There are many people who hear the word “Warcraft” and immediately think of the massive online role-playing game from Blizzard Entertainment: World of Warcraft. They’re not wrong, many people young and old, male or female, across the world where the game is accessible have played this game. However, the movie that will be gracing our cinema screens in short order is not that game come to life, but rather the lore that inspired the games.
Blizzard Entertainment, a division of Activision, created the Real Time Strategy (RTS) game Warcraft: Orcs vs Humans; which began developing a story and lore that rivals that of most fantasy novel series. There have been many novels published that have explored all the lore and back story that exists outside of the games. Blizzard created the games in conjunction with the novels, and some novels were inspired by the course of the games. In all, there have been 22 novels published to date and numerous short stories covering a wide range of points of view and characters. For those who have not played the game, and for those who have but not delved into the lore, what can you expect when you head to your local cinema to see Warcraft: The Beginning?
The Orcs were a peaceful race on their home planet of Draenor where they followed the shamanistic ways of their predecessors. Orcs were nomadic, noble and roamed in tribes across the grasslands of Nagrand on their home world. They lived peacefully with the Draenei (pronounced DRAYN-eye) refugees, but did have some skirmishes with the hated ogres. The shaman’s of the Orc tribes could call upon the elements to help them, and if the elemental gods deemed they worthy, help would come. Sadly, the Draenei had enemies, powerful enemies, and when their greatest enemy: Kil’jaeden (pronounced Kill-Jay-Den) arrived bringing with him the might of the Burning Legion – peace ended.
Kil’Jaeden tricked one of the most respect shamans, Ner’zhul into believing that the Draenei were actually planning to attack all the Orcs. Kil’Jaeden promised that if the orcs would enter the service of the Burning Legion, he could help them defeat the Draenei. In order to enter the service and seal the pack, the orcs would have to drink the blood of one of the mighty pit lords of the Burning Legion. The first orc to drink was the Hellscream chieftain Grom Hellscream and he was easily able to convince many of the other chieftains and clans to follow suit. One clan and chieftain who refused to drink was Durotan, leader of the mighty Frostwolf clan. Durotan and his clan did not partake in what was to become mass murder.
The orcs who drank the blood were put under a Blood Curse and many Draenei were killed. Through all this killing the orcs soon were unable to command the elements as they once did; the elements refused to help in these murders. Since the orcs felt the elements had turned on them, they turned to Ner’zhul. This is when a young, ambitious and corrupt orc was placed in charge of this newly formed Horde: Guldan. Guldan was a warlock, who didn’t require the help of the elements to wield magic. Guldan became the leader and this brought about more destruction and death. Guldan was always thirsting for more power, and as long as he served the Burning Legion, Kil’Jaeden was all too happy to provide that power.
In time, the Draenei race almost became extinct; most of Draenor was dying; Orc clans had become savage and infighting led to more death. Growing stronger in the ways of the Warlock Magic, Guldan knew he needed to bring this Orc Horde together with a true war leader. Guldan named Blackhand to be the first Warchief of The Horde. This allowed Guldan to continue to grow in the ways of the Warlock, and soon he formed a council of Warlocks called the Shadow Council. Through many visions, dreams and the help of someone who they perceived as a friend named Medivh, the Shadow Council were shown a new land. With Draenor dying, this was something that Guldan and the Council couldn’t ignore. This new land, this land Medivh called Azeroth was lush, beautiful and had many resources. Through Medivh’s help, a small rift was made between the two worlds. With all the warlocks working together the rift became a fully functioning portal that the orcs could travel through. Scouts were sent first, and after ransacking a human village, it seemed to the Shadow Council this world was ripe for the taking. Plans moved forward for the Orc Invasion to occur.
Azeroth; the world of humans; dwarves and many other races that have been thought long dead. Humans were ruled by a noble King by the name of Llane Wrynn. The humans are the youngest race on Azeroth, but they are also the ones who are easy to find. Dwarves are rarely seen and high elves are even rarer. However, they have co-existed and help each other in times of war and in times of peace. Through the training of the high elves, humans learned magic that helped to win the war versus the Trolls. One human who became quite adept at magic was Khadgar. His mentor was known as the Last Guardian, Medivh. Through Medivh’s training Khadgar quickly rose to become a powerful wizard, so powerful that he began to figure out there was something wrong.
Khadgar began to notice little things at first, but then soon found that Medivh was no longer in control of his actions. Medivh had succumbed to one of the Lords of the Burning Legion, Sargeras. Khadgar then met a half-Orcish Horde emissary and discovered the full plans of Medivh to open a portal between Azeroth and Draenor. Knowing it was too late to stop Medivh on his own, Khadgar took this information to King Llane. The humans were now faced with the prospect of an incoming Orc Horde invasion, plans needed to be made.
Some of this brief history of Orcs and humans may be seen in the upcoming film, but the question will remain: Horde or Alliance? Choose your side, and see the legends and the lore of the Warcraft Universe unfold in front of your eyes.