|A view of Ashenvale|
|Major settlements||Splintertree Post
|Minor settlements||Hellscream's Watch
|Languages||Darnassian, Common, Orcish, Ursine|
|Faiths||Ancients, Elune, Holy Light, Shamanism|
|Resources||Minerals, Wild game, Animal Hides, Wood|
|Affiliation||Contested (Alliance Victory)|
|Sources: World of Warcraft: Cataclysm|
Ashenvale, also known as Ashenvale Forest, is a wilderness region south of Darkshore and Felwood, west of Azshara, and north of the Stonetalon Mountains and the Barrens. Ashenvale is also the term used for the larger forested region which includes most of western Hyjal including Azshara. It is the ancestral homeland of the night elves, who remain in control of several holdings through the zone, including Astranaar, Maestra's Post, Silverwing Grove, and the Shrine of Aessina. The Horde has more recently established a settlement in the eastern part of the woods — Splintertree Post — as well as a smaller camp on the western beach — Zoram'gar Outpost — along with several Warsong camps situated from Kargathia Keep all through the southeast to the Mor'shan Rampart in the far south, and also captured and deforested Silverwind Refuge. The zone is heavily populated with furbolgs, satyr, and wild creatures such as spiders, wolves, and bears. The region is quite large, and running from the Zoram Strand to the Warsong Lumber Camp is quite an undertaking.
Since the zone is contested there is often a lot of skirmishing going on throughout the woods, and attacks on the faction-based settlements are not uncommon. The zone is also a major travel hub for both Horde and Alliance, even at higher levels.
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Aftermath of the War of the Ancients
After the Sundering of the ancient Kalimdor, the night elven civilization was built in and around the forests of Ashenvale. Some time later, Highborne, who deflected from Queen Azshara, foolishly attempted to convince the kaldorei race of the power of magic by unleashing a magical storm upon Ashenvale, though it was forbidden. Thus, the Highborne were exiled.
War of the Satyr
Some years after the War of the Ancients, the Satyrs gathered the few demons that remained and engaged in a war across Ashenvale.
The Third War
This section concerns content exclusive to Warcraft III.
A group of goblins under Neeloc Greedyfingers had started deforesting the area before the Warsong Clan arrived, but were prevented from doing much damage by the local furbolg tribe. The orcs acquired the goblins' aid after ending this threat. The elusive dark trolls had a village here. Powerful artifacts, enclosed in circles of mushrooms, were protected by forest guardians.
World of Warcraft
Ashenvale is an ancient forest, and has been in the caring hands of the night elves for thousands of years. It was not until more recent years that things changed, with the coming of the Horde's lumber harvesting camps, as well as other much more insidious groups. The demons of the Burning Legion have holdings in Fire Scar Shrine, Felfire Hill, Demon Fall Canyon and Demon Fall Ridge. The vile satyr inhabit ancient elven ruins at Xavian, Night Run, and Satyrnaar. Cursed green dragonkin have slipped out from the Emerald Dream portal at Bough Shadow, and corruption taints the Ruins of Stardust. The Horde have seized control of several holdings in the eastern parts of the forest, and beyond their base at Splintertree Post, they have harvested the trees for lumber at the Warsong Lumber Camp and the Warsong Labor Camp. The Horde clash with the night elves over control of Eastern Ashenvale, with the Warsong Outriders vowing to continue their lumber harvesting operations, and the Silverwing Sentinels vowing to drive the Outriders from their lands once and for all.
Ashenvale is a vast primordial wilderness long given over to beasts and nature’s savage ways. The night elves who settled on Kalimdor after the Sundering hunted in Ashenvale’s wilds but never settled within its borders. When the Burning Legion invaded in the Third War, the night elves ceased even hunting in order to battle the demons. The lack of hunting has allowed many creatures to live and thrive within the vast woodland, creating danger for all who venture into the forest. Ashenvale forest runs in a great arc south of Mount Hyjal, with Stonetalon Mountains to the southwest and the Barrens directly south. The ruined lands of Azshara lie across a river to the east. Ashenvale is an old forest, long untouched by any mortal race. The weather is fairly mild, though rain is almost constant. The woods are so old and thickly grown that only trickles of precipitation get through the thick canopy. The forest has become ever wilder since left to its own devices after the start of the Third War. Any roads through are overgrown, some even impassable. In contrast, the game trails see increased traffic as beasts living in the shelter of the massive trees grow in number and boldness. Those traveling through Ashenvale will wisely keep their guard up at all times. In recent years, the demons and satyr have corrupted parts of Ashenvale, and other parts of it are cut down by the Horde to fuel their expansion efforts. The Forsaken, too, have begun experimenting on sleeping druids within the Dor'Danil Barrow Den, unbeknownst to the Horde but not the Alliance.
