|Level: 68 - 72|
Entering Howling Fjord
UNDER CONSTRUCTION related to Spider Kingdom Expansion Concept
The Howling Fjord is a zone located in southeastern Northrend. Ripped into the southern coastline lies Daggercap Bay, where the forces of Arthas originally landed on the continent. Stranded by the young prince, the 5,000-strong expedition set up the outpost of Valgarde. The small settlement has since become the center of Alliance activity on Northrend.
The majestic fortress known as Utgarde is located in the center of this zone; it is a dungeon complex and one of its sections, Utgarde Keep, is one of the two first instances (the other one being the Nexus) that players encounter when first arriving to Northrend.
Howling Fjord has dark forests, open plains, treacherous rocks, and what used to be the only city — and port — on the continent. The north edge of the Howling Fjord has low hills and thick forest. The land smooths out to the south, however, and the trees fade back, to be replaced by grain and a few hardy fruits and vegetables. Daggercap Bay dominates the southern end, which is all rock. Most people live in Valgarde or in a semicircle above it. The fjord has its share of wildlife. Bears, wolves and other creatures prowl the forests, and small animals sneak through the farmland as well. Birds roost in the trees and steal grain and seeds, and the warmer climate and rich soil draws insects and other vermin as well.
Howling Fjord received its name because the wind that races in from the sea on all three sides produces a constant howl, like a maddened beast seeking its prey. Other than the noise, Howling Fjord is pleasant. It's not as heavily forested as the Grizzly Hills, or as hilly, but the temperature here is a little milder; between that and the flatter terrain it’s an ideal place to grow grain and other crops. Small farms dot the landscape, particularly down south near Valgarde. To the north the trees begin again, and creatures roam there from the hills above, making it more dangerous but also an excellent place for hunters.
With the death of the Lich King, the Scourge forces in the area have fallen. Bereft of their death god, the vrykul have turned to new leadership. The queen of the vrykul, Angerboda, was slain in the service of the Lich King, but was resurrected shortly before the fall of the Scourge's master. Retaining her free will, independent of the new Lich King, Angerboda has seized control of the vrykul and the Cult of the Damned in Howling Fjord. She continues the vrykul efforts to excavate the catacombs underneath Utgarde Keep and other vrykul holdings, awakening the living and raising the dead to serve in her new army.
In Wrath of the Lich King, the settlers of Valgarde had to deal with newly reawakened vrykul warriors, who raided them from their home of Utgarde Keep. In addition, Ironforge prospectors discovered a new race of iron dwarves, whose conflicts with the Alliance and the Horde eventually revealed a terrible and ancient evil. Finally, the Forsaken settled here to engineer a new plague for use against the Lich King and the Scourge. Their main settlements were Vengeance Landing and the town of New Agamand, named after the famous mills family which once lived in the Tirisfal Glades.
With the Cataclysm wreaking havoc across the world, the Howling Fjord has suffered manay changes. The Twilight Hammer have arrived to exploit the holdings of the Iron Dwarves, former pawns of the Old God Yogg-Saron. Dark forces beneath the surface of Northrend have been stirred up by the breaking of the world, and they have begun to creep out onto the surface to spread terror and destruction.
- The Iron Dwarves are in full retreat, having abandoned their dig sites. They have been replaced by Twilight Hammer forces.
- The vrykul once loyal to the Lich King now follow a new undead leader - Death Queen Angerboda, wife of the fallen King Ymiron. Scourge forces have been replaced by Angerboda's vrykul and Cult of the Damned followers.
- Many younger vrykul have rejected the Lich King and Queen Angerboda, and follow Vidar Ymironson, son of Ymiron and Angerboda.
- Kamagua and Scalawag Point were flooded and destroyed. The ruins are overrun with kvaldir. The pirates and tuskarr survivors have joined forces to resist them.
- The Ancient Lift was damaged in the Cataclysm. It was rebuilt and will now lower travelers to the coastline where they can find the refugees of Kamagua and Scalawag Point.
- The Apothecary Camp has been fortified and built into Blightbrace Point, in response to the increased Twilight Hammer presence in Northrend, as well as the Alliance take-over of New Agamand.
- The Twilight's Hammer have occupied Whisper Gulch, turning it into a heavily fortified stronghold, the Twilight Ravine.
- Landslides have buried Fort Wildevar, and marauding nerubians pick through the ruins. Alliance forces have relocated to Giant's Run, which has been abandoned by the Iron Dwarves.
- Camp Winterhoof is under siege by rampaging Frost Elementals. The Cataclysm has caused many of the Taunka's captive elemental servants to break free and run wild.
- The frost nymphs of the Frozen Glade have healed the land further, expanding the Vibrant Glade into the Verdant Grove, a neutral quest hub.
