The Frostwolf clan, also spelled Frost Wolf clan, is an orc clan that originally dwelled in the southwestern parts of Frostfire Ridge. Named for their close kinship with Frostfire's native frost wolves, the clan placed great value in the noble ideals of family and community and sought to live in harmony with the land.
|The Frostwolf clan banner.|
|Other major cities|
|Base of operations|
|Theater of operations|
- The Frostwolf Clan seeks to drive out the dwarves of the Stormpike Expedition from Alterac Valley.
During the formation of the Old Horde, the Frostwolf chieftain was one of the few to speak out against the growing corruption among the orcs and refused to participate in the drinking of the Blood of Mannoroth. During the First War, the warlock exiled the Frostwolves, who journeyed north to eventually find refuge in the frigid Alterac Mountains and eke out an existence in Alterac Valley.
Later, Durotan and his mate were assassinated by orcs loyal to Gul'dan, but their infant son Go'el was discovered by the human noble , who took the orc in and began raising him as a slave under the name "Thrall". Years later, Thrall discovered the truth of his origins and that he was the rightful heir of the Frostwolf clan, and would go on to reunite the defeated and scattered orc clans into a new Horde before eventually leading them across the sea to Kalimdor. Under the leadership of the shaman , the Frostwolf clan chose to remain in Alterac, and are now locked in battle with the relic-seeking dwarves of the Stormpike Guard.
The Battle of Bladespire
By the time of 11 years before the First War, the Frostwolves were led by Chieftain , who embodied the clan's noble ideals of family and community and believed that only by helping each other could the orcs survive in their harsh environment. He pressed his ideals of family and community on his three sons — Fenris, and — but Fenris later left the Frostwolves to instead join the rivaling Thunderlord clan, which he eventually rose to become the chieftain of. After Fenris' departure, Garad chose Durotan as his new heir apparent over the hotheaded Ga'nar, despite Ga'nar being the older of the two siblings. At some point, Ga'nar, Garad, and the warriors of the Frostwolf clan fought against the Laughing Skull clan.
For a number of months, tensions began to increase between the orc clans of Frostfire Ridge and the local Bladespire ogres. , troubled by the waning of ogre influence across Draenor, sought to retrain control of Frostfire and oversaw the creation of an army of half-orc, half-ogres known as the mok'nathal. The half-breeds formed the bulk of the Bladespire army as the ogres rampaged across Frostfire and seized large tracts of resource-rich land from the orcs. In response, Garad called upon the Whiteclaw and Thunderlord clans to unite with the Frostwolves against this new threat. Due to Fenris' influence, the Thunderlords rejected the call and instead dealt with the Bladespire in their own way, raiding settlements in the dead of night. The Whiteclaws, on the other hand, did join the Frostwolves, for whom they felt an affinity and with which they shared many customs and traditions. Garad was declared leader of the Frostwolf and Whiteclaw army and named Ga'nar and Durotan as his lieutenants. The orcs didn't win any decisive victories, but managed to capture several mok'nathal and their leader, . Upon learning from Leoroxx that the mok'nathal were slaves rather than willing servants, Garad and the half-breed elder agreed to help each other destroy the Bladespire forever. Leoroxx returned to Bladespire Hold and incited the mok'nathal to rebel against their masters while Garad and his army smashed into Bladespire Hold's outer defenses. The Battle of Bladespire concluded with the allied orc and mok'nathal armies driving the ogres from their fortress, with Imperator Kelgrok having been strangled by Leoroxx in the heart of the burning fortress. However, hundreds of Frostwolves and Whiteclaws had perished in the battle, including Ga'nar. His death broke Garad's heart, and though Durotan remained to carry on the family line, the Frostwolf chieftain never recovered from the loss of his second son. Garad offered the mok'nathal land in Frostfire, but Leoroxx declined and chose to instead settle his people in a remote corner of Gorgrond, knowing the orcs would never truly accept half-breeds.
