Darkshore (10-20)

Darkshore is a vast strip of a jagged coastline on the northwestern part of Kalimdor. It is known for its characteristically gloomy woods and rocky beaches, littered with ancient ruins and mountainside caves. The night elves of Teldrassil claim this shoreline as part of their ancient realm and despite recent disasters such as the destruction of the ruined port town of Auberdine and the newly arrived Twilight's Hammer clan and Shatterspear trolls during the cataclysm, their influence on the zone is still dominating.

This rocky area stretches along Kalimdor's north coast. Rain, winds, and rocky beaches make the place inhospitable. Old night elf ruins stand crumbling on the cliffs, with elements, murlocs and naga lurking within. Sentinels used to patrol the road from the now ruined port town of Auberdine towards Ashenvale to the south, as the night elf port town of Auberdine served as a friendly trading and traveling hub prior the events taking place in the Cataclysm.

The region is not without dangers, however. Aggressive wildlife, such as bears, saber cats, stags, and other animals roams the grassy hills and stalks among the dark trees. The ruined cities of the night elves that dot the landscape are infested with elementals, naga, and haunting ghosts while cultists of the Twilight's Hammer ambush unwary travelers near their camps beyond the roads. Even the seas are unsafe, as bloodthirsty frenzies, gigantic threshadons, and hostile murlocs lurk beneath the waves.


History

Darkshore was once one of the most prosperous regions of the Kaldorei empire, and great cities such as Ameth'Aran and Bashal'Aran were the pinnacle of civilization at that time. Much of the coastline was destroyed in the Sundering, and it was many years before the night elves began to rebuild in the area.[2]

After the Sundering, some night elves settled in the continent's northern reaches, on and near Mount Hyjal, including the port at the mountain's northern foot. The night elves left Darkshore in the course of the Third War, moving to the safety of Mount Hyjal and Moonglade. A small number of night elves have returned to the cold and desolate beach to revive the port. They dwelled in the town of Auberdine for a time and used it as a ferry outpost. The remainder of the seaside is left in ruins.

Darkshore covers northwestern Kalimdor, and the tainted land of Felwood rises to Hyjal to the southeast. The rocky cliffs, sandy soil, and ever-present sea mist ensure that little worth noting grows in Darkshore. Kelp, seaweed, and rocks litter the beaches, and a few sparse trees dot the landscape away from the beach. Once a thriving night elf settlement, it is little more than a desolate beach dotted with ruined buildings. The weather is cold and stormy much of the time, with a wicked wind stirring up the waves. Rain and fog are prevalent for a good part of the year, allowing only the most talented sailors to navigate the dangerous waters. Shipwrecks of the less talented litter the shallower waters and beach. The night elves focused their attention on rebuilding Auberdine until that town was demolished in the Cataclysm. Most of the town was made up of new buildings, as the night elves cleared away the ruins they could not restore. Many ruins remained outside Auberdine, and harsh winds and salt water continued to corrode the once sturdy buildings. These worn pillars and crumbling structures were not totally abandoned - stories abounded that murlocs and naga were slowly taking the ruins for their own.

The night elves have a limited presence in Darkshore, spending much of their time keeping the area safe. The night elves subsist mainly on what they can catch in the ocean and what they can get through trade. When not fighting one another, naga and murlocs that lurk elsewhere in the ruins of Darkshore attack any travelers who look like easy pickings. Furbolgs inhabit a series of caves beneath the port. Uncultured but friendly to night elves in the past, their time in the ruins has turned many of them feral.

 

Geography

Darkshore is packed with dense trees, but retains a gloomy specter of what it once was. A multitude of ruins dot the landscape, all the way from the grey sand to the west, to the high mountains in the east. Swollen rivers cut across the land from north to south, and there are more than a few caves that hold dark secrets. Darkshore consists of a long strip of coastline in northwestern Kalimdor. It is sheltered to the east by mountains, which protect the wildlife in Darkshore from most the taint of the Felwood. Unfortunately the taint has spread into Darkshore via the various rivers flowing through the zone from their sources in Felwood; bringing the taint with them which is turning the land grey and dead, and poisoning the wildlife and furbolgs with an insatiable rage. Between the mountains and the beach lies a forest consisting mainly of evergreens. To the south, the forest thickens and the mountains recede, leading into the deep wilderness of Ashenvale.


Quests

Quests in Darkshore range from level 10-31, though most fall between 10 and 20. Quests of note in this zone include locating and assisting a dwarven prospector, investigating various taints in the local wildlife, and aiding in eliminating the menace of the Tower of Althalaxx. Darkshore used to be infamous due to its multiple underwater quests, however, these quests aren't so devious now that the breath timer has been increased to three minutes.


Travel

Alliance: From Rut'theran Village in Teldrassil, the only way to reach Darkshore is by flight path. Travelers can head from Astranaar in Ashenvale and follow the road north into southern Darkshore. A long walk to the north leads to Lor'danel.

Horde: From Zoram'gar Outpost in Ashenvale, head north-east to the main road. Follow the road north into Darkshore.