|Playable races in World of Warcraft e|
|Draenei · Dwarf · Gnome · Human · Night elf · Worgen||Pandaren||Blood elf · Goblin · Orc · Tauren · Troll · Undead|
|Main leader|| (Warchief of the Horde, Leader of the Darkspear Trolls)|
(Ruler over the Nation of Durotar, Horde representative in the Earthen Ring and former Warchief of the Horde)
|Secondary leaders|| (Leader of the Frostwolf and Eastern Kingdoms Horde Orcs)|
(Former High Overlord of the Kor'Kron Guard and Leader of the Warsong Offensive)
|Race(s)|| Quel'Thalas Blood elf|
Bilgewater Cartel goblin
|Other major cities||Thunder Bluff, Undercity, Silvermoon City, Bilgewater Harbor|
|Secondary languages||Taurahe, Gutterspeak, Thalassian, Zandali, Goblin, Low Common|
|Theater of operations||Lordaeron, Central and Southern Kalimdor, Quel'Thalas, Outland, Northrend|
- This article is about the recent history and current state of the Horde. For its past, see History of the Horde.
The Horde is one of the two major political factions of the mortal races in Azeroth, its counterpart being the Alliance. The Horde, a faction led by off-worlders and composed of outsiders has survived these obstacles by making allies with few of the native races of Azeroth or even uneasy allies. Although its ideals, policies, and beliefs have been revised and membership has changed over time, it is the same Horde inherited by Thrall through Warchief .. However, since the mantle of Warchief was passed on to Garrosh Hellscream, the Horde's alliance with other races has began to suffer heavily due to Garrosh's warmongering. A direct example of this are the Troll's under Vol'jin leaving Orgrimmar because of Garrosh's hunger for war and Sylvanas Windrunner ignoring the warchiefs commands and using her plague on her enemies.
Major member races include:
- The orcs of Durotar.
- The surviving orcs of Azeroth's First, Second and Third Wars, who were released by Thrall from the Internment camps and led by him to form their new destiny in Kalimdor while attempting to embrace their once honorable, shamanistic ways and fight the corruption of demonic magic.
- Led by Warchief Garrosh Hellscream, named by Thrall to succeed him in the wake of the Cataclysm.
- Capital is Orgrimmar in Durotar.
- They also have camps in the Barrens, Ashenvale, Stranglethorn Vale, Arathi Highlands, Badlands, Swamp of Sorrows and Azshara. Since the reopening of the Dark Portal, the orcs have expanded into their former homeworld of Draenor (now Outland), with encampments in Hellfire Peninsula, Terokkar Forest, Nagrand, the Blade's Edge Mountains and Shadowmoon Valley. Recently expanded into Northrend, with massive fortresses and outposts in the Borean Tundra, the Dragonblight, and the Grizzly Hills.
- Surviving orc clans that have joined Thrall:
- Frostwolf clan - Thrall's own clan, led by Farseer since the death of its last affirmed chieftain, Durotan. The Frostwolf clan is the largest concentration of orcs in the Eastern Kingdoms, residing in Alterac Valley since their exile by Gul'dan decades earlier.
- Warsong clan - Led by , these orcs have largely settled in Ashenvale Forest.
- Shattered Hand clan - The Azerothian part of the clan have joined Thrall and serves as the Horde's guild of assassins.
- The Mag'har are orcs that have escaped corruption and remained in Outland through all three Wars. They are led by Greatmother Geyah, Thrall's Grandmother. Other notable members are , , and .
- Bleeding Hollow clan - The clan returned to Draenor after the Second War, but when it was torn apart some of the members crossed to the safety of Azeroth at the same time that Grom Hellscream and his Warsong clan passed. They were captured and later rescued from the interment camps, and now they serve the New Horde. Additionally they have a notable presence in the Mag'har including their Chieftain .
- Burning Blade clan - The blademasters were once part of the Burning Blade clan, although the clan consumed itself in the throes of demonic corruption, these few swordsmen are still part of the Horde.
- Blackrock clan - , and Varok Saurfang are known members of the new Horde, went with to Kalimdor with the new Horde, besides this known members there were banners of this clan in some encampments during the Third War.
- Twilight's Hammer clan - At least is still part of the Horde.
- Dragonmaw Clan - In World of Warcraft: Cataclysm the Dragonmaw Clan will rejoin the horde and reside in the Twilight Highlands.
- The orcs have a special bond with wolves. They serve as mounts for the orcs and are often seen as their symbol, especially the Frostwolves.
