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This article contains lore taken from Warcraft: Orcs & Humans, its manual, and official bonus maps.

This text was featured in the manual of the very first Warcraft game, Warcraft: Orcs & Humans.



Peon Icon

The lowliest of the Orcs, these dogs are good for little more than rough work. Command them to cut wood or mine the pits for gold. They also make strong laborers in the construction of all manner of buildings. They are all cowards, and will run like little children if attacked.


Grunt Icon

The first level of warrior in the service of our armies. Trained for close combat, these soldiers make excellent fodder for wading through Human forces. Use of the axe and shield is their specialty, and they are hearty fighters with a taste for blood.


Spearman Icon

Grunts trained in the use of the spear. They are faster than their ax wielding brethren, but have lighter armor so that they may move about more freely. The ability to hurl their deadly missiles across a battlefield makes them a formidable unit to employ.


Raider Icon

The most vicious of the Orcish hordes, these minions of Blackhand are trained to show no mercy. Riders of the darkwolves, these savage warriors use the speed and ferocity of their mounts to make them a deadly enemy. Faster than those who attack on foot, they have perfected the tactics of tearing through columns of enemy soldiers like a hot wind.


Catapult Icon

Destruction and mayhem are its purpose, and those who are its target will reap only death. Chaos reigns supreme as the ground shakes with the approach of these gruesome machines. Walls and buildings prove no barrier to the devastation of the Orcish catapult. Although they are sluggish and huge, your forces will prove unstoppable when you command these devices.

The Dead

The Dead Icon

When any unit is killed, it will begin to decompose and the remains will slowly seep into the ground. Necrolytes are trained in the black arts, and can raise these fallen warriors if they can reach the corpse before it disappears into the earth forever.


Necrolyte Icon

Practitioners of the Orcish religions, these binders of souls command the black powers that hold control over the earth. Linked into the dominions of the lower plains, Necrolytes have power over all things dark and evil, including the raising of fallen warriors to create armies of the undead. Through ceremonies performed at their Temples, they learn to warp the essence of shadow to use for their advantage.


Warlock Icon

If the energies of this world can be used for destruction, then the energies of the underworld could destroy Azeroth. It is this destructive power that the Orcish Warlocks use in their incantations and rituals. As the most powerful of the Orcish sects, these dark brethren of Hades go where none others dare in search of ultimate power. Their Towers hold the keys to unleashing the very essence of evil upon those they see as a threat to their devious plans. Spells that channel the fire and brimstone of hell through their bodies, or can summon forth great creatures - even daemons - are theirs to use.


Necrolyte Spells

By commanding the powers of darkness and death, tendrils of blackness stretch across the land to envelop the unwary and careless . It is upon these fools that the Necrolytes prey, filling their temples with fresh sacrifices and our armies with undead warriors.

Shadow Spear

Shadow Spear Icon

This is a spear of energy culled from the evils of the Orcish clans. When an Orc dies, his soul descends into Hades for judgment, and his essence is divided into good and evil. The Orcish Necrolytes have learned to siphon the black energies from this plane and use it for their own purposes. This weapon of darkness is the manifestation of those black souls, and causes excruciating pain to those it strikes.

Raise Dead

Raise Dead Icon

The Necrolytes have close ties to the dark forces of Hell, and in consequence study the forbidden arts of the dead. They have gained the ability to bind the bodies of the dead to this domain, creating armies of soulless creatures. With no minds to speak of, they will disdain the use of weapons, seeking to rend the flesh of those they are directed to attack with their bare boned hands.

Dark Vision

Dark Vision Icon

Wherever there is light, there is shadow, and it is this shadow that the Orc Necrolyte uses to see into places he cannot travel. Wherever the slightest shadow is cast, the sight of the Necrolyte can enter and view. The effects of this spell are limited in size, for too much knowldege of the confines of shadow has been known to forever trap the caster within the realm of darkness.

Unholy Armor

Unholy Armor Icon

This ritual invokes the recipient with a mystic armor of invulnerability. Weapons will have their effects dissipated when striking the wearer. This armor is constructed from the souls of the damned, and they absorb the pain that any blows would normally inflict upon the wearer. The price that is exacted from those who are bestowed with this invulnerability is a high one, however, for they must sacrifice a portion of their soul to act as a magnet to bind these lost souls to themselves. After some time, this binding will weaken, and those who make up the armor will be released back into their eternal torment.

Warlock Spells

The fires of hell rise up to meet the enemies of the Warlock clan. Their sorceries are rooted in the deepest pits of the underworld, and their command over flame and the monstrosities they create is a cause for great fear to their victims.


Fireball Icon

The basic fire spell which all followers of the Orcish cults (the underworld) first learn. It channels the flames of Hades through the caster’s body, allowing the wielder to direct it as a missile at anyone he chooses. It is a dangerous magik to employ, but the effects seem to delight even the lowest circle of Warlock to no end.

