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Old 08-05-2013, 09:53 AM
Kir the Wizard Kir the Wizard is offline

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Grunt Blackrock Orcish War(s) vs the Dark Irons: Where and How?

The Blackrock Spire has been established in Warcraft 1 as the Orcish seat of power. However, in World of Warcraft we found out that this mountainous citadel (and, presumably, the whole region) was originally under control of Dark Iron Dwarves, whose capital, Shadowforge, was hidden in Blackrock Depths.

But when exactly had the orcs managed to wrestle control over the keep?

I think we can presume that it wasn't the centre of the Horde during the initial pre-WC1 assault on Stormwind City. Rather, Blackhand established it after seeing that the orcs underestimated humans and there is a need for a long and heavily supplied campaign.

In WC1 it is indeed the "capital" of the Horde and the seat of Warchief Blackhand's power. You invade it as a Stormwind leader in the human campaign, you take over it as Doomhammer in the orcish campaign.

As far as I can remember, WC2 didn't change that either.

So, presumably the orcs established control over the citadel (and defeated the dwarves) sometime during the First War, right?

Well, our good ol' pal The Tides of Darkness novelization gives us this version:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tides of Darkness novel
A week later Doomhammer addressed the assembled Horde. They were gathered before the fortress Zul’jin told him was called the Blackrock Spire, a massive structure built from the same glossy black stone that dominated the landscape. It stood atop Blackrock Mountain, the tallest of the Burning Steppes mountain range that rose up along the continent, dividing east from west. Zuluhed had led them here, sensing the power within the mountains, and after defeating the handful of dwarves dwelling here, Doomhammer had claimed it. He had felt it was a good omen that this place, which he had selected as the Horde’s base, bore the same name as his own clan.
Indeed, what a coincidence!

So, somehow the orcs knew NOTHING about the Burning Steppes region (what was Blackhand's capital, then? Stonard?). Until a forest troll who hailed from a continent away told them about it.

It gets better. The Dark Iron empire and its capital of Shadowforge somehow become "a handful of dwarves dwelling here". Are we to believe that an empire that still somehow controls a lot of Southern Khaz Modan (and is able to fight against Black Dragonflight and the Dark Horde simultaneously) was only a handful of dwarves that the orcs randomly slew when they came to the region? What the hell?

Okay, this was written after WoW was out, surely Ragnaros would punish orcs for attacking his worshippers?

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Originally Posted by Tides of Darkness novel
“The volcano speaks,” Zuluhed said softly, stepping forward so that only Doomhammer could hear his words. “The spirits within the mountain are pleased.” He grinned, bearing his worn tusks. “They grant us their blessing!”
Wait, didn't the shamans lose their ability to contact spirits? Or was that only about ancestor spirits?

Anyway, apparently Ragnaros has Horde Bias. Good to know.

An easy answer is "it was retconned".

But, the addition of Dark Irons kinda shakes the whole structure the novelizations has built over.

First we have the Battle of Blackrock Spire. A large batallia by all means. Where were the Dark Irons back when it raged? Were the hiding beneath the land in magical hidden dwarf fortresses? Were they going to help the Alliance? Or the Horde (Ragnaros's Bias)?

But, most importantly, were they going to wrestle control over the region back?

We already know that the Alliance was too stupid to put some guards at Blackrock to oversee whether the orcs would try any new operations (and Ironforge probably was too busy cleaning up its own territory from the Dragonmaw to even think about expanding south). Nor did it succeed in killing them all. That is because the BTDP novel features Rend Blackhand, already the leader of the Dark Horde, already ordering three clans around and ruling from Blackrock Spire. Here we also find out about Deathwing trying to spread his influence over the orcs by sending his son Nefarian to subdue the Dark Horde (and it works).

However...

Where are the Dark Irons in the equation here? Did they take over the region after the BRS battle and Rend had to re-conquer it AGAIN? Or did they rise only after Nefarian tried to contain the threat of Ragnaros?

