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Dragonmaw Clan
Dragonmaw, the Dragon Riders


IconSmall OrcGray Male.gif Gorfax Angerfang (New Horde)

Former Leaders:

IconSmall OrcGray Female.gif Warlord Zaela (True Horde/Iron Horde, deceased)
IconSmall OrcGray Male.gif Worgosh Wyrmcrusher (New Horde, Deceased)
IconSmall FelOrc Male.gif Warchief Mor'ghor (Fel Horde, Deceased)
IconSmall Orc Male.gif Zuluhed the Whacked (Old Horde/Fel Horde, Deceased)


Old Horde
Illidan's Forces (Formerly)
New Horde
Dark Horde
True Horde
Iron Horde
Fel Horde





The Dragonmaw Clan is one of the oldest Orc Clans, dating back to well before the rise of the first Horde under Warchief Blackhand. In Orcish, Dragonmaw translates to "Nelghor-shomash." Meaning "Cry of the Beasts." Far different from the other clans within the Old Horde, the Dragonmaw Clan relied more on magical ability and cunning instead of the brute strength like that of the Blackrock or Bleeding Hollow Clans. Originally lead by Zuluhed the Whacked, the Dragonmaw Clan like almost every other Orc Clan saw great change during events leading up to and after the Great Wars.


The Dragonmaw is one of the first four Orcish Clans to form, alongside the Blackrock, Lightning's Blade, and Bleeding Hollow. With the rise of the Gorians a thousand years before the Dark Portal opened, the monstrous creatures of the Breakers receded in number, allowing the Orcish race to leave their cavernous homes behind for the first time and forage the world for new resources and living space. The Dragonmaw settled the land in the rocky ranges of Gorgrond and Frostfire, sharing the land with the two-headed Rylaks, whom the Dragonmaw fondly named 'Nelghor,' meaning 'Loyal Beasts.' The Dragonmaw formed a kinship with the Rylaks and became the first Clan to Master riding them into battle, soon becoming a vital part of the Clan's existance, providing them with transportation, hide, meat, companionship, and power. The Dragonmaw have never relied on strength along, primarily a clan that focuses on the use of shamanistic magic and used their exceptional intelligence and cunning to make their presence known among the other Orc clans. By the time of the Rise of the Horde, they had become lead by the Orc Shaman Zuluhed. He and his clan drank from the blood of Mannoroth like most Clans and eventually most Orcs on Draenor, and joined the Old Horde under Warchief Blackhand.

Following the near annihilation of the Draenei on their planet of Draenor, the land began to die as Fel magic began to blight Draenor, causing natural disasters in the extreme, such as floods, famine, earthquakes and disease. The Dragonmaw were forced to put down their own Rylaks for food. The Horde then turned their attention to rich unspoiled worlds. Focusing their efforts on the planet Azeroth, the entire Horde, the Dragonmaw Clan included, invaded the unsuspecting world and put Kingdom of Azeroth (which would later become known as the Kingdom of Stormwind) to the sword, razing almost all of the settlements including the Kingdom's capital of Stormwind. It was shortly following this great victory that the Dragonmaw Clan would be thrust into the spotlight when Orgrim Doomhammer challenged the tyrannical Warchief Blackhand to Mak'gora, and beheaded the current Warchief in a duel to the death, taking his place as the leader of the Horde. While many clans pledged their support to the usurper, the Dragonmaw Clan did not and instead pledged their loyalty to the Blackhand line, in this case the deceased Warchief's two sons, Rend and Maim Blackhand who had taken leadership of the Black Tooth Grin Clan at their late Father's behest.

While this gave the new Warchief, Orgrim, pause due to the possibility of conflicted loyalties, the Black Tooth Grin Clan remained true to the Horde's course and thus so to did the Dragonmaw Clan. It was this loyalty and (in Orgrim's mind) the fact that Zuluhed seemed to have the best interests of the Horde in mind that allowed him to give the orc permission for him and his clan to seek out a powerful artifact within the Redridge Mountains. Following the visions lead Zuluhed, still a powerful elder shaman, to a powerful artifact known only as the Demon Soul.

