|Affiliation||Alliance of Lordaeron, Himself (privately)|
|Position||Master of Durnholde Keep, Commander of the Internment Camps|
|Status||Deceased; Killed by Thrall|
|Relative(s)||Aedelyn Blackmoore (father), Taretha Foxton (mistress), Karramyn Langston (trusted confidant), Thrall (slave)|
Blackmoore was the son of Aedelyn Blackmoore, a general in Lordaeron's army who had been convicted of selling state secrets when Aedelas was a child. A veteran of the Second War, Blackmoore had proven himself quite effective in combat against the orcs. What wasn't generally known was that while Blackmoore acquitted himself well on the battlefield, his courage in battle was often boosted by alcohol, as Blackmoore was a heavy drinker. It is possible that Blackmoore's drinking problem originated from his frustration at having to live with the stigma of being the "son of a traitor." Due to his father's treachery and the suspicion of his peers that such traits were hereditary, Blackmoore had to repeatedly prove himself and work harder than other soldiers and officers to earn the respect he so craved. This did not have a positive effect on his disposition, to put it mildly.
Despite the stigma he bore on his name, he rose to the position of overseer of all the orcish internment camps in Azeroth, moving the headquarters from New Stormwind to his fortress, Durnholde, in the Hillsbrad Foothills of southern Lordaeron. This promotion came after Danath Trollbane was lost beyond the Dark Portal.
With the war over and finding himself elevated to a position which placed fewer restrictions on his behavior, Blackmoore had more free time and spent most of it drinking. Unfortunately for Blackmoore, his often public intoxication did nothing to help his reputation; in addition to people whispering about him being the "son of a traitor" (albeit one who had proven himself in battle and risen to the rank of Lieutenant), they now also considered him a drunk (and with all rights too).
Blackmoore was capable of occasional kindness and civility when sober, but more often than not was temperamental and impatient without being concerned in the least for how his actions affected others. As bad as he could be when he was sober, Blackmoore exhibited even more of a vicious streak when drunk.
Blackmoore came across the orcling he would later name Thrall when he was hunting with his servant Tammis amongst the dismembered remains of the baby's family. He immediately seized the opportunity, taking the child back to Durnholde. There, Thrall grew up under human tutelage, learning the skills of a warrior before his teens and also demonstrating a keen intellect during the lessons he was given by human educators. He learned to read and write, while also earning Blackmoore a good deal of money in the gladiatorial ring. It was there he was pitted against the champions of other rich and prominent people.
However, Blackmoore had more in mind for Thrall than merely making him into a great gladiator. He had only revealed his plan to his most trusted confidant, Karramyn Langston, telling him that he would raise Thrall to become a general, so that Blackmoore could send an army of orcs (made up of the prisoners in the internment camps) against a complacent Alliance. Thrall would earn the orcs' trust and respect in Blackmoore's plan, Thrall would lead them into battle, but Thrall would also have been conditioned to be completely loyal and obedient to Blackmoore by that time and would turn over the kingdom to the human lord once he had conquered it. It seems that treachery runs in the blood, or that if one is suspected of being a traitor his entire life he might come to resent his accusers enough to betray them in reality.
Raising an Orcling and Rising in the Ranks
As Thrall continued to grow, so did Blackmoore’s lifestyle. To his credit, in the years since he had found the baby orc he rose from the rank of Lieutenant to Lieutenant General. But he sank deeper into drunkenness, and frequently used Taretha, the daughter of Tammis and secret friend of Thrall, as a concubine. Blackmoore was apparently rough with Taretha during sex, since when Thrall noticed a bruise on her wrist she admitted it was the result of being with Blackmoore. Taretha was ashamed and unhappy with the situation, but was in no position to refuse her lord. Since Taretha's mother had reluctantly been Thrall's wet nurse, it is possible and even likely that Blackmoore threatened to reveal that embarrassing fact to the masses if Taretha didn't cooperate fully.
During Thrall's life at Durnholde there had been times when Blackmoore was nice to him, and many other times when Blackmoore treated him terribly. Thrall's response was to try to do better. Be a better gladiator, a better student, a better thrall. Surely if he performed his tasks well enough, Blackmoore would be kinder to him and not punish him. This naive notion was dispelled one terrible day. On that day, Thrall would be convinced that he had to escape from Blackmoore's clutches at any cost.
