Ashenvale, also known as Ashenvale Forest, is a wilderness region south of Darkshore and Felwood, west of Azshara, and north of the Stonetalon Mountains and the Barrens. Ashenvale is also the term used for the larger forested region which includes most of western Hyjal including Azshara. It is the ancestral homeland of the night elves, who remain in control of several holdings through the zone, including Astranaar, Maestra's Post, Silverwind Refuge, Silverwing Grove, and the Shrine of Aessina. This has changed since the Cataclysm, as the Horde has begun attacks on various Night Elf encampments and have succeeded in deforesting sections of the forest.
The Horde has established a settlement in the eastern part of the woods — Splintertree Post — as well as a smaller camp on the western beach — Zoram'gar Outpost - along with several Warsong camps situated from Kargathia Keep all through the southeast to the Mor'shan Rampart in the far south. The zone is heavily populated with furbolgs, satyr, and wild creatures such as spiders, wolves, and bears. The region is quite large, and running from the Zoram Strand to the Warsong
Lumber Camp is quite an undertaking.
Since the zone is contested there is often a lot of skirmishing going on throughout the woods, and attacks on the faction-based settlements are not uncommon. The zone is also a major travel hub for both Horde and Alliance, even at higher levels.
Ashenvale is an ancient forest, and has been in the caring hands of the Night Elves for thousands of years. It was not until more recent years that things changed, with the coming of the Horde's lumber harvesting camps, as well as other much more insidious groups. The demons of the Burning Legion have holdings in Fire Scar Shrine, Felfire Hill, Demon Fall Canyon and Demon Fall Ridge. The vile satyr inhabit ancient elven ruins at Xavian, Night Run, and Satyrnaar. The vicious worgen have taken over an ancient shrine near Felwood, cursed green dragonkin have slipped out from the Emerald Dream portal at Bough Shadow, and corruption taints the once-clear waters of Iris Lake and the Ruins of Stardust. The Horde have seized control of several holdings in the eastern parts of the forest, and beyond their base at Splintertree Post, they have harvested the trees for lumber at the Warsong Lumber Camp and the Warsong Labor Camp. The Horde clash with the Night Elves over control of Eastern Ashenvale, with the Warsong Outriders vowing to continue their lumber harvesting operations, and the Silverwing Sentinels vowing to drive the Outriders from their lands once and for all.
Ashenvale is a vast primordial wilderness long given over to beasts and nature’s savage ways. The night elves who settled on Kalimdor after the Sundering hunted in Ashenvale’s wilds but never settled within its borders. When the Burning Legion invaded in the Third War, the night elves ceased even hunting in order to battle the demons. The lack of hunting has allowed many creatures to live and thrive within the vast woodland, creating danger for all who venture into the forest. Ashenvale forest runs in a great arc south of Mount Hyjal, with Stonetalon Mountains to the southwest and the Barrens directly south. The ruined lands of Azshara lie across a river to the east. Ashenvale is an old forest, long untouched by any mortal race. The weather is fairly mild, though rain is almost constant. The woods are so old and thickly grown that only trickles of precipitation get through the thick canopy. The forest has become ever wilder since left to its own devices after the start of the Third War. Any roads through are overgrown, some even impassable. In contrast, the game trails see increased traffic as beasts living in the shelter of the massive trees grow in number and boldness. Those traveling through Ashenvale will wisely keep their guard up at all times. In recent years, the demons and satyr have corrupted parts of Ashenvale, and other parts of it are cut down by the Horde to fuel their expansion efforts. The Forsaken, too, have begun experimenting on sleeping druids within the Dor'Danil Barrow Den, unbeknownst to the Horde but not the Alliance.
