Not to be confused with Northwatch Foothold.
AllianceNorthwatch Hold
Northwatch Hold in Cataclysm.jpg
Type Fortress
Leader(s) Unknown
  Formerly IconSmall Human Male.gif Admiral Aubrey †
IconSmall Human Male.gif Major Davin
IconSmall Human Female.gif Captain Fairmount
Race(s) HumanHuman Human
High elfHigh elf High elf
DwarfDwarf Dwarf
GnomeGnome Gnome
WorgenWorgen Worgen
Faith(s) Holy Light
Affiliation(s) Northwatch Expeditionary Unit, Theramore, Alliance
Location Northeastern Southern Barrens
Status Active

Done Inn          Undone.gif Mailbox

Done Stables

Done Anvil & Forge

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

Northwatch Hold (or Northwatch Keep)[1] is a massive Alliance fortress located between the Merchant Coast in the Southern Barrens and Dustwallow Marsh. Following the Cataclysm, it is noted as one of, if not the, most important Alliance bases in Kalimdor in their war against the Horde. While Northwatch itself is under siege, its men along with the various reinforcements of the Alliance are spread about Kalimdor, acting as the major force for humans in the war in Kalimdor, even going as far as setting up camps in the orc's home territory of Durotar.

Its strategic location blocks the coastal approaches to Theramore from the north, forcing any Horde assault to travel south and navigate the marshes in order to reach Theramore Isle. Prior to the Cataclysm, it was guarded by a large number of Theramore troops, following the Cataclysm and the tension between the Alliance and Horde flaring into all out war, Northwatch has been heavily reinforced with more troops.

The large naval base is known for its massive walls, gates and its various facilities, such as: an archery range, stables, a mage tower, a blacksmith, tents, and two scout towers at the top of the mountain which the fort is located upon. The eastern tower was formerly the home of Cannoneer Smythe while Cannoneer Whessan resided in the western tower, both formerly Horde quest objectives. There was also a captured high elf, Gilthares Firebough, chained to an iron ball in the central tower, seeking help and rescue by the hands of the Horde. At the top of this tower resided Captain Fairmount, leader of Northwatch Hold, who was also targeted by the Horde.

While most of the human forces declare themselves under the name of Northwatch, the hold itself has actually been hit rather hard. The lower reaches of the Hold have been destroyed and are contested by the Rageroar clan of orcs, who have set up their own base not too far away, and are attacking from the sea as well. The central tower has been damaged heavily, notably Captain Fairmount has gone missing, it is unknown if she was killed or not (The two cannoneers who were also a part of the Horde quest are seen alive and well, it is possible she was killed when her tower was damaged by the Horde, or she is merely not at Northwatch for whatever reason.)

The inhabitants of the naval fortress of Northwatch Hold are friendly towards the Alliance, but before the Cataclysm, the area served no purpose to them. There were originally no vendors or trainers. The residents of the hold were simply to be killed by the Horde trying to claim the land, as well as a vengeful Captain Thalo'thas Brightsun for an attack on his ship. It now boasts a variety of facilities to be used, including vendors, an inn, and other such aids.


Northwatch Hold was built right after the Battle of Mount Hyjal by the Alliance survivors inside Horde borders. It was an obvious source of mistrust, despite the temporary peace between the two factions after Hyjal. That distrust turned to bloodshed soon enough, when Grand Admiral Daelin Proudmoore used the hold to further his mission to root out the Horde in Kalimdor.[2]

Cycle of Hatred

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

Northwatch Hold was where the orcs also fought Admiral Daelin Proudmoore.[3] After his death in Theramore Isle, Northwatch was retaken by Theramore, and it served as an essential part of their defense. The orcs of Durotar have long been apprehensive of this stronghold as it was so close to their borders. It was near the hold where Burx's and Davin's armies met and clashed after Burx tried to force the humans of Northwatch to leave. Thrall ended the battle by revealing Burx's betrayal and ended his life.

Northwatch Hold before the Cataclysm.

World of Warcraft

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

Northwatch Hold was often the target of vengeful Captain Thalo'thas Brightsun for an attack on his fleet. He hired Horde adventurers to kill Captain Fairmount and some of her crew.[4]


Cataclysm This section concerns content related to Cataclysm.

