- For Blackrock Spire's Warcraft: Orcs & Humans statistics, see Black Rock (WC1 Orc). For the Hearthstone adventure, see Hearthstone: Blackrock Mountain.
|Level: 49 - 60, 80 - 83, 85, 100|
As seen in the trailer for Hearthstone: Blackrock Mountain
Black dragonflight |
Dark Iron dwarf
Warlord Zaela †|
Dagran Thaurissan †
|Affiliation||Dark Iron clan, Alliance, Twilight's Hammer|
|Former affiliation(s)||Iron Horde, Ragnaros, Dark Horde, Blackrock clan, Old Horde, Shadow Council|
|Location||In between the Burning Steppes and Searing Gorge|
|PvP status||Contested territory|
Blackrock Mountain is a zone between the Burning Steppes and the Searing Gorge, linking the two regions. This zone is deceptively small and appears empty when first entered - however, it was at one point, without doubt, among the most dangerous places in Azeroth. It was hotly contested between the forces of Ragnaros and his Dark Iron servants on one side and the black dragon Nefarian and his orc minions on the other. Within these black stones, there are numerous inhabited areas. Inside this unnaturally created volcano is some of the greatest work ever wrought by the dwarves.
During the invasion of the Iron Horde, it was occupied by the Ironmarch. While it is unknown whether or not the orcs remain in the spire, the Dark Iron dwarves of Shadowforge City fully aligned themselves with the Alliance during the Fourth War; bringing the lower half of the mountain into Alliance control as the Dark Iron capitol. This is one of the most important areas in World of Warcraft lore.
It contains 7 high-level instances:
- Blackrock Depths: 5-man dungeon (49-57)
- Lower Blackrock Spire : 5-man dungeon (56-60)
- Molten Core: 40-man raid (60)
- Blackwing Lair: 40-man raid (60)
- Blackrock Caverns: 5-man dungeon (80-83), heroic mode available (85)
- Blackwing Descent: 10/25-man raid, heroic mode available (85)
- Upper Blackrock Spire: 5-man dungeon, heroic mode available (100)
The mountain is actually a volcano that was created at the end of the War of the Three Hammers when the Dark Iron lord, Thaurissan, accidentally summoned Ragnaros the Firelord from his prison in the Firelands. The power unleashed by his "rebirth" was so massive it shattered a large section of the Redridge Mountains creating the areas now known as the Searing Gorge and Burning Steppes, creating Blackrock Mountain. Ragnaros enslaved the Dark Iron dwarf clan. They have built a giant city made of tunnels throughout the mountain. The name Blackrock Mountain and Blackrock Spire predates the coming of the orcs.
The First and Second Wars
During the First War, Blackrock Spire was the headquarter of the Shadow Council. When the Shadow Council moved into Blackrock Mountain, they were confronted by the fire elemental and Dark Iron dwarf minions of Ragnaros. Cho'gall used his fledgling connection to the Old Gods to convince the dwarves and Ragnaros's lieutenants, who also served the Old Gods, to let the Shadow Council stay in the upper reaches of the mountain, Blackrock Spire. If the warlocks remained there, they would not be disturbed by Ragnaros or his followers. Gul'dan was angered that he could not have the whole mountain, but was pleased by Cho'gall's effective diplomacy. However, he was unaware of the true reason it had worked. Once Stormwind City fell, Orgrim Doomhammer led his raiders against the warlocks, killing most of them and capturing Gul'dan.
After learning from Garona Halforcen about Blackrock Spire, Doomhammer led a large Horde force to storm the volcano. No fire elemental or Dark Iron dwarf barred their way. Soon, the Horde defeated majority of the Shadow Council, while Ragnaros and his minions kept their presence hidden. One of the warlocks to survive was Cho'gall who swore his allegiance to Orgrim. The ogre also introduced Orgrim to the dwarves, who, under Ragnaros' secret command, allowed the Horde to use the spire as its base. The warchief felt it was a good omen that the place bore the same name as his own clan. The spire became the domain of the Blackrock clan and the headquarter of the Horde for the Second War.
When this war was ending, one of the fiercest battles in the history of Azeroth took place here, the Siege of Blackrock Spire. After the Horde had been defeated at the Dark Portal following their defeat at the siege, many orcs were caught and put into internment camps by the Alliance of Lordaeron. Rend Blackhand and his brother Maim Blackhand, who served as dual chieftains of the defeated Black Tooth Grin clan and Blackrock clan, apparently rescued some of their warriors from the internment camps and went back to Blackrock Spire where they founded the Dark Horde.
