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Hellfire Peninsula

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NeutralHellfire Peninsula
Level 58-63
Hellfirepeninsula.jpg
Capital Hellfire Citadel
Population Unknown
Races DemonDemonDemonDemon Demon
Fel orcFel orc Fel orc
Felblood elfFelblood elf Felblood elf
Blood elfBlood elf Blood elf
OrcOrc Orc
TaurenTauren Tauren
TrollTroll Jungle troll
Mag'harMag'har Mag'har orc
HumanHuman Human
DwarfDwarf Dwarf
DraeneiDraenei Draenei
Broken Broken
Arakkoa Arakkoa
Rulers Warchief Kargath Bladefist
Doom Lord Kazzak
Major settlements Honor Hold
Thrallmar
Affiliation Contested
Location Eastern Outland

The Hellfire Peninsula is one of the surviving parts of Draenor. It is a pivotal area of Outland that has been the location of many of the most brutal battles in Warcraft history. This is where the other side of the Dark Portal is located. Two of its past cities include Hellfire Citadel and Zeth'kur.

As its name implies, the Hellfire Peninsula is a grim place. In regards to topography, well, there isn't much. Aesthetically, the ground looks like it does in Durotar: reddish hue, barren, almost uninhabitable and hard-packed. There is one key exception, though — when you travel on the ground, you note bones cracking and shattering beneath your feet. These would be the remains of the countless draenei that the blood-crazed orcs systematically slaughtered prior to bringing their war to Azeroth.[1]

The Hellfire Peninsula — indeed, most of areas that The Burning Crusade introduced — is much larger than what classic WoW players are used to. Part of the motive for this is to justify the relative speeds at which flying mounts travel.

Contents

History

Worldofwarcraft.com says the following about the Hellfire Peninsula:

Once a lush and verdant land, the Hellfire Peninsula is now a dry, barren wasteland rendered lifeless by the dark practices of orc warlocks. It is here that the Dark Portal stands, cementing the peninsula's place in history as the site of many pitched battles between the Alliance and Horde. The nefarious Burning Legion has gathered here also, using the area as a staging ground for its apocalyptic crusade.
Hellfire Peninsula before Draenor's sundering.

Before the First War

The Hellfire Peninsula was, as mentioned, originally part of the world of Draenor, surrounded by the Devouring Sea to the north, east and south. It was here the orcs - after being crazed by the Blood Curse which transformed them into fel orcs - built Hellfire Citadel as the fortress of Blackhand, the first Warchief of the (old) Horde. The structure was originally just referred to as "the Citadel". After the orcs' abandoned their shamanistic ways and the elemental spirits, the whole area became known as "Hellfire Peninsula" and the citadel got its current name. While the Temple of Karabor (later known as the Black Citadel and Black Temple) served as the meeting place for Gul'dan's Shadow Council, Hellfire Citadel acted as the staging ground for the Horde's military force. Both the final attack against the draenei in Shattrath and the march along the Path of Glory, where the orcs committed genocide on the draenei, was planned here. At the end of the Path of Glory, the Stair of Destiny and Dark Portal was constructed. The portal was activated by the combined effort of the Shadow Council in Draenor and by Medivh, a powerful human wizard possessed by Sargeras, in Azeroth. The orcs rushed through and unleashed the Horde upon Azeroth, starting the First War in which the orcs conquered much of the Eastern Kingdoms. The orcs that remained in Draenor became known as the Horde of Draenor, led by Ner'zhul.

Aftermath of the Second War

Hellfire Peninsula as it appeared when the Alliance Expedition stepped through the Dark Portal in WC2. What seems to be Hellfire Citadel can be seen in the horizon. Notice the few trees and spots of grass.

