Part I: History
umans have, arguably, the most historical background of all the races of World of Warcraft. As most players know, Humans were one of the two original races of the Warcraft RTS series (Orcs being the other). They were dwellers of what is now the Eastern Kingdoms continent. Their presence is still strong in World of Warcraft, under the kingdom of Azeroth, and their name still revered.
This is a summary of their history in the world of Azeroth, whose name is shared with the human nation of Azeroth. Get comfy, sit back and enjoy one of the richest histories in all the World of Warcraft.
Humans living in Azeroth were in scattered tribes and bands. The Arathi tribe fought fiercly, conquering many tribes and thus offering their alliance to the people they defeated in battle. Subsequently, the Arathi grew. The Arathi were rivals of the trolls who were indigenous to Lordaeron. Needing to bolster their numbers, the Arathi then set out to bring together every scattered tribe under their name to form Arathor, their single nation.
Having beaten the troll-enemy back, the Humans decided to build a mighty fortress in the southern regions of Lordaeron. They named this fortress Strom, and it was to be their capital. The city-state was a strong embodiment of power and showed the presence of the Humans. People flocked to the fortress for its protection and prosperity, and thus it grew. Now under one banner, Arathor grew and prospered beyond any guess. Thoradin, King of Arathor, had grown weary of rumors that the mysterious High Elves in the northlands were under siege from the trolls. Ambassadors reached the gates of Strom in need of dire assistance. The Elves were at risk of being wiped out and could only turn to Arathor for help.
The Elves, knowing the Humans would want something in return for their aid, promised to teach the art of magic to them if they combated the troll armies, who would set their sights on Arathor as soon as the Elves were taken care of. King Thoradin was distrustful of magic, but agreed to help the Elves out of dire necessity. The arrival of Elven Sorcerers was rapid, and already men and women were being taught the art of magic. The Elves saw that Humans were innately clumsy in controlling magic, but persevered in teaching them the basics of magic. They trained one-hundred Humans with basic magic ability, enough only to combat the trolls. The now magic-knowing Humans left Strom with the Elves to go to war, alongside Arathor's mighty armies.
At the foot of the Alterac Mountains, the Troll Warbands clashed with the Elven and Human allied forces. 3 days of grueling battle had passed, and the Human armies would not falter. The Elves decided it was time to unleash their magics against the Trolls, in hopes that one final strike would blow them away. The hundred human magi and sorcerers, coupled with the plethora of Elven sorcerers, began to weave their hellish magics at their sworn enemies. Fire rained from the heavens, and under the searing flames, the Trolls fell. Their regenerating abilities faltered at the skilled hands of hundreds of magi and sorcerers.
The Troll Armies routed and fleed. The Arathorian armies hunted down the Troll soldiers and hunted them all down to the last one. This was a brutal strike to the Trolls. They would never grow in such power in all of history, and would remain a minor faction in the grand scale of Azeroth. An alliance was created between Humans and Elves, who would be friends for many ages.
The Construction of Dalaran and the Expansion of Magic
Years after the vicious Troll infestation was routed, the Arathorian armies and the hundred Human magi returned to Strom victorious. King Thoradin's time at the throne waned, but he still maintained that his prosperous nation should stay intact, and that too much expansion would lead to the end of his Grand Kingdom. He maintained that the nation was built around Strom, the center of the kingdom. He passed away of old age, and the younger generation of Arathor sought greater riches and expanded its borders and built new settlements.
The Human magi desired to know more of the ways of magic. They expanded their knowledge and power, but knew they were mortal and would need to pass on their talents to those they believed were ready and powerful enough to conceive it. They were successful in teaching magic to others, but the younger generation was more interested in magic for personal gain rather then global responsibility. The magicians of Arathor grew ever tired of simple civilians and grew ever more conceited and separated from society. A growing interest in magic sparked the interest to build a new city-state under Arathor. Thus, the city of Dalaran was built. Wizards and Magi flocked to the new city-state in pursuit of more potent magics and more knowledge. Dalaran, located in the northlands of Arathor, became a bustling new city. Citizens provided a booming economy in return for protection from the wizards and acanists inhabiting the wondrous city.
