The Traveler’s Logbook, Part II: Secrets of Gilneas

Last week I started a two-part report on my adventures around Azeroth post-Shattering, deciding to dedicate some time to Thousand Needles and Gilneas. I’m enjoying to write these reports immensely and have been very eager since to continue my tale on the worgen starting area which holds a special place in my heart among my favorite maps of WoW. So without much further ado, let me pick up where I left the trail last week and present the second part of the traveler’s logbook about the secrets I discovered in this lovely place! As before, this is meant to be a sneak peek and all snapshots are expandable.

Chapter 1: Of sheep and interior decoration

Traveler’s logbook, November 30th, the year of the Shattering.
The most striking impression upon setting foot in Gilneas for the first time, is that this zone is so, so much England. Heavy rain is pouring down relentlessly and there’s a gray mist settling over the grassy landscape and more highland areas all across the zone. Every now and then you chance upon certain rock formations that will take your memories right back to that time you spent in Somerset and northern Britain. And while the fauna in Gilneas is rather scarcely spread, there’s one animal gracing the landscape before all others: sheep. If that’s not enough to make a northerner’s heart beat a little faster in his chest, then maybe the spooky atmosphere in Gilneas’ medieval towns will be able to.

Keel Harbor to the west of the city of Gilneas, is an astonishing example of how much work was put into the design of the entire zone: never have I encountered such lavish decoration inside and outside of town buildings in all of Azeroth! While the towns all appear deserted to my human eyes and there is no life to be found inside their walls, I have discovered some of the most well-tended and charming homes on my way.

Most tempted was I to linger in these beautiful homes. Yet natural instinct told me not to taste any drink nor to steal food from the tables.

After breaking myself free of their spell, my curiosity turned me towards Greymane Manor, looming through the mists across the western hills. The way west however was blocked by a firm formation of hills as the only street leading up the manor leads out of Gilneas city. Having just passed down south to Alderic’s Repose however, I found myself in the unfortunate position of being cut off from reaching the city as the bridge crossing over presently lies in ruins. There was however another path.

They really do love their sheep here.

 Chapter 2: The secret passage

Officially, there are four entrances into the city of Gilneas. However, having investigated all the buildings in the area so thoroughly, I found myself chancing upon a secret passage in the cellar of one of the home’s located at Alderic’s Repose. The hair on the back of my neck stood erect as I took courage to follow the dark and spooky corridor…

…taking me directly into the heart of the city. At this point I will not go into further descriptions of this delightful place where the fires are ablaze and bustling leaves are driving down dark cobblestone streets, lest you be tempted to skip the experience first-hand. The music in Gilneas is most formidable too; the deep voice of the bassoon and spooky ring of a spinet greet the weary adventurer, doing nothing to ease his mind.

Back on track, I left the city behind me heading for Greymane Manor. I did not let myself be deceived by an off-limits way sign halfway through the journey and made my way up after taking a considerable detour.

The manor was everything I expected and more: home to Genn Greymane, it is an exquisite place of rich taste and splendor. Feeling oddly out of place, I hastened on to leave it behind me.

Chapter 3: An unexpected party

I finished my tour around the zone by crossing Stormglen Village and paying the Schwarz…forgive me, the Blackwald a visit. Much to my dismay, there was no cake to be found here which convinced me not to overstay my welcome and head straight for Silverpine Forest up north. Upon leaving Gilneas, I stumbled into a most curious camp at the Silverpine border, named “Beren’s Peril“. There were bears roaming the area and I found these two fellows sitting at a camp nearby:

I will leave others to be the judge of this curious scene and most suspicious name-giving of said spot. For my part, I have long learned that there are no coincidences in Azeroth. I have yet to find out the exact reason for this reference though – maybe someone more knowledgeable will help me out someday. 

Closing the logbook

With this, I finish the retelling of my adventures in Gilneas. Not surprisingly, the zone has met all my expectations and definitely sold me into rolling a worgen alt come Cataclysm in order to experience the place come to life. I’ve yet to meet all its inhabitants and I’ve the firm intention to find Sherlock somewhere turning around a corner in Gilneas City.

I hope that those of you that have followed my travels through both Thousand Needles and the home of the worgen were inspired to do some more exploring of Azeroth and pay these zones a visit sometime while you’re counting the days until Cataclysm. There are uncounted secrets to be found on the way for those determined to seek them out. It’s a magical world, Hobbes ol’ buddy !

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