The History of Orcish Ascension - The First War of Orcish Ascension

We took the lands of Azeroth from the Humans and razed all that we surveyed. My personal assassin, Garona the Half-Orc, executed Azeroth's leader King Llane and returned his head to me. Although the Horde dominated Azeroth and the pathetic worms who defended it, my own plans were badly hampered.

A small band of Human warriors stormed Medivh's Tower and engaged the insane sorcerer in direct combat. As his body was slashed and torn by the swords of Azeroth, Medivh began to transmit telepathic waves of trauma across the astral plane which easily shattered even my formidable defenses. I attempted to reach into the sorcerer's mind and steal the location of the Tomb from him directly, but before I could divest the location, Medivh was killed by the Azerothiens, Having been inside his mind at the moment of his temporal death, I suffered a massive psychic backlash and fell into a catatonic state.

For weeks I slept as if dead, closely guarded by my faithful Warlocks. When I finally arose, I learned of the shift in the balance power within the Horde. Blackhand had been killed. Without my magiks and counseling to aid him, Blackhand fell prey to a surprise attack launched by one of his strongest and most trusted generals - Orgrim Doomhammer. Orgrim was quick to consolidate his power within the Horde, justifying false testimony that supported his claims of the Destroyer's incompetence as War Chief.

It seemed that the hand of fate had stuck me a harsh blow. Orgrim set out to uncover the inner workings of the Horde, leaving no stone unturned. Eventually, his spies captured my servant Garona and under intensive, agonizing torture, forced her to reveal the existence and location of the Shadow Council. She was weaker than I had expected.

Suspecting that the Shadow Council was a threat to his control of the Horde, Doomhammer led his Wolfriders in a surprise attack against my Citadel near the ruins of Stormwind Keep. The Warlocks, caught unprepared by Orgrim's assault, held off the Horde as long as their magiks would last. Having no time to rest or replenish their energies, the Warlocks fell before the wrath of Orgrim. In the end, the Doomhammer was victorious. Any surviving Warlocks were branded as traitors to the Horde. The public executions were effective in weakening my position and strengthening his.

ISketch of Gul'dan kneeling before Orgrim was taken before Orgrim and questioned at length about my involvement with the Shadow Council. Being greatly weakened by the backlash of Medivh's death as well as the energies I had expended during the battle, I found that I was in no position to either threaten nor harm the War Chief. Orgrim made it clear to me that the Horde was under his control, and that he was not as easily swayed as his predecessor. The gleam in his eye and the steel at his side bespoke his intentions, but I would not be defeated so easily. While he may have had the upper hand, I reminded him that with the death of the Warlocks, I was the last true sorcerer within the Horde. Orgrim, made impudent by his victory, agreed that perhaps I could prove useful, and agreed to let me live - by his good graces. I silently vowed that he would one day take those words to his grave.

Although his suspicions of me were never fully assuaged, I did succeed in convincing the War Chief that the Raiders were preparing to unite with the sons of Blackhand in a revolt against him. Although his claim was untrue, Orgrim was already suspicious of Rend and Maim and so disbanded the multitude of Wolfriders, sending them into the various arms of Grunt forces. To demonstrate my 'loyalty' to Orgrim and the Horde, I promised to create a host of undead riders that would be completely loyal to him alone. Although the Doomhammer did not fully trust me, the idea was sufficiently appealing, and so I was allowed to enter seclusion to create this new legion.

Even with the aid of my Necrolytes, I was unsuccessful in brining for the this undead force. Failure and weakness were all that these minions could offer me, until I sensed that while their spirits were willing - it was the flesh that was weak. I summoned them to a great alter constructed of Ironwood and Blackroot where, at the height of a black incantation, I took the lives of every last one of them. In the bloody wake of their executions, the Necrolytes would finally nourish my creation of the perfect undead servant.

Using what few resources I still controlled within the Horde, I acquired many of the long-dead corpses of the fallen Knights of Azeroth. Into these twisted and decayed forms I instilled the essences of the greater members of the Shadow Council who were quite willing to return to the mortal plane to wreak terror and havoc once again. I furnished each of the dark riders a jeweled truncheon through which they could better focus the unearthly powers they would brandish. Into these jewels were infused the raw, necromantic magiks of the freshly slain Necrolytes. Thus were the Death Knights born.

Orgrim Doomhammer was pleased with these Knights of Death. Although the spirits of the Shadow Council remained loyal to me, they feigned allegiance to the War Chief. Orgrim was well satisfied with the realization of my promise, and allowed me to go about my own affairs.

I will be patient and bide my time, pretending to be the faithful servant until the time comes to show this presumptuous, boisterous upstart who is greater between us. My designs to discover the Tomb of Sargeras still remain. I have assembled the Stormreaver clan to be my support when the season finally comes to strike back at Orgrim for his insolent crimes against me...

That day draws near - and Doomhammer cannot know what terrors await him,

for I am Gul'dan...

I am darkness incarnate.

I will not be denied.

Return to:
The Rise of the Shadow Council
The Mastery of Forces - Medivh and Blackhand