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View Poll Results: Best alliance interpretation / worst alliance interpretation
Best: Dwarven Clans 3 30.00%
Best: Lordaeron 2 20.00%
Best: Alterac 2 20.00%
Best: Gilneas 2 20.00%
Best: Kul Tiras 2 20.00%
Best: High elves 5 50.00%
Best: Dalaran 3 30.00%
Best: Stromgarde 1 10.00%
Worst: Dwarven Clans 2 20.00%
Worst: Lordaeron 1 10.00%
Worst: Alterac 1 10.00%
Worst: Gilneas 2 20.00%
Worst: Kul Tiras 2 20.00%
Worst: High elves 1 10.00%
Worst: Dalaran 1 10.00%
Worst: Stromgarde 1 10.00%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 10. You may not vote on this poll

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  #76  
Old 11-26-2015, 06:49 PM
Yaskaleh Yaskaleh is offline

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Have you seen my climatic map (the one I posted in my thread)? I based it on this exact idea, because honestly, it is the only way that one can make sense out of Azeroth other than "magic did it".
I would imagine that the equator runs by the tip of Stranglethorn cape, thus allowing for a non-tropical Elwynn.

You can even sort of explain the desert zones around it. Deserts and savannah does occur north and south of the tropical equatorial area. Why Elwynn isn't hotter than it is can be explained by having near constant winds from the north drawing in cold and dry air. This meets the moist and warm air from the equator and greater rainfall occurs which then helps in making an savannah into a hotter forest.
This would fit with how Stormwind got it's name. The windy area it's built into.

The dwarven lands would then be situated on Sahara level but it's climate can be explained by it's elevation.
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  #77  
Old 11-27-2015, 03:24 AM
Marthen Marthen is offline

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I would imagine that the equator runs by the tip of Stranglethorn cape, thus allowing for a non-tropical Elwynn.

You can even sort of explain the desert zones around it. Deserts and savannah does occur north and south of the tropical equatorial area. Why Elwynn isn't hotter than it is can be explained by having near constant winds from the north drawing in cold and dry air. This meets the moist and warm air from the equator and greater rainfall occurs which then helps in making an savannah into a hotter forest.
This would fit with how Stormwind got it's name. The windy area it's built into.

The dwarven lands would then be situated on Sahara level but it's climate can be explained by it's elevation.
I believe so, although as I said, I would place (and did so) the equator a little bit more south. But it really depends on the exact size of Azeroth. Is it as large as Earth? Smaller, and if so, how much? All of that really depends on the author, as Blizzard left us little to no clues regarding the scale and size of the world.
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  #78  
Old 11-27-2015, 09:28 AM
ijffdrie ijffdrie is offline

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For a moment, let's assume conventional physics (unless specifically stated otherwise). Azeroth's gravity is close to that of Earth. It could be a fair bit lower (explaining the abundance of mega-fauna in the food-poor barrens, the ridiculously massive armors, and elven jumps), but not much higher. Let's be rough and say it could be between 85 and 105 percent of Earth's gravity. If planetary density is the same as Earth's, that would also mean that the volume is 85 to 105 percent of Earth's. That allows us to calculate that the circumference would be somewhere between 38000 and 41000 kilometers.

Of course, that's assuming that Azeroth and Earth have similar planetary densities, which is unlikely to be the case. Even when compared to the already ridiculously metal-rich Earth, Azeroth seems to have an over-abundance of metals. It also seems to have more surface water when compared to Earth though, so that should compensate that a bit. Assume the density to be within 125% of Earth's (it really can't be much higher, since otherwise you'd have a planet with the density of iron), and you end up with a minimum circumference of around 35000 kilometers.

This is all assuming base physics work anything like the real world, and there's no planetary-scale magical manipulation of such physics around Azeroth.

And all assuming I did the calculations properly. I'm a programmer, so that's unlikely.
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  #79  
Old 11-27-2015, 11:13 AM
Marthen Marthen is offline

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I am not as much versed in these matters as I would like, but I would say you did fine. Those calculations are very close to those I did for my project, which left me at the circumference of 37 400 km, with the gravity being 90 percent Earth's gravity (I choose that number to explain the problematic of larger armor/fauna/flora etc you mentioned).
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  #80  
Old 08-05-2016, 01:31 PM
Two77Clash Two77Clash is offline

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Welp.

First of all, I apologise if this is considered necro-posting, and if the moderators see it fit, please delete this post. I just could not sit back and not say anything and ask a few questions in hopes that Ramses is still working on this reimagining.

But anyway, here's what I have to say:

This fanon is amazing. Hell, after reading through this topic, I am pretty much ready to throw the official canon lore into the trash can and consider Ramses' take on things to be the superior way to keep the legacy of WCIII and to a certain extent what Vanilla-WoW represented (nostalgia's a dangerous thing, and all that) alive. You have rekindled my love with the universe after many years of disappointment and sadness caused by the latest twists and turns of the official retail in-game canon. Kudos to you!

And so, here's a few questions for Ramses:

1) Are you still working on this project, and if so, what is its current state?
2) Perhaps a silly question, but not asking this would be incredibly rude and inconsiderate: would you mind if I used your reimagining of Azeroth, its history and factions as a background for some of my personal fanfiction (which I am planning to release as soon as I've got some meat around the bones ) and tabletop campaigns, with some possible minor changes to introduce the story-telling element of history being written from varying points of view within different factions? Credit will obviously be given where credit is due.
3) Your map of Azeroth, is the file still available somewhere? I tried to download it via the hyperlink found in this thread, but it lead me to a no longer available download site. This truly saddens me, as I would love nothing more than to get to study such a detailed version of the map of Azeroth

I suppose that's all for now! Sorry if all of this seems a bit... intrusive I suppose would be the right word. I truly hope you don't mind, though.
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  #81  
Old 08-05-2016, 02:04 PM
ijffdrie ijffdrie is offline

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Welp.

First of all, I apologise if this is considered necro-posting, and if the moderators see it fit, please delete this post. I just could not sit back and not say anything and ask a few questions in hopes that Ramses is still working on this reimagining.

But anyway, here's what I have to say:

This fanon is amazing. Hell, after reading through this topic, I am pretty much ready to throw the official canon lore into the trash can and consider Ramses' take on things to be the superior way to keep the legacy of WCIII and to a certain extent what Vanilla-WoW represented (nostalgia's a dangerous thing, and all that) alive. You have rekindled my love with the universe after many years of disappointment and sadness caused by the latest twists and turns of the official retail in-game canon. Kudos to you!
Well, I'm happily surprised I had such a positive effect.

Quote:
And so, here's a few questions for Ramses:

1) Are you still working on this project, and if so, what is its current state?
I've occasionally still been working on it, though thanks to a chronic case of being easily distracted, nothing is really in any postable state. What I've got is
-A system of metaphysics, explaining how magic works, who gets his powers from where, etc.
-A rewrite for my earlier posts. Not really changing anything fundamental, just trying to make everything a bit more orderly and readable, plus adding some of the cultural stuff I've worked out.
-Evolutionary history of everything and everyone.
-Story plans.

Quote:
2) Perhaps a silly question, but not asking this would be incredibly rude and inconsiderate: would you mind if I used your reimagining of Azeroth, its history and factions as a background for some of my personal fanfiction (which I am planning to release as soon as I've got some meat around the bones ) and tabletop campaigns, with some possible minor changes to introduce the story-telling element of history being written from varying points of view within different factions? Credit will obviously be given where credit is due.
Feel free.

Quote:
3) Your map of Azeroth, is the file still available somewhere? I tried to download it via the hyperlink found in this thread, but it lead me to a no longer available download site. This truly saddens me, as I would love nothing more than to get to study such a detailed version of the map of Azeroth
Here you go, current (barely any more updated) version.
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  #82  
Old 08-06-2016, 02:53 AM
Marthen Marthen is offline

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I have noticed you placed a Stromgarde controlled island fortress close to Tyr's Hand the way I placed it in my maps. Another coincidence? There are already too many.
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  #83  
Old 08-06-2016, 04:04 AM
ijffdrie ijffdrie is offline

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I have noticed you placed a Stromgarde controlled island fortress close to Tyr's Hand the way I placed it in my maps. Another coincidence? There are already too many.
Oh no, this one actually copied from you . It was a good way to handle the Tyr's Hand situation.
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  #84  
Old 08-16-2016, 06:04 PM
ijffdrie ijffdrie is offline

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I've been thinking about the Broken Isles and what to do with them.

On the one hand, there are enough interesting additions to the world that I'd love to put them in my plans. On the other hand, the broken isles, as implemented, don't really make a lot of sense in the greater lore scheme (see options below for details). So, I've got five options, presented in increasing order of extremity:

Option 1: Keep the broken isles in the position they were given in WoW. This doesn't make a lot of sense with Warcraft II, where their proximity to Balor was rather notable. In addition, there's the problem of climate (even by WoW standards it's bizarre, especially since one of the zones is supposed to reflect the natural state of the world), and the issue of the island being right next to the human kingdoms while it's home to several factions that humanity supposedly hadn't had contact with prior to warcraft III. Plus, it'd still be inconsistent with the shape it had in Warcraft III, and thus be weird to call the broken isles.
Option 2: Move the broken isles southward, in their current state, towards Balor, making it one of the channel isles. This fixes the warcraft II continuity issue to some degree. Just have the broken shore between Balor and the main Legion questing isle. It fixes the climate issue. It does not fix the warcraft III shape thing, and unless you make the Legion island absolutely tiny, it kinda clutters the map. Moving it even closer to human lands exacerbates the colonization issue though.
Option 3: Same as the above, except instead of just the broken shore, you have the small archipelago from Warcraft III. So, going north to south, you'd have the Main legion isle, then the archipelago, then Balor. With a bit of moving and rotation, you can keep Suramar pointed at the location of the Warcraft III location of the tomb of Sargeras. Basically just an excuse to keep the warcraft III shape.
Option 4: This is the one I have on the current version of my map. It's like option 3, except that I removed the zones of Highmountain and Azsuna, which removes most of the issues with contact with human civilization, but not the colonization issue. The removed zones would be turned into separate islands (Highmountain is the small island next to Tel Abim, Azsuna is those two islands to the north-east of Kalimdor). You could easily justify there being no night elves for the humans to meet in Val'sharah, because the druids are supposed to be sleeping.
Option 5: Carve the broken isles up even further. Val'sharah ends up much closer to Kalimdor. Only Suramar and possibly Stormheim remain. You can justify human colonization with just that. Suramar has a spooky magic shield that normal humans probably want to stay far away from (with potentially some mysterious disappearances by attempted settlers), while most of what we see of Stormheim in Legion is supposed to be the result of relatively recent construction. However, this screws with some of the continuity (like Val'sharah and Suremar being within walking distance of one another, since the former is where Malfurion, who lived in the latter, was supposed to have met Cenarius)
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  #85  
Old 08-16-2016, 06:48 PM
Noitora Noitora is offline

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Broken Isles are find. Your ideas are bad.
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  #86  
Old 08-17-2016, 05:55 AM
Marthen Marthen is offline

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Well, if you do not mind using yet another thing from my work (you are certainly welcome to), you can use my own explanation.

