Blackrocks, the War Machine
Garrosh Hellscream (Warchief); (Formerly)
The Blackrock Clan are one of the most noteworthy Orcish clans, having served as the backbone and leadership of the Orcish Horde and comprising the majority of the Dark Horde. Today, they are increasingly endangered in their numbers even as they integrate with the New Horde.
- 1 History
- 2 Distinguishing Features and Practices
- 3 Major Factions
- 4 Noteworthy Figures
Prior to the orcs corruption at the hands of the Burning Legion, many years before the rise of the Horde. The Blackrock Clan existed as a clan of noble warriors and hunters, lead by Telkar Doomhammer, father of Orgrim. Telkar was however an aged orc, and eventually died of old age long before his son was capable of taking up the mantle of Chieftain. This paved the way for Blackhand, a raider of the Sythegore Arm and one of the strongest warriors of the clan, to take the mantle of leadership from the Doomhammer line, although the weapon of the former chieftain, the Doomhammer, would pass straight to Orgrim's hands.
During the Draenei Massacre the forces of the Blackrock Clan played a crucial role, being the first clan to strike against the Draenei that were now their enemies. They destroyed the Draenei settlement of Telmor with the aid of Durotan of the Frostwolf Clan and also partook in many other assaults on the Draenei settlements including the invasion of Shattrath City itself.
Not much is known of Blackrock activities immediately after the destruction of the Draenei, but some time afterward the Blackrock Clan, still under the control of Blackhand the Destroyer, now Warchief of the Horde, would spearhead the invasion into Azeroth itself, leading the Orcs into what would become known as the First War.
Main Article: Orcish Wars
The invasion of Azeroth would see great change for the future of the Blackrock Clan. Still under the leadership of Warchief Blackhand the Destroyer the clan and indeed the entire horde, would lay waste to the Human kingdom of Azeroth destroying much of their army including the majority of the elite knights of the Brotherhood of the Horse and the holy Clerics of Northshire. Eventually the First War would end with the invasion and complete destruction of Stormwind City along with the assassination of King Llane Wrynn I.
The victory of the Horde during the First War however was simply a catalyst for change. Sometime after the destruction of the human kingdom, the warlock Gul'dan who had gained control over Blackhand by using his ego and lust for power against him, fell into a coma which left the powerful warlock unable to act. Seizing the opportunity to dispose of the puppet warchief, Orgrim Doomhammer lead a daring raid against Blackhand and his loyal forces. The coup, which would ensure that Doomhammer was always called 'the Backstabber' afterwards was a complete success, Blackhand was slain by Orgrim himself who claimed not only the chieftainship of the Blackrock Clan but also control over the entire Horde, taking up the mantle of Warchief.
Under Doomhammer's leadership the Blackrock Clan and indeed the rest of the Horde waged yet another war against the kingdoms of humanity along with other races native to the planet. Known as the Second War this invasion saw the Horde, with Orgrim's tactical genius at the helm, claim more and more land as they pushed north through the dwarven lands of Khaz Modan and into the northern human kingdoms of Stromgarde, Alterac and Lordaeron. The tide would turn against the Horde however, during the siege of Lordaeron City when forces loyal to Gul'dan broke from the ranks of the unified Horde and departed westward across the sea. To punish Gul'dan for his betrayal, Orgrim sent part of the Blackrock Clan, along with the Black Tooth Grin Clan to destroy the dissenters but the damage itself was already done. Unable to maintain the siege with the great loss of soldiers, Orgrim Doomhammer and the Horde were forced to fall back, losing the ground they had taken until they were pushed all the way back to Blackrock Mountain, where the Orc Horde would make it's final stand against the forces of the Alliance.
The resulting battle was both a victory and a loss for the Horde and the Blackrock Clan. The Horde was defeated, the majority of the clans scattered, but Anduin Lothar, Supreme Commander of the Alliance forces was slain in single combat by Doomhammer himself.
This however was not the end of the Blackrock Clan..
During the Internment Period, where the majority of the orcs languished within the Internment Camps constructed by the Alliance to contain the orcs captured during the Second War, the Blackrock Clan continued to rebuild. The clan itself was split into two factions, the first operating within the mountains of Alterac under the Blademaster Jubei'thos, while the second, centered around Blackrock Spire, was under the command of Rend Blackhand, who had taken up the mantle of Warchief in Doomhammer's absence.