The Alliance of Lordaeron eventually managed to overpower the orcs during the Second War and pull them back to the Dark Portal. Khadgar attempted to destroy it, but discovered that even though he could shatter the structure, the rift connecting the two worlds still persisted. Blasting the structure still shattered many of the orcs' moral, and several of them was captured and put into internment camps[2] under the Alliance Internment Act. This marked the end of the Second War. To watch over the rift, Nethergarde Keep was constructed. There is some divergence on exactly what happened next, although Kilrogg Deadeye, one of the orcs eluding capture, played the important role. The Horde Player's Guide tells that he and his Bleeding Hollow Clan summoned another portal to Draenor, and escaped back through that.[3] Possibly, this might have been the Demon Gate. Beyond the Dark Portal tells however that Kilrogg escaped back through the Dark Portal which had been reopened by Teron Gorefiend.[4] In both cases Kilrogg did however meet with Ner'zhul back on Draenor, telling him of Azeroth. Ner'zhul was intrigued by the tales and decided to open multiple portals across Draenor to new worlds for the orcs to conquer.[5] To do so, he required several magical objects found in Azeroth, and sent Teron Gorefiend, Grom Hellscream, Kargath Bladefist and Kilrogg Deadeye to fetch them, two years[6] after the portal had been closed (it was reopened by Teron Gorefiend) and one year after Nethergarde's completion.[7] The Alliance believed the orcs were amassing a new attack against Azeroth, and decided to follow the orcs when they returned through the portal back to Draenor. They formed the Alliance Expedition whose goals were to retrieve some of the magical objects and defeat the orcs in their own home, crushing the orcs once and for all. The expedition's leaders, one of them being Khadgar, called themselves the Sons of Lothar in honor for Anduin Lothar who had been slain by Orgrim Doomhammer at the end of the Second War. It also seems they rebuilt the structure around the rift, given how it was restored when they passed through the portal.[8] Notice that the Horde Player's Guide doesn't mention anything about neither the artifacts nor the expedition, only that the Alliance decided to follow Kilrogg and his orcs when they fled back through the other portal.

A flashback in WC3 showing the Alliance Expedition fighting the Horde of Draenor in Draenor, presumably Hellfire Peninsula. Notice that the scenery is identical (even having floating islands) to after the sundering, even though this battle took place before it happened.

In Hellfire Peninsula, the Alliance Expedition clashed together with the combined forces of the Horde of Draenor and the orcs that had escaped back to Draenor.[9] The expedition founded the Expedition Armory and later Honor Hold which was under siege for several months before successfully attacking Hellfire Citadel. They also attacked the shipyard of Zeth'kur, later constructing their own warships to cross the Devouring Sea. The orcish clans were eventually defeated after several battles across Draenor and were nearly wiped out.[10][11] This did however not stop Ner'zhul from carrying out his plan, tearing Draenor apart when he activated his multiple portals. According to Kael'thas Sunstrider, it seems Ner'zhul (also) opened the gates simply to escape the expedition.[12] This sundering "replaced" the Devouring Sea with the Twisting Nether. The expedition suspected that the sundering would spread through the Dark Portal and crush Azeroth as well, and decided to shut down the portal from the Draenor-side to prevent it - even if it meant their own deaths. Khadgar managed to use the Skull of Gul'dan and Book of Medivh to close it while his soldiers fended off the last orcs, and thus Outland and Azeroth was severed. In the Horde Player's Guide, it is stated that what remained of the orcs' homeworld was a blasted continent of floating red rocks in the Twisting Nether, with only a handful of survivors, most of whom were horribly wounded.[13] The remaining orcs were rallied by a pit lord named Magtheridon who settled down at the Black Citadel. Ner'zhul himself was caught by Kil'jaeden who transformed him into the Lich King and placed him in Icecrown. There, he would create the dreaded menace later known as the Scourge. The fate of the expedition trapped in Draenor, now known as Outland, remained a mystery for 20 years.

After the Third War

The demon Kazzak the Supreme managed to reactivate the Dark Portal.

