Every race in World of Warcraft that begins at level 1 has their own, unique starting areas. These areas usually only cover levels 1-5, though many still go into areas that are still unique to their race.
This post covers the storyline of the starting area of Orcs, Forsaken, Tauren, Trolls, and Blood Elves. (Goblins, along with Pandaren and Worgen, will each get their own, unique post, as will the Alliance races.)
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Valley of Trials – Orc starting area
The Cataclysm has happened. Thrall’s off with the elementals. Garrosh is Warchief, and he’s popular with the Orcs, but not with other Horde leaders. It falls to orcs like you to, uh, “ensure dominance of your people”, apparently. Nothing problematic there at all.
Kaltunk tells you you’re finally of age to fight for the Horde. Well, his words are more along the lines of “to conquer for the glory of the Warchief”. Orcs show a lot of nasty true colours in Cata. Gornek sends you off to hunt Boars to toughen you up a bit.
There’s reports of humans nearby, and after badmouthing Jaina Proudmoore a bit (and showing he’s against the peace with her) Gornek sends you off to kill a bunch of them. Meanwhile Galgar plans to make his refreshing cactus apple surprise – with your help of course.
After that, you’re sent to collect some scorpion tails to make anti-venom with, and to clobber lazy peons along your way. You come across a poisoned troll named Hana’zua, who asks you to get his revenge on the scorpid who nearly killed him. You do, and the revenge inspires the troll to fight and live. You go home and tell Gornek, who sends help to Hana’zua but who is also impressed that you killed the big scorpid and helped a stranger. You have proven you have honor.
Zureetha Fargaze tells you that a member from the Burning Blade is hanging out nearby, surrounding himself with demons. You’re sent to pretty much sort him out and you bring back his medallion along with Foreman Thrazz’ril’s favourite pickaxe.
The presence of the Burning Blade has been dealt with, but it’s worrying enough to need to be reported. You’re sent to Sen’jin Village to let Master Gadrin know what’s going on. Gadrin is worried, but can’t do a whole lot because the trolls are having their own problems.
And that’s the end of the Orc starting area.
* * *
Deathknell – Forsaken Starting Area
Betrayed by Apothecary Putress, blamed for his sins, and mistrusted by the rest of the Horde, the Forsaken must now prove their loyalty and redeem themselves.
You’re woken by Agatha, one of the Val’kyrs Sylvanas collected at Icecrown Citadel. She tells you that you’re no slave, but if you choose to serve Sylvanas, go talk to Undertaker Mordo, who’s busy attaching body parts like jaws to other newly-risen Forsaken. Mordo tells you you’re in excellent shape, but he needs to stitch up some of the others, so with the help of Darnell, you get him some embalming fluid and twine.
Mordo tells you that not all risen undead are as lucky as you are – some of them have lost their minds. He means this quite literally – their minds have rotted away so they’re aimless zombies. (You’d think the Forsaken in charge would think to check the bodies first before resurrecting them but whatever.) You need to go kill them.
Once you’re done, Mordo mournfully states they were doomed from the start, (so why resurrect the— you know what? Nevermind) and he sends you on your way to Caretaker Caice, who assigns you to counselling duty. Being undead is hard, so those who are coping are expected to help those who aren’t. You’re gonna go talk to Valdred Moray, Marshal Redpath, and, most importantly, Lilian Voss.
Valdred freaks out a bit when he realises his hands aren’t his (Mordo sewed some new ones on for him) but he relaxes and heads off to start his new life as an undead. Marshal tells you he doesn’t want to join, and he’s free to make that choice, so you let him go. Lilian clearly hates the undead, can’t cope with the truth that she is one, and runs away, screaming that her father will protect her. You return to Mordo who’s pleased Valdred joined up and says not much can be done about the other two as the choice is their own.
You and Darnell are sent to Deathguard Saltain. Forsaken recruitment efforts are really in full force and he wants you to go collect some more bodies – plenty of dead Scarlet Crusade are lying about. Meanwhile, Shadow Priest Sarvis tells you it’s time you learn how to fight so asks you to put down a few remnants of the Scourge.