In addition to bears and great cats prowling the dense woodlands, hulking beak-faced wildkin forage throughout Ashenvale. Vicious harpies are known to make massive nests in the tops of the tallest trees. They hunt at dawn and dusk when the light filtering through the canopy throws the forest into a confusion of shifting shadows. Ancients - sentient trees who act as wardens of the forest - roam Ashenvale as well. Ashenvale is under the protection of ancients and the night elf sentinels. Neither had established a community as such within the forest, though, preferring to leave the vast woodlands in its natural state. Ashenvale boasted no cities; the old forest’s inhabitants are primarily beasts, and there are few humanoid settlements. It is devoid of any notable ruins. Travelers through Ashenvale should treat these forces with respect, especially if they hope to reach their destination. The ancients and night elf sentinels guard Ashenvale zealously with constant patrols. Any who threaten the forest - cutting down live trees, poaching beasts of the forest, and the like - are met with the ancients’ powerful attacks and the sentinels’ deadly arrows. The only unified night elf presence dwelling in Ashenvale is a reclusive group of rangers, the Farstriders. They use the terrain and train other inhabitants in their specialized skills. They hold a difference of opinion amongst themselves regarding strangers in Ashenvale. Some believe that their duty is to welcome and protect travelers, as long as they show no threat to the forest. Others see any strangers as unwelcome interlopers who must be “escorted” to the southern border. Still, whatever their opinion on Ashenvale, the Farstriders bow to the wishes of the ancients and the sentinels. There is little reason to try to take the forest, since it has no cities to invade and no treasures to plunder (that anyone knows of), but the rangers and the ancients remain vigilant nonetheless.
In recent years, the night elves have encountered immense difficulty in holding their lands within Ashenvale. The Horde has attacked on multiple fronts, launching assaults against Astranaar, Maestra's Post, and Raynewood Retreat. Though the night elves and their allies have held the Horde at bay in these areas, Silverwind Refuge was lost as the Horde killed everyone inside. As if the threat of the Horde was not enough, the Thistlefur furbolgs have also expanded their holdings, sweeping down from Thistlefur Village to take over the Ruins of Ordil'Aran. From here they attack Maestra's Post independently of the Horde.
All is not doom and gloom, however. The Alliance has pushed back against the Horde, assaulting Splintertree Post and taking half of the Warsong Lumber Camp. New holdings include Orendil's Retreat (near the border to Darkshore), Stardust Spire (near the Talondeep Pass), and Blackfathom Camp (within sight of both Zoram'gar Outpost and Blackfathom Deeps).
Despite the resilience of the Alliance, the Horde have continued to expand within Ashenvale's borders. This comes at great cost to such inhabitants as the Greenpaw furbolg, whose village is partially overrun, with many of their number taken prisoner. Despite having seen heavy combat, the walls of Zoram'gar Outpost have been fortified and the base expanded. In waging war against both Astrannar and Maestra's Post, the Horde have also established a base of operations between these two areas known as Hellscream's Watch. With their new goblin allies they are also constructing an enormous bomb at the Skunkworks near their new outpost at Silverwind Refuge.
When the Alliance become convinced the Horde are sending troops to Silithus to safeguard azerite, the Alliance fleet is sent to thwart those plans. In reality, Varok Saurfang offered up this misinformation in order for the Horde to gain an opportunity to attack Ashenvale.
With agents already scattered through the forest, ready to strike outposts at his command, the Horde managed to largely sweep through the region, though stalled by the stubbornness of the defenders and Malfurion Stormrage.
Ashenvale is a forest full of ancient trees, teeming with life. Though pockets of the forest have become tainted, overall the area is a place of deep magic and spiritual connection with nature. Several lakes are sheltered beneath the forest's boughs. A stretch of beach lines the west edge of the forest, known as the Zoram Strand, where hostile naga dwell. The forest is bordered by mountains to the south, and more forest to the north. The eastern border is the Southfury River.
Ashenvale contains Blackfathom Deeps[15.0, 15.0], an instanced dungeon located in the northwestern corner of the zone. In addition, the micro dungeon Bough Shadow, the site of one of the Great Trees, can be found in this zone. The Alliance entrance to the battleground Warsong Gulch is located in the southern part of the forest. Travel hubs include Astranaar and Forest Song for Alliance, and Splintertree Post and Zoram'gar Outpost for the Horde.
The events of the Cataclysm scarred many areas of Ashenvale, chief among them Iris Lake and its surroundings. The lake has been destroyed, evaporated by streams of lava pouring from Thunder Peak nearby. The lava, however, has not been able to touch the sacred moonwell. The worgen have all but disappeared from the Howling Vale, as its main tunnel system has collapsed leading into it, with another short cave system opening at its base. The area now crawls with Crazed Ancients.
