Ruins of Gilneas
- This article is about the modern state of the peninsula. For the worgen starting zone, see Gilneas (starting zone). For the kingdom, see Gilneas (kingdom). For other uses, see Gilneas (disambiguation).
|Level: 10 - 60|
The shattered Greymane Wall
|Capital(s)||Gilneas City (abandoned)|
Keel Harbor (abandoned) |
Forsaken Forward Command †
Stormglen Village (abandoned)
Tempest's Reach (abandoned) |
Dreadwatch Outpost (abandoned)
Rutsak's Guard (abandoned)
Greymane Manor (abandoned)
Emberstone Village (abandoned)
Hayward Fishery (abandoned)
|Affiliation||Kingdom of Gilneas, Alliance, Independent|
|Former affiliation(s)||7th Legion, Blackhowl, Forsaken, Horde|
|PvP status||Contested territory|
The Ruins of Gilneas is a peninsula southwest of Silverpine Forest on the continent of Lordaeron. It is the name for the Gilneas zone after the events of the worgen starting experience. Horde players are sent here during the Silverpine Forest storyline. Otherwise, players will find the zone entirely deserted except for a few animals wandering about due to quest phasing.
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Notable characters
- 4 Quests
- 5 Resources
- 6 Battle pets
- 7 Wild creatures
- 8 Status
- 9 In the RPG
- 10 Notes and trivia
- 11 Gallery
- 12 Patch changes
- 13 See also
- 14 References
- 15 External links
|This section is a lore stub.|
During the first initial expansion of the Arathorian Empire and during the Troll Wars, Gilneas was outside its boundaries. It would not be after the war against the Amani Empire when the Arathi would expand into the peninsula around 2,800 years ago, becoming the location of one of the human city-states. 2,700 years ago, a group of Gilneans would leave the peninsula and arrive on an island that they would later call Kul Tiras.
Following the events of the invasion of Gilneas, casualties were heavy and the enemy even took the life of the prince and heir to the Gilnean throne, Liam Greymane. This forced the majority of the population to evacuate Gilneas to seek shelter in the night elven lands, while the Gilneas Liberation Front remained to continue fighting for the freedom of their homeland. This region quickly became one of the main fronts in the war between the Alliance and the Horde following the Cataclysm. Alongside their new 7th Legion allies, the Gilnean forces clashed with the Forsaken armies marching beyond the ruined Greymane Wall.
Through several battles, which ended in the loss of all the Forsaken bases aside from the Forsaken Front, the Liberation Front ended up cutting off most of the Forsaken's support and eventually removed the Forsaken from the area completely. This was achieved through the aid from their new allies in the Bloodfang pack, and 7th legion support in the form of naval soldiers and submarines (which proceed to destroy the entire Forsaken fleet in the area). The loss of the Forsaken Fleet was enough to turn the tide completely, forcing the Horde from the tattered kingdom entirely; though a small contingent was able to secure the body of Gilnean insurgent and former lord Vincent Godfrey, as well as his henchmen.
Following the Forsaken defeat in Gilneas, Darius Crowley, leader of the Gilneas Liberation Front, led the final assault on Silverpine Forest, attempting to retake part of the land. However, Sylvanas, with Godfrey's aid, captured Lorna Crowley, Darius' daughter, and used her as a bargaining chip. With no other option to save his child, Crowley ordered the retreat from Silverpine in order to save Lorna from the undead; an act that angered Ivar Bloodfang greatly. Despite this loss, however, the timely betrayal of Sylvanas by Vincent Godfrey ended up saving the Alliance from losing their grip on Gilneas, an unintended effect on Godfrey's behalf as he did not wish to save the Alliance (especially the Gilneans who made up most of the forces). His betrayal of Sylvanas, who was killed and then resurrected by her Val'kyr, left her too weakened to continue the assault to rout the Alliance from Gilneas, forcing the Horde to end their assault at the border of Silverpine; leaving Gilneas in Alliance hands and allowing their forces to retreat beyond the wall.