Sarvis is pretty pleased with your work and he sends you to his novice, Elreth, who asks you to have another go at counselling Lilian Voss. You show Lilian her own reflection in a mirror and she freaks all the way out and runs away again. Elreth says it’s a pity but comments on the fact that it’s good that Lilian still has her free will. Then she sends you to Executor Arren.
Arren sends you to collect a few bat wings and wolf paws and promises you some armour. Then he sends you to clear the spiders out a local gold mine – mentioning the fact that gold has always been scarce in Lordaeron, “even in the height of the Alliance‘s power”.
(Is that why the Alliance gild literally everything they can get their hands on now? But hasn’t gold always been a major part of the Alliance identity? I have questions.)
Once you’re done, Arren tells you they’ve run into a bit of a problem. A bunch of the Forsaken who have been given free will have used it to mobilise and plan an attack on Deathknell. (Welcome to the paradox of freedom.) You meet up with Darnell, who tells you it’s your old friend Marshall Redpath who’s leading the “Rotbrains”. You’re sent to defeat them in the marketplace of ideas.
Kidding. You’re sent to kill them.
Darnell is promoted to a Deathguard, and Sarvis gives you some information on the Scarlet Crusade to take to his field agent, Deathguard Simmer. The information mentions Captain Melrache, Captain Vachon, and Captain Perrine. Simmer considers the impact the death of these three captains would have on the Scarlet Crusade before thanking you.
And that’s the end of the Forsaken starting area.
* * *
Camp Narache – Tauren Starting Area
The Tauren are still reeling from Cairne Bloodhoof‘s death at the hand of Warchief Garrosh and Magatha Grimtotem‘s revolt, and Camp Narache is reeling from an attack from the Quilboar, who have really gotten out of hand since the Cataclysm. They’ve killed Chief Hawkwind‘s mother, the Greatmother, and as you’re of age, it’s a good time for you to help take revenge.
You’re sent to the chief’s son, Grull, who immediately puts you to work killing the invading Bristlebacks and rescuing captured Tauren, and then sends you to help Adana Thunderhorn, who wants you to steal back the guns the Bristleback have stolen from you, and stop them from covering the land in the thorned roots that the Quilboar, who prefer to live in the shade, grow wherever they go. In other words, she puts you to work killing more Bristlebacks.
Then you need to kill some of the Bristlebacks‘ Battleboars, who are apparently tortured horribly by the Quillboar. You put them out of their misery by… setting fire to their feeding troughs, causing them to run around in pain and panic until they die.
Famously pacifist Tauren, everyone.
Then you’re sent to kill the Quilboar chief, the one who killed the Greatmother, and bring back his scalp. (Well, his mane.)
Greatmother Hawkwind has been avenged, and it’s time to put her spirit to rest. You attend her funeral, where An’she (Tauren sun god) and Mu’sha (Tuaren moon goddess, known by most other races as Elune) are prayed to before her funeral pyre is set on fire.
Your rite of passage is done, and you’re sent to speak to Dyami Windsoar on top of Fargaze Mesa. Dyami gives you a bit of an “everything the light touches” speech, letting you know the land you see is the cradle of the Earth Mother, a peaceful land, (HA!) and the home you’ll fight to protect. Then he tells you to drink the Water of Vision.
The water turns you into a spirit hawk, and you’re flown to Bloodhoof Village, where Ahmo Thunderhorn welcomes you.
And that’s the end of the Tauren starting area.
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Echo Isles – Troll Starting Area
The Trolls are feeling a bit worried about the state of the Horde under Garrosh Hellscream‘s rule, but Vol’jin believes Trolls like you will help preserve the Horde‘s honour. You speak to Jin’thala, who tells you the Darkspear tribe had often been victims and have done a lot of running over the years, but now that Garrosh is threatening to bring chaos to the Horde, for once you’re not going to run – you’re going to fight. He sends you, along with another newblood, Zuni, to begin your training.