Another area has recently been stripped of its normal inhabitants as well: Lake Falathim. The murlocs have vanished, and now writhing Tendrils from Below haunt the lake. The area is also gloomy and dank, the site of battle between Keeper Heartwise and Harbinger Aphotic.
Ashenvale is home to several characters of note. At Maestra's Post, Delgren the Purifier seeks aid in the battle against the Shadow Council. In Astranaar, Raene Wolfrunner attempts to cleanse the taint that has affected the local furbolgs. At the Zoram'gar Outpost, Je'neu Sancrea sends bold adventurers into the dark Blackfathom Deeps in search of mystical items. At Forest Song, the draenei Vindicator Vedaar oversees the construction of a Draenei outpost.
Many quests in Ashenvale for both Alliance and Horde require combat with the demons and satyrs of the zone. Other notable Horde quests include The Ashenvale Hunt, in which players are asked to hunt down rare animals in the forest. Alliance quests include a chain to investigate the worgen of northern Ashenvale.
Bough Shadow: The location of one of the four Great Trees (gates into the Emerald Dream), the Bough of Shadow is populated by elite green dragonkin. One of the four Dragons of Nightmare - Emeriss, Lethon, Taerar, or Ysondre, will randomly spawn here on occasion. They are tough and require a raid to take down. The four other Great Trees are in the Hinterlands, Feralas, Duskwood and Crystalsong Forest.
Alongside Hillsbrad Foothills and Stranglethorn Vale, Ashenvale was one of the places for PvP combat. An Alliance attack on the Crossroads in the Barrens or a Horde attack on Astraanar would result in a back and forth match as players battled across the landscape. Ashenvale was also a prime location for high level players to gank low level players as for many (Orcs, Tauren, Trolls and Night Elves) this was their first contested zone.
Like Hillsbrad and Stranglethorn, Ashenvale has quieted down significantly with the advent of Battlegrounds and increased level caps, but Astranaar/Crossroad raids are not entirely atypical.
Warsong Gulch (Alliance entrance): The entrance to Warsong Gulch can be found in the southern part of the forest, in an area known as Silverwing Grove. The Horde entrance is located in the Barrens.
The Arathi Highlands are located in southeastern Lordaeron, east of Hillsbrad Foothills and south of the Hinterlands. It is a flat but craggy region that has traditionally been the home of the humans of Arathor, who gave the region its name. The main hubs of activity are now Refuge Pointe and Hammerfall, which houses bases for Alliance and Horde, respectively. The large city of Stromgarde lies in ruins to the southwest, and pockets of Syndicate resistance dot the land. The Boulderfist Orges also infest Arathor, and prove to be a constant threat to the Alliance, Horde, and Syndicate factions vying for supremacy.
The Syndicate, Boulderfist ogres and the beleaguered human defenders of Stromgarde battle for supremacy in this gray, dismal realm. Prince Galen Trollbane leads the human defenders, and his mighty city of Stromgarde is a ruined battleground where the three factions wage guerrilla war. The Trollbane family’s holdings include several ancient human artifacts, and a group called the Caretakers protects and preserves the most important pieces. To the south is the Thandol Span, a massive dwarven construction that bridges the canal between Lordaeron and Khaz Modan. Due to the bridge being the only land connecting path from Lordaeron to Khaz Modan, the Arathi Highlands have become quite a hotspot for trade between the separated continents.
The Arathi Highlands were once the cradle of Human civilization, as it marks the place where the Empire of Arathor was founded and where the first real contact between elves and humans was made, during the Troll Wars. From the great city of Strom, the Human Empire controlled nearly all of the eastern lands. After the Empire's collapse, the city of Strom was largely abandoned save for a contingent of the Imperial Guard. These Guardsmen founded a new martial kingdom known as Stromgarde, establishing their capital in the old city of Strom. Over time, they also built a village (later known as Hammerfall) further to the east. During the Second War, the forces of Stromgarde, now ruled by Thoras Trollbane, were an instrumental part of the Alliance's ground forces. Despite this, the Arathi Highlands, and Stromgarde itself was overrun by the Horde.
