Thursday, 13 May 2010

BA Shared Topic: Exploring Azshara

The Blog Azeroth Shared Topic for this week, suggested by Jaedia, invites us to get out there in the world and explore a zone or two.  There are quite a few other calls out there from bloggers to document the world before it changes, and I've chosen Azshara to start with.

Azshara was once a part of the great Night Elven city of Zin-Azshari, but it was destroyed during the Sundering. All that remains is half-submerged ruins guarded by Naga, and a beautiful autumnal land edged by dramatic cliffs.

The vegetation consists of a tall open forest and grasslands in reds and golds, with wildflowers and grasses on the ground.

Along the border with Ashenvale Forest runs the Southfury River. At the northern end of this stretch is a mighty waterfall that cascades down two levels before the river calms as it flows south.

In the centre of the map is the ruins of Eldarath - an extensive area extending down to the ocean and containing ruined buildings patrolled by Naga.

The building in the middle is the Temple of Zin-Malor, guarded by Naga and Warlord Krellian, a level 55 non-elite.

The Bay of Storms contains a large, partially sunken temple called Hetaera's Clutch. The entrance is underwater but beward of the clutch of hydras making their home here.

On the northern side of the Bay is a large temple called the Temple of Arkkoran - home to the god Arkkoran. The waters around the temple are patrolled by giants called Son of Arkkoran. Aefa didn't want to go inside (she dislikes murlocs), but I hear the god himself is friendly. His sons and the murlocs and makura who guard the temple will attack on sight!

In the northwest of the zone, in the side of a mountain, stands Timbermaw Hold, guarded by Keeper Rageroar and two Den Watchers. If the gates were ever opened, they would meet up with other Timbermaw Hold entrances in Winterspring, Felwood and Moonglade.

The Tower of Eldara stands at the northeastern tip of the zone.  It looks as though it was once a lighthouse or warning beacon - all is now dark and silent in the Tower now.

The Horde Encampment is called Valormok and is located near the mountains in the western side of the zone, but east of the river. The camp is small and unprotected by guards, but one can get a repair or food and drink here, as well as a windrider in or out.

The Alliance camp, Talrendis Point, is also unguarded but contains the necessities as well as a flight master.

The southeastern corner of the zone is an area of high cliffs, broken apart by chasms. The Naga who live in this area have built bridges to get from cliff to cliff. At the end of the easternmost cliff is the ruined Ravencrest Monument. It was once a tall statue in the ancient city, but now all that remains standing is the legs.  The head and other ruined parts lie on the ground nearby.

Here's something you might not know about Azshara - it almost contained a battleground. Azshara Crater was planned back before the release of BC, and was designed to be similar in style to Alterac Valley. The entrances would have been either side of the Forlorn Ridge.  It was never implemented in any PTR though, and Eye of the Storm was released instead.

Azshara is truly a very beautiful zone and it will be interesting to see what the Cataclysm will bring for it.  At present, Azshara is aimed at players of level 48-55 and people rarely go there, preferring the more condensed quest chains in the Hinterlands, Un'Goro Crater or the Plaguelands. Blizzard have said they plan to make the zone a low-level area and an integral part of Goblin leveling including a new city. I just hope they keep the feel of the place.

Lore is from - if anyone can suggest any other lore sites to me I'd appreciate it, but wowwiki is fairly comprehensive.
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