Welcome to Khaz Modan! Homeland of the dwarves, we can expect beer brawling and the underground in this region of the Eastern Kingdoms. Khaz Modan is admittedly one of the smaller regions, it didn't receive a fleshing out until the Cataclysm expansion. The Eastern Kingdoms just aren't as neat in arrangement as Kalimdor. What are we waiting for? The first drink waits below.
Snowy mountains, dwarven halls, breweries. Dun Morogh has it all. Starting land for dwarves and gnomes Dun Morogh is a rugged, peaceful land. Not as popular as Elwynn it still sees good business, especially from those who enjoy a bit of the white stuff. Snow is surprisingly hard to find in Warcraft, at least before Wrath of the Lich King. So Dun Morogh was always a pleasure for me. Some of its sights include frozen lakes, frost rimed pine forests and deep valleys filled with bears. Dwarven settlements are common, from hunters' camps to the brewery at Kharanos. along the northern cliffs the road rises, winding its way up to the great hold doors of Ironforge. Ironforge was never my favourite city. The great forge is impressive, but it's hard to imagine people living there. What Ironforge did do well though was serve as a hub. There was plenty of room in Ironforge and the Alliance made good use of it. Duelling happened outside, while in the first atrium players would run back and forth between bank and auction house. Gnomeregan on the other hand is a mess. formerly capital of the gnomes it's now a trogg infested dungeon that people avoid.
Travelling east through the gate valleys brings us to Loch Modan. A green and pleasant land Loch Modan is dominated by its central Loch, created by the great dam of the dwarves. It's an impressive feature and successfully hides the beginning of one of WoW's many factional fights. The dam you'll learn has been occupied by Dark Iron Dwarves, evil dwarves essentially. The fight with them was one of the more well realised plotlines that continues right up to the highest levels. Apart from the Loch the eastern edge of Modan has several features of note. An ogre encampment with very small ogres, an excavation site and the first of the high elven lodges that one is likely to find. There's also the Valley of Kings, the most impressive of the gate valleys. Loch Modan appears to be incredibly high in the mountains, judging by the height of the dam. That does raise the question of how it's so verdant next to Dun Morogh. Isn't it amazing we've gotten so far into this tour and only now we're addressing the nonsensical geography. Regardless, there are several exits from Modan, north leads down into the Wetlands. If you're daring you can travel via the dam. South goes to Searing Gorge, though the gate is locked and also to...
The Badlands. A bit of an oddity in the Eastern Kingdoms. the Badlands always felt more like a part of Kalimdor. In geographical terms they resemble a cross between the Blasted Lands and the Thousand Needles. There are tall mesas and mountains but the ground is parched red and there are lots of wide open valleys. Another way the Badlands feels like a part of Kalimdor is in terms of settlement. The Horde are the only ones with a base here at Kargath. There's no particular reason for it, except that gamewise the Horde need some kind of base near to Blackrock Mountain. As an Alliance I passed through only once, on my quest to get the key to the gate to Searing Gorge. I barely stopped at Uldaman, the titan base, a dungeon filled with ancient secrets. It was never the most travelled of dungeons. It and the Badlands were never the most travelled of locations and there are more interesting places to go, like Stranglethorn. Perhaps past the elemental guards lie buried secrets. But we have to move on.
To the Searing Gorge. The northern counterpart of the Burning Steppes, Searing Gorge connects to it via Blackrock Mountain. It is populated almost entirely by Dark Iron Dwarves and their slaves. As the orcs hold the south, so the dwarves hold the north. The orcs hold the upper reaches of the Mountain and so are higher level outside as well as in. Searing Gorge is dominated by the Cauldron, a vast gully in the volcanic rock that has been turned into an industrial hub. There is also the vast Slag Pit filled with their slaves mining out the rock for demons know what. The only true safe zone in Searing Gorge is the Thorium Brotherhood outpost, populated by Dark Irons who are ostensibly neutral. This was a good place to land for those seeking Blackrock, the run to the doors is straight and past lower level monsters. It was also a favourite questing location of mine as, while the place wasn't pretty, there was good loot and a steady stream of quests.
We never went north of Loch Modan, let's do that now. The Wetlands are a particularly marshy region at the northern edge of the subcontinent. The journey down to them from Loch Modan is impressive and the road to Menethil Harbour can seem endless, especially to those mad few who would make the trek from Kalimdor to Elwynn in order to party up with their friends. The Wetlands was at its most exciting then, a vast, unknowable region filled with deadly crocolisks and the odd stray dragon. Sadly levelling there just isn't the same. It's mostly just slogging through pools, fighting an ooze, only to have to fight a gnoll that comes out of nowhere at the same time. The eastern reaches are taken up by dragons, high level dragons that linger around Grim Batol and take up space. Still, Menethil has its charm and at the northern edge lies the Thandol Span, another dwarven feat of engineering that is the gateway to Lordaeron.