Exploring Grizzly Hills is a sight for sore eyes. It is one of the nicest woods in-game. It reminds me of some videos I have seen of the US Army Training Centers in Virginia. There are many entry points into Grizzly Hills. At least three from Howling Fjord. I explored the eastern side first. The Eastwind Shore is reached through the Path of Iron. You can find Runed Iron Dwarves engaging a spell ritual with a floating rune. If you are exploring I recommend not getting near them. They are in groups of four and cast some sort of continuous ligthing-bolt streams that stun you in place causing damage over time. They spam it a lot, making your retreat a nigh-impossible or painful one if you don’t have crowd-control abilities.
Heading south to Dun Argol, I was surprised it wasn’t an Alliance Dwarven fortress, but a Rune Iron Dwarven fortress on the mountain-side. Northeast of the shore you will find the Bloodmoon Isle where I found what looks like humans wearing shaman clothing, a wolf-mask, and gauntlets with sharp-claws. They are Arugal Cultists. At the top of the isle is the Shadowfang Tower. Worgen are found throughout the top of the isle. To my surprise, after killing a couple of Worgen, their corpses reverted back to a cultist. Curiosity led me to reach the top where I found the Shade of Arugal casting a ritual spell similar to the one seen at Caverns of Time: Black Morass by Medivh.
West … near the shore, is the Drakil’jin Ruins. The trolls there are still using old-troll models. Their closed beta tag marks them for an upcoming beta build update where their models will be changed to that of the Drakkari trolls or Ice trolls mentioned in the World of Warcraft: Lands of Mystery RPG Book. The ruins have a ramp going down toward an underground mausoleum similar to the one at the Amani Catacombs in the Ghostlands. There are Drakkari troll mummies on the ground and Ancestral Drakkari ghosts that curiously are friendly to players in contrast with the living ones outside the catacombs.
Heading northeast around the hill I found Thor Modan. As you approach it you will see a conflict between the Earthen and the Runed Iron Dwarves. Once inside you will see a very nice architechture, except for the unfriendly Runed Iron Dwarves. Thor Modan looks like Ironforge, but looks like most of it is inaccessible as the mountain seems to have crumbled down within after the Sundering. The gap in the middle where Ironforge has lava, in Thor Modan it has water instead. Threshadons swim along this middle gap. You can see above the interior of Thor Modan that the mountain top was ripped apart in half with a fissure that allows you to see the sky. From this outdoor top are many Mountain Giants, standing on the ledge of the fissure, attacking the Runed Iron Dwarves by throwing rocks and trees down toward them.
The Westfall Brigade Encampment has a large troop of Human Footmen and Mages and a few Dwarves. Besides towers, there is no buildings here. Only dozens of tents lined-up. There are a few NPC vendors here if you need to empty your bags or grab some quests and of course, the flightpath.
For the Horde, one of the places for quests and vendors is Camp Oneqwah where you find a flightpath. It is a Tauren outpost. It is hard to tell if these are Tauren, or Taunka. In closed beta, the models have not been changed. Tigole recently said at the official forums the Taunka models will be added in an upcoming beta patch. As he said, the Taunka look more buffalo-ish.
North of the Westfall Brigade Encampment is Ursoc’s Den. Besides a few bears mounting guard outside the Den, there was nothing inside. Just a huge cavern with no roof with a lot of giant ribs covered with flesh. One curiosity is the furbolg held captive with chains.
South of the Ursoc Den, right into the center of Grizzly Hills is a giant tree that fell down. Its size is impressive even from afar. The giant trunk is hollow inside, hosting a huge city: Grizzlemaw. It is the capital of the Furbolgs of Grizzly Hills – as described in the World of Warcraft RPG: Lands of Mystery (2006). You can see two furbolg factions at war outdoors and indoors. None of both factions seem to be friendly to Horde. Not sure how it will be for Alliance.
Not far from there I found a furbolg camp named the Rage Fang Shrine where a peculiar polar bear is held captive in a cave. The bear is named Orsonn, and he is the son of Ursoc (one of the Ancients).
On the northern region of Grizzly Hills, just northwest of Grizzlemaw, is the Blue Sky Logging Grounds. There is a lot of machinery here and lumber mills near the lake. Probably for some quests. Some Horde seem to be infiltrating the area with scouts. West of the logging grounds is another Alliance base with a flightpath. It is named Silverbrook. It is at the top north of the region. If you wish to reach Drak’Tharon Keep this should be your flight point. Not far from Silverbrook, just west is Drak’Tharon Keep dungeon. It is also another of the three paths into Zul’Drak. The outdoor trolls will attack you, but once you enter through the large stairs to Drak’Tharon Keep the trolls running through won’t attack you. They are fleeing and emote you asking you to get out of the way, or run for your life, mon.
There are two other Troll ruins in this northwest area with unfriendly trolls and flying serpents, so be careful in your exploration: Zeb’Halak and the Granite Springs. The latter one is a bunch of temples sunk into a small lake. However, the surrounding areas of the lake have beasts and trolls.
On the Southwest, which has a path toward Howling Fjord, you will find the Horde’s main stronghold in Grizzly Hills: Conquest Hold. Grab your flightpath and talk to any NPCs if you are level 72-73. This fortress looks like the exterior of Orgrimmar. There is a huge dome housing an underground Arena. Seems like this might be one of the PvP Battleground Arenas. East of Conquest Hold is a human Lumber mill near a waterfall. There is a huge battle here between the Horde and the Alliance. Unless you want to farm or complete some quests enter at your risk, and carefully. Mobs will attack you if they aren’t engaged against the other faction NPCs.
South of Conqueror Hold and next to the entrance to Howling Fjord is Voldrune, a Vykrul village. There may be a few other areas I didn’t get to explore. The place is immense in size, and may take about two or three hours of exploration alone. Have fun. Nice sights. Below you have a video of Grizzly Hills showing the most notorius locations and NPCs found. Tell your friends and guild members to visit Blizzplanet for Wrath of the Lich King Beta updates.