Major Regions

Detention Block

This area contains Alliance quest NPCs Kharan Mighthammer and Marshal Windsor, as well as the Horde quest NPC Commander Gor'shak as prisoners. Their cell doors can be opened with lockpicking or its alternatives, or with the  [Prison Cell Key] which can be obtained from High Interrogator Gerstahn, at the center of this area. The key is a white item which is always dropped, and can be picked up by any player with loot rights. It persists beyond the instance, so there is no need to kill Gerstahn for the key on subsequent trips, though she does drop decent loot. Note that the key is placed automatically in your keyring rather than in your bags.

If the players' goal is to free Marshal Windsor for his escort quest A [58D] Jail Break!, they should first clear the entire detention block of enemies. Once the quest begins he will walk through nearly every part of this area on his way out, leaving the players little time to heal and buff between encounters. In particular, clear out the locked store room on the west side of the detention block loop where Windsor's belongings are kept before starting the escort quest, as the event will spawn additional mobs in that area, making it a very difficult pull. Once Windsor steps out of his cell, he walks clockwise through the Detention Block halls, then across the large entry room, then walks clockwise through the tunnel that is outside the Ring of the Law.

Ring of the Law

If you have the  [Shadowforge Key] (or lockpicking (skill 250) or its alternatives), you can bypass the Ring of Law event via the west garrison side door. Otherwise, you must run this event to advance in the instance.

When a player stands on the mesh circle at the center of this area, it starts a plot event. The entrance to the ring is closed, and High Justice Grimstone appears in the ring. This Dark Iron dwarf is flagged red, but cannot be attacked; his purpose is to explain what is about to happen.

He releases three waves of non-elite monsters, and then an elite mini-boss. The type of monsters and specific mini-boss which appear vary randomly between several alternatives. Monsters: varies. Bats, scorpions, and slimes are all possible. Mini-Bosses: Anub'shiah, Eviscerator, Gorosh the Dervish, Grizzle, Hedrum the Creeper, or Ok'thor the Breaker.

Once the players are victorious in the ring, the ring's entrance reopens, and a second gate also opens, leading to the ring's upper levels and the rest of the instance. The arena spectators on the upper level are normally hostile, but become neutral when the ring event is won.

Alternate Ring of the Law battle (0.5 upgrade quest chain)

This is the Dungeon 2 set upgrade task to kill Theldren's Army and retrieve the Top Piece of Lord Valthalak's Amulet. To do this, just go in the arena, use the banner while the dwarf is "sentencing" you, and destroy all the mobs that come out of the gates. NOTE: Do not forget to get the Top Piece of Lord Valthalak's Amulet from Theldren.

These mobs behave like a pvp group with a mage, healer, warrior, rogue, and sometimes a dynamite tossing goblin. Can't taunt them so they go for healers. Not too hard if done with a mage. Every enemy who fights with theldren is immune to a warrior's taunt, so crowd control is a must.

The completion of the event spawns a box of loot and you get to keep the banner in case you want to get the loot again in the future.

Loot of note

If Theldren is killed, an Arena Spoils chest appears. Rare loot includes:

Inv shoulder 05.png [Ironweave Mantle] Inv misc cape 16.png [Shroud of Arcane Mastery]
Inv gauntlets 11.png [Lefty's Brass Knuckle] Inv weapon bow 12.png [Malgen's Long Bow]

Deep within Blackrock Mountain

The Dark Iron Highway

This long stretch of wide pavement is located directly north of the entrance (behind a gate requiring the  [Shadowforge Key]), and is guarded by patrols of dwarves, dogs, and the occasional fire elemental. At its western end, we find the giant Bael'Gar. The eastern end of the road leads to the Black Anvil.

The Black Vault

The Black Vault houses the Dark Coffer as well as 12 Relic Coffers, guarded by Warder Stilgiss and his pet demon hound. Each Relic Coffer can be opened using a  [Relic Coffer Key]. If all the Relic Coffers are opened, the 4 golems in the room will come to life and the Secret Safe will be revealed, including  [The Heart of the Mountain].