In the aftermath of Silverpine, the Alliance had cemented their hold in Gilneas for a time. This allowed the Bloodfang to branch out into Hillsbrad Foothills to continue the fight against the Forsaken. With all Forsaken land bases either destroyed or recaptured by Alliance forces, the Forsaken begun to launch naval assaults on the area, starting an ongoing battle over the coastal region as the Alliance worked to repel the Forsaken's attempts to re-establish a land base within the peninsula.
Aside from the battles on the coast, the situation within the peninsula was relatively silent until just before the demise of Deathwing. It was revealed by the Ravenholdt that the Gilneans had been infiltrated by a Black dragonflight member in disguise as an affluent noble by the name of Hiram Creed. Using his blood, Creed sought out to corrupt the Gilneans in secret, attempting to make them his pawns and make an army of draconically enhanced servants. Going by the name of the Blackhowl, the group was seen mostly within the walls of Gilneas City, protecting Creed from Forsaken assassins while they were unwittingly corrupted into his pawns. His schemes were ended, however, by an assassin working for the uncorrupted black dragon Wrathion, who had set out on a quest to kill every last black dragon on Azeroth (aside from Wrathion of course).
With the help of Zazzo Twinklefingers, the assassin infiltrated Gilneas City and managed to kill him, freeing the Gilneans of the dragon's influence. Following the death of Creed, it is unknown what became of the Blackhowl. Seeing as though they had no knowledge of Creed's plan to subvert them, or his status as a dragonkin, the group probably continues to guard Gilneas City, as they were most likely still affiliated with the Alliance.
At some point after the death of Creed, both the Horde and Alliance withdrew from Gilneas' mainland for unknown reasons, leaving the only area of activity in the zone along the coastline where skirmishes were fought.
Before the Storm
By the time of the end of the Argus Campaign, Gilneas was referred to as fallen, with nothing but "wind, sorrow and ruin" in the land. When Genn arrived at Stromgarde Keep before the events of the Gathering, he told Anduin that both kingdoms were now in ruins, with Gilneas being home to the Forsaken and Stromgarde being overrun with criminals, ogres, and trolls.
Elegy and A Good War
Sylvanas is cited as hoping to use the ruined status of Gilneas as an inciter among the Alliance after Teldrassil is captured. She erroneously attributes Greymane's desire to reclaim his kingdom to cloud his judgment, causing a division within the Alliance between supporters who wished to reclaim Teldrassil and those who wished to reclaim Gilneas. Unbeknownst to Sylvanas, Greymane immediately claims that Teldrassil will need to be reclaimed first, with Gilneas coming after, as a gesture to repay the debt owed to the night elves by the Gilnean people.
Battle for Azeroth
Gilneas was a point of interest for the Alliance and Horde forces in Lordaeron following the Battle for Lordaeron, with the Alliance seemingly having forces in the region. The 7th Legion surrounded Shadowfang Keep, led by Captain Tobias Zaren, to prevent Chief Plaguebringer Harris from unleashing a new bio-weapon against Gilneas. At the same time, a Gilnean army marched under Darius Crowley to assault the Horde-controlled area of the Sludge Fields, which was amassing undead to assail Gilneas.
The Horde also moved on the Arathi Highlands in an attempt to destroy the new Alliance base in Stromgarde Keep. This was done to prevent the Alliance's full control over the Eastern Kingdoms and to use Stromgarde as a staging point for attacking Gilneas.
Gilneas is a large peninsula located on the southwest of the continent of Lordaeron. It lies south of Silverpine Forest and southwest of Hillsbrad Foothills, with Baradin Bay to its south and east, and Tol Barad to the west across the Great Sea. Storms from over the Great Sea are common, and the sun rarely shines. During the Cataclysm, the southwestern part of the peninsula, which included the town of Duskhaven, was destroyed by an earthquake sinking the land into the sea.
