|War of the Thorns|
|Next: Siege of Lordaeron|
|Conflict: Blood War|
|Date: July 24th - July 31st, 38 L.C.|
|Place: Teldrassil, Darkshore, Ashenvale, Felwood|
|Outcome: Horde Victory|
|Commanders and Leaders:|
|Casualties and Losses:|
The War of the Thorns (also referred to as the Burning of Teldrassil) was a battle between the Grand Alliance and New Horde in central Kalimdor. It began with an ambush on the Darnassian town of Astranaar and its outlying outposts, and continued with an invasion of Darkshore, culminating in the destruction of Teldrassil. The kaldorei military held off against the Horde attack until other countries of the Alliance had arrived. The battle was instigated due to Teldrassil's strategic importance in the transport of Azerite by the Alliance.
With the increasing emergence of Azerite, Sylvanas Windrunner, Queen of the Forsaken and Warchief of the New Horde, saw it necessary to siege Teldrassil and mainland night elven territory to deter the transport of the newly discovered ore to the Eastern Kingdoms – believing that it will be used to create weaponry to use on the Horde.
By occupying Teldrassil, she could control the flow of Azerite to the Eastern Kingdoms as well as hold the civilian population hostage to prevent Alliance reprisal. Furthermore, she sought to kill Malfurion Stormrage to break the spirits of the Night Elven population.
As a diversion, she ensured that the majority of the Kaldorei forces would be travelling to Silithus to assist and provide security for Azerite mining operations, thus giving the Horde an advantage over the lessened defenders and launching a surprise attack on Kaldorei territory.
Encroachment in AshenvaleEdit
High Overlord Varok Saurfang led his troops into the northern Barrens, stopping at the crossroads of the Gold Road as he awaited for orders to divert and march into Ashenvale. When word was sent, he turned his army towards the north and started marching while his operatives ensured that their approach would not meet resistance.
On the order of Lorash Sunbeam, the Kaldorei outposts in Ashenvale fell one by one before he himself infiltrated Astranaar, eliminating guards and key targets and sacking the town. Saurfang's forces marched into Astranaar, taking control of the town. Sylvanas continued on in search of the one obstacle that could stop their advance, Malfurion Stormrage.
In order to have a forward outpost to march into Darkshore, Sylvanas sent word to Zoram'gar Outpost that they would have to accommodate for the Horde armies marching their way. The innkeeper made sure that the soldiers would want for nothing while they were in Zoram'gar while the weaponsmith was ready to repair the soldiers' weapons.
Sylvanas found Malfurion on the border to Darkshore just as he conjured a wall of wisps. Sylvanas' accompanying grunts charged the archdruid only to be killed by the wisps. Regrouping at Zoram'gar, Sylvanas ordered Saurfang to find an alternate passage into Darkshore. He and Nathanos Blightcaller then left to find Everlook smugglers who could find such a passage.
Battle at Master's GlaiveEdit
After figuring out that the wisps were susceptible to distraction, Sylvanas opened up a small breach in the wall to allow Horde forces through. The Horde charged the Night Elves that took the Master's Glaive from the Twilight's Hammer, engaging the archers and their glaive throwers that were gathered there. Despite the presence of siege weaponry, the Horde marched on and pushed the elves back.
The furbolg Blackwood Tribe, native to Darkshore, turned to madness and began attacking both sides of the conflict. Azerite also began to appear throughout Darkshore, causing unrest among the elements.
In Twilight Vale, the Night Elves had placed sentry owls to watch the Horde's movements. Sylvanas ordered the destruction of the owls and the continued encroaching on Blackwood territory. With the eyes of the forest destroyed remained only the ears - the ancients that could feel the very footsteps of the Horde armies. The Horde marched on the Grove of the Ancients, setting the ancients ablaze and slaying the druids in the grove until Malfurion arrived, confronting Sylvanas and temporarily blinding the Horde before leaving.
