Beasts of the Savage Lands

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Arming yourself with knowledge is essential if you’re hoping to survive the savage world of Draenor. In this series, we’ll talk about the different creatures you may encounter as you explore this untamed world. While not comprehensive, this should give you an idea of what to expect as you prepare to face the challenges ahead.[1]

Beasts of the Savage Lands are a series of blog posts by Blizzard on the official World of Warcraft website, posted prior to and shortly after the release of Warlords of Draenor. Their purpose was to introduce and describe some of the creatures and monsters players would encounter in Draenor. They were posted from the 3rd of July to the 13th of November 2014.

Frostfire Ridge

Arming yourself with knowledge is essential if you’re hoping to survive the savage world of Draenor. In this series, we’ll talk about the different creatures you may encounter as you explore this untamed world. While not comprehensive, this should give you an idea of what to expect as you prepare to face the challenges ahead. Here’s a look at some of the creatures that can be found in Frostfire Ridge:

Magnaron

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Ancient creatures of molten stone, the magnaron are directly descended from the colossals who first shaped Draenor. There are few living today who can communicate with these enigmatic giants, and fewer still who understand their seemingly chaotic motivations. Among the roiling lava spouts of Frostfire Ridge, the magnaron carve fiery sigils into the earth and shape entire mountains to their needs. Magnaron have been known to both enslave and befriend elemental furies, and they are seldom alone. Approach with caution!

Ogron

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Ogres, gronn, and magnaron all share a common lineage, with the beastly ogron demonstrating the missing link between savage gronn and their smaller, more numerous children. They take in their surroundings with a single yellow eye—slow to blink and even slower to comprehend. Too idiotic to disobey orders, but big and dangerous enough to keep even unruly ogres in line, ogron serve as expendable muscle for ogre leaders from warlords all the way up to the emperor himself. Any champions seeking to overthrow ogres in power had best prepare to face down one or more ogron towering in their way.

Rylak

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The versatile, flying rylak have adapted to climates across Draenor, but their greatest density is in Frostfire Ridge. Here, warm volcanic stone ledges make for excellent nesting sites, while snowy featureless expanses serve as prime hunting grounds for these ferocious predators to seek flesh with their dual sets of eyes and nostrils. Their thick hides protect them from the elements, as well as from the arrows of frustrated hunters. Adventurers seeking to display a two-headed rylak trophy should remain wary of both sets of fangs . . . and those seeking to tame a new mount should consider the Iron Horde’s tendency to armor the largest rylaks and lead them into combat.

Frostwolves

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Only the hardiest can survive the unforgiving climate of Frostfire Ridge. Numbering among the natives are the sturdy frostwolves. The Frostwolf orc clan has taken these beasts as their symbol and namesake, and the orcs and their wolf companions fight and hunt together as an extended pack family.

Explorers in Frostfire Ridge should be wary of the frostwolf’s undomesticated cousin, the dangerous garn. These enormous beasts, twice the mass of an Azerothian bear, are identified by their massive jaws and jet-black fur. Even the Frostwolf orcs fear the unruly and wild garn.

There are still countless other dangerous creatures out there, all of them looking forward to their next adventurer-sized meal—so keep your eyes open and your weapons sharp. Do you have what it takes to survive in Draenor?[1]

Shadowmoon Valley

The lush Shadowmoon Valley appears peaceful and idyllic, lulling many would-be adventurers into a false sense of security as they explore its rolling hills and violet forests. But countless hidden perils lie waiting behind the tranquil façade, and only those well-armed with knowledge can hope to survive. What dangers lurk in the shadows?

Riverbeasts

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Adventurers are often misled by the seemingly docile riverbeasts. Though slow to anger, once disturbed, a charging riverbeast is a ferocious sight: 4,000 pounds of fat and muscle storming toward its target like a runaway tram. Roaming draenei rangari have long been astounded by how much damage a rampaging riverbeast can take before it’s brought down, and draenei children are taught to keep a wide berth of shallow waters. Riverbeasts are characterized by their rock-like skin, likely developed during the early days of Draenor’s prehistory, when creatures of stone dueled for supremacy against the chaotic flora. Those looking to take a riverbeast as a trophy should take note of their durable armored flesh and tendency to charge unexpectedly.

Podlings

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A number of Draenor’s indigenous species blur the line between plant and animal, and the so-called podlings are the most vicious and chaotic of their ilk. Small and seemingly harmless, they work together to capture their prey, attacking only when they have numerical superiority. Explorers who pay attention to the color of podlings’ flowering buds can ascertain whether they favor poison, ensnaring, or physical attacks to incapacitate their victims. Once podlings have overwhelmed their quarry, they will drag the unlucky creature down into the weeds to fertilize a new generation. The clear lesson for adventurers: looks can be deceiving!

