Most every native race of Azeroth that isn't a walking cow or a kung-fu panda was the result of the night elves screwing something up and undergoing a dramatic transformation. Sometimes by their own choice -- other times, not so much.
For starters, there's satyrs. In traditional Grecian myth, satyrs are mischievous and incredibly romantic. The satyrs of Warcraft, however, are night elves who consorted with demons during the War of the Ancients and ended up being made part-demon, themselves. They're wicked, cruel, and didn't even say sorry when they erased their brother's Final Fantasy save file. Hell, these satyrs are only "romantic" in the sense that they'd love to sacrifice you to summon more demons.
Then there are the naga. Why are these aquatic serpent-creatures infesting all the elven ruins in the game? It is, naturally, because they used to be elves. They were the ones that were near the Well of Eternity when the Maelstrom formed. The giant whirlpool sucked them to the bottom of the ocean, where they proceeded to uh, not drown and instead change their genetic structure. Magic: The cause and solution to all of life's problems.
The worgen (Warcraft's tailless werewolves), while technically not a race so much as a curse that turns you into a monstrous killing machine, were also made by the night elves. After the aforementioned world-beginning explosion, the night elves ended up warring with the satyrs, who were still pretty sure they could win the war they'd already lost. The night elven druids, known for being able to shapeshift into animal forms, tried to come up with a new trick to help fight the satyrs -- wolf form. It worked really well, until the part where the new wolves started slaughtering everyone. In an attempt to "water it down," they used an artifact to make the barbaric wolves into a half-human hybrid. But that just made it into a transmittable, disease-like curse. Way to go, druids.
Though unconfirmed, evidence points to harpies being ex-elves as well. There's an Ancient of the Sky that gifted her most devoted followers with flight before she left reality, because Ancients can do that, apparently. These winged elves were presumably the first harpies, and proceeded to get super upset about being abandoned. After brooding about it for a few hundred years, they eventually took to savaging people with their razor-sharp talons while annoying everyone in earshot with their screechy voices.
The only reason humans, dwarves, and gnomes aren't somehow related to elves are because they came from robots built by metallic space-faring gods, but that's a whole other can of worms.
And then there were orcs.
Okay, there's a little more to it than that.
The wizard in question, named Medivh, was the "Guardian of Tirisfal", who's kind of like if Blade and Van Helsing had a Warcraft baby. Medivh was given much of his phenomenal magical power by his mother, a previous Guardian named Aegwynn. It was Medivh's duty to hunt down demons and keep them from entering the world of Azeroth, but he went and got himself possessed by Sargeras, the Lord of the Burning Legion. If there were a final boss to the entire Warcraft franchise, it'd be him. Medivh, you had one job.
When Medivh's mother was the Guardian, she tangled with an avatar of Sargeras. Much smaller, much weaker, but still very nasty. While the battle was monumental and probably involved lots of fancy pyrotechnics and CGI, the avatar ultimately let her win. See, his plan was far more insidious than stomping around across cities like a fiery Godzilla. When his body was defeated, his soul fled and hid inside Aegwynn -- and later, her unborn son.
As a being of supreme evil and also a big fan of Ghostbusters 2, Sargeras was not above possessing babies. However, babies are not very capable of ending the world even on the best of days, so Sargeras waited to enact his plan. Decades later, after Medivh was granted his power by Aegwynn and he had established himself as the most powerful wizard alive, Sargeras awoke and began to take control.
Little by little, he drove Medivh mad, forcing the wizard to fight for control of his own mind. It was during this madness that Medivh created the Dark Portal, the gateway that would bring the bloodthirsty Orcish Horde to Azeroth. Let's face it -- anything called "the Dark Portal" isn't going to have anything nice on the other side.
Don't worry, you won't have to face him down in World of Warcraft. Medivh was killed back in Warcraft 1, forcing Sargeras' soul to flee. However, that means there's an especially angry Sargeras somewhere in the universe looking to get revenge on the planet that ruined his plans twice. So don't be surprised if the next expansion is called "Return of Sargeras: Satan Is Really Pissed Off You Guys."
PrevPage 2 of 3Next