The next year, many orcs contracted the virulent red pox at one of the Kosh'harg festivals in Nagrand, including Garad. At the shaman 's urging, the plague bearers remained in Nagrand to construct a village to quarantine the affected. The thought of not returning home filled Garad with sorrow, but he did not wish to spread the pox to his family and clan members and instead agreed to remain in Nagrand, taking charge over his fellow plague victims. Durotan volunteered to stay behind with his father, but as he was the sole remaining heir to the clan Garad instead told him to return home and look after the Frostwolves for the time being. In a matter of weeks, the red pox consumed Garad, and the other pox victims named their village Garadar in his honor.
Rise of the Horde
8 years before the First War, Chieftain Durotan, his mate and the Frostwolf elder shaman were present at Oshu'gun when Ner'zhul announced the draenei as enemies of the orcs and where nearly every chieftain agreed to unite into a single Horde. Durotan felt conflicted about Ner'zhul's claim that the spirits had told him the draenei were planning to destroy the orcish race, but the Frostwolf chieftain was in no position to question the ancestral spirits. Additionally, other shaman, including Drek'Thar, revealed that they had received similar visions that confirmed Ner'zhul's claims. Two years later, the Whiteclaw chieftain was assassinated under the orders of the warlock for speaking out against the Horde. Gul'dan feared that Zagrel could win the support of orcs who questioned the Horde, like Durotan and his Frostwolves. Durotan was already wary of the Horde's war against the draenei, and the Whiteclaw chieftain's death caused his unease to deepen, yet he had no proof of who had murdered Zagrel. The next year, Gul'dan called for a new meeting at Oshu'gun, where he revealed that the shaman of the Blackrock clan had mastered a new power known as fel magic after the elements had abandoned the orcs. Powerless shaman from all clans, including Drek'Thar, pleaded with the Blackrocks to share their fel secrets. Despite his suspicions about the fel, Durotan gave his permission to the shaman to study this new magic, as he would not allow his clan to be put in a place of weakness. Durotan also begrudgingly voted for the Blackrock chieftain as the first Warchief of the Horde along with the other chieftains, since he feared that his clan would face dire consequences from the Blackrocks if he were the only voice of dissent.
Shortly after his appointment as Warchief, Blackhand assigned specific roles to the various clans. The Frostwolves were among the clans that would make up the Horde's main fighting force, leading direct assaults on draenei settlements and forming the backbone of the orcish army. Shortly afterward, Blackhand sent his most powerful warlocks to the other orc clans in order to imbue adolescents with the strength and fury of adults. The thought of subjecting young Frostwolves to the warlocks' strange magics unsettled Durotan, but Blackhand had made it clear that anyone who opposed him would suffer, and the Frostwolf chieftain placed the safety of his clan above all else. Thus, he reluctantly allowed the warlocks to imbue his clan's youths with fel magic to transform them into hulking warriors. Durotan was also troubled by the fact that the orcs' brown skin had begun to slowly turn splotchy green, which he correctly suspected was due to the warlocks' magic. However, none of the other orcs were troubled by this physical change.
Two years later, Ner'zhul — a captive of Gul'dan — planted an anonymous missive to Durotan where he urged the Frostwolf chieftain to not follow Gul'dan's command at an upcoming clan gathering, or he and his people would suffer a fate worse than death. Durotan heeded the warning, and when the other orcs drank the Blood of Mannoroth atop a mountain near the Horde capital, the Frostwolf chieftain refused to participate and forbade his clan from drinking. Gul'dan was already suspicious of Durotan and was infuriated by his defiance, but could not afford killing him and upsetting the Frostwolves due to the impending assault on Shattrath City.