Maps and subregions
|Zone Name||Faction||Level Range||Direction||Access|
|Silverpine Forest||10 - 60||North||By foot, or by flying methods.|
|Hillsbrad Foothills||15 - 60||Northeast||By swimming or flying to Purgation Isle.|
- Main article: Ruins of Gilneas NPCs
- Main article: Silverpine Forest storyline
A part of the Horde questline in Silverpine Forest happens in the Gilnean peninsula.
Please add any available information to this section.
- Gilnean Hound
- Highlands Fox
- White Chicken
- Gilneas Gryphon
- Mistfang Alpha
Gilneas' status is wildly speculative. This is due to the inconsistency and lack of explanation of various elements concerning the region.
In Cataclysm, following the worgen starter zone, Gilneas is contested between the Alliance and the Horde by way of the Forsaken and their orcish reinforcements, and Gilneas and the 7th Legion. This is the case until near the end of the Silverpine Forest questing experience, where Gilneas is left in Crowley and Bloodfang's hands as they retreat from Silverpine. Their forces are next seen in Hillsbrad Foothills, where Ivar Bloodfang seems to be organizing with the Stormpike clan on Purgation Isle, an island easily accessible from Gilneas. This seems to corroborate with the Battle for Gilneas battleground, which depicts the Forsaken attempting to make another landholding within Gilneas, whilst the Alliance starts on the mainland from the Gilnean Stronghold. To further complicate matters, the Blackhowl, a group of Gilneans being secretly led by a black dragon known as Hiram Creed, seem to occupy Gilneas City with little concern. It is unknown if the Blackhowl had ever left the Alliance, as the Gilneans are said to not know their leader is actually a dragon.
In Mists of Pandaria, Gilneas is not mentioned until the very end of the expansion as an off-hand quote by Varian Wrynn, stating the plague in the region needed to be removed so the Gilneans could rebuild. This is the first mention of the peninsula being heavily blighted, as while the Blight was used against them, all areas that were seen severely blighted in both the stating zone and during the Silverpine experience were also seen readily occupied by Alliance forces. Most noteworthy is Gilneas City, which was blight bombed heavily during the worgen starting experience, but was later occupied by both the 7th Legion and the Blackhowl with little issue; thus raising the first inconsistency with Gilneas' status. During this time, Loreology and the Ultimate Visual Guides clarified on Twitter that Gilneas had been abandoned by both factions and the city was in ruins. This is not given any explanation, as when the area was last seen, the Alliance held it. This also brings into question whether or not the Battle for Gilneas battleground is still ongoing.
Gilneas goes unmentioned in Warlords of Draenor and Legion, though the Gilneas Brigade is formed with many members of the Gilneas Liberation Front as leaders within it. What this means for the Liberation front is entirely unknown. Dave Kosak once more refers to the Blight as having plagued the entire zone, despite it having only been weaponized in the northern areas of Gilneas and never having made it to the southern areas as the Forsaken ships there were destroyed by the Cataclysm. Kosak stated that there are "pockets of safety for careful travelers" when speaking on the level of blighting that affects Gilneas. It is unknown whether this means that the Blight has not reached certain areas of the peninsula if there are forces in the area keeping it at bay, or what regions are unblighted.
Gilneas is finally mentioned again in the book Before the Storm, in which it is inconsistently referred to as being "home to the Forsaken" by Genn Greymane, while also being claimed to be entirely empty and abandoned. Once more, it is referred to as plagued, which is inconsistent to the idea that it is home to the Forsaken, as the undead are still susceptible to the Blight. Its status as being un-reclaimed is re-affirmed within Elegy and A Good War, where Gilneas is mentioned as still having not been reclaimed or restored and Sylvanas Windrunner is relying on Genn Greymane to push for Gilneas over Teldrassil to be reclaimed as the former was lost first. This does not explain whether or not the region is abandoned or occupied by the Forsaken, leaving its fate once more ambiguous.
