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NeutralNethergarde Keep
Ruins of Nethergarde
Type Fortress
Leader(s) Unknown
  Formerly IconSmall OrcGray Male Gar Steelcrush †
IconSmall Human Male Quartermaster Lungertz[1]
IconSmall Khadgar Khadgar[2][3]
Race(s) Unknown
  Formerly Mag'har orcMag'har orcOrcOrc Orc
HumanHuman Human
DwarfDwarf Dwarf
GnomeGnome Gnome
High elfHigh elf High elf
DraeneiDraenei Draenei
Affiliation(s) Unknown
  Formerly Ironmarch, Iron Horde, Kingdom of Stormwind, Kirin Tor,[4] Nation of Dalaran, Alliance of Lordaeron
Organizations Argent Dawn[5] (formerly)
Location Northeastern Blasted Lands[65, 19]VZ-Blasted LandsBlip
Status Ruined

Done Inn          Done Mailbox

Done Stables

Done Anvil & Forge

Undone Bank       Undone Auctions
Travel Done Flight Master(s)
Undone Mass-transit
Undone Portal(s)

Nethergarde Keep, also known as the Citadel of Nethergarde,[2] was a Dalaranian[6] fortress of dour mages and paladins, built to keep watch over the Dark Portal. It stood on a high bluff along the only road into the Blasted Lands, a road often traveled by both the Horde and the Alliance as they prepared to do battle with the demonic forces in the region.

Nethergarde Keep was a heavily defended Alliance town located in the Blasted Lands. Although technically it was a castle like Northwatch Hold in the Barrens, none of the guards were PvP-enabled except the Gryphon Master and a few questgivers. Before its destruction in World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor, it had two barracks, a mage tower and a blacksmith. Its defenses were no match for the armies of the Iron Horde.



Nethergarde Keep before it was destroyed.

Second War[]

WoW-novel-logo-16x62 This section concerns content related to the Warcraft novels, novellas, or short stories.

Nethergarde Keep was built after the Second War — following the destruction of the first Dark Portal — at the behest of Archmage Khadgar to ensure that there would be no further invasions from Draenor.

The construction of Nethergarde was funded by the various kingdoms of the Alliance of Lordaeron (though some more willingly than others), and constructed by the Stonemasons Guild under the supervision of Edwin VanCleef. The archmages of the Kirin Tor, along with the help of King Terenas, Thoras Trollbane and the young king of Stormwind Varian Wrynn, convinced the members of the Alliance that the high costs involved with constructing the fortress were well worth it considering the dangers involved with a possible "second invasion". It was primarily staffed by members of the Kirin Tor,[6] who were also tasked with stopping the spread of the taint that had corrupted the orcish homelands and threatened to spread over all the continent. The magi managed to preserve the northern swamps and the human realms beyond.[3] At the same time, while humanity began to distance itself from Quel'Thalas, the high elves still participated in the defense of Nethergarde Keep, but that was as much from their fascination with all magic as from any desire to help humans.[7]

At some point, back when only the walls, the tower, and a single keep were finished, all the remaining kings of the Alliance visited Nethergarde, including Genn Greymane, Daelin Proudmoore, Antonidas, Terenas, Thoras and Varian. For most of them it was their first visit to the newly-christened Blasted Lands.[3]

Khadgar was master of Nethergarde until the reconstruction of the Dark Portal by Ner'zhul, and his clans, on Draenor. When the orcs began attacking Azeroth once more, they besieged the Keep.[8] Khadgar and his friends Turalyon, Danath Trollbane, Alleria Windrunner, and Kurdran Wildhammer rallied their troops and led the Alliance Expedition through the Dark Portal in order to destroy the Horde and seal off the Portal once and for all. When Ner'zhul opened more portals, which began to tear Draenor apart, the five leaders remained behind to seal it from Draenor in order that the backlash would not affect their beloved world of Azeroth.

For twenty years thereafter, the Dark Portal was silent.

World of Warcraft[]

WoW Icon update This section concerns content related to the original World of Warcraft.

After the Portal was sealed, the mages of Dalaran kept Nethergarde in operation both for the Kirin Tor and the Alliance. They focused their efforts on studying the effects that the Portal's energy had on what had become known as the Blasted Lands - the mutations to the wildlife and the tainting of the soil. When Dalaran was destroyed by Archimonde during the invasion of the Burning Legion, Nethergarde's continued survival depended on support from the nearby Kingdom of Stormwind, and by warriors of the Alliance who traveled into the Blasted Lands.

