Andorhal is a contested, mostly ruined settlement located in the western regions of Lordaeron, now known as the Western Plaguelands. Once the agricultural center of the Kingdom of Lordaeron, after it's fall to the Undead Scourge it was used as a critical staging point for several factions and was the battleground for several engagements during and after the Third War leading up to the present day.
Andorhal, for as long as historical records show, has always been the primary grain distribution center in the Kingdom of Lordaeron for all northern provinces east of Lordamere Lake. While the exact date of its founding is unknown, its location, settled in the middle of the verdant farmlands that Lordaeron required for its food supply quickly allowed it to grow into a market and distribution town. As more and more provinces became reliant on Andorhal's food supplies the settlement continued to grow and prosper.
The Scourge of Lordaeron
This changed however during the events that lead up to the Third War, also known as the Scourge Campaign. Andorhal became a focal point, not for the forces of Lordaeron, but for the Cult of the Damned lead by former Kirin Tor Archmage-turned Necromancer Kel'thuzad. Under his guidance Andorhal became a distribution center, not only for grain and food supplies but also for the Plague of Undeath, an insidious infection which turned all who were afflicted into undead creatures loyal to the Cult of the Damned and their dark master. With the trade routes and grain supplies that Andorhal had once been prosperous for now aiding the Cult of the Damned, the Plague of Undeath quickly spread through the northern and eastern provinces of Lordaeron. Even major settlements such as Hearthglen and Stratholme were affected by the contaminated grain coming from Andorhal.
The spreading of the infected grain would not however go without notice. When the undead forces were discovered in their infancy by Prince Arthas Menethil while he was patrolling the King's Road he and his loyal forces lead by Captain Falric and the then apprentice to Archmage Antonidas, Jaina Proudmoore, followed the train of plagued grain back to Andorhal itself. Entering the city with a significant force, they put all the undead forces and cultists to the sword before burning the plagued grain silos. They even managed to corner the leader of the Cult of the Damned, Kel'Thuzad in the aftermath of the battle, with Arthas slaying the cult leader, although not before the leader spouted ominous warnings of the future.
The Fall of Lordaeron
Unfortunately for Andorhal, the settlement, despite its importance, never recovered from the incident. While it was reclaimed by the forces of Lordaeron, it did not manage to prosper again as it once did and continued to decline as events in Lordaeron spiralled out of control. After the death of King Terenas Menethil II at the hands of his own son, Andorhal became a staging ground for the forces of Lordaeron and the Order of the Silver Hand who were desperately attempting to hold out against the forces of the Undead Scourge. When Arthas himself had to return to Andorhal in order to recover the bones of Kel'Thuzad the city became the scene of one of the largest massacres of military personel in Lordaeron's history. Known as the "Silver Hand Massacre", the battle that took place in the ruins of the former agricultural center saw Arthas reclaim the city in the name of the Undead Scourge while also killing several well known Paladins of the Silver Hand, along with many other lesser knights and disciples as well as any soldiers of the Lordaeron military which had regrouped with them. Gavinrad the Dire, Sage Truthbearer, Ballador the Bright and even leader of the Silver Hand itself, Uther the Lightbringer were slain by Arthas and his horde of undead soldiers.
Following the slaughter of the Alliance forces in the settlement, known activity in the region fell to an all time low, with Andorhal becoming a ghost town of sorts. It was not until after the Third War had concluded that activity began to spring up in the region again with the Scourge forces consolidating thier power in the region. Andorhal became a bastion of the Scourge, and a symbolizing marker which showed where the territory of the damned began, compared to territory that was still under the control of mortals both living and forsaken. Several attempts were made to retake the city as well during this time, by both the Grand Alliance and the New Horde as well as the forces of the Argent Dawn and the Scarlet Crusade. Sadly all of these ended with only partial success or complete failure.
It was not until the events of the Cataclysm that Andorhal saw significant change. Renewed after the defeat of the Lich King and the Cult of the Damned during the Northrend Campaign, both Alliance and Horde forces pushed to claim Andorhal for their respective factions as it was seen as a key staging ground for future assaults against enemy territory in the surrounding regions. Alliance forces, lead by the Death Knight Thassarian, engaged the Scourge forces from one side of the city, while Horde forces lead by the Death Knight Koltira Deathweaver assaulted the Scourge from the opposit side. The resulting battle saw the utter destruction of the Scourge forces in the region with two Scourge lieutenants falling to the combined forces, and the new leader of the Cult in Lordaeron, Darkmaster Gandling, abandoning the city after narrowly escaping death at the hands of both Death Knights. This only left the Horde and Alliance forces to engage each other to determine who would claim Andorhal for their respective factions.
When the battle resumed, in part due to the hasty actions of farmer militia, it seemed as if the Alliance would carry the battle and claim the city. However, just as the battle seemed to be coming to a successful close, the Forsaken used one of their largest trump cards, short of unleashing their own version of the Undead Plague. An army of Val'kyr, led by one of their leaders, engaged the Alliance forces fighting on the side of the Forsaken. With their ability to raise the slain Alliance forces into new Forsaken the tide of the battle turned against the Alliance and eventually, overwhelmed by the Forsaken armies, the Alliance was forced to withdraw, temporarily leaving the city in the hands of the Forsaken.
- Undead Investigation - The Lordaeron Military, led by Prince Arthas Menethil, fight the Cult of the Damned while investigating the source of the Plague of Undeath.
- Silver Hand Massacre - The Undead Scourge, led by Arthas Menethil, battle the Order of the Silver Hand in order to reclaim the remains of the necromancer, Kel'thuzad.
- Slaugher of Maddox - Maddox of Lordaeron vs the Undead Scourge.
- Battle of Andorhal - An effort by several of the human kingdoms to retake Andorhal from the Scourge.
- First Battle of Andorhal - Alliance forces led by Thassarian battle the Horde led by Koltira Deathweaver, with the Scourge caught in the crossfire.
- Second Battle of Andorhal - Alliance forces under the Bulwark attempt to retake the town.
The current status of Andorhal is that it remains contested. The Horde, primarily the Forsaken, led by the Banshee Queen Sylvanas Windrunner once held control of the city but since the Battle for Lordaeron their hold has been weakened significantly. Alliance forces have not given up their claims for the city and notices have once again begun appearing on Hero's Call boards for pioneers to aid in resettlement efforts for Andorhal's eventual full restoration. Along with this, forces of the Argent Crusade have also been encroaching on the city, as the forces of Alliance and Horde battle it out elsewhere.