The Second War (also known as the Second Great War) was a conflict between the newly formed Alliance of Lordaeron and the Orcish Horde, engulfing almost all of the lands of the Eastern Kingdoms, and ending with victory for the Alliance.
The Second War Edit
Prelude to War Edit
In the year between the defeat of the Kingdom of Azeroth and the outbreak of the Second War, the orcs and humans went through massive reformations and began huge military build-ups in preparation for war.
In the last months of the First War, the Warlock Gul'dan, leader of the Shadow Council, fell into a deep coma attempting to probe the mind of Medivh during the Alliance assault on Karazhan. Without the machinations of the Shadow Council, the Horde fell prey to infighting. In a coup d'état led by Orgrim Doomhammer, to end what he saw as a corrupting influence over the Horde, the Shadow Council was destroyed as well as its puppet Warchief, Blackhand. Doomhammer successfully took control of the remaining Horde forces and began to bolster their devastated armies with more orcs and ogres from beyond the Dark Portal, as well as the Atal'ai tribe of trolls. With orcs, ogres, and forest trolls fighting side-by-side, it was not long before the ever enterprising goblins saw the potential profit in aiding them.
Zuluhed the Whacked and the warlock Nekros Skullcrusher, through use of the Demon Soul managed to enslave the Dragon Queen Alexstrasza and the majority of her brood. Zuluhed founded the Dragonmaw clan with Nekros as his second, and began breeding red Dragons to use as mounts for the Horde. It is unknown what relationship the Horde had with the troll tribes of Stranglethorn Vale, however they did not join forces with the Horde and stayed apart from the Second War. Upon awakening from his coma, Gul'dan found himself at the end of an Orcish blade. Fearing for his life, Gul'dan "swore" allegiance to Doomhammer and began creation of the first death knights in the service of the Warchief, by infusing the bodies of Azerothian knights with the souls of warlocks, including his chief lieutenant, Teron'gor, who became known as Teron Gorefiend.
Following the events of the First War, the survivors of Stormwind led by Sir Anduin Lothar made their way through the Great Sea to the northern Kingdom of Lordaeron to beseech aid from King Terenas Menethil II Following Lothar's impassioned speech, Terenas called for an emergency conclave of war between the Human nations to discuss the Orcish threat. Meanwhile, the Orcish Horde pillaged Stormwind city and the surrounding areas, effectively destroying all human holdings south of the Burning Steppes.
At the coclave, the Kingdom of Azeroth, the Kingdom of Lordaeron, and the City-State of Kul Tiras, led by Grand Admiral Daelin Proudmoore, forged the Alliance of Lordaeron to support the sixteen year old Prince Varian Wrynn in reclaiming his nation. King Terenas, through skilled political maneuvering, enlisted the support of several human kingdoms, including the Kingdom of Stromgarde, the Magocracy of Dalaran, and the reluctant Kingdom of Alterac. Genn Greymane notably refused initial the call to arms, believing that the Kingdom of Gilneas could defeat the orcs on its own.
In Lordaeron, Archbishiop Alonsus Faol and Uther of Northshire founded the Order of the Knights of the Silver Hand. Uther merged his faith in the light as a cleric of Northshire Abbey and his martial prowess as a knight of Stormwind to become the very first Paladin. Alonsus Faol chose three individuals from the ranks of Loradaeron's armies: Turalyon, Tirion Fordring, and Saidan Dathrohan to join the new order, while Lothar recommended his lieutenant Gavinrad. These four would join Uther in becoming the first Paladins. Envoys led by King Terenas attempted to gain the allegiance of the Bronzebeard Dwarves of Ironforge, the Gnomes of Gnomerregan, and the High Elves of Quel'Thalas. King Magni Bronzebeard and High Tinker Gelbin Mekkatorque both agreed to help the Alliance, but the High Elves, uninterested in the coming conflict, refused. Anduin Lothar's connections to the House of Arathor, a bloodline to which the elves owed a great debt, were exploited to strong-arm King Anasterian Sunstrider into sending out an army, although this small force was only a token gesture.