After Shattrath's fall, Warchief Blackhand tasked the Frostwolf, Whiteclaw and Thunderlord clans with wiping out Draenor's gronn, ogron and magnaron, as well as the ogres that had refused to join the Horde. The Frostwolves and Whiteclaws saw no honor in hunting the giants down and held most of their warriors back, but the Thunderlords did not shy away from the task and reveled in the slaughter of their ancient enemies.
During the construction of the Dark Portal, Blackhand staged mock battles and duels to prepare for the impending invasion of Azeroth. Durotan saw this practice as a disgrace to tradition and began speaking out against Gul'dan and fel magic, urging the orcs to seek ways to heal their world. Most clans saw these actions as cowardly and treasonous and lashed out at the Frostwolves.
The First War and exile
Durotan brought the Frostwolf clan through the Dark Portal to Azeroth along with the rest of the clans, despite his disgust for the Horde's leadership. There was no future on the dying Draenor; only on Azeroth could the Frostwolves survive another generation. The clan initially fought against the humans alongside the other clans in the First War, but Gul'dan later confronted Durotan in secret and informed him that his clan was no longer part of the Horde and had to leave the Black Morass immediately. If they ever returned or ever contacted any member of the Horde, Gul'dan promised to destroy every Frostwolf male, female, and child. Though loath to part from the other orcs, Durotan had recently learned that his mate Draka was pregnant, and he did not wish to risk her or their unborn child by testing Gul'dan's wrath. He also knew that Gul'dan was merely letting them live because, if Durotan were killed, it would make him a martyr and give his warnings weight among the rest of the Horde. The Frostwolves struck out north, but the journey was frightening, for the terrain was unfamiliar and the humans treated all orcs as enemies. However, the discovery of Azeroth's native and powerful elementals shook the former shaman Drek'Thar and reminded him of his abandoned heritage. He renounced his use of fel magic and asked the elements for aid, and in return the spirits showed him a path to remote, frost-lined mountains far to the north — a climate similar in some ways to Frostfire Ridge. The Frostwolves immediately set out to find these mountains.
The Frostwolves avoided almost all contact with humans thanks to the elements' aid. Shortly after the clan arrived at their new home, the Alterac Mountains, Draka gave birth to a son whom she would name Go'el. However, to their horror, Durotan and Draka saw that their child's skin was green, proving that Gul'dan's pact with his masters had damned the orc race for all generations. Neither Durotan nor Draka could stand by any longer and do nothing about the dark forces controlling the Horde. They told the Frostwolves to remain in the mountains and carve out a new life while they and their son traveled south to reveal the truth to the Horde. Drek'Thar used his shamanic powers to send word to Durotan's old friend, the Blackrock warrior , by causing the elemental spirits to whisper in his dreams and inform him that Durotan wished to meet at the edge of Loch Modan. Orgrim had begun to distrust fel magic, Gul'dan, and Blackhand and viewed the banishment of the Frostwolf clan as further proof that the Horde's leadership was corrupt. Under the pretense of a scouting mission, Orgrim and a few trusted guards met with Durotan in Loch Modan, where the Frostwolf chieftain showed him Go'el and told him everything he knew about the Horde's corruption. Orgrim, in turn, told Durotan that the fel energies creeping through the Dark Portal had begun turning the land in the Black Morass as dead as that of Draenor. Orgrim urged Durotan and Draka to take shelter in the north for the time being and sent his guards to accompany them home. However, the guards were secretly loyal to the Shadow Council and decided that Gul'dan would want the Frostwolves dead. Several days into the journey, they attacked and killed Durotan and Draka, leaving the infant Go'el to die in the cold. A day later, a hunting party led by the human noble discovered the grisly scene. Blackmoore decided to take Go'el — who was starving and freezing but still alive — back to Durnholde Keep and have him examined.
After Durotan's death, Drek'Thar became leader of the Frostwolves. Tucked away in a hidden valley deep in the Alterac Mountains, the Frostwolf clan carved out a new home, isolating themselves from other orcs in the hopes of escaping the Alliance's wrath. It was a harsh and lonely existence, but Drek'Thar had rekindled his connection with the elements and used them to keep his people safe.
