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Gray orc
Classification Humanoid
Homeland(s) Twilight Highlands
Capital Dragonmaw Port
Leader(s) Zaela
Classes Warrior, Shaman, Hunter, Barbarian, Berserker, Dragon rider, Healer, Scout, Raider, Peon, Mage, Grunt
Alignment Chaotic neutral
Homeworld Azeroth
Language(s) Orcish

"Hellscream, I am Zaela of the Dragonmaw. Your people have freed mine from tyranny. We are your instrument. The strength of the Dragonmaw is yours to command. For the Horde!"
— Zaela, pledging her loyalty to Garrosh.

Gray orcs are a subrace of dark gray-skinned orcs featured in the Warcraft series. They are members of the Dragonmaw clan and are current members of the Iron Horde. Some, however are still loyal to the Horde.


The Dragonmaw clan is one of the orcish clans dating back to the time of the Rise of the Horde. Unlike the other clans, however, the Dragonmaws relied more on magic and cunning than brute force. This wayward orc clan was once empowered by Deathwing himself to enslave red dragons, including Alexstrasza. Under the command of the shaman Zuluhed the Whacked, the Dragonmaws swore fealty to Blackhand the Destroyer with the other clans of the Horde upon Blackhand's ascension as Warchief. When Blackhand was assassinated by Orgrim Doomhammer, Zuluhed and the Dragonmaws maintained their fealty to Blackhand by pledging their loyalty to his sons, Rend and Maim, Chieftains of the Black Tooth Grin clan. Defeated and pushed back to the Wetlands and Twilight Highlands, the Dragonmaw Clan has been relatively dormant until the events of the Cataclysm, when Garrosh Hellscream allowed the former (and current) dragon riders to join the Horde.

Manipulated by the Black Scourge, Deathwing the Destroyer, the Dragonmaw found an artifact of immense power known as the Demon Soul - created by Deathwing himself ten thousand years earlier, but forever forbidden from his grasp as the result of the spellwork of the other Aspects. Zuluhed entrusted the Demon Soul to a warrior/warlock named Nekros Skullcrusher, who used it to capture the Dragonqueen Alexstrasza - much to his surprise, and certainly to Alexstrasza's. The Dragonmaw used Alexstrasza's young to fight for the Horde - and fight they did, through much of the Second War. Operating out of the abandoned Wildhammer capital of Grim Batol, the Dragonmaw maintained their control over Alexstrasza and her flight after the Horde was defeated, using them to raid Alliance ports in the surrounding Wetlands. Yet the Dragonmaw also had forces away from Grim Batol (notably in the Black Morass defending the Dark Portal) and many were captured by the Alliance at the time of the Horde's defeat.

The Kirin Tor high councillor Krasus - the humanoid form of the red dragon Korialstrasz, one of Alexstrasza's consorts - sent the mage Rhonin to free Alexstrasza from the Dragonmaw in Grim Batol by somehow destroying the Demon Soul - which, using one of Deathwing's scales, he did. In her fury, Alexstrasza then tore Grim Batol apart and ate Nekros whole. However, some elements remained both alive and free, and to this day live in the Wetlands and Twilight Highlands. The Wetlands Dragonmaw are led by Nekros' son, Nek'rosh, who serves the self-styled Warchief of the Dark Horde, Rend Blackhand.

At some point during the Second War, Zuluhed and much of his clan returned to Draenor and survived the destruction that led to the creation of Outland. Now they are in the service of the Lord of Outland, Illidan Stormrage. Their attempts to subjugate dragons have continued — only this time, they are targeting a brood of nether drakes called the Netherwing. In what appears to be a repeat of their capture of Alexstrasza, the Dragonmaws have captured the matriarch of the Netherwing, the nether dragon Karynaku, and hold her prisoner in their fortress. Karynaku is held with a magical ball and chain, and only Zuluhed himself has the key.


Dragonmaw orcs who remained in Azeroth, set up numerous encampments throughout the dwarven land called the Wetlands. They were led by Nek'rosh Skullcrusher during this time.

The Burning CrusadeEdit

Dragonmaw Fortress, where Zuluhed and much of the Dragonmaw clan resides, is located south of the Black Temple and east of the Netherwing Fields in Shadowmoon Valley. For some reason, certain members of the clan in this area can turn into Drakonids, this includes Zuluhed.

When the Dark Portal reopened a numbers of Dragonmaws were forced to serve the death knight Ragnok Bloodreaver.

After the player has completed the entire questline associated with the Netherwing, their current situation is as follows: The leader of the Dragonmaw (Zuluhed) lies dead, along with masses of peons and other soldiers. Illidan is outraged because the Dragonmaw revered a person that was attempting to destroy the entire clan from within and failed to seize this betrayer despite the fact that he was at their very doorstep, chained in a powerful spell. Thus far we can only assume that Illidan has attempted to fully destroy the clan. As stated by the Netherwing "The Dragonmaw empire has come to an end."

