Azeroth has no shortage of uniquely colourful races, each with long histories and traditions. As this site pertains to Sylvanas, this section will detail the races in which she interacts with the most: the races of the Horde. This is a general overview of each race and by no means comes close to accurately describing what makes each one so unique and wonderful, but hopefully it will suffice in producing a general understanding in relation to the content of Windrunner.

OrcTrollTaurenForsakenBlood Elf • Goblin
Human • Dwarf • Gnome • Night Elf • Draenei • Worgen


Originally from the world of Draenor, the first orcs came to Azeroth through the Dark Portal in the swamps of southernmost Eastern Kingdoms. At the time, they were corrupted by the Burning Legion and led to Azeroth to conquer it. Fortunately for the orcs, their shamanistic traditions were so deeply ingrained in their blood that they were eventually able to free themselves from the Legion's influence. Once abandoned by their demonic enslavers, many orcs were put into human-run internment camps.

Thrall, a young shaman, was able to free the orcs from human slavery and led his people to the shores of Kalimdor, creating a new Horde with new ideals. The orcs claimed a small peninsula for their own, naming it Durotar after Thrall's father and would go on to create the city of Orgrimmar.


As one of the oldest races on Azeroth, the trolls are a varied group divided into many different tribes. The Darkspear tribe was exiled from their homelands in Stranglethorn Vale (the southern-most point of the Eastern Kingdoms). They fled to a new home on the Darkspear islands which would be a staging ground for a battle between Thrall's Horde and the humans. Although the orcs were victorious, a naga Sea Witch would capture most of the survivors from the battle and the trolls. Thrall got to know the leader of the Darkspear, Sen'jin, who saw a vision of Thrall leading his people to new lands.

Thrall was able to save the orcs and trolls but unfortunately, Sen'jin was sacrificed. His son, Vol'jin, became the new leader of the tribe and out of deep gratitude, the Darkspear joined the Horde and went with Thrall to Kalimdor. When the orcs created Durotar, the trolls claimed the Echo Islands as their new home.


An ancient race, the tauren have long respected the earth. Frequent, violent attacks from centaurs forced the tauren to live a nomadic lifestyle, never staying in one place for too long. Driven by desperation, Cairne Bloodhoof, chieftain of the Bloodhoof tribe, approached Thrall for help. The orcs and trolls of the Horde came to the aid of the tauren people and drove back the centaurs, allowing the tauren to settle down for the first time in generations.

Under the leadership of Cairne, all tauren tribes were welcome to their new home in the grasslands of Mulgore. Cairne swore allegiance to the Horde and grew close to Thrall and Vol'jin, their peoples sharing much in common. Many years later, Cairne died when he challenged Garrosh to honorable combat and Baine, his son, would take his place as chieftain.


Once, the Forsaken were known as the people of Lordaeron. Their prince, Arthas Menethil, returned from Northrend as a death knight under the command of the Lich King. He slaughtered his father, King Terenas Menethil, and led a Scourge army through the rest of the land. Most -- if not all -- the people of Lordaeron were slaughtered and resurrected as undead under the control of the Lich King.

Eventually, the Lich King's grip on the undead in Lordaeron was weakened enough for Sylvanas Windrunner to free herself from his control. She rallied other undead who were able to do the same and led them in battle to retake Lordaeron. Now called the Forsaken, when Sylvanas attempted to reach out for allies, Archdruid Hamuul Runetotem responded and convinced Thrall to allow them into the Horde for a better chance at defeating the Lich King.

Blood Elves

Descended from the night elven highborne, the blood elves --then known as high elves-- lived off of the power of the Sunwell in their kingdom of Quel'Thalas for 7000 years. When Arthas Menethil cleaved a path of ruin through the high elven lands to obtain the power of the Sunwell in the Third War, Quel'Thalas was torn asunder. Many of the high elves were slaughtered mercilessly and out of respect for the fallen, Prince Kael'thas Sunstrider dubbed them the blood elves.

Without the arcane power of the Sunwell to sustain them, the blood elves turned to other sources of magic to sate their withdrawals. Kael'thas ventured to Outland to find a cure for their magic addition, leaving the kingdom in the hands of Lor'themar Theron. Lor'themar began to look for new allies to help defend Quel'Thalas and the only group to respond was the Forsaken. Sylvanas, being a high elf herself in life, encouraged the blood elves to become part of the Horde.