efore the Burning Legion came to Draenor to enslave the orc race, there were many clans, some great, some small. The names of many of these old clans are now lost or known only to a few. One of these lesser clans was Clan Redblade.
Many years ago a certain orc by the name of Githya Redblade, rose to become the leader of a band of mercenaries. Githya's warriors served one of the Warlords of Draenor, an orc whose name is long since forgotten, but they fought many battles on his orders. Such was Githya's strength and courage, that when the old warrior finally fell, the warlord granted Githya's heirs the right to found a clan of their own, fearing that the mercenaries might turn to pillaging. Thus Clan Redblade was born, and settled itself in a land far to the north where no orc had yet lived.
In time, Clan Redblade would grow to be a society shaped like the strongest of iron, developing grand tales of heroes of the past such as Kraag the Wolfking, Skagluk the Giantkiller and Grugna Longhand. The clan prospered, but always remained small. The orcs of Clan Redblade enjoyed a reputation as honourable fighters, but little did they realise that the end was soon to come.
The Burning Legion
he Burning Legion came to Draenor with promises of power and wealth. The Demon Lord Kil'jaeden sought out orcs who would be easily corrupted and first the shaman Ner'zhul, then his apprentice Gul'dan, pledged their loyalty to the Legion. Kil'jaeden gave them great power in exchange for their utter obedience and seeing this, many of the clans flocked to join the growing Horde.
In reality the Demon Lord was slowly corrupting the orcs, transforming the noble warriors into bloody, mindless killers. He taught them the demon arts and over time, even the land itself became corrupt. The once idyllic hills and forests of Draenor became harsh rock and burning pits of decay.
Some of the clans realised too late what was happening. Their land was poisoned and their warlords had become mere puppets of the Burning Legion, but they tried to resist. Among these was Clan Redblade. Under their leader, Grenth Stonebrow they and others of like mind, joined forces with a few other clans in trying to warn against following the demons.
The Treachery of Akesh
ot every orc of Clan Redblade was immune to Kil'jaeden's promises however. Akesh, a young shaman of the clan, saw this as an opportunity. Contacting Kil'jaeden's agents in secret, he promised to deliver Clan Redblade over to the Shadow Pact. He formulated his plan, carefully made the arrangements and when all of the pieces were in place, he made his move.
After a night of feasting, when many of the orcs were sleeping off their ale, Akesh stole into Grenth's greathall. Finding the chieftain asleep, Akesh pored a deadly poison into the ear of the sleeping orc. He then crept away to carry out the next part of his plot.
Akesh had spent months winning over Grenth's guards. He told them tales of their leader's weakness. He told them how they had been held back. He told them that fighting Kil'jaeden would mean death, but joining Kil'jaeden would lead them to glory. They were ready to do anything he asked, while he had been poisoning Grenth, the guards had been busy kidnapping Grenth's wife and son.
In the morning, the orcs of Clan Redblade awoke to not only find their chieftain had died in his bed, but that his son had declared that Grenth had wanted Akesh to succeed him as chieftain and that Grenth's widow intended to marry Akesh to further legitimise his claim. The astonished orcs had little choice, but to accept. Akesh had the backing of the chieftain's guards and those few who spoke out against him were arrested, and incidentally, never seen again.
Within days, Akesh was proclaimed chieftain of Clan Redblade and when Kil'jaeden summoned Mannoroth the Destructor and the clan chiefs were required to drink of his blood, Akesh did so willingly and so sealed the fate of his whole clan.
Akesh fought for the Horde when they invaded Azeroth and led the remains of Clan Redblade in battle after battle. However, it was not at the hands of the Alliance that Akesh met his end. He was himself betrayed. Akesh died in battle, but the arrow that felled him was shot from an orcish bow. The remainder of Clan Redblade was swallowed up by the Horde, its name forgotten.
The Traitor's Daughters
o, the traitor was gone, but not before Grenth's widow had born him two daughters, Akesha and Shuska. Now, there was at this time a warrior of the clan by the name of Magrom. Despite the corruption of the demons, some last trace of the old honour of the orcs remained in Magrom's spirit. He realised that whichever orc had been responsible for Akesh's death, would also want his children gone and so Magrom stole the infants away to safety.
Changing his name to Azubal, he was able to desert the army in which he served and attach himself to a different branch of the Horde. In this way Akesh's daughters disappeared and Magrom was assumed to have been lost in battle.
Azubal cared for the two young orclings. They travelled with the baggage train and were cared for by the females who served it. When the old Horde was finally defeated and the orcs were interred, Azubal made sure that Akesha and Shuska were safe in the camp.
The years passed. Thrall eventually led the orcs to freedom in the new land of Durotar and the city of Orgrimmar was founded in the desert. Here Azubal was able at last to find a safe home for the children. He left them in the care of Orgrimmar's new orphanage and Akesha and Shuska were able to live out the last years of their childhood in peace and security.
