The Burning Steppes hold the only accessible land passage from the Kingdom of Stormwind to Khaz Modan and Lordaeron. The highway is thus well traveled, but still very dangerous. Now virtually abandoned by the Kingdom of Stormwind, the Burning Steppes is controlled by minions of the black dragonflight and agents of the firelord Ragnaros.
This rugged region is full of craggy foothills, scattered boulders and warring factions. Rivers of lava dot the landscape, as well as charred earth and burning ruins. The sky is a red hue here, due to sporadic eruptions from Blackrock Mountain. Blackrock Spire, an orc stronghold in the Second War, stands proud and defiant among the mountains. Dark Iron dwarves control the fortress’s deeps, though rumor has it that Ragnaros the Fire Lord still broods in the shadows. Black dragons under Nefarian hold the spire’s upper levels, and the two groups battle constantly for supremacy. The surrounding countryside is home to Blackrock orcs and Fire-Gut ogres, all brutal castoffs from the Second War. The Molten Span, a massive stone edifice in the north, bridges a river of fire and leads to Khaz Modan.
While many use the Burning Steppes as a thoroughfare, it is populated by one of the few successful orc settlements in Azeroth. These orcs do not honor Thrall’s truce with the Alliance, instead following the barbaric practices the orcs used from before the Third War. Deeper into the region, ogres, dragons, and the Dark Iron clan of dwarves can be found. With the volcanic activity and lava flow, the weather is perpetually hot and dry.
The Burning Steppes are located north of the Redridge Mountains and south of the Searing Gorge. It is dominated by Blackrock Mountain in the northwestern area. It is a central location housing the black dragonflight and various creatures. It also has quite a few high-level instances. It is recommended that characters be at least level 55, as the creatures are some of the most powerful in the game.
The Blackrock orcs maintain a lasting settlement around the volcano known as Blackrock Stronghold, staying hidden from the road but always keeping watch for Alliance attacks. These orcs are more typical of the type of the First and Second wars rather than the current Horde in Kalimdor. Bloodthirsty and savage, they mine the mountains around Blackrock Spire for metals with which to make weapons and armor. The Firegut ogres from the south study arcane magic, but their massive bodies still allow them to excel in combat. Give an ogre sorcerer a club and she’s still likely to bash out the brains of the strongest dwarven fighter. This violent race is dedicated solely to claiming the Burning Steppes as ogre territory. The Alliance — not to mention the orcs, the Dark Iron dwarves and the dragon folk — will not let this happen, as they refuse to lose control of the only passage to the north. The black dragons are elusive, and one who wishes to avoid getting torn apart doesn’t approach without considerable firepower. They will attack solitary travelers for sport and consider anyone approaching their usurped fortress free game.
These steppes were formerly part of the Redridge Mountains before the Dark Irons came here after their exile. They established a colony called Thaurissan, but their sorcery turned out to be their undoing. Their thane, a mad sorcerer named Thaurissan, tried to summon elemental minions to aid him against the Ironforge and Wildhammer Dwarves, but instead he summoned the elemental fire lord Ragnaros. Ragnaros’ arrival melted several mountains in this range and forged a great volcano in the blast’s epicenter. Now, the remaining Dark Irons live as puppets to Ragnaros and his fire elementals, who dwells under Blackrock Spire. Orcs also came here after the Second War and maintain settlements around and within the volcano, the climate being to their liking. The Horde conquered Blackrock Spire and used it as a base of operations during the campaign against Lordaeron in the Second War. Warchief Orgrim Doomhammer slew the human hero Anduin Lothar by the foot of the volcano at the war’s end, though Lothar’s death turned the tide and spurred the Alliance on to crush the failing Horde.
- Alliance players can reach the Burning Steppes from the Redridge Mountains to the south.
- Horde players can reach the Burning Steppes from the Searing Gorge to the north, through Blackrock Mountain.
Lacking the grace and beauty of Khaz Modan’s peaks, the Burning Steppes’ mountains show the force of the energy that twisted them. The very rock melted when the volcano was formed, and lava changed the surrounding areas forever. The Blackrock Spire is awe-inspiring in its sheer mass and obvious devastation, while the rest of the land visibly attempts to recover from the damage done by the summoning of the Firelord, Ragnaros.