In addition to bears and great cats prowling the dense woodlands, hulking beak-faced wildkin forage throughout Ashenvale. Vicious harpies are known to make massive nests in the tops of the tallest trees. They hunt at dawn and dusk when the light filtering through the canopy throws the forest into a confusion of shifting shadows. Ancients - sentient trees who act as wardens of the forest - roam Ashenvale as well. Ashenvale is under the protection of ancients and the night elf sentinels. Neither had established a community as such within the forest, though, preferring to leave the vast woodlands in its natural state. Ashenvale boasted no cities; the old forest’s inhabitants are primarily beasts, and there are few humanoid settlements. It is devoid of any notable ruins. Travelers through Ashenvale should treat these forces with respect, especially if they hope to reach their destination. The ancients a Cnd night elf sentinels guard Ashenvale zealously with constant patrols. Any who threaten the forest - cutting down live trees, poaching beasts of the forest, and the like - are met with the ancients’ powerful attacks and the sentinels’ deadly arrows. The only unified night elf presence dwelling in Ashenvale is a reclusive group of rangers, the Farstriders. They use the terrain and train other inhabitants in their specialized skills. They hold a difference of opinion amongst themselves regarding strangers in Ashenvale. Some believe that their duty is to welcome and protect travelers, as long as they show no threat to the forest. Others see any strangers as unwelcome interlopers who must be “escorted” to the southern border. Still, whatever their opinion on Ashenvale, the Farstriders bow to the wishes of the ancients and the sentinels. There is little reason to try to take the forest, since it has no cities to invade and no treasures to plunder (that anyone knows of), but the rangers and the ancients remain vigilant nonetheless.
World of Warcraft: The Comic
Broll Bearmantle and Lo’Gosh traveled to Ashenvale, where they helped Silverwing Sentinels and later found the corrupted Idol of Remulos in Thistlefur Hold.
Tyrande, and her companions made her way into the forest of Ashenvale and frequently used its portal to the Emerald Dream.
The Shattering: Prelude to Cataclysm
Two attacks happened here during the time before the Shattering. Firstly, a horrific attack on night elves Sentinels by orcs, though not from the Horde. The elves were skinned and placed by trees. Secondly, when the druids of Cenarion Circle set up a meeting led by Hamuul Runetotem and Elerethe Renferal. The orcs attacked again and slaughtered all the tauren and night elves druids. The only survivor of the massacre was Hamuul.
(Events of Wolfheart take place during the Cataclysm: shortly after the Shattering when the Gilnean Worgens had to deport from Gilneas to Darnassus but before the events of Ashenvale quest-chain.)
Garrosh Hellscream became the new Warchief of the Horde in the wake of the Cataclysm and unleashed great war in the forests of Ashenvale. He sent orcish warriors and goblins engineers into the heart of forests, where great battles where fought against Sentinels led by Haldrissa Woodshaper, commander of the night elf forces protecting Ashenvale. In an attempt to get help, she sent her best scout Aradria Cloudflyer to Darnassus, but she was struck down by an orcish archers. Aradria was thought dead but fortunately, a druid Parsis rescued her and she was able to deliver her message to Darnassus. Moreover, eight Magnataurs and proto-drakes were brought from Northrend and released against defenseless Night elven Sentinels. Garrosh intended to build another city of the Horde in the center of Ashenvale, which would rival Orgrimmar. Many Night Elven outposts have fallen since the invasion. Tyrande Whisperwind, Shandris Feathermoon with Sentinels, and Alliance troops went to Ashenvale to help relieve Haldrissa's elves, but in the chaos of the battle, Haldrissa was slain and Tyrande was wonded. The battle became bleak. However, Varian Wrynn, Genn Greymane and the army of Worgens arrived to turn the situation. Varian himself stood against the new Warchief. It was fierce battle but Goldrinn's blessing of unyielding energy gave Varian the advantage over his foe. Before anyone could strike a mortal blow, a dying magnataur divided the two combatants and Garrosh with the attacking Horde were forced to retreat. Su'ura Swiftarrow took Haldrissa's position and new and better-situated outposts were quickly commissioned along the eastern edge of the territory. The Alliance reclaimed and rebuilt Silverwing Outpost which was made the staging ground for supplying the Alliance’s counterattack. Before leaving, Tyrande blessed Silverwing Outpost.