- The trolls of the Darkspear tribe.
- Originally from a small chain of islands in the Great Sea. Eventually joined Thrall’s journey to Kalimdor and moved to the Echo Isles, but were then rooted out by the Kul Tiras marines. They are forever indebted to the orcs for saving their tribe and giving them a home.
- Led by Shadowhunter .
- Capital is Darkspear Isle, the largest of the Echo Isles, off the coast of Durotar.
- Prior to the reclamation of the Echo Isles, Sen'jin Village in mainland Durotar was the main Darkspear settlement. Other troll settlements are located in Ashenvale, Stonetalon Mountains and Desolace. They also control both of the Horde outposts (Swamprat Post and Zabra'jin) in the Zangarmarsh in Outland.
- The trolls use raptors and bats as riding mounts.
- They left Orgrimmar in Cataclysm, and do not support .
- The tauren of Mulgore.
- A race of noble creatures, native to Kalimdor, who befriended the orcs and offered them spiritual guidance and aid.
- Led by High Chieftain , following the death of his father Cairne.
- Lesser leaders include: Archdruid
- Capital is Thunder Bluff in Mulgore.
- They lend their mighty kodo beasts to the Horde's efforts.
- The Forsaken of Lordaeron.
- A group of undead released from the control of the , who have set up a truce and an alliance of convenience with the other members of the Horde.
- The group also consists of other undead creatures, such as the val'kyr, that chose to join the forsaken after the Lich King's death.
- Led by the Banshee Queen
- Capital is the Undercity in Tirisfal Glades.
- They also have holdings in Silverpine Forest, the Hillsbrad Foothills and the Western Plaguelands, as well as towns in the Howling Fjord and the Dragonblight in Northrend.
- The Royal Apothecary Society - a faction of forsaken alchemists trying to create a new plague to wipe out the Scourge and other forms of life.
- The forsaken contribute Vampire Bats and Skeletal Horses to the horde forces and use them as mounts. These are regular beasts with no sentient mind.
- A group of undead released from the control of the , who have set up a truce and an alliance of convenience with the other members of the Horde.
- The blood elves of Quel'Thalas.
- A group of former high elves shunned for their magic addiction and abandoned by members of the Alliance, turned to the Horde to help them reach Outland and achieve their destiny. These elves have a strong alliance with the Forsaken with whom they share a similar fate and former denizens (high elven banshees and dark rangers).
- Led by , Regent Lord of Quel'Thalas, following the death of the maddened Prince Kael'thas Sunstrider.
- Lesser leaders include: , Grand Magister Rommath and .
- Capital is Silvermoon City in Eversong Woods, in northern Quel'Thalas.
- They also have holdings in the Ghostlands, Desolace, Blasted Lands and alongside the Forsaken and an encampment in Hellfire Peninsula in Outland, to support blood elf pilgrims traveling through the Dark Portal from Azeroth.
- The Farstriders - a special blood elven faction of rangers and scouts.
- The Blood Knight Order - a special blood elven faction of paladins.
- The Reliquary is a Blood Elf organisation which works to recover lost treasures.
- The Blood Elves have long been using hawkstriders and dragonhawk mounts.
- The goblins of the Bilgewater Cartel.
- With the Cataclysm consuming their home island of Kezan, the goblins of the Bilgewater Cartel are shipped across the sea, intended for slave labor in Azshara, when they are caught in a naval crossfire between an Alliance fleet and a single Horde vessel off the Lost Isles. While there, they are attacked by the Alliance and ally with the orcs to defeat both their mutual foe, the hostile natives of the Lost Isles, and dissent from within their own ranks.
- Led by .
- Capital is Bilgewater Harbor in the heavily-reshaped Azshara.
- The Goblins are using Hot rods as mounts, which are like cars.
- The Huojin pandaren of the Wandering Isle
The uneasy truce between the Alliance and the Horde in the aftermath of the Third War was soon broken when several battlegrounds between various forces of the factions have erupted:
- Defilers – A force of Forsaken sent to gather resources of Arathi Basin, found themselves fighting a vicious war with the League of Arathor, humans who are native to the land of Arathi who in turn are fighting to gather resources for the Alliance.
- Frostwolf clan – This clan settled in the Alterac Mountains attempting to claim the area for their own, however the native Stormpike Dwarves have historic connections to the land leading to a confrontation to the opposing faction.
