Gul'dan part 2
Gul’dan Part 2
As our story starts, things are in dire straits for the orcs. They are nearing starvation and at each other's throats. Gul'dan fully expects Blackhand to kill him any day out of frustration that the warlock has not been able to give him answers or commune with Kil'jaeden.
The crafty eredar was only following his master’s wishes. Sargeras wanted to wait until the orcs were desperate so they would be easily manipulated. After the battle with the Draenei they were too full of power and confidence to listen to anyone. He needed them again weak and afraid.
Finally, when the time is right, Medivh appears to Gul’dan and the shadow council, a mysterious hooded figure. Gul’dan is angry and frustrated and lashes out at this presumptuous stranger with the full might of his fel power. It is turned back upon him and, in front of the council, he is humiliated and forced to kneel in excruciating pain.
This Gul’dan never forgets.
Medivh shows them a vision of Azeroth. It is a world brimming with life. Game, water, trees. It is hope. He will help them build a portal to this world.
Within this hooded stranger, Gul’dan senses a demonic presence and correctly intuits that he is a messenger of Sargeras, and that this is the long awaited next step in a greater plan. But what is in it for him? This messenger had come to the orcs, asking them to invade his world. He must need them somehow, so even though he offered the orcs their salvation, Gul’dan asked for more. He asked what the stranger would give them, give him, if they did this thing and built the portal.
Medivh shows Gul’dan an image of ancient underwater ruins. The Tomb of Sargeras where the body of his avatar is locked away. This image is merely meant to satisfy Gul’dan’s greed, Medivh doesn’t think he’ll ever reach it.
Gul’dan finally has good news to give to Blackhand. He tells him they must begin construction of a great portal that will take them to a new world. A world that is ripe for the taking. So begins the creation of the Dark Portal.
The Dark Portal took a long time to build and the orcs had grown stagnant and weak as their world died around them. Gul’dan told Blackhand to prepare his warriors, they must be strong if they were to conquer this new world. They began to train for war.
Not all the clans were on board with leaving their homeworld and once again becoming an unstoppable bloodthirsty Horde. Durotan of the Frostwolf clan spoke out the loudest against this desecration of the old ways. He saw these actions as beginning another cycle of bloodshed and destruction. But Draenor was dying, no one could deny that. Despite the misgivings of some of the orcs, they seemed to have no other option.
When the portal was finally built, it required Medivh to help open it on one side and Gul’dan on the other, as well as an enormous influx of power. The souls of the remaining Draenei prisoners would provide it. They were gathered together in cages at the foot of the giant structure and, as Medivh called on his powers of the Guardian, Gul’dan sucked the life force out of the draenei, the two worlds were bridged, and the portal shimmered to life.
The portal on Azeroth’s side opened into a swamp called The Black Morass. Blackhand sent his most trusted troops along with some warlocks, to make a camp and start building an enchanted frame that would allow the portal to stay open for long periods of time.
The amount of power that was needed to bridge the two worlds could not be hidden, it rippled across Azeroth. But most who felt the surge of energy had no idea what it meant. By the time they realized, it would be too late.
Orc raiding parties captured or killed any humans they came across and Garona was tasked by Gul’dan to learn their language so she could be a better spy. One of the soldiers who had been captured, warned them that Stormwind had a great and powerful protector that had slain a whole army of trolls with a single spell. They would all perish before the might of this Guardian. From him she was able to ascertain the location of Karazhan and she set out to learn more of this mage.
She was immediately captured as soon as she was in sight of the tower but Medivh did not kill her. He was curious. He had never seen her during his visits to Draenor, nor she him, and he wanted to learn more about her. As a half orc, half draenei she was an outcast and he sympathized with her. Because of the way she had been treated, by Gul’dan and the Shadow Council, she had no real love for the Horde and he thought she might be a good ally.
He set her free and told her she could visit any time.
Garona returned to Gul’dan to share all she had learned but unbeknownst to her, Gul’dan had been watching through her eyes the entire time with a mind spell. Seeing Medivh he had immediately realized that this was in fact the hooded stranger. But he was just a man. Once Gul’dan had found the Tomb of Sargeras, he decided he would dispose of Medivh. He encouraged Garona to go back to the tower and glean as much information about this mage, that she could.
Stormwind was hearing enough strange reports coming from the swamp that they sent Lothar with a bunch of troops to investigate. The human soldiers acquitted themselves well in the battles but orc reinforcements just kept coming. The swamp was a boxed canon and the soldiers never made it far enough in to see the portal so they couldn’t understand where all the orcs were coming from. Lothar returned to tell his king that they must prepare for war, for it was coming.
Not all of the orc clans were permitted to come through the portal. In the years of waiting, before The Stranger had come to them, some of the clans had descended into bloodlust and madness. Blackhand viewed them as a liability and sent them to different parts of Draenor to keep them out of the fight. These clans include the Warsongs, the Shattered Hand and the Bonechewers.
