Friday, November 14, 2008

First Looks at Northrend, Part 2: East By Turtle

Last time I took a look at the Borean Tundra, at the southwest tip of the croissant that is Northrend. This time, what I saw making my way toward the Howling Fjord at the southeast tip.

I included a picture of one of the tuskarr last time. They have villages along the southern coast, and offer free transportation. At first I thought that the mention of "turtles" was referring to the overall design of their boats. I was wrong. It is in fact turtles all the way down the coast:

Turtles All the Way Down

This fits with the mounts their village guards use on land:

Tuskarr Turtle-Mounted Guard

By the way, notice that there's something fishy about the light at the end of the dock:

Tuskarr Dockmaster

After sailing past coastlines much like those in the pictures above (some ice, some cold bare stretches), I reached the Howling Fjord, home of the vrykul. This is how I first saw their distinctive style:

Vrykul Style

An automatic lift system with boast-shaped gondolas carries the traveler up the massive cliffs separating Howling Fjord shoreline from its interior:

Up the Fjord Cliffs

The Dragon-Boat Lift

The uplands are host to all kinds of interesting life, including these prehistoric-styled elks:


This stag didn't much fancy either Tivara or her worm:

Stag v Worm

And this wandering storm giant, whose way I tried to leave clear. Notice that his knee pads are made out of the main doors of large buildings:

Storm Giant

Dwarves are excavating several big ruins. Yes, this is a very large statue's hand holding a torch aloft:

Dwarvish Excavation

This was Tivara's and my first look at Utgarde Keep, home of prominent vrykul leaders (and the first dungeon for those newly arrived in Northrend). By the way, I didn't get any pictures of vrykul I really want to share; that's on the list for future updates. But if you picture 10-foot-tall half-giant warriors in the Viking style, you've got the idea.

First Look at Utgarde

Utgarde Keep Entrance

Something that I didn't realize about Utgarde Keep until Tivara was actually inside, by the way, is that it's in the process of being carved out of this big rock spire. You go up and up through tunnels in varying degrees of completion, and there are miners working far above ground level. Pictures of that will be coming.

The northern reaches of the zone are covered in permanent snow, and inhabited by things like this ice elemental:

Ice Elemental

I think that's enough for now. Future parts will include the new society the Forsaken are building for themselves, more looks at the astonishing terrain of the Howling Fjord, and aerial views flying from the Fjord back to the Tundra.