You meet up with Zen’tabra, who immediately has you attacking Tiki Targets. (When all the other races face live enemies, you’re pitted against wooden masks on poles. I think we may have solved the problem that is the reason why the Trolls are always victims.) As you’ve managed to kill a pile of sticks, it’s believed you can handle more demanding tasks, and you’re sent to take care of the cats around the island who have been killing the Trolls’ boars. Once you’re done, Zen’tabra admits there’s not a lot of point in fighting immobile targets, and you’re sent to face a live enemy in the proving pit. Your enemy is a Naga, and once you’ve killed him, you’re sent down to the village, where you meet up with Vol’jin.
Vol’jin, probably wondering why a newblood who literally only just progressed past killing targets is bothering him, sends you to offer some help to Moraya. She, in turn, sends you to help Kijara herd raptors, while Tora’jin has you collecting crab meat. Zuni joins you, and you’re told by Kijara that something is kidnapping raptor hatchlings. Tegashi informs you that whatever’s doing the kidnapping is also corrupting raptors, and that he thinks it’s all the fault of a Naga known as Naj’tess. You’re sent to rescue hatchlings, kill corrupted raptors, and bring back the orb the Naj’tess seems to be using for his dark magic.
After that, you’re sent to lasso Swiftclaw, a particularly fast raptor, and ride him to the raptor pens. Moraya is very happy, and Tortunga lets you know they’re planning to attack the Naga forces. You chat to Jornun, who puts you on another raptor which runs you through to Spitescale Cove, where Morakki, the Captain of the Watch, is waiting. Morakki mentions how good it is to be fighting instead of running (it really seems almost a novelty for these trolls) and Zuni, who seems to have run all the way, joins you and suggests you two stick together.
Morakki has you and Zuni killing Naga and driving fetishes into their banners, which should send a clear message and weaken them quite a bit. (And I take all my mockery back – few things harden a newblood more than going up against Naga.) Once you’re done, you’re sent to join Vol’jin, who’s about to kill Zar’jira, the Sea Witch.
That’s right. The same Sea Witch from Warcraft III, who demanded sacrifices from her Murloc followers, who Thrall and the Darkspeare were nearly sacrificed to, and who killed Vol’jin‘s father, Sen’jin. That Zar’jira. (Turns out Naj’tess was her consort.)
You and Zuni join Vol’jin, (who must still surely be politely confused by your familiarity) and together you attack the Sea Witch who, it turns out, doesn’t seem all that powerful, on the whole. I mean, she calls Vol’jin “weak” like his “father was weak”, and considering how much damage you can do to him at level 5 or so, it’s not the unfairest of accusations.
Anyway, this boss fight requires tactics, as you have to stamp out some braziers that she seems to be using to create some sort of shield so that damage can be done to her again. Zuni takes the second round of braziers, only to die. Vanira, who if you’ve spoken to before now I missed it, seems devastated. It’s pretty clear you’re meant to have sadfeels too. She takes you back to Darkspear Hold.
You bother Vol’jin again, who rather pointedly lets you know he’s about to talk to Thrall, and suggests you go to Sen’jin Village to offer your help to Master Gadrin.
He does let you stay around and listen, though, where you can see Vol’jin confronting Thrall on his absolutely terrible decision to make
Sylva Garrosh Warchief, and Thrall tells Vol’jin not to worry because he absolutely one hundred per cent knows exactly what he’s doing, and Garrosh is totally gonna be the best Warchief ever, you just wait and see, because what the Horde really needs is a racist warmongering strong leader. Vol’jin agrees that the Trolls will remain in the Horde, for now.
Anyway. Gadrin has heard good things about you and is happy to have your help.
And that’s the end of the Troll starting area.
