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- This article is about lore and history of Stranglethorn Vale. For the pre-Cataclysm zone, see Stranglethorn Vale (original). For the post-Cataclysm zones, see Northern Stranglethorn and Cape of Stranglethorn.
The Stranglethorn Vale is a vast jungle south of Duskwood. After the Cataclysm Stranglethorn Vale was split by a large sinkhole containing a raging whirlpool called The Sundering at its center. The areas part of Stranglethorn are now know as Northern Stranglethorn (aka Stranglethorn Jungle) and the Cape of Stranglethorn.
Jungle trolls patrol this steaming rainforest. Ancient Gurubashi trolls once ruled the region, and the ruins of their great cities crumble in the jungle’s heat and growth. Naga hunt along the coast and vicious animals and plants, including the eponymous strangle-thorns, make travel dangerous. The Arena, a center for gladiatorial games set in a ruined Gurubashi fighting stadium, draws shady characters of all races. The Blackwater Raiders, a vile group of pirates, make their home in Booty Bay, on the Stranglethorn’s southern coast.
The Vale was the primary center of the trolls of the Gurubashi Empire, and their cities were dotted all over the region. After the Empire's fall the cities of the troll empire fell into ruin, although they are still populated by trolls. In recent years, the Humans of Stormwind attempted to forge trade routes through this savage jungle. Though they managed to establish the small port town of Blackwater Cove, they were quickly overwhelmed by a crazed pack of Trolls and driven back to their homeland. In the wake of the Humans' departure, the crafty Goblin Trade Princes arrived on the jungle's shores and quickly set up their mining and deforesting operations. The Goblins have maintained a tenuous hold over these remote facilities, but they remain threatened by the Jungle Trolls' growing obsession with purging their ancient lands of any and all foreign invaders.
Stone of the Tides
In Troll legends, it is said that the first made its appearance on the coast of Stranglethorn. It was found and picked up by a wandering Troll warrior. Intrigued by the blue stone he found, he took it with him on his journey. As time passed, the troll discovered that the stone gave him control over water. He could summon water elementals, manipulate the tides, and accomplish feats that only the powerful mages of the Kirin Tor were able to manifest. The warrior traveled back to Zul'Gurub to show his newfound abilities to the Emperor. He gained the court's audience easily with his powers and gained the title "Tidebearer", leaving his old name behind. The troll also received a place of honor in the Court of Gurubashi. Tidebearer served the Gurubashi Empire for years, but as time wore on, he became more reclusive. The Stone of Tides carried a curse as well. The Bearer of the stone would start to fade over time until he would disappear from the physical world forever. Keeping this secret from the Empire, the Tidebearer went to the beach where he found the stone and walked into the water, where he disappeared. Many generations later the stone would wash upon the Vale and be picked up by a new Tidebearer. This process would continue, and Tidebearers would come and go just as the last before them.
Stranglethorn is as deadly as it is beautiful. It is inhabited by a large variety of beasts and hostile creatures that low level characters should not face alone. The primary sapient inhabitants are the Bloodscalp and Skullsplitter trolls, in the northwest and east respectively. The troll city of Zul'Gurub sits in a valley in the northeast, which was once the capital of Troll civilization in Stranglethorn. In the north is a small village controlled by the renegade Colonel Kurzen. Other inhabitants include an encampment of ogres. Off the southeast coast is Jaguero Isle, inhabited by the enormous gorilla King Mukla. There is a renegade group of sailors, known as the Bloodsail Buccaneers, who have built camps on the southwestern and southern shores of Stranglethorn Vale. A small population of Naga can be found in the southwest, and murlocs inhabit some underwater ruins in the northwest. The Venture Company also has two mining operations in Stranglethorn. In the northwest, the Zandalar Tribe has its base in Yojamba Isle. The Water Gate from Deadmines can also been seen north of Yojamba Isle, though it cannot be entered.
This section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.
Stranglethorn Vale has been split by a large sinkhole containing a raging whirlpool called The Sundering at its center. The areas part of Stranglethorn are now know as Northern Stranglethorn (aka Stranglethorn Jungle) and the Cape of Stranglethorn.
The Explorers' League puted together a new Alliance encampment called Explorers' League Dig Site while the goblins built besides massive oil pipes in the water also a new Horde town called Hardwrench Hideaway. Another Alliance camp called Fort Livingston was also errected while the Zandalari moved from Yojamba Isle along with their structures. Players learn in Northern Stranglethorn about the political changes Zul'Gurub, rescue an adorable raptor, and partake in Nesingwary's expanded hunting operations. The Cape of Stranglethorn traces the escalating conflict between the goblin pirates of Booty Bay and their rivals, the Bloodsail Buccaneers. Booty Bay is still the major city run by goblin pirates.
Fort Livingston, a nearby Alliance camp
Stranglethorn Vale is home to several characters of note. In Booty Bay, Baron Revilgaz and Fleet Master Seahorn seek aid in the battle against the Bloodsail Buccaneers. In Grom'gol Base Camp, Kin'weelay attempts to rid the jungle of the bloodthirsty Bloodscalp and Skullsplitter Tribe. In the Rebel Camp, Lieutenant Doren and his men seek to usurp the choke hold the evil Colonel Kurzen has put on the northern forest, and at his expedition camp, Hemet Nesingwary Jr. sends bold hunters into the deepest parts of the vale in search of rare and exotic animals. Gnaz and Knaz Blunderflame have a small gnome house in the mountains above the Mosh'ogg ogre mound. They both sell engineering supplies to those who can find them.
- One of the classic game boards in Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is themed around Stranglethorn Vale.
- Patch 4.0.3a (2010-11-23): Removed as a single zone, separated into Northern Stranglethorn and the Cape of Stranglethorn.
- Patch 1.3.0 (2005-03-07): The bridges in northern Stranglethorn Vale are now fixed so they will not dismount you when you ride across them.