In Battle for Azeroth, Gilneas is once more inconsistently referred to. By the beginning of the expansion, it is referred to by Displaced Gilnean Refugees as something the Alliance should be focusing on, over the Ruins of Lordaeron. The Battle for Azeroth Features Trailer visibly shows the Alliance militarily spreading its influence over most of the Eastern Kingdoms, including over the Gilnean peninsula, but Gilneas has yet to be updated in-game. The mission table quests later in the expansion refer to several Gilnean leaders in the north attacking the Forsaken, with the Bloodfang Pack claiming Fenris Isle and Darius Crowley invading the Sludge Fields within Hillsbrad as well as the Forsaken occupying Shadowfang Keep. There, it is stated that the Forsaken are readying a blight to be used against Gilneas, inferring that the region is once again in the kingdom's hands. In addition, the Q&A section for the Warfront panel at BlizzCon 2018 stated that Stromgarde's warfront was a necessity to the Horde so they could use it as a launching point to invade Gilneas. This infers that the mission tables are canon and the Alliance holds Gilneas, but does not explain how the Forsaken lost control of Gilneas if they ever had it to begin with, the status of the Blight, which poses a risk to both factions, nor what the state of potential Alliance occupation is.
In addition, during their confrontation, King Rastakhan mockingly calls Genn a "an exile without a homeland", implying that during the Fourth War, Gilneas is still largely unreclaimed, or at least unsettled, perhaps due to Genn diverting the bulk of his kingdom's forces to aid their kaldorei allies in the Battle for Darkshore, something he vowed to Anduin that he would do were he forced to choose between his kingdom and the night elves. While the Alliance managed to successfully reclaim Stromgarde in the conflict's aftermath, and occupied most of Lordaeron at least throughout the war, Genn Greymane has apparently remained focused on the plight of the missing Alliance leaders in the Shadowlands rather than on his homeland.
Although Gilneas's current status remains unclear, Baradin's Wardens retain a tenuous hold over the neighboring island of Tol Barad. The Bloodfang pack has also successfully reclaimed Fenris Isle and Shadowfang Keep from the Forsaken, strengthening the worgen's control over Silverpine Forest considerably. The Alliance has also reclaimed Southshore from the Forsaken, implying some territories in the Hillsbrad Foothills have been returned to Alliance control as well, essentially securing parts of all four immediate neighboring regions of Gilneas - Tol Barad to its west, Silverpine and Hillsbrad to its north, and Arathi to its east. Turalyon, as the new regent of Stormwind in Anduin's absence, makes mention of other holdings of the old Alliance in the continent that could be reclaimed, presumably referring to Gilneas and other lost territories in the north.
In the RPG
Gilneas is a large peninsula that juts into the sea south of western Lordaeron. Silverpine Forest lies to the northeast, Kul Tiras awaits across the sea to the south, and Zul'Dare is found to the southeast. Gilneas is a cold, rainy place, mainly because the ocean surrounds the peninsula on three sides, making sea storms common. High cliffs on the shores protect the peninsula from sailors' curious eyes. Greymane Wall is the only evident site in the region.
Gilneas does not allow anyone in or out, and none knows what has been transpiring there for the past ten years. Brann Bronzebeard once questioned everyone he came across, mainly refugees, but none could offer him anything more than curses and dark looks toward Gilneas.
Lord Genn Greymane, a brawny warrior who must be in his seventies, has ruled Gilneas for decades. He offered only token support to the Alliance of Lordaeron during the Second War. He never supported the Alliance and argued against its existence from beginning to end. Thus, after the war, he and his people constructed the Greymane Wall: a massive barrier spanning the entire northern border, and no one has heard anything from Gilneas since.
Though nothing hostile has come out of the peninsula, some cannot resist the allure of mystery, as perhaps something dire has befallen Gilneas. Rumors of what was transpiring there became the subject of rumors throughout the Alliance - the renowned explorer Brann Bronzebeard theorized that the nation had fallen to the naga as one such example.
