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Concept art of Grizzlemaw.
Central Grizzly Hills
|Sources: Wrath of the Lich King|
4,500 years before the First War, Fandral Staghelm took branches from Nordrassil, the World Tree, and planted them over saronite that had begun to appear across the world. The largest tree grew over a particularly large saronite deposit in the Grizzly Hills; Fandral and his druids named it Andrassil, or "Crown of the Snow". Malfurion Stormrage and the rest of the Cenarion Circle became furious upon learning that these branches had been planted without their approval. They did, however, agree that the plan seemed to have worked. For several decades, Andrassil towered over Northrend, and all seemed well. Yet in time, circumstances changed. Bloody battles erupted between the taunka and the forest nymphs of Northrend, two races not known for their warring ways. The fighting was sudden and shockingly vicious, filled with barbarism and unspeakably vile acts. Word slowly reached the druids, and the Cenarion Circle launched an expedition to investigate the source of the violence.
What the druids found chilled them to their marrow. Andrassil's roots had reached so deep into the earth that they had touched Yogg-Saron's subterranean prison. The Old God had infused the tree with its foul energies, and thus all living creatures in the area were slowly being driven to madness. The Cenarion Circle knew that, without the blessing of the Aspects, Andrassil was vulnerable to corruption. They were also aware that there was no way to spare the World Tree or ease its suffering. The Cenarion Circle decided that the only recourse was to destroy Andrassil. It was renamed Vordrassil, or "Broken Crown."
Although killing Andrassil had been a heartbreaking task, the Cenarion Circle was pleased it had stopped the growth of saronite. Yet unbeknownst to the druids, something dark had taken root in the Emerald Dream. Yogg-Saron had used the trees planted by Fandral as a doorway into the Dream - a doorway through which the other Old Gods could grasp the ethereal domain and well. Small seeds of corruption were spread throughout Ysera's realm. In time, these seeds polluted the dreamways. This marked the beginning of what would become known as the Emerald Nightmare.
The stump that was left behind was eventually taken over by the furbolg tribes, who built the settlement that became Grizzlemaw.
Wrath of the Lich King
This section concerns content related to Wrath of the Lich King.
Vordrassil fell to earth in several segments spread across the west-central portion of the Grizzly Hills, where they rooted deep into the ground. Foul oozes surround these segments, known as Vordrassil's Heart, Vordrassil's Limb and Vordrassil's Tears. A corruptive darkness resides in the depths. The corruption has also spread to the furbolgs in Grizzlemaw itself, and it is here the Alliance and the Horde began their investigation into what went wrong. Hierophant Thayreen and Windseer Grayhorn send Alliance and Horde adventurers, respectively, to collect samples of the oozes growing in the three segments, as well as determining the source of the darkness within them. It is then discovered that the furbolg tribes have managed to resurrect the great bear Ancient Ursoc, killed during the War of the Ancients ten thousand years earlier; however, Ursoc's children, Orsonn and Kodian, recognize that their father is corrupted in the same manner as the furbolgs who restored him, as their blood is tainted with the same darkness as found in the oozes around Vordrassil's shattered remnants.
The trail thus leads into Grizzlemaw itself, where the furbolg are using seeds left over from Vordrassil's destruction to regrow the tree within the great stump. The adventurers are tasked with burning the sapling growing within its depths and collecting the ashes, as well as collecting Vordrassil's seeds to prevent the furbolg from regrowing it again. Once the ashes are purified, they journey to Ursoc's Den to confront the corrupted Ancient. After defeating him and sprinkling Vordrassil's ashes on his corpse, the freed spirit of Ursoc appears and reveals the influence of the Old God Yogg-Saron, warning that his influence stretched beyond Vordrassil's roots.
The furbolg of Grizzlemaw are all hostile, and are around level 73-75. They are part of the Redfang and Frostpaw tribes, which are constantly at war. Killing furbolgs from one side can make you temporarily neutral with the other for five minutes (unless you kill more of the opposition, in which case you may remain so as long as you're nearby).
This section concerns content related to Legion.
In the RPG
Grizzlemaw is seen as the seat of all furbolg culture, and is ruled by the chieftain Baergar Blackpaw of the Frostpaw tribe. Furbolgs are nomadic, following caribou and other prey through established territories. Grizzlemaw is the exception. A few stories claim the city was built on the site of the Frost Paw tribe’s lodge and made large enough to accommodate several tribes at once. The Frost Paw then invited other friendly tribes to shelter the winter with them. The resulting ties changed the furbolgs from scattered hunters to a stronger, more unified race, and the Grizzly Hills from ancestral hunting grounds to a loosely defined nation.
It is surrounded by a tall wooden palisade surrounding massive stone and wood houses. Guard towers mark the four corners, and smaller ones flank the double doors in front. Furbolgs are simple and uncomplicated, and so is their home. Furs cover the floors and furniture, which is large and comfortable, and woven tapestries lend some color to the walls. Weapons and other trophies are mounted above doors and windows, which have thin sheets of skin to keep out the cold. Large fire pits stand at the center of every house, and some large rooms have their own smaller pits down the middle.
- During the Scourge Invasion, Tyrande Whisperwind mentioned that the night elves had sensed a World Tree nestled hidden near the domain of the Lich King, and that she hoped the elves could someday shepherd both this tree and Teldrassil to herald a new era of peace. This was likely referring to Vordrassil.