Years passed, and in the manner of Dalaran, many new city-states arose in the likes of Arathor. Gilneas, Kul Tiras and Alterac were among the first cities to arise in prosper and growth. The cities had their own commercialization, but remained truthful and allied to Strom. Gilneas and Alterac were stout supporters of Strom, and built armies that encountered the Khaz Modan Mountains, and eventually the race of Dwarves. They discovered their city of Ironforge and exchanged secrets of smithing.
The nation of Arathor was now far and wide, but its centered regime began to falter. The Lords of Strom desired greatly to move their estates north, to the more lands (known as Lordaeron). The blood-descendants of the Arathorian Kingdom argued that their Capital should not be abandoned, but in light of events a new city-state was built. The city of Lordaeron was built, in which the entire surrounding region would borrow its name.
The Rise and Fall of Stormwind
The remaining loyalists of Strom and Arathor decided to flock south, past the Dwarven lands, and settle in the north of their newfound continent. They named their new kingdom Azeroth, and built Stormwind Keep as their new capital. The remnants of Strom, who refused to leave their home, had then somewhat rebuilt their broken city, and renamed it Stromgarde. The Human nations separated even more, and the vision of a unified humanity was all but gone.
Hundreds of years passed, and the human kingdom of Stormwind prospered. A corrupted Medivh allowed the opening of the Dark Portal, and allowed several Orcish Clans to pass through. Although the full might of the Horde was not present, the Horde established a presence in the Black Morass east of Stormwind. After three years of skirmishes, Gul'Dan the Warlock launched a full strike towards Stormwind, and succeeded in destroying it.
Medivh, who was appointed the Guardian of Tirisfal, had inadvertently opened the Dark Portal. He was no longer himself, and his friend Sir Lothar (last of the Arathi bloodline) along with his apprentice Khadgar sought to free him of torment. The two stormed Medivh's tower and defeated him. His possessed soul was vanquished, and his powers gone, but he was allowed to wander the astral plane for the rest of his days.
Lothar was a proud knight and servant of Stormwind. He returned from his expedition to Medivh's tower, Karazhan, only to find his Kingdom in ruin. The Orcs had demolished Stormwind Keep. Lothar and the remaining humans of Stormwind vowed to one day take back their homeland. They launched an exodus to the northern kingdom of Lordaeron.
The Alliance of Lordaeron
Lothar and his warriors reached the shores of Lordaeron, and convinced the seven leaders of the Human nations to meet. They agreed that the Horde would conquer all of humanity if left unchecked. They resolved to form The Alliance of Lordaeron. Lothar was appointed the Supreme Commander of all the human armies. Among his lieutenants were Uther the Lightbringer, Turalyon and Admiral Proudmoore.
But the Horde made advancements as well. They conscripted the now fallen Amani trolls, as well as brought Ogres from their homeland of Draenor through the Dark Portal. Through the acquiring of a powerful demon artifact known as the "Demon Soul", the Horde forced Alexstrasza, the Red Dragonflight to send her grown children to war against the humans.
Many cities, townships and villages were razed in the rampage of the Horde. Lothar and his forces, despite the daunting odds, had managed to keep the Horde at bay. The Horde sent forces through Azeroth, Lordaeron and even north to Quel'Thalas. The Elves were now committed to the Alliance, and united with Lordaeron. For the first time in thousands of years, humanity was once again under the strength of one banner, with the aid of the Elves.
On the last few days of the Second War, a feud erupted between the two most powerful Orcs in Azeroth. As Doomhammer prepared to deal the final blow to the Alliance, Gul'Dan and his followers, making up nearly half of the Orcish Horde, fled and began a search for the undersea tomb of Sargeras. Gul'Dan was killed in his pursuit of power, but the repercussions went further then his own death. Doomhammer lost half of his force, and his doom was inevitable.
Lord Lothar, who now saw the Orcs were crumbling from within, launched an immediate attack. With the aid of his officers, he drove the Orcs back all the way into the fiery pits of Blackrock Spire. It was there that Lothar fell to the wrath of Doomhammer. His lieutenant, Turalyon, regrouped the forces and finished off the Orcs for good. Khadgar, the former apprentice of Medivh, convinced the Alliance to build a fortress to watch over the Dark Portal, to make sure the Orcs would never invade Azeroth again. It was called Nethergarde.