Revitalization of the Horde
For years, Blackmoore secretly raised the young Go'el — whom he named "" — as a gladiator slave within Durnholde. One day, Thrall escaped from the fortress and sought out the rest of his kind, eventually discovering the renegade Warsong clan, whose chieftain — — left a deep impression on the young orc. Seeking the truth of his own origins, Thrall then traveled north to find the legendary Frostwolf clan, from which he learned of the clan's exile and that he was the rightful son and heir of the late Chieftain Durotan. Under Drek'Thar's tutelage, Thrall studied the ancient shamanistic culture of his people, eventually becoming a powerful shaman and taking his place as chieftain of the Frostwolf clan. He soon set off to free the captive orc clans, eventually managing to liberate and unite them into a new Horde.
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After Thrall united the orc clans, the Frostwolves chose to remain in the valley they had for so long called home rather than join Warchief Thrall in Orgrimmar (though Drek'Thar and were both present in Durotar during Orgrimmar's construction). However, the Frostwolves' relative peace was soon challenged by the arrival of the dwarven Stormpike Expedition, who sought to mine and plumb Alterac's underexplored caves for relics and natural resources. Despite the dwarves' intentions, this caused them to come into conflict with the Frostwolves dwelling in the valley's southern reaches, and the orcs vowed to drive the interlopers from their lands. Opinions differed on who struck first and on whether the dwarves were peaceful explorers who were massaced by the orcs, or if they planned to poach and conquer.
According to some Alliance members, Alterac Valley was indeed Frostwolf territory and the Stormpikes had simply arrived as peaceful visitors to search for ore and relics, but the Frostwolves had reacted with a cowardly, unnanounced attack, described as "the most brutal and uncivilized act of aggression the Alliance has experienced". The Stormpikes themselves, including their general , considered the Frostwolves to be savages that were trying to halt the dwarves' sovereign and territorial "imperialistic imperative" of taking, culling, and turning Alterac for the kingdom of Ironforge. They also claimed that the Explorers' League believed there to be artifacts in Alterac Valley, but that the Frostwolf orcs were stopping the dwarves' scholarly pursuits by not letting them explore the valley.
The Horde, on the other hand, stated that the "favored clan of the Warchief" were under attack from the "nefarious Stormpike Guard". They also claimed that regardless of any rumors, the Stormpike Expedition had invaded Frostwolf territory and that allowing an Alliance invasion of Horde lands without a forceful response could not be tolerated.
This section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.
Following the Shattering, the Stormpike dwarves joined forces with the Bloodfang worgen and the Alliance and prepared to invade the Hillsbrad Foothills, which had become predominantly Horde territory. After a set of Alliance battle plans were recovered, quickly sent a Horde adventurer north to Alterac to enlist the aid of the Frostwolf clan. Word was sent ahead to Drek'Thar at Frostwolf Keep, and the shaman soon came to speak with the adventurer. Drek'Thar told the champion that during his life he had seen and done terrible things, but that he felt remorse for his crimes, unlike the Forsaken, who destroyed everything they touched and had killed countless innocents. According to Drek'Thar, none of the acts he had committed could ever be as terrible as lending aid to the Forsaken, and he vowed that the Frostwolf clan would never help the undead. Cromush was outraged by this defiance, but resolved to stop the Stormpikes without the clan's aid. After the Stormpike attack on Hillsbrad was repelled, Cromush stated that Warchief would hear of the Frostwolves' treason.
- "You speak only of [the orcs'] savagery. But surely they are not all monsters."
- "There was one... Durotan. His clan prided itself on suppressing rage."