- Warsong Outriders – Following the Third War, the Warsong clan that invaded Ashenvale and began deforestation have not ceased their operation and have come into direct conflict with the Silverwing Sentinels who are bent on protecting their ancestral homeland.
- Hellscream's Reach - An assault group of battle-hardened veterans formed by to take Tol Barad for the Horde led by .
- Dragonmaw orcs - Returning to the Horde after a period of estrangement, these orcs began conquering the Twilight Highlands after their escape from Grim Batol. They are led by in the Twilight Highlands with primary Horde representation via a in Orgrimmar.
- Thrallmar - is the name for the Horde expeditionary forces to Outland. Seeking to find what has become of their old world.
- The expedition's settlements are scattered all over Outland's zones, except Nagrand and Netherstom.
- The Mag'har orcs of Nagrand - a clan of orcs that wasn't corrupted by demons and remained in outland through all the wars of Azeroth.
- Northrend (Horde Expedition)
- Warsong Offensive - The main forces of the horde's expedition to northrend, led by .
- Kor'kron Guard - the elite fighting forces of the Horde, serving the Horde Expedition in Northrend led by .
- The Taunka - Ancient relatives of the tauren, were thought to be lost until re-discovered by and his orc forces upon their arrival to Northrend. They are welcomed into the Horde soon after is .
- The Hand of Vengeance - A group of Forsaken forces that have been sent to Northrend by Sylvanas Windrunner to bring Undercity's vengeance upon the Lich King. Their method is the delivery of the latest strain of their deadly Plague.
- Sunreavers - The blood elven members of the Kirin Tor, named for their leader. The Horde, traditionally barred from Dalaran, is allowed entry to the city due to their efforts. Enemies of the Silver Covenant.
- Pandaria Forces
Other members, factions and allies
- The Stonemaul ogres of Dustwallow Marsh, formerly lead by , currently many support instead. The clan is affiliated with the faction of Orgrimmar.
- The Mok'Nathal clan of Blade's Edge Mountains, led by .
- The half-ogres from Azeroth.
- Many (though not all) half-orcs.
- The Horde has befriended Wyvern beasts of Kalimdor, whom they use as riding and flying mounts.
- Hobgoblins, huge chemically altered goblins have come with the goblins. In-game goblins can summon them to access the bank.
- The Dragonmaw clan has joined the Horde forces in Twilight Highlands
These are neutral or friendly to the Horde, but are not true members of the Horde. They have treaties or contracts with the Horde.
- The forest trolls of the Revantusk tribe in the Hinterlands, led by , are Independent, though loosely allied with the Horde. While not members of the Horde, they are its friends. They know compassion, though they find it a bit difficult to relate to the Darkspear jungle trolls, having once been enemies.
Former Horde forces
In the past, the Horde referred to the orcs and their battle thralls from both Draenor and Azeroth, such as trolls and ogres. Following its utter defeat at the end of the Second War, the Horde's dark power was broken, allowing Thrall to awaken the dormant spirituality of his people and free them from the Burning Legion's control.
During the events of the Third War, Thrall has made lasting bonds with the tauren chief and the troll shadowhunter Vol'jin of the Darkspear clan. The ties between the three races is very close, as both share many similar cultural views. With the help of the tauren, both the orcs and the tribe of trolls have established a place for themselves in Kalimdor. Since then, certain ogre tribes, as well as the Forsaken and blood elves have chosen to affiliate themselves with the Horde.
The present Horde is mostly about surviving in a land that has come to hate them. The orcs are hated because, much like the Forsaken, they were formerly mindless, controlled beings. Though redeemed, they are not forgiven by many members of the Alliance who believe them to be their old selves still. The trolls, tauren and their other allies are the ones who understood them, and so they are hated for that. An interesting fact is that every prominent Horde leader has been allied with certain members of the Alliance in times of war.
Although its name would imply otherwise, the Horde may actually be viewed as a more centralized body than the Alliance, as Orgrimmar is the obvious center, Thrall is the undisputed leader, and he stands as Warchief over the entire Horde, holding dominion over the Darkspear Trolls and tauren tribes alike (though he treats his fellow racial leaders as equals).
Like the old Alliance of Lordaeron, accepts ambassadors and advisors from all the different tribes and members of the Horde and makes sure their voice is heard in the running of the fledgling empire. Although unavoidably possessing the characteristic militarism of the orcs, Thrall has also proven himself to be a compassionate, idealistic, and enlightened individual, and commands a great deal of respect within the Horde.