On that day Thrall had fought eight straight bouts in the arena, victorious in every one. Blackmoore was pleased; he had come to expect nothing less from his undefeated "pet orc". But Thrall tired more with each bout, and after the eighth contest against a pair of large mountain cats Thrall was bleeding in addition to being so exhausted he could barely remain standing. The Sergeant who had trained Thrall had advised Blackmoore not to push him too hard, partly out of pragmatism but also out of concern for his student. Blackmoore would hear none of it, confident that Thrall was unbeatable and eager to take money from any who cared to bet against Thrall. The more tired Thrall got, after all, the higher the odds against him became and the more money Blackmoore would win. Drunk at the time, Blackmoore also resented what he perceived to be laziness on Thrall's part.
It was with this reasoning in mind that Blackmoore forced Thrall to fight a ninth bout, against arguably the most deadly opponent he would face that day: an ogre who towered Thrall in size and was well rested. Thrall was impaled on the ogre's spear and beaten to within an inch of his life before the two fighters were separated and Thrall was carried back to his cell.
Blackmoore was enraged that Thrall had allowed himself to be defeated, caused him to lose thousands in gold, and had embarrassed him.
Lying in his cell in excruciating agony, Thrall hoped that the healers would arrive soon as Blackmoore had always sent them in the past to fix him up after his fights. He remembered how Blackmoore had praised him so many times in the past after he had won, after he had made Blackmoore money. Thrall had no reason to expect anything different this time; he knew he had lost against the ogre but he was sure that Blackmoore would understand and be impressed that Thrall had fought nine bouts in a row, something which had never been done before, and won eight. Thus it was a rude awakening when a drunken and angry Blackmoore entered his cell and informed him that the healers wouldn't be coming anytime soon, raged at how Thrall had cost him so much money by losing, and began to beat and kick the grievously injured orc viciously. Thrall wasn't able to do anything but lie there and take it, and even when Blackmoore had finally worn himself out it wasn't finished. Many others had bet on Thrall and lost money, and Blackmoore had invited them all to join in the punishment. Man after man entered the cell and vented his anger on the helpless orc before he finally, mercifully, lost consciousness.
Thrall Escapes from Durnholde
After he had finally been healed (not out of mercy but so he would remain alive to fight for Blackmoore again) Thrall was visited by the man who had trained him to fight, a man he knew only as "Sergeant." Sergeant told Thrall he wished he had been there earlier to stop the beatings, and that he had pulled the men off the orc as soon as he discovered it. Sergeant sympathized with Thrall and told him that he had done extremely well in the ring, that Blackmoore should have been proud of him and that he didn't deserve to be treated so horribly. Sergeant then left Thrall to sleep, but the damage was done. Thrall was grateful to Sergeant for his kindness, but now he knew that he would never be able to please Blackmoore and that the man would never be satisfied enough with his performance to give him any love or respect. It was on that night that Thrall vowed to escape.
Thrall did escape, with Taretha's help (see Escape from Durnholde Keep for a slightly altered version of these events). With the word that Thrall was on the loose reaching the capital, Blackmoore was called before King Terenas and Prince Arthas to account for his actions. The King was incredulous that Blackmoore had decided to train and educate an orc (not knowing Blackmoore's true intention, of course), and threatened to send a representative of the crown to ensure that the funds being provided for the maintenance of Durnholde and the camps were properly distributed if Blackmoore could not account for them himself.
Blackmoore scoured the countryside, almost capturing him again at Remka's camp, but the orc continued to elude him. Thrall had already escaped by the time Blackmoore arrived at the camp, but the soldiers who captured him had taken his possessions and still had them at the camp for Blackmoore to inspect. Among those possessions were letters from Taretha which Thrall had saved for their sentimental value. Blackmoore felt angry and betrayed, but kept his knowledge of the friendship between Taretha and Thrall hidden from her at that time.
Despite the odd "Thrall sighting", Blackmoore didn't hear of Thrall for several seasons, until Thrall returned with a new Horde at his back and began freeing entire orcish internment camps. After five camps were taken, Thrall made way for Durnholde.
