Thursday, 4 February 2010

For the Horde?

Why is it that members of the Horde keep reminding us that they are "For the Horde"?

Leesah is making her way through the snowy land of Dragonblight, and the other day came upon this quest where you go around the village and ask the Taunka'le refugees to sign up with the Horde.  There's a few different quests like this around the place, and I was struck by how different the Horde questlines are to the Alliance.  It's been a while since I last did it as Alliance but I'm fairly sure there isn't any pledge of allegiance to the Kings or Mr Fordring or anyone.

Perhaps it's to do with origins.  The Alliance is formed of nations that have existed for hundreds of years - Stormwind, Khaz Modan, Gnomeregan, Darnassus, Gilneas, Exodar (after the Draenei fled Shattrath).   The noble and honourable members of the Alliance therefore have their first loyalty to their nation of origin, and a secondary loyalty to the Alliance that they are part of.  The fact that each nation has its own leader with separate motivations may also divide allegiance.

The Horde, or properly termed as the "new Horde", was formed from several groups of outcast warriors - Orcs, Trolls and Tauren who fought together and alongside the Alliance at the Battle of Mount Hyjal, and afterwards established their homes in Kalimdor.  They are loyal to each other as comrades-in-arms, and although they honour their ancestors, they don't hold allegiance to any other ancient nation, but instead to the Warchief Thrall who is the undisputed leader.  They pledge to be an instrument of the Warchief's desire and are committed to "Lok'tar ogar" - Victory or Death.

At least the Orcs, Tauren and Trolls are proud to be for the Horde.  But is the rest of the Horde really that solid?  I don't see the Forsaken looking particularly over the moon to be part of the Horde - they say "Victory for Sylvanas!" but I've never heard one mention the Horde.  Sylvanas Windrunner offered an alliance to Thrall after the Forsaken were freed from the Scourge, but it was mainly to protect themselves from threats in Eastern Kingdoms - they are in it for their own ends.  The quests given by Forsaken in Howling Fjord and Dragonblight show their lack of compassion and their self-serving natures.  They are mostly errands that they wish to be run, rather than efforts towards the campaign in Northrend.  They're pretty grim, most of them - from sawing into Dwarves to take their brains, to killing members of the Horde that have been taken prisoner, to several quests dealing with torture - I am pretty happy to be moving away from Venomspite and heading towards Wyrmrest Temple.

The Blood Elves don't seem too concerned with anything besides remembering the Sunwell, and their addiction to magic.  Because of this they are distrusted by the rest of the Horde, and the elves themselves don't really like the rest of the Horde either.  But they were shunned by their former allies in the Alliance after Kael'thas started playing with demonic power.  They relied on the Horde during TBC to help them reach Kael'thas in Outland, but turned away from Kael once they realised he had betrayed them and allied himself with the Burning Legion.  They remain with the Horde through the Northrend campaign, although it is slightly unclear as to why.

So even though the Horde sounds as though they are strong allies, who knows what effect the death of the Lich King and the end of the Northrend Campaign will have on some of the more shaky relationships within it?  The Cataclysm could also have a massive impact on both factions as the homelands themselves are destroyed and changed. 

What would happen to the game if the Blood Elves or Forsaken suddenly decided to abandon the Horde? 

Ps. This exercise in Lore was brought to you by and this thread about Blood Elves.
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