WoW Lore for Dummies

Originally posted by Dawnbow of Runetotem.

1. Creation of Azeroth (that's the planet you start on)

~ First there were a bunch of big ugly dudes. By big and ugly, I mean think of lobsters doing it with crabs, centipedes and eyeballs. And add some goo, bugs, snakes, tentacles and acid. They were the "Old Gods" and they had 4 generals, one for each element. They basically rolled around this planet making everyone really miserable. (This is who the Twilight's Hammer worship!)

~ Then came the Titans. They're basically sexy good-looking guys. They killed all the old gods threw all their generals into the ground and made everything pretty and nice. Some bits of the old Gods couldn't be destroyed. Same with the generals. So they were sealed up in the earth and the generals were banished to the elemental plane. (note: This is where Ragnaros from Molten Core comes from! He's the Fire General!)

~ The titans Blessed 5 dragons (one of each color) each with a unique magic and charged them with keeping the peace on Azeroth. This is where the "Aspects" come from. Ysera (green - dreams), Alexstraza (red - life), Nozdormu (bronze - time), Malgyos (blue - magic), Neltharion (black - earth/matter).

~ They also created Earthen to reshape the world. After the Earthen were done they went to sleep underground. (These are precursors to dwarves! The places they slept? Uldur, Uldum, Uldaman and Ironforge!)

~ The titans then left to do other stuff. (There are a few Titan-like creatures still in Azeroth, though, like Maiden of Virtue, Ironaya and Myzrael - that's how we know they were sexy. XD)

2. Trolls

~ The first bunch of humanoids to walk on Azeroth were the Trolls. No one knows where they came from, but they are the oldest race on the planet (next to Murlocs, who don't count).

~ The old gods, it turns out, still had influence over the planet from their trapped locations, and they started a huge war using the Qiraj, a bunch of ugly insects.

~ The Trolls managed to force the Qiraj to the ends of Azeroth, sealing them in two places: Ahn'Qiraj, in Silithus, and Azjol-Nerub, in Northrend.

~ The Trolls had several internal wars, and spread out all over Azeroth. There were 4 major factions at this point: The Jungle, Forest, Zandalar and the "Lost" Tribe that went deep into the mainland.

~ The Lost Tribe ended up in the middle of the major landmass - called Azeroth at this point, where a fountain of pure energy (The Well of Eternity) was. It mutated them into what we know as Night Elves.

3. Sargeras and the Burning Legion

~ The titans charged one of their members with wiping out everything that was evil in the universe. His name was Sargeras.

~ He became upset because evil seemed to be everywhere.

~ He was tricked by some of the people he was trying to save into thinking that evil was SUPPOSED to be everywhere. Or he just got so pissed off at his impossible task, that he just gave up and started to think that Evil was the natural order of things. (When people complain about this piece of lore, it's because Blizzard changed it in TBC in order to make the Draenei)

~ He then decided that he was just going to corrupt everything with evil, and destroy all the good everywhere.

~ He made himself an army of demons (beings that are fully corrupted by dark magic) and called it the Burning Legion.

4. Nelfs and the Well of Eternity

~ The newly created Night elves (after fighting off the Trolls to protect the Well) worshipped the moon, believing she was the source of the power in the well. Others worshipped nature. They became Priests and Druids, respectively - this took some time to sort itself out, naturally. XD

~ The power of the Well fed them and extended their magic and knowledge. It may also have mutated quite a few of them into Moonkin/Dryads/Harpies, etc. (There are many myths about this that you run into, if you're very curious, check out WoWwiki's bestiary)

~ One of their queens (Azshara) realized that some of their people had strong gifts for Arcane magic. She called those Night elves "Highborne".

~ Azshara began to experiment with the powers of the well, and in doing so caught the attention of Sargeras - who began to whisper to her through a portal she had opened using the well's power.

~ Sargeras tricked Azshara into trying to summon him to Azeroth using the powers of the Well.

5. The Corruption of The Black Dragonflight

~ Basically after helping create the world with the Earthen, the various Dragons had gone to rest all over Azeroth. In the case of the Earth Dragon, Neltharion, he went deep underground.

~ While he was underground, the pieces Old Gods began talking to the great black dragon, convincing him slowly that he was the mightiest of all the dragons and he should take the powers of the other dragons for himself.

~ When Azshara began her spell, it roused his attention, because the very earth groaned with the horror if it - it shattered the single landmass of Azeroth into the word you see on your worldmap today!