See Dark Coffer for more information.

The Black Anvil

Blackrock depths churns with lava.

This large metal structure stands at the eastern end of the Dark Iron Highway, with Lord Incendius patrolling around it. This Anvil is required for all Blacksmithing recipes involving Dark Iron and for the Engineering recipe for  [Dark Iron Rifle].

The Black Forge

The Black Forge is used to smelt Dark Iron into Dark Iron Bars, which are used in several high end Smith, and Engineering recipes. The forge is also required by enchanters to create the  [Smoking Heart of the Mountain] trinket.

The forge is located just before the bridge leading into Molten Core, and just after the room of The Seven. After exiting the room of the seven, turn right, and then immediately left. there will be a small bridge leading to a single fire elemental. The Forge is directly behind him.

The Hall of Crafting

This rocky region is populated with groups of one elite golem and 3 non-elite dwarves. The area is a square staircase leading upward from the Black Anvil to the Shadowforge City. Fineous Darkvire patrols from one end of this area to the other. He is the NPC that drops  [Ironfel], which is required for a quest to obtain the  [Shadowforge Key].

The Shadowforge City

This area overlooks the Black Anvil, and is divided into two parts. The eastern half connects the Hall of Crafting, Vault and the upper levels of the Ring of the Law. The western half is accessible from the Grim Guzzler back door, and leads to the Chamber of Enchantment.

The Shadowforge Lock

The East Garrison, which can be accessed directly from the instance entrance (with the  [Shadowforge Key]) or from the upper levels of the Ring of the Law, contains the Shadowforge Lock. The lock is not really a lock but a mechanism controlling a movable bridge which connects the upper levels of the Ring of the Law to the Manufactory. This bridge is the only way into the manufactory, and thus the only way to reach the back areas (and final boss) of this instance. Releasing the lock will form the bridge by closing the gates on the Dark Iron Highway, making it impossible to reach the Black Anvil via the Highway (you can still get there via the Shadowforge City east or west halves).

A player capable of stealth, or any player with an invisibility potion, can release the lock without being detected at level 60 by standing directly in front of the lock while activating it. Prior to level 60, characters may aggro the nearby mobs using this technique depending on their level and care of positioning. The lock can be reached unmolested by jumping off the stairs leading up to the Ring of the Law, but getting back will require stealth or invisibility, or defeating one 3-pack of elite guards.

Prior to patch 1.11, the Shadowforge Lock was not pickable, nor could it be defeated with blacksmithing keys or seaforium charges.

The Manufactory

This area is full of golems and weapon technicians. At the back stands Golem Lord Argelmach, flanked by a pair of special golems. Players are advised to clear the Manufactory before fighting him, since the first thing the golem lord does is run through the factory, searching for allies to help him.

The Grim Guzzler

The Grim Guzzler is a marginally safe haven in the depths. The only way to reach the end of the instance is through its back door on the second level, which DOES NOT use the Shadowforge Key and cannot be picked. The Guzzler is filled with non-hostile non-elite drunken dwarves, with a scattering of named special NPCs, a variety of plot events, and a quest. There are many special circumstances surrounding this area:

  • If you attack a hammered patron, all of his friends within aggro range will also aggro. Attacking a patron typically results in a swarm of 10-20 Dark Iron dwarves. They're not elite, but there are a lot of them.
  • Upon entry, the player will first notice Ribbly Screwspigot and his cronies, who are friendly to begin with. Ribbly's head is needed for a quest; if you go up to him and ask him for his head, he will aggro, and will not draw the attention of the patrons. To ensure that you do not accidentally attack one of them, it is safest to pull Ribbly into the empty room near the entrance.
  • Within this empty room, the player will notice three selectable beer casks. If you right-click one, your character will destroy that cask. Once all three are destroyed, Hurley Blackbreath will spawn with three friends, and they will run into the room to fight you.
  • Mistress Nagmara is a friendly succubus NPC who wanders from one end of the bar to the other. She is in love with Private Rocknot who is near Plugger Spazzring on the top floor of the bar. She gives you a quest: "The Love Potion", which is the only 'non-hostile' method of opening the back door.
  • Plugger Spazzring, on the second level, is the bar's owner. He is neutral and is a vendor. If you attack him, all the patrons become hostile. Furthermore, if Mistress Nagmara sees you fighting with Plugger, she vanishes.
  • Near Plugger, you will notice a pair of tables with beer and stuffed pigs on them. If you right-click on the beer or pigs, you can pick them up, but Plugger notices this and aggros. You can also purchase both types of items from Plugger himself.
  • If you acquire some  [Dark Iron Ale Mug], you will find that using the ale does not get you drunk; instead, using the ale drops a beer onto the floor wherever you indicate. The nearest patron will then wander over to the beer, drink it, and be stunned for about 6 seconds. The patrons will travel quite a distance to reach the ale, so you can use ale to pull patrons away from their crowds one at a time to kill them. This is most useful to draw away the 4 patrons standing near Plugger, so that you can fight him by himself.

Opening the back door of the bar

The bar's rear exit is on the second level, and blocked with an unpickable door. There are four ways to open it:

  • At the top of the stairs between the bar's two floors, close to the door, is the golem Phalanx. He is initially friendly. If you buy 6  [Dark Iron Ale Mug] from Plugger and feed them all into Private Rocknot (at a table near Plugger), a script starts during which Phalanx destroys the back door and aggros.
  • When you kill Plugger, or any patron in the bar, a patrol will eventually bash the back door open and stand in front of it. This patrol is always hostile.
  • If a rogue picks Plugger's pockets, he can get the key to this door, but Plugger notices the theft within about 10 seconds; he doesn't aggro, but all the patrons become hostile.
  • Completing Mistress Nagmara's quest "The Love Potion". Once you have completed this quest you can talk to her at any time and she will open the back door so that she and Rocknot can leave. With the door open, you can follow her out and continue into the instance. This is the only 'non-hostile' way that the back door can be opened without triggering the patrol that will come to investigate after the other methods are employed. Simply completing the quest does not trigger her to open the door, but once she is triggered you can no longer turn in the quest. Therefore if more than one party member needs to complete the quest, be sure that no one triggers her first or you will have to reset the instance in order to turn in the quest.

When the players leave the bar through the back door, they will find themselves in the second half of the Shadowforged City.

The Chamber of Enchantment

This large platform is entirely empty, except for Ambassador Flamelash standing in the middle. Once he is defeated, players can pass on to the Mold Foundry.

Have all party members through the doorway, if anyone is standing outside you get elite fire elemental adds instead of the one-shotters.

The Mold Foundry

This area is small and insignificant, filled with small groups of elite golems and non-elite dwarves. Its only notable feature is its chance to spawn Panzor the Invincible. This area leads to the Summoner's Tomb.

Summoners' Tomb

This room is another area which is safe to begin with. It is populated by seven ghostly dwarves, the patriarchs of the Dark Iron nation - and the dwarves who summoned Ragnaros into the world. These dwarves must be killed to pass on to the later areas, but before the attack any miners in the group should speak with Gloom'rel and do his quest, to gain the ability to smelt Dark Iron ore. When the group is ready, speak to Doom'rel and challenge him.

Once the dwarves are defeated, the Chest of The Seven will spawn and the doors will open, allowing access to the Lyceum and the bridge to Molten Core.

The Molten Bridge

Two groups of fire elementals stand on this bridge - on the far side, the swirling portal to Molten Core. This is where the Attunement to the Core quest can be completed - the core fragment is on the far side of the bridge, next to the portal. Note that you do not need to enter the core to finish this quest; in fact, if you enter the core by mistake, when you exit the core you will appear outside of the depths, next to the quest giver for the attunement quest. You will then need to run all the way back through the depths to rejoin your group.