While the Darnassians rallied all of their defenders, the Horde established a forward outpost in Blackwood Den. The furbolg living there were slaughtered and Horde banners were raised, asserting their dominance over the region. With reinforcements moving into Darkshore thanks to Sylvanas maintaining the breach, they took over the Den. The Darnassians evacuated the Blackwood elders, and sabotaged the Horde war machines, but ultimately weren't able to stop the Horde's advance. Malfurion then called for the Darnassians to rally to Wildbend River, where they would hold the Horde.
Stalemate at Wildbend RiverEdit
Ultimately, the battle of Wildbend River would be a costly one for both sides. Sylvanas acknowledged that at the rate enemy combatants were replaced, it was unwise to pursue the stalemate, and regrouped at Blackwood Den, where she continued maintaining the breach in the wisp wall to let troops through while waiting for Saurfang's forces to arrive.
Meanwhile, Malfurion recognized that he did not have enough forces at his disposal to hold back the Horde indefinitely, and sent word to Teldrassil for reinforcements. Captain Myara Sunsong of the Sentinel Army sent huntresses, sentinels, archers, hyppogryph riders and glaive throwers to reinforce the defensive line, Archdruid Janthes Shadeleaf of the Druids of the Claw rallied his druids and Priestess Astarii Starseeker sent word to High Priestess Tyrande Whisperwind and sent her sisters to aid.
Battle of Lor'danelEdit
The stalemate at Wildbend River lasted until Saurfang's forces managed to scale the mountains of Felwood, rallying the Shatterspear tribe and flanking the Night Elven forces from the north. The wall of wisps fell one by one and they scattered, allowing for more Horde reinforcements to arrive freely. The battle reached the town of Lor'danel, where the Night Elven fleet had finally arrived. Saurfang led the attack into the town, though he refused to slay innocents and instead ordered that so long as they didn't take up arms against the Horde they were to be capture, questioned and then released.
With the Darnassian forces within in disarray with the fall of two of their field commanders, Lor'danel soon found itself fallen under Horde control, despite the death of two of the Horde's strongest warriors. Meanwhile, Malfurion engaged Sylvanas just south of Lor'danel. Saurfang travelled south and found the two locked in a duel, and seeing Sylvanas on the losing end interfered by throwing his axe in Malfurion's back. Though Saurfang regretted his interference, Sylvanas ordered him to kill Malfurion while she left for the shore.
Burning of TeldrassilEdit
On the coast of Darkshore, now secured by the Horde, Sylvanas found the mortally wounded Captain Delaryn Summermoon amongst the Kaldorei bodies. Defiant to the end, Summermoon told her that she could never win, for she couldn't kill hope. As a response, Sylvanas ordered for the tree to be burned, turning the captain's head so that she could watch.
With the High Priestess and the Archdruid in Stormwind, Queen Mia Greymane took charge of the evacuation process and conscripted people to douse the flames and save as many of the citizens of Darnassus as they could before the tree turned to ash. Exhausted, she tried to get the remaining Sisters of Elune to evacuate before falling in a state of semi-consciousness.
At that moment, Genn Greymane came through the portal to Stormwind, rushing to her. Though she had insisted against being brought back, instead urging him to leave her, he took her through the portal along with two frightened children, one Gilnean and one Kaldorei. The Sisters of Elune refused to leave their post, dying in the flames with the remaining citizens who were unable to be evacuated in time.
The surviving Darnassian citizens and the displaced Gilnean refugees were evacuated to Stormwind City through portal. The wounded were taken to the Cathedral of Light where the Church of the Holy Light tended to their wounds, and refugee camps dot the streets and the Wollerton Stead. Meanwhile, Darnassian troops continued resisting the Horde occupation in Darkshore, which was now bolstered by Bilgewater Goblins, Forsaken priests of the Cult of the Forgotten Shadow, Darkspear Trolls, Sin'dorei Blood Knights, Tauren Braves and the Shattered Hand.
News of the fall of Teldrassil reached King Anduin Wrynn, who declared that peace would not be possible with Sylvanas Windrunner as Warchief of the Horde, and rallied the rest of the Alliance to war, preparing to siege Lordaeron and bring her to justice.