6. Illidan The Betrayer

~ Illidan wasn't a Highborne, but wanted to train in Arcane magic anyways. This was probably to catch the attention of Tyrande (current leader of the Nelf priests), who was and is in love with his Brother, Malfurion (current leader of the nelf druids).

~ When Azshara began to summon Sargaras, Malfurion summoned forces to stop her.

~ When Illidan realized that Malfurion was going to destroy the Well (the source of all elf magic!!) he turned sides and told Azshara what was going to happen.

~ Malfurion was only just able to stop the ceremony in time, but much damage was done - demons were flooding Azeroth and the whole world was torn into large pieces - literally, the well exploded and created the Maelstrom (that huge whirlpool you can see on your world map).

~ Illidan managed to save some of the water from the Well, and attempted to make a new well in order to preserve magic on Azeroth.

~ His brother caught him and stuck him in a cave.

~ The Highborne who were caught by the blast of the Well were mutated into Naga. No one knows why they took that form, exactly, but there is some theory that when the Well exploded it allowed Neptulon, (the water general!) to escape his prison, and it was his magic that mutated the elves.

7. The Creation of the World Tree and Deathwing

~ When Neltharion came out of the earth, he convinced the other 4 "aspects" (leader dragons with magical powers) to give him all their power (into an item called the Demon soul) so he could seal the portal/slay the demon horde.

~ Naturally he tried to kill them all instead.

~ Now called Deathwing, Neltherion basically obliterated nearly all of the flights - they were barely able to scrap enough magic together to protect themselves and a scant few eggs.

~ Malfurion managed to steal the Demon soul with Ysera's help and eventually it was hidden in some undisclosed location - possibly the Emerald Dream (which is why it's now corrupted in the Wailing Caverns and the 4 green world dragons).

~ Deathwing trashed the planet in his rage, and Malygos, horrified that he had helped convince the other dragons into his brother's trap, went to Northrend in a sort of self-exile.

~ The other three dragon-aspects realized what Illidan had done, and headed to Hyjal.

~ The well that Illidan had created was corrupt - so in order to seal it, 3 of the dragons, Alexstraza (the red dragon of life), Nozdormu (the bronze dragon of time) and Ysera (the green dragon of dreams) planted and grew a magical tree over top of the corrupt well.

~ The three dragons blessed and charged the Night Elves to protect the tree from invasion and to destroy any demons they found, as well, they had to send druids to spend time with Ysera in the Emerald Dream. In return they would become immortal.

~ This tree was called Nordrassil, the World Tree. Teldrassil (the Nelf Starting area) is actually a SECOND world tree.

8. Draenei/Eredar/Orcs/Legion

~ As Sargeras found more things to corrupt he ran into a group of magic users who were very powerful. They were called the Eredar. Two thirds of them were hungry for power, and were corrupted.

~ The final third, led by Velan ran away from Sargeras, aided by the Naaru.

~ They traveled to many worlds but were always found.

~ Finally they landed on a world inhabited by peaceful shamanic tribes of a simple people called Orcs. They had found a new home, and called it Draenor, and themselves Draenei.

~ They were found here as well, by Archimonde.

~ Kil'jaeden (one of the Eredar leaders) tried to trick the leader of the orcs, Ner'zhul into tying his people to the Legion - promising him wealth and power. While Ner'zhul refused to submit, Kil'jaeden convinced his second in command, Gul'dan to drink Mannoroth's blood.

~ Gul'dan then used the blood to enslave the whole Orc race to the Legion.

~ The Orcs turned on the Draenei and waged a massive war with them.

9. High Elves and Humans

~ The Remaining Highborne, refusing to remain with their backwater cousins who had ruined their source of magic, traveled across the sea to make their own path.

~ So far away from the World Tree, they began to starve and die, their bodies becoming tiny and frail.

~ Their first king created the Sunwell, using a great magic to feed his people. This power saved them and they built a land around it to protect it (Quel'Thalas) - from the Forest Trolls (Zul'Aman).

~ Humans (who knows where they came from, but whatever) ran into the elves due to their lands being so close, and were shocked at the magic the elves had at their command.

~ The Elves thought the humans were amusing and began to teach them simple magic at a neutral ground called Dalaran.

~ Due to this magic use, demons were attracted to Azeroth, so the Elves and humans convened to create a guardian who would have an extended life and magical powers to destroy all demons that came into Azeroth.

10. Medivh

~ After a long line of guardians a simple human woman was made guardian, and in her task of destroying demons, she accidentally ran into a portal that led to Sargeras.

~ the will of Sargeras possessed her and convinced her that only her child would do for the next guardian.

~ She refused to give up her powers when her time came, and bestowed them on her son, Medivh - who was then possessed by the will of Sargeras.