- — King Varian Wrynn and discussing the Frostwolves
On Draenor, the proud members of the Frostwolf clan were exceptional fighters, but nonetheless lived in harmony with the land, believing that they should adapt to the environment rather than seeking to dominate it. The noble ideals of family and community were highly valued. The Frostwolves prided themselves on suppressing their rage and bloodlust, for they knew that those who succumbed to the beast within became their own greatest enemy. Although they were traditionalists, the Frostwolves rejected certain practices, such as drowning weak or sickly infants.
The Frostwolf clan derived its symbol and name from its kinship with Frostfire Ridge's native frost wolves, whom the orcs hunted alongside, befriended and even tamed as companions to fight and hunt together as an extended pack family. This practice, as well as many other customs and traditions, were shared with the neighboring Whiteclaw clan. In order to be granted full standing within the Frostwolf clan, each member had to undertake a solo quest to befriend and bond with a wild frostwolf. Not all clan members passed this trial, but those that did earned a lifelong companion. In life, no two creatures shared a stronger relationship than that of a Frostwolf orc and his or her companion wolf. The two ate, slept, and fought side by side until one or both died an honorable death. Even then, sometimes not even death itself could stop a frostwolf from coming to the aid of its beloved orc. A "first-fang" was the first of many shed by an adolescent frost wolf pup when their adult teeth began growing. Frostwolf orcs often kept the first-fang of their animal companion as good luck charms. The choose is a Frostwolf ritual where a native wolf picks which orc to bond with for the rest of its life.
When members of the Frostwolf clan came of age, they covered themselves in the blood of their first hunt, and rested their hands upon a shamanstone to honor the ancestors who came before them. As part of the rite of passage into adulthood, a Frostwolf orc had to slay a frostboar and carve their family genealogy as far back as would fit on the creature's largest tusk. Family history and tradition were of great importance to the Frostwolf clan, so the largest frostboars were hunted each season to preserve clan lineage.
With Frostfire Ridge providing little vegetative nourishment, the Frostwolves depended on their hunters for sustenance. Snowshoes constructed of wolf bones and pelts helped keep trackers from sinking into deep drifts while pursuing prey. Together with their wolf companions, the orcs hunted the mighty clefthoof. Every winter, the clefthoof would migrate and the clan would follow. The clan spent a lot of time in Frostfire Ridge but migrated seasonally to Nagrand.
|Former chieftain, son of Garad and Geyah||Deceased||Buried at the Rock of Durotan, Alterac Valley|
|Former chieftain, former Warchief of the Horde, son of Durotan and||Alive||Various locations|
|Leader of the Frostwolves, elder shaman||Alive||Various locations|
|Shaman of the Earthen Ring, mate of Thrall||Alive||Various locations|
|Warrior, mate of Durotan||Deceased||Unknown|
|Son of Thrall and Aggralan||Alive||The Den, Durotar; Dalaran|
|Son of Garad and Geyah, left the clan to become chieftain of the Thunderlord clan||Unknown||Unknown|
|Son of Garad and Geyah, killed during the Battle of Bladespire||Deceased||Unknown|
|Captain of the Iceblood Garrison||Killable||Iceblood Garrison, Alterac Valley|
|Matron of the Mag'har, mate of Garad||Alive||Garadar, Nagrand|
|Young and idealistic warlock||Unknown||Unknown|
|Frostwolf supply officer||Alive||Frostwolf Village, Alterac Valley|
|Wing commander||Alive||Icewing Bunker, Alterac Valley|
|Former Frostwolf supply officer||Unknown||Unknown|
|Wing commander||Alive||Stormpike Lumber Yard, Alterac Valley|
|Frostwolf supply officer||Alive||Hillsbrad Foothills|
|Legendary wielder of Serathil, father of||Deceased||Unknown|
|Former elder shaman, mentor of Drek'Thar||Deceased||Spirit Fields, Nagrand|
