The Howling Fjord is located in south-eastern Northrend. It forms Daggercap Bay, where the forces of Arthas originally landed on the continent. Stranded by Arthas, the 5,000-strong expedition set up the outpost of Valgarde. Valgarde has since become the center of Alliance activity on Northrend. Indigenous life forms include frost wolves, Drakkari ice trolls, nerubians, murlocs of the White Shark Tribe, Wendigos, the Vrykul, and Iron Dwarves.
As confirmed at BlizzCon, Utgarde Keep is located in this zone, and will be the first instance players encounter in the next expansion. Howling Fjord contains bases of both factions and won't have a faction specific emphasis. There will be a port between Borean Tundra and Howling Fjord that uses a giant turtle with a deck on its back as a quick means of travel between the 2 starting zones.
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.
The Howling Fjord received its name, because the wind races in from the sea on all three sides, producing a constant howl like a maddened beast seeking its prey. Other than the noise, the 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. ( )
Recently, the Vrykul have appeared and the Forsaken have built a city contesting the region's Alliance territory status.
The Howling Fjord was a favorite on Northrend from the first time explorers reached the continent through 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 its races and claiming many of the towns and citadels. During the Third War, Prince Arthas of Lordaeron arrived with soldiers to destroy the dreadlord Mal'Ganis and punish him for the plague unleashed in Lordaeron. Arthas and the noble Muradin Bronzebeard joined forces against Mal’Ganis, then thought to be the Lich King's lackey. When Arthas’s father summoned him home again, the prince responded by burning his own ships, thus forcing his men to stay and fight. He obtained the cursed sword Frostmourne in this region, killing Muradin in the process, and defeated 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. ( )
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, Sylvanas and the Forsaken have settled here and engineered a new plague, ready to strike at the Lich King. Their settlement is called New Agamand, named for the famous Tirisfal Glades mills family.
There is a boat port connected to the Alliance town of Valgarde, but it is unknown whether the boat will be coming from Menethil Harbor in the Wetlands or Theramore Isle in Dustwallow Marsh. The evidence appears to point to Theramore, as there are two unused docks in the Theramore harbor.
Maps and subregions
|Dungeon Name||Level Range||Approximate Run Time|
|Zone Name||Faction||Level Range||Direction||Access|
|Tirisfal Glades||1-12||Southeast across the ocean||By zeppelin from Vengeance Landing only|
|Wetlands||20-30||Southeast across the ocean||By boat from Valgarde only|
|Grizzly Hills||74-76||Northwest||By foot, or (presumably) by flight path|
Players will find a big battle around them upon entering the zone. Alliance forces will be thrust into it upon landing in Valgarde. Vengeance Landing is under attack as well. It appears to be a three-way battle between the Alliance, Horde (Mainly Forsaken), and the vrykul.
-  - Valgarde Port
-  - Garvan's Reef
-  - Utgarde Keep
-  - Utgarde Keep
- [??] - Valgarde
-  - Utgarde Keep
More screenshots can be found on the various subzone pages.
Here follows some screens from the playable demo at GC in Leipzig.
- ^ http://www.wow-europe.com/en/misc/insider/bi026/interview.xml
- ^ a b LoM, 105-107
- ^ MMO-Champion info from the September issue of Games for Windows..
- ^ mmoleculeSM.
- ^ http://blizzplanet.com/news/1980/
- ^ http://pc.ign.com/articles/814/814776p1.html
- ^ http://www.computerandvideogames.com/article.php?id=190964
- ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UYQut21wvl4