World of Warcraft Ultimate Visual Guide: unofficial Timeline

This article provides an unofficial timeline of recorded important events in the Warcraft universe compiled from official timelines and all sources published by Blizzard. Blizzard has used two standards when establishing dates in various official timelines, both based on the opening of the Dark Portal.

Numbering is based on the opening of the Dark Portal, as this is the method used by the latest source. Some sources have the opening of the Dark Portal as about 25 years before the start of World of Warcraft, and other dates state that it was about 30 years before the start of World of Warcraft. This timeline is based on the 30 year standard.

Year -10,000 - The War of the Ancients
An ancient race called night elves recklessly pursue the use of arcane magic and manipulate the powers of the Well of Eternity. Their efforts catch the attention of Sargeras, the fallen titan. War erupts between the night elves, and the demonic hordes of Sargeras' Burning Legion. The Well of Eternity is destroyed, and the Great Sundering splits the continent of Kalimdor. The World Tree Nordrassil is created.

Year -6,800 - Quel'Thalas Founded
The Highborne sorcerers of night elf society are banished from Kalimdor after continuing to use forbidden arcane magic. The Banished night elves arrive in the Eastern Kingdoms, transforming into high elves. The high elf kingdom of Quel'Thalas is founded, and the high elves use a vial of water from the Well of Eternity to create a new fount of power, calling it the Sunwell.

Year -2,800 - The Troll Wars
The high elves of Quel'Thalas fight a brutal conflict with the native Amani trolls of the region. The human tribes join together to form the great nation of Arathor. Facing certain defeat, the high elves ally with the humans to combat the troll menace. The high elves teach select humans magic in exchange for their aid. The Amani trolls are defeated.

Year -230 - War of the Three Hammers
In the mountain peaks of Khaz Modan, the dwarven High King Modimus Anvilmar dies. and civil war erupts between three dwarven clans; the Bronzebeard, Wildhammer and Dark Iron. The Bronzebeard clan emerges the victor and takes control of the dwarves' capital city of Ironforge.

Year 0 - The First War
Sargeras launches another attack on Azeroth, using orcs from the world of Draenor as his pawns. Orc forces spill through the magical gateway called the Dark Portal, which links Azeroth to Draenor. The orcs leave a swath of devastation in their wake.

Year 5 - The Fall of Stormwind
The kingdom of Stormwind is unable to withstand the might of the Orcish Horde. King Llane Wrynn is assassinated, and the capital Stormwind City, is razed. The survivors, including young Prince Varian Wrynn and Sir Anduin Lothar, flee north to the kingdom of Lordaeron. Lothar tells King Terenas Menethil II of Stormwind's fall and the impending orcish assault. Terenas unites the seven human kingdoms, and later the dwarves, the gnomes, and the high elves, forming the Alliance of Lordaeron to comabt the bloodthirsty forces of the Horde.

Year 6 - The Second War
After brutal and bloody fighting, the Alliance of Lordaeron triumphs over the Horde at Blackrock Spire. Anduin Lothar is slain by orc warchief Orgrim Doomhammer. General Turalyon leads the forces of the Alliance after Lothar's death, and crushes the remnants of the Horde armies. The remaining orcs are rounded up and placed in internment camps, and the Dark Portal is destroyed.

Year 8 - The Destruction of Draenor
The orc shaman Ner'zhul utilizes the rift that remains after the Dark Portal's destruction to send orcs into Azeroth once again. Alliance forces, known as the Alliance Expedition, are subsequently sent through the rift to Draenor, where they continue to fight the remaining Horde forces. Ner'zhul opens multiple portals across the world of Draenor. Strained by the vast energies that result, Draenor is shattered; a large fragment becomes the realm of Outland.

Year 18 - The New Horde
The orcs held in the Alliance's internment camps are freed by Orgrim Doomhammer, Grom Hellscream, and Thrall, an orc who was raised by humans as a slave and gladiator. Thrall is named warchief of the new Horde.