~ Medivh grew up to be the most powerful wizard in all of Azeroth, led by Sargeras to open the portal to Outland, and thus start the war between the Legion and Azeroth anew!

11. (Warcraft 1) The First War

~ The Orcs came pouring through the portal en masse and tried to destroy everything in their path by cleverly building barracks and mining gold and building farms. Seriously.

~ The humans saw this clever strategy, and did the same thing. Sadly, they kinda sucked at it.

~ the Orcs torched Stormwind and Garona (a half-orc Rogue) killed King Llane (who you can kill in the Chess event in Kara!) who was the leader of the humans at the time.

~ The humans managed to trap and kill Medivh.

12. (Warcraft 2)The Second War

~ The Orcs, now led by Doomhammer, thought "hey, let's try the same thing, only make allies this time!"

~ Sadly, they were thwarted, due to the humans doing the same thing.

~ Gul'dan attempted to summon Sargeras to Azeroth, and Doomhammer turned on him (and killed him). This divided their forces and the Alliance kicked the snot out of the Horde.

~ Ner'zhul decided to take the orcs back to Draenor. So he gathered a bunch of artifacts to open the portal back up. One of these items was the Skull of Gul'dan (this is important later)

~ Ner'zhul opened the Dark Portal back up and he and the orcs all went through.

~ The humans decided that the Dark Portal being open again was bad, so they sent an army through to close it and kill the orcs. The army was led by Khadgar - that guy you see in the middle of Shat!

~ Ner'zhul tried opening a bunch of other portals on Draenor so the orcs could conquer other worlds. Unfortunately, the portals went ker-splodie instead.

~The human armies realized that this meant the entire planet would blow up, so they closed the Dark Portal from the other side so it wouldn't blow up Azeroth too.

13. The Corruption of Ner'Zhul

~Ner'zhul and his followers ran through a random un-exploded portal into the Twisted Nether, and right into Kil'jaeden. Oops.

~Draenor exploded (this is where Outland comes from; it's what's left of Draenor!)

~Kil'jaeden tortured Ner'zhul and his followers for a very long time.

~ After a long period of time, Kil'jaeden drew Ner'zhul back out of the nether when he needed a commander for a new mission to destroy Azeroth - using a plague of undeath!

~ Kil'jaeden sealed his soul into a helm and a sword and encased them both in a throne of ice, which he then placed in the deepest part of Northrend.

14. (Warcraft 3) Fate of the Orcs

~ The humans took the rest of the orcs, cast spells on them to make them docile slaves and went about their business.

~ Thrall was taken as a young child and raised as a pet of a General (who taught him about being a leader of an army!). He eventually escaped due to his 'friendship' with a human girl, and realizing it wasn't nice what the humans had done to his people. (CoT: Escape from Durnholde)

~ Thrall starts setting his people free, becomes a Shammy - by training with the Frostwolf clan leader (Drek from AV), and joins forces with Grom Hellscream and Orgrim Doomhammer.

~ Doomhammer dies at Hammerfall, and Thrall gets his weapon, the Doomhammer, which he weilds to this day. In his honor, Thrall will name Orgrimmar after him.

~ Medivh (no longer possessed by Sargeras and randomly back from the dead) tells Thrall he needs to take his people and get out of the Eastern Kingdoms because a great evil is coming.

~ Thrall listens to him and takes what forces he can muster across the ocean.

~ Thrall meets up with a Troll tribe on an island near the Maelstrom, being overrun my murlocs. He convinces the Trolls to come with him to Kalimdor. They do so. (this is the Darkspear tribe - all Troll players in WoW belong to this tribe)

15. (Warcraft 3) Fate of the Humans

~ In the human side of things, a young prince named Arthas is told by Medivh that he also needs to run across the sea to Kalimdor. He disagrees (as did his father in an earlier scene!).

~ The undead plague begins to kill most of Lordaeron. Arthas goes mad with grief, trying to stymie the plague by even killing people ahead of time. He also kills a Necromancer (Kel'thuzad) who is leading some of the Undead. But it isn't enough.

~ Arthas opts to go to the source of the issue - Northrend.

~ While there he hears of a magical, powerful sword beyond all imagining - he figures that this sword may be the only way to save his people. (The sword is called Frostmourne)

~ Arthas takes up the sword, and is posessed by Ner'zhul, who had cleverly laid the sword out hoping to capture someone to become his new body.

~ Arthas goes back to Lordaeron and kills his father and overruns the whole land with the undead.