Though the Horde could quickly become a formidable war machine once again, in formal terms they are a peaceful nation deciding to try for peace and help the world rather than savage rampaging like the early history of the Horde. More informally however, a state of Cold War still exists. The Orcs' attempts to drive the Alliance out of Warsong Gulch and Alterac Valley are ongoing, as is the Forsaken's expansionistic advance in Arathi and Hillsbrad. As of the Cataclysm, Dragonmaw forces are fighting the Wildhammer dwarves in the Twin Peaks of the Twilight Highlands.
Equal in size, the Horde also has its complexities, much like the Alliance. The main five races of the blood elves, tauren, undead, trolls and orcs have countless friends among the races of Azeroth: the Revantusk forest trolls of the Hinterlands, the Stonemaul Ogres and various individuals like the Mok'Nathal beastmaster .
In the Third War, before the liberation of the Forsaken from the Scourge and the defection of the blood elves, the Horde allied themselves with the Alliance to rid Azeroth of the Burning Legion. Since then old animosity has risen again, resulting in open conflict on several battlefields. However, the two factions still officially kept a truce until the Battle for the Undercity, when King , tired of constant backstabbing from various factions within the Horde, officially declared war.
Despite their somewhat monstrous appearance, the majority of the Horde is not evil; much like the Alliance, it is comprised of diverse factions and individuals who possess a wide range of values and virtues. But also of the Cataclysm, the Horde is slowly becoming divided in the wake of its new warchief, Garrosh Hellscream. His recklessness and hot-headed attitude has caused a major rift between the Horde's factions: Vol'jin of the Darkspear tribe was kicked out of Orgrimmar, the Forsaken are still continuing using their New Plague in Gilneas and Silverpine Forest, and the Tauren question their loyalties whether or not they should still align themselves with the Horde.
Culturally, orcs and tauren believe in redemption more than most other races on Azeroth and are willing to give almost anyone a chance, regardless of reputation. The Revantusk seem to have even accepted, (if not at least tolerate) their ancient enemy the blood elves. Largely because of these beliefs, a number of mortal races and many diverse factions can be found in service in the Horde.
It seems that new members have to swear a blood oath to the Horde.
The two Hordes
Although the Horde in the MMORPG is a single faction, it is actually divided in two or more distinct parts (partially including the Dark Horde in the Burning Steppes but not the Fel Horde in Outland). It is both a geographical division and an ideological one.
- Two small orc factions use the same rationale to pursue completely opposite goals. Both factions display utter loyalty to the Horde. The Horde is their family, their home, and they take great pride in serving it. These orcs believe the Horde comes first in everything. One faction has come to terms with the Horde’s association with the Alliance. By joining arms with the Alliance, the Horde was able to assist in preventing the destruction of the world. These orcs consider their success a sign that and the Horde are on the right path to strength and glory. The other faction feels that Thrall betrayed the Horde by allying with humans. They consider the Horde corrupted, tainted and weak. These orcs fight for their lost glory using any tools at their disposal, including arcane magic. They dream of one day becoming powerful enough to destroy the mock Horde that exists today and replace it with the old and glorious empire the Horde once was. Faithful of the Horde can be of any class, but those who support the current Horde never become warlocks, and those who denounce the current Horde never become shamans. This situation causes a rift within the ranks of the proud orcs, and it grows increasingly difficult to tell friend from foe.
The Horde of Kalimdor
The Horde of Kalimdor follow mostly Thrall's leadership. They include most of the Orcs, the Tauren, the Darkspear trolls and some ogres. They are united by a shamanistic culture, honor, and their respect for Thrall, who they consider their hero and affirmed leader. This Horde is the result of the actions in Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos.
The orcs are undergoing a cultural revolution as they feel the unnatural, arcane bloodlust leave their bodies, giving them calmer and more focused states of mind. They, for the most part, follow Thrall as he forges ahead to reform the Horde both inside, with his shamanism, and outside, with the founding of Durotar. Still, not all orcs are pleased with these movements, namely the evil orcs who still reside on Azeroth. These orcs, who include a good number of the surviving warlocks, actively raid Alliance and Independent caravans and towns, and renounce all that Thrall proclaims the Horde is. Like the two faces of the Alliance, the different Horde factions meet rarely; but there are some orc warlocks on Kalimdor who would very much like to retake control of the Horde forces, and they are gaining strength in the wilderness to do so.
