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- This article is about the main timeline clan before Warlords of Draenor. For lore on the alternate timeline version, see Burning Blade clan (alternate).
Spreading the Burning Legion's taint and bringing down Thrall's Horde, the Burning Blade clan is made of orc warlocks who oppose Thrall's new Horde. The orcs were once puppets for their masters, the Shadow Council, powerful warlocks who infected them with demonic bloodlust and urged them to pass through the portal to Azeroth to destroy its races.
This extension of the orcs harkens back to the First War. They wish to bring back what they consider the glory days of the Horde, where the power of demons ran hot in their veins and Azeroth was theirs to control. Those who know about the Burning Blade are quick to either run from them or try to destroy their little festering pockets of influence.
The Burning Blade Clan's color is orange.
The Burning Blade is not a clan as much as it is an elemental force of nature. Chaotic and unpredictable, the Burning Blade is a brotherhood of demented orcs whose only objective is to raze and plunder with no regard for their own safety. This leaderless swarm is held in check by the ogres - to be unleashed by the clans in times of urgent duress. The Burning Blade holds loyalty to no one and will attack any that they perceive to be a threat - even their fellow orcs.
Not so much a clan as a vast asylum, the Burning Blade was held in check by a large group of ogre enforcers. The ogres never drank demon's blood, and so their race was impervious to the bloodlust that often came over the orcs. The Burning Blade was filled with extreme cases, orcs who had gone so far over the edge into bloodlust that they could not be counted on to follow orders reliably during battle. Ordinarily, orcs this uncontrollable were simply killed off by their brethren, but the members of the Burning Blade were different; they were not as expendable because they were also great warriors, often specializing in swords. The Horde was not willing to kill such skilled warriors, but on the other hand it was not willing to employ them except in the most extreme cases, for fear that they might turn on other clans or even each other. But an extreme case arrived near the end of the second war, when the Horde had been pushed back into Azeroth and finally made a stand at the fortified Blackrock mountains. As the Alliance armies, spurred on by Anduin Lothar's death, stormed Blackrock Spire itself, Doomhammer finally gave the order for the Burning Blade to be unleashed. The result was probably the bloodiest battle in the war for both sides, but in the end the alliance prevailed. Most of the Burning Blade clan was annihilated, and the ogres escaped, along with Rend Blackhand, Maim, Zuluhed, and their armies, to the Dark Portal, where they too were destroyed. The members of the Burning Blade were so possessed by the bloodlust that they did not surrender no matter what the circumstances, and so the vast majority of the clan was completely annihilated. However, a very small number (less than 25) were forcibly taken prisoner so that the alliance mages could study the most extreme effects of the Bloodlust. They were interned along with the rest of the orcs, where their bloodlust gradually abated.
When Thrall freed the internment camps, these survivors, now called the Blademasters, pledged their support to him, and followed him across the ocean to Kalimdor. The current blademasters who follow the New Horde get their impossible skill and speed as a blessing from the spirits, instead of demons. The Burning Blade harbors many of those whom Thrall exiled or otherwise refused to incorporate in his new society, such as warlocks and the worst of murderers.
The blademasters of the Third War were once part of the ill-fated Burning Blade clan that consumed itself in the throes of demonic corruption. With their clan scattered and broken, the proud blademasters swore a grim oath to free themselves and their brethren from demonic control once and for all.
In World of Warcraft
Recently, the warlock Neeru Fireblade, a servant of the Shadow Council at Jaedenar, was given the task to recruit orcs to infiltrate Durotar from within. His sect is part of the Burning Blade clan. They are located in The Barrens and Desolace. This new organization is probably an outgrowth of a similar organization created by the minor demon Zmodlor.
They maintain several holdings throughout Durotar, where they constantly scheme to bring about the destruction of the Horde. United by their allegiance to the precepts of the demonic Burning Legion, the members of the Burning Blade have established footholds in places such as Skull Rock near Orgrimmar and in the dreaded Ragefire Chasm beneath the city itself. These installations, however, were located and subsequently destroyed by Orcish forces after Warchief Thrall learned of the cult and ordered its annihilation.
Mankrik in the Crossroads could be one of the remaining members of the clan judging by his bloodlust and the banner of the Burning Blade hanging outside his tent.