Elekk

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The majestic elekk graze contentedly across the grassy plains of Draenor, relying on their huge size and the support of the herd to keep predators at bay. Draenei explorers have determined that the animals pose no threat, as long as their young aren’t endangered or their water supply jeopardized. With the endurance to cover great distances and the ability to defend themselves by ramming or stomping attackers, these beasts have emerged as the draenei transport of choice. Explorers should take note of persistent draenei rumors that the Thunderlord Clan orcs torment and twist terrified elekk into vicious weapons of war, covering them in armor plating and inciting them to rampage when turned loose on their foes. Beware!

Draenor Ancients

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It was only very recently that draenei rangari managed to communicate with these enormous sentient trees, but wildly different ways of life—not to mention a completely different perception of time—have made further interaction difficult. The ancients get their name from their analogues on Azeroth; they are tied closely to a prehistoric plant lineage that unites much of Draenor’s flora and places them in opposition to the creatures of stone. These enigmatic ancients remain in the same area for hundreds of years and are reluctant to move unless their home is threatened. Adventurers should be cautious when harvesting the valley’s lumber, as they may find the forest fighting back.

Shadowmoon Valley is a dangerous place, but there are many deadly threats still to be discovered across the savage world of Draenor. Until next time, stay alive . . . if you can.[2]

Gorgrond

The primal forces that forged the lands of Draenor are still in conflict to this day, and in no other place is this more evident than Gorgrond. A land of contradictions, Gorgrond features barren rocky plains and dense overgrown jungles. Everywhere one looks, there’s evidence of a realm at war with itself and monstrous creatures as dangerous as they are ancient.

The Botani

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Slender, deliberate, and calculating, these enigmatic living trees single-mindedly tend to the wilds of Draenor. Wise in the ancient ways, they seek lost artifacts of bygone ages to empower the explosive growth of their territory... often at the expense of Draenor’s other sentient denizens. The botani wage an eternal war against the creatures of stone, and the natives of Gorgrond do their best to survive in the midst of constant conflict between the botani and the goren, gronn, magnaron and others. Since the Iron Horde and the creatures of stone began working together, the botani have become even more aggressive – orcs and draenei both have been disappearing of late into dense botani enclaves.

The Infested

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The botani have long cultured unique plantlife in their irrigated ponds or tree dwellings, but far more terrifying is their ability to cultivate flora within a living host. Unwary natives are captured and seeded in an agonizing process that alters their physical makeup and takes complete control over their bodies, turning them into mindless walking saplings. The entire process is poorly understood, but these grisly infested can be seen guarding botani enclaves or shambling ahead of the botani host as gruesome cannon fodder whose corpses eventually seed new terrain.

Genesaur

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Genesaur are enormous demigods who date back to the age of colossals, when giants shaped the terrain of Draenor amidst constant warfare. The botani have retained the ability to communicate with these bastions of life, and genesaurs are revered as gods in their culture. Draenei have not yet determined if genesaur are immortal or not; genesaur emerging from botani-tended pools often retain the memories and will of their long-dead forebears. Adventurers fortunate enough to catch a glimpse of these rare beings are cautioned to give genesaur a wide berth. They are deceptively quick given their size and destroying them will take a small army of well-equipped heroes.

Goren

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While the gronn and magnaron shape the world through their brute individual strength, the goren are scavenging opportunists who dart unseen between the lumbering feet of their larger cousins. Roughly the size of an Azerothian trogg, goren live in massive colonies that burrow through the earth, gobbling up minerals and leaving twisting caves in their wake. They enjoy devouring crystalline minerals, which are digested and extruded through their skin, giving some goren the benefit of an armored crystalline shell. The bane of both orc and draenei miners, goren sniff out and infest mineral-rich burrows. Adventurers should be wary of the gorens’ ability to shoot crystalline projectiles and swarm around unprepared explorers in rolling packs, as well as their impossibly sharp teeth and acidic spit.

Between the creatures of stone and flora, and the Blackrock Clan looking to expand their domain, Gorgrond is a place you won’t forget easily… assuming you make it out in one piece.[3]

Spires of Arak

Extending south from the Draenor mainland, this region plays host to the cryptic arakkoa. Up in the towering spires or down below in the woods, menacing creatures lurk unseen at every corner.

The Arakkoa

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The winged arakkoa are the proud descendants of the once-grand Apexis civilization, a glorious empire of the sun that ruled vast territories alongside the ogre empire centuries ago. While many of the great works of their forebears remain a mystery, the arrakoa of this era – proud, hateful, and defiant – have mastered their own distinct magical arts to channel and control the power of Draenor’s sun. Although they’ve been reduced to a shade of their former power and driven high to the peaks of Arak, the Arakkoa still look down on the ground-dwellers below. Approach winged arakkoa with caution, as they are known to attack ground-dwellers on-sight.

The Arakkoa Outcasts

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Discipline is harsh for any arakkoa who conflicts with the sages ruling the capital of Skyreach. Those found guilty of breaking the law, dabbling in shadow magic, or worshipping gods other than Rukhmar are hurled from the spires and into the cursed pools of Sethekk Hollow, where their wings shrivel and their bodies contort. No longer able to fly, and forever cut off from their sun god, these outcasts have formed their own communities in the shadows of the spires, particularly in the refuge city of Skettis. The outcasts are a tight-knit group and deeply distrustful, but they share common enemies with adventurers from Azeroth, and it may be possible to forge a relationship with them if one knows who to speak with.

