This text was featured in the manual of the very first Warcraft game, Warcraft: Orcs & Humans. Note: According to the Alliance Player's Guide, while the kingdom was renamed sometime after the third war to the current name Stormwind, at the time of the first war, the kingdom was known as Azeroth.
- A treatise of the events leading to the war between Mankind and the Orcish Hordes as related by Sir Lothar, Knight of the Realm.
The Ascension of Llane and Medivh
- I am Sir Lothar, Armsman to the Brotherhood of the Horse, and a warrior in the King’s service. I feel it necessary to inform you of the events that have led us to this time of conflict. The tale of our battle with the Orcs begins some forty years in the past. I tell you of these things so that you might glean some understanding of our plight, and gain insight into our enemy. As a student of history and battle, I have found that only through understanding the past can we make well-thought decisions for the future.
- All has been peaceful for many generations, and the reign of King Wrynn III is a prosperous one. The constant bickering and infighting that marred the rules of former Kings has no place in the court of Wrynn. The child sorcerer Medivh is born of a coupling between the court Conjurer and a mysterious traveler. After the child is born, the woman disappears, and the baby is taken into the court as a ward of the kingdom.
- The child prince Llane is born to King Wrynn and Lady Varia. This is their first and only offspring, but the birth of a son marks the continuation of their line. It is a grand day in the Kingdom that is celebrated by great feasts and tournaments. King Wrynn proclaims the day to be a time for festival for the duration of his rule, and to mark the occasion, gives each citizen of Azeroth one gold sovereign.
- The marking of the Age of Ascension from childhood to adulthood is one of great anticipation for both parent and youth. Medivh attains that time and is expected to be given the title as Apprentice Conjurer to the Court. On the eve of this occasion, the boy's sleep is troubled by dark dreams of figures giving chase through deep chasms. Waking in a cold sweat, Medivh makes his way to the bedchamber of his father. As the Conjurer reaches out to touch his fevered brow, a burning fire ignites in the child's eyes. This backlash of power must have reached as far as Northshire Abbey, for within the hour over one hundred clerics arrived at the castle.
- Only by combining their abilities with the powers of the Conjurer were one hundred enough to contain Medivh. As magiks unimagined poured forth from him, the boy screamed in unholy pain at the energies that were channeling through him. Hours passed, perhaps even days, for time seemed to stand still as the onslaught grew in fury.
- Then, as simply as one snuffs a candle, both father and son crumpled into a heap. The Conjurer lay dead, drained of all life, and Medivh fell into a deep sleep - his heart barely beating, and only the faintest of breath escaping his lips. After long discussion, the King and the Abbot of Northshire agree that Medivh should be taken to the Abbey for the safety of both child and kingdom.
- Llane reaches his Age of Ascension, and the full station of Prince of Azeroth is bestowed upon him. At this ceremony, tens of thousands of devoted subjects come to offer their wishes of support and long life. During the evening feast with family, and those close to the crown, a cold wind began to chill the air. A gentle breeze at first, it grew in intensity, until the doors to the great hall were blown off of their hinges. As the guests leaned into the wind, a figure entered, riding the winds like some great bird of prey.
- The torches set about the great hall ignited with blue flame and the visage of Medivh was revealed. As he set down in front of the King’s table, the guard sprang to their feet. A mere pass of his hand kept them motionless - frozen in their places. The sorcerer, now a man, explained that his years of sleep had ended. The years of constant tending from the clerics of Northshire Abbey enabled him to gain control over his powers. When his spirit and body became attuned, he awakened himself, and set out to Stormwind Keep at once. Medivh explained that he had come to repay the court for the kindness it had shown to him while he was in their keeping, and to acknowledge the occasion of the Ascension ceremony for Prince Llane. From within his flowing cloak he produced an hourglass, crafted of deepest obsidian, with sands as white as undriven snow. The young prince looked closely, but although the sand seemed to constantly sift from top to bottom, the lower half never filled, and the top never emptied. Medivh claimed that these sands represented the people of the kingdom, and so long as the glass never emptied, the reign of King Wrynn would not fail.