Durotan and his Frostwolves did cross through the portal but once on Azeroth Gul’dan effectively banished them. He warned Durotan that if he ever returned, or tried to contact the orcs in the rest of the Horde, he would kill every man woman and child in his clan. He didn’t want to make Durotan a martyr, but he needed his disruptive influence gone. Durotan agreed, he had just found out that his wife, Draka, was pregnant, and he didn’t want to risk her or the rest of his clan by openly defying Gul’dan. They left and set out North, away from the fighting.
Blackhand began to wage open war on the humans, no longer trying to hide. He used his orc raiding parties to try and strike fear into the populace, burning farms and small villages, and then disappearing back into the swamp.
King Llane made Lothar the King’s Champion, the highest military rank in the kingdom, and tasked him with fighting the orcs.
The orcs were unlike any threat the humans had ever faced, but the humans were also different even than the draenei, and their mounted cavalry made them very fast and mobile.
Llane tried to warn the other human cities of this new green-skinned threat, and he asked for aid, but he got none. No one believed him.
Up north, Draka gave birth to a son, they called him Go’el but his birth was a catalyst. He was born with green skin. Seeing that his son also had the curse Durotan could not stay silent. He told the rest of the clan to stay in the mountains, he, his wife and son would go back to the Horde and reveal all they knew. Their shaman reached out to Orgrim Doomhammer and let him know they were coming. Orgrim said nothing of this to Blackhand or to Gul’dan. He also had been disturbed by many of the Horde's actions and had even discovered the existence of the Shadow Council. He met with Durotan and they shared with each other their suspicions. Orgrim told Durotan that the land around the Dark Portal was beginning to die already. Gul’dan’s Fel magic would destroy this world as it had Draenor. Durotan told Orgrim of the anonymous message he had received, not to drink the green liquid, and about his suspicions that a dark force was manipulating the Horde from the shadows. They both agreed that Blackhand and Gul’dan must be stopped. Orgrim would return, and keep pretending to play along as an obedient member of the Horde. He sent some of his guards to protect Durotan on his trip back to his people. That was a fatal mistake. His guards were loyal to the Shadow council, and they decided on their own, that Gul’dan would want them to kill Durotan and his family after everything that they had heard.
The Frostwolves fought bravely but in the end they were all killed. The remaining treacherous guards left Go’el to freeze to death in the cold.
When Orgrim's guards did not return he grew suspicious and went out looking for them, finding the bodies of his friends and those of some of the ‘trusted’ guards. He hunted down every last surviving orc, and killed them all. No news of this would reach Gul’dan.
The Kingdom of Stormwind counted on the outlying villages and farms for food and supplies, the orcs had burned most of the outlying farms and villages and captured the supplies. They were going to run out.
Despite Blackhand's confidence in the might of the orcs and his own tactics, Gul’dan did not trust that his siege of Stormwind was going to go as well as he thought. He remembered how he had used the elemental energies to empower the orcs right before the battle of Karabor and saw that Azeroth was teeming with elemental energy. He looked around him for a strong source that he might be able to tap into, to empower the orcs once again.
This was a mistake. The elements on Azeroth were many times more powerful and volatile than those of Draenor. The warlocks that tried to harness the elemental energies were burned from the inside out. Gul’dan tabled that thought for another day.
Blackhand didn’t care that his plan hadn’t worked, he didn’t need Gul’dan’s help, his orcs controlled Westfall, Redridge and Brightwood. Stormwind was surrounded and cut off. It was time to attack. The Horde lay siege to the city. It was the greatest upset they had ever experienced. Lothar shipped his troops around behind the Horde by sea and attacked their flank. When the horde’s companies buckled and split in surprise the gates of Stormwind opened and more troops poured out pushing the advantage. Eventually the horde was forced to retreat. Blackhand was furious.
This battle plan of the humans had not just been due to Lothar’s brilliant strategy. He was working on information gleaned from Garona. Gul’dan knew that the information she was sharing with Khadgar was endangering the orc’s war efforts but he wanted the location of the Tomb of Sargeras and its power too much to stop her. When she and Khadgar learned that Medivh was the one responsible for opening the portal and inviting the orcs to Azeroth, and when they fled to Stormwind to report to the King Gul’dan saw it all through Garona’s eyes. He panicked. If Medivh died, his knowledge of the whereabouts of the tomb of Sargeras would be lost to Gul’dan forever. He tried to force Garona to kill the King but she resisted the mental urging. So it was that Gul’dan was forced to dive into Medivh’s mind, searching frantically for knowledge and as a result was thrown into a coma when Medivh was killed.
Orgrim Doomhammer used this moment to strike. Blackhand was still reeling from his defeat in Stormwind and Gul’dan was in a coma, the Shadow Council scattered, it wouldn’t get any better. He challenged Blackhand to Mak’gora, accusing him of betraying the orcs and enslaving them to dark powers. Blackhand could not refuse. They fought for hours until Orgrim finally caved in Blackhands head with the mighty Doomhammer.