The Horde Offensive Edit
Shortly after the fall of Stormwind, the Horde began their northern offensive against the Alliance forces. The Horde simultaneously launched two primary assaults. The first was a land offensive launched out of Blackrock Mountain which moved north to the Dwarf holdings in Khaz Modan. The second was a naval campaign against the island holdings of Kul Tiras and Stromgarde.
The Horde's land assault proceeded to lay waste to Loch Modan, pushing the outnumbered Dwarf and Gnome forces into the city of Ironforge, who sealed themselves from the outside threat. Kilrogg Deadeye and the Bleeding Hollow clan attempted several raids on the mighty dwarven city to no avail. For the most part, the Bronzebeard Dwarves and Gnomes were cut off from the rest of the Alliance, save through air support. Following the ravaging of Loch Modan, the Horde pushed farther north into the Wetlands, taking Dun Algaz, Dun Modr, and Grim Batol and converting them into fortresses for the Horde. After the Horde razed the villages of Northeron, Kurdran Wildhammer brought the Wildhammer Dwarves of Aerie Peak into the Alliance to avenge his fallen bretheren in Khaz Modan. Grim Batol became the primary base for the land offensive, and was also converted into a hatchery for the enslaved red dragonflight. Thandol Span was a pivotal battleground in the Second War, constantly shifting in possession between the two factions.
Launched from the ruins of Stormwind, the Horde sailed north and took the islands of Zul'dare, Tol Barad and Crestfall and establishing them as primary naval bases. In these initial battles, Captain Derek Proudmoore and his fleet were burned alive by the Horde's new dragon mounts. Their bodies later washed up on the coast of Southshore. Although initially unrecognizable, Daelin Proudmoore discovered his son's corpse and swore vengeance on the Horde. From these launching points, the Horde landed troops along the coasts of the Wetlands, the Arathi Highlands, and most importantly the southern coast of Lordaeron. Southern outposts such as Southshore and Hillsbrad were assaulted, and the Horde squeezed a large amount of troops into Lordaeron this way.
Soon after, Zul'jin of the Amani tribe and some of his champions were discovered by Horde scouts in a makeshift prison near Tarren Mill. Upon hearing the news, Doomhammer immediately ordered his liberation. Now in Doomhammer's debt, Zul'jin agreed to form a pact with the orcish Horde: the plains and valleys of Lordaeron would belong to the Horde, while the trolls would take back their ancestral forests from their mortal enemies, the high elves. Bolstered by the elven army of Ranger-Captain Alleria Windrunner, Lothar launched a bold counterattack on Southshore. The exceptional heroism of Lieutenant Turalyon earned the Alliance their first victory, and earned Turalyon the rank of High General, second only to Lothar. Though Hillsbrad and Southshore were nearly obliterated, the Horde navies were driven back to the shores of Tol Barad and Menethil Harbor.
Marching troops across the Thandol Span, Dal'rend and Maim Blackhand, sons of Warchief Blackhand and co-chieftains of the Black Tooth Grin clan, crush resistance in the Arathi Highlands and laid siege to the city of Strom. Although the city was captured by the Horde, many of its citizens managed to escape underground through the Dwarven fortress of Dun Garok. However, the blow to morale is harsh, and the Alliance needed another victory like the one at Southshore. Opportunity came when the Horde army began to head towards Plaguemist Ravine, seemingly unware of the overlooking Dwarven fortress of Aerie Peak. With Kurdran's help, Lothar set up a trap for the Orcs. Lothar's army and the defenders of Aerie Peak surrounded the Horde army and, after a brutal battle, Doomhammer gave the order fo retreat south, and Lothar quickly gives chase. After the battle, Blackhand's sons lead a second, hidden army through the ravine to Caer Darrow. Their numbers are boosted by the forest trolls of Jintha'alar. The island of Caer Darrow is captured and the city of Andorhol falls not long after.
In the chase of the retreating Horde army, Doomhammer took the majority of the army and turned Northwest, towards Alterac, while the rest of the army traveled to Southshore. Lothar sent Danath Trollbane, leader of the Stromgarde militia, with a large force to follow them, believing that the mountainous terrtain of Alterac would be treacherous to the Horde, especially when encountering Alterac's Royal Guard. Lothar, thinking the Horde was attempting to re-establish a naval supply line, continued south. Although Lothar claimed a relatively easy victory, a dying orc informed him of Doomhammer's brilliant plan. Owing to the diversion of Lothar's main army at Aerie Peak, the Horde succeeded in penetrating Quel'Thalas through the cliffs undetected. Together with the entirety of the Amani tribe under Zul'Jin, Doomhammer's troops slashed and burned their way through the Eversong Woods.