Under Jubei'thos the Blackrock Clan stayed true to the demonic traditions of the Horde and conducted many raids on nearby human settlements. This incurred the wrath of the Alliance, who killed many of their number, but it was not until the rise of the Scourge that Jubei'thos and the Blackrock Clan loyal to him were slain, the undead armies lead by Arthas Menethil and Kel'thuzad carving a path through the Orcs that were loyal to the Blademaster.
The forces of the Blackrock Clan under Rend fared better than their northern brethren, surviving the Third War without suffering any losses at all. Rend Blackhand, seeking to rebuild the Horde had at this time allied with many different races within the area surrounding the Blackrock Spire. Trolls, Goblins and Ogres rallied under his banner. Calling themselves the Dark Horde, this faction of the Horde would survive for some time until the rise of the New Horde under Warchief Thrall.
Recent years have seen great changes occur to the Blackrock Clan as a whole. Under Warchief Rend Blackhand, the Dark Horde would wage a ceaseless war against the rebuilding Human kingdom of Stormwind, this was met with great resistance within the Redridge Mountains, but the Horde took the majority of the Redridge area for themselves. It was not all victories for the Blackrock Clan however, for they would be dealt one of the biggest blows since their defeat during the Second War, not by the Alliance, but by the forces of the New Horde under Warchief Thrall. A group of adventurers, loyal to the Horde, infiltrated the Dark Horde's stronghold of Blackrock Spire, where they pushed through much of the enemies ranks before finally battling Warchief Rend Blackhand themselves who would eventually fall at their hands.
The surviving members of the Blackrock Clan would continue to fight within the Dark Horde until the onset of the Cataclysm when the new Warchief Garrosh Hellscream would offer them amnesty for their past acts. The offer was well accepted with many of the surviving Blackrock Orcs joining Garrosh's Horde with many of their number becoming members of the elite Kor'kron army.
Distinguishing Features and Practices
The most distinctive feature of the modern Blackrock clan is the ashen-skinned appearance of many of its surviving members. These members - all of whom are or were part of the Dark Horde - were permanently altered by the magic of Blackrock Mountain, turning their fel-green skin to the same ash and soot tones of their fiery home.
New Horde Loyalists
The New Horde loyalists are the Blackrock Orcs who accepted the offer of amnesty given by Warchief Garrosh Hellscream during the events of the Cataclysm. Soldiers formerly of the Dark Horde, the majority of these Blackrock Orcs are now members of the Kor'kron, the elite forces loyal to the Warchief of the Horde. They are lead by Malkorok, a brutal and radical orc who has gained Garrosh Hellscream's favor along with the position of personal bodyguard.
The Blackhand Loyalists are members of the Blackrock Clan who retreated to Blackrock Mountain with Rend Blackhand following the defeat of the Orcs during the Second War. These orcs became the core of the Dark Horde - and while strong their numbers greatly declined following the assaults from adventurers loyal to the Alliance and the Horde which resulted in the death of their leader Rend. Following his death the Blackhand Loyalists gained a new leader in the form of an orc warlock named Xi'lun.
After the return of Deathwing and the events of the Cataclysm the Blackhand Loyalists were brought under the control of Deathwing himself. The titanic black dragon, a servant of the Old Gods, turned the Blackhand Loyalists into another arm of the Twilight's Hammer Cult who then orchestrated further attacks on the human kingdom of Stormwind. Still under the command of Xi'lun, their operation to take the lands of Redridge from the humans were well planned until forces of the Alliance and the Horde engaged them in the Battle of Dreadmaul Rock. The resulting battle saw the Dark Horde forces completely shattered and the leadership of the Blackhand Loyalists eliminated entirely.
Burning Legion Loyalists
During the Internment Period and into the early days of the Third War, a faction of Blackrock Orcs continued to serve their demonic masters. Lead by the Blademaster Jubei'thos, these Orcs continued to raid human villages in and around the Alterac Mountains. Their raid on the village of Strahnbrad saw the forces of the Alliance under Prince Arthas Menethil and Uther the Lightbringer intervene and while many Blackrock Orcs were slain, the majority of their number were not destroyed until many months later when the now corrupted Arthas, along with his adviser Kel'thuzad pushed into Orc territory in order to take control of a Demon Gate which was controlled by forces loyal to Jubei'thos. The resulting battle saw the total annihilation of the Blackrock Orcs under Jubei'thos with any surviving orcs fleeing into the wilds to escape the undead menace.
