It's time to finish off the Eastern Kingdoms. With Burning Crusade came the introduction of the northern tip of the continent, the homeland of the elves.

Eastern Kingdoms, Quel'Danas Circled

Technically it was added rather oddly. Rather than simply implanting it on the geography these regions exist in their own space, reachable only through teleportation and portals. The reasoning behind this was simple. Border control. People without the expansion could not access the new regions. Attempting to swim up to to Quel'danas you'll find only cliffs and empty sea where the map says land.

But how about that land?
Starting realm of the blood elves, Eversong Woods is all the majest of the expansion. Its soft, green woods have an otherworldly feel. This is only heightened by the magical floating buildings of the blood elves, who have rebuilt their home after a Scourge attack. Much of the zone is actually taken up by Silvermoon City, along with the ruins of Silvermoon. There's a large number of settlements in Eversong, along with runestones, troll encampments and Scourge remnants. Yet it never feels crowded and there's space to just sit back and enjoy the woods. There's enough care been lavished on this zone such that the unnatural side of it comes out slowly. The spells gone wrong, the magic starved wretched gradually build up a picture of a people who are desperate to recapture their glory, even if they destroy themselves from the inside out.

South of Eversong lie the Ghostlands, In contrast to Eversong the Ghostlands have been corrupted by the Scourge. There are still many settlements and nearly all of them are abandoned to ghosts. The woods have a weeping beauty to them, haunted as they are by undead. Those who take up the fight here will find a bigger fight than Silverpine, with a long questline that eventually ends in the depths of a Scourge stronghold, killing one of their great masters and a former elf to boot. Others will eventually come here anyway, for the troll dungeon of Zul'Aman. In practice Zul'Aman is a lot like Zul'Gurub, though its outside is disappointingly populated by friendly NPCs. At the far south there's a "door" to the plaguelands, though you'll probably never want to use it, stick to the portals.

Isle of Quel'Danas wasn't part of the initial release for Burning Crusade. It came later as the end game dungeons ramped up and people looked for stronger challenges. Like Silithus, Quel'Danas is essentially a filler zone, providing framework and quests around the main event that is the raid on Sunwell Plateau. Getting there is even more restricted than Eversong. The flight path opens up in the late levels, and a portal appears in the Outlands after enough questing. You can't swim to the isle from Eversong, though you can see it from a distance. Like Silithus it also tends to feel a little unfinished. The port is occupied by an invading friendly army and there's some regions with enemies but the southern edge of the isle in particular is just taken up by the raid. Magister's Terrace occupies a similar space in the northeastern corner. In terms of atmosphere you had to be there when it first opened up. Going back later on just leaves the place feeling hollow.

Next week we abandon this mortal plane and head for Outland.

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