|Father of Draka||Deceased||Unknown|
|Former wing commander, top gun of Netherwing Ledge||Alive||Alterac Valley; Dragonmaw Base Camp, Shadowmoon Valley|
|Overseer of Thrallmar and advisor to Thrall, son of Kash'drakor||Alive||Thrallmar, Hellfire Peninsula|
|Attendant to Drek'Thar||Alive||Alterac Valley|
|Father of Kelkar||Deceased||Unknown|
|Ambassador to Orgrimmar||Alive||Valley of Honor, Orgrimmar|
|Durotan's second-in-command on Draenor||Deceased||Unknown|
|Daughter of , mother of Aggralan||Alive||Unknown|
|Mother of Ryal, grandmother of Aggralan||Deceased||Unknown|
|Former Iceblood Graveyard lieutenant||Alive||Wintergrasp|
|Former elder shaman, great grandfather of Kashur||Deceased||Unknown|
|Oversees the summoning of||Alive||Frostwolf Village, Alterac Valley|
|Friend of Thrall||Unknown||Unknown|
|Former Iceblood Garrison lieutenant||Unknown||Unknown|
|Mother of Draka||Deceased||Unknown|
|Alive||Frostwolf Keep, Alterac Valley|
|Alive||Frostwolf Keep, Alterac Valley|
|Deceased||Killed in Loch Modan|
|Deceased||Cremated in Hammerfall, Arathi Highlands|
|History||Shamanism||Rise of the Horde||First War||Second War||Interbellum||Third War||World of Warcraft||The Burning Crusade||Wrath of the Lich King||Cataclysm||Mists of Pandaria||Warlords of Draenor|
Warcraft Adventures: Lord of the Clans
The Frostwolf clan originally made its first appearance in the canceled Warcraft Adventures. Led by , they were sent north to await orders that were never intended to arrive instead of being straight-up and officially exiled. In addition to and Durotan, , his son , , Baelgun, and were members of the clan.
A Frostwolf banner in the Horde Player's Guide.
In The Founding of Durotar, a bonus campaign in Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne, the orc grunts Mogrin and both refer to as their "chieftain", indicating that they were members of the Frostwolf clan. If so, this, combined with and 's presence during Orgrimmar's construction, may indicate that the clan, or at least a significant part of it, journeyed to Durotar to aid in the creation of the orc capital before returning home to Alterac Valley.
- ^ a b c d e World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2, pages 39-41 (map)
- ^ a b c d e World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2, pages 66-67
- ^ The Characters of Warcraft: Durotan
- ^ a b Frostwolf Greyfur#Quotes
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2, page 69
- ^ Golden, Christie. "Twenty", Rise of the Horde, 443 (ebook). ISBN 978-0-7434-7138-1.
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2, page 74
- ^ a b World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2, pages 79-83
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2, page 89
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2, page 97
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2, page 116
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2, page 123
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2, pages 128-129
- ^ Ultimate Visual Guide, page 122
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2, page 198
- ^ a b c World of Warcraft Community Site -> PVP -> Battlegrounds -> Alterac Valley General Info. Archived from the original on 2006-01-02. Retrieved on 2017-06-10.
- ^ Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos manual, Orcish History, Thrall's Tale
- ^ The New Horde
- ^ a b Alterac Valley - Game Guide - World of Warcraft. Archived from the original on 2015-01-09. Retrieved on 2017-06-10.
- ^ "The Founding of Durotar: To Tame a Land", Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. Blizzard Entertainment.
- ^ a b c d Lords of War Part Three — Durotan
- ^ a b Nethaera 2014-07-03. Warlords of Draenor Zone Preview: Frostfire Ridge. Retrieved on 2017-06-08.
- ^ A Warrior Made--Part 1
- ^ a b Beasts of the Savage Lands — Frostfire Ridge
- ^ Golden, Christie. Lord of the Clans, 168. ISBN 978-0-7434-2690-9.
- ^ Dave Kosak on Twitter (2013-12-11). Retrieved on 2017-06-07. “@cosmictimelion @Loreology They migrate seasonally but spend a lot of time in Frostfire.”