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Blackrock Mountain is a zone between the Burning Steppes and the Searing Gorge, linking the two regions in the Eastern Kingdoms. This zone is deceptively small, and appears empty when first entered — however, it was at one point, without doubt, among the most dangerous places in Azeroth. It is hotly contested between the forces of Ragnaros and his Dark Iron servants on one side and the black dragon Nefarian and his orc minions on the other. This is one of the most important areas in the World of Warcraft lore.

It contains five high-level instances (with 2 more added with World of Warcraft: Cataclysm):


Ragnaros unleashed

The mountain is actually a volcano that was created at the end of the War of the Three Hammers when the Dark Iron dwarf Lord, Thaurissan, accidentally summoned Ragnaros the Firelord from his prison beneath the earth. The power unleashed by his "rebirth" was so massive it shattered a large section of the Redridge Mountains creating the areas now known as the Searing Gorge and Burning Steppes. Ragnaros enslaved the Dark Iron dwarf clan, and they have dug many tunnels and created a huge underground city in the depths of the mountain. Dwarves would later name this mountain Blackrock Spire.[1] [2] The name Blackrock Mountain and Blackrock Spire predates the coming of the orcs.[3] Blackrock Spire is the part of Blackrock Mountain that is above ground, and Blackrock Depths is the parts underneath the mountain.[4]

During the events of the First War, the Blackrock clan of orcs had taken over the upper reaches of the mountain. Led by chieftain Rend Blackhand, they eventually struck a deal with the current head of the black dragonflight, Nefarian.

During the Second War, the Blackrock Mountain was the headquarter of the Horde. When this war was ending, one of the fiercest battles in the history of Azeroth took place here, the Assault on Blackrock Spire.

Both Ragnaros and Nefarian now wage a brutal war for supremacy and control of the mountain. Ragnaros controls his Dark Iron dwarves and their various machines and golems, as well as an army of elementals, beasts, and powerful lieutenants such as Baron Geddon, Garr, and Sulfuron. As an Elemental Lord, he has also gained the favor of the Twilight's Hammer. Nefarian controls the Blackrock tribe of orcs, a small army of trolls and ogres, as well as his dragon lieutenants and his latest invention, the chromatic dragonflight. Nefarian leads from his throne over looking the mountain while Ragnaros leads from its very volcanic core.

The two rivals both hope to raise a powerful army that can take over Azeroth. We are fortunate that they spend most of their efforts fighting each other and not the mortal races, for then we would surely be doomed...

In Cataclysm

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm This section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.

The Blackrock Mountain becomes the home of two more locatons: Blackrock Caverns and the raid Blackwing Descent. The Caverns serve as a transport route from the mountains to the Twilight Highlands, where the Twilight Hammer's base can be found. Blackwing Descent is an extension of Blackwing Lair. According to the lore, after Nefarian's death at the hands of heroes from the Alliance and Horde, Deathwing collected the heads of his children and resurrected the two dragons. Nefarian now rules from the center of Blackwing Descent.

Upon his return to Azeroth, Deathwing, the Patriarch of the Black Dragons, somehow managed to convince Ragnaros to join him in an alliance in order to destroy the mortal races of Azeroth. Although Ragnaros himself is currently in the Firelands, his alliance with Deathwing will no doubt have some major effect on the current situation inside Blackrock Mountain; however, the full nature of this effect is not known at this time.

Player interaction

Blackrock Mountain's south face

Blackrock Mountain

Blackrock Mountain in World of Warcraft: Ashbringer

The Gates of Blackrock Mountain from Searing Gorge

The Gates as seen in World of Warcraft: The Comic

The Molten Span

Before the World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade Burning Crusade expansion was released, Blackrock Mountain was a PvP hotspot (even more intense before Ahn'Qiraj) due to the fact that Upper Blackrock Spire, Lower Blackrock Spire, Blackrock Depths, Molten Core and Blackwing Lair were ALL in Blackrock Mountain. Since these were the most popular instances, many players of both factions would clash here on their route to their instance. Many PvP videos feature extended segments of Blackrock Mountain PvP, or what was known as BRM PvP. If one was going to Blackrock Mountain, one could expect to encounter resistance on the way there. However, with the release of the expansion, BRM PvP has "died" to say the least.

A more complete explanation of Blackrock Mountain (from Paxton's "The Death of PvP"):

Some called this the gauntlet...

everyone from 50-somethings to the fully geared raider frequented this warzone cleverly disguised as a mountain. Some in hopes of acquiring powerful epic item, others to ensure that didn't happen.

