Illidan Stormrage has gained the allegiance of the Naga, former Night Elves who adapted to underwater life. The Warden Maiev Shadowsong pursues her former prisoner across the sea to Lordaeron. She asks the assistance of Malfurion Stormrage and Tyrande Whisperwind, but Maiev holds a grudge against Tyrande for her actions in releasing Illidan, resulting in her lying about Tyrande's death to Malfurion. Malfurion and Maiev prevent Illidan from using the artifact called the Eye of Sargeras, but in the process, Maiev's treachery comes out, and the brothers Stormrage join forces to save Tyrande. Malfurion then pardons Illidan, though he does not revoke his exile, and Illidan departs for Outland, followed by Maiev.
Prince Kael'thas is the leader of the Blood Elves, a group of High Elves that survived the invasion of Quel'Thalas by the Scourge. Originally helping the Alliance, the Blood Elves are imprisoned by a racist Human leader, Garithos, but are eventually rescued by Lady Vashj and her Naga. Vashj then takes Kael'thas to Outland, the remnants of the Orc realm Draenor, to meet their master Illidan. After fending off Maiev and gaining the allegiance of the native Draenei, Illidan is able to conquer Outland, where he hopes he will be safe from his failure to use the Eye of Sargeras to destroy the Frozen Throne in which the Lich King was imprisoned. His master, the demon warlock Kil'jaeden, catches them nonetheless, and Illidan renews his vow to destroy the Lich King, who had betrayed Kil'jaeden.
In the lands of Lordaeron, now known as the Plaguelands, a civil war is taking place. The Undead forces splinter into three major factions: Arthas and Kel'Thuzad, loyal to the Lich King; the Forsaken, led by the Banshee Queen Sylvanas Windrunner; and the Dreadlords, loyal to the Burning Legion, unaware of the Legion's defeat. In the end, Sylvanas defeats the Dreadlords to become the nominal ruler of the Plaguelands, while Arthas travels to Northrend to defend the Lich King, battling the subterranean Nerubian race and Illidan's forces. After wounding Illidan in a duel, Arthas ascends to the Frozen Throne and becomes one with the Lich King
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