- Six years passed, and the land slowly grew sick. Crops began failing in the richest soils of the kingdom. Children were stricken ill and never fully recovered. Even the moods of the subjects of Azeroth seem dark. The weather would become unseasonably cold during harvest, and the summer sun scorched the earth and made working out of the shade almost unbearable. Neither cleric nor conjurer could fathom what could be the cause of this change in the lands. More and more people became disheartened, and what once would have been looked over, now caused bitter argument.
- During a bleak morning, Prince Llane rushed to his father’s side, carrying the hourglass. During the night, the sands had run down from the top, and it was near emptied. King Wrynn took the glass into his hands, and a chill ran through the very core of his being. As the last sands trickled to the bottom of the glass, a great crashing sound was heard at the gates of Stormwind Keep. Suddenly, the grounds were filled with hideous creatures. Gross deformities, a cruel reflection of humanity, they swarmed over the King’s guard and tore them to shreds. King Wrynn sent Llane and Queen Varia with an escort of knights to Northshire Abbey, promising to call for them when the foul beasts had been destroyed. That day has not yet come.
The Reign of King Llane and the Orcish Invasion
- At the age of twenty years, Llane is pronounced King of Azeroth. His task is clear - to rid the lands of these creatures. The few that have survived battle refer to themselves as Orcs. When questioned, they will tell little else, and prefer death to releasing information. They are cruel, sadistic and vile - making no distinctions between soldier or child, warrior or woman. They will slay anyone who they encounter without a second thought. The only humans who do not fall to the Orcish blade are those who are taken to the swamps that have festered in the east, where the Orcs have made their encampments. What they do with these people is unknown, though the worst is feared for none have ever returned.
- Nearly ten years of skirmishes and raids along the Borderlands have kept the people of Azeroth wary, but the Orcish hordes had been beaten back into their swamps. King Llane has found that the Orcs, though incredibly strong and vicious, were seldom well-trained in combat, and always disorganized. This has been the key to holding them at bay, and is the weakness he hopes to exploit in the future. The mystery that no Cleric or Conjurer had found the answer to, though, is the origin of these creatures.
- In the tenth year of his reign, King Llane is visited by the mysterious traveler. She has come to the King with a warning that she hopes will aid him in his fight against this nemesis to his land. The coupling between the King’s Conjurer and herself was intended to create a child that she could pass her knowledge and power onto before leaving this place. She did not count upon other forces in this world, and others, that would seek to dominate the child. He has now become a beacon of mystic power.'
- She sought him out only a fortnight before, and found that the powers that course through his veins have twisted him, making him insane. Realizing the threat he now posed, she was forced to attempt to destroy him. He all but slew her.
- The battle left both combatants drained, but Medivh held enough power to banish her from his sight, and command her never to return. His magics were strong enough that even she cannot break this bond, and so can offer no aid in his downfall. The traveler also informs King Llane that it was Medivh who was responsible for the coming of the Orcs to Azeroth. During the battle with his father, he inadvertently opened a gateway to the domain that they, and many other foul creatures, call home. The Orcs are disciples of chaos, however, and not even Medivh has the power to control them.
- Although the battle has Medivh in a greatly weakened state, the traveler warns that there will be a time when Azeroth will be forced to deal with him. Her parting words to the King were of her hope that the sorcerer would not become so strong, by that time, that the whole of this world would suffer.
- Stirrings of war now come from the swamps. The attacks upon our settlements, once scattered and poorly-executed, have become more organized. The King has found it necessary to send footmen and archers to protect settlements along the Borderlands. Rumors of the rising of a great Orcish War Chief have been heard about the land. He is heard to be a harsh leader who has gathered the feuding Orcs under one banner. King Llane’s scouts and spies have found him to be as cunning as he is bloodthirsty. This foul creature’s name is Blackhand, and his control of the Orcish hordes could spell doom for Azeroth. The King has ordered me to seek out new recruits to train in the rudiments of combat, for the time has come to call upon the people of Azeroth and prepare the kingdom for war.