The lush Shadowmoon Valley appears peaceful and idyllic, lulling many would-be adventurers into a false sense of security as they explore its rolling hills and violet forests. But countless hidden perils lie waiting behind the tranquil façade, and only those well-armed with knowledge can hope to survive. What dangers lurk in the shadows?
Adventurers are often misled by the seemingly docile riverbeasts. Though slow to anger, once disturbed, a charging riverbeast is a ferocious sight: 4,000 pounds of fat and muscle storming toward its target like a runaway tram. Roaming draenei rangari have long been astounded by how much damage a rampaging riverbeast can take before it’s brought down, and draenei children are taught to keep a wide berth of shallow waters. Riverbeasts are characterized by their rock-like skin, likely developed during the early days of Draenor’s prehistory, when creatures of stone dueled for supremacy against the chaotic flora. Those looking to take a riverbeast as a trophy should take note of their durable armored flesh and tendency to charge unexpectedly.
A number of Draenor’s indigenous species blur the line between plant and animal, and the so-called podlings are the most vicious and chaotic of their ilk. Small and seemingly harmless, they work together to capture their prey, attacking only when they have numerical superiority. Explorers who pay attention to the color of podlings’ flowering buds can ascertain whether they favor poison, ensnaring, or physical attacks to incapacitate their victims. Once podlings have overwhelmed their quarry, they will drag the unlucky creature down into the weeds to fertilize a new generation. The clear lesson for adventurers: looks can be deceiving!
The majestic elekk graze contentedly across the grassy plains of Draenor, relying on their huge size and the support of the herd to keep predators at bay. Draenei explorers have determined that the animals pose no threat, as long as their young aren’t endangered or their water supply jeopardized. With the endurance to cover great distances and the ability to defend themselves by ramming or stomping attackers, these beasts have emerged as the draenei transport of choice. Explorers should take note of persistent draenei rumors that the Thunderlord Clan orcs torment and twist terrified elekk into vicious weapons of war, covering them in armor plating and inciting them to rampage when turned loose on their foes. Beware!
It was only very recently that draenei rangari managed to communicate with these enormous sentient trees, but wildly different ways of life—not to mention a completely different perception of time—have made further interaction difficult. The ancients get their name from their analogues on Azeroth; they are tied closely to a prehistoric plant lineage that unites much of Draenor’s flora and places them in opposition to the creatures of stone. These enigmatic ancients remain in the same area for hundreds of years and are reluctant to move unless their home is threatened. Adventurers should be cautious when harvesting the valley’s lumber, as they may find the forest fighting back.
Shadowmoon Valley is a dangerous place, but there are many deadly threats still to be discovered across the savage world of Draenor. Until next time, stay alive . . . if you can.