When Illidan Stormrage teleported to Outland, he discovered that Magtheridon was using the multiple portals that Ner'zhul opened to bring in demons from the Twisting Nether. Illidan and his lieutenants Kael'thas Sunstrider and Lady Vashj closed them down[14] and defeated Magtheridon, placing the fel orcs under Illidan's command instead.[15] Kargath Bladefist became one of the orcs following him, now being the final boss in the Shattered Halls. Magtheridon was enslaved within the Hellfire Citadel and acts now as a new source of demon blood for Illidan's orcs to drink, as the previous pit lord supplying this was killed at the end of the Third War. The orcs are performing several experiments on the blood, probably attempting to make themselves stronger. Magtheridon himself can be freed and fought as a raid boss. Apparently, it was in Hellfire Peninsula that Illidan also met Akama.[16] There is however some discrepancy on exactly where Illidan's actions were played out - not only does one mission take place over most of Outland, the Black Citadel / Temple seems to have been retconned to be in Shadowmoon Valley. For details, see Black Citadel and Temple.

When Kazzak the Supreme used some magical artifact to reopen the Dark Portal, the inhabitants of Azeroth discovered (to some degree) what had happened with the Alliance Expedition. Honor Hold is still standing, though most of its soldiers are getting old. Both Stormwind City and Nethergarde Keep has brought them supplies and imbued their militia. The Expedition Armory is however destroyed, now haunted by the ghosts of the Alliance soldiers rised by Ner'zhul's death knights. Thus, Honor Hold has become one of the two Alliance bases in Hellfire Peninsula. The other is some old draenei ruins to the northwest, inhabited by draenei from the Exodar. The Sons of Lothar have had various fates - Khadgar traveled to Shattrath where he became good friends with A'dal, Kurdran Wildhammer became the leader of the Wildhammer Stronghold in Shadowmoon Valley (he later returned to Azeroth), and Danath Trollbane is still the leader of Honor Hold. Alleria Windrunner and Turalyon have disappeared, but their son Arator can also be found at Honor Hold.

Aged human and dwarven soldiers in Honor Hold, wearing from having fought orcs and demons for 20 years.

The (new) Horde have recently established their own base, Thrallmar, to the north. Falcon Watch is another base built and inhabited by blood elves allied with the Horde. Interestingly, it is discovered that Hellfire Peninsula is still inhabited by the Mag'har, orcs that were never tainted by demonic blood. While their village is hidden in some mountains to the north, it's still a wonder how they've managed to elude the Burning Legion for so long. Kilrogg Deadeye's son, Jorin Deadeye, is one of them. He is the current leader of the Bleeding Hollow Clan. There is also a small group of arakkoa living in a crag to the west.

The area is still teeming with both demons serving the Burning Legion and fel orcs serving Illidan (who became an enemy of the Burning Legion after failing to destroy the Frozen Throne - twice). A never-ceasing stream of demons is walking along the Path of Glory towards the Dark Portal, trying to invade Azeroth through it. Most of them are however killed by forces from both the Horde and the Alliance. Notably, Hellfire Peninsula is the most demon-influnced zone in Outland next after Shadowmoon Valley. Kazzak himself is an outdoor raid boss at the Throne of Kil'jaeden to the north.

It is also discovered that Kael'thas Sunstrider and his blood elves (presumably after he broke away from Illidan and Vashj) have been conducting some kind of experiment at Fallen Sky Ridge, planting a massive red crystal in the ground there. The project is led by Pathaleon the Calculator and is apparently intended to somehow create and corrupt colossi. The player helps the Cenarion Expedition by foiling the experiment. This, along with the Burning Legion and Illidan's fel orcs, are the three major forces the player will fight against in World of Warcraft's Hellfire Peninsula.

Geography

Map and subregions (World of Warcraft)

The Hellfire Peninsula is a barren wasteland looking like a cross between the Blasted Lands and Tanaris. It remains mostly intact even after Draenor's sundering, although parts of it can be seen floating above and outside in the form of smallish islands.

