Welcome to Lore, Warcraft & You! The series of articles looking at key lore figures, their past and where they fit into the World of Warcraft. This time we take a look into the story of Kargath Bladefist, Cheiftain of the Shattered Hand Clan, Warchief of The Fel Horde, and much more!
Kargath, or Korgath Bladefist was an orcish warlord and chieftain of the Shattered Hand clan. The most noticeable thing about Kargath was what gave him his ‘Bladefist’ surname. In his youth, at the rank of Grunt, Kargath chose to cut off his right hand, replacing the flesh with a sharpened scythe. This became a sign of the limits Karagath would go to for the Shattered Hand clan, his dedication to the strength of the horde and ultimately resulting in his eventual leadership of the clan as chieftain, and a sign of loyalty that would continue as the following events unfolded.
Kargath’s story is one of pure hatred, all before the fall of Draenor into Outland. During the first invasion of Azeroth by the Orcs, Kargath was ordered to stay behind in Draenor at the order of Ner’zhul, the Orc shaman whom he only dared not cross for his sheer numbers supporting him. The Orcs who went through the portal faired poorly and when the armies of Kilrogg Deadeye, leader of the Bleeding Hollow clan returned to Draenor defeated. (Many of his Orc breathren dead or captured during this first war on the humans). Kargath was furious and immediately volunteered his clan’s vengeance in another invasion attempt. During this time, Kargath’s ordered became clear, he was to act as a distraction for the Alliance forces that had since invaded Draenor. The Alliance had set up Honor Hold as a foothold of operations, bringing troops to the front line from the open Dark Portal.
The Alliance invaded Hellfire Citadel, the great fortress in the centre of the zone, under the impression Ner’zhul resided within. Unfortunately for them, Kargath and Dentarg (an ogre mage, Chogall’s Clan of ogres are currently allied with the Orcs) lay in wait. Whilst Kargath distracted the Alliance forces from his true location, Ner’zhul attempted to open rifts to other worlds around the Black Temple in an attempt to allow the Orcs to flee this world after the decisive defeat and now impending invasion by Azeroth’s forces. The portals were too much for the world to contain and they tore Draenor apart into floating mesa’s and zones. Draenor was renamed Outland at this point. Back at Hellfire; Alleria, a ranger general sieged the gates of the citadel with her rangers, killing off the gatekeepers and opening the reinforced gates. The remaining Alliance forces invaded soon after and butchered many of Kargath’s clan in a particularly one sided fight.
Dentarg was defeated by none other than Khadgar within the raid on the citadel; in a ferocious battle involving powerful magic’s which tested both mage, until finally Khadgar dealt the killing blow.
Kargath, infuriated with his loyalty to Ner’zhul which to this point had prevented a successful invasion on Azeroth, and now lead his entire clan to extinction decided enough was enough. He collected a few members of the still living clan members and escaped the citadel before he could be apprehended by the Alliance.
In an attempt to maintain his service to the Horde and avoid disgrace, he travelled with what leftover forces he had to Nagrand to seek audience with Greatmother Geyah, to lend him warriors. She refused his request outright due to problems that affected those within the village, an illness.
Kargath angered, but respectively left Nagrand. He realised he had nothing to contribute to the war, his clan was near none-existent, and with so few troops any battle would be the last. He begrudgingly gave up the fight and he and his clan retreated in the hope of one day reclaiming his citadel.
The war had taken its toll and various staged battles reaped destruction for both the Alliance and the Horde. Until one day, Ner’zhul’s experiments and opening of gateways to other worlds saw the entrance of Magtheridon, a demon of the Burning Legion. The Pit Lord used his own blood to empower the Shattered Hand forces that remained and blessed Kargath with a new power to wield, one that could restore him to greatness. They became the first Fel Orcs, and soon after with this power and the support of the Burning Legion demons Magtheridon had brought with him, took Hellfire Citadel easily. Magtheridon then took control of the fortress and re-named it the Black Citadel. Much to the dismay of Kargath, his power had only brought a new master to outrank him, one he despised soon after, as the Pit Lord culled many of Kargath’s men for their weakness and corrupted the strong into Fel Orc commanders.
Kargath became bitter and wished for the day he could be delivered from Magtheridon’s rule, and soon that day came. Within the events of The Frozen Throne, The coming of Illidan Stormrage to Outland changed everything. His first action was de-throning Magtheridon, with Magtheridon’s own loyal forces retreating from Illidan’s powerful display of sorcery. Illidan proclaimed his own leadership of the Black Citadel and Magtheridon was placed in magical chains in the depths below the citadel.
Kargath Bladefist pledged his allegiance to Illidan Stormrage in this moment, and the Shattered Hand clan followed behind him, hoping to see this new leadership take his clan to the pinnacle of leadership over all Outland.
The years between Draenor’s destruction at the hand of Ner’zhul’s portal experiments and Illidan’s arrival saw other lore characters deal with the changing world. Grom Hellscream saw Ner’zhul’s plans being the doom of all Orcs, left through the opened Dark Portal to Azeroth in the attempt to make a place for themselves. Many other clans also followed Grom’s example, and fled before Draenor was torn apart and the Dark Portal exploded, severing the link between the two worlds until the events of The Burning Crusade expansion.
Kargath resides within Hellfire Citadel in the game, as the new Warchief of the Fel Horde, using the imprisoned Magtheridon’s blood to empower Illidan’s Fel Orc legions against the Pit Lord and The Burning Legion’s will. Kargath is pleased to be powering this new Fel Horde, fuelling the armies that would liberate Outland from the Burning Legion and restore power to the Orcs, and so as a sign of respect and power severs off his other arm, replacing it with a sword like weapon attached to his arm, completing the look of the dungeon boss we are more familiar with in game.
This complete rule would of come true, had it not been the Dark Portal opening once again and the forces of Azeroth, both the ‘Horde’ we know in game of not just Orcs but other allied races, as well as Human and Alliance forces stepped back into Outland, where in current time, the player enacts a campaign to take Outland from both the Fel Horde, Illidan Stormrage and the Burning Legion.
Kargath is set to be the focus of a what-if story with the coming of The Warlords of Draenor expansion later this year, where the timeline changes before Ner’zhul tears the world apart, and before the corrupted blood can change the horde.
Warlords of Draenor is set to be an exciting time for the story of Warcraft, it’ll be interesting to not only interact with characters that since before now are present only in the books and stories hinted at in-game.
Hopefully this article has helped you understand more on the world that the expansion is stepping back in time to this year, and also an insight into this complicated life of Kargath Bladefist, chieftain of the Shattered Hand Clan.