Just as I noted in the previous installment of Warcraft lore, the information following is going to be pulled from multiple sources and attempting to get to a base ‘cannon’ of the current story. Today is about what we know from the games and books. There are multiple tangents we could have gone on, but our focus is on the progression and story of the Alliance. If there are any discrepancies with information, feel free to leave a comment and we’ll take a deeper look into it!
I also feel it’s relevant to mention that although I’m a Horde lover, I’ll be writing from the perspective of the Alliance. If you do see prejudices seep through a little though, again, leave a comment and tell me what kind of filthy scum I am. Thank you for your support and I hope you enjoy the article!
Where to Begin
The Alliance’s history stretches back across multiple factions, races, games, books, comics, and videos. To be clear, there is more than one “Alliance”. We’re going to be talking about the two that lead into our current Alliance that we know: the Alliance of Lordaeron, and the modern day Alliance. Though often mistaken as the same organization, the Alliance of Lordaeron was much more impressive (inner Hordie coming out).
The First War
With the Orcish Horde’s arrival in Azeroth through the Dark Portal, many problems arose for the current inhabitants. The Orcs sought refuge from their dying world of Draenor and, with the help of Gul’dan and Medivh (more on these two with the Horde article), came upon Azeroth. In their attempts to make new lives for themselves, they settled in the Black Morass (aka the Blasted Lands) and sent scouting parties to explore their new home.
Inevitably, the scouts ran across villages and townsfolk in the Eastern Kingdoms and quickly dispatched them, feeling that they’d be a threat. King Llane Wrynn of Stormwind sent Anduin Lothar to investigate with a small company of knights. What they found was horrifying to say the least. These creatures were fighting and killing across the country, unchecked. Lothar decided to lead his men to small skirmishes with the orcs, gauging their competency. Realizing they couldn’t do much about this threat alone, Lothar retreated to Stormwind to report about the growing concern of the orcs on Azeroth.
And so began the First War.
Ultimately, the war was fought between the Orcish Horde and Stormwind’s forces. Though Stormwind did send envoys to other nations requesting help, they had created an identity for themselves as independent and successful. The human nations saw this as arrogance and weren’t concerned with the orc threat. Many even politely gave words of encouragement as their only reinforcements.
In the process of the war, King Llane was assassinated by Garona (a half-orc), causing the men of Stormwind to lose morale and inevitably give up their kingdom. Anduin Lothar, now Steward of Stormwind, recognized the loss of spirit and declared the war lost, fleeing to King Terenas Menethil II of Lordaeron with the survivors. Among the survivors was young prince Varian. The fighting between Horde and Alliance had lasted about four years since the opening of the Dark Portal but was far from over.
The Alliance of Lordaeron
As refugees from Stormwind showed up in Lordaeron, they spread tales of the horrific Orcish Horde ravaging the southern country. King Terenas saw the gravity of the situation and called upon the seven nations of humanity to discuss what was to be done. With Terenas’ reputation the other kings promptly responded to his request for a meeting and went to Lordaeron for the meeting. These representatives included: Anduin Lothar of Stormwind, Terenas Menethil II of Lordaeron, Thoras Trollbane of Stromgarde, Daelin Proudmoore of Kul Tiras, Genn Greymane of Gilneas, Antonidas of Dalaran, and Aiden Perenolde of Alterac.
In order to secure their future, the human nations put aside their differences and joined forces. Kul Tiras, Dalaran, and Stromgarde were relatively easy to get onboard with the idea, while Gilneas (thinking they could withstand the Horde alone) and Alterac (thinking they were doomed no matter what) were tougher to convince. This new pact between nations was called the Alliance of Lordaeron and Anduin Lothar was given command, based on his experience with fighting the Horde.
As the human leaders were debating and discussing the future of their race and world, the Ironforge dwarves had been fighting the Horde as their homeland was ransacked. In an effort of desperation, they reached out to the humans to gain resources and support. The high elves of Quel’Thalas also reached out to join with the humans as the Horde grew more interested in their land and resources. Other sub-groups eventually joined the Alliance as well including, Wildhammer clan from the Arathi Highlands, Gnomeregan, Tol Barad, Knights of the Silver Hand, Church of the Holy Light, and the Bronzebeard clan.