Accessing the Dark Portal to the Hellfire Peninsula is the most common way to reach Outland for the first time; thus, it is typically the first zone encountered in the 60+ content of The Burning Crusade.

Map of the Hellfire Peninsula in World of Warcraft.
The Abyssal ShelfBroken HillCenarion PostDen of Haal'eshDustquill RavineEast Supply CaravanExpedition ArmoryExpedition PointFalcon WatchFallen Sky RidgeFelspark RavineForge Camp: MageddonForge Camp: RageGor'gaz OutpostThe Great FissureHaal'eshi GorgeHellfire BasinHellfire CitadelHonor HoldHonor Hold MineInvasion Point: AnnihilatorThe Legion FrontMag'har GroundsMag'har PostNorthern RampartThe OverlookThe Path of AnguishThe Path of GloryPools of AggonarRazorthorn TrailReaver's FallRuins of Sha'naarSha'naari WastesShatter PointSouthern RampartSpinebreaker MountainsSpinebreaker PassSpinebreaker PostThe StadiumThe Stair of DestinyStonewall CanyonSupply CaravanTemple of TelhamatThornfang HillThrallmarThrallmar MineThrone of Kil'jaedenValley of BonesVoid RidgeThe Warp FieldsZeppelin CrashZeth'Gor

Map and subregions (Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne)

In WarCraft III: The Frozen Throne, some of the missions are played out in Outland. They are part of the human (blood elf) campaign Curse of the Blood Elves which tells Illidan Stormrage's conquest of the Black Temple, here referred to as the Black Citadel. On the Outland map seen in WC3 (below), Hellfire Peninsula occupies a large portion to the south. As such, this map is often regarded as being a map of this zone in WC3. There are however several geographical errors related to this map when compared with other maps:

  • As stated, Hellfire Citadel was later confirmed to the the same as the Black Temple. This means that the upper body of the map is actually Shadowmoon Valley.
  • The dimensional gateways' locations in World of Warcraft shows that the WC3 mission Gates of the Abyss actually takes place all over Outland, despite how the loading screen still shows this map. At the same time, on the map they're shown to be located around the Black Citadel.
  • In the TBC "Behind the Scenes" DVD, one of the designers still states that players had only visited Hellfire Peninsula during Warcraft III.[17]
  • Moreover, the Hellfire Peninsula-part doesn't resemble Hellfire Peninsula in World of Warcraft at all. This is somewhat odd as the map in World of Warcraft still resembles the map in Warcraft II, which naturally was launched before WC3.

As such, although the areas seen on the WC3 Outland map here on Wowpedia are treated as being parts of Hellfire Peninsula, this is purely speculation.

Outland in Warcraft III, showing Hellfire Peninsula.

Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne

Mountains of FlameBlack CitadelShadowmoon RuinsDraenei Village

Map and subregions (Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness)

Hellfire Peninsula as it appeared before Draenor's sundering according to the Warcraft II manual.

Warcraft II

Shadowed SeasVanguardZeth'kur
Hellfire Peninsula concept art.

Dungeons

Concept art of Hellfire Citadel which houses all the dungeons in Hellfire Peninsula.
Dungeon Name Level Range Group Size Approximate Run Time
Instance portal Hellfire Ramparts 60-62 5-man 30 mins-1 hour
Instance portal The Blood Furnace 61-63 5-man 45 mins-1 hour
Instance portal The Shattered Halls 70 5-man 2 hours
Instance portal Magtheridon's Lair 70+ 25-man Unknown

Elite areas

Travel hubs

Spinebreaker Post, a small Horde camp with a flight master in the southern Hellfire Peninsula.
Alliance Honor Hold
Alliance Temple of Telhamat
Alliance Shatter Point
Horde Thrallmar
Horde Falcon Watch
Horde Spinebreaker Post
Neutral Stair of Destiny

Adjacent regions

Zone Name Faction Level Range Direction Access
Zangarmarsh AllianceHorde 60-64 West By foot, or by flight path
Terokkar Forest AllianceHorde 62-65 Southwest By foot, or by flight path
Blasted Lands AllianceHorde 45-55 East By foot through the Dark Portal

Notable characters

Main article: Hellfire Peninsula NPCs

While Hellfire has a variety of NPCs the most known are Force Commander Danath Trollbane and Arator the Redeemer for the Alliance and Nazgrel for the Horde.

