- Not to be confused with Northwatch Foothold.
Northeastern Southern Barrens
Northwatch Hold (or Northwatch Keep) is a massive Alliance fortress located between the Merchant Coast in the Southern Barrens and Dustwallow Marsh. Following the Cataclysm, it is noted as one of, if not the, most important Alliance bases in Kalimdor in their war against the Horde. While Northwatch itself is under siege, its men along with the various reinforcements of the Alliance are spread about Kalimdor, acting as the major force for humans in the war in Kalimdor, even going as far as setting up camps in the orc's home territory of Durotar.
Its strategic location blocks the coastal approaches to Theramore from the north, forcing any Horde assault to travel south and navigate the marshes in order to reach Theramore Isle. Prior to the Cataclysm, it was guarded by a large number of Theramore troops, following the Cataclysm and the tension between the Alliance and Horde flaring into all out war, Northwatch has been heavily reinforced with more troops.
The large naval base is known for its massive walls, gates and its various facilities, such as: an archery range, stables, a mage tower, a blacksmith, tents, and two scout towers at the top of the mountain which the fort is located upon. The eastern tower was formerly the home of Cannoneer Smythe while Cannoneer Whessan resided in the western tower, both formerly Horde quest objectives. There was also a captured high elf, Gilthares Firebough, chained to an iron ball in the central tower, seeking help and rescue by the hands of the Horde. At the top of this tower resided Captain Fairmount, leader of Northwatch Hold, who was also targeted by the Horde.
While most of the human forces declare themselves under the name of Northwatch, the hold itself has actually been hit rather hard. The lower reaches of the Hold have been destroyed and are contested by the Rageroar clan of orcs, who have set up their own base not too far away, and are attacking from the sea as well. The central tower has been damaged heavily, notably Captain Fairmount has gone missing, it is unknown if she was killed or not (The two cannoneers who were also a part of the Horde quest are seen alive and well, it is possible she was killed when her tower was damaged by the Horde, or she is merely not at Northwatch for whatever reason.)
The inhabitants of the naval fortress of Northwatch Hold are friendly towards the Alliance, but before the Cataclysm, the area served no purpose to them. There were originally no vendors or trainers. The residents of the hold were simply to be killed by the Horde trying to claim the land, as well as a vengeful Captain Thalo'thas Brightsun for an attack on his ship. It now boasts a variety of facilities to be used, including vendors, an inn, and other such aids.
Cycle of Hatred
Northwatch Hold was where the orcs fought Admiral Daelin Proudmoore. After his death in Theramore Isle, Northwatch was taken over by Theramore and it served as an essential part of their defense. The orcs of Durotar have long been apprehensive of this stronghold as it was so close to their borders. It was near the hold where Burx's and Davin's armies met and clashed after Burx tried to force the humans of Northwatch to leave. Thrall ended the battle by revealing Burx's betrayal and ended his life.
World of Warcraft
This section concerns content related to the original World of Warcraft.
This section concerns content related to Cataclysm.
The day before the Cataclysm, Alliance forces streamed out of Northwatch and marched up the Gold Road, besieging Crossroads as dusk fell. Then, in the heart of the night, they force-marched southward, leaving their campfires burning behind in order to surprise attack Honor's Stand at dawn's first light.
Northwatch now serves as one of the head command centers for the Alliance army in Kalimdor, its forces spread all about the continent. A few of its fortifications were heavily damaged by the Cataclysm. Additionally the Rageroar clan led by Karga Rageroar are assaulting the keep by land and sea in order to destroy it.
Tides of War
Northwatch Hold is utterly destroyed in a surprise attack by the Horde and their subjugated lava elementals. The event is coming to be known as the Razing of Northwatch Hold. Kalecgos observed them building up their armies there for a push on Theramore Isle; Jaina Proudmoore noted that any survivors would likely have fled to Fort Triumph. Later on the Alliance fleet, under the command of Varian Wrynn, attacked and exterminated the Horde presence in the area and started rebuilding Northwatch.
Battle for Azeroth
This section concerns content related to Battle for Azeroth.
Having been rebuilt, Northwatch came under attack once again by the Rageroar clan, using battleships. Northwatch Hold turned their cannons against them to remove the blockade. In order to counter the Northwatch Hold's firepower, the Horde installed goblin Azerite cannons on the northern shore of the Great Divide.
- Ratchet, Northern Barrens
- Fort Triumph, Southern Barrens
- Honor's Stand, Southern Barrens
- Theramore Isle, Dustwallow Marsh
Goods and services
In the RPG
Northwatch Hold is one of two Alliance positions held in the Barrens, the other being Bael Modan. Grim forces — soldiers loyal to Jaina Proudmoore's father Admiral Daelin Proudmoore — man the Hold, much like Tiragarde Keep in Durotar. Due to the events following the Third War and Jaina's decision to forge an alliance with the orcs, which eventually resulted in Admiral Proudmoore's death, the soldiers here harbor a hatred of the Horde and attack its people and outposts often. It is important to note that Jaina Proudmoore openly opposes their actions, which causes strife in the area's Alliance politics.
- Despite Theramore's stance on the war, Jaina Proudmoore's specifically, Northwatch remains affiliated with Theramore, and has gone from a simple outpost to one of the most important command centers in Kalimdor for the Alliance, showing no hesitation to fight the Horde head on, going against the traditional conciliatory stance.
- Gilthares Firebough, a high elven prisoner who gave a quest to Horde players to free him from the Hold, is commonly thought to have been removed from the Hold as of Cataclysm. In actuality, pathing errors have caused him to appear under the now damaged central tower he was once imprisoned in, he serves no purpose and does not offer his quest any longer.
- At some point this was fixed, as Gilthares now sits in the center of the tower, but still doesn't do anything.
- In the Founding of Durotar chapter Old Hatreds, Admiral Proudmoore's castle is said to be located on Tidefury Cove, threatening Orgrimmar and Durotar with a full-scale ground assault. However, in World of Warcraft Tidefury Cove is located a vast and winding distance from Durotar. Furthermore, Thrall procedes to march the Horde to Dustwallow after destroying Proudmoore's base. Cycle of Hatred says the orcs fought Daelin in Northwatch Hold so it is very likely that it was retconed to be Northwatch instead.
- During the Darkspear Rebellion, some Northwatch Caravan Leaders were seen exporting supplies from the Northern Barrens. It could probably mean that the Hold is already rebuilt by that time and that the units were sent from there. Alternatively, the soldiers could have been sent from the Northwatch Expedition Base Camp.
- Patch 4.0.3a (2010-11-23): Hold slightly remodeled, several updates.
- Patch 2.3.0 (2007-11-13): No longer an elite area.
- ^ Cycle of Hatred, chapter 3
- ^ a b Cycle of Hatred, chapter 1: "We should leave Northwatch," the merchant said. "The Barrens are neutral territory, that was agreed to from the beginning." The soldier stiffened. "You're crazy if you think we're givin' that up." Margoz said, "That is where the orcs fought Admiral Proudmoore."
- ^ Kilrok Gorehammer#Quotes
- ^ Jaina Proudmoore: Tides of War
- ^ The Defense of Northwatch Hold
- ^ Blockade of Northwatch
- ^ Lands of Mystery, pg. 29