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Grim Batol

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For the instance, see Grim Batol (instance).

NeutralGrim Batol
GrimBatol art.jpg
The halls of Grim Batol
Type

Dwarven city

Races
Government

None
Tribal chiefdom (formerly)
Monarchy (formerly)

Ruler(s)

Unknown

Former ruler(s)
Affiliation
Former affiliation(s)
Location

Northwestern Twilight Highlands, near the Wetlands

Status

Cursed and ruined

Grim Batol is a mountain fortress located in the western Twilight Highlands (formerly in the eastern Wetlands). It has great walls and spires that reach toward a steel-gray sky, but the stronghold's bulk is underground. It was founded by Wildhammer dwarves and later seized by orcs as a prison for Alexstrasza, but during the Cataclysm this place is once more a war area with the Twilight's Hammer cult using it as a military base.

History

War of the Three Hammers

After losing the civil war between the Bronzebeards, the Dark Irons and his own clan, Thane Khardros of the Wildhammer clan led his people north through the barrier gates of Dun Algaz, and founded their own kingdom within the mountain of Grim Batol.

Following years of bitterness after the war, Sorcerer-Thane Thaurissan of the Dark Iron launched a two-sided attack against the other dwarven clans from his city of Thaurissan in the Redridge Mountains. The Thane led his own forces against the Bronzebeard capital Ironforge, while his sorceress wife, Modgud, led forces against the Wildhammer's Grim Batol, in hopes they could wrest the entirety of Khaz Modan.

Thaurissan's forces battled deep into Ironforge, but eventually the Bronzebeard dwarves successfully forced them from the city.[1] While his forces retreated to Redridge, Modgud's war golems were breaking through the gates of Grim Batol. She used the powers of her blade, Xal'atath, to call upon the shadows from the earth to attack the dwarves in their own fortress. The Wildhammer dwarves fought back viciously against the assaulting Dark Iron forces and living shadows. Thane Khardros rallied his remaining warriors to push through the invading onslaught "with the single-minded focus of a war golem, only coming to a stop when he found Modgud." Her blade was inexplicably absent when she reached for it, and Khardros struck her down with one mighty blow from his hammer.[2]

The Wildhammer dwarves chased the retreating Dark Iron forces out of the city, and the few who had retreated deeper were later twisted into the skardyn by Xal'atath's curse. Leaderless, the remaining Dark Irons on the surface began a hasty retreat to Redridge only to be intercepted by the Ironforge armies headed to assist Grim Batol. Modgud's remaining forces were crushed between the Wildhammer and Bronzebeard armies, who then turned south towards the Redridge Mountains to finish off Thaurissan's remaining forces.

Following the Sorcerer-Thane's quick and unintentional self-destruction in summoning Ragnaros the Fire Lord, the Wildhammer dwarves returned to their home of Grim Batol. But they found that Modgud's death had left an evil taint in their fortress, and Grim Batol was uninhabitable. Ironforge offered them a home, but the Wildhammer dwarves refused, the majority of them turning north to settle in the Hinterlands, where they founded their new capital of Aerie Peak, while the rest settled in the region of Northeron, not far from their cursed former home.[1][3]

Second War

WC2BnE-logo.png This section concerns content related to Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness or its expansion Beyond the Dark Portal.

During the Second War, Grim Batol had become the primary base of the Horde refining operations in Khaz Modan. The refineries were protected by the Bleeding Hollow clan,[4] and after a personal inspection Cho'gall declared that they were well maintained and fulfilling their quotas.[5][6]

The mountain fortress itself was the domain of the Dragonmaw clan.[7]

Aftermath of the Second War

WoW-novel-logo-16x62.png This section concerns content related to the Warcraft novels, novellas, or short stories.

Alexstrasza breaks free of Nekros.
Main article: Battle of Grim Batol

Grim Batol was also the main base of the Horde's dragon breeding program, where Alexstrasza, the red Dragon Aspect, was kept captive and forced to produce red dragons to be used as mounts for orc dragonriders. The Horde used the Demon Soul and Dark Iron chains to control the red brood. Grim Batol remained in orc hands long after the collapse of the Horde and the destruction of the Dark Portal, largely due to the power of their dragons. Eventually, thanks to the efforts of a band of unlikely heroes led by the mage Rhonin, Alexstrasza was freed. The dragon queen immediately set about incinerating every orc she could find, utterly destroying the power of the Dragonmaw clan (in Azeroth) and killing the orc warrior (former warlock/former shaman) Nekros Skullcrusher.[8]

World of Warcraft

The mountaintop fortress of Grim Batol.

WoW Icon update.png This section concerns content related to the original World of Warcraft.

Grim Batol was initially a subzone in the southeastern Wetlands. The fortress itself was inaccessible, consisting solely of a mountain road leading to a massive, closed door. The surrounding area was populated by various elite level 60+ red dragonkin and Axtroz, a mighty red drake.

The entrance was at [72, 47], where one followed a path curving south to get to it at [73, 70]. It was inadvisable to try to enter from southeast Wetlands near its position on the map; one must take the north entrance, as there is a cliff wall.