World PvP - Hellfire Fortifications

The Broken Hill, Overlook and Stadium in art.

Three PvP objectives, small ruined forts of Broken Hill, The Overlook and The Stadium, stand in the center of the region just west of Hellfire Citadel. As with other World PvP games each of these points may be captured by PvP flagged characters holding position within the objective. In order to flag a fort, you need to be non-stealthed, and the fort in question needs to be currently flagged by opposing faction, or unflagged (shown as gray on zone map).

The faction with the most flagged characters within the objectives vicinity will slowly gain ownership of the point. When all three points are controlled by a faction they will gain a zone-wide bonus of +5% Damage, applicable even within the Hellfire Citadel instances. This bonus is called Hellfire Superiority.

In addition, any opposing players killed while fighting for the objectives will reward the player and the player's party with a PvP token, [Mark of Honor Hold] for the Alliance and [Mark of Thrallmar] for the Horde. Grouping is encouraged as only the party that performs the killing blow will receive a token.

The repeatable quest, Hellfire Fortifications, awards 150 reputation points for either Honor Hold or Thrallmar, and 3 tokens. The quest requires the player to capture each point once, is repeatable and cannot be completed in a raid. The quest can only be completed once per day.

The quest is available at the following NPCs:

[Mark of Honor Hold] may be redeemed at the following NPCs:

[Mark of Thrallmar] may be redeemed at the following NPCs:

Quests

Main article: Hellfire Peninsula quests
See also: Hellfire Peninsula questing guide

Resources

Concept art.

Herbs

Leather

Ore

Wild Creatures

Concept art.
Concept art.

The Burning Crusade Release Issue

When The Burning Crusade Expansion was released, this zone became severely overloaded as almost the entire playerbase, on every server, came here to start playing the expansion. As a result there were a few server issues, and ingame huge groups of players of both factions were trying to do the same quests in the same place for the same mobs at the same time. As a few days passed and people finally moved on to other zones, the problem died down. It is because of this that the next two expansions offered two starting zones - Borean Tundra and Howling Fjord in Wrath, and Hyjal and Vash'jir in Cataclysm. A single-zone starting area was not done again until Mists of Panderia, with both factions starting on opposite ends of the Jade Forest, and in Warlords the factions start in completely different zones.

Notes

  • The never-ending fight between the combined Alliance/Horde forces and the never-ending supply of Burning Legion minions at the Stair of Destiny previously made a great place to level up weapon skills (before the stat was removed). The mobs have fair health values, and since there's a constant distraction of NPCs to tank them, it was fairly easy to sit there taking pot shots with your weapon to build up your skill. Buying the white quality weapons from the various vendors around Dalaran could help as well, as these weapons are very fast and weapon skill was gained based on using the weapon rather than how hard you hit.

Trivia

  • In the Horde Player's Guide, it is stated that "the Horde's history begins in hellfire".[19] While it could mean Hellfire Peninsula, it probably simply refers to the demonic corruption (as "hellfire" is not written with a capital 'H').
  • The beginning of the Pink Floyd song Shine On You Crazy Diamond is the background music in many areas of the Hellfire Peninsula (the NPC Floyd Pinkus is also a reference to this band).
  • Hellfire Peninsula seems to act as a "representative" for both Outland and World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade, being the location which most artwork presenting them are set in. The reason may be that it is the Outland-zone seen in both Warcraft II and Warcraft III. Another reason may be that it holds the Dark Portal which is connected to much of the lore in the Warcraft-universe.
  • In Draenor's past, this zone was known as Tanaan Jungle.

Other images

References

External links