Summon Spiders

Summon Spiders Icon

The Warlock calls forth hordes of deadly, poisonous spiders to aid him. Several spiders come at any one summoning, and will swarm over the enemy as the caster directs. They crawl through gaps in the enemies armor and bite them with their poisoned fangs, injecting their deadly juices into the bloodstream. As the enemy falls to the ground, he literally burns from within.

Poison Cloud

Poison Cloud Icon

The caster creates a cloud comprised of brimstone, acid, and poisonous gases to envelop and choke his targets. This foul stench eats through anything that stands in its way, and chokes the very life out of anyone unlucky enough to be in its path. It is a mix of the sickly stench of rotting corpses and the essence of evil, designed to decay and corrode all that it comes in contact with.

Summon Daemon

Summon Daemon Icon

The most powerful spell ever rumored to exist. Legends say that the caster would have the ability to summon forth a daemon by allowing his body to be sacrificed to enable its existence in this plane. The daemon would then be guided by the spirit of the caster to do his bidding, but should the daemon be destroyed, the warlock’s life would be forfeit. The truth to this tale is questionable, but the incantations and rituals used to summon the creature may lay in some lost runic writings. The dream of every follower of the underworld is to rediscover these incantations and be able to command the power of the Daemon.


Town Hall

Town Hall

This is where the denizens of an encampment come to meet and make their arguments heard. The constant bickering and backstabbing that occurs here is necessary, however, for it keeps them from killing each other in the street. The Town Hall is also where the encampment’s Overseer can keep a close eye on the resources and funds that are available, and use them as he sees fit. All shipments of wood and gold are brought here for his inspection. This is also where peons are given the training to do the simple tasks demanded of them by the Orcish empire. Blackhand has ordered that only one Town Hall be allowed to stand in each encampment, so that separate factions of Orcs will not arise. If the Town Hall is destroyed in battle, another can be built to replace it.



Farms produce the grains and animals needed to keep the encampment and the army well fed. You must produce enough food to supply all of the Orcs you control. Once your peons have constructed the site, the farm will prosper with no further concern on your part. If you have a farm destroyed in battle, your ability to produce enough food will be affected.



The training of Orcish armies takes place in this structure. Grunts, Spearmen, and Raiders all practice the skills needed to slay the enemy in the cruelest form imaginable. When your forces have been depleted and more warriors are needed, fresh recruits can be found here. The crews that man the awesome catapults are also trained here, and when one of the mighty devices is required, it will be routed through here as well.

Lumber Mill

Lumber Mill

This is where the roughly cut wood supplied by the peon laborers is made usable by skilled workers for buildings, spears, and catapults. If other Orcs require specific woods for their sites, only your Lumber Mill will have the necessary workers to complete the task. When funds are directed to the craftsmen of the Mill, they can increase the quality of your spears, making them bite even deeper into the hide of the Human scum.



All objects that require the strength of iron are made here. As money is spent to build hotter forges and mine for better metals, the quality and deadliness of the axes and shields that are produced will increase. Metal is also a vital component in the construction of some Orc’s buildings and materials, and to create a site for them will be impossible without the aid of the Blacksmith.



This is the foul hole where the darkwolves are penned. They are bred and trained here from an early age to crave the taste of human flesh, making them savage when in battle. The breeding of faster and stronger wolves has become an art that greatly increases the effectiveness of your Raiders, if you will but pay the price in gold. The training of these creatures demands specific implements and cages that only the blacksmith can provide.



The unholy place where Orcs come to make sacrifices to their gods, and the Necromancers of the land gather to invoke the will of their dark masters. This is the only place where Necrolytes can be recruited to assist you in purging the land of Human settlements. The need for a blood offering has only recently been replaced by one of gold, and no assistance will be sanctioned until it is made. The immense, sacrificial alters used in the Necrolytes’ rituals must be built of the mystic Blackroot, hence a lumber mill must be used to locate and specially prepare the wood.



This is where the knowledge of the dark magiks are revealed. Warlocks reside here to focus their energies towards harnessing the forces of the underworld. Their sect demands payment in precious metals for any services they may offer, as it is then converted into the mystic symbols used in their castings. Metal cages in which to place the subjects of their experiments must be constructed, as well as the ornate metal runes that need to be built into the stone floors for their spells of summoning. Only the blacksmith can provide the needed materials and skills required to meet these exacting specifications.

Gold Mine

Gold Mine

Some rock faces hold deposits of gold. You will recognise them because Blackhand has sent searchers out, and any that were located will have an entry way clearly marked. Peons will mine these holes and deliver the gold to your Town Hall for disbursement as you see fit.

See Also

General Information

Units & Structures
Game Manual
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