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Howling Fjord concept art

The Howling Fjord is a zone located in southeastern Northrend. Ripped into the southern coastline lies Daggercap Bay, where the forces of Arthas originally landed on the continent. Stranded by the young prince, the 5,000-strong expedition set up the outpost of Valgarde. The small settlement has since become the center of Alliance activity on Northrend. Other Alliance outposts include Westguard Keep and Fort Wildervar.

The majestic fortress known as Utgarde is located in the center of this zone; it is a dungeon complex and one of its sections, Utgarde Keep, is one of the two first instances (the other one being Utgarde Pinnacle) that players encounter when first arriving to Northrend.

Howling Fjord contains bases of both factions and does not have a faction-specific emphasis. From the tuskarr settlement of Kamagua on the Isle of Spears, located off the southwestern coast, there is a giant turtle vessel able to transport players to Moa'ki Harbor in the Dragonblight and from there on to Unu'pe in the Borean Tundra.


Howling Fjord has dark forests, open plains, treacherous rocks, and what used to be the only city — and port — on the continent. The north edge of the Howling Fjord has low hills and thick forest. The land smooths out to the south, however, and the trees fade back, to be replaced by grain and a few hardy fruits and vegetables. Daggercap Bay dominates the southern end, which is all rock. Most people live in Valgarde or in a semicircle above it. The fjord has its share of wildlife. Bears, wolves and other creatures prowl the forests, and small animals sneak through the farmland as well. Birds roost in the trees and steal grain and seeds, and the warmer climate and rich soil draws insects and other vermin as well.

Howling Fjord received its name because the wind that races in from the sea on all three sides produces a constant howl, like a maddened beast seeking its prey. Other than the noise, Howling Fjord is pleasant. It's not as heavily forested as the Grizzly Hills, or as hilly, but the temperature here is a little milder; between that and the flatter terrain it’s an ideal place to grow grain and other crops. Small farms dot the landscape, particularly down south near Valgarde. To the north the trees begin again, and creatures roam there from the hills above, making it more dangerous but also an excellent place for hunters.

This is the only region in Northrend that was dominated by humans and dwarves. That's entirely because of Valgarde, however — without that city it would be an even match between those humans and dwarves and the Drakkari and the furbolgs, not to mention the murlocs as well. Almost everyone lives in Valgarde. The exceptions are the farmers, who have their thickwalled farmhouses by their fields, and the hunters and trappers, who live in small camps among the trees and come south only to trade or sell. This region is also the only Alliance-dominated region in Northrend. The Howling Fjord really is Alliance territory, though, and here the Drakkari and even the furbolgs are the ones at risk.[1] (LoM 105-107)

Recently, the vrykul have appeared and the Forsaken have built a city, contesting the region's Alliance territory status.


Howling Fjord was a favorite on Northrend from the first time explorers reached the continent through the Daggercap Bay. The natural harbor provided an ideal launching point for expeditions throughout the continent. After the Lich King arrived, the Scourge swept across the continent, conquering most of its races and claiming many of the towns and citadels. During the Third War, Prince Arthas Menethil of Lordaeron arrived with his soldiers to destroy the dreadlord Mal'Ganis and punish him for the plague unleashed in his homeland. Arthas and the dwarven noble Muradin Bronzebeard joined forces against Mal’Ganis, who they thought to be the Lich King's lackey. When Arthas’s father summoned him home again, the prince responded by hiring mercenaries to burn his own ships, and blaming only them for the act of treachery, thus forcing his men to stay and fight. He searched for and obtained the cursed blade Frostmourne in the nearby region of Dragonblight, knocking out Muradin in the process. He used Frostmourne to defeat Mal'Ganis but lost his soul to the Lich King as a result. Arthas staggered away alone after the battle, and his men were left behind, stranded on Northrend. These humans and dwarves founded Valgarde. They also built the fortifications that protect it to this day. As Valgarde grew, its residents forced the Drakkari and furbolgs back into the Grizzly Hills and beyond, making the region safe enough for brave farmers to till the land.[1] (LoM 106)

In Wrath of the Lich King, the settlers of Valgarde have to deal with newly reawakened vrykul warriors, who raid them from their home of Utgarde Keep. In addition, Ironforge prospectors have discovered a new race of iron dwarves which may hint to their own ancient origins. Finally, the Forsaken have settled here and engineered a new plague, ready to strike at the Lich King. Their main settlements are Vengeance Landing and the town of New Agamand, named after the famous mills family which once lived in the Tirisfal Glades.


Howling Fjord

For the Alliance, there is a boat port connecting the town of Valgarde with Menethil Harbor in the Wetlands. For the Horde, a zeppelin connects the town of Vengeance Landing with the Undercity in Tirisfal Glades.

Howling Fjord map

Maps and subregions

World of Warcraft In-game


Frozen Coast




Instance Name Level Range Group Size Approximate Run Time
Heroic modeInstance (dungeon; Heroic 80) portal Utgarde Keep 70-72 5 man 30 min - 45 min
Heroic modeInstance (dungeon; Heroic 80) portal Utgarde Pinnacle 80 5 man 45 min - 1 hour and half

Travel hubs

Alliance Flight paths from Explorers' League Outpost
  • None
Alliance Flight paths from Fort Wildervar
Alliance Flight paths and boats from Valgarde
Alliance Flight paths from Westguard Keep
Horde Flight paths from Apothecary Camp
Horde Flight paths from Camp Winterhoof
Horde Flight paths and zeppelins from New Agamand
Horde Flight paths from Vengeance Landing
Neutral 15.png Flight paths and boats from Kamagua

Adjacent regions

Zone Name Faction Level Range Direction Access
Tirisfal Glades Horde 1-12 Southeast across the ocean By zeppelin from Vengeance Landing only
Wetlands Alliance 20-30 Southeast across the ocean By boat from Valgarde only
Dragonblight HordeAlliance 71-75 West across the sea By giant turtle from Kamagua to Moa'ki Harbor
Grizzly Hills HordeAlliance 73-75 Northwest By foot, or by flight path

Notable characters

The Howling Fjord will reputedly see several famous faces on the front against the Scourge, including Sylvanas Windrunner, Tirion Fordring, and the legendary weapon Ashbringer.


Main article: Howling Fjord quests

There are well over 140 quests in the Howling Fjord.

Players who are making the Fjord their first stop in Northrend had better be prepared to defend themselves! It is a zone riven by territorial disputes: In the east, the Alliance and the Horde continue their heated rivalry in an attempt to gain the coast. In the west, the Alliance is harried by the Northsea Freebooters. Running up the center of the land mass, both factions struggle with fiercely entrenched vrykul forces.

Most of the major questlines are shared by Horde and Alliance, with only the quest NPCs and their locations being unique. This should produce elevated levels of conflict on PvP servers, as competition for quest mobs and target locations will be tight.

Regardless of who they are, players should expect to gain notoriety in the tuskarr and pirate bands as dark spiritual influences become increasingly apparent. What secrets are held by the giant races of the land? Are they best left unrevealed?


Wild creatures

Rare Elite NPCs associated with the Money achievement.png Northern Exposure achievement.


More screenshots can be found on the various subzone pages.


Due to the topography and climate of the zone, it is quite possible that the Fjord is Azeroth's version of a Norwegian fjord.

External Links

  1. ^ a b LoM, 105-107