I'm confused! WAGH!
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Old 08-05-2013, 09:57 AM
Trickster Trickster is offline

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Another interesting fact: apparently the place was already called Blackrock Mountain before it became home to the clan of the same name. Even the Dwarves call it that way...
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Old 08-05-2013, 09:58 AM
Noitora Noitora is offline

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Is this a speculation thread or a specific answer thread?
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Old 08-05-2013, 10:00 AM
Nazja Nazja is offline

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Originally Posted by WhinyAlly View Post
Another interesting fact: apparently the place was already called Blackrock Mountain before it became home to the clan of the same name. Even the Dwarves call it that way...
And the coincidence that a clan called Dragonmaw would one day encounter dragons and tame them. It's almost as if the spirits had foreseen that the orcs would one day live in Azeroth and forced the orcs to name their clans accordingly.
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Old 08-05-2013, 10:00 AM
Kir the Wizard Kir the Wizard is offline

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Originally Posted by Noitora View Post
Is this a speculation thread or a specific answer thread?
Speculation.

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Originally Posted by Nazja
And the coincidence that a clan called Dragonmaw would one day encounter dragons and tame them. It's almost as if the spirits had foreseen that the orcs would one day live in Azeroth and forced the orcs to name their clans accordingly.
There are lotsa creatures on Draenor that one could consider draconic. It doesn't irk me at the slightest (though I'd prefer both them and the Blackrocks/BTG being a newly-created clan)
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Old 08-05-2013, 11:46 AM
MisterCrow MisterCrow is offline

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Originally Posted by Kir the Wizard View Post
Where are the Dark Irons in the equation here? Did they take over the region after the BRS battle and Rend had to re-conquer it AGAIN? Or did they rise only after Nefarian tried to contain the threat of Ragnaros?

I'm confused! WAGH!
I think the answer might be somewhat reductive in nature. We know that post-War of Three Hammers, the Dark Iron built Shadowforge above the Molten Core in their subservience to Ragnaros. We can tell from the rest of Blackrock Spire, BRC, BWL, and BWD that they essentially hollowed out the whole damn mountain in the process and had a huge metropolis going. It's literally the biggest city in the world.

We don't know Nefarian's whereabouts prior to his appearance in BtDP when Deathwing gives him his orders. I could imagine a scenario where, prior to whenever the Horde showed up in the Burning Steppes, Nefarian and his piece of the Black Flight had taken over the upper reaches of Blackrock Mountain and were driving the dwarves down. Nefarian is renovating the place to house his experiments, and when Big Daddy DW tells him to manipulate Rend, it gives Nef a brute squad he can use to continue claiming more of the mountain.

And perhaps Nefarian, recalling the Black Flight's original charge as guardians of the deep places and jailors of the Old Gods, gets a chuckle out of keeping a lieutenant of the Old Gods (Rag) trapped in his basement.
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Old 08-05-2013, 12:16 PM
Kir the Wizard Kir the Wizard is offline

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Originally Posted by MisterCrow View Post
I think the answer might be somewhat reductive in nature. We know that post-War of Three Hammers, the Dark Iron built Shadowforge above the Molten Core in their subservience to Ragnaros. We can tell from the rest of Blackrock Spire, BRC, BWL, and BWD that they essentially hollowed out the whole damn mountain in the process and had a huge metropolis going. It's literally the biggest city in the world.
Yep, but they also have a huge city/mining operation going around the Searing Gorge, if not the Steppes. I just sort of expected them to put up more resistance then "a handful" when Doomhammer. Which brings me to the "hidden underground" speculation. If Ragnaros and his fire elementals blessed the Horde for conquests, then he might have ordered the dwarves to stay hidden and evade the orcs.

Alternatively, perhaps the Black Dragonflight was interested in orcs and their usefulness long before BTDP, thus deciding to clean up Southern Khaz Modan from the dwarves entirely to see what the Horde would be up too.

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And perhaps Nefarian, recalling the Black Flight's original charge as guardians of the deep places and jailors of the Old Gods, gets a chuckle out of keeping a lieutenant of the Old Gods (Rag) trapped in his basement.
This was exactly mine interpretation too. I liked when he was like this.
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Old 08-05-2013, 01:17 PM
Taintedmage Taintedmage is offline

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I'm going to take a guess and say the Horde only scratched the surface of Black Rock mountain as opposed to the entire thing, taking out only some Dwarves.

The majority of the dwarves were probably holed up deeper in the mountain and since (for some reason) maybe Rag took a liking to the orcs, they didn't war with the Horde.

Now, as for the fact that Zuluhed was able to communicate with the elements...
I would say it's because the elements of Azeroth are not the elements of Draenor.