The Alliance Counterattack Edit
Outraged at the attack on their borders, the High Elves finally put forth their full strength in the war effort. This included the deployment of large elven fleets south to the Hinterlands and to the shores of Lordaeron. With support from the Elves, the Alliance was able to launch an attack on Zul'dare and end the invasion of Lordaeron. Though Hillsbrad and Southshore were nearly obliterated, the Horde navies were driven back to the shores of the Wetlands, Crestfall, and the ruins of Stormwind
High Commander Anduin Lothar decided to split his army in order to outmanuever the Horde. He sent half of his army, under command of Turalyon, to chase the Horde army Quel'Thalas, while Lothar's half would meet with Danath's regiment in the Hinterlands to destroy the large number of Horde still remaining there. Lothar and Danath heard of the assault on Dalaran and quickly rode to meet them, only to find the city burning. They joined forces with Archmage Antonidas and managed to push the Horde forces out of the city, but not before Gul'dan was able to plunder the arcane vaults there, stealing High Elven runestones that Gul'dan used to create ogre-magi for the war effort. Gul'dan turned his new army West into Silverpine, and began an assault on the villages of Ambermill and Pyrewood, both of which were Gilnean municipalities in the domain of Lord Darius Crowley.
Following the victory in Dalaran, the Alliance concentrated on pushing back the ground offensive on the edge of the Arathi Highlands on the great bridges of the Thandol Span. The first step was a bloody retaking of the Horde fortress on Tol Barad for use as a staging point for an invasion upon Dun Modr, the primary base of support for the attacks upon the Thandol Span. With naval support from Tol Barad, the Alliance ground forces were finally able to push across the Thandol Span and reclaim Dun Modr. The Alliance continued to push south, taking the fortress of Dun Algaz. Although they were unable to retake the hatchery at Grim Batol, they managed to besiege the fortress and prevented more Dragons from coming outrouted the armies of the Horde and caused them to retreat from Khaz Modan.
After the defeat of the Horde forces in the Wetlands, a brief pause in open combat ensued. The Horde attempted to gather more troops from the south, including the newly completed Death Knights. The Alliance began to turn their sights to the Horde forces in Silverpine and East Lordaeron, and to that end they sent Uther of Northshire to lend aid to the victims of the war. Troubles arose in Tyr's Hand when the local peasant population fell into a state of minor revolt. The uprising was quelled and the Knights of the Silver Hand were summoned to watch over the populace. The Alliance searched out all of the Horde forces in the area and destroyed them to maintain order in the region. The rebellion at Tyr's Hand was started by Alterac spies in hopes of concealing the orcish mining facility located there. Although the facility was discovered, the spies did their best to cut off supply lines to Quel'Thalas by razing Tyr's Hand and its ports. Uther rushed to send word of Alterac's betrayal to Lothar.
The War in Quel'Thalas Edit
Meanwhile, in Quel'Thalas, Turalyon managed to catch up with Blackhand's sons, but they were quickly impeded by Zul'jin's trolls. Turalyon's army engaged the Horde forces at Zul'aman. The sons of Blackhand abandoned the trolls to the wrath of the Alliance army and used them to slow the Alliance forces. Zul'jin could only watch as his people, outnumbered, were cut down by the Alliance. As the two Blackhands marched North, Suncrown, Goldenmist village, and Fairbreeze village were all razed to the ground. The High Elves recalled their navy to defend against the Horde, but Rend Blackhand also called on the last of the Dragonmaw for support, and their mounts burned much of the Elven fleet, eliminating the Alliance's naval advantage in the region.
One of the many settlements pillaged by the orcs were that of the Windrunner dynasty. As the Alliance army arrived in the aftermath, Alleria took off running to Windrunner Spire, with Turalyon following in concern. As Turalyon searched for Alleria, he eventually found her standing over the corpse of her brother, Lirath, as well as eighteen other kinsmen. Devastated, Alleria sought comfort in the Turalyon's arms. Heartbroken and distraught over the loss of her family, Alleria ultimately chose to dedicate herself to revenge, although she shared many moments with her lover Turalyon, which resulted in the conception of their half-elf son, Arator.