The eastern Horde
While Thrall freed most of the orcs held in Lordaeron and brought them to Kalimdor, other orc clans remained in the Eastern Kingdoms, mostly in the southern part of the former kingdom of Azeroth. Orc warlocks and other clans that refuse Thrall’s leadership are strongest in Azeroth around the Burning Steppes and the Blasted Lands. Many of them prefer to stay near the Dark Portal through which they first entered Azeroth, and some warlocks still try to tap into the magic holding the portal in place. Most of them are part of the Dark Horde, who follow as their warchief and are opposed to Thrall. The Forsaken of Lordaeron will, of course, happily aid the Horde in the area. They don’t care whether the orcs are evil or not; it’s actually easier for them if their allies are evil.
The Forsaken are nominally allied with the Horde but serve only themselves. They are much darker than their allies from Kalimdor, do not necessairly consider Thrall as their leader and certain members of their race do not care about honor, morality or even other races. Not all Forsaken are evil, but the many are, and other races definitely view them as such. A non-evil Forsaken must work hard to prove his neutral (or perhaps, good) intentions. Few good Forsaken exist, but many evil ones do, and their leadership is definitely up to nefarious ends.
Blood elves despise most other races, but they are coming to accept that the Forsaken are different, or at least share the same goals. Most blood elves are not insane or evil - they just choose to fight fire with fire. They were suffering for lack of the Sunwell; they all needed -- and still need -- to feed on arcane energies, even though most of them aren't spellcasters. The most powerful blood elf spellcasters are insane, as the magic they wield is corrupting. The western Horde recognizes the blood elves as dangerous, volatile and ultimately destructive.
Even if many Forsaken and some blood elves are evil, this "second Horde" cannot currently be considered as a danger to the world, as 's Horde has kept them mostly in check. The Forsaken's Royal Apothecary Society surely have questionable plans, but so far they keep fighting the Scourge and left the rest of the world alone for the most part (except for a few deals with the Grimtotem tribe, and spreading diseases and enslavement of druids in Ashenvale forest, among other things).
It is so far unknown how much affected both the Society's manpower as well as its reputation among the Forsaken, or the Forsaken's standing among the other Horde races. Since then, Thrall has dispatched Kor'kron guards to the Undercity to keep watch on the Royal Apothecary Society, and a conversation between <one of the guards> and the <grand apothecarist> indicates the strain between the two groups.
Relations between the groups
The relations between the two groups are not cordial. The orcs, tauren and jungle trolls do not trust the undead. Many see the Forsaken as betrayers in their midst, standing as allies while secretly using their comrades to further their own goals. They are wise to the possibility of betrayal, and they keep a wary eye on their pale allies.
There is also racial animosity as blood elves reek of fel power, offending the spiritual senses of the tauren. The Horde orcs, darkspear trolls and tauren distrust the blood elves, as their addiction to magic makes the high elves look like amateurs. The blood elves are dangerous, and the Horde races can smell the rotten magic on them. In particular, the orcs revile the blood elves because they see them as descending down the same path toward damnation that so corrupted the orcish people — the orcs can smell the demon taint on the blood elves and know how badly it will twist them. The blood elves disdain the Horde as barbarians who refuse to grasp power in front of them. They especially dislike the orcs, who should have been strong enough to control the power the demons gave them instead of falling under their command.
Since the Horde is leery of the Forsaken, it keeps watchful eyes on them. For example was sent by Thrall to make sure the Forsaken are honest and dismiss their evil tendencies. Galavosh is suspicious of the Forsaken as well.
While the Forsaken were let into the Horde for various reasons, including the Earthen Ring to help create a cure for undeath; , believes however, that while Earthen Ring had pure intentions towards their plagued brethren, who is to know the motivations of those whispering in the ears of the Elder Council? He believes that the Forsaken whom the Horde allied with had a history wrought with deceit. He believes the pact was too hasty, and that perhaps <Cairne> would have been wise to heed the warnings from Orgrimmar. The Forsaken have absolutely no intention of throwing aside their dark ways. They joined the Horde because they saw them as the strongest — and most tractable — faction. While they maintain the illusion of allegiance, the Forsaken’s goals are not the same as their allies'.