After the Second War, Stromgarde was rebuilt, and the former village that was to become Hammerfall was converted into an internment camp to hold the hated Orcs. The nation managed to escape the Plague of Undeath but was soon afterward overrun by the Syndicate and Ogres. The remnant of the army was forced to flee the city and take refuge in a small canyon to the north, in what is now known as Refuge Pointe. Now, four years after the Third War, the area has become a battle zone between many different factions. The Alliance fights to aid the former nation of Stromgarde in recapturing its capital and reestablishing control over the region. The Horde, now in control of the internment camp that once held them prisoner (naming it Hammerfall in honor of the fallen warchief Orgrim Doomhammer), is attempting to establish a forward base to protect its new allies against Alliance attack. The Syndicate is also in the area, trying to claim yet another territory for its jealous nobles. Finally, the Ogres and Forest Trolls in the region are trying to drive out all others and establish a permanent settlement for themselves.
Unlike its neighboring regions of Hillsbrad Foothills and the Wetlands, the Highlands were spared during the Cataclysm. Very little has changed. The Horde, flush from victory within Hillsbrad, have pushed slightly into the Highlands and have established a camp near the border. On the Alliance side, the dwarves have burrowed a deep pass through the mountains north into the Hinterlands, and now a clear path runs from behind Stromgarde Keep to Faldir's Cove. The dark iron dwarves have abandoned their camp near Thandol Span, retreating within the structure, and now the camp is home to a friendly Dark Iron Entrepreneur.
In Before the Storm
Arathi Highlands serves as a meeting place between humans and Forsaken wishing to reunite with loved ones. The meeting takes place under the eyes of Anduin Wrynn and Sylvanas Windrunner and their respective troops, brokered by Alonsus Faol and Calia Menethil.
The meeting ends in tragedy as Calia's identity is revealed while attempting to assist Forsaken in defecting. The Horde archers open fire, killing the Forsaken on the field, and Sylvanas personally slays Calia.
The Arathi Highlands have a higher elevation than Khaz Modan's Wetlands, but otherwise the geography is similar. To the north is Thoradin's Wall, now collapsed and gaping wide. South is the Thandol Span, which bridges the gap between Lordaeron and Khaz Modan. Mountains to the east prevent easy access to the sea, and the Highlands' western coast is bleak, windswept and cold.
The Arathi Highlands are an area of grassy land in Southeastern Lordaeron. Notable features include the great circles of binding, which are protected by elementals and used to keep some unknown entity imprisoned. The region lies just north of the huge canyon running between the highlands and the Wetlands to the south, which can only be crossed by the Thandol Span. The area is home to the ruins of Stromgarde Keep, which has been overrun by ogres and the Syndicate. The wildlife of the highlands includes giant spiders, carrion birds, and raptors.
There are no instanced dungeons in the Arathi Highlands, though the ruins of Stromgarde Keep are one of the most well known micro dungeons in the game, and the The Tower of Arathor micro dungeon can also be found here. The entrance to the Arathi Basin battleground can also be found in this zone.
Alliance: From Ironforge run east towards Loch Modan; take the road in the Loch north through Dun Algaz pass and into the Wetlands. Follow the road as it runs north, northeast, then west. When the road splits and heads north follow it north. You'll pass over the ruined Thandol Span and you'll be in the Highlands.
Horde:From Tarren Mill in Hillsbrad Foothills, run eastwards across the river and catch up with the main road. Follow the main road eastward until you go through Thoradin's Wall. Continue following the path for a considerable time, until you see a signed turnoff to the north to Hammerfall. Take that turn off and continue running until you get to Hammerfall.
The Arathi Highlands are home to several characters of note. At Refuge Pointe, Skuerto seeks aid in the battle against the Boulderfist ogres. In Hammerfall, Tor'gan attempts to raise the spirits of those who still reel from the loss of Warchief Orgrim Doomhammer. And in Faldir's Cove, Captain Steelgut and his trusted crew seek an end to their prime threat — naga.
April 2005 Patch: "Kinelory in Arathi Highlands is now PvP-enabling, so Horde players who attack here will be flagged for PvP."