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By the way. I have a theory (to explain why so different zones with so different cultures are next to each other) that before the Sundering, those zones were in different parts of ancient Kalimdor, but after the Sundering, they slowly drifted closer and closer thanks to the power of the Pillars of Creation, which each zone has one. For example, Stormheim was formerly somewhere closer to the Howling Fjord etc.
Basically, the islands have only assembled as shown in World of Warcraft very, very recently. Probably around the time of Cataclysm.
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Old 08-17-2016, 10:21 AM
ijffdrie ijffdrie is offline

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Well, if you do not mind using yet another thing from my work (you are certainly welcome to), you can use my own explanation.
Eh, that still leaves a few problems. One of the zones is Suramar. That must originally be somewhere in the vicinity of/part of/replace the Warcraft III broken isles, since that featured some of the ruins of Suramar (identified as such in-game). Suramar is also where Malfurion grew up, which means that Val'sharah must be within walking distance of it (since Malfurion walked there to meet Cenarius)
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Old 08-17-2016, 10:32 AM
Marthen Marthen is offline

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Eh, that still leaves a few problems. One of the zones is Suramar. That must originally be somewhere in the vicinity of/part of/replace the Warcraft III broken isles, since that featured some of the ruins of Suramar (identified as such in-game). Suramar is also where Malfurion grew up, which means that Val'sharah must be within walking distance of it (since Malfurion walked there to meet Cenarius)
Not really a problem. Nothing's saying that Suramar can't be very close to those islands Gul'dan raises during the Second War, nor that Val'sharah can't be pretty close as well (well, it depends on what you call walking distance, but I suppose 100 km can qualify as that, that's about three days of travel by foot, perhaps even less for an elf).
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Old 08-17-2016, 01:35 PM
Thornedale Thornedale is offline

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My take on the Isles is rather close to Marthen's in effect, but not necessarily the cause and the framework: these lands were brought together by pure mythopoeic accretion, post-Sundering. I mean, just look at this place: a world tree in an enchanted forest, an exceedingly high sacred mountain, what amounts to be a vrykul promised land/doorstep of both honourable and dishonourable afterlives... and an already magic-soaked City with its ruined outskirts (both Aszuna and the outlying islands). Each a reality upon itself, each of an utmost importance to a corresponding culture/group, sewn together like a patchwork blanket by Maelstrom's energies due to a peculiar aberration of the Memory.

Generally speaking, it is, of course, a matter of preferred metaphysics and whether you want to play around with various concepts or just have a more "natural" environment. There can be a reasonable conjunction of both, I believe.
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Old 08-19-2016, 02:26 PM
Ol'Yoggy Ol'Yoggy is offline

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I always felt Stormheim and Suramar could have been magically hidden (Elisande using the nightwell to hide it from the world and Odyn using his magic). Azusna I would have had raised from the sea. Not sure how I would have preserved Highmountain or Val'sharah
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Old 08-21-2016, 07:32 PM
MisterCrow MisterCrow is offline

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I always felt Stormheim and Suramar could have been magically hidden (Elisande using the nightwell to hide it from the world and Odyn using his magic). Azusna I would have had raised from the sea. Not sure how I would have preserved Highmountain or Val'sharah
I think if I were driving this train, I'd push back against having more continents magically concealed to prevent settlers, since that's already been done with Pandaria. If it's just a matter of wanting to keep them off the maps, it can just as easily be explained by "no one who's settled there has ever returned." Maybe the Nightwell causes a Bermuda Triangle effect where instruments stop working properly and ships just vanish. And maybe it's the Shattering that changes that.
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Old 12-19-2016, 04:28 PM
ijffdrie ijffdrie is offline

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SURPRISE UPDATE LOVELY LADIES!11!!!

Today, we're going to do something weird. We're going to step into a time machine that also travels through space, as we are going to take a look at the Draenor of ages past. Specifically, we're going to look at the orcish clans prior to the rise of the horde. This includes old favorites, but also the clans that were only ever offhandedly mentioned.

Orcish Clans before the Age of Chaos.
A very brief history of the orcs
Not much is known of early orcish history, as few records created by the orcs themselves have survived into the modern era. There are some early cave paintings, but these limit themselves to tales of individual hunts, legends or conquests, not comprehensive histories of their creators. As a result, most of the knowledge of early orcish history comes from the writings of the Gorian Empire. Thus, to cover orcish history, we must first understand ogre history.

The ogres originate from one of Draenor's southern continents, which they have named Goria. It is a desert wasteland, where life can only survive around sparse oases and isolated glades. In ancient times, it was ruled by giants. The ogres of this era were nothing but slaves, forced to either serve the self-proclaimed god-kings or be eaten by them. This was until the rise of Gog, who would be named Godslayer, who led the ogres of the north in rebellion against their monstrous overlords. He is regarded as the first Gorian Emperor (and was the first ogre to be deified), as, over the course of many centuries, the clans he had freed would claim the whole continent for themselves.

The Gorian Empire is founded on the basis of glorifying the ogre species. Never shall another species force ogrekind into service. Never shall another species stand in the way of ogre needs. That is the way of the Gorian Empire. Other races do exist within the empire, but only as slave or servant castes, to be tolerated only to the extent that their existence benefits the ogre race.

Goria is not a rich land, lacking in resources beyond its considerable metal deposits and a few odd spices. It was only natural that, in time, ambitious ogre eyes would start looking towards the outside world. The first colony to be established was on the island of Ro-Godal, bringing with it a bounty of food and other resources that had been all but unknown to the empire at large. That's to speak nothing of the thousands upon thousands of slaves brought back from this land, forced to work the quarries so the empire's cities could expand ever more rapidly. In an instant, the warmaul clan, which had established the colony, had become ascendant in the empire, second only to the imperial clan. Naturally, every other clan started looking to claim their own lands beyond Goria, leading to a vast colonization rush.

It was slightly over a thousand years ago that the ogres first came upon the home continent of the orcs, establishing the colony of Nova Goria upon its south-western shores. During this era, the heart of the continent was controlled by the mighty Apexis civilization. The Gorian Empire, ever-hungry for slaves and conquest, foolishly declared war on the Apexis. Thus was born the War of Heavenly Fire.

It was during this war that the first recorded interaction with the orcs occurred, as a number of ships sent to scout the Zangar Sea reported nightly raids by small (from an ogre perspective) green humanoids. Despite their stature and primitive weaponry, these creatures managed to take on Gorian legionaries in one-on-one combat, swiftly overwhelming the night guard on the ships they attacked and absconding with as many foodstuffs and weaponry as they could carry.

There is not much more info from this era, as the ogres swiftly lost the war. Their legions may have been numerous, well-trained and well-armed, but they were no match for flying fortresses with solar death rays (in their defense, the Gorians didn't actually know about these when they declared war). Nova Goria was annihilated, and the clans of the empire withdrew to squabble among themselves, eventually leading to the first Gorian dark age. Though the apexis undoubtedly had some contact with the orcish race, no records of such are known to have survived the mysterious end of Apexis civilization. As such, no contact with the orcs have been recorded for the next few centuries, and the first detailed reports of orcish civilization would have to wait until the second Gorian attempt to settle the northern continent.

By that point, the orcs had largely split into two groups. The northern clans were nomadic hunters. Though they always struggled with the titanic forces that shaped Draenor, they survived through equal parts cunning and savagery. The Thunderlord, Whiteclaw, Laughing Skull and Frostwolf clans are modern descendants of this cultural mindset. By contrast, the southern clans were sedentary, having established villages throughout the southern forests. They isolated themselves from the shaping forces for safety, allowing their civilization to expand. The Bleeding Hollow, Fireblossom, Shadowmoon and Twilight's Hammer clans are modern descendants of this cultural mindset.

Like had happened with the Apexis, the returning Gorian ogres saw the orcs as an opportunity for expansion. Unlike the Apexis however, the orcs did not possess vast flying fortresses armed with solar death beams, inexhaustible construct armies, or the assistance of a living god. The small and unorganized (much more so than the modern clans) orc clans were an easy match for the ogre legions. Huge swaths of the continent fell before their onslaught, with the majority of the orcish race being either killed or enslaved. Only by retreating into the most remote and dangerous wilds of Draenor do any of the clans survive, though often at great cost.

For three long centuries, the free orcs were forced to survive in the harshest environments on the planet. Most clans died out, starving or broken. But the few clans that survived grew strong. Many of the modern clan identities emerged during this era, shaped by the nigh-impossible demands of survival. In time, the orcs learned not just to survive, but to prosper. They grew in numbers once again, and expanded. They had become equal matches for the gorian legions, and reclaimed much of their old lands from the ogres, often integrating liberated slaves into their clans.

Unbeknownst to the orcs, their martial prowess was not the only factor that allowed them to retake much of their homelands. It was also partially due to the emergence of the northern continent's other two great powers: The Draenei and the High Arakkoa.
The draenei were a race of refugees from another world, arriving in Nagrand in what looked like a falling mountain. War between the ogres and draenei seemed inevitable, until the leader of the draenei, the prophet Velen, was granted a personal audience with the imperator. What was said in that meeting has never become known, though the imperator recalled his troops, and granted the draenei a plot of land along the continent's largely unclaimed eastern coast.
The High Arakkoa were distant descendants of the Apexis. Though the Apexis civilization collapsed, a handful of arakkoa seem to have survived along the outskirts of its territory in Tanaan. These High Arakkoa possess little of the technology of their ancestors, but they were zealous warriors, capable of winged flight and powerful magic. Regarding the Spires of Arak as their sacred birthright, they assail the ogre colonies in the region, conquering them in a swift holy war.

Any of these events could have brought instability to the Gorian Empire, which has long regarded itself as the world's only true power. But having all three happening at once led to a level of chaos not seen since the failed war against the Apexis. Smelling weakness, several of the more powerful clans raced to overthrow the imperator. Distant colonies declared themselves independent. Untold numbers of slaves made use of the instability to start their own rebellions. The second Gorian dark age had begun.