Returning to the Horde with the artifact, Zuluhed promised to unlock the artifacts considerable power for the good of the Horde, but even with his powerful abilities as an elder shaman he was unable to do so. Eventually he handed the device to his second, Nekros Skullcrusher, a warlock who had chosen Clan over Shadow Council, who through experimentation managed to enslave the leader of the Red Dragonflight, Alexstrasza. Threatened with the decimation of her young and unable to act out against the Orcs due to the Demon Souls considerable power over her, she was forced to ally with the Horde during the second half of the Great War period, her flight giving the Horde a much needed boost in strength as they pushed north toward the human kingdoms of the North. The Dragonmaw would come to name these new winged steeds 'Nelghor' as well.

First Defeat

The Great War period ended on an extremely low note for the Horde, with their forces decimated from within by a betrayal from Gul'dan and the two clans that were completely loyal to him. The retreat that followed forced the Dragonmaw Clan into a division which never fully healed. Separated into two groups with their own leaders, the first, a large portion of the clan lead by their leader Zuluhed, was forced south beyond Blackrock Mountain and back into the Black Morass eventually ending up back in the war ravaged land of Draenor. The second group however, lead by Nekros Skullcrusher, managed to defend themselves by digging in to the the former Wildhammer Fortress of Grim Batol where they were defended from the majority of the Alliance's assaults by the Red Dragons still enslaved by the will of the Demon Soul.

This group of Dragonmaw within Grim Batol would remain a thorn in the side of the Alliance long after the defeat of the Horde and the end of the Great War period. The orcs, still dedicated to the destruction of the Alliance, would force the red dragons to unleash their destructive power against the humans, dwarves and gnomes of the region until the intervention of the Red Dragon Korialstrasz, who under the guise of the Kirin Tor Councilor Krasus, instructed the mage Rhonin to infiltrate Grim Batol and see to the destruction of the Demon Soul. While the task was not easy to accomplish and almost failed entirely, the end result was a resounding success, by using one of the scales of the black dragon Deathwing, the creator of the artifact, the entire disc was destroyed freeing Alexstrasza and empowering her with a level of strength that she had not felt since the War of the Ancients some ten thousand years prior to current events. Unleashing her full destructive power on the Dragonmaw, she killed Nekros and sundered Grim Batol forcing the Dragonmaw into full retreat.

Fate of the Dragonmaw


The Dragonmaw under Zuluhed the Whacked changed paymasters after the defeat of the Horde during the Great War period, joining forces with the Annihilian Pit Lord Magtheridon in the shattered remains of Draenor that would become known as Outland. They, with other surviving orc clans that had joined with the Pit Lord's forces, waged a ceaseless war against the remnants of the Draenei lead by Akama, originally a High Priest of Karabor, now one of the many deformed Broken that inhabited what remained of Draenor. Hunted almost to the brink of extinction, the Broken were saved by the timely arrival of Illidan Stormrage and his loyal followers, Lady Vashj, a Naga Sea Witch and Prince Kael'thas Sunstrider leader of the Blood Elves who survived the destruction of Quel'thalas by the Scourge and the racial bigotry of the leader of the Alliance remnants in the region. The tide of the war would turn against the Dragonmaw once again in the coming months, with Illidan claiming many victories eventually leading up to the invasion of the Black Temple and the defeat of Magtheridon himself.

With Magtheridon defeated, Zuluhed and the Dragonmaw changed their allegiance once again, choosing to, like many others, serve Illidan instead of taking up the alternative of certain death. Under Illidan the Dragonmaw began to enslave the native Netherdrakes which populated Outland, which earned the ire of many of the larger wyrms which were unable to fully act against the Dragonmaw themselves. Many years later when the Alliance and Horde forces pushed into Outland during the Outland Campaign, the Dragonmaw were one of the many clans battling against the invaders. Seeing this as an opportunity a few of the more intelligent Netherdrakes used the Alliance and the Horde to infiltrate the Dragonmaw, with the adventuring heroes slaying Zuluhed who had since turned to the path of demonology and eventually, through magical trickery, forced the Dragonmaw Clan to revere them instead of Illidan. This act greatly angered the former Night Elf who attempted to destroy the Clan entirely for their disobedience. The Dragonmaw Clan in Outland, save for a few stragglers was completely decimated by Illidan's destructive rage.


