New Preview Pages for Exploring Azeroth: Northrend
25/10/2022 em 05:00
Exploring Azeroth: Northrend
is due out on November 15, 2022. Narrated by Muradin, Magni, and Brann Bronzebeard, this book explores the frozen continent of Northrend.
has released some preview pages of this book!
Exploring Azeroth: Northrend
As with previous editions of the
series, this book is a combination of official notes - this time by Muradin Bronzebeard, along with more informal scribbles in the margins from Brann and Magni. In pages discussing the Argent Vanguard and Argent Tournament, Muradin mentions that the remnants of the Scourge have become aimless - a result of there no longer being a Lich King.
The Argent Vanguard was the first forward base established by the Argent Crusade when they breached Icecrown under the command of Highlord Tirion Fordring. Located in the Valley of Echoes, it gave them a path into Scourgeholme, which the highlord hoped to conquer and remake into an Argent Crusade fortress. The return attack by the Scourge nerubians overwhelmed them.
While the Argent Crusade still maintains a presence in Icecrown—how could they not, with the glacier still held by the Scourge—they have mostly drawn down the Argent Vanguard in favor of the stronger and more permanent fortifications of the Argent Tournament Grounds. It still acts as a way station into Icecrown for soldiers of the crusade, however.
ARGENT TOURNAMENT GROUNDS
I heard of the Argent Tournament when I was still the king over the Frostborn—the Argent Crusade putting such time and effort into building a sturdy stone arena and a tilting ground. It sounded like both a great deal of fun and utter madness, with the Scourge breathing down everyone's necks.
I see it now for what it was
—a way for the Argent Crusade to search out the elite warriors they thought had the best chance of taking a run at Icecrown Citadel, since throwing a whole army against the undead is a fool's errand that only makes more undead.
When the way to the Shadowlands opened, the tournament grounds came under concentrated attack by the Scourge. After the Jailer's defeat, they tell me they still get the occasional incursion of Scourge, but the undead are aimless once more. The tournament grounds have been remade into a place for the Argent Crusade and any who would fight the Scourge to train.
The tournament was also a chance to try to heal the wounds from the Wrath Gate... but it was too soon.
My favorite merchant was still around, though—an old tauren who sells the best smoked plainstrider I've ever had.
The book will cover every Northrend zone, starting with Howling Fjord.
We started our journey at Howling Fjord; the Alliance presence here is still strong. With our fortresses turned now toward diplomatic goals, it seemed the best place to get the most current news... and take a gander at the Horde to make sure they're behaving themselves, since they've a couple of settlements too.
It's such a beautiful place: green meadows cut with chill-you-to-the-bone rivers, pine forests, and fjords tall and rugged enough to keep a dwarf happy. The native peoples of Northrend, the
, have villages in the region, the tuskarr by their beloved sea and the taunka far inland. I wager the relative peace of the last few years has them ready for some dwarven diplomacy!
On the other hand, Howling Fjord is lousy with the lumbering vrykul. Story is, this was their seat of power when they were created, and like most of the ancient races, they tried to sleep their way through the Curse of Flesh turning them from immortal stone to mortal people—which also allowed them to sleep through the Sundering. The Lich King sending the Scourge across Northrend woke them up, and they returned to claim the keeps and villages they'd abandoned for thousands of years. Still wouldn't have been as much of a problem if they hadn't thrown in their lot with the Lich King.
Any place has its bad and its good. Yet with the fresh, chill breeze out of those woods tugging at my beard and nipping at my ears, I feel we've set about our journey on the right foot.
The sister mountain to Gjalehorn is called Frostblade Peak, but it's a much more welcoming place, as it's infested with neither vrykul nor undead. Fort Wildervar, the northernmost Alliance outpost in Howling Fjord, sits at its foot.
path that winds all the way up to the mountain's peak, where some fool thought it best to put a shrine.
If you want to sit in the cold and wind and meditate on a glowing blue priece of rock, it's supposed to let you defeat your inner turmoil and make you light as a feather.
Sounds more to me like you'd be defeating your own good sense.
Nifflevar is another Dragonflayer vrykul village in the shadow of Utgarde Keep, but it's much larger than Wyrmskull—and high on the cliffs. Many of the wooden vrykul houses are built over the edge of the cliff, with naught but a walkway between a person and a long fall followed by a final splash. The village boasts a number of harpoon guns too, all of them trained on Daggercap Bay below.
A massive stone dragon head strikes out from the cliffs above Bleeding Vale, with a chain hanging from its mouth that runs two wood elevator cars up from the vale below. It's called the
, no doubt for the nearby Horde town, but the lift is plainly vrykul-made.
There are other lifts like it around Howling Fjord, including the Stonewall Lift to the south and the Westwind Lift to the west.
A note from Brann challenges Muradin's description of a path as "decent".
Decent, for dwarves and mountain goats! Everyone else is out of luck.
While Magni makes a comment about the benefits of meditation.
I think it would do us all some good. Not so sure about jumping off the mountain after, though.
The preview pages also include some of the pages about Zul'Drak.
I'm not a dwarf who's easily impressed, but the sheer size of Zul'Drak still leaves me in awe. It's a region roughly the size of Grizzly Hills that is one massive city, plazas and ziggurats, walls and aqueducts stretching as far as the eye can see. Shame it's bee overrun by the Scourge and began to fall to ruin. The Drakkari Empire knew how to build big and bold—and their downfall was equally epic.
With the surviving Drakkari scattered and the undead roaming, we decided this was a place to proceed through with caution and gawp at the sights from a safe distance. We did find a few places for Brann to dig around a bit, since it's no surprise there are Drakkari artifacts aplenty to be found—and the impetus to preserve what we can before the undead utterly destroy such a long history.
Zim'Torga is an outpost of the Zandalari trolls, who came to the region not to help their cousins but to bear witness to the empire's fall. When Har'koa escaped captivity, she came here. The outpost sits in a small clearing in the middle of a tightly grown stand of thorny trees that make a natural wall. The trolls have a statue of their goddess Zim'Torga, Mother of Prosperity, in the center of the clearing.
The Zandalari were welcoming when we came by Zim'Torga. Magni had a long talk with Witch Doctor Khufu about...
, is all Brann and I could figure.
An impressive fortress with a bloody, dark story to go with it. The warlord Zol'Maz retreated to the stronghold to protect his family. But Zol'Maz also had the key that could free the last surviving loa, so Har'koa sent adventurers after it. To get past the enchanted guards and into the stronghold, they had to kill Zol'Maz's entire family, then him, as he raged over their deaths. The grounds are still patrolled by warriors wearing enchanted masks. It's a good building... but let the Scourge have it.
On this page, Magni is reproachful after Muradin refers to spiritual matters as "shaman stuff".
It wouldn't hurt either of you to learn a bit about spirits, you know.
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