Many of the ogre colonies in the northern continent had declared themselves independent, hoping to take advantage of the instability to eke out their own empires. They attacked one another, remaining imperial outposts, local orc clans, the high arakkoa and the draenei. It was a time of chaos and shifting borders, marking the transition from Ancient Draenor into Modern Draenor. The Gorian Empire retained control of Western Nagrand and northern Frostfire. The draenei ended up in control of much of the southern parts of the continent, which they would reshape through powerful magic. The High Arakkoa claimed their sacred homeland of Arak for themselves. The rest of the continent was split between various clans of ogre and orc, the latter slowly but surely expanding.

An Oversight of Modern Orc Clans of the Northern Continent (in order of decreasing size)
Blackrock Clan: By the standards of eastern Azerothians, the Blackrock clan are the most modern clan of orcs. Controlling much of northern Gorgrond, they have a highly developed infrastructure, allowing for the creation of several massive cities, something almost unheard of among the other orc clans. Their society is much more heavily organized than that of other clans as well, with a formal legal system, a loose caste system (with an actual divide between civilians and warriors) and official diplomatic and trading relations with numerous orc and ogre clans.
Though they are the most powerful of the orcish clans, they are also among the youngest. A little over two hundred years before the opening of the dark portal, a pact of ambitious, young Whiteclaw village chiefs openly rejected the traditional ways of their clan. Taking their followers to northern Gorgrond, they would establish a new clan that eschewed traditional ways. To expand their clan, they started raiding nearby ogre outposts, liberating large quantities of slaves, most of whom joined the new blackrock clan, bringing with them knowledge of ogre society.
The blackrock clan is most well-known for their mining and blacksmithing, done at a scale and a level of quality not seen in other clans. Militarily, they use a cross between orcish and ogre doctrine, using heavily armored shock troops, backed up by small pockets of highly mobile warriors. To escape the heat of the sun and the threat posed by the creatures of Gorgrond, they have expanded upon ogre mining technique to dig massive underground burrows.
The Blackrock have long-running alliances with the Thunderlord and Lightning's Blade clans, good relations with the Twilight's Hammer and Mok'nathal, something of a friendly rivalry with the Bleeding Hollow and Fireblossom, and bad relations with the Whiteclaw and Shattered Hand.

Bleeding Hollow Clan: The Bleeding Hollow Clan is the archetypal orc clan. Starting out as a set of small, independent villages along the coast of the Tanaan Peninsula, they were forced to flee deep into the savage jungle to escape the advancing ogre legions. Banding together for survival, the clans eventually learned to survive in this savage new land, and in time, even learned how to thrive.
The strength of the Bleeding Hollow comes from their mastery of the wilds of Tanaan. It is said that a bleeding hollow hunter can pass through the jungle without disturbing a single leaf. Every plant and beast is understood, avoiding the dozens of ways it can kill an orc.
To survive the jungle, one must be fluid and adaptable. The traps that may disable a riverbeast will not suffice against an ogre expedition. The lightning-fast assaults necessary to overwhelm arakkoa before they can make full use their flight capability do little against the ancients. To survive, one must be able to quickly ascertain which strategy is needed, and immediately implement it. On the battlefield, this makes the Bleeding Hollow warriors very adaptable and hard to predict, able to adapt many roles and switch between them fluidly. They also use their knowledge of local flora to create a number of concoctions to aid them in battle, the most famous of which is their usage of zangar spores to create so-called dire orcs.
The Bleeding Hollow have no true allies, but are among the few clans to trade with the Bonechewers and Laughing Skull. They have a friendly rivalry with the Blackrock Clan, and not so friendly rivalry with the Fireblossom Orcs.

Shadowmoon Clan: Whereas other clans have been shaped by hardship, the Shadowmoon have been shaped by relative peace. Their home, the Shadowmoon Valley, was largely seized by the draenei during the second Gorian dark age. The draenei, possessing magic and technology the orcs of that era could only dream of, reshaped much of the land, neutering or even entirely removing many of the dangers that marked the rest of Draenor.
Without these threats, the Shadowmoon were able to dedicate themselves to spiritual issues, to the point their entire society now revolves around the practice of shamanism. Various shamanic groups focus on different spirits, ranging from ancestral spirits, beast spirits to the four great elemental spirits. However, the most important of these is the spirit of the orcish race. Because of this, the shadowmoon have taken onto themselves the task of providing spiritual guidance for their entire race. They were the ones who organized the first Kosh'arg festival at the Mountain of Spirits, and who built the Throne of the Elements. Aspiring shamans of many clans undergo Clan'garok with the Shadowmoon, hoping to study under their great spiritual leaders. As a result, the chieftain of the Shadowmoon Clan is regarded as the elder shaman of the orcish people.
In the rare battles they fight, the Shadowmoon rely upon he power of the spirits. Weapons burn with blessed flame or crackle with heavenly thunder. Great packs of lupine spirits are called forth and unleashed upon the enemies of the orcs in a tidal wave of ethereal fang and claw.
The Shadowmoon are almost universally respected by the other orcish clans, and the Elder Shaman is the closest thing to a leader the orcish race has. Only the Whiteclaw, Laughing Skull and Redwalker openly reject the spiritual leadership of the Elder Shaman, though in practice he has little influence on the Twilight's Hammer and Bonechewer as well.
The relation between the Shadowmoon and draenei is somewhat odd. Though the Shadowmoon know that the enigmatic creatures are responsible for creating the safe haven in which the clan developed, they also know that they did this by bending nature to their will through gross magical force. As a result of that, and the lack of communication between orcs and draenei, the Shadowmoon regard the draenei with careful distrust, though not aggression. The draenei likewise keep a respectful distance from the orcs.

Whiteclaw Clan: The Whiteclaw Orcs are the orcs of Farahlon. They are an ancient clan, dating back to the era before the second Gorian colonization attempt. This legacy is a source of immeasurable pride for the clan, with most other clans regarded as young upstarts with little regard for how true orcs act. The Whiteclaw still maintain the clan organization of ages past, with numerous mostly-independent villages and nomad groups dotting Farahlon. Normally, each of these groups has its own chief. The clan only has a true chieftain in times of crisis, with the various chiefs coming together to elect one of their own number 'warchief'.
On the battlefield, the Whiteclaw operate in small, coordinated packs. Each village and nomad group trains its warriors to work in tight concert with one another. The job of the warchief is then to organize and coordinate these groups.
The Whiteclaw are not fond of most orcish clans. Only the Frostwolf and Thunderlord clans are regarded with some level of equality, as their lifestyle most resembles the ancient orcish ways the Whiteclaw still follow.

Thunderlord Clan: The Thunderlord are the dominant clan in Frostfire, and another example of typical orcish history. When the Gorian empire assaulted the coasts of Frostfire, the native orcish fishing clans were forced to retreat into the harsh interior of the region. The wastes of Frostfire are all but devoid of resources, and, at the time, filled with herds of deadly giants. Most of the fleeing orcs died from starvation or being crushed. However, a few young hunters came upon the idea of using the giants themselves for resources. Using chains and ropes, they managed to climb one of the mighty beasts, and took him down. On his flesh, they feasted. From his skin and bones, they built a home. Thus was born the Thunderlord Clan.
Over the centuries that followed, the Thunderlord perfected techniques for bringing these creatures down using teamwork and quick, overwhelming assaults. No kill was ever easy, but each provided the clan with resources to build a new life amid the wastes. In time, as the clan came to thrive, the giants were all but hunted to extinction, small towns built out of their carcasses covering the length and width of the wastelands.
In battle, the Thunderlord operate in small, highly mobile packs. Natural barriers are no hindrance to them, as their warriors are trained in traversing the mountains of frostfire, and using height differences to their advantage. Their weaponry, especially their iconic spears, was made to deal death from on high. They are also quite skilled as beastmasters, with their raiders being second only to those of the warsong clan, as well as commanding a whole host of other creatures.
The Thunderlord are allies of the Blackrock, and have a friendly relation with the lightning's blade clan.

Fireblossom Clan: The fireblossom are a naval clan, originating from the archipelago between the Tanaan and Shadowmoon peninsulas, and sharing a common ancestry with the Bleeding Hollow. Whereas other clans have learned to thrive in their savage homelands, the Fireblossom have learned to tame and neuter it. The deadly jungles of their home island of Zeth'kur have long been burnt away, leaving only simple trees and a handful of groves that grow the plants necessary for Fireblossom alchemy.
It is this alchemy that gives the Fireblossom their strength in battle. Hollowed out trees filled with highly incendiary powder are used as primitive cannons, wooden caskets with the same as primitive bombs. These weapons make the Fireblossom ships the only orcish vessels able to contend with imperial ogre vessels, likewise making the Fireblossom the only clan to engage in naval trade.
Though the Fireblossom trade with most orcish clans, they have very few friends among them due to differences in philosophy ("Our dangerous world makes us strong" vs "We are strong so make the world less dangerous"). The perceived softness of the Fireblossom has led the nickname of "Flowerpicker Orcs". The Bleeding Hollow have a particular hatred of the Fireblossom, as the latter have tried to establish several colonies along the southern coast of Tanaan, which the Bleeding Hollow see as their territory. At times, this conflict has even escalated into full-out war.

Warsong Clan: A relatively young clan, formed by warriors of several clans banding together to form a united front against the Gorian Empire. The Warsong see the ogres as the ultimate existential threat towards the orcish race, which needs to be driven off or exterminated if the orcs are to truly thrive. Though the Warsong clan is relatively few in number, they can always count on eager warriors looking to make a name for themselves to undergo Clan'garok with them. Times where over half of the clan's raiding arms were composed of warriors born of other clans are not uncommon.
The Warsong know they cannot beat the empire in straight-up battle, instead forming several highly mobile raiding bands that harass the edges of ogre territory.
The Warsong are close allies of the the Burning Blade and Bladewind Clan, and often grudgingly cooperate with the Shattered Hand Clan, who have similar goals, but use methods the Warsong and their allies perceive as honorless. They hold great hatred for the Twilight's Hammer Clan, and are disdainful towards the Laughing Skull and Mok'nathal, all of whom count ogres or half-ogres among their number. They are also somewhat wary of the Blackrock Clan, whose culture was heavily influenced by ogres.