The Blackrock orcs struck a bargain with the Dark Irons. The dwarves descended even deeper into the mountain, while the orcs occupied the higher levels. However, the bargain was never intended to be kept.
Two years later after the Second War, when the Horde of Draenor reopened the Dark Portal, the black dragon Nefarian was ordered by his father Deathwing to make his home in the upper reaches of Blackrock Mountain and make this Dark Horde his personal army, in addition to the other black dragons he brought and the experiments he later created.
After the Second War
Ragnaros and Nefarian waged a brutal war for supremacy and control of the mountain. Ragnaros controlled his Dark Iron dwarves and their various machines and golems, as well as an army of elementals, beasts, and powerful lieutenants such as Baron Geddon, Garr, and Sulfuron. As an Elemental Lord, he also gained the favor of the Twilight's Hammer. Nefarian controlled (and still does, in terms of game mechanics) the Dark Horde which consisted of the Blackrock and Black Tooth Grin tribes of orcs, a small army of trolls and ogres, as well as his dragon lieutenants and his invention, the chromatic dragonflight. Nefarian himself could be found in Blackwing Lair, overlooking the mountain, while Ragnaros lead his own army from the mountain's volcanic core. The two rivals both hoped to raise a powerful army that could take over Azeroth.
Upon Deathwing's return to Azeroth after the Third War, Deathwing, the Black Aspect, managed to convince Ragnaros, who was still in the Firelands, to join him in an alliance in order to destroy the mortal races of Azeroth. The Twilight's Hammer clan had set up a base in the caverns of Blackrock from where they sought to create a main supply route to Mount Hyjal and send the remaining fire elementals to the war zone. Meanwhile, Deathwing's son Nefarian - who after being killed by adventurers was raised as an undead by Deathwing to continue creating minions - had been plotting his revenge after his shameful defeat. As such, he began creating even more twisted and horrific experiments deep within the halls of Blackwing Descent.
Given how Ragnaros and Nefarian served the same master, it's likely that they stopped fighting each other and sought to aid Deathwing in destroying Azeroth instead. While Ragnaros made it his goal to burn Mount Hyjal, Nefarian was more content with creating more and more creative monstrosities to further Deathwing's plans. Nefarian eventually met his end at the hands of the Alliance and Horde, ending his twisted machinations and experiments permanently. Ragnaros was later permanently destroyed within his fortress, Sulfuron Keep within the Firelands, ending the evils that once occupied the mountain.
Warlords of Draenor
During the Iron Horde's invasion of Azeroth, Warlord Zaela and Commander Tharbek, leaders of the Ironmarch took over Blackrock Spire under commands from Garrosh Hellscream. A weapon was set up to destroy Stormwind City and most of the surrounding area. The Ironmarch was eventually stopped with the death of their leaders.
Battle for Azeroth
The Blackrock Depths are claimed by the Alliance as Moira Thaurissan unites the Dark Iron dwarves who had yet to join the Alliance under her.
Some areas of the mountain were spied on by the Blacktalon operatives serving Wrathion.
There are five dungeons in Blackrock Mountain, suitable for players starting level 50 and increasing in difficulty. Blackrock Depths is a 5-man instance recommended for players level 48-60. Blackrock Spire is usually divided into two parts: Lower Blackrock Spire which is a 5-man instance recommended for players level 52-60; Upper Blackrock Spire is a 10-man raid instance recommended for players level 52-60. Molten Core is the first 40-man raid instance recommended for players level 60+. Blackwing Lair is a 40-man raid instance recommended for players level 60+ (after Molten Core in difficulty). World of Warcraft: Cataclysm introduced two more Blackrock dungeons. Blackrock Caverns is an introductory 5-man dungeon for level 80-81 players and Blackwing Descent is a 10/25-man raid inspired by Blackwing Lair, and features Nefarian as a boss.
Maps and subregions
Entrance to Blackrock Caverns.
|Dungeon name||Level range||Group size||Approximate run time|
|Lower Blackrock Spire||55-65||5-man|
|Blackrock Caverns||80-81; 85||5-man|
|Upper Blackrock Spire||100||5-man|
|Zone name||Faction||Level range||Direction||Access|
|Searing Gorge||40 - 60||North||By foot (The path to Blackrock Mountain starts at.)|
|Burning Steppes||40 - 60||South||By foot|
- Main article: Blackrock Mountain NPCs
Blackrock Mountain is home to three characters of note:
- At the Blackrock Spire balcony, the invisible Bodley seeks aid in restoring the amulet of Lord Valthalak.