It is possible to swim along the southeastern edge of the zone to get to the undefined brown area southeast on the zone map. This area is in fact an isolated plains containing a couple of crops, two male dwarven farmers, cats, rams, rats, and a wooden chair that you can sit in. The region has no name, and visiting it will not reveal it on the zone map.
The Arathi Highlands was one of the locations featured in South Park's "Make Love, Not Warcraft" episode.
The Thundermar clan, or Clan Thundermar, is a small clan of Wildhammer dwarves located in Thundermar. They made a martial bond with the Firebeard clan.
The Mullan clan, or Clan Mullan, is a small clan of Wildhammer dwarves located in the Twilight Highlands. They are famous for being excellent Gryphon Riders.
The Dunwald clan, or Clan Dunwald, is a small clan of Wildhammer dwarves located in the Dunwald Ruins. They are famous for being excellent warriors.
The Doyle clan, or Clan Doyle, was a small clan of Wildhammer dwarves located in the Highlands. They are famous among the Wildhammer clans for being very stubborn. The clan was wiped out by Twilight drakes, but Tak Doyle was sent by his brother Keeland to Kul Tiras before, making him the last known survivor of the clan
The Moore clan, or Clan Moore, is a small clan of Wildhammer dwarves located in the Twilight Highlands. They ride ebon gryphons.
Falstad Wildhammer, also known as Falstad Dragonreaver, is the High Thane of the Wildhammer Clan. He ruled the Wildhammer clan from Aerie Peak in the Hinterlands following the departure of Kurdran Wildhammer and joined his companions Rhonin and Vereesa in freeing the Dragon Queen Alexstrasza from Grim Batol. Since the Cataclysm, he serves as a member of the Council of Three Hammers in Ironforge (although adventurers may encounter him at his ancestral home at Aerie Peak in the Hinterlands).
The Wildhammer Dwarves are stuck in conflict against local Troll tribes. They wish to maintain their independence, something that their people have valued since the War of the Three Hammers, but the increasing number of Trolls in their land causes growing concern. Falstad also sees the Scourge just beyond the horizon, and knows that one day, his people will have to make a stand against the undead as well. To this end, he seeks to increase the Wildhammers’ ties with the Alliance without actually joining, which puts him in an interesting position. Since he has not officially joined the Alliance, he lacks their full support; but the Horde does not yet consider him an enemy either. He has yet to decide if joining the Alliance would be beneficial enough to risk the wrath of the Horde, but his people lean more in that direction, especially with many of them working side-by-side with the Stormpike clan and the few remaining high elves.
Falstad does have one thing in his favor: the red dragonflight. As a member of the party that freed the Dragonqueen, and a personal friend of her mate Korialstrasz, he is one of the most respected humanoids in the eyes of the red dragons. While he has yet to call upon their favor, Falstad considers flying to Grim Batol to ask for aid, or just to discuss matters with the dragons. If Falstad could be persuaded to join the Alliance, perhaps he could bring the red dragonflight with him.
Due to his fighting prowess against dragons, Falstad is often known as “Falstad Dragonreaver,” but his real last name is (like Muradin Bronzebeard) that of his clan: Wildhammer.
Falstad Dragonreaver was a noble gryphon rider of the Wildhammer dwarf clan of Hinterlands, commanding a small flight of such riders who patrolled the shores of Lordaeron for any hostile draconic activity after the Second War. Falstad and his comrades protected the town of Hasic from certain doom, and then transported human mage Rhonin and his companions across the Great Sea to Khaz Modan. During the journey, however, the group was ambushed and Falstad's kinsmen were killed. Nevertheless, at the incentive of Vereesa Windrunner, Falstad continued to Khaz Modan. Later, with the help of a clan of hill dwarves, Falstad reached Grim Batol and fought in the final battle there to free the Red Dragon Queen Alexstrasza.
Following the presumed death or retirement of High Thane Maz Drachrip, ruler of Aerie Peak and the Wildhammer Clan, Falstad succeeded him through hereditary monarchy as the High Thane and continues to rule the Wildhammer Clan to this day.