The night before the battle, Taretha snuck out of Durnholde - Blackmoore, she believed, had drunk himself to sleep - and met Thrall in secret so he could inform her of his plans. Thrall told Taretha that he hoped he could negotiate a release of all the captive orcs without bloodshed, but neither of them were optimistic that Blackmoore would agree to it. Feeling that a fight was inevitable, Thrall urged Taretha to leave Durnholde so there would be no chance of her being harmed. But Taretha told him that if she were discovered missing it would alert the human forces, and that if she left then Blackmoore would take his anger out on her parents. Though she didn't want to, she told Thrall she had to stay, although she hoped for Thrall to emerge from the battle victorious.
Upon Taretha's return to Durnholde, she found Blackmoore and his men waiting for her. Blackmoore (who had feigned his drunken state and was in fact quite sober when she returned) made it clear that he knew what she had done; he had sent a stealthy scout to tail Taretha's movements and saw everything.
The Siege of Durnholde
The next morning, Thrall's army surrounded the keep. As planned, Thrall attempted to parlay but when Blackmoore appeared on the parapet to speak with him it was immediately clear that he was sloshed to the gills, having drunk himself into a near-stupor. Thrall told Blackmoore that he wished for the rest of the imprisoned orcs to be freed and that he hoped bloodshed would not be necessary. He went on to say that they only wanted freedom and that they would leave the Alliance alone after they had it. But Blackmoore wasn't listening. Alternating between amusement, anger and grief (he honestly could not understand how Thrall could be so ungrateful after he had "given him everything"), Blackmoore began screaming his plans to everyone in earshot - his intent to use Thrall to take over the Alliance and become lord of all humans. When told once more to negotiate or die, Blackmoore answered Thrall by throwing the severed head of his dear friend, Taretha Foxton, from the castle wall to land at his feet.
Blackmoore may have intended to break Thrall's spirit with this gesture, but it had the complete opposite effect. It was too much for Thrall to take, and along with his profound grief at Taretha's fate came an elemental fury. The time for talk was over. He ordered his forces to attack and used the shamanistic magic he had learned against the defenders as well. Blackmoore retreated into the fortress, but Thrall tracked him down, engaging him in single combat. At first, Thrall allowed Blackmoore a fighting chance - the fight seemed to revitalize him, and he was able to hold his own against the raging Warchief. Blackmoore tried to explain, tried to convince Thrall to aid him, but Thrall filled with rage at remembering what Blackmoore had done to Taretha. Throwing his full strength into his attack, Thrall disarmed Blackmoore and forced him against a wall. Blackmoore attempted to make the best of it by drawing a dagger from his boot and slicing it across Thrall's face, narrowly missing his right eye. The Warchief sliced his massive sword down into the body of the master of Durnholde, forcing him to the ground. However, before life left the dying Blackmoore, he managed to say "You are... what I made you... I am so proud..." It is one of the great ironies of history that Blackmoore - intending to raise the orcs as an army to dominate the Alliance - had in fact paved the way for the restoration and revitalization of the Horde by raising Thrall.
After Durnholde's surrender, Thrall allowed the survivors and their families to go free. Calling upon the Spirit of the Earth, Thrall leveled Durnholde and buried Aedelas Blackmoore beneath the rubble of his own fortress.
Blackmoore's only appearances as a character in Warcraft lore are in the novels Lord of the Clans (which is based on the cancelled Warcraft Adventures) and Arthas: Rise of the Lich King (on two brief occasions), both by Christie Golden, but his legacy continues to shape the world of Warcraft years after his death. He does not appear in World of Warcraft, but is mentioned several times in the Old Hillsbrad Foothills instance of the Caverns of Time, where players aid his "pet orc", Thrall, in his escape from Durnholde.
Blackmoore is also believed to be the mentor of Aliden Perenolde, the leader of the Syndicate, who longs to return to the days where the orcs were prisoners of the humans. The crescent-moon pendant worn by Blackmoore's mistress, Taretha Foxton, is in the possession of Perenolde's own mistress, Elysa. In addition, members of the Syndicate hold the ruins of Durnholde and use it as a base to strike against the unwary in Hillsbrad.