Twilight's Hammer Clan: The second Gorian Dark Age was a time of chaos for the empire, the northern colonies in particular. Many of the most ancient and established clans turned upon the imperator, seeking to claim supreme command of the empire for themselves. Other clans sought to break away from the empire entirely, claiming their own destiny (and, usually more importantly, taxation system). Many of the Gorian slaves of this era took advantage of the chaos to try and rid themselves of their captors, leading to a swath of violent uprisings throughout the empire. Among the more notable of these was the Bloodfall rebellion, in which a group of imprisoned ogre noble dissidents banded together with the orcish mining slaves to escape. The two groups have stayed together ever since, forming a joint orc/ogre clan.
The strength of the Twilight's Hammer comes from combining the strengths of the two races. The most iconic tactic of the Twilight's Hammer Clan is the Hammer&Anvil, in which a fast-moving division of orcish warriors ensures the enemy cannot escape the slow but unstoppable onslaught of the ogres. As the ogres of the Twilight's Hammer are noble-descended, magic runs strongly in their blood, and the Twilight's Hammer counts many ogre mages among their ranks. There's even been some rare cases of discovering magical talents among the orcs, who are then accepted as equals among the clan magi. The magi of the clan work together with orcish shamans and ogre geomancers, making the Twilight's Hammer Clan a magical juggernaut.
The Twilight's Hammer are not very popular with the other clans. Aside from the general dislike of ogres among the orcish clans, there is also the matter of Twilight's Hammer spirituality. While they officially acknowledge the Elder Shaman of the Shadowmoon Clan, in practice their views of spirituality have been heavily affected by Gorian mysticism and philosopher-cults.

Frostwolf Clan: Most orcish clans have given up on the nomadic ways. There are three exceptions to this: Whiteclaw, Redwalker and Frostwolf. The Whiteclaw make the journey because it is tradition. The Redwalkers make the journey because it is necessary. The Frostwolves make the journey because the world is too beautiful to limit oneself to just one places.
Summer is spent in Nagrand, when the steppes are in bloom and the power of the elements sings throughout the land. Autumn is spent traversing Terrokar and Gorgrond, as the primals have reached the apex of their bloom. Winter is spent in Frostfire, when the wolves have grown hungry and stalk the night. Spring is spent traversing Gorgrond once more, seeing the first bloom of primals, and the apex of breakers. This journey is not made for the sake of survival, but for the sake of spirituality, seeing the nature of Draenor at its strongest and most vibrant. The difficulties of the journey are worth it to see the beauty of the land.
The long journey and the difficulties it provides has forged the Frostwolf orcs into excellent warriors and hunters, being capable of sustaining themselves in some of the world's most dangerous environments. They are aided in this by their loyal wolf companions, for which the clan has been named. The frostwolf have a much closer connection to the animal spirits than most other clans, and are thus capable of working alongside animals without having to tame them. However, while individually skilled warriors, the frostwolf have little experience with large-scale warfare. They claim no territories they would need to defend, and skilled scouts prevent the Frostwolf from ever having to meet enemies head-on.
The Frostwolf are a respected clan, but not a well-connected one. While most clans, even the Whiteclaw, regard the Frostwolf positively, there are no formal bonds of alliance or friendship. The only clans that the Frostwolf do not get along with are the clans almost no clan gets along with: Laughing Skull, Bonechewer and Redwalker.

Shattered Hand Clan: The youngest clan of the Northern Continent, the Shattered Hand Clan was founded less than a generation before the opening of the dark portal. The Gorian Empire has long had a tradition of using slaves for gladiatorial combat. Several ogre clans subside entirely on supplying the arenas, raiding orcish villages for proper warrior stock and selling them in the major cities. The largest arena on the Northern continent lies in Highmaul, the regional capital of Magrommar. Thousands of gladiatorial slaves were kept beneath the arena, to be used in a great variety of battles.
One of the orcs imprisoned beneath the arena was an orcish warrior named Kargath, champion of the arena. So desperate was he to escape Highmaul, he eventually cut off his own hand to free himself of his shackles and make his escape. Other imprisoned gladiators would follow suit, and soon a slave rebellion was born. The Shattered Hand burned and slaughtered their way across the city of Highmaul, escaping into Nagrand after having exerted a deathly toll upon the Gorian Empire.
Since that grizzly day, the Shattered Hand have not stopped waging their war. They know they cannot defeat the Empire in open warfare, thus they instead strike from the shadows with equal parts cunning and savagery. Noble families butchered in their sleep. City wells poisoned. Slums and farms set ablaze in the night. Particularly important are the raids on slave compounds, as these allow the Shattered Hand to expand their numbers.
Shattered Hand orcs are easily recognizable by their mutilated bodies. Most of the original rebels lost a hands to escape their shackles, which would later be replaced by a weapon. Many of the freed slaves who chose to become Shattered Hand warriors later would voluntarily smash and cut off one of their own hands to follow this tradition (those who are not warriors generally don't do this, because having two hands is kind of a requirement for proper craftsmanship.). From this came forth a tradition of self-mutilation as a celebration of victory. As a result, experienced Shattered Hand warriors are covered in a patchwork of scars and piercings.
The Shattered Hand has no traditional allies, for they are a young clan. They do find themselves working together with the Warsong on a semi-regular basis, as the two clans share a common arch-enemy in the form of the Gorian Empire. Despite this, the two clans don't really get along, as the Shattered Hand rely on methods the Warsong deem dishonorable.

Laughing Skull Clan: The Laughing Skull are an odd clan. While their history and culture are fairly typical fair for an orcish clan, they feel little kinship or connection with other clans. They do not participate in the Kosh'arg and they do not maintain trade relations with other clans. As such, the Laughing Skull are something of a giant question mark for the other clans, who generally choose to stay clear of them (though that also has to do with the Laughing Skull choice of habitat).
The Laughing Skull live in the southern regions of Gorgrond, where the primordial forces that shaped Draenor still clash together in a never-ending war. Even orcs generally know that this is a place they better stay far away from. Not the Laughing Skull though. They approach the world with an odd sense of indifferent amusement, actively attacking and baiting primals, breakers and fungals, whom they use for resources. The Laughing Skull don't fear death, but embrace it, with the members of the clan wearing the skull of fallen brothers.
The Laughing Skull has little contact with the other clans, only engaging in very sparse trade with the Bleeding Hollow Clan, and they do not engage in the kosh'arg festival. As a result, the Laughing Skull are a bit of a question mark to everyone, and they tended to be judged by the actions of their more deranged cousins of the Bonechewer Clan. For their own part, the Laughing Skull feel little kinship with the other orcs.

Mok'nathal: The Gorian Empire was founded on a basis of Ogre supremacy. Other races only have the right of existence insofar as they are useful to the empire. Giants and gronn cannot be tamed, so the empire kills them. Ogron make loyal, dependable servants, so have been granted many positions of honor (though never of power). The orcs are somewhere in-between these groups. While they provide high-quality slave labor, they are very hard to control, and orcish slave rebellions have never been infrequent.
During the height of the Gorian Empire, an attempt was made to 'improve' the orcish species so they would become more 'civilized' (read: More easily forced into servitude). Because of the Gorian world-view, they regarded the only logical course for 'improving' the orcish species to be to somehow mix them with 'superior' ogre essence. Every year, thousands of slaves were brought to the magisters' laboratories, to be experimented upon. Most died. Those that survived tended to do so as unstable, mindless monstrosities. However, after nearly two decades of experiments, the magisters achieved success, allowing for artificial interbreeding of orcs and ogres. The result were called Mok'Nathal, named for the deified imperator Nath.
To test the capabilities of the Mok'nathal, they were put to work in a borderlands mine located in Gorgrond. While they would prove to be capable slaves, having greater strength and a more even temperament than the orcs, the empire would never pluck the fruits of their experiments. The second Gorian dark age would cut the empire off from their experimental slaves, and the half-ogres were left to fend for themselves.
Despite, or perhaps even because of their artificial origin, the Mok'nathal seek personal connection to the natural world, particularly to animals. The greatest beastmasters of the Northern Continent originate from the Mok'nathal clan, and many orcs of various clans have undergone Clan'garok with the Mok'nathal to learn their ways. Some of these have remained with the clan permanently, leading to the clan having a minority of normal orcs in addition to its majority population of half-ogres.
The Mok'nathal have good relations with the Blackrock Clan and Lightning's Blade Clan, though they tend to keep mostly to themselves. They do not engage in the Kosh'arg festival, but do accept Clan'garok. Any who seeks to join them must find his own way to the Mok'nathal village.

Burning Blade Clan: The largest of the three (four, if you count the redwalker) blademaster clans. The blademaster clans are something akin to orcish monasteries or sufi sects. Their villages have been established in somewhat secluded areas, leaving the shamans of the clan to fully dedicate themselves to very specific understandings and narrow aspects of orcish spirituality. While there are many shamans among the clans that dedicate themselves to only a specific element, the blademaster clans have an even more tight focus.
In the case of the Burning Blade, this spiritual understanding is focused on the magma that lurks within the world's mantle, of fire overtaking earth and becoming one with it. Those with the shamanic and warrior talent to do so may become blademasters, powerful elemental warriors that draw their power from their understanding of magma. Burning Blade blademasters are masters of focused destruction, their every strike augmented with the heat of Draenor's core.
The burning blade are allies of the Warsong clan, and spiritual brothers of the Bladewind and Lightning's Blade Clan.

Redwalker Clan: Ever feel like you don't have enough pyromania in your life? Come join the Redwalkers today! Like many orcish clans, this clan formed after the ever-expanding Gorian empire forced the orcs to retreat into the most dangerous and savage areas of their home continent. The Redwalker Clan was formed from those orcs that lived near the southern edge of the Spires of Arak, and were forced to retreat into the fungal marshes that occupy most of the coasts of the region.
The Fungal marshes of Draenor are the most dangerous regions on the planet. The species that live there are strong, intelligent and posses powerful abilities. Worse, the spores that fill the air can kill you in an incredibly diverse number of ways; numbing your mind until nothing is left, rotting your body from the inside, taking over your brain, causing suffocation by attaching themselves to the inside of your lungs, etc, etc. But there is one thing that all these fungal creatures are vulnerable to: Fire.
Fire started out as merely a tool for survival for the Redwalker orcs, but has since become so much more. It is worshiped and beloved, equal parts sacred guardian and inspiring muse. Redwalker spirituality is much closer to monotheism than the pantheism that marks general orcish spirituality. Their fire priests are known as pyremasters. They also have their own group of blademasters known as pyre warriors.
The Redwalkers feel no kinship with the rest of their race. Even the Burning Blade gets little respect from them because of the differences in belief (While the Burning Blade spirituality also focuses on the element of fire, the Burning Blade still acknowledge that it is only one part of a greater whole, which the redwalkers do not). Unbeknownst to the redwalkers themselves, they are regarded with a small measure of respect by a number of High Arakkoa priesthoods.

