The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.
And now at last, our series detailing the years between Warcraft III and World of Warcraft ends, as it must, with the story of the greatest warrior the New Horde has ever seen.
After the supposed peace proposal led to a trap that might have captured Thrall had Rexxar not insisted he take the Warchief's place, Thrall decided that the usual paths of protocol could not be trusted. He had to contact Jaina Proudmoore directly. Rexxar would go directly to Theramore Island to meet with Jaina and discover what was behind these attacks. If Rexxar thought that Thrall's strange attachment to the human woman whose forces had seemingly tried to kill him six or seven times by this point was odd, he still went.
Rexxar wasn't going to just walk up to the place, knock on the door and ask to be captured and murdered. If nothing else, it wouldn't be the most efficient use of his time. So instead, he recruited an orc blademaster named Samuro (who may or may not be the same Samuro who now sings for a living, although I would personally find it amusing if he was) to help him distract the human guards around Theramore. Being an orc, Samuro came up with a cunning, subtle plan to hoodwink the humans. After gaining Rexxar's help with his own task (because, yet again, even if it's a mission for the freaking Warchief of the Horde, no one does something for free) of killing an errant Wildkin, Samuro subtly detonated explosives that indeed served to distract the guards.
Rexxar made his way into the heart of Theramore and met Jaina. The letter Thrall provided and Rexxar's report of the human soldiers who had ambushed him gave Jaina enough pause that she demanded to see the soldiers attacking the Horde for herself, claiming that she would never countenance such an attack. The human's feist impressed Rexxar enough that he did as she asked.
The two of them found the former human encampment destroyed by the naga, and after dispatching them, a single human footman was discovered. He told Jaina that "the Admiral" would be pleased to see her safe. Rexxar found Jaina's reaction of disbelief and shock a bit confusing -- but then again, she was a human, and they are a strange people. They hurried back to Theramore at her insistence, only to see more human ships arrive. Rexxar at first could not have understood the significance of it, but once Admiral Daelin Proudmoore made his presence known, things quickly became clear.
The coming of the Admiral
Upon seeing Rexxar, Daelin ordered his capture despite Jaina's objections, and so Rexxar and his allies fought their way out of the city. Realizing that this new figure was far more hostile to the orcs than Jaina had been, Rexxar immediately sought to inform an ally, namely Vol'jin of the Darkspear. Fighting their way to Vol'jin's side, they began clearing out various threats to he Horde in anticipation of the battle against Admiral Proudmoore.
Rexxar rescued Baine Bloodhoof, the son of Cairne, from a party of harpies and enlisted Cairne's aid for the battle against the elder Proudmoore. He defeated the ogre lord Kor'Gall and brought the Stonemaul orcs into the Horde as well after surviving a gauntlet to test his worth. Rexxar's party of allies then looted ancient sites of power throughout the region, including the Tomb of the Ancients, the Magistrate's Temple, and the Den of the Lost. Rexxar even managed to return home to Outland breifly via a portal to Outland Arena, where he waged war upon potent entities in return for books of magical power.
The Horde comes to Theramore
So prepared and roused, the forces of the Horde assembled at Tidefury Cove. With the addition of the Stonemaul to their ranks, Rexxar had assembled an army more than capable of pushing Proudmoore's forces back, and Thrall recognized the Mok'Nathal's valor and ingenuity by naming him Champion of the Horde. To Rexxar would fall the honor and the duty of leading the Horde in battle against Proudmoore's forces.
To be fair, this was a pivotal moment for the Horde. Although Rexxar had brought the tauren, trolls, even ogres to bolster the orc forces, the outcome of the battle would make or break the future for the young faction. It's not exaggerating to say that had Rexxar failed, the Horde would not have survived. Daeline Proudmoore had a sizable force and the will to use it, unlike his daughter. The two forces clashed at Proudmoore's forward stronghold, and for a time it could have been anyone's battle. In the end, the Horde broke the Kul Tiras ranks and pushed them back to Theramore. Both Rexxar and Thrall knew that wasn't going to be good enough. The Horde could not long survive a hostile naval power with Theramore as its base. And so, Rexxar took the fight back to Theramore Isle.
In the end, while the Horde's troops fought against the humans of Theramore, Rexxar led his allies into the heart of the city, where he and Admiral Proudmoore met in combat. The old human was a surprisingly fierce foe, and he and his forces gave the Horde's champions pause, but in the end Rexxar struck down Daelin. With his death, so ended the battle. While the legacy of Daelin's death lasts still in Theramore, it ended the Horde's need for battle, and so they left Theramore and returned to Orgrimmar having proved themselves for the first time as a nation.
With the victory also departed any further reason for Rexxar to remain in Orgrimmar. Citing his true home as the wild places, he left, appointing Mok'Morokk as his replacement as the leader of the Stonemaul. For a time, he would wander the wastes of Desolace and the wilds of Feralas before taking on a new challenge in Outland, near where he was born.
With this battle, the future of the Horde was secured. Rexxar, a wild Mok'Nathal from the wastes, fought against threats both internal and external, reminded figures like Vol'jin and Cairne where their true allegiances were and defeated in Proudmoore the specter of the memory of the hate between the Old Horde and the peoples of Azeroth. If the Alliance can never say it has forgotten what the Old Horde did, the Horde can say that Rexxar freed them from it.
Next week, whatever happened to the Dark Trolls? While you don't need to have played the previous Warcraft games to enjoy World of Warcraft, a little history goes a long way toward making the game a lot more fun. Dig into even more of the lore and history behind the World of Warcraft in WoW Insider's Guide to Warcraft Lore.