- At Forgewright's Tomb, Franclorn Forgewright wants the return of the great hammer Ironfel.
- At the very bottom of the mountain, Lothos Riftwaker offers attunement to the Molten Core by sending bold adventurers deep into Blackrock Depths in search of a particular rock.
- Main article: Blackrock Mountain quests
For the most part, no quests occur in Blackrock Mountain itself, though it is a gateway for 4 instances. However, there are a few quests that are categorized as Blackrock Mountains quests, in particular, some of the Dungeon Set 2 quests. These quests are primarily given by Bodley, the ghost of a gnome located in Blackrock Spire.
Player versus Player
Before the Burning Crusade expansion was released, Blackrock Mountain was a PvP hotspot (even more intense before Ahn'Qiraj) because Upper Blackrock Spire, Lower Blackrock Spire, Blackrock Depths, Molten Core and Blackwing Lair were (and still are) ALL in Blackrock Mountain. Since these were the most popular instances, many players of both factions would clash here on their route to their instance. Many PvP videos feature extended segments of Blackrock Mountain PvP, or what was known as BRM PvP. If one was going to Blackrock Mountain, one could expect to encounter resistance on the way there. However, with the release of The Burning Crusade, BRM PvP has "died" to say the least.
A more complete explanation of Blackrock Mountain (from Paxton's "The Death of PvP"):
Some called this the gauntlet...
Everyone from 50-somethings to the fully geared raider frequented this warzone cleverly disguised as a mountain. Some in hopes of acquiring powerful epic item, others to ensure that didn't happen.
There were more dangers lurking around every corner in this mountain than to possibly list. Even the most experienced raider couldn't anticipate rogues hidden in these corridors, or the priest hiding in the shadows helplessly tossing mind-controlled opponents into the fiery lava pits below.
As with most Pre-TBC content, the objectives and rewards found in this mountain have been trivialized to the extent that there is no motivation for players to come here. Blackrock Mountain may only be remembered for what it was, the destination for end game PvE and high-stakes PvP.
In the RPG
In Dark Factions
Blackrock Mountain is located in the Burning Steppes of Azeroth. To the south is Stonewatch Keep in the Redridge Mountains. Nefarian lairs in upper Blackrock Spire, the part of Blackrock Mountain that is above ground. Blackrock Depths is the part underneath the mountain.
In Lands of Conflict
The Blackrock Spire is awe-inspiring in its sheer mass and obvious devastation, while the rest of the land around it visibly attempts to recover from the damage done by the rebirth of the fire elemental king, Ragnaros. Going through this foul volcano is the only accessible passage between Azeroth and the dwarven home of Khaz Modan. Many people in Khaz Modan and Stormwind will pay adventurers to hunt the monsters in the hills of the Burning Steppes, either for pelts, meat or to protect the road. Those braver or stupider may even explore the depths of Blackrock Spire.
Orcs maintain a lasting settlement around the Blackrock Spire Foothills, staying hidden from the road but always keeping watch for Alliance attacks. These orcs are more typical of those during the First and Second wars. Bloodthirsty and savage, they mine the mountains around Blackrock Spire for metals with which to make weapons and armor.
The Blackrock Spire fortress was built in the upper section of the mountain and was intended to be new Dark Iron capital, but the black dragon Nefarion drove the dwarves to the depths of the volcano in his attempt to seize the fortress.
The thane of the Dark Irons, Thaurisan, summoned the fire elemental king Ragnaros to aid them in the war against the Ironforge dwarves. Ragnaros' arrival melted several mountains in the Redridge Mountains and forged a great volcano known as Blackrock Spire in the blast's epicenter. Tales circulate of Dark Irons living as puppets to Ragnaros, who dwells under the volcano.
Orcs also came here after the Second War and maintain settlements around and within the volcano, the climate being to their liking as it seems. The Horde conquered Blackrock Spire and used it as a base of operations during the campaign against Lordaeron in the Second War. Warchief Orgrim Doomhammer slew the human hero Anduin Lothar by the foot of the volcano at the war's end, though Lothar's death turned the tide and spurred the Alliance on to crush the failing Horde.
Warcraft Adventures: Lord of the Clans
In the canceled Warcraft Adventures, Blackrock Spire and the surrounding area made an appearance as being the lair of Deathwing. The dragon lived in the upper spire, and the great gates of the fortress were blocked by thorny vines, which Thrall destroyed with the Death and Decay spell. Cows were kept nearby in order to feed the black dragon by his troll servants.