- Something dark is rising beneath Gjalerbron... The Scourge have abandoned the area, but the vrykul have not. Angerboda has returned to continue the practice of reviving slumbering vrykul warriors. But more than just vrykul are being unearthed - Faceless Ones and Undying Tendrils have breached the lower tunnels and are fighting their way to the surface.
- Valgarde and the lake surrounding Utgarde Keep have collapsed into the underworld, exposing the max level raid instance Utgarde Catacombs. The Alliance have taken over New Agamand and the nearby lift as their new Northrend staging point, renaming the town New Valgard.
- The Forsaken displaced from New Agamand have moved north to Halgrind.
For the Alliance, there is a boat port connecting the lift south of New Valgarde with Menethil Harbor in the Wetlands. For the Horde, a zeppelin connects the town of Vengeance Landing with the Undercity in Tirisfal Glades.
|Instance Name||Level Range||Group Size||Approximate Run Time|
|Utgarde Keep||70-72||5 man||30 min - 45 min|
|Utgarde Pinnacle||80||5 man||45 min - 1 hour and half|
|Utgarde Catacombs||Max||10-25 man||unknown|
The Utgarde Catacombs raid will not be initially available. It will be unlocked by a future patch.
Quests and Storylines
With the Scourge defeated, the focus on the region has changed from preparing for the war against the Lich King to dealing with the Scourge remnants and the Twilight's Hammer. The main focus of quests for this region is dealing with Death Queen Angerboda, who controls many of the vrykul villages, as well as the Cult of the Damned, val'kyr, and many undead monsters. Most Scourge monsters have become mindless undead, roving and attacking without purpose.
The Twilight's Hammer in Howling Fjord have focused their efforts on securing regions previously held by the Iron Dwarves. They have been kept out of Giant's Run by the Alliance, but have taken over several other dig sites. The Hammer's main stronghold is in Whisper Gulch, which has been fortified against assault and has been renamed the Twilight Ravine. The Twilight's Hammer at the ravine have begun mining operations to extract the vast quantities of saronite ore located there. The commander of the Twilight's Hammer at the Ravine is a taunka named Stonekiller. The quests related to the Twilight Ravine will culminate in a final showdown with Stonekiller and the appearance of the leader of the Twilight's Hammer in Northred - Twilight Master Velius.
A major character in the region is Vidar Ymironson, the son of Ymiron and Angerboda. He and many other younger vrykul rejected the Lich King as a god and broke away from their clans. Vidar returns with the death of the Lich King, and is willing to work with agents of the Horde and the Alliance to fight against Angerboda and her efforts to remake the Scourge. Quests given by Vidar and his allies involve retaking vrykul settlements, and a final confrontation with Angerboda at Gjalerbron. At the quest-chain's conclusion, players will attack Angerboda with Vidar's aid, forcing the Death Queen to retreat to Ymirheim in Icecrown.
Changes to Instances in Howling Fjord
- References to the Scourge and the Lich King have been changed to involve Angerboda and her faction of Scourge remnants.
- Ingvar the Plunderer has been replaced by Gunnar the Pillager. He is raised as a vargul by Angerboda.
- In Utgarde Pinnacle, Svala Sorrowgrave has been replaced by Svarta Sorrowgrave, and there is no ritual with the Lich King - Svarta is already a val'kyr.
- The final boss of Utgarde Pinnacle, King Ymiron, has been replaced. Players will confront Vidar and Death Queen Angerboda as the final boss encounter. Vidar was badly injured by Angerboda in Icecrown, and she has used her dark magic to take control of him and force him to attack the players. Vidar will use many of the same attacks as Ymiron. Angerboda watches from Ymiron's throne and will support her son with various abilities, which replace Ymiron's ability to call upon the souls of the dead.
Utgarde Pinnacle Final Encounter Quotes
Death Queen Angerboda's features soften as Vidar falls.
- Angerboda says: What does it profit one, if they should gain the world, only to lose their son..?
Death Queen Angerboda's features harden once again.
- Angerboda says: It profits one the world. And that is enough.
- Angerboda says: Take your leave of this place, heroes. Go back to Icecrown, and tell the false king that he will meet the same fate as my son.
- Angerboda says: You will all be mine in the end.
Death Queen Angerboda teleports away with Vidar's body.
More screenshots can be found on the various subzone pages.
The Howling Fjord in the wake of the Cataclysm.
Twilight Commander Stonekiller, leader of the Twilight's Hammer in Howling Fjord.
The Iron Dwarves have retreated from the region, leaving their dig sites unguarded.
The Twilight's Hammer has begun mining saronite at the Twilight Ravine.
The vrykul awaken more of their kin at Gjalerbron, but the Cataclysm has awoken darker things...