In World of Warcraft
Falstad Wildhammer is a level 50 quest giver located at Aerie Peak in the Hinterlands.
He starts the following quest:
Gryphon Master Talonaxe
Falstad Wildhammer's Copper Coin may be found in the wishing well of Dalaran. It reads "I hope I end up in another book eventually."
Falstad Wildhammer was to be seated in the Council of Three Hammers, but in the early Beta was replaced by Kurdran Wildhammer. At Blizzcon 2010 this alteration was raised and it was stated that Falstad should be reclaiming his seat. In Cataclysm Beta Build 13221 (after Blizzcon 2010), Falstad had returned and is accompanied by an NPC: Wildhammer Fact Checker, a homage to the Red Shirt Guy.
In Battle for Azeroth
Falstad Wildhammer can be recruited as a follower by an Alliance player after completing the appropriate quest chain. He will also stand near the mission table at Wind's Redemption once he is recruited.
Falstad does have a cameo appearance later in the novel Stormrage in which he appears with Rhonin and Vereesa Windrunner at the wedding of Malfurion Stormrage and Tyrande Whisperwind.
Warbringer O'mrogg is a two-headed Ogre. He is the second boss in The Shattered Halls wing of the Hellfire Citadel instance. Attempting to skip O'mrogg and move on to Kargath Bladefist causes O'mrogg to add to the Kargath event.
This boss is a two-headed ogre.
He is immune to taunt and growl.
He has an AoE fear ability.
He switches aggro tables when he "changes heads."
Thunderclap: Inflicts 938 to 1062 Nature damage to nearby enemies, reducing their attack speed by 35% and slowing their movement by 35% for 10 sec (can be dispelled).
Burning Weapon/Blast Wave: When Warbringer O'mrogg's weapon starts burning, he hits for 1k fire damage in melee, then he will cast 2 consecutive Blast Waves (each of them deals around 2.5k-3.2k damage). This also has a debuff to movement speed.
The debuffs can be cleansed and dispelled.
O'mrogg has two heads. When he emotes, he switches aggro tables. As such, DoTs should be avoided for this fight, as well as HoTs.
Although he cannot be taunted, high aggro moves will pull him off his target. Warriors can stack Sunder Armor, druid bears can use Lacerate. Druid moonkin can easily pull him off a healer with a large Starfire crit and given their high armor can take the abuse from him long enough to either wait for him change targets or let the tank re-establish aggro.
His melee damage is not significant, 700-900 against plate wearers or bear druids.
He will periodically AoE fear. Tremor Totems, Fear Ward, or Will of the Forsaken, are all helpful. "Stance dancing" is rather difficult, as it does not appear that his fear is timed or announced. He will temporarily shift focus to anyone not feared, so if you do not have a method of making the tank immune to fear, it may be wise to make sure everyone is in range to be feared.
He will periodically thunderclap. This will cause 900-1000 nature damage to all targets within range. At level 70 this amount of damage is really not significant, but the slowing effect needs to be removed from melee if possible so that they can continue to DPS, and be able to get out of range of his blast wave.
His highest burst damage output is from his Burning Weapon and Blast Wave combination. When his weapon glows red, it will hit the target as fire damage for up to 1000. Immediately following, he will strike the target and AoE Blast Wave for up to 3200 fire damage. Usually after he does a Blast Wave he will do another after only a few seconds. Fire protection potions, fire resist totem, Gift of the Wild, or fire resist gear are all helpful.
Tank him in the middle of the arena that he starts in. Be careful of the guards in the hallway nearby, and the possible assassin near the far edge of the arena. You can typically clear this assassin from the outer edge, prior to engaging O'mrogg.
For Paladin tanks, it's a good idea to use Seal of Vengeance and let it tick. If you stack it up to 5, it will tick on the boss when the aggro table changes and will help you get aggro back.
Heroic Mode Strategy
An effective heroic strategy is to put three members of the party in DPS gear while maintaining about 8500hp (buffed). This includes the tank. The two remaining members should be healers, also with high hp. Tank goes in first and then the other two DPS shortly follow. Healers heal whomever has aggro. He will inevitably hit a healer, but with DPS going all out, it shouldn't be for very long. The other healer should be able to heal through it. Healers try to stay inside the fear range so as to not pick up aggro during the fear. Zerg him down.