The Burning Blade is particularly deeply entrenched in Desolace, where they have made ties with the Hatefury satyrs. Here the Clan maintains two bases of operation - the Thunder Axe Fortress which serves as the local headquarters and the Mannoroc Coven where portals to summon demons are opened by the cultists. Despite numerous attacks by stalwart adventurers, efforts to dismantle these operations have been largely unsuccessful, with the exception of the recovery of the Sceptre of Light from the Fortress and the sealing of some of the portals in Mannoroc. It is believed that these demons and warlocks are the ones teaching necromancy to the Magram centaur, which implies that they are working on a "new" Scourge.
A cell-based organization, the Burning Blade is largely independent of outside control, but does officially report to agents of the continent-spanning Shadow Council. The Searing Blade clan, named in honor of another orcish clan, and the Argus Wake are the Burning Blade's sister groups.
The Burning Blade is a tightly run organization, with a fear of spies coloring their strict hierarchy. Leaders, one to every pocket of foul sorcerers, call themselves the First, likely harkening back to the First War when they pushed the Horde to demon-tainted victory over the Alliance. The Firsts have direct contact with the demons still on Kalimdor, and work to summon more of their infernal allies from the Twisting Nether. They also send out inferiors, to serve as spies among the Horde. Since some goblins have joined the Burning Blade's ranks, it is likely there are spies among the Alliance as well. Their inferiors are split into three other groups, called the Second, the Third, and Nothing. This refers to the Second War, which ended in defeat, and the Third War, in which the Horde did what the Burning Blade considers unthinkable — joined with the Alliance to defeat the demons. Nothing refers to the current state of truce with the Alliance, defeated demons, and a splintered Burning Blade.
The Seconds report directly to the Firsts, and know most of the secrets of the cult. Many powerful warlocks hold this rank, likely hoping their mentors kick it one day so that they can take the reins. The Thirds comprise most of the Burning Blade, ambitious and foul orcs who want power and will do anything to get it. Nothings are the initiates, sent on mundane tasks such as hunting, cleaning, cooking, and even serving as bait to snare those who trespass on the Burning Blade's territory.
Their stronghold lies in the Thunder Axe Fortress of Desolace, but their foul taint reaches as far as the heights of the mountains of the Barrens and even under Thrall's feet in Orgrimmar. The Burning Blade makes its beds wherever one can find demons. Their main area of influence is the Thunder Axe Fortress in Desolace, and it pulses with arcane energy. Others can be found an area in the hills of Desolace where they attempt to summon more demons. They also show up at the Dreadmist Peak in the Barrens, Skull Rock and Thunder Ridge in Durotar (a location where goblins serve the Burning Blade), and there is even a Burning Blade movement in Orgrimmar itself, in Ragefire Chasm, the cave complex underneath Thrall's city.
There are many orcs who are not happy with the current Horde. The current state of the Horde is a tenuous peace with the Alliance, and most orcs prefer a life of blood and thunder. However, many of these orcs attack Alliance caravans and travelers without ever leaving the Horde. The orcs who serve the Burning Blade feel that the divine magic Thrall encourages is weak, and they long for the rush of demonic power. The Burning Blade is comprised of orcs, mostly warlocks, who crave more and more power. The organization is aware of its tenuous existence, with both the Alliance troops from Theramore and their former brethren after them, and so they are watchful of Horde spies.
The first couple of tests in order to become members of the Burning Blade are mostly arcane spell casting and pledging oneself to the Burning Legion. The next test involves the drinking of foul demon blood. The final test is the cold-blooded murder of one of the initiates' own people. These initiations take place at the top of Dreadmist Peak. After passing the final test, they travel to Desolace for further training. Those that pass the test of consuming demonic blood are told some of the Burning Blade's plans. The Burning Blade is planning on summoning more demons to bolster an army. They have footholds in Desolace.
The leaders are all orcs from the old wars, those who actually remember the First War and their old homeland. These are orcs who have lived a very long time; the magic sustained them, but ravaged their bodies in the process. They are twisted to the core, ancient and evil. They harbor a deep hatred for the Alliance, the Horde and the Scourge. The leaders do know, however, that they are not immortal, and that the weakened forces of the demons make them vulnerable. They are carefully grooming younger warlocks to take their positions; the initiations that entailed are unknown.