Second War and Building Sustainability
Orgrim Doomhammer, Warchief of the Horde, knew the threat of a unified Alliance. Upon learning that the free people of Azeroth were massing under one banner, he promptly pushed to eradicate the threat before they could attack his people. This war was much more decisive and final for the Alliance’s victory. Through their unity (and sacrifice of good men such as Anduin Lothar), the Alliance was able to push the Horde all the way back to the Dark Portal and destroyed it. With the Horde in full retreat and searching for anything to simply survive, the Alliance celebrated! However, as time wore on, and without the impressive figure of Lothar guiding them, the individual nations started falling away.
The elves of Quel’Thalas felt abandoned after the war as the majority of the Alliance left to Lordaeron. They were still fighting with trolls in their lands and had little help from the organization that they fought a war with, leading to King Anasterian of Quel’Thalas withdrawing support for the Alliance completely.
In an attempt to bring morale back to the forces of the Alliance and maintain relations, Turalyon (successor to Lothar) began rebuilding Stormwind. More than just a city, Stormwind became a symbol for the future of humanity. Not every leader appreciated the entirety of the Alliance funding the reconstruction of Stormwind. Other political decisions, such as a heavier tax to maintain orc internment camps, prompted Gilneas to also rescind its support.
During the time following, Varian Wrynn had been crowned king at the age of 18. Still advised by Turalyon, Varian took up his seat as King of Stormwind.
The Fall of the Alliance of Lordaeron
The ultimate downfall of the Alliance of Lordaeron came at the hands of a prince; a prince you have no-doubt heard of. Prince Arthas Menethil.
Arthas, corrupted by the Lich King, gained a supernatural power over the Scourge (undead) and simply laid waste to the entirety of Lordaeron, killing his father Terenas in the process. What Terenas had built for decades, Arthas brought down in a matter of weeks. In his conquest of Lordaeron, Arthas attacked Quel’Thalas and nearly wiped the high elves from existence. The few survivors of the siege of Quel’Thalas called themselves blood elves and vowed to avenge their fallen comrades.
These events ushered in the Third War. This was not fought between Horde and Alliance. This was a war between life and death. Demons were invading Azeroth and with Lordaeron out of the picture, the Alliance was scattered. The largest fracture followed Jaina Proudmoore to Kalimdor at the advice of archmage Medivh. Here, the Alliance and Horde joined forces to defeat the demonic invaders.
A New and Current Alliance
With the defeat of the Burning Legion and the previous destruction of Lordaeron, came the falling out of the previous Alliance. Yet, with the victorys over the demons, the original inhabitants of Azeroth made Stormwind their new beacon of hope. Rather than the strictly militaristic benefits of the Alliance of Lordaeron, the new Alliance set a more recognizable and sustainable structure. The Wrynn dynasty was still recognized to be the Alliance’s firmest leaders and advocates. With Stormwind being the new base of operations, Varian was named High King of the Alliance.
Under Varian’s command, the Alliance prospered. The years moved on, and the Alliance was joined by night elves (having lost their immortality and seeing that taking sides was the only way of survival), as well as the Draenei, (much more in later publications) and Gilneas returned after suffering their own tragedies.
Tragically, Varian gave up his life on the Broken Shore, and was slain by Gul’dan (Orcish Warlock) prior to the Burning Legion’s defeat on Azeroth (again). Succeeding him is Anduin Wrynn, named after Anduin Lothar. Feeling that the Horde betrayed the Alliance resulting in the death of Varian, we approach the expansion Battle for Azeroth led to believe that a war is soon to break out between the Horde and Alliance. The leadership of one man can bring untold prosperity or unspeakable destruction. Where we go now with Anduin is down a path he has yet to explore, and we have the opportunity to discover, with him.
Tune in for the next article detailing the history and current political climate of the Horde!
Also, be sure to follow along for Battle for Azeroth updates after its global release on August 14th,
Thank you for reading!
For the Alliance!