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The civilization of Grizzlemaw is seen as the seat of all furbolg culture, and is ruled by the chieftain Baergar Blackpaw of the Frost Paw tribe. Furbolgs are nomadic, following caribou and other prey through established territories; so they don’t have many fixed structures, just central lodges in the centers of their hunting grounds. Grizzlemaw is the exception. A few stories claim the city was built on the site of the Frost Paw tribe’s lodge and made large enough to accommodate several tribes at once. The Frost Paw then invited other friendly tribes to shelter the winter with them. The resulting ties changed the furbolgs from scattered hunters to a stronger, more unified race, and the Grizzly Hills from ancestral hunting grounds to a loosely defined nation.
It is surrounded by a tall wooden palisade surrounding massive stone and wood houses. Guard towers mark the four corners, and smaller ones flank the double doors in front. Furbolgs are simple and uncomplicated, and so is their home. Furs cover the floors and furniture, which is large and comfortable, and woven tapestries lend some color to the walls. Weapons and other trophies are mounted above doors and windows, which have thin sheets of skin to keep out the cold. Large fire pits stand at the center of every house, and some large rooms have their own smaller pits down the middle.
Andrassil and Vordrassil
Vordrassil was a failed attempt at a World Tree, located in the Grizzly Hills of southern Northrend. Destroyed by the ancient druids, it is now the site of the furbolg city of Grizzlemaw. The Old God Yogg-Saron sleeps beneath its roots, and appears to have been responsible for the corruption of the furbolg. Yogg-Saron's corruption was also the motivation for the destruction of Vordrassil.
In Wrath of the Lich King
This section concerns content exclusive to Wrath of the Lich King.
Thousands of years ago, the ancient druids planted the great tree Vordrassil in the Grizzly Hills of what is now Northrend, an early attempt at the creation of a World Tree. However, once it was fully grown, the druids destroyed it, having discovered that it was tainted. The furbolg eventually moved into the stump left behind and built their city of Grizzlemaw.
Vordrassil fell to earth in several segments spread across the west-central portion of the Grizzly Hills, where they rooted deep into the ground. Foul oozes surround these segments - known as Vordrassil's Heart, Vordrassil's Limb and Vordrassil's Tears - and a corruptive darkness resides in the depths. The corruption has also spread to the furbolgs in Grizzlemaw itself, and it is here that the players on both sides (sent by Hierophant Thayreen at Amberpine Lodge for the Alliance and Windseer Grayhorn at Conquest Hold for the Horde) begin their investigation into what went wrong. Collecting samples of oozes as well as readings of the darkness within the fallen tree, the players eventually encounter the children of the bear god Ursoc, who was killed during the War of the Ancients. Ursoc's son, Orsonn, explains thusly:
- "For centuries, the furbolg who worshipped him devised a way to resurrect him. Finally they decided to regrow the failed world tree, Vordrassil, and use its magic to bring back my father. The sapling they grew bore a fruit. At first it seemed to work. Ursoc did come back..."
However, the Ursoc that had returned was also corrupted by the same magic. Players are then sent into Grizzlemaw to burn the sapling of Vordrassil and return with its ashes, and to collect Vordrassil's seeds to prevent the furbolg from regrowing it. Once the ashes are purified, they journey to Ursoc's Den to confront the corrupted Ancient. After defeating him and sprinkling Vordrassil's ashes on his corpse, the freed spirit of Ursoc appears and reveals the horrifying truth:
- "I thank you all. The druids of old were wise to tear down Vordrassil, for its roots seep deep into the dwelling of an ancient evil. You know their kind as Old Gods. Beware Yogg-Saron, the beast with a thousand maws. His evil extends beyond Vordrassil's roots."
The furbolg of Grizzlemaw are all hostile, and are around level 73-75. They are part of the Redfang and Frostpaw tribes, which are constantly at war. Killing furbolgs from one side can make you temporarily neutral with the other for five minutes (unless you kill more of the opposition, in which case you may remain so as long as you're nearby).