Ironforge dwarves, seeking allies to help drive the Scourge from Lordaeron, intended to send a diplomatic party to Gilneas. King Magni hired goblin zeppelins to ferry the diplomats and summoned Wildhammer gryphon riders as escorts. Yet, as no one knew what to expect in Gilneas, Magni hired a few trusted mercenaries to accompany his ambassadors.
Notes and trivia
- Despite being described as ruins, the zone has very little actually ruined in it. The city, while not pristine, is intact, and all major towns are untouched structurally beside Duskhaven. The only ruins in the entire zone are at the wall.
- The geography of the Ruins of Gilneas zone is identical to the instanced Gilneas after the flooding of Duskhaven. However, aside from phasing on a few quests, it is completely devoid of NPCs or mobs. The only mobs in the zone are some critters and beasts (including the uniquely colored Highlands Foxes, which are, oddly, absent in the instanced Gilneas zone).
- There are no mailboxes; even the ones that are interactable in the starting Gilneas zone are not clickable here. There are also no flight paths (except for one Horde flight path temporarily available in the Silverpine Forest questline); the only way in is by foot, swimming or flying mount. As such, reaching the Ruins of Gilneas is significantly easier for Horde players than Alliance players, whose nearest flight path is the far, far away Aerie Peak, while the Horde has flight paths in nearby Silverpine Forest and Hillsbrad Foothills. The fastest route for Alliance players is probably by flying mount from the northern coast of Dun Morogh or from Menethil Harbor; in both cases, the travel distance is just short enough to avoid fully depleting the fatigue bar with a 280% flying mount if flying in a straight line.
- On roleplaying realms, this zone is often repurposed as a roleplaying hub for Gilnean characters. The nearby Shadowfang Keep Meeting Stone can be used by both Alliance and Horde players as the fastest way of getting into the Ruins of Gilneas.
- After patch 3.1.0, the loading screen/ship route from Menethil Harbor to Theramore Isle no longer crosses Gilneas.
- At the launch of Battle for Azeroth, the zone was glitched and its zone map could not be uncovered. This was fixed with 8.1, though the map does not function the same way it used to.
- Previously, certain parts of the map would display subzone names when moving the pointer over the map. Now it only shows "Ruins of Gilneas", "Ruins of Gilneas City", and strangely "Emberstone Mine" which occupies much of the eastern portion of the map.
- Gilneas City could be clicked from the world-map as one could with a faction city. This is no longer possible.
The town of Duskhaven, submerged by the Cataclysm.
- In-game maps
- Other maps
The peninsula in Warcraft II.
The peninsula in Warcraft III.
Gilneas in the WoW manual.
Initial concept layout. (seen at BlizzCon 2009).
The shattered peninsula after the Cataclysm in Chronicle 3.
The peninsula can barely be seen in a Warcraft film universe map.
- Patch 8.3.0 (2020-01-14): Gilneas Gryphons, Gryphon Hatchlings, and Mistfang Alpha added just east of Emberstone Village.
- Patch 7.3.5 (2018-01-16): Level scaling implemented, previous zone level: 14 - 20.
- Patch 4.0.3a (2010-11-23): Added.
- ^ Ultimate Visual Guide
- ^ a b Loreology on Twitter (archived)
- ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. 133
- ^ Before the Storm, chapter 1 & 4
- ^ Before the Storm, chapter 28
- ^ Blizzcon 2017, Warfront: Stromgarde
- ^ Ultimate Visual Guide, pg. 106
- ^ Ultimate Visual Guide, pg. 105
- ^ Dave Kosak on Twitter
- ^ Instead of fighting over ruins, the Alliance should retake our homeland!
- ^ World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth Features Overview
- ^ Elegy
- ^ BlizzCon 2019: Q&A panel
- ^ Turalyon#Stormwind Keep
- ^ a b c Lands of Conflict, pg. 96
- ^ a b c Lands of Conflict, pg. 97
- ^ Alliance Player's Guide, pg. 158
- ^ World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, pg. 20