NeutralThe Stygian Expanse
Level: 106 - 108
Map stygianexpanse.png
Location Zin-Azshari

Related to Reign of Azshara Expansion Concept

The Stygian Expanse is a zone located in north-western Zin-Azshari. Formed from the deepest ocean plains, it is a bleak and lifeless region, utterly devoid of life. The Drowned have claimed this realm as their own, and are constructing fleets of ships to carry their legions to the lands of the living.


For over 10,000 years, ships lost at sea were brought by ocean currents to a region known as the Drowned Reaches. Their crew, often dying in fear and pain, were unable to find rest in death, and instead found their spirits shackled to their lifeless, drowned bodies. Saturated with unknowable energies from their proximity to the Maelstrom, these lost souls rose from their broken ships and stalked the abyssal plain of the ocean as undead, not mindless wandering corpses but aware and intelligent, hungering to steal life from the living. For millennia, these beings have walked the dark sea bottom, far from sun and starlight, ever growing in number. The vast majority of them were kept confined to the deep plains of the ocean by crushing pressure, ocean currents, and the geography of the region - only rarely would a band of the Drowned find a way to reach the surface, sometimes using twisted magical powers to sail sunken ships through the underwater currents, to prey upon hapless crews of living sailors and drag them back down ot the deep to join their ranks.

When Azshara raised the lands of the deep to form Zin-Azshari, the Drowned Reaches were torn loose from the ocean floor and thurst to the surface. Now, the legions of the Drowned that wander there are freed from all barriers - gone is the crushing weight of the ocean water, the barriers of currents and sunken mountains. The open sea beckons them now, to sail to the lands of the living and feast on the life and light of mortals. Rallying together under the command of a single leader, a great king of the undead known as Pluton, the Drowned Legion is ready to wage war. Not since the war with the Lich King has so vast a force of the undead been active in the world.

In seeking to forge the kingdom of her dreams, Azshara has unleashed upon Azeroth a new nightmare of death.


The Stygian Expanse is a vast and bleak landscape, an underwater desert that has been brought to the surface. Spires of grey stone form cliffs, chasms, and mountains, while the howling winds lash plains of black sand. The weather in the region is dark and storm-wracked, the sky crackling with ghostly blue-white lightning. Indeed, ghostly flames flicker and dance across many areas, indicated the vast amounts of twisted magical energy that saturate the region - the dead do not lay quiet in the Stygian Expanse, but rise in short order as undead to seek out the living. The skeletal remains of dead ocean beasts litter the land, and often rise to shamble after any living that approach. Swarms of tiny skeletal fish can often be see flitting overhead, 'swimming' through the air on invisible currents of magic.

The stygians that inhabit the region have not been idle in the ages the land spent under the waves, and many fortresses and strongholds dot the landscape, carved of dark stone and wrought in metal mind from deep sea mineral veins. The fortresses are constructed in a manner reminiscent of the vrykul and kvaldir of Northrend.


Heroes track the raiding parties of stygians from Sailgrave to the Stygian Expanse, discovering that the marauding packs of undead pirates they've encountered so far are merely the advanced scouts of a vast undead force, the Drowned Legion. Faction forces quickly establish outposts in the desolate land, before coming under assault by the full power of the Drowned. Led by Pluton, a mighty vrykul stygian who has ruled the sunless land for thousands of years, the Drowned are fast becoming a grave threat to the safety of not only those fighting on Zin-Azshari, but the lands beyond as well.

Formerly kept contained by the geography of the region and the crushing weight of ocean pressure, the Drowned are now free and are spreading out from their 'homeland,' raising the dead located in other regions of Zin-Azshari - with access to these resources, Pluton will eclipse Azshara as the greatest threat in the region. In the north-western penninsula lies the great Stronghold of the Drowned where Pluton reigns. Here he and his servants are constructing a vast fleet of stygian warships, meant to sail across the waves to the Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor. This armada is nearly ready to launch, and will spell doom for countless thousands unless Pluton and his hordes are stopped.

In addition to the overwhelming stygian presence in the Expanse, heroes will also have to contend with undead beasts and a host of naga witches sent by Azshara to discover the secrets of necromancy.


Instance portal purple.png - Stronghold of the Drowned - The great fortress where Pluton rules over his kingdom of the dead.

Level Range Group Size Approximate Run Time
106-108 5 45 min - 1 hour

Instance portal green.png - The Stygian Armada - The stygian fleet poised to invade the lands of the living and unleash ruin.

Level Range Group Size Approximate Run Time
110 raid 1 hour - 1 1/2 hours


  • Kingdom of the Drowned - The stygians rule this land, and you're going to have to plenty of them. Better get used to it.
  • Ghostlights - The huge amounts of unstable energy in the environment are creating all kinds of dangerous spirits and poltergeists. Lay the dead to rest.
  • Stygian Fortress - The stygians occupy every strategic location in the region with their dark fortresses. You're going to have to bring a few of them down if you want to have a chance at moving inland.
  • Naga Necromancy - Azshara has sent naga sea-witches to plunder the mystical riches in the Expanse. Thwart their efforts to master the art of raising the dead.
  • Abyssal Chances - The stygians have magical flying battleships crewed by the undead. That just seems unfair.
  • A Pirate's Afterlife - The crew of the Dame Risque is a pack of pirate ghosts (or possibly ghost pirates) too wild for even Pluton to command. Doesn't mean they're friendly, though.
  • Stronghold of Pluton - Laying siege to a fortress full of undead won't be easy. It will take everything you've got to make it inside.
  • The Stygian Armada - Sabotage the stygians shipyards to slow the growth of their terrifying armdada.