Dread Raven

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Long ago, the Raven God Anzu was cursed never to fly again. Anzu disappeared into the shadows, later to become the patron God of many flightless arakkoa outcasts. His children, the dangerous and shadowy dread ravens, still populate the Spires of Arak to this day. Fiercely strong and surprisingly intelligent, dread ravens are dangerous when their territory is breeched, particularly if their hatchlings are jeopardized. They are a grave threat on land and even more terrifying when they strike from above. Adventurers should be wary of their powerful headbutt or deafening screech. Stronger dread ravens use their wings as weapons, buffeting explorers with winds that threaten to blow them off the spires’ high cliffs.

Mandragora

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Draenei explorers have not yet determined if these multi-headed plant beasts are a natural species, or if they are created by the botani to defend their lands. These enormous, mindless creatures should only be engaged with extreme care, as each of a mandragora’s multiple heads are lined with serrated teeth, and the heads that aren’t busy chomping adventurers assault them with toxic spit or poisonous breath. Be wary of these foes when trekking through Draenor’s many overgrown jungles or bodies of stagnant water.

Ravagers

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Ravagers hatch as small ravenous larva, but soon disappear into pupae, only to emerge as slender wasps with a swarm mentality and a ferocious sting. Wasps quickly set out to gorge themselves until their wings can no longer support their body weight, after which they undergo a third and final metamorphosis into a vicious four-legged insect, whose distinctive, gurgling click-hiss instills fear in orc and draenei alike. Heroes should beware the fully-grown ravager’s serrated mandibles (capable of shredding armor) and the lacerating spikes ravagers eject from their armored carapaces.

Surviving the Spires of Arak takes both a keen mind and a sharp blade. With threats flying in from above and hiding amidst the trees below, you’ll need all the help you can get. Next (and final) stop: Nagrand![4]

Nagrand

The fertile fields and beautiful rolling plains of Nagrand play host to some of the most diverse species on Draenor... as well as its most menacing threats. Here sits the ogre capital of Highmaul, the valley home of the marauding Warsong orc clan, and the crash site that marks the arrival of the draenei to this world. Tread carefully!

The Pale

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When young orc shaman from around the world come of age, they make a pilgrimage to the Throne of Elements to seek the blessings of the elemental spirits. The entire journey is filled with risk, but the ceremony itself is the most dangerous time of an orc’s life. It’s not clear what happens to those who are not strong enough and succumb to terrible visions and unearthly whispers during what should be the triumph of their young life. Those orcs who fall to the otherworldly voices flee their clan and become the Pale, withered remains of their former selves, hiding from the light and babbling incoherently in dark caves. Are they truly insane, or have they actually made contact with a malevolent force? The answers may lie in the twisting caverns beneath Nagrand, where some of the largest colonies of Pale linger and speak cryptic warnings.

Saberon

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Few creatures embody the savagery of Draenor as much as the saberon, vaguely feline beasts who have adapted to nearly all of this world’s diverse environments. From the icy caverns of Frostfire to the steamy jungles of Tanaan to the maze-like rocky outcroppings of Nagrand, there’s not a niche that the ferocious saberon haven’t conquered. Saberon outwardly appear more advanced than beasts; they have a social structure, and can shape simple tools into weapons. Adventurers should be especially wary of saberon hunting parties, whose coordinated attacks, sharp rending claws, and ability to shadowstep behind prey make them deadly indeed.

Clefthoof

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Heroes who ventured to Outland may have encountered the clefthoof before, but seeing one of these majestic creatures in their prime is a different experience entirely. Large enough to quake the ground, covered with a thick valuable pelt, and armed with enormous tusks, these gigantic beasts are a hunter’s most treasured prize and worst nightmare rolled into one. The meat of a single adult clefthoof can feed an orc clan for days, but their inclination to travel in large packs makes them dangerous prey - beware their devastating headbutt or swiping attacks with their formidable tusks. Fortunately, it’s nearly impossible to be surprised by these massive beasts – heroes will be able to see and hear them coming from far away!

The Elementals of Draenor

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There are many similarities between the elemental spirits of Draenor and their counterparts on Azeroth, but also many differences that Alliance or Horde shaman will be forced to adapt to. Whereas the elements of Azeroth are in constant conflict, the elements of Draenor strive for balance within themselves. This is especially evident in the Throne of Elements in Nagrand, where the greatest elemental furies of Draenor have convened peacefully since the dawn of the world. Be warned, however: if the chaos of war on Dreanor[sic] throws the elements out of balance, they may lash out at each other... and anyone caught between them.

Nagrand, like all regions in Draenor, eagerly awaits foolish would-be conquerers, ready to show them the error of their ways. Are you fully prepared? Draenor lies ahead…[5]

References

See also