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The Grizzly Hills, located in southeastern Northrend, is a forested area, surrounded by the Howling Fjord to the south, the Dragonblight to the west and Zul'Drak to the north. It is the homeland of the Grizzlemaw furbolgs. Over 20,000 furbolgs live in this zone, most in the large settlement of Grizzlemaw. Both the dwarven settlement of Thor Modan and Ice Troll/Scourge fortress of Drak'Tharon Keep can be found in the north. The main faction bases are Amberpine Lodge for the Alliance and Conquest Hold for the Horde.

It is similar to other forests during wintertime, except that winter here is year-round. The trees are tall and thick; the pine needles and crisp, clean air produce a pleasant scent, the snow leaves the ground clean and fresh, and the hills themselves are high enough for decent elevation but low enough and gradual enough to be easily climbed. It is one of the nicest regions in Northrend. Dwarves live here at Thor Modan, but they aren’t the only residents. Furbolgs dominate the region, and they make fine neighbors when they’re not attacking. The Scourge has a presence here as well, but not strong enough to do much more than block the northwest corner. Wild animals roam the hills, providing plenty of meat, fur, and entertainment. It is not an easy land by any stretch, but it is handsome, fierce, and full of life.[1]

The Venture Co. is also found here, deforesting the land.[2] The deforesting operation is large-scale and throughout the region.[3] Arugal has also been resurrected and now leads his worgen army in the Grizzly Hills.[4] Some furbolgs have also been affected by the corruption of an Old God, being driven to insanity.[5]


Art from Lands of Mystery.

Early concept art

The furbolgs claim they were the first people in these hills; so do the Drakkari ice trolls, though they’re concentrated to the north in Zul'Drak. They may both be wrong. Another hypothesis is that dwarves were there first. It is believed that the titans placed dwarves here after they had created them. It was an experiment to see if they could survive on their own. They not only survived but flourished, spreading southward and into what would later become known as Kalimdor and the other continents. The dwarves of Thor Modan believe they can find evidence of their dwarven ancestors in the hills, and uncover truths about their race’s early culture. Regardless, all this was well before any surviving history. No one really knows what went on here way back then.

Other stories say that the Drakkari trolls built Drak’Tharon Keep before the furbolgs even built Grizzlemaw. Supposedly, the Frost Paws gathered the polar furbolg tribes together in part to fend off the new Drakkari threat. Both races were here and hated each other — the furbolgs had the numbers, but with their new keep, the Drakkari were more organized and the trolls were always more unified than the furbolgs. The existence of Grizzlemaw affected the balance, and the furbolgs' victory over the Drakkari in a series of skirmishes may have led to the eventual loss of Drak’Tharon to the Scourge.

This region is the furbolg homeland, and they outnumber every other race here combined. They are massive bear-men, enormous creatures with a bear's build, fur, and basic features, but a man’s hands and, to a limited extent, mind. That is a dangerous combination, and they're powerful in a fight. Fortunately, they’re not aggressive beyond their own territory. The dwarves at Thor Modan have had run-ins with furbolgs on a regular basis, since the furbolgs feel the dwarves are trespassers and grave robbers. Furbolgs are surprisingly friendly to travelers, though, and greeted them warmly once the dwarves assured that they laid no claim to anything in the hills. They’re less approving of large groups, and particularly wary of strange races, but their caution can't be blamed.

A settlement in the mist drawn by Peter Lee.

The furbolgs have a city here, Grizzlemaw, but it holds less than half their number. The rest are gathered in clans and scattered throughout the region. Each clan has its own totem, and when one sees one they know that they have entered Snowspring territory, Winterpaw land, Snow Flurry hunting grounds, or any of the others. It is best for a person to declare himself openly once a person sees the totem, since a furbolg may be watching and won't appreciate the person trying to sneak past. The dwarves in Thor Modan are thrilled to see visitors and eager for news of home. They don't get that many travelers up here. They are not here for socializing, though, and remain focused on their excavations. They have not yet discovered anything of note, but they are still hopeful.