This section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.
Some time after the first Horde offensive in Ashenvale(The one detailed in Wolfheart), a new attack was launched by the Horde. However, they were soon stuck within their own territory, as the night elves locked down all the trade routes, besieged Splintertree Post, and reinforced forest song to put pressure on the Lumber Camps to the Far East. Horde adventurers came a few days after the “Offense” started, and helped decimate the night elven attack on the Mor’sharn Ramparts, killing a Silverwing commander. Then, using a convoy of Kodos, the horde made a push from the ramparts up to the Warsong Labor camp, getting much needed supplies for the ramparts. After delivering the supplies, another mission was performed by the adventurers, breaking the first siege of Splintertree Post. Using demonic magic, the horde then broke a second, renewed siege by the night elves, and also saved Warsong Lumber Camp.
With the main horde encampments secured for the time being, the Horde sent a large force to take control of Silverwind Refuge. Using a corrupted water elemental, the defenses of the refuge were broken, and the attack was a success. Using the captured refuge as a base of operations in the region, the horde sent a two pronged attack out. One of the horde groups was sent to Rayneewood Retreat, in order to take the area around it. The siege lasted a few weeks(?), but the horde, despite killing the Druids in the great tree at Rayneewood, were unable to actually take Rayneewood. The other prong of the attack did much better, at least at first, establishing a camp near the night elven city of Astrannar, and firebombing the city. With the initial success of the Firebombers, the horde sent out a final push to Maestra’s post, hoping to cut off any alliance reinforcements to the north, and eventually use it as a base to invade Darkshore with. The attack failed, however, as a few alliance heroes, with the aid of the Sentinels, destroyed the attacking horde demolishers and killed most of the infantry, as well as defeating the Horde warlock leading the attack.
Emboldened by their success at Maestra’s post, the alliance pushed forward, clearing the siege of Astranaar, and putting out the fires in the city. Next, the alliance military used a mystical scepter to turn the Furbolgs against the horde at Silverwind Refuge, weakening them enough to allow the Night elves to retake the refuge. Alliance adventures, after the re-capture of the Refuge, moved onwards to Rayneewood Retreat, in order to break the Horde's final siege in alliance territory. Taking on the shade of the great cat Shadubra, the alliance heroes decimated the horde forces in the region. The alliance forces pushed across the Falfarren River in central Ashenvale, preforming covert operations at Warsong Lumber Camp, and also re-starting the siege of Splintertree post, bringing the whole campaign full circle. and finally turning the tide of the war against the horde in the region.
Mists of Pandaria
This section concerns content exclusive to Mists of Pandaria.
With the dismantlement of Warchief Garrosh Hellscream's war machine and the conclusion of the Alliance-Horde War, Tyrande Whisperwind allowed the horde unimpeded access to Azshara's lumber in return for the complete withdrawal of Horde forces from Ashenvale.
- From Lor'danel in Darkshore, run south along the main road into Ashenvale. Continue along the road south and then east into the main Alliance stronghold of the zone, Astranaar.
- From the Crossroads in the Northern Barrens, travel north to the Mor'shan Rampart and continue along the road into Ashenvale. When the road forks, head east to the Horde stronghold Splintertree Post.