In the northwest of the Burning Steppes sits the impossibly high Blackrock Mountain. It is a volcano that is still active over 500 years after its birth at the summoning of Ragnaros. The Burning Steppes are mostly under the control of the Black Dragons and their Blackrock Orc allies. In the midst of the barren Steppes are the Ruins of Thaurissan, the ancient Dark Iron capital that was destroyed in the summoning of Ragnaros. In the southeast, the Alliance has developed the outpost known as Morgan's Vigil.
There are no instanced dungeons in the Burning Steppes themselves; however, Blackrock Mountain to the north houses quite a few high level dungeons. There are no PvP battlegrounds in this zone. Several micro dungeons can be found here.
Maps and subregions
Blackrock Spire Foothills (RPG)
Crystalline Cave (Art)
Flight Master Locations
Regions Adjacent to Burning Steppes
|Zone Name||Faction||Level Range||Direction||Access||Access|
|Badlands||45-48||Northeast||from Morgan's Vigil to Dragon's Mouth||from Flame Crest to New Kargath|
|Elwynn Forest||1-10||Southwest||from Morgan's Vigil to Stormwind City||By foot south to Redridge Mountains, then west|
|Redridge Mountains||15-20||South||By foot south; from Morgan's Vigil to Lakeshire||By foot south|
|Searing Gorge||48-50||North||By foot north through Blackrock Mountain; from Flamestar Post to Iron Summit; also from Morgan's Vigil to Thorium Point||By foot north through Blackrock Mountain; from Flamestar Post to Iron Summit; also from Flame Crest to Thorium Point|
- Main article: Burning Steppes NPCs
The Burning Steppes are home to several characters of note. At Morgan's Vigil, Marshal Maxwell seeks aid in locating a high-ranking officer of Stormwind. At Flame Crest, Mathredis Firestar attempts to feed his tainted addiction to magic by offering enchantments in return for powerful arcane components. And at Slither Rock, the vicious Cyrus Therepentous sends bold adventurers into the Blackrock Depths in search of the essence of fire.
- Main article: Burning Steppes quests
This section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.
The Burning Steppes is a 49-52 zone in Cataclysm.
- Blackrock Mountain – You can access the Blackwing Descent raid by flying up to the balcony on the side of the mountain; due south of the mountain is a neutral Thorium Brotherhood camp called Flamestar Post that serves as a small quest hub with a flight path
- Draco'dar – due south of here and over the hills connected to Elwynn Forest is an abandoned camp and a small cave in the hills
- The Pillar of Ash – the entire area has been renamed Black Tooth Hovel and is occupied by members of the Blackrock clan and their allies; south of here and over the hills is a very large lake
- Ruins of Thaurissan – in the SW section is a large neutral encampment run by the Thorium Brotherhood called Chiselgrip; it has a flight path and serves as a quest hub
- Terror Wing Path – in the SE section the Redridge Highway connects and leads high into the hills, leading all the way through Redridge Mountains and into the Swamp of Sorrows; there appears to be a quick mode of transportation between the two: The Bogpaddle Bullet, a rocket that will fly from one end of the highway to the other
- Blackrock Stronghold - the area in front of the Stronghold is now called the Fields of Honor; troops hostile to both the Horde and Alliance are massing here and include Blackrock Soldiers, Blackrock Sergeants, Smolderthorn Assassins, and Firegut Flamespeakers
- Altar of Storms - has been taken by orcs of the Blackrock clan
- The Whelpling Downs - a new area in the southwest region of the zone, including the shelf above; occupied by members of the Blackrock clan and Flamescale Broodlings; within this area there are several fettered whelplings of various dragonflights that can be set free, including Green, Bronze, Blue, and Red
- It appears that the Black Dragonspawn and their ilk, excluding the Flamescale Broodlings, are no longer found in the western section of the zone
- Black dragon whelps
- Black dragonspawn
- Black drakes
- Dark Iron dwarves
- Lava elementals
- Mountain giants
- Burning Steppes often sees the inadvertent death of curious newbies who venture too far north from Redridge, not knowing that the Burning Steppes is a much higher level zone, and get murdered by one of the high-level lava elementals near the zone border. This can be considered the Alliance equivalent of the Horde's Welcome Bear.