Thrall and Cairne remain suspicious of the Forsaken. Thrall freely admits he isn't pleased about allowing the Forsaken joining the Horde, and expects them to betray him, but he simply felt that he needed allies — even if those allies were not completely trustworthy. He had only grudgingly, accepted the Forsaken into the Horde as he needed them as much as they needed the Horde. A number of Horde members in Durotar are disturbed by the growing presence of the Forsaken in their lands. Tauren rarely trust the Forsaken with more than a nod and a place to set their withered feet. They are less thrilled at the presence of the Forsaken at Thunder Bluff, who they grudgingly tolerate due to their alliance. The tauren place a strong emphasis on the value of life, and the unlife of the Forsaken stands as an affront to their beliefs. They consider the Forsaken abominations — much like all other undead. Trolls are suspicious of the Forsaken, but so is everyone else, they have little trust for the manipulative Forsaken, whom they believe will visit only misery and strife upon their allies.
Interestingly, a few Forsaken seem to genuinely like the Horde — they see the Horde as a group of outcasts, which is something the Forsaken can respect. These few legitimate Horde supporters also tend to focus on the sides of the Horde they like — like warlocks and the Grimtotem tribe. Others are fairly open in their contempt of the Horde. The Forsaken remain on good behavior when with Horde member races, but secretly distrust and mock their allies. They feel the Horde is made up of brutish and ignorant peoples, and are full of pride that they have manipulated the Horde into accepting their allegiance. They will not openly betray the Horde — not yet — but they are slowly eroding the sense of peace and unity the Horde was experiencing after the Third War.
Surprisingly there are even Forsaken that do not trust many if not most of their kind, for example , , , and . Apparently these Forsaken do not like to be judged for the actions of many of their kind, and want to be judged for their individual actions. Though at least some of these end up leaving the Forsaken altogether to join other forces like Argent's Dawn, such as Leonid, or those that aspire to leave such as Trevor.
In World of Warcraft
In World of Warcraft, the distrust by other Horde races to Forsaken is mentioned within quest dialogue in the game. In which case, because Forsaken's loyalty is being questioned they cannot do certain quests for the Horde.
One major element showing the difference between these two "sub-factions": Forsaken and blood elves begin with a friendly reputation with Undercity and Silvermoon City, but only neutral with Orgrimmar, Thunder Bluff, and Darkspear trolls. Orcs, trolls, and tauren begin the game as Friendly with their respective factions (Orgrimmar for the orcs, Darkspear tribe for the trolls, and Thunder Bluff for the tauren) and Neutral with Undercity and Silvermoon. A notable exception to this are Undead and Blood Elf Death Knights, They start Friendly with the Orcs due to game mechanics setting them from Unfriendly to Friendly regardless of race upon completion of the final starting quest.
While most Forsaken are not trusted, the Horde still works with members of the Forsaken, like Kirith, who was Trebor's lieutenant.
If you put an orc, a tauren, a human and a dwarf in a room with no weapons, most everyone can make a good guess as to who would come out alive. The front lines of the Alliance’s armies are always in danger against the physically stronger Horde. The Horde can boast of many strengths in its army; what it lacks in mobility it makes up for in sheer power.
Unlike the Alliance, the Horde has had clear leaders for every race represented in its ranks, and none question that Thrall is the leader of the Horde. The clearer hierarchy makes things a bit more organized for the Horde, although they have the disadvantage of being allied with people who have no interest in the Horde and care only for themselves; the Forsaken. A wise general learns to balance the orcs' battle rage with cunning tactics.
Post-ThrallThis section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.
With Thrall's departure from the Horde, there are signs of internal strife among the Horde leaders. While Garrosh Hellscream has been named the acting Warchief, several of the other Horde leaders have expressed a strong dislike for both Thrall's decision for his successor and Garrosh himself. Cairne Bloodhoof challenged him to an honorable duel in the wake of Garrosh's ascension, Vol'jin gave him a veiled death threat, and Sylvanas Windrunner has come into conflict with him on both an ethical and a tactical level- the use of Val'kyr to raise new soldiers, and the Forsaken Blight as a weapon. Although some of these rifts improve over time (the coming to power of Baine Bloodhoof and Thrall's intervention with Vol'jin), there are still signs of lasting tension.
Since Garrosh Hellscream rose to power, the Horde has become a highly militaristic society, with every member of the faction doing their part to help the Horde rise up to glory after many years of oppression. This type of militaristic thinking has ensured the Horde's readiness to wage war on a massive scale, and expand its borders ever further. Basically it has a much higher percent of its populace at arms at any given time than for example the Alliance has. Many a clan and nation have made the mistake of angering the Horde.
The Horde is renowned for its use of unconventional tactics, sometimes of questionable morality. It is ready to exterminate entire populations, use plagues, nuclear weapons, sabotage and wars of attrition to achieve victory. Combined with the fanatical dedication of its soldiers and officers, the Horde is willing more willing to accept even heavy losses in order to achieve victory in a battle. The Forsaken Undead are known to interrogate and persuade prisoners to join the Horde, or use them as living subjects for their biological and chemical experiments.
