- For the specific Great Tree in Crystalsong Forest known as Great Tree, see Great Tree (Crystalsong Forest).
- Were you looking for the giant trees known as World Trees?
- Were you looking for the great trees known as kypari trees or dream trees?
The Great Trees are saplings of the World Tree Nordrassil and portals to the Emerald Dream. They are guarded by the green dragonflight and hold incredible power. Great Trees can be found in Feralas, Ashenvale, the Hinterlands, Duskwood, and Crystalsong Forest. The Dragons of Nightmare once emerged from them, and druid players can use them to emerge from the Emerald Dreamway.
4,500 years before the First War, Fandral Staghelm secretly took six branches from Nordrassil, the World Tree, and planted them over saronite that had begun to appear across the world, including a particularly large source of saronite in the Grizzly Hills. Five of these became the Great Trees which channeled the power of the Emerald Dream into the world, strengthening the nearby wildlife, and scouring the saronite deposits. The greatest of the branches was then planted over the largest growth of saronite in the Grizzly Hills over a which grew with astonishing speed a new World Tree Andrassil, or "Crown of the Snow". Malfurion Stormrage and the rest of the Cenarion Circle became furious upon learning that these branches had been planted without their approval. They did, however, agree that the plan seemed to have worked. For several decades, Andrassil towered over Northrend, and all seemed well. Yet in time, circumstances changed. Bloody battles erupted between the taunka and the forest nymphs of Northrend, two races not known for their warring ways. The fighting was sudden and shockingly vicious, filled with barbarism and unspeakably vile acts. Word slowly reached the druids, and the Cenarion Circle launched an expedition to investigate the source of the violence.
What the druids found chilled them to their marrow. Andrassil's roots had reached so deep into the earth that they had touched Yogg-Saron's subterranean prison. The Old God had infused the tree with its foul energies, and thus all living creatures in the area were slowly being driven to madness. The Cenarion Circle knew that, without the blessing of the Dragon Aspects, Andrassil was vulnerable to corruption. They were also aware that there was no way to spare the World Tree or ease its suffering. The Cenarion Circle decided that the only recourse was to destroy Andrassil. It was renamed Vordrassil, or "Broken Crown."
Although killing Andrassil had been a heartbreaking task, the Cenarion Circle was pleased it had stopped the growth of saronite. Yet unbeknownst to the druids, something dark had taken root in the Emerald Dream. Yogg-Saron had used the trees planted by Fandral as a doorway into the Dream - a doorway through which the other Old Gods could grasp the ethereal domain and well. Small seeds of corruption were spread throughout Ysera's realm. In time, these seeds polluted the dreamways. This marked the beginning of what would become known as the Emerald Nightmare.
Ysera's green dragonflight took up the responsibility of guarding all of the Great Trees around Azeroth. However, in recent years, Ysera's most trusted lieutenants—Lethon, Ysondre, Emeriss, and Taerar—were corrupted by the Emerald Nightmare and passed through the Great Trees into the waking world to spread madness and terror.
Great Tree locations
- Bough Shadow, Ashenvale
- Dream Bough, Feralas
- Great Tree, Crystalsong Forest
- Seradane, Hinterlands
- Twilight Grove, Duskwood
Possible other great trees
Worgen sites can have a tree-structure that has night elf stonework embedded in it.
The large tree Tal'doren in Blackwald may be a type of Great Tree. It corresponds to Daral'nir in the Emerald Dream, which serves as a prison for the Druids of the Scythe. The tree has grown out of and through a night elf structure which can be seen sticking out of various sections of the tree.
- Daral'nir, Emerald Dream
- Howling Oak, Teldrassil
- Maldraz, Blasted Lands
- Tal'doren, Gilneas
- Talonbranch Glade, Felwood
Similarly, the large tree Gol Inath in Drustvar may be a type of Great Tree, as the Drust druids once worshipped the tree and it contains the gateway into Thros, connected to both the Nightmare (and thus the Dream) and the Shadowlands.
- The Blossoming Ancients are said to be "created from the ever-living branches of the Great Tree", though this might refer to a World Tree considering that it uses the definite article.
- Despite being a World Tree, Teldrassil has also been called a Great Tree.
- The Warcraft III scenario map Azure Tower Defense, situated in Azure Glade, depicted a Great Tree known as the Great Tree of Life.
- ^ a b c Game Guide/Dragons of Nightmare
- ^ World of Warcraft Community Site -> Patch Notes -> Patch 1.8 Changes. Archived from the original on 2005-11-25.
- ^ Stormrage, chapter 6
- ^ World of Warcraft: Exploring Azeroth: Kalimdor, pg. 95
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 122 - 124
- ^ Stormrage, chapter 2
- ^ World of Warcraft: Sylvanas, chapter 29