Sunday, 11 March 2012

Worldview: Searing Gorge

It’s not the first place one thinks of when talking photogenic locations on Azeroth, but then, neither was Feralas. There are plenty of interesting places in Searing Gorge, which has made for some nice screenshots.

The look of the zone lives up to its name – very hot and dry, with numerous smoking vents and lava pools. The searing was not natural, either: it was caused by the first summoning of Ragnaros to Molten Core. To the south, sitting astride the border with Burning Steppes, is Blackrock Mountain, a huge edifice that dominates the southern skyline.

The Dark Iron dwarves have a strong presence in Searing Gorge, with the mining complexes of the Cauldron and Slag Pit being their main operations

Thorium Advance 1
One of the land entrances to Searing Gorge is via the narrow pass cut by Horde forces from Kagarth in Badlands. This path leads to a camp run by the Thorium Brotherhood, called Thorium Advance.

Thorium Advance 2
As you approach the crest of the pass, you get a good view of the Cauldron, the large mining pit dug by the Dark Iron dwarves who are in control of the zone.

Cauldron graveyard
A little way west of the pass is a graveyard overlooking the Cauldron.

Mithril deposit on Firewatch Ridge
A mithril deposit on Firewatch Ridge, in the north-west. Blackrock Mountain is clearly visible on the far side of the zone.

Path leading up to Thorium Point
One of the two main flight paths in the zone, Thorium Point is a neutral settlement run by the Thorium Brotherhood, located on a plateau above the Pyrox Flats.

A war golem guarding Pyrox Flats
Pyrox Flats is a large Dark Iron settlement housing numerous cranes and other machinery supporting the mining operations below. These war golems patrol the area.

Dark Iron smelting operations on Pyrox Flats
Dark Iron dwarves operate large smelting machinery on Pyrox Flats.

A Dark Iron lookout tower
A Dark Iron lookout tower located at the top of the ramp that leads down into the Cauldron.

Ramp leading down into the Cauldron
A large steep ramp leads down into the Cauldron, overlooking a lava pit inhabited by fire elementals.

Walkways and lifts on the northern edge of the Cauldron
These walkways and lifts line the northern edge of the Cauldron, providing access to the Slag Pit quarry.

The Slag Pit quarry 1
The underground Dark Iron quarry below Pyrox Flats, known as the Slag Pit. Most of the actual mining work is done by slaves – captured Horde and Alliance folk, generally.

The Slag Pit quarry 2
The excavation in the Slag Pit is quite extensive. Dark Iron dwarves patrol, keeping the slaves in line.

Dark Iron miners
Not all of the work is done by slaves – there are living quarters above the quarry for Dark Iron dwarves, overseen by [Chambermaid Pillaclencher].

Lava below the Slag Pit
The lower reaches of the Slag Pit contain large pools of lava, and are home to flame elementals, all of whom are minions of Archduke Calcinder.

Iron Summit
The Iron Summit is a neutral settlement, established after the Shattering. It sits upon a large hill overlooking the western end of the Cauldron.

The entrance to Blackwing Descent
Located half way up the eastern edge of Blackrock Mountain is the entrance to the Blackwing Descent raid. This platform was also where the fight against Nefarian, the lord of Blackwing Lair, took place. In the distance are the mountains of Dun Morogh.

Southern entrance to Stonewrought Pass
Stonewrought Pass is a long tunnel leading from the north-eastern corner of Searing Gorge up to the eastern edge of Dun Morogh. Prior to the Shattering it was kept locked, but is now open for anyone.

Northern edge, bordering Dun Morogh
The northern edge of Searing Gorge borders the Alliance dwarf zone of Dun Morogh. The two are separated by a great chasm.

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