The CataclysmEdit

It is revealed that Mor'ghor was able to survive Illidan's wrath and flee to Azeroth. Mor'ghor now styles himself as the Warchief of the Dragonmaw Clan; using his fel orcs to keep the regular orcs in control. When Horde forces arrived in the Twilight Highlands to negotiate with the clan, Mor'ghor killed the negotiator and decided to keep the player as a bargaining chip. However, thanks to Zaela the player was able to escape and inform Horde command of the tensions between the regular orcs and the fel orcs with in the clan. Using this information, the Horde forces lay siege to Dragonmaw Port from the shore and the Dragonmaw themselves take up arms against the fel orcs with supplies sent by the Horde fleet. The fight is eventually taken directly to Mor'ghor, and with the help of the Horde, he is disposed of. Zaela announces that a new Dragonmaw dawns with his death. After the Horde and Dragonmaw route out the remaining fel orcs, Garrosh Hellscream arrives and meets with the new leader of the Dragonmaw Clan: Zaela, and welcomes the clan into the Horde. Following the Cataclysm, Azeroth's situation has become increasingly dire, and the soldiers of the new Horde are now presented with an opportunity to redeem their old allies. Despite their past crimes, it is the will of the warchief that the once-maligned Dragonmaw join the Horde in battle once again.

Those members of the Horde who endorse the Dragonmaw clan will find themselves rewarded with masterfully crafted pieces of armor and mystic trinkets that reflect the clan's history of domination.

The Dragonmaw clan battle the Wildhammer clan in the Twilight Highlands battleground called the Twin Peaks.

The Dragonmaw with the aid of the Demon Chain (an item that once carried the Demon Soul and still carries a portion of its power) have been able to create powerful Black Dragon air support for the clan and the Horde.

Mists of Pandaria: EscalationEdit

Zaela, the chieftain of the Dragonmaw, was summoned by Garrosh to help put down the burgeoning Darkspear Rebellion. She can be found at the Dranosh'ar Blockade projecting her will via the Demon Chain onto an enslaved proto drake. During The Secrets of Ragefire scenario, the Gob Squad finds a large amount of Proto-drake eggs in the cave, suggesting that the Dragonmaw now use proto-dragons as flying mounts instead of black dragons and that they use their powerful air forces to support Garrosh.

Zaela and some of her finest soldiers were tasked by Garrosh to defend Bladefist Bay against the fleets of both the Alliance and the Rebels during the Siege of Orgrimmar. Zaela leads her forces from the back of her proto-drake, Galakras, into the battle.

Ultimately, Garrosh's forces were defeated by the combined forces of the Darkspear Rebellion and the Alliance with Zaela being able to hide after the battle.

It is unknown if any Dragonmaw Clan orcs are still in the Horde. However there were several Dragonmaw orcs such as Herzegor Flametusk, Artesh, and Gregor that seemed to be loyal to the Horde, and friendly to its members. The former is still in Orgrimmar. Koak is also loyal to the Horde.

War CrimesEdit

Zaela and other Dragonmaw orcs still loyal to Garrosh fled to Grim Batol following the Siege of Orgrimmar, where they successfully hid from scouts sent by Vol'jin to look for them in the Twilight Highlands. Kairozdormu contacted Zaela and tasked her with gathering Shokia, Thalen Songweaver, and Harrowmeiser.

Later, Kairozdormu provided the Dragonmaw with Infinite dragons to attack the Temple of the White Tiger and provide a distraction while he freed Garrosh and escaped to Draenor.

Warlords of DraenorEdit

Zaela has traveled to Draenor with Garrosh and became a member of the Iron Horde, along with the Dragonmaw who chose to follow her, effectively making her one of the leading warlords of the orcish union. Later, she also led the Ironmarch along with Ironmarch Commander Tharbek to Upper Blackrock Spire, where they have set up a base of operations.


Much like the black orcs, the gray orcs are very similar in appearance. The dark skin color of the clan members on Azeroth can be explained by the years they spend in Grim Batol; they might have been "fundamentally altered". The gray orcs also have glowing yellow eyes. Tattoos are also common on gray orc bodies.

Trivia & NotesEdit


  • The Dragonmaw clan is the only known clan to serve in every incarnation of the Horde: Old Horde, Dark Horde, Fel Horde, and the most recent for them to join, New Horde (aka, Thrall's Horde) as well as True Horde and Iron Horde.
  • The Dragonmaw clan had legends about dragons in Draenor.
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