The ruins of the orc caravan that tried to escape the fortress can still be seen strewn around the entrance and along the road outside of the Dragonmaw Gates.

Night of the Dragon

WoW-novel-logo-16x62.png This section concerns content related to the Warcraft novels, novellas, or short stories.

Stub.png Please add any available information to this section.
Sintharia, Deathwing's consort, used Grim Batol and tunnels beneath it as her base of operations while conducting experiments that led to the creation of the twilight dragonflight.

It was implied that Deathwing was deep under Grim Batol.[9] This was changed with Cataclysm.

Cataclysm

Cataclysm This section concerns content related to Cataclysm.

The arrival of the Twilight's Hammer, a sinister cult who worshiped Azeroth's malefic Old Gods, seduced by Deathwing's thirst for absolute domination over Azeroth, has claimed the Twilight Highlands as its base of operations. The black dragonflight has driven off the agents of the red dragonflight who guarded Grim Batol (now at [19, 54]) so that it may be used as a fortress for training Deathwing's minions. The halls of Grim Batol run so deep into the highlands that it is unknown to what twisted end the Twilight's Hammer is using this doomed dwarven marvel.

Called to action by the red dragonflight in the Twilight Highlands, adventurers will be charged with putting a decisive end to the foul machinations developing within. The army within is led by General Umbriss.

Grim Batol is now considered part of the new the Twilight Highlands zone and features as a 5-man dungeon, Grim Batol.[10]

War Crimes

WoW-novel-logo-16x62.png This section concerns content related to the Warcraft novels, novellas, or short stories.

After the defeat of the Twilight's Hammer, Grim Batol became abandoned. After the Siege of Orgrimmar, Zaela led her Dragonmaw clan to the fortress to use as a base of operations. Zaela operated out of the room where Alexstrasza was tortured. After she succeeded in helping Garrosh Hellscream escape his trial at the Temple of the White Tiger, Zaela, Shokia, Harrowmeiser, and Thalen Songweaver returned to the fortress. After Zaela's demise in Upper Blackrock Spire, it is unknown who, if anyone, is in control of Grim Batol.

Battle for Azeroth

Battle for Azeroth This section concerns content related to Battle for Azeroth.

There were rumors about the twilight dragonflight still existing in Grim Batol.[11] This was confirmed when it was discovered that the stone troggs kept digging, far deeper and further than even the red dragonflight thought possible. Doing so, they unearthed thousands of hidden twilight dragon eggs.[12] Eryna saw twilight dragonflight coming out of the citadel, being mobilized by someone.[13]

Sections

Maps and subregions

Instance map of Grim Batol.
Grim Batol instance

In the RPG

The RPG Icon 16x36.png This section contains information from the Warcraft RPG which is considered non-canon.

Members of the red dragonflight were left behind to keep watch over and command Grim Batol, and for years they successfully guarded its desolate halls from further intrusion, citing that they were "guarding a secret that living creatures are not meant to know." The red wyrm Garshilan leads the fortress' defenses, aided by the young Acridistrasz and the Dragonspawn Baleflame.[14] A flight of red dragons now commands Grim Batol. The dragons guard a secret power within the fortress and let no one near.[15]

Alexstrasza the Life-Binder herself was involved with Grim Batol, making her too busy to do things such as work on rejuvenating the Sunwell.[16]

Warcraft Adventures: Lord of the Clans

Grim Batol in Warcraft Adventures.

WarcraftAdventures-Logo.png This section concerns content related to the canceled game Warcraft Adventures: Lord of the Clans and is therefore non-canon.

In the canceled Warcraft Adventures, Grim Batol was a ruined Old Horde base from the Second War which still contained an Altar of Storms, a Temple of the Damned, as well as a stronghold, fortress and barracks. Thrall had to learn some dark magics inside the Temple of the Damned and the Altar of Storms was used as a meeting points for the scattered clans of the Horde.

It was said to be in the Badlands of Khaz Modan. Next to the base was a foul swamp populated by phosphorescent eels, vultures and tentacle beasts.

Notes

  • Before Cataclysm, Grim Batol was notably guarded by Scalebane Royal Guards, indicating that their queen Alexstrasza may have ordered them to guard there.
  • There are forges beneath Grim Batol.[17] Possibly Khardros' Anvil.
  • Skardyn are the cursed descendants of Dark Iron dwarves who had survived the siege of Grim Batol near the end of the War of the Three Hammers. They were supposed to appear in the dungeon but got replaced by troggs.
  • Grim Batol seems to re-use Ironforge's design and architecture, much like Shadowforge City and Thor Modan, as they are all dwarf cities.
    • Some of Grim Batol's aesthetic revolves around gryphons, which should be inconsistent to the Wildhammer lore at that time. While Wildhammers did bond with gryphons and do base most of their present aesthetic with them in mind, this was only after losing Grim Batol and settling in the Hinterlands, where gryphons are native.[18]
  • Warcraft II implied that Grim Batol was a hidden fortress built by the Horde instead.

Gallery

Interior
Exterior
Maps and others

Patch changes

References