Durnholde Keep

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CombatDurnholde Keep

Durnholde Keep Destroyed.jpg

The ruined Durnholde Keep


Keep ruins




In ruins

Durnholde Keep is a ruined stronghold located east of the town of Tarren Mill in the Hillsbrad Foothills. It used to be an internment camp and prison for the orcs.[1]

Along with its inner barracks, Durnholde also had a mage tower and an arena.


Second War

Nameles depiction in Warcraft II.

The forest troll warlord Zul'jin, being held in Durnholde Keep, was freed by Orgrim Doomhammer himself during the Battle of Hillsbrad Foothills.[2]

After the Second War, Durnholde served as the command center of the orc internment camps. The future Warchief Thrall was kept prisoner here during his childhood before breaking free and making an escape. The keep was initially ruled by Lieutenant General Aedelas Blackmoore, a self-absorbed drunkard who had used Thrall to obtain greater rank and prestige. After he slew Blackmoore in combat, Thrall destroyed Durnholde and ended the internment camp system.

Thrall's life in Durnholde

The Keep with a few of its new inhabitants post-Cataclysm.

After Thrall was found amongst the bloody bodies of his murdered parents by then-Lieutenant Aedelas Blackmoore, he was taken to Durnholde Keep. He was trained and taught by many, wet-nursed by a human woman, and grew to befriend her daughter, Taretha Foxton.

Blackmoore beat Thrall and tortured him in the ring. Taretha began to write him letters in his prison, and he wrote back to her. eventually writing that he would escape. Taretha created a diversion while Thrall escaped from his cell. They met up outside the fortress, and Taretha gave him provisions and supplies. He then left Durnholde, hoping never to return again.

After liberating the encampments, Thrall laid siege to Durnholde and, after defeating Blackmoore in single combat, completely destroyed it, calling upon the Spirit of the Earth to level the fortress. It remains in ruins today and up until recently was used as an outpost of the Syndicate, which had staked a claim to many of the ruins in Hillsbrad, Arathi, and the Alterac Mountains.


Durnholde in the past, intact
Cataclysm This section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.

Durnholde Keep has been mostly abandoned by the Syndicate and taken over by the Forsaken.[3] Under the command of Captain Jekyll at Eastpoint Tower, the Keep is a staging ground for level 23-25 Horde recruits. In it roams a handful of elite mobs: Zephyrus, Teracula, D-1000, Infernus, and Bloodvenom.

The only remaining Syndicate member is the 'free-wheeling tradeswoman' Kris Legace, who remains friendly to both factions.

Durnholde Keep of the past

The Burning Crusade This section concerns content exclusive to The Burning Crusade.

Durnholde Keep is the focus of the questing in the Old Hillsbrad Foothills, accessed via the Caverns of Time. In the time-travel reality, Durnholde is bristling with guards and also is the site of five internment lodges where captive orcs are held. Players must enter Durnholde, set the lodges ablaze, and aid Thrall in his escape. See Escape from Durnholde Keep.

Warcraft Adventures: Lord of the Clans

WarcraftAdventures logo 16x42.png This section concerns content exclusive to the canceled game Warcraft Adventures: Lord of the Clans and is therefore non-canon.

In Warcraft Adventures, Durnholde was the starting point as well as the last area of the game. An old man called Mathers was the chaplain of the keep, which also contained prison cells and a sizeable garrison.

A bulletin board showed signs referring to the destruction of Alterac and the disappearance of Khadgar, Alleria Windrunner, Danath Trollbane, Turalyon and Kurdran Wildhammer, the leaders of the Alliance Expedition.

In the mountains near Durnholde lived Orgrim Doomhammer and a group of gnomish inventors. Gazlowe crashed his zeppelin there as well.

Patch changes

  • Cataclysm Patch 4.0.3a (2010-11-23): Durnholde Keep now has different music, which is the same as that of the Durnholde Keep as part of Caverns of Time.