Main Article: Orgrim Doomhammer
The most noteworthy of all Blackrock Chieftains, Orgrim Doomhammer claimed leadership of the Clan after leading a daring coup against his predecessor Blackhand the Destroyer. He lead the Blackrock Clan and indeed the rest of the Horde during the events of the Second War and claimed many victories over the Alliance. While the Horde was eventually defeated, he claimed victory even in defeat, taking the life of Supreme Commander Lothar in single combat during the final battle on the slopes of Blackrock Mountain.
Blackhand the Destroyer
Main Article: Blackhand
A brutal orc and raider of the Sythegore Arm before his ascension to Chieftain of the Blackrock Clan. Blackhand was one of the most respected members of the Horde prior to his death during the aftermath of the First War. Despite the respect he earned within the ranks of the Horde however, he was considered as nothing more than a puppet by the true masters of the Horde, the Shadow Council who used him and the rest of the Orcs to accomplish their own goals.
Main Article: Rend Blackhand
One of two sons of Blackhand the Destroyer, Dal'rend Blackhand, although more commonly known as Rend fought with his brother Maim during the Second War. After the defeat of the Horde on the slopes of Blackrock Mountain he and many of the Blackrock Orcs loyal to him retreated into the mountain to escape the wrath of the Alliance forces. During the years that followed he built a new Horde within the caverns of Blackrock Spire which would become known as the Dark Horde.
Targorr the Dread
Targorr the Dread served as Warlord Gath'llzog's supreme Executioner in the Redridge Mountains, and was considered ruthless even by orcish standards. Men who bravely fought to safeguard the Kingdom of Stormwind were cruelly tortured by him. Eventually he was captured and sent to the Stormwind Stockades, where he was to be executed. However, presumably due to meddling on Lord Gregor Lescovar, his death sentence was postponed, and he went on to fight in the First Stockade Riot, in which he was slain by Alliance forces who dismantled the riot by forcefully invading the prison and slaying the leaders within.
Malkorok is Garrosh Hellscream's personal bodyguard and the new leader of the Kor'kron Guard. He renounced his ties to his former Warchief and vowed his allegiance to Hellscream. He is even more radical than Garrosh himself, possibly due to his time in the Dark Horde. Notably, he was one of the few who knew about the mana bomb during the siege of Theramore Isle, and he traveled to Pandaria with Garrosh while the new Warchief saw to the conquering of the new island for the Horde.
Main Article: Varok Saurfang
Varok Saurfang is considered to be one of the finest Orc warriors loyal to the Horde. One of the first to drink the blood of the Annhilian Pit-Lord Mannoroth beside Grom Hellscream, Varok was involved in many great battles during the history of the Horde including the sacking of Shattrath City, the razing of Stormwind City during the First War. After Doomhammer claimed leadership of the Horde after the death of Blackhand, Varok was appointed as Doomhammer's second in command due to his efficient, yet brutal tactics on the field.
Following the defeat of the Horde during the Second War, Varok was captured and placed into the internment camps with many of his fellow orcs. He was eventually freed by Thrall the new Warchief of the Horde and soon became one of his most loyal subjects, doing everything in his power to help the orcs come to terms with the atrocities they had committed while under the influence of the demon blood curse.
A true veteran of the First, Second and Third Wars, He was also present during the Northrend Campaign and after the campaigns end he chose to remain behind as the leader of a skeleton crew who would see to Horde operations within the northern continent.
Main Article: Eitrigg
Eitrigg was born into the Blackrock Clan some time before the events of the First War, and served the Horde honorably during all previous military engagements. After the death of his sons due to a greedy powergrab by a rival chieftain and after discovering the true depths of his people's corruption he abandoned the Horde, disavowing his own people and exiling himself in the northern forests of Lordaeron.
He was eventually discovered by the Paladin Tirion Fordring and the pair engaged in a powerful battle before Tirion was knocked out by falling debris from a decaying tower. He saved the Paladin and returned him to his lands, only to have Tirion return sometime later where he shared the story of his people to the now peaceful soldier. Parting on good terms, Eitrigg remained at the tower until his capture by Alliance forces under the command of Saidan Dathrohan. He was taken to the city of Stratholme for execution only to be saved in the final hour by Tirion, now sentenced to exile for his attempts to save Eitrigg's life during his capture.
After escaping from Stratholme he and Tirion were found by forces of the Horde loyal to Warchief Thrall who had attacked the city attempting to reclaim the aged orc from Alliance hands. Eitrigg, after hearing the story of Thrall agreed to rejoin the Horde, but swore an oath to Tirion that they were now brothers in blood and honor. He would then go on to aid the Horde in reclaiming it's past glory before their decline into corruption.