~ A human mage named Jaiyna Proudmoore was with Arthas as he began his decent into madness and upon hearing Medivh's warning, left for Kalimdor with a bunch of warriors, hoping to find a safe haven.

16. Orcs in Kalimdor

~ When Thrall lands on Kalimdor, he soon finds a group of people known as Tauren, who are struggling to survive in the Barrens due to Centaurs driving them out. He aids his new allies and they become good friends.

~ It turns out that The Legion knows where they are, and Mannoroth comes to collect what is his due. That is, he wants to take the orcs who were trapped on Azeroth back under his control.

~ The Warsong Clan (an orc clan led by Grom Hellscream) comes up against the Night Elves, who don't take too kindly to their trees being messed with, but both forces are blown away by the Legion coming and suddenly attacking. (the Warsong Clan does briefly make a pact with the Legion in order to overcome the Nelfs)

17. The Legion in Kalimdor

~ Tyrande, upon seeing what the demons are doing to her people, knows that Illidan might be the only one with enough magical power and knowledge to drive them back.

~ Illidan was eager to prove himself, and ran up against Arthas only to find they were evenly matched. Arthas tells Illidan about the Skull of Gul'dan and its immense power, knowing this will bring Illidan into the Legion's forces.

~ Illidan runs off to find the skull, eats it, and slaughters a demon army. He mutates into a demony thing, but still retains his personality.

~ When he returns, his brother freaks out and banishes him from Night Elf lands.

18. Arthas, the Sunwell, and Sylvanas

~After Arthas killed his dad, he decided to bring Kel'thuzad back to life as a lich. To do that, he needed a sacred urn and some magic water.

~The sacred urn was held by Uther Lightbringer, so Arthas killed him.

~The magic water was the Sunwell of Quel'thalas.

~Arthas and the undead marched through Quel'thalas, but an annoying high elf named Sylvanas kept trying to stop him. So he killed her and brought her back as an undead.

~Then he corrupted the Sunwell and brough Kel'thuzad back to life.

~Kel'thuzad went to Dalaran, got the Book of Medivh, and summoned Archimonde, Mannoroth, and most of the rest of the Burning Legion to Azeroth.

~Archimonde destroyed Dalaran for sh*ts and giggles - what is left of it is in that big purple bubble.

~ Sylvanas repossesses her body, and takes part in the Legion. She eventually finds that Arthas' hold on her is weakening and plots to kill him (with the help of the Dreadlords). She fails.

~ Sylvanas takes some of Arthas' army with her, and they become the beginnings of the Forsaken.

19. Archimonde and the World Tree

~ Thrall and one of his Commanders, Grom Hellscream, run into Mannoroth.

~ Grom Kills Mannoroth and dies in the process, but in doing so he frees all orcs from the Blood Debt.

~ Jaina arrives in Kalimdor. Desperate for help, she turns to the Orcs and the Elves and helps drive back the Legion's forces.

~ They then realize that Archimonde is after the World Tree - they gather their forces, and try to hold him back but he is too powerful.

~ Archimonde grows about 1000ft tall and rips the tree partly out of the ground, while Malfurion summons a giant ball of wisps who basically make the tree grow into him, and eat him alive.

~ The tree is now ruined due to Archimonde's corruption and Night Elves become mortal.

~ Jaina and Thrall shake hands and call it a day.

20. Illidan, Kael'thas and Outland

~ Kael'thas, prince of the decimated High Elves, knows that it won't be long before the undead have completely destroyed his people, and now they are beginning to starve again (because the Sunwell has been destroyed - it turns out they were addicted to its magic).

~ Kael goes to his human allies, who basically treat him like garbage and put his failing army on the front lines to spare their own forces.

~ Kael is approached by Illidan and Lady Vashj who promise him a new hope - to go to Outland and take over there, since the Legion has lost so much it won't be able to control the place anymore.

~ Kael, Illidan and Vashj march to Outland to find salvation for their people.

~ Kil'jaeden is unwilling to give up on his world just yet, and kicks the crap out of Illidan, giving him a single chance to live. Go kick the crap out of Arthas.

21. Northrend

~ Arthas/Ner'zhul realize that their plans are about to foiled as the pesky Dreadlords are aiming to destory the Frozen Throne where Ner'zhul's spirit is.

~ Arthas rushes back to the Frozen Throne, knowing that the Dreadlords will head there to destroy Ner'zhul's weakened soul.

~ Arthas makes allies with the Nerubians along the way mostly by killing them and turning them into his servants, but whatever. It's friendship. XD They lead him through their old city where he finds and kills an Old God (or part of one).

