World of Warcraft: Hillsbrad Foothills

Coming from the Arathi Highlands, Dragast had battled his way through dinosaurs and giant spiders, ogres and syndicate men. Passing through the gate in Thoradin’s Wall, a scenic landscape reveals itself – high trees, rolling hills – the area used to be one of my favorite places to be in prior to the Cataclysm Add-On.

Right after entering the area, to Dragast’s right, the ruins of Durnholde appear. The old fortress is now roamed by the Forsaken and not an easy battleground if you are alone and maybe of too low level.

A dungeon dealing with Durnholde – The Caverns of Time – can be found in Tanaris.

Continuing westward, travelers these days need to watch out around Eastpoint Tower – at least of they are Alliance characters: the tower is really close to the road and it is held by Horde units – which will engage on the careless passing by.

Not only once – with other characters than Dragast – I have been paying my tribute by passing too narrowly and attracting the attention of the guards…

Further to the west, a small creek is flowing, crossed by a tiny bridge. The creek used to be one of Dragast favorite fishing places when picking up that skill once. Giant turtles and horses roam the banks, a truly peaceful setting.

Prior to Cataclysm, the town of Southshore was a busy Alliance place in the area. Questgivers, resting places, local shops – all the traveler needed. In the post-Cataclysm world, however, Southshore is destroyed and taken by the Forsaken. A lovely place…gone!

The Murlocs, however, that Dragast spent a long time hunting for quests and experience, are still there, roaming the coast in their small encampments – these days, I guess, more or less left alone for there may not be many reasons to return here.

Continuing west along the coastline will take you to Azurelode Mine, also taken over by the undead. In the Cataclysm add-on, the mine has been taken by spiders, all humans are now trapped in spider webs and  the area now is a small quest-hub for Horde characters.

Dragast is flying north from there, approaching The Sludge Fields, formerly Hillsbrad Fields. The place has been taken over by the Forsaken in the Cataclysm Add-On – now Guard Towers with Searchlights govern the area and guards are roaming the grounds.

The hills east of The Sludge Fields are full of Alliance camps – the bandits and wild animals that roamed the area prior to the Cataclysm Add-On have given place to the Alliance refugees organizing their fighting.

A bit further east lies Tarren Mill – the Alliance outpost in the area and obviously off-limits to Alliance characters such as Dragast (or any of my other characters).

Prior to Cataclysm, the zone was divided into two areas – Foothills and Alterac Mountains – now joined into one zone.

Ogres roam the ruins of Alterac, situated in the snowy highlands of the mountains. The place is a Horde stronghold, nothing for Dragast to spend much time in.

One thing, however, easily done around the Alterac area is farming – Gold and Goldthorn spring to mind.

Following the road north, the village of Stahnbrad lies on the road to the Western Plaguelands. The syndicate mobs that used to roam the town in previous version of WoW seem to have gone – defeated or just tired of being in this forsaken place.

Bordering on Stahnbrad, The Uplands are a lovely mountain valley, infested with spiders and hostile encampments of the Syndicate (which possibly have com down from Stahnbrad here). They all are around the mid-20 levels to be careful to not pull too many of them if you are just about their level.

At the end of the valley, down by the shores of Lake Lordermere lies Dandred’s Fold. The place was once taken by the Syndicate but as of the Cataclysm Add-on is now deserted, fate of the original population unknown.

Following the coastline of Lake Lordermere towards the south-west, a small but deserted house with a boat landing comes into view – no trace of any inhabitant though, although the fire in the fireplace is on an burning brightly.

Last place to see in Hillsbrad Foothills is the Crater of Dalaran, the gaping hole left as the City of Dalaran was ported to its current location in Northend.

Oh, one more thing: down in the very south-eastern corner sits the ruined farmstead of Nethander, the place being run over by the Mudsnout Gnolls.

And finally, just a bit to the south-east, lies the former dwarf fortress of Dun Garok – also destroyed and bare of any living dwarf as of the Cataclysm Add-on.

I do have to admit it: Foothills – as the zone was named prior to the merger with Alterac Mountains in the Cataclysm Add-On, I always enjoyed coming there – especially Southend was a neat place to be in, graphically and from a mind-set (not having had a true place to be in Arathi). Now – after Cataclysm changed the entire area dramatically – I rarely return Dragast here… it is just not the same like in the old days…

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