On O'mroggs first threat list change all dd should cease fire for a few seconds while the tank goes all out. Done correctly, the tank will be first on both aggro lists. However, the tank needs to keep up high dps throughout the rest of the fight so he won’t lose aggro on either list.
Omrogg appears to possess two threat tables (or an aggro wipe that makes it appear as so.) When he emotes, he switches tables, which, when it occurs for the first time, is an effective aggro wipe, except for one person (not the tank) who is assigned a small amount of threat. Use no DoT effects or HoT, and keep the tank topped off to lower the likelihood of non-tank aggro right after a table switch. The tank should immediately attempt to gain aggro after the switch, as all DPS ceases until he has control.
O'mrogg's heads talk during the whole fight with each other:
Left head: Me hungry! Right head: You always hungry. That why we so fat!
Left head: Smash! Right head: Why don't you let me do the talking?
Right head: That's not funny!
Left head: Ha ha ha.
Left head: Me not like this one... Right head: I'm not done yet, idiot!
Right head: Hey, you numbskull!
Left head: We kill his friend!
Right head: I'm tired. You kill next one!
The Blasted Lands bears that name for a reason: the area was twisted by the magic that brought the Dark Portal into being, spewing the rampaging Horde out onto Azeroth.
This wasted desert of red clay is home to the original Dark Portal. The portal still stands, and leads to Draenor (used to lead to Outland). Nethergarde Keep, a Stormwind fortress of dour mages and paladins, keeps watch over the portal and the demons and ogres that would abuse its power.
Now, the wretched land hosts few inhabitants and no significant settlements. Magic that leaked through the Dark Portal warped the Blasted Lands, leaving an infertile desert landscape. Hardy desert species like Basilisks, Scorpions and Hyenas have since colonized the area. The red rocks of the region do not come by their color naturally. The original tan color was transmuted into the unearthly crimson by searing heat and chaotic energies when the Dark Portal was destroyed.
There is but one usable road in the Blasted Lands, guarded at the north by Nethergarde Keep’s grim mages. They have the unenviable task of watching the Dark Portal, guarding the rest of the continent from the demons in the south and protecting themselves from the ogre tribes that roam the desert. The weather here is dry and hot during the day and bitterly cold at night. Mountains block any moisture that may come from the Swamp of Sorrows to the north, and no rivers grace this land. The eastern coast will occasionally get storms from the sea, but these downpours come so quickly the water merely runs off the packed earth and back into the sea.
The keepers of Nethergarde have an uptight and uncheerful disposition that seems appropriate in light of the danger they face daily. The warriors and mages fight every day with the ogre magi and demons that threaten either to destroy the keep or take over the Dark Portal. This tightly knit community experiences little crime, however. Those found breaking the agreements they take on when accepting a post at the Keep are sent for a time to the Stockade in Stormwind.
This foul desert was once a dark fen of marshlands called the Black Morass; a sort of sub-region of the Swamp of Sorrows. This is the area where the orcish Horde first entered Azeroth through the Dark Portal, followed soon by their attack on the human lands to the northwest. The lands around the former Dark Portal are burnt and dead, forever warped by the powers that followed its destruction. Lightning strikes are constant, and the inhospitable land is home to groups of especially vicious and powerful creatures. A sizable remnant of the Burning Legion has taken refuge within the Tainted Scar. It is still watched over by the wizards of Dalaran within the Fortress of Nethergarde, established by the Archmage Khadgar after the second war. The unique and dangerous opportunities presented in such a harsh landscape has also attracted the notice of the Blood Elves and the Horde.
As if the Horde weren’t enough, Dreadmaul ogres also came through the Dark Portal. Unlike the orcs, they remained in the Blasted Lands. Nethergarde’s mages tell that the ogres serve Lord Kazzak. Whoever their master is, he orders them to attack the Alliance’s keep on an uncomfortably regular basis.
The Blasted Lands were once littered with gold mines, and heavily populated with centaur.
This desolate and barren land has very little in the way of flora and fauna, barring the demons which now wander the plains. The region is particularly notable because the Dark Portal leading into Outland can be found here.