* * *
Sunstrider Isle – Blood Elf Starting Area
(I started playing in Burning Crusade and of course I rolled a pretty blood elf, so this is the first starting area I played in. It’s changed a bit since Cata, but not, I think, by all that much. To this day, even though I’m sick to death of the quests of this starting area, the beauty of the Blood Elf homeland still gives me all the feels. )
Many changes have happened in Quel’Thalas. The Blood Elves‘ previous ruler, Kael’thas Sunstrider, corrupted the Sunwell in his mad bid for power, but a dying Naaru sacrificed its life to return the Sunwell to a font of arcane and holy energy. Now lead by Lor’themar Theron (no relation to Charlize), and still a little unwilling to quite let go of power, Blood Elves like you will help protect your home and redeem your people.
Magistrix Erona tells you it’s time for you to start your education. First lesson: You guessed it, it’s killing things. The local Mana Wyrms are supposed to be the guardians of the Burning Crystals – the green crystals you see floating around all over the place and which are use to power the island’s experimentations, (experimentations in what, you ask? I’m not sure I want to know) but the Scourge made them go all erratic and now you need to thin their numbers.
With the mana wyrms not guarding the Burning Crystals properly, their unchecked power is causing problems. Some of the lynxes have been affected, and you need to put them down. Erona tells you to report to her assistant, Lanthan Perilon, but there’s a few other quests to collect first.
Well Watcher Solanian wants you to go to the shrine of Dath’Remar Sunstrider, the founder of Quel’Thalas and the Blood Elves‘ first king, to give you a sense of your own history. And while you’re at it, he wants you to collect his belongings that he rather irresponsibly left lying about all over the place. Arcanist Ithanas wants you to collect arcane silvers from creatures on Sunstrider Isle for him. Arcanist Helion tells you how to carefully draw magic power from creatures so that you don’t go mad with magic withdrawel and turn into one of the Wretched. In other words, you gotta use your Arcane Torrent racial ability on a mana wyrm.
Lanthan Perilon wants you to help recapture Falthrien Academy – which has been taken over by Wretched. Before anything else, though, he needs you to help clear out the Tenders – tree-ent-type creatures who used to help with the gardening, but are now, like most of the creatures you’ve come across so far, out of control. (Apparently they’re aggressive. They’re not. They used to be, but at some point almost all creatures in these starting areas were made yellow instead of red – meaning they will not attack until you attack them first. But let’s not allow that to get in the way of our killing spree.)
Something seems to be a bit wrong with the Shrine of Dath’Remar, and you feel a little disturbed standing near it. Solanian tells you it’s probably got to do with the general problem of Sunstrider Isle, and thanks you for the return of his belongings. Arcanist Ithanas tells you about how he’s going to use the arcane silvers for research into what’s going wrong with the animals on Sunstrider Isle. Helion gives you a lecture on how important learning is.
Lanthan Perilon is sad the trees had to die, but he’s happy you seem reliable. He tells you about Felendren, a magic addict who was banished for being too greedy, and who is now a Wretched, living on top of Falthrien Academy. He’s a threat and you need to take him, and his minions, out. On your way, you come across some tainted arcane silver, which, considering how Arcanist Ithanas was the one keen on collecting and studying silvers, it seems totally logical to bring them to… Arcanist Helion. You help yourself to Felendren‘s head, deposit the tainted arcane silver off at Helion, who says it’s a clue in what’s going on with Sunstrider Isle – which has been unruly since the destruction of the Sunwell – and you drop the head off at Lanthan, who tells you Magistrix Erona wants you to head to Silvermoon City and offer your help there. Lanthan tells you to stop off in Falconwing Square and talk to Outrunner Alarion first, as she may need your help.
Alarion‘s concerned that one of her outrunners has been slain by a Wretched, and she asks you to check up on her. She’s not wrong, and the dead outrunner has a package on her body that fits the description of one from Erona that Alarion was concerned about. Naturally, you’re asked to deliver the package to its intended destination – the inn at Falconwing Square.
You hand the package over to Innkeeper Delaniel, who thanks you and NPCsplains a bit about how Hearthstones work.
And that’s the end of the Blood Elf starting area, and of this post!
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Lok’tar ogar, and Zandalar Forever x