Bladewind Clan: The smaller of Nagrand's twin blademaster clans, this one dedicated to studying the spirits of the wind. They make their home in a village on a plateau near Nagrand's southern shore, where the wind can suddenly and unpredictably change between breeze and gale. Most Bladewind orcs spend their entire life securely tethered to the ground, with only shamans, blademasters and those aspiring to become either walking freely.
Blademasters of the Bladewind clan can become one with the winds around them, dissolving themselves into a swift breeze, striking with the force of a whirlwind, or even create images of themselves from living wind. They are masters of stealth and misdirection.
The Bladewind are allies of the Warsong clan, and spiritual brothers of the Burning Blade and Lightning's Blade clans.

Bonechewer Clan: An offshoot of the Laughing Skull clan that has taken their philosophies to ludicrous levels. The Bonechewers are the single most disliked orcish clan, for one simple reason: They eat people. And not just out of the need for survival. Plenty of orcish clans have a little bit of necessary cannibalism in their history. No, the Bonechewer eat orcs because they enjoy death.
To the Bonechewer, death is not something to be feared, but embraced. Their warriors adorn themselves with the broken bones and ruined organs of victim and brother alike. They charge into battle fearlessly, generally throwing themselves at the enemy in wild abandon, laughing all the while. Either they inflict death, or become one with it. Either is fine with a proper Bonechewer.
No one likes the Bonechewer orcs. Most clans will attack their members on sight, for they know there is a good chance the Bonechewers would attack them. Only the Bleeding Hollow trade with the Bonechewer, and only very rarely. The bonechewer only occasionally send a representative to the Kosh'arg, as other clans do not accept Clan'garok from its members. For their part, the Bonechewer accept anyone willing to join, though that usually isn't a lot. It would take a race-wide bout of madness for the Bonechewer to ever become an appealing clan.

Lightning's Blade Clan: The smallest modern orcish clan of historical note. The Lightning's Blade clan is a minor blademaster brotherhood that controls a small village in western Gorgrond. Their initiation rites are so rough that they have kept the clan's numbers very limited, as each aspiring warrior needs to stand on top of a nearby mountain and be struck by lightning at least three times. Few survive. Of those that do, many do so because of their close connection with the spirits, allowing them to become blademasters.
Despite their small size, the Lightning's Blade is not a clan to be ignored. Almost all of the few warriors in the clan are blademasters, each of whom commands the power of lightning, allowing them to rain death and destruction unto all who oppose them.

Clan'garok
Though most orcs stay in the same clan from birth till death, this is not true for all of them. Twice a year, representatives from most of the orcish clans gather at the mountain of spirits in Nagrand. With them, they bring youngsters that seek to undergo the rite of Clan'garok, after which they join a different clan. For most of them, their new clan will only be a temporary home to learn some skills or prove themselves before they return home. However, a few decide to stay with their new clans. The most popular clans to join in Clan'garok are the Warsong and Shadowmoon Clan. The former is appealing to young warriors who seek to prove themselves in battle, the latter is appealing to aspiring shamans who want to study under the Elder Shaman. The Thunderlord and Blademaster clans are also appealing for the skills they can teach their members, though this requires a much longer commitment.

Many of the most notable orcs in history underwent Clan'garok, including its first two warchiefs:
-Blackhand, along with a number of other Blackrock warriors, spent three years as a Warsong Raider. Upon their return home, they would become the first members of the now-infamous Sythegore Arm, the Blackrock raider force.
-Orgrim Doomhammer spent five years among the Thunderlord hunting packs, even having attained the position of commander before his return. While his advancement among the Blackrock forces had stalled prior to his clan'garok, his time with the Thunderlord brought him to the forefront again, leading to the rise of power that would see him become warlord of the Blackrock Clan and, eventually, warchief of the horde.

Orcs beyond the north
While the Orcs originate on the Northern Continent, it is no longer their only home. The Gorian Empire has, over the centuries, captured many thousands of orcs to use as slave labor, or to fight in the gladiatorial pits. While most of these orcs stayed in the Northern Continent, some were brought back to Goria as trophies of war. These now form one of the continent's many minor slaves castes.

Design stuff and notes
Clans
Welp, that was a lot of typing. As you have read, a lot of WoD lore was incorporated, as were the clans mentioned in Rise of the Horde. I made the Whiteclaw and Fireblossom relatively powerful clans to fit with one of the plot points in that book, which explained that Durotan was drawn into the horde primarily because that would convince other moderate clans to join it. These clans would be the Whiteclaw and Fireblossom (the shadow council also hoped for the Shadowmoon), with all three moderate clans crossing the dark portal shortly after the initial invasion. That didn't end up working out for the horde (see the first war post), and the prospect of joining the invasion of Azeroth lost appeal to a lot of the remaining Draenor-side clans. This would in time lead to Orgrim's desperate search for allies after the first war, but that's a story for another time.

The Bladewind made for a convenient explanation for why the powers of the WCIII and WoD blademasters had so very little in common. The Lightning's Blade Clan was thrown in there as well, for the dual excellent reasons of having the word 'blade' as part of their name, and because it provided a good reason for why they would undergo such a ridiculously suicidal joining ceremony.

Hybrid Races
Oh, and since I mentioned the Mag'harian half-ogres, we should talk a bit about the design ideas behind hybrid races in general. Inter-species hybrids have been a part of warcraft lore since all the way in the first game, so any interpretation of canon should include integrate them. However, the free inter-breeding between species, as shown in some post-WoW lore, doesn't really seem to fit the portrayal. Firstly, racial hybrids are consistently indicated to be rare bordering on nigh-unique, despite the fact that some races have been living right on top of each other for centuries. Secondly, there is a complete absence of later-generation hybrids (aka, there are no humans with a bit of elven descent, which if free inter-breeding between species was possible, should compromise a large chunk of the Dalaranian populace). Thirdly, the range of hybrid races is notably limited, with some fairly logical mixtures (human-dwarf, dwarf-gnome, goblin-troll, harpy-quilboar) having shown no sign of existing.

So, I had to look for an alternate explanation. Some WoW lore (harpies and storm peaks vrykul) suggests matri-linear species inheritance (similar to how it works in the Elder Scrolls universe), but that wouldn't fit with the fact that hybrids clearly exist. One possibility was that inter-breeding needed exposure to magic to work, which would work decently well, but still wouldn't quite fit the demographics portrayed. However, that's when I half-remembered a bit of old lore from the RPG books (Horde Player's Guide), which stated that the first half-ogres were deliberately bred as part of some project[1].

That, coupled with the existence of haemonculi in the warcraft universe, gave me the idea. In this take on the setting, natural inter-breeding between species is generally impossible[2]. Instead, hybrid races are actually artificial creatures, created in a manner similar to haemonculi. Figuring out how to combine two species is actually a pretty tricky process, and the interest in such research is fairly limited, so that's why you only see a fairly limited range of inter-species hybrids. Half-dwarves simply haven't been invented yet (They were almost finished, but then Archimonde crushed the laboratory and everyone involved was eaten by ghouls, which was a fairly significant research setback)

Fertility of inter-species hybrids depends on how they were designed. Half-ogres are inter-fertile with one another, but not inter-fertile with either orcs or ogres. Half-elves are generally made to be inter-fertile with humans (since those are the majority population in places half-elves live), but that is done by making the parts involved in that whole thing fully human, meaning any offspring would similarly be fully human (even if born of two half-elves).

This has a number of implications in-universe. Firstly, making a hybrid is not an easy process, and there's only a few organizations with both the skill and the equipment to reliably do it. In the eastern kingdoms, there's only the mages' guild of Dalaran, and they charge a pretty copper for such services. As a result, most half-elves tend to be born of well-off Dalaranian families, with a few born of lord-merchants in Kul Tiras. Half-elves are almost never encountered outside the major cities of the northern human kingdoms, since they face a decent amount of prejudice in other areas. The creation of half-elves is outright forbidden in the kingdoms of Azeroth (using magic to distort the human form), and rural populaces tend to be somewhat distrustful of the results of magic in general. Thalassian elves don't really have anything against half-elves, but they are not regarded as full elves, and are thus not given free entrance to Quel'thalas.

On Draenor, the knowledge of creating hybrids was historically limited to some of the more experimental magisters of the Gorian Empire. While the mages of Dalaran have some ethical guidelines regarding the growth of artificial beings, this is not true of the Gorian magisters, whose experiments were frequently callous, horrific and dangerous. Couple this with their lesser command of magical theory, and you can start to imagine the horrors that spawned as a result of some of their experiments. On the plus side, the facilities for such research haven't been present on the northern continent since the second Gorian dark age. That is, until the rise of the Shadow Council and the creation of Garona, but that's also a story for another time.

Kezan also has the facilities to grow artificial creatures. However, while some research and experimentation regarding inter-species hybrids has been done, most research has been focused towards modification rather than mixing. Hobgoblins and Gilgiblings are the result of such experiments. Mogu, Mantid and Naga use similar processes, and are even more advanced in their application, as they are capable of altering creatures post-natally.


[1]: I say half-remembered because I didn't remember the bulk of the explanation. That's okay though, since it didn't make much sense and was contradicted later in the book.
[2]: Keyword being generally. A human and a vrykul are close enough that inter-breeding might be possible. Harpies can get pregnant from any race, but the offspring will always be pure harpy. However, such cases are exceptions. A pandaren is not going to be able to get kids with a jinyu, a human, a gnoll, a naga or even a furbolg.
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Old 12-19-2016, 04:41 PM
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Old 12-19-2016, 04:56 PM
Mutterscrawl Mutterscrawl is offline

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I LOVE the stuff with "Clan'garok" that you whipped up Jiffy, excellent references to the old lore.
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Old 12-20-2016, 02:34 AM
Marthen Marthen is offline

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Jeff, the Clan'garok thing is interesting, but I do not think the Sythegore Arm should be a part of the Warsong Clan. The Warcraft II manual clearly states that Blackhand was the chieftain of the Blackrocks at the same time he was a Raider in the Arm, plus if we take Warcraft Adventures into equation, Durotan and Orgrim should be members as well. That does not add up, if you ask me. But, of course, it is your work, so take this just as a friendly note.
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Old 12-21-2016, 08:17 AM
ijffdrie ijffdrie is offline

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marthen View Post
Jeff, the Clan'garok thing is interesting, but I do not think the Sythegore Arm should be a part of the Warsong Clan. The Warcraft II manual clearly states that Blackhand was the chieftain of the Blackrocks at the same time he was a Raider in the Arm, plus if we take Warcraft Adventures into equation, Durotan and Orgrim should be members as well. That does not add up, if you ask me. But, of course, it is your work, so take this just as a friendly note.
Aw dang, you're right. Making edits.

