Garrosh Hellscream Pt.1
Garrosh was among a group of orcs that contracted the Red Pox, he and the rest of the afflicted were quarantined and sent away from the rest of the clans to a place called Garadar. When the rest of the planet seemed to be dying because of the fel magic that corrupted everything, Nagrand was left untouched. So Garrosh grew up away from the war and slaughter that was to define his people in the eyes of Azeroth.
Things were not easy for Garrosh however, he had a very notorious father. Grommash Hellscream was the first orc to drink of the blood of Mannoroth, essentially enslaving the orcish people to the Burning Legion. All his life he lived with the shame of his father’s actions while also, as the son of a chieftain, expected to follow in his father's footsteps and lead the Warsong clan. Garrosh was terrified of making the same mistakes his father had made and had no idea how to lead his people. Then Thrall came through the portal from Azeroth. He told Garrosh that even though his father had made a mistake, he had also been the orcs’ ultimate salvation, giving his life in order to free them from the blood curse. This news gave Garrosh a new sense of pride and identity. He went through the portal with Thrall to Azeroth to see this new world.
As the chieftain of the Warsong clan Garrosh often went with Thrall on important missions and was sent, along with Saurfang, to create a base in Northrend from which to advance against the Scourge and the Lich King. Grommash was looking for a chance to prove himself as, over in Azeroth, his father was known as a great hero.
Garrosh is a great tactician and fighter but the way things were done in Azeroth greatly frustrated him. Partly because of his nature and partly because of guilt, Thrall was always trying to atone for the actions of the orcs when they first came to Azeroth. Durotar, where the orcs live, is a desert wasteland that is very hard to live in and Thrall was not making any effort to make his people's lives easier. Right to the west and North there are the lush forests of the elves but Thrall forbade his people from crossing into their territory. To the South lay Theramore, the land held by Jaina Proudmoore and the Alliance, and they were forbidden from extending their territory in that direction as well.
Grommash went among the orcs and felt the pain of his people, struggling to make a life in this world where they could not live as they wished, or take by force what they needed. He did not understand the endless diplomacy and wanted to answer every slight with action. Eventually he began to see Thrall as weak and unable to provide for, or lead his people, and challenged him to the ancient rite of Mak’gora. This fight was interrupted before it could begin as they were presently at war with the scourge, but Hellscream’s anger only simmered.
Many of the green skinned orcs felt that the color was a permanent reminder of their sins, but Hellscream, with his brown skin, felt no such guilt and thought it unreasonable for Thrall to continue to punish his people, some of whom had never participated in any of the wars. To see the orcs bowed down and depressed made him so angry. His driving force behind the decisions that he would make in the years to come was to bring back his people’s honor. To restore the true Horde.
Garrosh is a firm believer in Honorable combat, he only attacked when he believed it was a fair test of the might of the Horde against Alliance forces, however he did attack the Alliance constantly while they were supposed to be fighting together against the Lich King in direct opposition to his orders from Thrall.
After the Lich King was defeated there was a celebration in the capital, Orgrimmar, and Thrall gives Garrosh his father’s weapon, Gorehowl.
Before the great Cataclysm, when Deathwing rises up from the earth, the elementals of Azeroth are driven wild and Thrall feels his job as Shaman must be to discover the cause, but he cannot go as Warchief so, after much deliberation, he calls Grommash to him and leaves as him acting Warchief while he is gone. At first Grommash is much dismayed by this and protests that he is a soldier, he knows nothing of politics. Thrall tells him the other leaders, Vol’jin, Cairne and Eitrigg will advise him, and finally he accepts.
The first thing he does is rebuild the Capital of Orgrimmar, destroyed in the elemental unrest by fire, into a mighty fortress. Before Thrall left, he set up a meeting between the orcs and the night elves so that they could start opening trade routes because it had gotten so bad the orcs were basically starving to death, unfortunately the meeting was sabotaged by agents of the Twilight Hammer (Deathwing goons) posing as horde, who attacked the night elves. Cairne accuses Grommash of attacking the night elves, as it seemed something the headstrong and rash leader would do. Grommash tells him that if it had been his plan he would have announced it to the world, not one to sneak around in the shadows.
