Burning Steppes

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For how the Burning Steppes was prior to Cataclysm, see Burning Steppes (original).

NeutralBurning Steppes
Level: 40 - 60
Battle Pet Level: 15 - 16
Burning Steppes.jpg
Former ruler(s)

Iron Horde Emblem.png  Warlord Zaela †

Major settlements
Minor settlements
Former affiliation(s)

Northern Azeroth

PvP status

The Burning Steppes hold the only accessible land passage from the kingdom of Stormwind to Khaz Modan and Lordaeron. The highway is thus well traveled, but still very dangerous. Now virtually abandoned by Stormwind, the Burning Steppes is controlled by the Blackrock clan, minions of the black dragonflight and agents of the firelord Ragnaros.

This rugged region is full of craggy foothills, scattered boulders and warring factions. Rivers of lava dot the landscape, as well as charred earth and burning ruins. The sky is a red hue here, due to sporadic eruptions from Blackrock Mountain. Blackrock Spire, an orc stronghold in the Second War, stands proud and defiant among the mountains. Black dragons and Twilight's Hammer cultists under Nefarian hold the spire's upper levels, while hostile Dark Iron dwarves dwell in the depths. The surrounding countryside is home to Blackrock orcs and Fire-Gut ogres, all brutal castoffs from the Second War. The Molten Span, a massive stone edifice in the north, bridges a river of fire and leads to Khaz Modan.[1]

While many use the Burning Steppes as a thoroughfare, it is populated by one of the few successful orc settlements in Azeroth. These orcs do not honor Thrall's truce with the Alliance, instead following the barbaric practices the orcs used from before the Third War. Deeper into the region, ogres, dragons, and the Dark Iron clan of dwarves can be found. With the volcanic activity and lava flow, the weather is perpetually hot and dry.

The Burning Steppes are located north of the Redridge Mountains and south of the Searing Gorge. It is dominated by Blackrock Mountain in the northwestern area. It is a central location housing the Blackrock clan, the black dragonflight and various creatures.

The Blackrock orcs have long maintained a lasting settlement around the volcano known as Blackrock Stronghold, staying hidden from the road but always keeping watch for Alliance attacks. These orcs are more typical of the type of the First and Second wars rather than the current Horde in Kalimdor: Bloodthirsty and savage, they mine the mountains around Blackrock Spire for metals with which to make weapons and armor. In recent years, they have begun spreading outward, frequently terrorizing the Alliance-held Redridge Mountains to the south. They have allied with the Firegut ogres from the south, as well as the black dragonflight, readying themselves to make a push that will violently expand their territory. But the Alliance — not to mention some friendly Dark Iron dwarves and certain members of the Horde — will not allow them to succeed.


A raider in the burning steppes.
Ruins of Thaurissan.

These steppes were formerly part of the Redridge Mountains before the Dark Irons came here after their exile. They established a colony called after their thane, the mad sorcerer Thaurissan. Their sorcery turned out to be their undoing, for Thaurissan tried to summon elemental minions to aid him against the Bronzebeard and Wildhammer dwarves, but instead he summoned the elemental fire lord Ragnaros. Ragnaros' arrival melted several mountains in this range and forged a great volcano in the blast's epicenter. Now, the remaining Dark Irons live as puppets to Ragnaros and his fire elementals, who dwells under Blackrock Spire.

Orcs also came here during the First War,[2] maintaining settlements around and within the volcano, the climate being to their liking. The Horde conquered Blackrock Spire and used it as a base of operations until the late days of the Second War. Warchief Orgrim Doomhammer slew the human hero Anduin Lothar by the foot of the volcano near the war's end, though Lothar's death turned the tide and spurred the Alliance on to crush the failing Horde.[3]

The orcs of the Blackrock clan later came back to the region.

The area was invaded twice by the Scourge in the years leading to the war against the Lich King.[4]

Getting There

The area can be reached from Searing Gorge, through the Blackrock Mountain; a passage from Redridge Mountains and a highway leading from the Swamp of Sorrows.



Lacking the grace and beauty of Khaz Modan's peaks, the Burning Steppes' mountains show the force of the energy that twisted them. The very rock melted when the volcano was formed, and lava changed the surrounding areas forever. The Blackrock Spire is awe-inspiring in its sheer mass and obvious devastation, while the rest of the land visibly attempts to recover from the damage done by the summoning of the Firelord, Ragnaros.

In the northwest of the Burning Steppes sits the impossibly high Blackrock Mountain. It is a volcano that is still active over 500 years after its birth at the summoning of Ragnaros. The Burning Steppes are mostly under the control of the Black Dragons and their Blackrock Orc allies. In the midst of the barren Steppes are the Thorium Brotherhood's town of Chiselgrip and the Ruins of Thaurissan, the ancient Dark Iron capital that was destroyed in the summoning of Ragnaros. In the north, the Horde maintains a small outpost at Flame Crest. In the southeast, the Alliance clings to the scarred ruins of the town now known as Morgan's Vigil.

There are no instanced dungeons in the Burning Steppes themselves; however, Blackrock Mountain to the north houses quite a few high level dungeons.

Maps and subregions

Map of the Burning Steppes.
Map of the Burning Steppes prior to Cataclysm.

Undisplayed locations

The RPG Icon 16x36.png Warcraft RPG

Concept art

Travel hubs

Blackrock Mountain.
Neutral Flight Paths from Flamestar Post
Neutral Flight paths from Chiselgrip
Horde Flight Paths from Flame Crest
Alliance Flight paths from Morgan's Vigil

Adjacent regions

Zone Name Faction Level Range Direction Access
Redridge Mountains Alliance 15 - 60 South By foot through the Blackrock Pass
Searing Gorge Neutral 40 - 60 North By foot through the Blackrock Mountain
Swamp of Sorrows Neutral 40 - 60 Far to the south By foot or the breadcrumb quest ride through Redridge Pass

Notable characters

Main article: Burning Steppes NPCs


The Altar of Storms.
Main article: Burning Steppes storyline

The main storyline deals with halting the Blackrock clan army amassing in the Steppes before they storm Redridge. Adventurers start at Flamestar Post (picking up an optional breadcrumb quest from their major city or in Searing Gorge). Eventually the quests take you to Chiselgrip and further east.


Wild creatures

Dreadmaul Rock.

Notes and trivia

  • The Burning Steppes often sees the inadvertent death of curious low level players who venture too far north from the Redridge Mountains, not knowing that the Burning Steppes is a much higher level zone, and get killed by one of the high-level lava elementals near the zone border. This can be considered the Alliance equivalent of the Horde's Welcome Bear.
  • Strangely enough, it is also inhabited by several creatures seen in Outland. They were added after the Cataclysm revamp. Two ravagers, one named Venomspine and the other named Azelisk. As well as a nether ray named Ornat.


Patch changes

  • Legion Patch 7.3.5 (2018-01-16): Level scaling implemented, previous zone level: 50 - 52.


External links