It's true that Gul'dan severed the Orcs connection with the elements (The Hand of Gul'dan is proof of that) however I'd guess this would only be for Draenor.
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Old 08-05-2013, 04:21 PM
Thunderbraid Thunderbraid is offline

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The Tides of Darkness novel is good in all aspects apart from the brushing over of the Horde's invasion of Khaz Modan.

According to the book, it only took a few weeks to take Khaz Modan, strip mine it for resources for the fleet and then build the fleet. (Actually indicating that the dwarves had some kind of shipbuilding capability, or the orcs built it themselves, which would have added -more- time).

Doing all that in a few weeks is... Simply not possible, from my point of view.

The original timeline before the books paints the time it took to take Khaz Modan as anywhere between 2-5 years, which is much more reasonable.
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Old 08-05-2013, 04:22 PM
Kir the Wizard Kir the Wizard is offline

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Originally Posted by Thunderbraid View Post
The Tides of Darkness novel is good in all aspects apart from the brushing over of the Horde's invasion of Khaz Modan.

According to the book, it only took a few weeks to take Khaz Modan, strip mine it for resources for the fleet and then build the fleet. (Actually indicating that the dwarves had some kind of shipbuilding capability, or the orcs built it themselves, which would have added -more- time).

Doing all that in a few weeks is... Simply not possible, from my point of view.
The novel brushed over the whole Second War in about a month, you dwarf nationalist. This is the least of the retcons.
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Old 08-05-2013, 04:23 PM
Thunderbraid Thunderbraid is offline

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I'd disagree, personally.

The disparity between the Dark Irons as described in the book and the Dark Irons as seen in Vanilla and even Cataclysm WoW does not add up.
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Old 08-05-2013, 04:36 PM
Porimlys Porimlys is offline

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Originally Posted by Nazja View Post
And the coincidence that a clan called Dragonmaw would one day encounter dragons and tame them. It's almost as if the spirits had foreseen that the orcs would one day live in Azeroth and forced the orcs to name their clans accordingly.
Paid clan name changes
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Old 08-05-2013, 04:38 PM
Tilgath Tilgath is offline

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Echoing Taintedmage, pretty much.

I always imagined that the Orcs simply assumed Blackrock Spire was the extent of the Dark Iron's city inside the mountain. Maybe the Dark Irons blocked off the main passages down to Blackrock Depths or Ragnaros did some magic-y stuff to make the Orcs somehow avoid discovering them. Regardless, it's been my head canon for a while that the Dark Irons abandoned their above-ground holdings and just stayed in Shadowforge City, slowly rebuilding their arms and industrial base. In the meantime Ragnaros gives the Horde his blessing because, hey, he's Ragnaros and the Orcs seem like the type of guys who set forest fires.

Regarding the elements, back on Draenor the ancestor spirits gave the Orc shamans the middle finger and cut them off. Then, following the fel-poisoning of the land, the elemental spirits also gave the Orc shamans the middle finger. But the elemental spirits of Azeroth have no beef with the Orcs so far.
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Old 08-05-2013, 05:15 PM
BaronGrackle BaronGrackle is offline

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ToD compliant answer: It looks like Zuluhed led Doomhammer to Blackrock Mountain sometime between the end of the First War and the Invasion of Khaz Modan, with Zul'jin around to tell him its name. That they encountered only a few Dwarves indicates, to me, that the orcs indeed only occupied the surface level and only came into conflict with a few Dark Irons, who fell back and bolstered their defenses for a deeper orc attack that never actually came.

Answer without the burden of ToD: Of course Blackhand's forces took control of Blackrock Spire; it couldn't be otherwise. I thought the original Warcraft manual would give me a better timeframe on when it was taken, but the intro stories are strangely silent - so is The Last Guardian. Regardless, I'm with Kir here in thinking it would've happened after the first failed attack on Stormwind.

Which means, the Horde was fighting Dark Iron Dwarves during the First War. I imagine there were small skirmishes but nothing major between them, as the Horde was focused on Stormwind while the Dark Irons were building up and assessing this new threat. I also imagine that there were small skirmishes between orcs and Bronzebeard Dwarves. We know that Wildhammers were renting out gryphons to Medivh from somewhere nearby, and that Medivh suggested to Lothar the possibility of hiring Gnomish "whirligigs" and "sky-engines" for scouting, even.