Dragonmaw Totem in the Wetlands

In Azeroth the status of the Dragonmaw was much more dire. After the defeat of Nekros, leadership passed to his only son Nek'rosh Skullcrusher, who continued to lead the Dragonmaw forces there against the Alliance in daring raids within the region known as the Wetlands. During this time, Nek'rosh would pledge his forces and the few remaining Red Dragons the Clan had under their control to Rend Blackhand, who after Main died, had taken control of the Blackrock Clan and pronounced himself rightful Warchief of the Horde. Obsessed with continuing the Great Wars, this led the Dragonmaw to becoming a part of the Dark Horde. This rose the ire of the Alliance commanders within the region to the point where they hired adventurers of great renown to deal with the Dragonmaw. These adventurers invaded the Dragonmaw encampments, and after some fighting, defeated and beheaded Nek'rosh Skullcrusher, leaving the Dragonmaw in the region mostly leaderless. On the other side of Grim Batol however, the Dragonmaw were far more entrenched, and waged a constant battle against the Wildhammer Dwarf Clans which lived in the Highlands.

After the events of the Cataclysm, which saw the Highlands invaded by the Twilight's Hammer Cult, the Dragonmaw in Azeroth were joined by Overlord Mor'ghor, one of the Fel Orcs who originally served under Illidan during the Outland Campaign. With Nek'rosh dead, Mor'ghor had no difficulty taking leadership of the Clan. He kept the Dragonmaw in their place by ruling over them with an iron fist with the aid of several Fel Orcs which had joined him.

When the Horde forces under Warchief Garrosh Hellscream invaded the Twilight Highlands, they originally attempted to negotiate with Mor'ghor only to have their negotiator slain. The act incited the Horde to invade the Dragonmaw holdout, with their forces joined by other Dragonmaw who were opposed to Mor'ghor's leadership. Eventually the Fel Orc himself was put down, and by Garrosh's own order, Zaela, one of the Dragonmaw who aided the Horde in their conflict was given control of the Dragonmaw Clan which quickly swore fealty to the New Horde under Garrosh.

Current Status

The Dragonmaw under Warlord Zaela proved themselves completely loyal to Garrosh Hellscream as the Horde began the Pandaria Campaign. When Vol'jin and the Darkspear Tribe rebelled against Garrosh, Zaela and her Dragonmaw remained loyal to the Warchief and remained as loyal even as the combined forces of the Horde and Alliance laid siege to Orgrimmar to bring justice to Garrosh for his crimes against both Horde and Alliance. Having enslaved a new breed of protodrake to give Garrosh's Horde control over the skies, the bulk of the Dragonmaw forces were charged with the defense of Bladefist Bay from any encroaching armies with Warlord Zaela herself riding her finest Proto-Drake Galakras into battle.

Sadly this was all for naught with the combined Alliance and Horde offensive managing to crush the Dragonmaw and severely wound Zaela's protodrake, an act which threw her from the saddle as the dragon struggled with it's injuries only to eventually succumb to the assaulting forces. Zaela herself survived the battle, but did not renounce her loyalty to Hellscream. She and a small band of loyalists would steal away from the Siege, and later become instrumental in releasing the deposed Warchief from imprisonment. These renegade Dragonmaw would later form a portion of the Iron Horde, and were killed to a man in Blackrock Mountain, Zaela included.

It was later discovered that a large handful of the fel Dragonmaw underneath Mor'ghor had fled to the Obsidian Lair and were under the leadership of Warlord Infernus, Mor'ghor's subordinate. After being approached by Karigal Felscorn and the Shatter Scythe Clan, Infernus challenged three of his own champions to a duel with three of Karigal's. In the end, Karigal's champions overcame Infernus's, and Felscorn pleaded with Infernus to take up the mantle of Warchief of the Fel Horde. Begrudgingly, Infernus complied, and his forces were soon rallied to Shadowmoon Valley.

The Horde later departed to the Twilight Highlands during the Dragonmaw Subjugation in order to bring the clan back into the fold of the Horde, by force if necessary. After some minor bloodshed, the Dragonmaw of the region were later re-added back into the Horde under chieftain Worgosh Wyrmcrusher. Wyrmcrusher was later slain by the Alliance. By the Legion's Invasion of Azeroth through the Broken Isles, the Dragonmaw had remained loyal to the Horde and had raised one of their own to the position of Chieftain, raising the Dragonmaw Warleader Gorfax Angerfang to leadership, who would later represent the Clan in official Horde affairs.