Updated Fri, Jul 22, 2011 by DarkFact
Following our coverage on Northrend, this time we focus on the Howling Fjord. Located in South-East Northrend, it forms Daggercap Bay, which is, as we know, where Arthas originally landed on this continent seeking to defeat Mal'Ganis. After Arthas left his men behind, they formed the settlement of Valgarde - the Alliance's first settlement in Northrend.
Monsters in this area have been reported to include Ice Trolls, Nerubians, Murlocs, Wendigos, Vrykul, and Iron Dwarves. As for dungeons, this zone will host Utgarde Keep, the first dungeon hub players will be able to visit in the expansion - it will be located in Lake Cauldros at the Howling Fjord.
The Howling Fjord, a very diverse zone
Utgarde Keep is inhabited by the new race Vrykul, which are half-giants, and are hostile to both Horde and Alliance - Blizzard has stated that finding out the Vrykul's intentions is part of the mystery players must solve before bringing the fight to Arthas and his minions further north.
The Howling Fjord has dark forests, plains, rocky areas, pretty much a big variety of wildlife and scenery within the same zone.
As we have stated before, Valgarde Keep was founded by the dwarves and humans that arthas left behind on his expedition, after abandoning humanity and becoming a Death Knight, the remainder of the Dwarves and Humans led by Arthas's former captain. This will act as the Alliance's first settlement in Northrend for those who pick the Howling Fjord.
As for the Horde, Sylvanas and the Forsaken have settled in this region as well, ready with their new plague to strike at the Lich King. Their settlement is called New Agamand.
Players will be able to see popular characters such as Sylvanas Windrunner and Tirion Fordring and his Ashbringer within this zone.
Utgarde Keep is the first instance you will be able to attend with a level 70-72 party of 5 people, though it follows the now usual triple-winged layout for the dungeons.
There are two confirmed dungeon names for this Vrykul settlement, which could be compared to Hellfire Citadel - it will feature Undead Vrykul as well as live ones, as these Vrykul seem to be wanting to impress the Lich King, or at least aid him in throwing the Horde and Alliance from their lands.
Level 70-72 (5 man) - Utgarde Catacombs (3 Bosses)
Level 80 (5 man) - Utgarde Pinnacle (Unknown)
Level 80 (Raid) - Utgarde
Being one of the new races introduced into the conflict in the cold north, the Vrykul are an ancient race of half-giant warriors native to the Howling Fjord. In ancient times, it is said that they inhabited all of this land, and founded a prosperous civilization, however, suddenly they all disappeared, leaving ruins, deserted villages and temples behind.
Upon founding Valgarde, the Vrykul have been spotted once again raiding both Horde and Alliance settlements. No one knows their true intentions or allegiance, and only their King, Ymiron, knows what they're truly planning on doing. It is rumored that the Titan creation myth will continue with this race as the expansion advances.