The mages of the Wizard's Sanctum were also conducting researches in the keep, research vital to their understanding of the Dark Portal, which required nearly constant supplies. Nethergarde Keep was thus supplied by a caravan from Stormwind City.[9]

The Burning Crusade[]

Bc icon This section concerns content related to The Burning Crusade.

Then Lord Kazzak, the demon commander in Azeroth, found an artifact to reopen the Dark Portal, and join the Legion's ranks in Outland. With the way to Outland open again, Nethergarde became a major hub of activity between Stormwind and the Dark Portal. Alliance, Horde and the Argent Dawn came to help.

The Keep also sent some infantry to Hellfire Peninsula.


Cataclysm This section concerns content related to Cataclysm.

In the years following the War against the Lich King, the southern wall of the keep was opened. After the shattering, which largely destroyed the eastern mountain range, this allowed direct access to the Shattershore. To the west, the Horde has retaken the fortress of Dreadmaul Hold, putting the Alliance forces of Nethergarde Keep into direct conflict over territory and resources.

Warlords of Draenor[]

Warlords of Draenor This section concerns content related to Warlords of Draenor.

Nethergarde Keep was destroyed when the Iron Horde invasion force, the Ironmarch, aided by the area's Dreadmaul ogres,[10] invaded through the Dark Portal. It was their first target and the Alliance was not prepared for their advanced weapons. After the fall, the Horde from Dreadmaul Hold took the opportunity and attacked. They defeated them at first, but after reinforcements arrived even they fell to their firepower and soon after the Iron Horde conquered Dreadmaul Hold as well.[11]

Eventually, both the Alliance and Horde led another assault on the Keep, their forces attacking enemy soldiers,[12][13] while adventurers killed Gar Steelcrush, leader of the newly taken keep, and the lieutenants Mokrik Blackfingers and Rukah the Machinist, in order to gather their orders,[14] as well as collected mementos of fallen inhabitants and soldiers from the previous fighting.[15][11]

Known victims[]

Travel connections[]


Alliance Marshtide Watch, Swamp of Sorrows (0:39)
Alliance Surwich, Blasted Lands (1:32)
Alliance Darkshire, Duskwood (1:32)
Alliance Stormwind City, Elwynn Forest (3:10)
Alliance Morgan's Vigil, Burning Steppes (3:29)



Quest givers and enders[]



In the RPG[]

Icon-RPG This section contains information from the Warcraft RPG which is considered non-canon.

Khadgar and Leyan Steelson on one of the towers at Nethergarde.

Nethergarde Keep could be described as a dam holding back the evils of a blighted land — and a building full of uptight perfectionists. This Stormwindian fortress is home to about 300 members of the Alliance. It was built by Archmage Khadgar, who led an expedition into Draenor long ago which was eventually lost. The mages who occupy it today serve in honor of his memory.

Being the only building for miles, Nethergarde Keep stands stark and alone by the road. Warriors man the walls at all times, watching for movement, to welcome ambassadors or food trains from Stormwind, to turn back travelers, or to mount a defense against the enemies.[16]


This medium-sized keep sits at the very north of the Blasted Lands, guarding the sole road into the region. Its mages and warriors have given up fun for duty and a constant struggle against demons and ogres. Some may think they are losing, but they continue to fight to protect the Dark Portal and watch over any foe that would abuse the portal's power, especially Lord Kazzak and his forces.[16][17]

Brann Bronzebeard thought that the Keep's greatest problem was not the threat from the outside but the threat from inside. Archmage Thas'ranan and General Lordenson share leadership, the first leading the mages and the second the warriors. They are rarely at odds, but when they are, the other inhabitants make themselves scarce as the sparks fly. Nethergarde's people are a solitary bunch under a great deal of stress. The place is basically a powder keg.[16] This tightly knit community experiences little crime; however, those found breaking the agreements they take on when accepting a post at Nethergarde are sent for a time to the Stockade in Stormwind. These mages cannot afford any dissention in the ranks.[18]

Notes and trivia[]


See also[]


External links[]