The items that Deathwing wanted transported, of course, were dragon eggs -- eggs that Deathwing had gathered for the express purpose of breeding his own flight of dragons that would bow to none other but him. Why Draenor? Well, why settle for one world when you can have two of them? Deathwing wanted total domination over Azeroth, and domination over Draenor as well was just icing on the cake. And so Deathwing, his troops and his cargo traveled through the Dark Portal and into Draenor, where they met with Ner'zhul. Deathwing asked Ner'zhul for one more thing – the Skull of Gul'dan
, a powerful magical artifact. While Ner'zhul didn't really want to part with it, he didn't exactly need it anymore, and so he handed it over. Deathwing left some of his troops behind with the orcs, and took the large chunk of his forces to Blade's Edge, along with the eggs.
Unfortunately, he wouldn't have it so easy. Alliance forces led by Turalyon
had also crossed through the Dark Portal. They'd discovered Ner'zhul's plot to cross over to other worlds, and intended to stop it, as well as retrieving the artifacts Ner'zhul had stolen. The other thing the Alliance needed was the Skull of Gul'dan, in order to close the Dark Portal once and for all, and so Turalyon, the mage Khadgar
, and the elven ranger Alleria Windrunner
headed out to find the thing, soon coming across Blade's Edge and discovering the hiding place of the black flight, and the eggs.
Along with the eggs and the dragons was a new race of creatures called the Gronn. Led by Gruul
, the gronn were annoyed (to say the very least) at the black dragon's intrusion. Together with the Alliance, they began to destroy the black dragon eggs that had been carefully stashed away -- and earned the ire of Deathwing in the process. Deathwing and Khadgar faced off, and Deathwing fled, dropping the Skull in the process.
Except that Turalyon and his army had destroyed most of the black dragon eggs, but not all of them. Some were left behind, scattered here and there -- certainly nowhere near enough for the great flight that Deathwing had envisioned, but still, plenty remained. The Alliance, despite their best efforts were not able to stop Ner'zhul from opening the portals, and he and what little forces he had fled through the nearest one. Deathwing too, fled through a portal back to Azeroth, not really wanting to stick around and see what happened next.
Draenor could not handle the stress of Ner'zhul's spellcasting. The portals he created literally ripped the world apart, the land itself stressed beyond all reckoning and began splitting into pieces. The black dragon eggs that were left behind were exposed to the energies of the Twisting Nether itself. Pure unbridled energy surged through the eggs, altering and changing the whelps contained within into new creatures, heretofore unseen anywhere -- nether dragons. All existing nether dragons were originally of Deathwing's brood, scattered to the Twisting Nether and left on their own.
The first appearance of the nether dragons was early, early on, way back in Warcraft III: TFT
. In the Blood Elf campaign, players help Illidan
on Draenor, closing the many portals that Ner'zhul had opened, as Magtheridon
was summoning demons and other creatures through them to assist him in his takeover of Draenor -- now called Outland. While most of these portals summoned the standard felhounds and demon lords players are accustomed to seeing, there were also these odd little dragons called Nether Drakes that spewed forth from the portals to make a nuisance of themselves.
The nether dragons are unlike any other dragon out there -- partially corporeal and partially ethereal, their bodies are composed of energies from the Twisting Nether, glowing with an odd translucency. Allied with no one, they considered themselves a kind of orphan -- after all, their father had abandoned them as soon as the situation looked dire. It's been stated they live primarily in the Twisting Nether itself -- which would explain why they were coming through Magtheridon's portals... sort of. They aren't demonic in origin -- they were simply black dragons that had the unfortunate experience of being radiated with the energies of the Twisting Nether before they were even really born.
Regardless, it wouldn't be the last time players saw the nether dragons. In the Burning Crusade
expansion, players were introduced to the Netherwing dragonflight, a group of nether dragons that made their home on the broken remains of Draenor. The Netherwing were scattered all over Outland, but primarily made their home in Shadowmoon Valley.