell can heal those wounded in battle.
  • Exorcism - Calling upon the forces of light and purity, the Paladin is able to dispel the walking dead that plague the lands of Azeroth.

Mage Spells

  • Lightning - Swift bolts of energy that rip through any armour to strike their victims.
  • Fireball - Invoking the cardinal elements of the universe, the fireball streaks across the battlefield slamming its fiery bulk into whatever stands in its path.
  • Flame Shield - Both a weapon and a barrier, the Flame Shield is a binding of the chaotic force of fire to the aura of the chosen target.
  • Slow - A warping of the very patterns of time that surround the target that brings the enemy's movement and reflex to a crawl.
  • Invisibility - This spell grants the ability to cloud the perceptions of others so that they cannot perceive the physical existence of the target.
  • Blizzard - Summoning torrential storms from the frozen Mountains of Northeron, this potent spells calls down a fierce tempest of ice to assault enemies with a flurry of cold blades.
  • Polymorph - Alters the physical form of its target by changing man into beast, robbing him of reason and the will to fight.

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