Under the command of Ranger-General Sylvanas Windrunner and Farstrider Lieutenant Lor'themar Theron, the Elven army manages to hold off the Horde assault on Silvermoon until Turalyon arrived with reinforcements. The Horde army was obliterated, and their dragon riders defeated. Rend and Maim take what remains and flee south to meet with Doomhammer in Lordaeron. Though they were successful in repelling the Horde invasion, it came at the cost of thousands of elves and humans.
Although the Dragonmaw burned the elvish fleet, they did not destroy their own ships. King Anasterian, having realized how serious a danger the orcs truly are, began loading these boats with fresh High Elven troops and sends them to defend Lordaeron. When Turalyon came to Quel'Thalas, he had a small army at his command, as he left, he was at the head of an armada.
The Siege of Lordaeron Edit
Perenolde's betrayal had provided the Horde with Alliance troop movements and maps of the terrain. Doomhammer's entire Horde army was allowed through the borders of Alterac to the heart of Lordaeron, where they razed the town of Brill. There, Doomhammer up for a massive siege of Lordaeron. Danath's militia cut off Horde reinforcements and reinforced Lordaeron with fresh troops from Stromgarde, but it was too late and the Siege had begun.
In Gilneas, Darius Crowley petitioned King Greymane for support in liberating his lands from the Horde army there, and when they turn South into Gilneas, his decision is made for him, and he musters an army to fight at the Northgate Headlands. Chasing Gul'dan's army north into the Tirisfal Glades, Greymane's overconfidence leads him into a trap set by the ogre mage Cho'gall at Vandermar Village, and Gilneas suffered a heavy loss. They were only saved by Gul'dan's defection, in which the Stormreaver and Twilight's Hammer Clans sailed to the location of the Tomb of Sargaras in an attempt to raise the it from the sea and claim the demonic powers for their own. Greymane calls upon the other Gilnean nobles join their armies with his severely weakened one.
At the Capital City, the Horde army has broken into the city as Doomhammer receives word of Gul'dan's betrayal. Adhering to his honor, Doomhammer withdrew a large portion of his forces to pursue Gul'dan and his followers to punish them for dishonoring the Horde. Gilneas took this opportunity to charge the Horde army from their West flank. The Capital City was made safe as Lothar's forces pushed the Horde out of it's walls. The Horde began it's retreat to the East and the united armies gave pursuit, only to find Alterac forces arriving from the East.
Gilneas and Lordaeron fought a great battle against the combined armies of Alterac and the Horde. Once High General Turalyon arrived with the Elven army on the Northern shores of Tirisfal, the whole of the reunited Alliance converged on the Horde decimated their remaining flanked troops in Lordaeron, who were in further shambles without their leader's support. Although the Horde was defeated, it had cost the Alliance many lives. In the following meeting, Gilneas was once again invited to join the Alliance, and despite the GIlnean army being grealy weakened by their encounter with Gul'dan and their battles in Lordaeron, Greymane stubbornly refused again. Varian, enraged at Greymane's arrogance, dealt a verbal blow to the King of Gilneas, saying that he only spoke to hear the sound of his own voice. Taken aback by the boy's harsh comment, Greymane found new respect for the young bold Prince and threw Gilnean support behind the Alliance.
At the Tomb of Sargeras, Doomhammer caught up with Gul'dan's follower, and the Stormreaver and Twilight's Hammer clans were destroyed by both Doomhammer's forces and the demonic horrors within the tomb, but in return for preserving his honor, it had cost Doomhammer ultimate victory over the Alliance. In their attempted return to Stormwind Harbor, Doomhammer was ambushed the Alliance navy near the isle of Balor, and a vengeful Daelin Proudmoore saw to the utter destruction of the Horde fleet.