Ashenvale is a forest full of ancient trees, teeming with life. Though pockets of the forest have become tainted, overall the area is a place of deep magic and spiritual connection with nature. Several lakes are sheltered beneath the forest's boughs. A stretch of beach lines the west edge of the forest, known as the Zoram Strand, where hostile naga dwell. The forest is bordered by mountains to the south, and more forest to the north. The eastern border is the Southfury River.
Ashenvale contains Blackfathom Deeps, an instanced dungeon located in the northwestern corner of the zone (Ashenvale, The Zoram Strand: 14.0, 15.0). In addition, the micro dungeon Bough Shadow, the site of one of the Great Trees, can be found in this zone. The Alliance entrance to the battleground Warsong Gulch is located in the southern part of the forest. Travel hubs include Astranaar and Forest Song for Alliance, and Splintertree Post and Zoram'gar Outpost for the Horde.
Maps and subregions
|Dungeon Name||Level Range||Group Size||Approximate Run Time|
|Blackfathom Deeps||20-35||5-man||2-3 Hours|
- Warsong Gulch (Alliance entrance): The entrance to Warsong Gulch can be found in the southern part of the forest, in an area known as Silverwing Grove. The Horde entrance is located in the Barrens.
|Zone Name||Faction||Level Range||Direction||Access|
|Durotar||1-12||Southeast||By foot south along Southfury River, then east|
|Darkshore||10-20||Northwest||By foot, or flightpath from Astranaar to Lor'danel|
|Northern Barrens||10-20||South||By foot, or flightpath from Zoram'gar Outpost or Splintertree Post to the Crossroads|
|Stonetalon Mountains||25-30||Southwest||By foot through Talondeep Pass, or flightpath from Astranaar to Stonetalon Peak|
|Azshara||10-20||East||By foot, or flightpath from Splintertree Post to Valormok|
|Felwood||45-50||North||By foot, or flightpath from Auberdine to Talonbranch Glade|
|Mount Hyjal||80-82||Northeast||By flying mount only|
- Main article: Ashenvale NPCs
Ashenvale is home to several characters of note. At Maestra's Post, Sentinel Onaeya fights tooth and nail against the Horde assault. In Astranaar, Raene Wolfrunner attempts to cleanse the taint that has affected the local furbolgs. At the Zoram'gar Outpost, Je'neu Sancrea sends bold adventurers into the dark Blackfathom Deeps in search of mystical items. At Forest Song, the draenei Vindicator Vedaar oversees the construction of a Draenei outpost.
- Main article: Ashenvale storyline
Many quests in Ashenvale for both Alliance and Horde require combat with the demons and satyrs of the zone. After the Shattering, the two factions are in direct conflict, and the quests reflect this, pitching the players directly against attackers of the opposite faction.
Alongside Hillsbrad Foothills and Stranglethorn Vale, Ashenvale was one of the places for PvP combat. An Alliance attack on the Crossroads in the Barrens or a Horde attack on Astraanar would result in a back and forth match as players battled across the landscape. Ashenvale was also a prime location for high level players to gank low level players as for many (Orcs, Tauren, Trolls and Night Elves) this was their first contested zone.
Like Hillsbrad and Stranglethorn, Ashenvale has quieted down significantly with the advent of Battlegrounds and increased level caps, but Astranaar/Crossroad raids are not entirely atypical.
Ashenvale has four dig sites:
- Zoram Strand; contains Night Elf Archaeology Fragments.
- Ruins of Ordil'Aran; contains Night Elf Archaeology Fragments.
- Ruins of Stardust; contains Night Elf Archaeology Fragments.
- Forest Song; contains Night Elf Archaeology Fragments.
- Ashenvale Forest is the ancestral homeland of the night elves. (Reference: Warcraft III)
- Ashenvale holds one of the game's higher level-gaps at the border with Felwood, where the level skips from 25 to 45.
|Stonetalon Mountains||Northern Barrens||Durotar|
- ^ Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, 185
- ^ Shadows & Light, 19
- ^ "Exodus of the Horde: The Spirits of Ashenvale", Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos. Blizzard Entertainment.
- ^ Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, 187
- ^ Alliance & Horde Compendium, pg. 55, 58
- ^ The Shattering: Prelude to Cataclysm
- ^ Cataclysm Preview: Ashenvale