There are no instanced dungeons or battlegrounds in this zone, though several micro dungeons can be found here.
The Blasted Lands are home to several characters of note. At Nethergarde Keep, Thadius Grimshade aids adventurers in locating a special gryphon. Further west, near Dreadmaul Hold, Bloodmage Drazial and Bloodmage Lynnore attempt to capture the essence of strength, power and wisdom from the local beasts and turn them into special elixirs. And deep inside the Tainted Scar, Daio the Decrepit sends highly seasoned warlocks into the darkest, most demonic parts of the world in search of mystical items.
There are three main quest "chains" in the Blasted Lands: The potions quests, the Kum'isha quests, and the You Are Rakh'likh, Demon quest chain.
+25 stat potions
These quests you can get from two blood elves standing just inside the border of the Blasted Lands.
Each item rewards a +25 stat bonus to Intellect, Stamina, Strength, Agility or Spirit, reduced from 50 to 25 in patch 1.11
Each potion is unique so you can only carry one of each kind at a time. You can however drink one and get another one for later use.
The quests are repeatable but you'll only get experience for the first initial quest. The first quest grants an immediate 60 min buff in addition to the potion, the subsequent quests only give a potion. So make sure you plan it out, it can be quite useful.
These quests are obtained from Kum'Isha The Collector, level 60 in the Middle of Blasted Lands. He has two quests, one that requires you to find a random Green Item called Imperfect Draenethyst Fragment and one that requires you to find a random Blue Item called Flawless Draenethyst Sphere, which is even rarer, and has about 0.2% chance to drop. Any mob in the Blasted Lands can drop both of these items, but the best source for the sphere is Teremus The Devourer, a dragon that can be 5 manned. It drops it 75% chance and usually about 2-3 spheres. Each of these spheres give a Level 40-50 Superior/Rare Item, or if you are very lucky, an Epic Item. The Imperfect Fragments only give random Level 40-50 Uncommon Items.
World of Warcraft: Cataclysm
This is one of the zones Blizzard is most excited about. The level range of the zone is 54+, and the newly exposed coastline to the east allows for a brand new play zone.
In addition to these, the Tainted Scar (sub-zone in the south-western parts of the Blasted Lands, currently populated by elite demons) is now a large worgen area. Instead of being a "scar", it is a forest, dark, misty, and gloomy, with exposure to the ocean.
The worgen in the fishing village of Surwich are allied with the Alliance.
Dreadmaul Hold – appears to be expanded and taken by the Horde, with a flight path added.
Nethergarde Keep – southern wall has been opened with a path leading to the beach where a lot of Gilnean ghosts wander near their shattered ships
Nethergarde Mines – taken over by the Horde
The Tainted Scar – completely revamped playable area, very moody and foggy (Daio is still here); Worgen-themed town with flight master to the very south
Other – SE of the Dark Portal is a new area uncovered by the lowering of the tides, the Red Reaches, ruled by murloc-enslaving naga; constant fighting between Horde and Alliance mobs between Keep and Mines
New Hunter Pets – Bonepicker Feeder (Carrion, Green), Felscale Crawler (crab)
Those with the Burning Crusade and at least level 57 are able to use the now reopened Dark Portal to reach Hellfire Peninsula in Outland, although it is recommended to wait until level 58 as quests are very limited at 57. The Dark Portal, like Shattrath City, is a sanctuary and therefore combat there is prohibited, even between PvP flagged players.
The occasional lightning that strikes the ground near the Dark Portal cannot hurt you in any way.
The Blasted Lands are a good place to farm money and equipment. There are numerous silver elites wandering the lands, and there is a Draenei quest giver who gives you a pack of clothing every time you find a certain crystal.
Where to start? Well, somebody would say all the way back to Warcraft I (aka Warcraft: Orcs & Humans or the First War), or maybe Warcraft II (aka Tides of Darkness or the Second War up to and including Wrath of the Lich King, Warcraft III is the best place to start. Also, this game then elicits more interesting questions. For instance, how Illidan Stormrage became so hated or where the Scourge started. You will learn all the history and geography of the Warcraft with our help and dedication.