The Lyceum

This room is filled with vast numbers of non-elite, low hp dwarves, linked in groups of 10 or so. These dwarves are on a fast respawn cycle, with a number of patrols wandering through the area. On the far side, the doors to the Iron Hall stand locked and unpickable. Two braziers flank the doors, each guarded by a Flame elemental. Two flamekeepers are within the room at any one time, with about 8 possible spawn points spread around the room.

To enter the Iron hall, you must loot a torch from a flamekeeper, and use it to light a brazier. These are five-minute duration, unique, BoP items, that are consumed on use. Once both braziers are lit, the doors open, and the NPCs of the Lyceum stop respawning.

The key to this room is to stay together and keep moving, to avoid undue aggro and the (approx) 30second respawns. Even low-level aoe is very useful here, such as a paladin's consecration. Have loot set to free for all, to make torch looting easier.

Some parties will send a single rogue or druid to kill each flamekeeper and loot the torches, while the rest of the group works their way to the braziers. This is risky because if the stealth class aggroes extra mobs, they will often die, leaving four players to do the work of five. The risk is not worth the lack of reward.

A better tactic is for the party to stay together, staying to the right wall, until they reach the right brazier on the other side of the room. Rogues are useful here: be on the lookout for the patrols, ready to distract them. There is a safe area on the braziers' platform where approximately lvl 55+ players are safe from the constant respawns and patrols, where the party can rest. From here they work around to the left brazier, where there is a similar safe spot.

At this point you will have covered nearly half the spawns of the flamekeepers, and will have otherwise located them.

The Iron Hall

This room is lined on both sides with massive statues, and guarded at its end by Magmus. Once Magmus aggros, the statues begin to breathe fire about every 10 seconds; players should be careful to stand in the areas between statues to avoid fire damage.

The Imperial Seat

This large room has many mixed groups of dwarves, with Emperor Dagran Thaurissan and Princess Moira Bronzebeard sitting at the end. The room must be cleared before engaging the emperor, as he will call them all to his aid when he aggros. The princess is a dedicated healer; if the players are attempting the quest "The Royal Rescue" then she must be alive when the emperor is killed.


As mentioned earlier, the Shadowforge Key is required to access the Manufactory and following areas. A high-level rogue or druid with this key can actually sneak all the way to the Grim Guzzler without fighting anyone or needing to brave the stealth-sniffing dogs. This is useful for rogues who want to farm Plugger for his  [Barman Shanker]. A hunter can also reach the bar solo through creative use of [Feign Death] and his pet.

The lava path

If you are aiming for The Emperor, Black Forge or the entrance to MC, you might consider taking the lava path. It begins below the Black Anvil, and ends at the Black Forge, bypassing much of the instance.

Jumping left from the Anvil into the lava is a short swim to a small path that winds around until you come to a ledge under the Chamber of Enhancement (an alternate entrance to the path). Lower-level players may need to deal with incidental elementals that flank this route. There's a long stretch of lava, patrolled by an elemental, that you have to cross to reach an island in the center of the lava, which also has 4 elementals on it. It's best to pull the patrolling elemental and deal with it before crossing. It is possible to avoid all four elementals on the island, or to deal with them individually or in pairs. After that island, it's a short swim until you come up underneath the bridge. Beware of aggroing the 1st 3 elementals on the left.

The lava path allows for nice quick runs to 3 of the main objectives in BRD, but it can be dangerous for the inexperienced, or soloing characters. If you are aiming for the Emperor, you will come up before the Lyceum, needing the Shadowforge key to continue, and you cannot move backwards into the room of 7. As described, it is possible currently for the 1st mob you fight in the instance to be the elemental patrolling the lava before the island.

See also