The Warcraft Lore series is a collection of articles delving deep into the history of many important Warcraft figures and events. Since World of Warcraft’s story is ongoing in the famous MMORPG and in some new novel publications, I will try to constantly update these articles. My main sources are Warcraft books and comics, Warcraft 1 / 2 /3, World of Warcraft, WoWWiki, WoWpedia, YouTube and some theory-crafting sites. The following article will inform you about three very unique weapons in the Warcraft Universe.
I plan on releasing one big Warcraft lore post per weekend and a small article like this mid-week. Unfortunately, because I don’t have enough time, these small articles don’t have a Glossary in the end yet, but I’ll probably add one soon. Let me know in the comments about any errors or inconsistencies you may find. Feedback is greatly appreciated. Enjoy!
In the following article we will discuss about three of the most iconic weapons in Warcraft’s history, Illidan’s Warglaives of Azzinoth, Grommash’s Gorehowl and Thrall’s Doomhammer. I didn’t include Frostmourne on purpose, because I believe every Warcraft fan out there knows its story. In some future Weapons of Warcraft articles, I also want to cover some harder-to-find weapons like Lothar’s Sword, Zul’jin’s Axes and Felo’melorn.
Twin Blades of Azzinoth
Weapon Type: Glaives
Known Wielders: Azzinoth, Illidan Stormrage
Special Powers: Extra Damage versus Demons. Ability to split into two separate glaives and then re-attach into a single one. Ability for the wielder to bind his soul into them allowing him to summon them from distance.
The Twin Blades of Azzinoth are one of the most iconic weapons in the lore, wielded by the Betrayer, Illidan Stormrage. More than 10.000 years ago, during the War of the Ancients, Illidan dueled a really strong Doomguard Commander of the Burning Legion named Azzinoth. We don’t have much information about this battle, but it is highly likely that Illidan received help from his brother Malfurion Stormrage and Kur’talos Ravencrest.
Azzinoth was using a demonic infused warblade that over the course of the fight was split into two separate glaives. Illidan would find out later, although he rarely used this ability, that when the blades disconnected, they could be reconnected to form a single weapon once more. After a tough fight, the Betrayer killed Azzinoth and claimed the Twin Blades of Azzinoth for himself.
Illidan trained himself with these new blades and became extremely efficient with them. He managed to duel Arthas (with Frostmourne) two times and survive, he easily defeated the Pit Lord Magtheridon, the Dreadlord Tichondrius, Maiev Shadowsong and countless demons. He also established the glaive-type weapons as a trademark for all the future Demon Hunters.
Weapon Type: Two Handed Axe
Known Wielders: Golmash Hellscream, Grommash Hellscream, Prince Malchezaar (non-canon and he didn’t exactly wield it), Garrosh Hellscream, Unknown (Battle for Azeroth Expansion)
Special Powers: Small holes dot the blade near the handle; when the wielder swings the axe, air whistles through these holes. The sound keens over the battlefield, magically strengthened and imbued with otherworldly power.
Although Gorehowl was forged three generations before Grom, Golmash Hellscrem, father of Grommash Hellscream also known as the Giantslayer, was the first known orc to wield Gorehowl. Golmash met his doom in a battle with a giant Gronn. The Gronn cut the orc in half with his jaws, but in a final act of courage, Golmash stabbed Gorehowl into the Gronn’s eye, bringing it down with him. When they fell, it is rumored that the Gronn died first.
After his father’s death, Grommash inherited Gorehowl and gave it the fame that it has today. With it, he killed hundreds of Alliance’s soldiers, he dueled Vindicator Nobundo and he slayed the demigod Cenarius. Grom also managed to deliver a deadly axe wound to the great Pit Lord Mannoroth at the cost of his life. Thrall picked up Gorehowl from the corpse of Mannoroth, thanking Grommash for freeing the Orcs from the Pit Lord’s blood curse.
Years later, Thrall gave Gorehowl to Grommash’s son, Garrosh, as a gift. However, when Garrosh was corrupted by the Old Gods, he abandoned his family’s axe and used Xal’atoh, a copy of Gorehowl made by Y’Sharrj’s heart. After the siege and escaping to an alternate timeline, the original Gorehowl remained behind on Azeroth. Upon positioning the Grom Hellscream from the alternate timeline as Warchief of the Iron Horde, Garrosh wielded Gorehowl once more – albeit one from another timeline – until his death at Grommashar at the hands of Thrall.
Weapon Type: Two Handed Mace
Known Wielders: Telkar Doomhammer, Orgrim Doomhammer, Thrall, Unknown (Battle for Azeroth Expansion)
Special Powers: Ability to connect with the elementals in a way, getting infused by them.
Doomhammer is a powerful hammer that was crafted a long time ago in a pool of elemental lava on Draenor. The Orc that crafted it was named Gelnar and he gave it to one of Orgrim’s ancestors. Eventually the mace reached the hands of Telkar Doomhammer, Orgrim’s father. Some years after the Orcs met with the Draenei, Telkar died and the weapon was passed onto his son along with the following prophesy: “The last of the Doomhammer line will use it to bring first salvation and then doom to the orc people. Then it will pass into the hands of one who is not of the Blackrock clan, all will change again, and it will once again be used in the cause of justice.”
When Orgrim started the liberation of Orc internment camps with Thrall, they managed to easily destroy four of the camps. However, at the fifth, the Alliance was prepared and an elite force of Knights ambushed them. In the midst of the chaos created by Thrall to cover their retreat, Orgrim was mortally wounded by a strike to the back. It is said that he was fighting 13 mounted Knights in the same time before he took that blow. With his last breath, Orgrim gave Thrall the title of Warchief, his legendary armor and his family’s heirloom mace, Doomhammer.
Thrall kept Doomhammer until the end of the Warlords of Draenor Expansion in World of Warcraft. After killing Garrosh in an unfair way, using magic in a mak’gora, Thrall was unable to use it properly as the elements have gone silent to him. In a battle at the Maelstorm, during the Legion expansion, Doomhammer flies out of his hands into the great whirlpool and down into Deepholm.
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