The Scourge forces at Drak’Tharon Keep are typical: nasty, violent, and focused. They hold the passes between Zul'Drak, the Dragonblight, and the rest of Grizzly Hills in order for more Scourge forces to reach the east or return to Icecrown Glacier.[6]

For generations, the tribal furbolgs have worshiped a colossal prehistoric bear that roams the surrounding wilderness.[7]


Grizzly Hills map

The initial design layout of the zone, first presented at BlizzCon 2007.

The Grizzly Hills are as hilly as the name suggests. Along the northern edges, the land gains height and depth, approaching the level of small mountain ranges, while it flattens out a little in the south. Thick forest covers the land from end to end, broken only by small clearings or the space alongside one of the many streams and small rivers. Snow is everywhere but the region has little ice — the wind whistles overhead but the trees block it from entering down below and the hills seem almost warm compared to the Dragonblight and Borean Tundra. It is still dangerous though, with treacherous slopes, hidden caves, and partially frozen rivers, but better than most of the other regions. All manner of wild animals live in the area, and the hills are full of life. Wolves, bears, foxes, rabbits, and some small deer are the most common. Mice and other rodents hide from the snowy owls and other raptors in the trees, but mercifully snakes and spiders aren’t present here, likely due to the temperature. Wendigo and sasquatch prowl the hills, so it is best not to go out alone. The Drakkari ice trolls live just north in Zul’Drak and sometimes their hunters drift down to the hills as well in search of prey.

The Grizzly Hills have three major settlements, each controlled by a different race. It is strange that all three coexist here, and even stranger that they’re all along the northern edge. The southern hills have other furbolg tribes and the random trapper or traveler, but nothing larger than a small village.[1]


World of Warcraft In-game


Instance Name Level Range Approximate Run Time
Heroic modeInstance (dungeon; Heroic 80) portal Drak'tharon Keep 74-76 45 min - 1 hour

Travel hubs

Alliance Flight paths from Amberpine Lodge
Alliance Flight paths from Westfall Brigade Encampment
Horde Flight paths from Conquest Hold
Horde Flight paths from Camp Oneqwah

Adjacent regions

Zone Name Faction Level Range Direction Access
Howling Fjord Alliance Horde 68-72 South By foot, or by flight path
Dragonblight Alliance Horde 71-74 West By foot, or by flight path
Zul'Drak Alliance Horde 74-77 North By foot, or by flight path

Notable characters

Main article: Grizzly Hills NPCs

The Grizzly Hills is home to several characters of note. At the Westfall Brigade Encampment, Gryan Stoutmantle leads the Westfall Brigade in the fight against the Horde and surrounding enemies. The Horde is led by Conqueror Krenna at Conquest Hold and Tormak the Scarred, chieftain of the local taunka tribe, at Camp Oneqwah. Other notable characters include the captive ice troll Drakuru, the famous adventurer Harrison Jones, the hunter of worgen Sasha and her mysterious archenemy Shade of Arugal, and the furbolg deity Ursoc, horribly twisted by his tainted rebirth.


There are a number of daily quests in the Grizzly Hills that focus on PvP combat and a general conflict between the Alliance and Horde to control Venture Bay, Blackriver Logging Camp, and Blue Sky Logging Grounds. Daily quests include tasks to recover parts and assist NPCs, as well as killing opposition NPCs and players. Players from both factions can speak to NPCs at Blue Sky Logging Grounds to ride a log downstream to the bay where additional quests can be found.

Venture Bay can be captured by either faction, which spawns defenders and permits access to the bay's vendors.


Main article: Grizzly Hills quests

There are several quest chains in the Grizzly Hills. The Alliance starts out at Amberpine Lodge and are first tasked with taking care of the wildlife and restocking supplies. Players are then ordered to strike up an alliance with the local hunters and trappers based out of Silverbrook, who have a dark secret. Having figured out the situation, players are then sent to figure out what went wrong with Vordrassil, the failed World Tree, and other problems at Westfall Brigade Encampment.

Both sides find their way to Granite Springs to deal with the Scourge-infested trolls in the area in quest chains that send players to Drak'Tharon Keep and to the far eastern side of the Grizzly Hills at Drakil'jin Ruins and Squatter's Camp.



Wild creatures

Rare elite NPCs associated with the Money achievement.png Northern Exposure achievement:





External links