Year 20 - The Third War
The Burning Legion launches another assault on Azeroth using the Lich King. The Plague of Undeath spreads throughout the kingdom of Lordaeron, resulting in the rise of the Scourge in Lordaeron. Prince Arthas Menethil falls to corruption, taking up the cursed runeblade Frostmourne and murdering his father King Terenas Menthil II. The Sunwell is defiled, and the demon lord Archimonde is summoned into Azeroth. Many survivors flee to Kalimdor, including humans led by Lady Jaina Proudmoore, and orcs led by Thrall.

Year 21 - The Battle of Mount Hyjal
On Kalimdor, the orcs establish a home in Durotar, allying with the Darkspear trolls and the tauren. The survivors in Kalimdor are brought together by the Prophet Medivh, and unite against Archimonde's onslaught. Archimonde is defeated at Mount Hyjal, but the World Tree Nordrassil is badly damaged, resulting in the night elves losing their immortality.

Year 22 - Rise of the Lich King
Arthas Menethil travels to Northrend. Former high elf ranger-general turned banshee Sylvanas Windrunner establishes the Forsaken, taking control of the former kingdom of Lordaeron. Arthas ascends Icecrown Glacier, shattering the Frozen Throne and taking his place as the Lich King.

Year 25 - The Gathering Storm
King Varian Wrynn of Stormwind is kidnapped, and his son Anduin Wrynn is temporarily crowned. The black dragon Onyxia is discovered in Stormwind City. An assault is launched on Blackwing Lair, home of the black dragon Nefarian. In the deserts of Silithus, the qiraji launc an invasion at the behest of the Old God C'thun. Kel'Thuzad launches an attack on Azeroth from the dread citadel Naxxramas in the Eastern Kingdoms.

Year 26 - The Burning Crusade
The blood elves of Quel'Thalas join the Horde. In Kalimdor, the draenei crash-land off the northern coast, and ally with the Alliance. The Dark Portal is rebuilt and re-opened by Lord Kazzak, and both Horde and Alliance forces travel to Outland. There the orc Garrosh Hellscream is discovered by Warchief Thrall, and taken back to Azeroth to act as an advisor. Prince Kael'Thas Suntrider of the blood elves allies with the Burning Legion, attempting to summon the demon lord Kil'jaeden to Azeroth. The Sunwell is restored with the heart of of naaru M'uru.

Year 27 - The Wrath of the Lich King
The Lich King launches a new assault on Azeroth, attacking Stormwind City and Orgrimmar. Alliance and Horde forces both travel to Northrend to combat the Lich King. The Argent Crusade is established. Death Knight defectors from the Lich King's armies form the Knights of the Ebon Blade, allying with both Alliance and Horde. Garrosh Hellscream is sent to lead the Horde forces in Northrend. The Lich King is defeated.

Year 28 - The Cataclysm
Thrall steps down from his position as warchief and appoints Garrosh Hellscream as the new leader of the Horde. The former Dragon Aspect Deathwing bursts through into Azeroth from the Elemental Plane, shattering the surface of the world as tensions between the Alliance and Horde continue to build. The worgen of Gilneas join the Alliance, and the goblins of the Bilgewater Cartel join the Horde. The Elemental Lords Ragnaros and Al'Akir are slain. as well as Cho'gall, leader of the Twilight Cult. The Dragon Aspects expend the last of their power to kill Deathwing, and the Age of Mortals begins.

Year 30 - The Invasion of Pandaria
All-out war erupts between the Alliance and Horde when Warchief Garrosh Hellscream destroys the city of Theramore with a mana bomb. Archmage Rhonin dies, and Lady Jaina Proudmoore takes his place as leader of the Kirin Tor, a council of some of Azeroth's most powerful magi. Pandaren residents of the Wandering Isle ally with both the Alliance and Horde as the continent of Pandaria is discovered. The sha are released on Pandaria, and the Thunder King Lei Shen is resurrected. Garrosh orders the assassination of the Darkspear leader, Vol'jin. Jaina forcibly removes the Horde from Dalaran, throwing the magocratic city-state's support behind the Alliance. Vol'jin begins the Darkspear Rebellion, pitting Horde against Horde. The Alliance covertly assists the Darkspear rebels, seeking to end Garrosh's reign as warchief.

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