The name Redblade was forgotten, until Akesha reached adulthood and distant memory of past glories was kindled in the young Akesha's mind. Thus she founded the Red Blade Tribe, taking its name and traditions from half remembered stories of the old clan as was told to her by the old Azubal. Though a small group at first, orcs of many breeds and clans soon flocked to tribe's banner in search for a place of orcish values and traditions in the rapidly growing and advancing Horde.
Whereas the old clan had long been forgotten, the Red Blade as a tribe quickly made a name for itself as it often stood at the forefront of the Horde's expeditions and sometimes even battles. Though Warchief Thrall maintained a fragile peace treaty with Jaina Proudmoore, the Red Blade would often be called upon to defend the orcs' new homeland whenever its security would be in peril.
As the tribe continued to grow and prosper, the Dark Portal reopened after twenty years. Though a husk of its former self, many orcs of the tribe were among the first to return to the old homelands in search of their past. Among these was Akesha Redblade, now Matriarch, in her search for tales and relics of the old clan. What was at first a great find, however, soon turned out to be a burden instead...
The End of a Legacy
t was the war-mask of the old, revered Kraag the Wolfking himself that turned out to be the greatest find among a great number of discoveries that were made of Clan Redblade during the tribe's stay in the Outlands. However, the mask was laden with fel energies, corrupted by the magics of warlocks who had long occupied the remaining lands of old Draenor. The discovery came too late however, as Akesha had already worn the war-mask for too long a time, corrupting her mind unknowingly.
Despite the orcs' best attempts, the corruption could not be banished nor halted. In a decision that shocked every orc present, Akesha decided to go into a self-imposed exile in order to find a final resting place for the war-mask where none other might ever find it. In her stead, she chose Overlord Kozgugore Feraleye to stand in her place as Chieftain in order to uphold her visions for a brighter future for the orcish race.
Under the leadership of the first Red Blade Chieftain who was not born a Red Blade himself, a new era dawned. The search for tradition continued, introducing a plethora of newfound knowledge from the old Clan as well as a renewed vigour in defending the Horde's homelands. Though the tribe became well-known for being a nomadic pack of orcs that travelled throughout Azeroth as well as the Outlands, they never faltered in their oath to make for the newest front-lines as soon as they unfolded. Be it in Kalimdor, the Eastern Kingdoms and even Northrend, they fought the enemies of the Horde not only in the shape of various foes such as the Burning Legion and the Scourge, but sometimes even the Alliance as well.
By the time the island of Pandaria was discovered and its conquest between the Horde and the Alliance escalated, the Red Blade Tribe had already been host to a a number of battles and skirmishes as a result of its zeal to protect the orcish homelands. Thus it came as no surprise that they, too, were closely involved in the open war that had unfolded since the Shattering of Azeroth. This came to a sudden end when Chieftain Kozgugore Feraleye had been imprisoned by the authorities of the Horde after refusing orders from Horde command, however. Though freed in a valiant attempt led by Morgeth Feralheart, who had seized control of the tribe as its Matriarch, the tribe had branded itself a traitor to the Horde. For the first time in its history, the hunter had become the hunted.
When whispers of an open rebellion against Garrosh Hellscream's rule began to surface, it was an easy decision to make for most orcs among the tribe. While the majority had committed themselves to the rebellion however, Kozgugore made the sudden decision to part ways. Rargnasha Bloodmark had been named the new Chieftain, and he led the tribe throughout the ultimately successful rebellion.
So the turmoil within the very Horde itself had come to an end, but only at a great cost. The tribe, too, had suffered the consequences of such infighting, and when the onslaught of the Iron Horde stepped through the Dark Portal, there proved to be little time for a retaliation. Nevertheless, the tribe committed itself to halting the Iron Horde threat, and joined the rest of the coalition between the Horde and the Alliance to step through the Dark Portal. In the ensuing chaos of the battle, the tribe suffered loss and division, however. Moreover, Rargnasha decided to lay down his mantle of Chieftain and let it be taken over by Kozgugore once more, in order to pursue answers to the visions that haunted his dreams.
With the tribe still slowly recovering from the many changes and losses, the fight against the Iron Horde proved to be a taxing effort indeed. Outnumbered and facing questionable odds, the tribe turned to forging an alliance between orc and wolf as they sought to free a pack of half-breed Garn from their cruel masters. After several trials and tribulations, the two packs were united under the final efforts by Kozgugore, who would be branded Wolfking thanks to his pivotal role in the forging of this alliance.
Thus, the Red Blade had found its first Wolfking in a very long time once more, and with the pact between orc and beast, the tables had been turned. The hunt against the Iron Horde could begin once more...