As much as he did not want to continue the war with the humans, Orgrim felt he had little choice. They must make a life for themselves on this new world. Conquering Stormwind was their only chance. He would not risk failure. This battle would decide the fate of the Horde. He committed every able bodied warrior to the fight.
Who knows how it would have ended. They were very evenly matched. The humans fought valiantly and both sides gave no quarter. But then Garona, finally unable to withstand the pressure of Gul’dan’s orders any longer, confused and broken by the fight with Sargeras/Medivh, assassinated King Llane.
After that the humans fled. The orcs had won the First War.
Orgrim set about eradicating the Shadow Council, whom he saw as the root of all the horde’s troubles and the murderers of his friends. They were nowhere to be found except for Gul’dan who was still in a coma. Then he got his hands on Garona. He tortured her until she revealed the Shadow Council’s secret lair. Blackrock Spire. Orgrim went to the hideout and killed every last warlock, sparing only Cho’gall, the leader of the Twilight’s Hammer clan, so as not to thin the ranks of the orcs even more.
When Gul’dan awoke his world had changed drastically and he had to think quickly to convince Orgrim to keep him alive. He plead with Orgrim to let him prove his worth. Since Orgrim had outlawed the use of Fel magic his people had no defense against the Light of the human clerics or the Arcane power of their mages. He would swear himself loyal to the Horde, his Shadow Council had abandoned him he would forswear them as well. If Orgrim gave him his own clan, he would call them the Stormreavers, he would fight on the front lines, in front of all the orcs, no longer in the shadows, and find them a new power.
Orgrim agreed. He did not trust Gul’dan but thought he would be able to keep one step ahead of him. And he needed all the help he could get. The orcs were planning on attacking Lordaeron. They could not sit idly and just protect the land they had won. They needed to press the advantage before the disparate kingdoms of the humans banded together and overwhelmed them.
Gul’dan wanted to pursue the Tomb of Sargeras. He now knew where it was but he would need help getting there and a loyal army to protect him from the Horde’s inevitable wrath. How could he find a new power to help the orcs, create himself a loyal army and convince Orgrim not to execute him on the spot?
He turned to the Shadow Council. They were dead but if he took their spirits and raised them up in new bodies, he believed they would be eternally grateful and loyal only to him. He couldn't use orc bodies, the new horde would never allow it, but human bodies were everywhere. This is how Gul’dan created the very first Death Knights. And since Fel magic was outlawed they would be necromancers.
Once again Kil'jaeden reached out to Gul’dan. He had been instructed by his master to make contact with the orc warlock in order to influence the Horde and help them conquer Azeroth. Gul’dan gave the appearance of heeding the eredar but in truth he was tired of being the Legion’s pawn. He knew where the Tomb of Sargeras was. He didn't need their empty promises of power anymore.
Orgrim was sickened by the sight of the Death Knights but he could not deny their efficacy. They did not need to eat or drink and they did not grow weary. Also they were created by a different kind of magic that didn’t suck the land of life.
With this power and an alliance with the Amani Trolls that had no love for the humans, Orgrim was ready to mount an attack on Lordaeron.
The story of what would become known as the Second War is long and complicated, suffice it to say that Gul’dan was in part the reason that the orcs lost. At a key moment in the battle he abandoned Orgrim and took his forces, the Death Knights and the Storm Reavers, to find the Tomb of Sargeras. He had convinced Orgrim to build a fleet of ships to swiftly travel to Lordaeron before the humans could prepare a defence and he commandeered many of the ships and left the orcs high and dry.
Kil'jaeden was surprised that he had managed to hide his true intentions for so long but Sargeras stopped him from taking out his anger on the orc. He would deal with the traitorous warlock personally.
Using the memories he had seen in Medivh’s mind, Gul’dan set sail for the Tomb.
It resided far beneath the sea and he would need all the power of his followers to cast a spell to raise it from the depths. Pursued by the Black Tooth Grin, a clan of orcs sent by Orgrim, to punish him for his betrayal, Gul’dan had no time to waste, he knew there must be wards and protections on the tomb but if he could get to the power, he would be able to defeat his pursuers.
Unbeknownst to Gul’dan, Aegwynn had not only cast powerful spells to protect the tomb she had also locked away many demons that she had defeated in its dark corridors.
As Gul’dan entered the tomb he and his followers were ambushed from the dark. Gul’dan was eviscerated, his flesh and muscle torn from his bones. Sargeras had commanded them to kill the warlock just as the power he sought so single mindedly was within his grasp.
The Black Tooth Grin killed any of his followers that managed to escaped the demons. Gul’dan’s skull was the only piece of him left. The Black Tooth Grin took it as proof of their victory.
So ends the story of Prime Timeline Gul’dan though the corruption and demonic power of his skull would continue empowering dark spells and rituals for decades to come.