~ Arthas is nearly there when Illidan shows up and he stomps the snot out of Illidan.

~ Arthas trots up to the Frozen Throne, puts on his shiny new Helmet and becomes the Lich King.

22. Alliance Resolutions Since the Last War (before WoW)

~ The king was kidnapped by the people who rebuilt Stormwind.

~ The humans who were far enough south to escape the full effects of the Plague are now recovering.

~ Dalaran is still in "protection" mode.

~ the Dwarves/gnomes have built a Tram from the Dwarf main city to the Human main city.

~ the Gnomes Blew up their home of Gnomeregan to stop a Trogg invasion. Oops.

~ The High Elves, for the most part have withdrawn from human lands.

~ the Night Elves have become a new group of allies, and attempted to grow a new World Tree.

~ Jaina has settled in Kalimdor, in Dustwallow.

23. Horde Resolutions since the last war (before WoW)

~ The remnants of the Old Horde escaped to Blackrock Mountain and the surrounding area under Warchief Rend Blackhand - the son of the guy who led the army in the first war.

~ The Orcs and Trolls have settled in Durotar.

~ the Trolls had an issue with a Dark Magic user, who forced them off their islands the Horde gave to them, so now they live with the Orcs.

~ The Taurens have gained control of their old lands, and have forced a Druidic alliance with the Night Elves through the Cenerion Circle.

~ The Undead who fled with Sylvannas have awoken to the life of the Forsaken - knowing who they were yet turned away for what they are. They joined the horde, though no one knows when or why that happened, exactly.

24. Dwarf History

~ Around the time the humans showed up, the Earthen began to awaken in their chambers deep underground. They had lost most of their original powers, but not their desire to craft things.

~ They called themselves Dwarves...or the humans did. No one knows for sure.

~ At some point in time, the Dwarves divided into three clans, that eventually went to war with each other.

~ The Dark Iron Clan leader, Thaurissan wanted to take control of the Clans, and in his digging in Blackrock Mountain, he dug so deep he came close to Ragnaros (the old general of the Old Gods) - who told him if he could be freed, he would send an army of fire to consume his enemies.

~ The resulting explosion destroyed everything near Searing Gorge and Burning Steppes.

~ The Wildhammer and Bronzebeard clans stood against the Dark Irons and managed to force them back into the mountain, where they wait to strike again, enthralled to Ragnaros.

25. Deathwing/Outland/Netherdrakes/Black Flight

~ After being chased relentlessly for his crimes for hundreds of years, when the Dark Portal opened up Deathwing took some of his flight and dozens of eggs and opted to hide in Outland/Draenor.

~ Gruul destroyed nearly all of the Black Dragonflight, but ignored the eggs.

~ These eggs became corrupted by the Free energy of the Nether, and that is where the Netherdrakes come from.

~ Deathwing's whereabouts is still unknown.

~ Without Deathwing's leadership, the Black Flight is being run by two of Deathwing's Children, Nefarion and Onyxia.

~ Nefarion is trying to create super-dragons by combining the bloodlines of various dragonflights.

~ Nefarion has also made a pact with Rend Blackhand, using his orcs to keep his secret plans of super-dragons safely guarded (BWL/BRS).

~ Onyxia is trying to take over Stormwind by subterfuge and disguising herself as a human - Lady Katrina Prestor.

26. Non-Horde Troll History

~ The Trolls that remained in the three groups - the Forest, the Jungle and the Zandalar (governing) Tribes were further seperated over time.

~ The Forest Trolls that ended up going into the Mountains became furry and became Ice Trolls.

~ The Jungle Trolls who were guarding the lands against the Qiraj when the world exploded (due to the Well of Eternity exploding) were trapped in a desert land, and became Sand Trolls.

~ Some of the Jungle Trolls (the Atal'ai) came in contact with a malevolent force which called itself Hakkar - it pretended to be the "Great Serpent" that all Trolls worshipped.

~ The Jungle Trolls began sacrificing each other to Hakkar.

~ The Zandalari Tribe didn't condone this behavior and banished the Atal'ai Trolls from Stranglethorn.

~ The Atal'ai made a new temple and began their rituals anew, convinced they would summon Hakkar into this world, and Ysera caught wind of it. She smashed the temple deep into the depths of the swamp, killing all the Trolls within, but she didn't count on some resourceful Trolls who were practicing nercomancy to save themselves by becoming the undead. (Sunken Temple)

~ Some of the survivors returned with renewed fervor to Stranglethorn and convinced the main tribes to start worshipping Hakkar.

~ Hakkar has been summoned and now resides in Zul'Gurub.