The Internment Camps and the Dark Portal
To thwart the remaining Orcish threat, the Alliance created internment camps to quell the Orcs and contain them. It was too dangerous to allow them to regroup in the wild and form attacks on Alliance towns and villages. However, the Orcs of Draenor were not through with the humans of Azeroth.
Ner'Zhul, the mastermind behind the Horde, ordered all those under his command to once again travel through the Dark Portal and retrieve artifacts from Azeroth needed for his own ends. The Orcs ravaged Azeroth once again, and quickly fled to the safety of their homeworld.
King Terenas of Lordaeron had suspicions that the Orcs were planning another invasion. He ordered Turalyon and Khadgar, along with Alliance forces, to travel through the Dark Portal and end the Orcish threat. Ner'Zhul's plans backfired as his deviations caused a terrible storm in Draenor, which tore the fabric of the world apart. He escaped via a new portal he created, and with him went the Orcs under his command. The humans, knowing Azeroth was in danger, destroyed the Dark Portal from their side and sacrificed their lives.
The Lordaeron Alliance Splinters
King Terenas could not hold the Alliance together. The nations bickered over land holdings and territories. King Terenas persuaded the human leaders to lend money and labor to rebuild the kingdom of Stormwind, which was razed in the coming of the Orcs in the First War. Even the High Elves backed out of the Alliance, blaming Terenas for the suffering their forests endured in the Second War. The nations of Gilneas and Stromgarde followed, separating from Terenas' rule. However, Kul'Tiras and Azeroth were both still strong allies of Lordaeron. The Dwarves of Ironforge also pledged their allegiance, promising that they would aid Lordaeron in any time of need. The magical city of Dalaran also gave Teneras word that they followed in his rule, and that they would not splinter from his guidance.
The Scourge of Lordaeron
King Terenas had a son named Arthas. He was a proud Paladin who had been accepted by Uther the Lightbringer as a Paladin. He was a believer in the Light and strived to smite any enemies that dare threaten the safety and sanctity of Lordaeron. At the same time, an Undead Cult unleashed a terrible plague that would scourge the citizens of Lordaeron forever. The plague was put into the grain, and distributed into the nations and villages of Lordaeron. The citizens soon began to eat the grain and turned into the undead. Arthas then made a rash decision and ordered that the villagers be slain, before they turned undead and bolstered the numbers of the Scourge.
Uther did not approve of this and took no part in it. Arthas reprimanded Uther, acting on him as his future King, and dismissed him. Arthas then began a wild hunt for the person behind the plague. It was a Dreadlord, who had fleed to Northrend, an icy desolate continent at the Roof of the World.
Arthas' quest for vengeance led him into a trap, and as hope waned for him and his troops, he found a solution. On the continent of Northrend lay an enchant runeblade called Frostmourne. Created by the Lich King, it was made to steal the soul of its wielder. Arthas, desperate to kill the undead opposition, claimed Frostmourne as his own and managed to kill the Dreadlord.
However, his revenge came at a greater cost. Arthas' soul was taken. He traveled back to Capital City and gutted his father, King Terenas, upon his very throne. Arthas turned into an Undead Deathknight, and worked for the Scourge. He proved himself by handing over the Kingdom of Lordaeron to Tichondrius, leader of the Dreadlords.
Lordaeron fell to the corruption of the Undead, and became a barren and dark land. The only human bastion of power remaining was Stormwind, built in the south, under the rule of King Anduin Wrynn. All of the human nations fell to the Scourge, yet Stormwind remained unharmed in the south.
In World of Warcraft, people playing as humans are those under the kingdom of Stormwind. The remaining Kul'Tiras forces moved under Jaina Proudmoore, daughter of Admiral Proudmoore, and have their own port named Theramore Isle, nestled in the Dustwallow Marsh.
The humans of World of Warcraft have allied with the Dwarves, their Gnome cousins and the Night Elves to form the Alliance. The Night Elves refused to ally with the Orcs for bitterness over the death of Cenarius. The Tauren, Trolls and Orcs were bound together by eternal allegiance, however the Undead, whose conscious now was free of control, were alone. Pleading with Thrall, they claimed they needed to rid themselves of their own demons. Thrall, knowing what the curse of bloodlust was like, agreed to an Alliance. That is the story of the humans, beginning from the time they awoke in Azeroth to their place today.
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