And this makes me imagine that the Horde's war against the Dwarves and Gnomes (Invasion of Khaz Modan, or whatever you want to call it) technically began during the First War and lasted through the Battle of Grim Batol. So from the Year 0 to the Year 10. A major front of "The Great War", if I can say that without offending the skilled RPers of this forum.

We know that the bloodcursed orcs got ansy when they didn't have anything to rampage and conquer, so they probably would've hit both the Burning Steppes and Khaz Modan hard after the Fall of Stormwind. Incidentally, it would've given the Stormwind refugees a little bit of breathing space to organize and board their escape fleets, if the Horde were busy waging war against Bronzebeard border patrols and Dark Irons.

We know next to nothing about the details of this war, either in old lore or in new, and that's a shame. I imagine that there would've been a number of signficant battles and sieges between the Horde and the Bronzebeards and the Horde and the Dark Irons, the rival Dwarven clans waging war against the Horde in separate areas but too untrusting of each other to join forces. But I also agree with others here who point out that the Horde probably only scratched the surface of the Dark Iron communities.

EDIT: In terms of the elements, Zuluhed also located the Demon Soul - though he was unable to use it. But didn't it reveal elsewhere that Deathwing had actually been responsible for leading Zuluhed to the Demon Soul? It's possible that he or some other force could have led the orcs to Blackrock Spire as well. But, more likely, it could just be the case that Azeroth elements weren't holding a grudge against the orcs.

EDIT:
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Originally Posted by Thunderbraid View Post
The Tides of Darkness novel is good in all aspects apart from the brushing over of the Horde's invasion of Khaz Modan.
Funny thing about the ToD novel. It's a nice little read, except when it talks about lore you actually care about.

Last edited by BaronGrackle; 08-05-2013 at 05:34 PM..
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Old 08-05-2013, 05:46 PM
Trickster Trickster is offline

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And this makes me imagine that the Horde's war against the Dwarves and Gnomes (Invasion of Khaz Modan, or whatever you want to call it) technically began during the First War and lasted through the Battle of Grim Batol. So from the Year 0 to the Year 10.
This, I like it.

It actually gives the Orcs a good reason for heading North instead of lolcarnage.

When they arrive in Azeroth, they fight stormwind, fail and hear about this Blackrock Mountain. They take it as a fortress, thus starting a war with the Dwarves too. When Stormwind is defeated, they must head North to end the war with the Dwarves. But at some point, they meet other Humans, the ones from Lordaeron, wich starts another war as they are both hostiles to one-another: the Second War.

It actually makes the Horde less evil in a way because they didn't head North to commit another genocide, but to finish a war they already were fighting.

The ships could have tried to reach the other end of Khaz Modan to attack them from the other side but stumbled upon Lordaeron.
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Old 08-05-2013, 06:10 PM
BaronGrackle BaronGrackle is offline

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And I forgot to mention the orcs discovering gunpowder and cannon technology in their battles against the dwarves, but that's more Ironforge and less Dark Iron.

Short story/fanfic idea: An group of Orcish Warlocks and Dark Iron Warlocks run into each other in the mountains and skirmish, tearing up the terrain around them, spewing fire and insults at each other. When the survivors from each group fall back and end the battle, they discover that the other warlocks each had spells/powers they hadn't seen before - and they want more than anything to have these powers themselves.

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The ships could have tried to reach the other end of Khaz Modan to attack them from the other side but stumbled upon Lordaeron.
I still like to think that they learned the Human ships escaped across the Great Sea separate from their Dwarven war, and that was more unfinished business for them to take care of.

Without the burdens of WoW:ToD, the Orcs had always known how to build/sail ships and had presumably launched fleets from Azeroth itself, both in the Great Sea and the Forbidding Sea.
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Old 08-05-2013, 06:14 PM
HlaaluStyle HlaaluStyle is offline

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Back in the day I'd figured that the Horde's efforts to take Blackrock Mountain made it possible for Stormwind to withstand their attack (for a long time) without getting significant foreign help. That may not work as well with the more recent novels, however.
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Old 08-06-2013, 02:08 AM
Darkphoenix Darkphoenix is offline

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I for one would like to blame Obama for this lore issue.

Carry on.
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