Playable races in World of Warcraft
Human · Night Elf · Dwarf · Gnome · Bc icon Draenei · Cata-Logo-Small Worgen
BattleForAzeroth-Logo-Small Lightforged Draenei · BattleForAzeroth-Logo-Small Void Elf  · BattleForAzeroth-Logo-Small Dark Iron Dwarf
Mists-Logo-Small Pandaren
Orc · Undead · Tauren · Troll · Bc icon Blood elf · Cata-Logo-Small Goblin
BattleForAzeroth-Logo-Small Highmountain Tauren · BattleForAzeroth-Logo-Small Nightborne · BattleForAzeroth-Logo-Small Zandalari Troll
"To pretend it [the demonic corruption] did not exist is to forget how dreadful the impact was. To make ourselves into victims, rather than claiming our participation in our own destruction. We chose this path, we orcs. We chose it right up until it was too late to turn back. And having made that choice, we can, with the knowledge that we have of the end of that dark and shameful road, choose not to take it."

The Orcs are one of the most prolific races on Azeroth. Unlike the other races of the Horde, orcs are not native to Azeroth. Initially, they lived as shamanic clans on the lush world of Draenor. They abandoned their peaceful culture when Kil’jaeden, a demon lord of the Burning Legion, corrupted the orcs and used them in his vengeful plot against the draenei, who were exiles from Kil’jaeden’s homeworld.

Orc History

Kil’jaeden’s plan worked. The orcs drank the blood of Mannoroth—a prominent Burning Legion general—infusing them with power and enslaving them to the Legion. Exposure to fel energies turned their naturally brown skin into a sickly green. Under the demon’s influence, the orcs killed off most of the draenei population, but Kil’jaeden would not stop there.

With the orcs at their disposal, the Burning Legion planned to invade Azeroth once again. To this end, the corrupted human archmage Medivh conspired with the orc warlock Gul’dan to build the Dark Portal, a massive structure that would allow the orcs passage to Azeroth.

Arriving in Azeroth, the seemingly unstoppable orc armies, known as the Horde, crushed the human kingdom of Stormwind. Eventually, however, the humans made a last stand and were able to defeat the Horde and enslave most of the survivors. But a young slave named Thrall, together with Warchief Orgrim Doomhammer, fought to free the captive orcs. Orgrim died in battle, and the title of warchief, as well as Orgrim’s weapon, the Doomhammer, was passed onto Thrall. Thrall led his people to Kalimdor, where his friend and mentor, Grommash Hellscream, gave his life to defeat Mannoroth and forever free the orcs from the Legion’s control.

Years later, Thrall returned to Draenor, now known as Outland, to once again stop the Legion. There, he convinced Garrosh, son of Grommash Hellscream, to join the Horde. Thrall believed that Garrosh would be a clear choice for his successor, but the impulsive young Hellscream’s uncontrolled aggression led him to commit heinous acts against the Horde itself. Thrall saw no choice but to overthrow Garrosh and name Vol’jin—troll chieftain of the Darkspear tribe—the new warchief of the Horde. With the memory of Garrosh’s betrayal clear in the minds of the other Horde races, Thrall and the orcs must once again prove they have overcome their old destructive tendencies.