Actually, I think I can use this as a good extra bit of backstory for the dissolution of the horde raiders.
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Old 03-18-2017, 07:38 AM
ijffdrie ijffdrie is offline

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Today, we're going to talk about magic in the warcraft universe. More specifically, we're going to look at arcane magic as practiced in the eastern kingdoms by the self-declared civilized races: Humans, Mountain Dwarves, gnomes and High Elves. The focus is going to primarily be on the first of these, but the magical arts of the others will be covered to some extent as well. This is meant to be written only with information available in-universe to the general magical public prior to the age of chaos. Let's say that these are excerpts from a standard introductory text written by Associate Master Thryn Goldthread of the mages' guild, with the target audience being well-educated non-magical human individuals. You won't find deep magical secrets here.

How do you become a mage?
The common Azerothian understands one's capacity to learn magic is dependent on the presence of an inborn talent. If you don't have the talent, you will never learn to toss fireballs. This belief is sufficiently accurate, but not entirely so. In truth, magical talent is not a binary system where you either have the talent or do not. Instead, it exists in a spectrum. Every sentient creature has magical talent, which could come to fruition with sufficient training and education. However, it's just that for most people, said 'sufficient training and education' would take more time than available in a single lifetime. Those identified as 'being born with magical talent' are simply those whose talent is sufficient to be taught in a reasonable amount of time.

To add further complication to the question of talent, the spectrum of magical talent is not one-dimensional. It is not a question of power levels. One can be vastly talented in the manipulation of one particular type of magical energy, while barely being able to use others. One can be talented at drawing magic energy, but not be able to weave that energy into proper spells. The reverse is also possible, with some individuals having a talent for weaving magical energies while barely being able to draw them. This variation in magical talent has made devising an efficient test to test its presence an exercise in frustration. Almost every institute has its own methodology for general testing, and all are generally considered to be frustratingly insufficient and inaccurate[1][2].

The quality of the test is however not the biggest hindrance to potential applicants finding their way to a magical institution. That hindrance is the fact that very few people ever undergo any kind of test. The only city in which having your children tested is truly standard is Dalaran itself, and even in the three other hubs of human magical activity (Stormwind, Caer Darrow, Hydoros) it is still uncommon. In other cities or rural areas, it is nearly unheard of, and it is only through luck that one can discover to have magical talent.

Maybe you live in a city, and a passing mage can see the arcane power building beneath your eyes. Maybe you live elsewhere or possess slightly less talent, and are starting to see odd things, such as a strange purple line hanging in mid-air, an odd blue symbol on an ancient wall or, most commonly, a bright glow coming from the eyes of your local priest. With luck, either you or someone you know will know what these signs mean, and you will know that you possess talent. However, such cases are lucky exceptions, depending on symptoms and knowledge that are usually not present. Our friends at the Kirin Tor have estimated that less that one in forty rurals that exhibit sufficient talent ever receive training, and I'd argue that this estimation is almost shamefully optimistic. Most peasants throughout Azeroth simply don't know enough about magic to recognize the signs of talent. In some places, magic is distrusted. And even if talent is recognized and accepted, it might simply not be possible to study. Your family might need an extra hand on the farm a lot more than you are thought to need an education.

As a result, the vast majority of mages tend to have been born city-folk, and the vast majority of those tend to be from one of the four major hubs of human magical activity. Because magical talent is partially inheritable, cities with a larger mage population also have a higher degree of new magical talent being born. Dalaran naturally has the largest concentration of magical talent, with the inner city being estimated to have one-thirtieth of the population possessing sufficient magical talent.

Of course, magical talent is not enough to make you a mage. You also need training and education. The place where you're from tends to determine where you seek an education. If you're from Dalaran or Lordaeron, you will most likely seek education at the Kirin Tor, mage's guild or sorcerer's league, with a few exceptionally religious individuals seeking to become one of the guardians at Caer Darrow. If you're from Stormwind, you generally have little choice but to seek to apply to the wizard's sanctum and from there, one of the towers or Northshire Abbey. That is, unless you're from Balor, from where most people seek out the hydromancer's academy in Hydoros, where most Tirassian mages study as well. All of these schools are quite readily accessible, offering education in return for labor. Aside from these major academies, there are also a few minor institutes of magical learning. Gilneas is home to numerous magical societies[3], which also exist in lesser numbers throughout Lordaeron, Dalaran and Kul Tiras. Dwarven holdmages generally take a small number of apprentices, but many talented lower hold dwarves are instead made to seek out an education among the humans. Most disreputably, there are a number of so-called hedge mages, who represent no tradition of formal education. These may take apprentices or share some basic magical knowledge if they deem fit. Sadly, in the nations of Stromgarde and Alterac, there is little choice of education beyond these peddlers of irresponsible magic.

If an academy has been found, you are ready to begin your schooling. Don't expect to start throwing around fireballs in your first semester. Early practical education is focused almost exclusively on the simple act of drawing magical energy, while early theoretical education focuses on explaining the differences between the various kinds of magical energy, and how to draw them out. When one has gained some degree of skill with basic energy manipulation (and, for about half the students, learned how to read), the true magical education starts. Curriculum differs heavily between academies, though the kirin tor, hydromancers and conjurers all share the concept of one-third practice, one-third education and one-third corvée (labor performed in return for your education).

It generally takes a bit over ten years of education before you can truly call yourself a mage (some do it in as little as eight, and even taking as long as fifteen is nothing to be ashamed of), though you are by no means a master.. If you're rich enough to not have to spend time working in addition to studying, you can cut this down by a few years, but not by many. The reason for this is that you need a lot of daily practice to fully master your control over mana.

[1] - Note that this is only for the general tests, meant to test large amount of applicants. Wealthy or powerful applicants will be able to get far more thorough and accurate testing, it's just that such a process would take over a week per applicant.
[2] - As a result of this, and the difficulties in defining 'sufficient magical talent', there are no reliable statistics on what percentage of the civilized world's population actually possesses sufficient magical talent.
[3] - Gilnean magical societies generally only accept aristocrats as full members, though a few include talented peasants serving as attendants.

Sidebar: elementalists
I mentioned that some mages have a strong magical preference towards a specific element. If this preference is strong enough that they are barely capable of using any other type of magic, these mages are classified as 'elementalists'. elementalists are most common among humans, with dwarves not far behind. These races already have something of a racial preference to begin with, with humans tending strongly towards water magic, while dwarves have something of a preference for fire magic, and their elementalists are almost uniformly skewed that way as well. Elves and gnomes, who have no known racial magical preference, only rarely produce elementalists.

Sidebar: Spellhands
For those without sufficient magical talent, it may take decades to learn even the most basic type of magic, but it still happens occasionally. A few eccentric nobles may purchase the tools to perform daily practice, but most of these untalented mages are born of the violet guard of Dalaran, whose soldiers interact with magical items on an almost daily basis. Mages who learn magic through such exposure are known as spellhands. Their energy manipulation capacities tend to be minimal, but they are often highly skilled at the handful of spells they are capable of casting.

Technically, almost the entirety of the elven race consists of spellhands. Contrary to popular belief, elves have no greater innate magical talent than humans, but their long lifespan coupled with daily interaction with the energies of the sunwell means that all but the most talentless pick up at least a little magic over the course of their life. Because of the universality of this, elves are rarely actually referred to as 'spellhands'.

What is magic?
Now there is a tough question. The sad answer is that even after thousands of years of using it, we don't really know what magic is. We do know a lot of things about magic, and there have been many attempts to formulate a true framework for magic, but none of these has become commonly accepted. As such, we can only go over some basic facts.

The basis of all arcane magic lies in the ley line network, a massive network of energy veins that connects all of Azeroth. Ley lines are not physical objects, but paths of energy just beneath the surface of reality. Ley lines come in various strengths and degrees of staticness. Some are coursing rivers of power, forever locked in place. Others move along with the stars in heaven, connected by invisible threads to distant worlds. A few move without any apparent guidance, changing periodically, or even apparently randomly. Most ley lines are constant, while others open and close at periodic intervals, or experience massive surges of power when aligned with another ley line. Ley lines can be found at various 'depths' of reality, with some close enough to the physical world to constantly seep energy, while others are deep enough that nothing but outside interference can usher forth even the tiniest drop. Yet again others are odd, only allowing some types of energy to seep naturally. We do not know why ley lines show so much variety.

All ley lines together form a network, through which flows an untold number of magical energies. Within a ley line, these energies are found as a mixture, known as 'arcane energy' (easily recognized by its iconic purple color). While arcane energy is incredibly useful on its own, the key to accessing the full possibilities of magic is being able to draw individual types of magical energy from the arcane mixture. The different types of magical energies are present in varying quantities. The ones with the greatest presence are referred to as the 'elemental' energies, and consist of the four traditional elements (fire, earth, water, air) plus life. Ten more types of energy have a significant presence in the ley stream, and are referred to as 'decial' energies. The remaining energies, referred to collectively as 'minor' energies, consist of a vast variety of energies present in only very minor quantities. No one knows how many types of minor energy there are, but several thousand have been discovered thusfar. We do not know why magical energies are present in differing quantities, though the prevalence of elemental energies make many suspect that they may be tied to the elemental realms (and that we are either living in the elemental plane of life, or have not discovered it yet).

Magical energies are affected by the mind of the one that is calling them forth. This process is known as 'shaping'. The way a magical energy is shaped determines how it affects the world. Movements and invocations can be used to affect the mind of the caster, in turn affecting the shape of the spell, but mages with sufficient practice can perform spells without this. We do not know why magical energy is affected by mental states.

While every type of magical energies is unique, there is a certain range they all have in common. The magical energy that consists solely of that which all magical energies have in common is known as 'mana'. Every type of magical energy can be turned into mana, and mana can be used to fuel any kind of magical energy. Because of this, even minor magical energies can be used to fuel powerful spells.

There is a lot of crossover between different kinds of magical energy. For example, a mage is able to create a fireball using fire energy, either of two decial energies, or any of 63 discovered minor energies. However, each energy produces a slightly different kind of fire. Some are hotter, some are brighter, some have odd properties. The standardized fireball spell mixes no less than thirteen different energies for optimal effect, and experienced combat mages often customize the spell even further.