This is how Cairne, the Tauren leader and Father of Baine, ends up challenging Garrosh to Mak’gora, as he feels he is unfit to lead. Garrosh and Cairne begin their battle in the Orgrimmar Arena, their fighting styles initially cancelling each other out fairly well. As Cairne begins to land serious blows upon Garrosh, Garrosh is backed into a corner. Garrosh attempts a desperate strike, slicing Cairne's chest and shattering his runespear. Though a formidable blow, it did not seem to appear fatal - until Cairne inexplicably collapses from it. Though surprised, Garrosh quickly takes advantage of the situation, and with one final glance at Cairne, deals him the killing blow.
Unbeknownst to Garrosh, Magatha of the Grimtotem clan, poisoned his blade when she had it briefly to bless it before the match. (She had a long standing plan to get rid of Cairne and take over Thunder Bluff herself.)
Garrosh is feeling mixed emotions, he didn’t know why Cairne had accused him of instigating the fight, but he had responded to the challenge with honor, and won. Eitrigg however reveals the poison on his blade, and Garrosh is overcome with rage that his honor has been taken from him, and he was made a pawn in Magatha's scheme.
Magatha, thinking that Garrosh is her ally, asks for his aide in taking over Thunder Bluff from Cairne’s son Baine. He refuses, and with no help, she and her people are soon defeated. Garrosh goes to see Baine, fully expecting to have to fight him for killing his father, but Baine tells him that he knows the true villain was Magatha, and that the Tauren would be proud to follow him as warchief. Garrosh is surprised, but happy.
Garrosh at this point starts taking what his people need, putting aside treaties and diplomacy altogether, and is hailed by many orcs as a true warchief. He sends troops into Ashenvale, the land of the elves, and seizes many outposts, finally freeing the horde from fears of starvation and famine. He expels from Orgrimmar any race that is not orc, believing they are the only ones strong enough to protect it, and alienates pretty much all of the other races, especially the Trolls whose leader Vol’jin pretty much says outright that Garrosh had better watch his back.
Garrosh has a bad habit of underestimating his enemies, rushing in hotheaded without much planning and basically being blunt and rude in his demands of anyone not an orc.(he did tell Thrall he was no diplomat) Although Garrosh will run to a fight he quickly and decisively punishes any of his people that do not fight with honor, once throwing a corrupt general off a cliff after he dropped a mana bomb on a conclave of helpless druids.
After Deathwing is defeated Garrosh turns his full attention to gaining more territory for the horde and fighting Alliance wherever he can find them. He wants to forcibly expel all Alliance from Kalimdor and claim the entire continent for the Horde and the first stop is Theramore, the Alliance’s navy port and the military might of Kalimdor. After that he’ll get rid of all the elves. This is when Garrosh uses the bomb against Theramore. After driving the alliance forces back to the city with the full might of the Horde, he pulls back his forces and sends in the bomb. This move fills his allies with horror and revulsion and they abandon him. When Baine takes him to task, saying he has gone too far, he announces his ultimate plan of total genocide. Every man, woman and child in the Horde is ordered to help in the war against the alliance, and all who refuse or shirk in their duties will be punished. People start to disappear and things get very grim for the horde.(Kor’kron)
Instead of having their will crushed after the battle at Theramore, as he expected, (underestimating his enemies again) the Alliance is motivated to war with the Horde.
At this time Pandaria is discovered and Grommash has a new land to fight over with the Alliance, the Pandaren being the first neutral playable race in WoW.
After Vol’jin argues yet again with Garrosh over this warmongering Garrosh attempts to have him murdered.
Horde heroes are instructed to report Vol'jin's death to Garrosh, and remain close to the warchief – biding their time and finding other like-minded members of the Horde to save their coalition before Garrosh's rule destroys it.
This is the beginning of the civil war, the war of the horde within itself.
Artist Credit: Glenn Rane (Raneman)