Blackrock Mountain is the titular setting of the second adventure of Hearthstone. The adventure features a focus on dragon-themed cards and five wings: Blackrock Depths, Molten Core, Blackrock Spire, Blackwing Lair and the Hidden Laboratory. It ushered in a slur of dragon synergy decks. It focuses on the battle between Ragnaros the Firelord and Nefarian, the son of Deathwing. In the adventure, Nefarian tricks the player into killing Ragnaros, destroying his only competition but alas, Ragnaros would not be so easily defeated, He assists players in the final battle against Nefarian and, in the end, the player wins.
Blackrock Mountain is used as a landmark by Durotan when arranging a meeting with the humans of Stormwind, asking them to meet the Frostwolves "where the black rock touches the sky". The black mountain towered over the rocky switchback in which the two parties met, and were ambushed by the other orcs of the Horde.
Notes and trivia
- Prior to World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2, Tides of Darkness described Horde's coming into Blackrock Spire differently: Once the Shadow Council was disbanded and Gul'dan provided Orgrim with new death knights, the Old Horde entered the spire, led to the mountains by Zuluhed when he sensed the power there. After defeating the handful of dwarves dwelling here, Doomhammer had claimed it. Zul'jin also revealed the name to Orgrim. World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2 changed it to going to Blackrock Spire due to it being a hideout of the Shadow Council as revealed by Garona, and it also happened before Gul'dan created the death knights, and without Zul'jin since he was rescued later.
- There was originally no difference between Blackrock Mountain and Blackrock Spire.
- Blackrock Spire was also originally depicted as being the headquarter of the Blackrock clan as soon as during the First War. It was then nicknamed the "Castle of Blackhand".
- Rather than being occupied by the black dragonflight, Blackrock Spire was described in Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal as being the roost of once-enslaved dragons that turned evil after the Second War.
- Blackrock Mountain features as an attraction in the Blizzard World in-universe map in Overwatch, but is not seen in the in-game map itself.
- One of the realms in World of Warcraft is named after Blackrock Mountain (See Realm Names and their place in Warcraft Lore).
- Although appearing on both the Searing Gorge and the Burning Steppes maps, Blackrock Mountain is treated by the game as being a separate zone.
- The passage between Searing Gorge and Burning Steppes is free of mobs.
- Up until patch 3.3.3, the interior of Blackrock Mountain was a no-mount area and players were forced to traverse the zone on foot. This change, however, wasn't documented.
- The inside of the mountain could very well be a reference to Moria in The Lord of the Rings since the whole mountain was dwarf property, but many of the dwarfs were killed or pushed back.
- Blackrock Mountain is notable for having the highest amount of instances several times throughout World of Warcraft history. Even when The Burning Crusade was released, it still maintained its position. However, when the Culling of Stratholme was released, it shared its position with Tanaris, both having 5 dungeons each. Finally, it lost its position with the release of patch 3.3.0, at which point Icecrown had 6 instances. With the release of Cataclysm, it once again had the most dungeons in the game (7) and remained so for most of the expansion until 4.3.0. Currently, Tanaris has the highest amount of dungeons in the game.
- A PvP Brawl battleground titled "Battle for Blackrock Mountain" was added in patch 7.2.0 with a map, although it was never made available.
The Gates as seen in World of Warcraft: The Comic.
The Molten Span, the heart of Blackrock Mountain.
- Warcraft I & II
The region of Blackrock Mountain during the Invasion of Draenor.
- ^ a b World of Warcraft: Exploring Azeroth: The Eastern Kingdoms, pg. 42
- ^ War of the Three Hammers (History of Warcraft)
- ^ Tides of Darkness, pg. 96
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2, pg. 131-132
- ^ Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness manual, The History of Orcish Ascension, The First War of Orcish Ascension
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2, pg. 138
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 2
- ^ a b Tides of Darkness, chapter 6
- ^ Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness manual, Clans of the Horde, Blackrock Clan
- ^ Assault on Blackrock Spire (WC2 Human)
- ^ Beyond the Dark Portal, chapter 8
- ^ Pyroguard Emberseer#Dungeon Journal
- ^ Dark Factions, pg. 134
- ^ Dark Factions, pg. 136
- ^ Lands of Conflict, pg. 67
- ^ a b Lands of Conflict, pg. 42
- ^ a b c Lands of Conflict, pg. 43
- ^ Warcraft: The Official Movie Novelization, pg. 143
- ^ Warcraft: The Official Movie Novelization, pg. 165
- ^ Black Rock Spire (WC1 Human)
- ^ Dragons of Blackrock Spire (WC2 Orc)
- ^ The Dark Portal (WC2 Orc)