The day before the Cataclysm, Alliance forces streamed out of Northwatch and marched up the Gold Road, besieging Crossroads as dusk fell. Then, in the heart of the night, they force-marched southward, leaving their campfires burning behind in order to surprise attack Honor's Stand at dawn's first light.[5]

Northwatch now serves as one of the head command centers for the Alliance army in Kalimdor, its forces spread all about the continent. A few of its fortifications were heavily damaged by the Cataclysm. Additionally the Rageroar clan led by Karga Rageroar are assaulting the keep by land and sea in order to destroy it.

A Mangled Body can be found along the road to Northwatch. Several other camps, such as Teegan's Expedition, have been established under the Northwatch name.

Ambassador Gaines briefly stopped here after his unfortunate experience in the Overgrowth,[6] and Taurajo Looters were sent to the Northwatch brig by General Hawthorne.[7]

Tides of War

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

Northwatch Hold is utterly destroyed in a surprise attack by the Horde and their subjugated lava elementals. The event is coming to be known as the Razing of Northwatch Hold. Kalecgos observed them building up their armies there for a push on Theramore Isle; Jaina Proudmoore noted that any survivors would likely have fled to Fort Triumph.[8] Later on the Alliance fleet, under the command of Varian Wrynn, attacked and exterminated the Horde presence in the area and started rebuilding Northwatch.

Battle for Azeroth

Battle for Azeroth This section concerns content related to Battle for Azeroth.

Having been rebuilt, Northwatch came under attack once again by the Rageroar clan, using battleships. Northwatch Hold turned their cannons against them to remove the blockade.[9] In order to counter the Northwatch Hold's firepower, the Horde installed goblin Azerite cannons on the northern shore of the Great Divide.[10]

Travel connections

Flight paths

Neutral Ratchet, Northern Barrens
Alliance Fort Triumph, Southern Barrens
Alliance Honor's Stand, Southern Barrens
Alliance Theramore Isle, Dustwallow Marsh


In the RPG

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

Northwatch Hold is one of two Alliance positions held in the Barrens, the other being Bael Modan. Grim forces — soldiers loyal to Jaina Proudmoore's father Admiral Daelin Proudmoore — man the Hold, much like Tiragarde Keep in Durotar. Due to the events following the Third War and Jaina's decision to forge an alliance with the orcs, which eventually resulted in Admiral Proudmoore's death, the soldiers here harbor a hatred of the Horde and attack its people and outposts often. It is important to note that Jaina Proudmoore openly opposes their actions, which causes strife in the area's Alliance politics.[11]


  • Despite Theramore's stance on the war, Jaina Proudmoore's specifically, Northwatch remains affiliated with Theramore, and has gone from a simple outpost to one of the most important command centers in Kalimdor for the Alliance, showing no hesitation to fight the Horde head on, going against the traditional conciliatory stance.
  • Gilthares Firebough, a high elven prisoner who gave a quest to Horde players to free him from the Hold, is commonly thought to have been removed from the Hold as of Cataclysm. In actuality, pathing errors have caused him to appear under the now damaged central tower he was once imprisoned in, he serves no purpose and does not offer his quest any longer.
    • At some point this was fixed, as Gilthares now sits in the center of the tower, but still doesn't do anything.
  • In Cycle of Hatred, the Hold was described to contain a small watch office and an infirmary.
  • This area was planned to be available in the Southern Barrens warfront.


This article or section includes speculation, observations or opinions possibly supported by lore or by Blizzard officials. It should not be taken as representing official lore.


Patch changes


  1. ^ Cycle of Hatred, chapter 3
  2. ^ World of Warcraft: Exploring Azeroth: Kalimdor, pg. 138
  3. ^ a b Cycle of Hatred, chapter 1: "We should leave Northwatch," the merchant said. "The Barrens are neutral territory, that was agreed to from the beginning." The soldier stiffened. "You're crazy if you think we're givin' that up." Margoz said, "That is where the orcs fought Admiral Proudmoore."
  4. ^ H [20] The Guns of Northwatch
  5. ^ Kilrok Gorehammer#Quotes
  6. ^ A [10-30] A Failure to Communicate
  7. ^ A [10-30] Clap 'Em In Irons
  8. ^ Jaina Proudmoore: Tides of War
  9. ^ War Campaign Generic The Defense of Northwatch Hold
  10. ^ War Campaign Generic Blockade of Northwatch
  11. ^ Lands of Mystery, pg. 29

External links

Classic Cataclysm Warfront