The final trait of magical energy we'll discuss here is 'seeping'. To put it most simply, when magic enters the world, trace amounts of magical energy tends to seep into nearby physical objects. For this reason, crystals that form in the vicinity to ley lines often contain large amounts of natural arcane or mana energy. Mage towers need to be grounded using long metallic rods that run the entire length of the building, to prevent a magical charge from building in its walls, which can have disastrous results. Mages themselves are also affected by seeping, which is what creates the glowing eyes possessed by elves and powerful human and dwarven mages.

The elves of Quel'thalas exploit seeping through their arcane sanctums, which create artificial magic powders or crystals. Unlike natural crystals, crystals created through arcane sanctums can be limited to specific types of arcane energy, giving them far greater utility. The iconic orbs that orbit every arcane sanctuary are used to tune to specific energies, though the less common the type of energy, the longer it takes to generate a crystal for it. The Ravenstone, the large black gem found on the Gilnean royal crown, took almost two years to generate. There have been numerous attempts by humans and dwarves to create their own versions of arcane sanctums, and while some were successful, none even approaches a sanctum's level of productivity.

How do you cast a spell?
Basic modern spellcasting is based on something called 'the three-step process', which describes the basic procedure for casting most spells.

Step 1 - Drawing: You draw the magical energies involved in the casting of your spell. Some spells use only a single type of magical energy, while others mix and match energies for optimal effect. Such mixed spells will usually have a single dominant type of magical energy though. Spells without dominant energies tend to be somewhat unstable and unpredictable, and are known as 'chaos magic'. They are seldom used outside of combat, where they are difficult to protect against.

Step 2 - Shaping: You shape the magical energies into the shape they need to be to achieve the effect you want. This is where all the invocations, movements, reagents, magical circles and other complications tend to come into play

Step 3 - Fueling: Finally, you fuel your spell by channeling mana into it. This step is the easiest, but also the most exhausting.

The three-step process is a generalization, describing a majority of standard spells. However, even among the more common spells, there are exceptions. Arcane spells, which use pure arcane energy, don't need to be fueled using mana (since you can just draw more arcane energy, instead of first converting energies into mana, and then into the appropriate specific energy). There are a number of minor spells that are weak enough to be cast using just the energies extracted from the ley line, with no need for additional mana conversion. These spells are known as 'cantrips'. There is also runic magic, which separates the final step from the first two, as the creation of a rune can be done days in advance.

Many wizards use staves, wands or orbs that were created in a way to make the three-step process easier. Most of these items are lined with filigrees that are capable of shaping magic without the need for the caster to do so manually, making the casting of a particular spell significantly easier. More expensive channeling items, particularly those created by the dwarves, may include several separate filligree paths, each shaping magic in a different way. Some items include power sources, which can handle the fueling phase, allowing for a caster to cast many more spells than he usually could. The conjurers of Azeroth are known to create items that are capable of performing all three steps, and which can be used even by non-mages, though the time, resources and effort required to creature such items make them rare and prohibitively expensive.

What mage groups are there?
I will now give you a list of names for the members of various magical organizations. Note that these only represent the organization itself, not magical specialties.

Archmage: Archmages are the senior mages of the Kirin Tor, the largest human magical research organization. Because of the extensive role of the Kirin Tor in Dalaranian society, its archmages are trained to be equal parts administrator, researcher and wizard. While typically not especially notable as combatants, the kirin tor's general education is next to none, and archmages are well-educated. The Kirin Tor's standard combat curriculum consist almost entirely of water spells, and few archmages have enough of an interest in battle to expand their knowledge beyond that. However, as the archmages are charged with maintaining the water elementals that guard Dalaran, they have extensive knowledge of summoning and empowering these fearsome creatures.
Because the Kirin Tor lacks a term for general membership, 'archmages' is occasionally used to refer to all members of the Kirin Tor.

Chemist: The royal chemistry society in Gilneas is the oldest and most prestigious of the magical societies to have been given official status by the Gilnean royal family. They are not exceptionally notable as mages, with a broad but shallow knowledge of magic, but they have an excellent knowledge of alchemical and magical theory, and the originators of a great deal of the more popular theories regarding the framework of magic.

Conjurer: The Conjurers are a set of Azerothian wizards, based from their iconic towers. The Wizard's Sanctum in Stormwind City is the largest and most important of the towers, as it is where every conjurer starts his training. After mastering basic magic, a conjurer may choose which tower he joins, with each having a different specialty. The Wizard's Sanctum studies elemental energies and the elemental planes, having done more than any other organization to pierce the secrets of these elusive realms, even having created artificial water elementals known as simulacrums. The tower of Ilgalar studies the secrets of flesh, and is well-known in the magical world for its studies into the magical properties of dragons and the creation of homunculi. The tower of Azora specializes in a variety of scrying magics. The tower of Mortwake specializes in summoning and teleportation. Finally, some conjurers also choose to join the clerics of Northshire, who seek to pierce the secrets of magic. Officially, conjurers serve the interests of non-magical citizens more than other mage groups, and have produced a number of spells that are highly useful to non-mages. However, the mage towers are actually among the more isolated magical groups, rarely interacting with anyone but nobles.

Court Mage: Alterac has a very long (and occasionally very dark) tradition of hedge magic. Though shunned by the general populace, some nobles may deign to take a hedge mage into their court to provide them with useful services. The hedge mages of Alterac have a long tradition of powerful alchemy, turning the herbs and metals of Alterac into powerful draughts and elixers. Like other hedge mages, the hedge mages from Alterac often use spells shunned by the greater magical community, such as powerful but difficult to control lightning spells, or morally abhorrent mind-afflicting spells. There have been some attempts by Alterac nobles to set up local mage circles with the idea of creating an organization for Alterac mages, but these attempts generally end with a popular uprising or a successor of the organizing noble canning the idea.

Druid: The druids of Quel'thalas are an elven magical organization distinct from the magisters. They are the original creators of the runestones, powerful magical artifacts that guide and mask the ley lines that flow through Quel'thalas. To this day, they maintain these runestones and refine the flow of the ley lines, using it to guide the nature of the Eversong Woods. They are a somewhat obscure and remote organization, almost never venturing beyond the borders of Quel'thalas (a small group takes a trip to Caer Darrow and Dalaran every few years, to maintain the runestones in these locations). Druids tend to be knowledgeable about nature magic and the manipulation of animals, but their true specialty lies in their ability to use 'passive' spellcraft. Rather than casting spells themselves, they may choose to instead manipulate local ley lines to produce an effect (bring it closer to reality so that energy is unleashed, shape the ley line so as to shape the magic that comes forth). Such magic is powerful and long-lasting, as well as being difficult to interfere with, or even detect over long distances.

Guardian: The guardians of the sacred flame are a relatively minor magical organization based in Caer Darrow. They claim to be the direct continuation of The Hundred, the original order of Arathi mages (though both the Kirin Tor and Conjurers do so as well), with their arts descended directly from those taught to the ancient humans. Rather than expand the breadth of their spellcraft, they have refined a small stable of spells over the course of millenia. Because of this, they still wield destructive fire magic, like was originally taught to the humans by the elves, though with much more control and precision than in those ancient days. Fire magic is exceptionally effective against both forest trolls (Inflammable skin, and it limits their regeneration capacity) and undead (a lot of dry body parts, which are inflammable), which are their primary enemies. The Guardians are one of the monastic organizations that formed in the late city states era, when the religious divergence within humanity was at its greatest, but have since become more typical in their Light worship. They are however still independent from the Church of Holy Light.

Guildmage: The guildmages are the members of the Mage's Guild in Dalaran, the largest commercial magical organization in the known world. The Mage's Guild is responsible for the bulk of magical items used throughout the planet.

Holdmage: A holdmage is, quite simply, a mage loyal to a dwarven clan hold. Almost all dwarven mages are holdmages, with the exception of a rare few clanless hedge mages, and a number of mages serving the smiths of Ironforge. As dwarves have a natural talent for fire magic, that's their primary element in combat, though they mix in a number of old dwarven enchantments and runic spells. Holdmages aren't particularly notable as mages, with their disjointed organization preventing serious development of magical capabilities, but they know a few traditional dwarven spells that outsiders may not have knowledge of. There have been some calls to unite the holdmages into an overcoupling magical organization, though these have been blocked in the Senate by the more independent clans.

Hydrarch: The original inhabitants of the Channel Isles have a long tradition of minor magical art that predates the founding of The Hundred. This knowledge comes from sets of ancient scrolls, predating any recorded human history. Hydrarchs have become somewhat rare in recent centuries, no longer existing on Balor, and only having fairly minor numbers of Tiras (though see the hydromancer section for more on that) and Tol Barad. Only on Crestfall are they still a larger organization. Hydrarchs specialize in water magic, but different from that of the Kirin Tor. Rather than the bolts of ice and the water elementals that Kirin Tor members rely on, Hydrarchs use torrents of unfrozen water, as well as summoned mists.

Hydromancer: In the Tirasian city of Hydoros stands a tall building of gleaming stone. Once, in ancient times, it was a temple of the islander faith. In more modern times, it has become an academy for magical study, mixing several traditions of arcane study. The ancient ways of the Hydrarchs, the teachings of the Kirin Tor, and even some of the elemental knowledge from the conjurers of Stormwind are combined into a single training here.

Magister: The magisters are the magical arm of the Thalassian government. As the Kirin Tor was modeled after the elves, the two groups share a lot of their organization in common, with magisters serving as equal parts administrator, researcher and wizard. However, because of the long elven lifespan, most magisters are far more experienced than even the archmages, combining a very broad education with a thorough specialization. Magisters tend to self-organize into groups depending on their interests and specialties.
Like the term 'archmage', 'magister' technically refers only to the master rank within the organization. However, because there is no general term for membership, 'magisters' is occasionally used to refer to all members of the organization.

Sorcerer: The term 'sorcerer' is slightly ambiguous. Under its original definition, it referred to any mage whose education was focused exclusively on practical application of magic, with no magical theory or general education. More modernly, the term 'sorcerer' refers mostly to the members of the sorcerer's league, which was formed by the various sorcerer organizations in Dalaran banding together. There are however still a few groups of sorcerers who are not members of the sorcerer's league, so the term can occasionally get a little confusing[1]. Sorcerers tend to be trained for specific jobs, with some being combat mages, others using their magic to build, yet others serve as curse-breakers, etc. The sorcerer's league and mage's guild are generally not competitors. If you want a magic item created, you contract someone from the mage's guild, but if you want someone to perform magic for you, you contract someone from the sorcerer's league.