There were more dangers lurking around every corner in this mountain than to possibly list. Even the most experienced raider couldn't anticipate rogues hidden in these corridors, or the priest hiding in the shadows helplessly tossing mind-controlled opponents into the fiery lava pits below.

As with most Pre-TBC content, the objectives and rewards found in this mountain have been trivialized to the extent that there is no motivation for players to come here. Blackrock Mountain may only be remembered for what it was, the destination for end game PvE and high-stakes PvP.


There are four (six after the Cataclysm) dungeons in Blackrock Mountain, suitable for players starting level 50 and increasing in difficulty. Blackrock Depths is a 5-player instance recommended for players level 48-60. Blackrock Spire is usually divided into two parts: Lower Blackrock Spire which is a 5-player instance recommended for players level 52-60; Upper Blackrock Spire is a 10-player raid instance recommended for players level 52-60. Molten Core is the first 40-player raid instance recommended for players level 60+. Blackwing Lair is a 40-player raid instance recommended for players level 60++ (after Molten Core in difficulty).

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm This section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will introduce two more Blackrock dungeons. Blackrock Caverns will be an introductory 5-player dungeon for level 80-81 players and Blackwing Descent will be a 10/25-player raid inspired by Blackwing Lair, and will feature Nefarian as a boss.

There are no flight paths or battlegrounds in this zone.


Central lava cavern

Entrance to Blackrock Caverns

Entrance to Blackrock Depths

Blackrock SpireForgewright's TombThe Grinding QuarryThe MasonaryThe Molten Span


Dungeon Name Level Range Group Size Approximate Run Time
Instance (original dungeon) portal Blackrock Depths 52-60 5-man 2 to 5 hours
Instance (original dungeon) portal Blackrock Spire 58-60 5-player (lower) and 10-player (upper) 2 to 4 hours
Instance (raid) portal Molten Core 60+ 40-man 6 Hours +
Instance (raid) portal Blackwing Lair 60+ 40-man 6 Hours +
Heroic modeInstance (dungeon; Heroic 85) portal Blackrock Caverns 80-81 5-man Unknown
Instance (raid) portal Blackwing Descent 85+ 10/25-man Unknown

Regions adjacent to Blackrock Mountain

Zone Name Faction Level Range Direction Access
Searing Gorge Alliance Horde 45-50 North By foot (path starts at southwestern part of zone.[34, 74]
Burning Steppes Alliance Horde 50-60 South By foot

Notable characters

Main article: Blackrock Mountain NPCs

Blackrock Mountain is home to three characters of note:

  • At the Blackrock Spire balcony, the invisible Bodley seeks aid in restoring the amulet of Lord Valthalak.
  • At Forgewright's Tomb, Franclorn Forgewright wants the return of the great hammer Ironfel.
  • At the very bottom of the mountain, Lothos Riftwaker offers attunement to the Molten Core by sending bold adventurers deep into Blackrock Depths in search of a particular rock.


Main article: Blackrock Mountain quests

For the most part, no quests occur in Blackrock Mountain itself, though it is a gateway to 6 instances. However, there are a few quests that are categorized as Blackrock Mountains quests, in particular some of the Dungeon Set 2 quests. These quests are primarily given by Bodley, the ghost of a gnome located in Blackrock Spire.


Wild creatures

Notes, tips, & additional info

  • One of the realms in World of Warcraft is named after Blackrock Mountain (See Realm Names and their place in Warcraft Lore).
  • Although appearing on both the Searing Gorge and the Burning Steppes maps, Blackrock Mountain is treated by the game as being a separate zone.
  • The passage between Searing Gorge and Burning Steppes is free of mobs.
  • Up until extremely recently, the interior of Blackrock Mountain was a no-mount area and players were forced to traverse the zone on foot. This was changed in Patch 3.3.3, although undocumented.
  • Outside facing east from the mountain is a large cube block, viewable from adjacent zones, which hides a secret balcony. Inside it contains two collapsed passages, one barred one and a throne similar to the Emperor's. This room is a copy of Nefarian's Lair in Blackwing Lair, where you fight Nefarian and will also host an entrance to Blackwing Descent raid instance in World of Warcraft: Cataclysm.


  1. ^ Lands of Conflict, pg. 67, 191
  2. ^ MG, pg. 52
  3. ^ ToD, pg. 96
  4. ^ Dark Factions, pg. 134, 136

External links