Every Tuesday, we chortle in sadistic glee as Varialyta attempts to compress a complex story into 500 words or less for the consumption of the Ritalin generation. This week’s topic: Factions
So, here you are, about to roll your first character. You need to pick a gender, a class, and a race. Maybe you like a particular race for its look. Maybe you’ve already chosen a class you like, and you’ve spent hours researching each race’s special abilities and have decided which ones fit best for your class and play-style. But maybe you’re staring at that character-creation screen thinking “gee, I have no idea what I want to be.” That’s where I found myself when I first “rolled a toon.”
For me, that’s where lore comes in (but then again, I’m a lore-nerd–or more accurately a lore-nerd-wannabe). There’s simply too much lore to cover even the basics for every race “in 500 words or fewer” (*sigh*, okay, “or less”). But as you choose a race, one of the basics you’ll need to decide is your faction.
So… Alliance or Horde? Horde or Alliance? Here’s really all you need to know: Alliance are the good gals (ok, and guys, too), and Horde are the bad gals (ditto).
It’s always more complicated than that, of course.
In an earlier post, I talked about Zandalar and the trolls, and mentioned conflicts over territory after the Well of Eternity was destroyed. Everybody was fighting for resources, and the trolls were forces to be reckoned with, even as tribal and scattered as they were. Back in those days, elves and humans banded together to fight trolls and consolidate territory. Humans and elves, for the most part, won, and founded cities which flourished and became kingdoms. Thus began the antagonism between humans and elves on one side, and trolls on the other.
Then comes the Burning Legion. Azeroth’s neighboring world, Draenor (which was later shattered and became what we now call Outlands), had been overrun by demons intent on … wait for it … yes, the complete subjugation of all life everywhere, including (and most especially, of course!) our beloved Azeroth. These demons had managed to gain control of Draenor’s native orc population, and used them as their foot-soldiers in their invasion. And the orcish horde very nearly won. But once again, humans and elves banded together–this time joined by the dwarves–staved off the invasion, and closed the portal between worlds. Thus began the enmity between humans, elves, and dwarves on the one side, and orcs on the other.
Once cut off from the Burning Legion’s influence, the orcs began to return more to their original shaman-based culture. But the humans (pretty understandably) had no reason to trust this change, so they continued to treat the orcs as evil and threatening, and enslaved and abused them. The orcs managed to escape their slave-pens. But even though they were no longer under the Legion’s demonic control, they still hated humans (pretty understandably) because of the harsh treatment they received.
All of this trouble with orcs is typically seen as the true beginning of the Horde versus the Alliance, with each side gaining support from various races for various reasons.
O no! I’m already over my limit! I’ll probably go into more detail on each race in future lore postings. If there are any specific ones you’re burning to know about, comment here, and I’ll try to throw something together that’s at least somewhat relevant, and possibly even slightly accurate!