Updated Wed, Nov 19, 2008 by Messiah
The Grizzly Hills are one the the zones in the upcoming Wrath of the Lich King (WotLK) Expansion for the World of Warcraft. The zone is a wild frontier zone with hills and forests covering much of it. The zone is meant for low to mid-level expansion characters in the 72-74 level range. The zone has seen many recent changes from its history as an untamed frontier and as such there is a lot going on there.
A path through the forest in Grizzly Hills
The zone is mainly made up of hills covered with forest. Along the southern edge of the zone the hills are gentle and rolling, however as you move north in the zone they become more treacherous and steep. There are many places where you will come across dangerous cliffs, sudden drops, frozen rivers and dark caves. The forests are dense pine forests like those you would expect to find in cooler environments. There are some small clearings to be found, however they are limited to the areas around settlements and bodies of water.
While the land is locked in unending winter, it is still described as one of the nicest zones in all of Northrend. The hills and forest offer shelter from the environment and there are large numbers of animals that wander the zone and call it home.
A river scene in the Grizzly Hills
The primary inhabitants of the zone are the Furbolgs, Dwarves, and the Trolls that are members of the Scourge. Each of these have a settlement in the zone. Recently the Venture Co. have also moved into the zone in an attempt to exploit the natural resources found here.
The most numerous race in the zone is the Furbolgs, who are a race of huge bear-men, that resemble upright bears with human hands and speech. While they are capable of human like speech and thought they still posses animal instincts and can react violently. However they are not generally aggressive unless provoked, in fact they are generally open and receptive to visitors. The Furbolg capital of Grizzlemaw can be found in the zone.
The Dwarves have a settlement located in the far north east corner of the zone called Thor Modan. From there they conduct excavations searching for clues to their past.
The Scourge have a stronghold to the northwest in the form of Drak'Tharon Keep. The Keep guards the pass to other northern and western zones, allowing the Scourge to move between the zones. The Keep is the home of the Drakkari Ice Trolls who now serve the Scourge. The remainder of the Drakkari ice troll presence in the zone now consists mainly of a few smaller settlements and raiding camps along the northern edge of the zone. The zone of Zul'Drak to the north is now their primary zone, however they travel into Grizzly Hills quite often to raid.
A quite river crossing
The zone may well be the first pace the Dwarves inhabited after being created by the Titans. That is what the dwarves that live in Thor Modan believe at least, and they constantly search for evidence to prove this. Dwarven excavations surround Thor Modan and the dwarves are hopeful of a discovery soon.
The Drakkari Trolls and the Furbolgs both also claim to be the first settlers to the region. Both have argued and fought over the zone for much of their races history, and no one is really sure if the capital of Grizzlemaw or Drak'Tharon Keep was built first. Regardless of who was there first, the zone is undisputedly the Furbolg homeland, and they outnumber everyone else in the zone. Everywhere you go throughout the zone you will see signs of Furbolg habitation, in the form of clan totems marking out territory. There are also rumors that a huge prehistoric bear exists and roams the zone. The bear has apparently been worshiped for many generations by the furbolgs. This could be an outdoor raid boss, but nothing has been confirmed yet.
Recent events in the zone that were announced at last years Blizzcon include the fact that Venture Co. has moved into the zone to start deforesting it and that Arugal has be resurrected in some form and is now leading his worgen army through the zone.
Not much is know as of yet in regards to instances in the zone other than the fact that the Scourge stronghold of Drak'Tharon Keep will house them. Drak'Tharon keep once belonged to the Drakkari Trolls and now does again under the control of the Scourge. Players may also remember it as the place that Prince Arthas stayed while looking for Frostmourne,
Since the Keep sits on the border with Zul'Drak it is likely that it will house an instance for the characters of level for Grizzly Hills and Zul'Drak. This would mean a 72-74 level instance, a 74-74 level instance and probably a 10/25 man raid will be found there.