- Main article: Horde technology
All in all, it can be argued that Horde's military technology is more advanced than that of the Alliance's, considering that the Goblins have always specialized in explosives and weapons instead of means of transportation and civic technologies, like the Alliance. However, Alliance still has a technological edge over the Horde in these areas, not to mention their devices are much safer than the ones Goblins are capable of manufacturing. The Forsaken have long traditions of biological weapons and plagues used for fighting their enemies. They also are quite capable of producing fine mechanical components required for rifles, engines and bombs.
Goblin technologyThis section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.
Since the Bilgewater Cartel joined the Horde, Horde has improved its technological capabilities vastly. They are capable of building advanced warmachines, including submarines, projectile weapons, gunships, cannon batteries and even atomic-powered devices, as the battles at Stonetalon Mountains have shown.
The Horde may seem to be an unstoppable juggernaut, but like the best-laid walls, they have their weak points. In the past, these weak links kept the Alliance from losing the Second War.
Unlike the Alliance, a lot of mistrust exists within the Horde, especially toward the Forsaken and blood elves. Recently, due to the Darkspear Rebellion, there is also growing tension between orcs loyal to and the Darkspear Trolls (or their allies).
Perhaps one of its weaknesses, the Horde was partly a group of disparate tribal groups bound together by extreme circumstances. Tact was often a last resort, and most preferred to talk with their fists. Even the Forsaken were bloodthirsty and prone to violent rages, as well as an inherent distrust in anyone else. While the bloodlust of the sin'dorei is less overt and more contained by a veneer of elegance and refinement, in truth they can also revel in death and cruelty to the same degree as any of the Horde's other member nations.
A cunning Alliance general can incite rages in a warband and laugh as the Horde's best laid plans fall apart while the savage elements among them fly mindlessly into combat.
Orcs connect with their legacy as mighty warriors, as barbaric, demon-bred savages, and as shamanistic spiritualists. Despite the fact that they are no longer under demonic influence, orcs can still enter bloodthirsty frenzies. When engaging in combat, bloodlust flows over orcs; they fly into blind and frightening rages, cleaving through foes with axes. Although Thrall gradually learned to control it, the novel Lord of the Clans depicts him at times experiencing the bloodlust himself.
The Darkspear jungle trolls are steadfastly loyal to the orcs. Though they practice voodoo and many retain their savage natures, Thrall lets them live in his borders and generally do what they want.
The Trolls are about as prone to rages as orcs.
The Ogres are some of the most powerful creatures the Horde can muster, they are even less subtle than the orcs. Ogres care little for well-laid plans and strategies, charging into combat and swinging clubs with the smallest provocation.
Forsaken culture is colored by white-hot rage toward the Lich King and an almost equally intense devotion to their queen. Although the fury of the Forsaken is generally more intellectually inclined and controlled, and while this certainly is not true of all of them, at their heart they are capable of being exactly what they appear; a raging, voracious army of cannabalistic zombies, intent on the eradication of (most humanoid) life.
With Thrall's departure from the Horde, there were signs of internal strife among the Horde leaders. While Garrosh Hellscream had been named the acting Warchief, several of the other Horde leaders had expressed a strong dislike for both Thrall's decision for his successor and Garrosh himself. Cairne Bloodhoof challenged Garrosh to an honorable duel in the wake of Garrosh's ascension, Vol'jin gave him a veiled death threat, and Sylvanas Windrunner had come into conflict with him on both an ethical and a tactical level — the use of Val'kyr to raise new soldiers, and the Forsaken Blight as a weapon. Although some of these rifts improved over time (the coming to power of Baine Bloodhoof and Thrall's intervention with Vol'jin), there are still signs of lasting tension.
Delusions of Grandeur/Thirst for Glory
Although the Horde has much improved under the rule of Garrosh, it still suffers from its officers pursuing personal glory instead of obeying even direct orders from above. Sometimes this has led to the Alliance taking advance of the situation and turning would-be successful attacks and operations into disasters by luring Horde commanders into making foolish orders or otherwise distracting them. This is especially typical when it comes to Orcs, who still have some memory of the old days when the faction was an unorganized confederation of tribes, who simply charged head-first into battle, forgetting all order and reason. Garrosh Hellscream has tried to weed this off by executing generals disobeying his orders. However, he is prone to short-sighted decisions and quick outbursts himself.