The Alliance Takeover Edit
The Horde's defeats at Lordaeron and Balor gave the Alliance time to regroup, and launch an offensive of their own. Having betrayed the Alliance, Alterac was promptly surrounded and overwhelmed by Alliance forces. Aiden Perenolde was imprisoned and its lands were placed under the control of Daval Prestor, a nobleman from North Lordaeron. With the help of the dwarves, the Alliance managed to retake Southern Khaz Modan, liberating Ironforge and forcing the orcs to withdraw to Blackrock Spire, their headquarters.
After Balor, the remnants of the routed Orc fleet went south to Stormwind. The Alliance would have to pass through Blackrock Mountain in order to retake the Kingdom of Azeroth, and Doomhammer was unwilling to retreat any further. The stage was set for the final battle between the Horde and the Alliance. When Lothar and his small contigency of troops arrived near Blackrock Spire, they were ambushed by a huge group of trolls and ogre magi. Lothar fought with courage, but his forces were outnumbered. In the midst of the battle, Turalyon saw Lothar fighting against Doomhammer in single combat. Turalyon desperately fought his way towards them, but he was barred by orc warriors and could do nothing more but watch as Doomhammer shattered the Great Royal Sword and brought his hammer against the Lothar's helm and smashed his skull with a sickening crunch. Anduin Lothar, the Lion of Stormwind, died that day. Only a handful soldiers survived the initial battle, and they were only saved by the arriving Stromgarde militia. Turalyon, haunted by survivor's guilt, hesitantly took command of the Alliance army and began the assault on Blackrock Spire.
In the mist of a heated battle with Doomhammer, Turyalon fought a losing battle against the mighty orc Warchief. As Turalyon was knocked to the ground, exhausted from combat, Doomhammer spoke to him: "I have conquered! And so shall all our foes die until your world belongs to us!" These words brought Turalyon to a revelation. For the entire war, he had been struggling with his faith and was unable to wield the Light like Uther and the other paladins could. He did not understand how to reconcile the notion of the Light uniting all creatures while beings as cruel and monstrous as the orcs walked the world, but Orgrim's comment reminded him that the orcs were not of his world. Turalyon reasoned that the Light only united the creatures of Azeroth, and that creatures who did not belong there - like the orcs - could be struck down with impunity. Now confident in his faith, Turalyon began to shine with a brilliant glow that forced onlookers to shield their eyes.
Taking up Lothar's shattered sword, Turalyon rallied the Alliance forces with the battlecry "For Sir Lothar!" led a fierce charge against the Horde. The piercing cry finally even put fear into the orcs admist the height of their bloodlust. The Alliance fought with a renewed vigor that broke the Horde's ranks. As his forces crumbled to the frenzied knights and rangers, Doomhammer had barely enough time to sound a retreat before Turalyon disarmed and struck him unconscious. Dragged in chains to Lordaeron, the Warchief was captured. The Horde was broken by this battle and continue to be hounded all the way by the vengeful knights of the Alliance. Soon after, most of their allies abandoned them, and they were forced to make a retreat into the Blasted Lands around the Dark Portal.
Ragged and broken, the remaining Horde forces under the command of Kilrogg Deadeye attempted a defense of the Dark Portal. In what has been described as the bloodiest battle of the Second War, the Orcs were eventually defeated. Their leaders fled through the portal with Kilrogg, while the majority of the orcs were either slain, captured, or scattered. Khadgar, flanked by warriors of the Alliance, destroyed the Dark Portal that had brought the world to the brink of destruction. Although the rift between Azeroth and Draenor would never be closed, the Second War had ended.
Notable Battles Edit
- Siege of Ironforge
- First Battle of Crestfall
- Battle of Zul'dare
- Battle of Tol'barad
- Battle of Loch Modan
- War in the Wetlands
- Battle of Northeron
- First Battle of Southshore
- Battle of Hillsbrad
- Battle of Aerie Peak
- Battle of Caer Darrow
- Battle of Tyr's Hand
- Battle of Zul'aman
- Battle of Dalaran
- Second Battle of Crestfall
- Battle of Grim Batol
- Battle of Gilneas
- Battle of Windrunner Village
- Battle of Silvermoon
- Siege of Lordaeron
- Battle of Alterac
- Battle at the Tomb of Sargeras
- Battle of Balor
- Liberation of Dun Morogh
- Battle of Blackrock Spire
- Destruction of the Dark Portal