The interdimensional realm of Outland, sometimes mistakenly referred to as "Outlands" or "the Outlands", is the name given to the shattered floating remnants of the "red world" Draenor, the homeworld of the orcs and refuge of the draenei.
Specifically, it is a large known remaining fragment of the former planet. It is also the current domain of Illidan Stormrage and his followers. Draenor was once a massive planet, and a large amount of the action in World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade takes place on the largest of the planet's fragments, or continent.
Outland was created when Draenor became the focus of an attack, via the Dark Portal, of an Alliance expedition aiming to end the orcish threat to Azeroth once and for all. In the midst of the ensuing battle the Elder Shaman Ner'zhul attempted to allow the remaining orcs on Draenor to escape to other worlds by opening other dimensional portals; however the presence of so many portals tore the planet apart, leaving only torn fragments of the former world floating in the Nether, and the barely-habitable remnants were renamed Outland. Most life on Draenor was wiped out in the explosion, although a number of orcs, ogres and some of the few remaining draenei survived. After the explosion, a Pit Lord named Magtheridon rallied the surviving orcs and took control of Outland. Using the remaining Dimensional Gates, he drew demons from the Twisting Nether to aid him.
The night elf demon hunter Illidan Stormrage and many of the Naga and blood elves fled to Outland and succeeded in defeating Magtheridon and conquering the wasteland. After their defeat in Northrend at the hands of Prince Arthas, who used Frostmourne against Illidan, they returned and established permanent settlements there.
Most draenei that remained in Outland have become horribly mutated, and bear only a passing resemblance to their former selves.
Since then, both the forces of the Light and the Shadow have realized Outland's usefulness. It can serve as a launching pad for the invasions of the Burning Legion, or as the staging ground to the forces who fight against the Legion. In response, both the naaru and the Legion have sent their agents to secure the world for their own purposes.
Now, the Alliance and the Horde must battle the forces of the maddened Illidan and the murderous followers of the Legion to safeguard Azeroth from Kil'jaeden's Burning Crusade.
Druids have magically replanted some locations on the central landmass of Outland that were formerly desolate, describing the areas as "Green Havens", such as Sylvanaar in Blade's Edge Mountains and
Cenarion Thicket in Terokkar Forest. The main base of the Cenarion Circle's expedition is from Cenarion Refuge in Zangarmarsh.
The Ethereals escaped from Dimensious void faction and have outposts in Draenor
The Naaru are currently in Draenor to lead some parts of the army of light
Demonic incursions by the Burning Legion into Draenor made various types of demons as resident aliens.
Before Draenor was torn apart by the portal rifts, it was a vast planet of continents and seas, much like Azeroth. When the world was destroyed it was tossed into the Twisting Nether. It no longer had its sun, but its moon, the Pale Lady, still hovered looking far larger than it ever did before. Other spheres now existed as well, including a rosy one, and a smaller light blue one.
Outland consists of one large, central land mass with smaller chunks and debris floating all around it. Black chains connect some of these islands; adventures can walk across these chains (they must be careful to avoid an unpleasant tumble into the Twisting Nether), fly, or in some cases jump to other islands. Outland is mostly bare and lifeless, like Draenor before its demise. The orcs built huge black fortresses across their world, and some of them still stand. Burning Legion encampments and wretched draenei communities are scattered across the isles.
The damage to the world had sundered reality; gravity, space, and even time may not even function properly.
Although Outland lies within and is part of the Twisting Nether, in many sources its properties are different than the Nether itself. Outland is described as having normal gravity, normal time, and finite shape and size. Although it is still alterably morphic, and many of its rocks defy gravity. People from Azeroth who enter Outland also appear to have become taller over time, sometimes even twice as tall as before. This is due to a trait of the strange gravity of Outland.
Outland currently consists of seven large zones that connect to each other but differ sharply in environment.
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The scattered wastes of Outland are all that remain of Draenor, the once beautiful homeworld of the orcs. Following the Second War, the Alliance invaded Draenor by crossing through the Dark Portal. To their horror, they discovered that Ner'zhul - the dark warlord of Horde - had constructed a series of new gateways that could lead the beaten Horde to newer, unspoiled worlds. As the Alliance forces closed in around him, Ner'zhul opened his gateways as a means of escape. However, the gateways' clashing energies resulted in a catastrophic explosion that ultimately ripped the world of Draenor apart.
Nearly thirteen years later - towards the end of the Third War - the fallen night elf, Illidan, discovered that huge chunks of Draenor still existed - floating upon the astral winds of the Twisting Nether. After his defeat at the hands of the evil Prince Arthas, Illidan fled to the remnants of Draenor and dubbed them Outland. He quickly seized control of the chaotic region and sealed the last of Ner'zhul's cursed gateways.
Though he is the undisputed ruler of the ravaged land, Illidan lives in fear that he will be discovered by his powerful enemies - most notably Arthas, the new Lich King, and the remaining Lords of the Burning Legion. Currently, Outland is home to a number of scattered draenei tribes, primitive orcs and the powerful, arcane creatures of the Nether itself. Agents of the Burning Legion have also targeted the region as a vital strategic location in their unending Burning Crusade to scour all life from the universe.
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