Spellbreaker: An order of elven warrior-mages from Silvermoon City. While many mages learn at least a little counter-magic, the centuries-long training of the spellbreakers far surpasses anything dreamed off in that field by non-elven mages. Though the training of the spellbreakers is a well-kept secret by the elven magisters, it need not be, for no other race lives long enough to complete spellbreaker training. Even by the standards of the elves, the training necessary to become a spellbreaker is long and difficult. Few spellbreakers have significant magical training beyond their counter-magic, instead wearing heavy armor and using enchanted weaponry to even the odds against non-mages. All spellbreakers owe their loyalty to the royal family of Silvermoon.

Thaumatist: Gnomeregan includes no native institute of magical learning. Not because gnomes have no interest in magic, but because magical seeping has proven too disruptive for the delicate machinery that suffuses gnomish society. For this reason, gnomes who wish to study magic do so in Dalaran. However, a few gnomish mages have been working on magical techniques that limit leaking, and have attained a measure of success. Returning to Dalaran, they have named themselves 'thaumatists'. They are capable of focusing and controlling magical energy to an intense degree. They are primarily combat mages, specializing in beam spells and shield spells, which both benefit immensely from their control over magic, giving them great range and powerful defensive capabilities.

Warmage: Another group of Dalaranian mages, the warmages are those mages attached to Dalaran's violet guard. They are combat specialists par excellence, using the ice spells typical of the Kirin Tor to devastating effect, while also mixing them with a suite of defensive arcane spells. The warmages also guard the violet hold, so they know many restraining spells as well. Warmages started out as Kirin Tor acolytes before joining the army, so have a decent knowledge of magical theory despite their more martial bent.

Sidebar: Wizards versus Hedge Mages
Not all mages study magic at an official institute, especially not in regions without such a center of magical study. Those mages who learn of magic outside official institutions are known as hedge mages, and are often distrusted by the general populace. They are commonly characterized as using irresponsible or e ven dark magic. Sadly, this characterization is all too often accurate. There is an official term for non-hedge mages, which is 'wizard', though it's fallen out of usage in recent centuries.

Occasionally, the line between Hedge mage and wizard can be blurry, especially when it comes to the subject of Magical societies. These societies are not large institutes of learning, but instead smaller groups of compatriots that share studies. Some magical societies, such as the Royal Chemistry Society or the Brotherhood of Magical Compatriots, are highly respected and well-learned. However, many are just local groups of hedge mages. Occasionally, especially in Kul Tiras, you get groups that straddle the line, having some form of official status, but not really having any kind of respectable knowledge of magic.

Sidebar: Harvest Witches
In the southern reaches of Gilneas, one can find an ancient, loosely organized organization known as the harvest witches. The harvest witches are masters of a set of mystical arts based around the manipulation of nature and natural energies. Isolated from the rest of Gilnean society, they rarely interact with the outside world, only occasionally coming forth to aid in times of draught. They are respected, but also a little feared, with scary tales aplenty around the fireside.

However, it's not really clear what exactly a harvest witch is. Most suspect them to be some kind of pre-Hundred magical organization, though those mages who have seen them in action often say that there is no discernible interaction with ley lines. The other logical supposition is some kind of divine magic, similar to the shamans employed by the wildhammer dwarves and the more primitive races. However, the arts of the harvest witches seem to have little in common with any known form of shamanic magic. Ignoring all the usual bunkum that pops up whenever there is a magical oddity (i.e. they get their powers from demonic pacts, they are non-humans that have donned human guises, they are some weird ancestral species), there is also the interesting theory that harvest witches draw energy from themselves, similar to dwarven mountain kings.

[1] - For example, the sorceress unit from Warcraft III is not a member of the sorcerer's league, but an independent organization

Why don't mages...
Have summoned creatures do all the work?
There are very hard limits on every known kind of summoning. Most kinds of magical creations or summons require a constant stream of mana to sustain their continued functionality. Some, such as water elementals, require rare materials to keep under control. A few, such as mana wyrms, are non-sentient and need the mage to mentally control them, which also limit their numbers. There are a number of magical creations that do work without constant energy, but these either require a long time to create (homunculi), or are rejected because of moral issues (undead).

Just teleport everywhere?
Because teleportation is actually pretty dangerous. Teleportation is the art of quickly moving objects over great distances through magic. Almost all teleportation spells involve 'submerging' oneself beneath reality, similar to how ley lines are just under the surface of reality. Longer distance teleportation spells involve letting oneself be carried by the ley lines, but this exposes you to ridiculous levels of energy that you need to shield against, and requires there be a magical anchor at your destination so you can return. There are great limits on distances teleported, and few mages like teleporting with any regularity, as a single improper teleportation can kill someone or drive them mad.

What kinds of magic are forbidden?
In general, any irresponsible usage of magic is forbidden, and every nation has at least one organization to police such irresponsible usage of magic. However, there are also five categories of magic that are considered inherently dangerous. Three of these are absolutely forbidden, two are merely restricted.

Mental Manipulation: Magic can be used to influence the connection between a being's body and soul. This can be used to manipulate sentient creatures. Using mental manipulation on a sentient lifeform is almost always forbidden, though governments are known to grant exceptions for certain services, or condone its use in combat.

Necromancy: Necromancy is a form of mental manipulation practiced on the souls of the deceased, binding them to a physical form. Generally this form is the soul's old body, and generally the binding process is done in such a way to turn the undead into a servant, but both of these are generalities. Necromancy in all its forms is a violation of natural law, is forbidden by the Church of Holy Light, and carries the death penalty under almost any circumstance.

Unbound summoning: Any summoning or creation of certain magical creatures without a means of controlling them is considered a crime. This is particularly true for summoned elementals, which are inherently hostile towards the mortal races, and may only be summoned under controlled conditions.

Void Magic: The void is the antithesis of the Light. It is an energy fueled by ego, isolation and aggression. It is not found naturally within ley lines, but mages can manipulate it if called forth in other forms. Usage of void energies carries the death penalty in most nations, life imprisonment in the rest.

Weather Magic: The weather of our world is a complex system. Any manipulation can have disastrous consequences downwind. Weather manipulation may only be practiced with crown permission. On the continent of Lordaeron, this requires the permission of all of the northern kingdoms. In Khaz Modan and Azeroth, only the permission of Ironforge and Stormwind are respectively needed. The elves have far less restrictions on weather magic, as there is almost never anyone downwind from them[1].

[1] The warmth of the maelstrom causes large quantities of sea-water to evaporate from there, creating a permanent high pressure area. As a result, wind generally comes from the direction of the Maelstrom. There are occasional exceptions to this, such as the rare ocean storms that build in the forbidding sea.



Future plans: History of the entire universe, as well as the inter-war period between the first and second war.

Also, if you have a better name for spellhands, I'd love to hear it.
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Old 03-18-2017, 10:36 AM
Ethenil Ethenil is offline

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Holy shit.

You need to become a writer for Blizzard asap.

By the way, I'd love to hear more about runic magic. I see it as the most fundamental kind of arcane magic in existence, the "building block" magic, used by the Titans to shape the world. Thus, I think dwarves should have a higher affinity for runic magic than presented here.

Am I right to assume that the author (and people in general at the time of this writing) don't understand the difference in origin of Arcane, Nature, Light and Void magic?
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Old 03-18-2017, 10:58 AM
Mutterscrawl Mutterscrawl is offline

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Really gorgeous stuff as usual Jiffy, though I am curious, how would you reconcile your teleportation magic with the way it works ingame currently, or with characters like Jaina who specialize in teleporting large groups of people across great distances?
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Old 03-19-2017, 03:59 PM
ijffdrie ijffdrie is offline

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Originally Posted by Mutterscrawl View Post
Really gorgeous stuff as usual Jiffy, though I am curious, how would you reconcile your teleportation magic with the way it works ingame currently[?]
Not at all. In general, I'm not reconciling post-TFT materials, just using them for inspiration. I'm pretty sure I mentioned this in an earlier post, but just to re-clarify, this is intended as a continuation post-Warcraft III. All the stuff from the RTS games and their manuals is to be reconciled and taken as canon, the books that expand upon the RTS timeline (Day of the Dragon, Lord of the Clans, Rise of the Horde and possibly the Last Guardian) still happened in broad strokes, and all the other stuff is inspiration. You'll see plenty of contradiction between the orc clan stuff I posted and chronicle v2 (probably. I haven't actually read it yet ), and I have no intent to edit to reconcile the 2. Similarly, I've had a rough draft of universal history, nature of magic and the shaping of Azeroth since before the original Chronicle came out. I'll take inspiration from whatever sounds great, but it's not gonna be fully reconciled (on the plus side, hey, surprises!).

If I had to come up with something though, I'd go for having the knowledge learned shortly after Warcraft III. Obviously, Jaina could not teleport groups of people between continents during Warcraft III (otherwise, the culling of stratholme would never have happened, as Arthas and Jaina would have beaten the plagued grain to the city). However, we see several times in warcraft III that powerful demons can teleport insane distances nearly at will. So maybe the secrets to long-distance teleportation were learned from the Legion, either because the secrets were taught to Scourge necromancers (in fact, isn't the first encountered inter-continental portal in WoW the one in Naxxramas?) and the alliance and horde got their hands on some cult of the damned spellbooks, or friendly warlocks managed to force the information out of summoned demons.

Quote:
or with characters like Jaina who specialize in teleporting large groups of people across great distances?
Great distances are still somewhat limited. I had an earlier post with groups of people teleporting between Northshire Abbey and Stormwind. That's roughly what I'm thinking of as near the maximum safe distance. Taking more people along requires a larger shield spell, so takes more effort. Jaina herself is exceptionally comfortable with teleportation, much like her teacher.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethenil View Post
By the way, I'd love to hear more about runic magic. I see it as the most fundamental kind of arcane magic in existence, the "building block" magic, used by the Titans to shape the world. Thus, I think dwarves should have a higher affinity for runic magic than presented here.
Runes are indeed planned to be a building block of the world.

As for dwarven affinity for runes, they have no biological one. Their old magical lore does include some runic spells not generally known to the humans, so they do use them more frequently than human or gnomish spellcasters. The elves, particularly the druids, have their own tradition of runic magic, which currently surpasses the knowledge of the dwarves. However, chances are good that the discovery of Uldaman during the age of chaos will change this. In fact, chances are good that a lot about dwarven society will change in the coming decades...

Quote:
Am I right to assume that the author (and people in general at the time of this writing) don't understand the difference in origin of Arcane, Nature, Light and Void magic?
They do not, though religious tradition does inform some views regarding the Light and Void. This post was specifically written from the viewpoint of a user of arcane magic.
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