Despite their power, the Horde lacks the numbers it once enjoyed. They are the underdogs now, and it becomes easy to simply overwhelm their forces with greater numbers. Strength is good, but the many are stronger than the few. The tauren used to roam Kalimdor in great numbers. The constant skirmishes with the centaur tribes have whittled away at their numbers. The war with the Burning Legion diminished their population even more. Their alliance with the orcs and their spiritual strength are what saved them from extinction. Their populations are too low; one of their main goals — now that they are not looking over their shoulders every instant for a centaur attack — is to build their population back up.
For Horde characters, there is a specific Horde reputation bar that is hidden (an Alliance bar also exists for those characters). It can be improved like all of the other factions and it appears in the armory listing of the character. Like Steamwheedle Cartel reputation, gaining "Horde" reputation also acquires reputation for all five racial factions.
To see the Horde faction reputation, use the following code but adjust the number in the parenthesis (it depends on how many factions are listed above "Horde"; factions marked as inactive are ignored):
|Name||Amount of Reputation|
| ω τ ϖ||500|
- ^ Based on official totals in various official sources, including Lands of Mystery, Lands of Conflict, and various blood elf/high elf percentages given in various sources. The 38,580 blood elves under Kael'thas have been subtracted from original 330,790 total as his faction is no longer part of the other blood elves. See talk page.
- ^ "Beginnings and Ends"
- ^ Horde Player's Guide, 165-176
- ^ Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos - manual, 84
- ^ Prologue
- ^ "Eternity's End: The Awakening of Stormrage", Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos. Blizzard Entertainment.
- ^ http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=24702035296&postId=246996836533&sid=1#14
- ^ Horde Player's Guide, 10
- ^ "The Founding of Durotar: A Blaze of Glory Map: Theramore Isle", Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. Blizzard Entertainment. Admiral Proudmoore:
Can your blood atone for genocide, orc? Your Horde killed countless innocents with its rampage across Stormwind and Lordaeron. Do you really think you can just sweep all that away and cast aside your guilt so easily? No, your kind will never change, and I will never stop fighting you..
- ^ Alliance & Horde Compendium, pg. 55. Quote: Although the brave and foolhardy Proudmoore and the men and women who followed him are gone, many of Theramore's citizens agreed with their actions.
- ^ Horde Player's Guide, pg. 175. Quote: For the time being, the Horde is now our most "obvious" enemy, in that they are numerous, and old hatreds put the fight with them at the top of nearly every priority list.
- ^ World of Warcraft manual, 182
- ^ Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, 47
- ^ The tauren and orcs are allies of the Horde, the half-orcs are affiliated with either Horde or Alliance, and goblins are Independent.
- ^ Alliance & Horde Compendium, 18
- ^ Only the blood elves and Darkspear jungle trolls are currently Horde Members. Naga are not part of the Horde.
- ^ Manual of Monsters, 138
- ^ Horde Player's Guide, 85-86
- ^ a b Horde Player's Guide, 177
- ^ a b c World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, 12, 166
- ^ World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, 166
- ^ a b World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, pg. 51
- ^ World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, 53
- ^ Lands of Conflict, 105, 107-8
- ^ Horde Player's Guide, 76, 154, 181
- ^ a b Monster Guide, 64
- ^ a b Monster Guide, 65
- ^ Alliance & Horde Compendium, 15
- ^ Lands of Mystery, 44, 48
- ^ World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, 370
- ^ World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, 371
- ^ Alliance & Horde Compendium, 68-69
- ^ Lands of Conflict, 108
- ^ a b [38D]
- ^ World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, pg. 371
- ^ a b Horde Player's Guide, 151
- ^ Lands of Mystery, 42
- ^ a b c Horde Player's Guide, 181
- ^ Lands of Mystery, 34
- ^ World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, 47-48
- ^ Lands of Mystery, 147
- ^ a b World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, 50
- ^ http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/info/races/trolls.html
- ^ World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, 167
- ^ Lands of Conflict, 106
- ^ Horde Player's Guide, 170
- ^ Rise of the Horde, 123
- ^ Alliance Player's Guide 182
- ^ Horde Player's Guide, 190
- ^ a b c Horde Player's Guide, 191
- ^ a b c d e Horde Player's Guide, 192
- ^ Horde Player's Guide, 12
- ^ Alliance & Horde Compendium, 23
- ^ World of Warcraft manual, 51
- ^ Alliance & Horde Compendium, 64