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Patch 5.4 PTR: New scenario, Stromgarde Keep

Anne Stickney

Tucked in among all the other patch 5.4 files dug up by Wowhead is a new scenario with little to no information in terms of maps, bosses, or achievements. You might overlook this scenario in favor of other information, but Alliance players in particular may want to look again, because it looks as though we'll be paying a visit to Stromgarde Keep. Players may or may not remember the deserted ruins over in the Arathi Highlands, once home to the Trollbane line -- unfortunately, the zone didn't get much of a revamp during Cataclysm.

But the potential for this new scenario is huge, depending on what exactly we'll be doing while we're in there. There doesn't appear to be a faction requirement for the scenario, so it seems both Alliance and Horde players will be entering the zone -- whether or not we'll be able to keep our appearance, or be under another disguise effect, is currently a mystery. However, Stromgarde holds tremendous potential, because it represents a foothold steeped in a staggering amount of history for the Alliance, and the human race.

At the dawn of human civilization, the human race was split up into tribes. These tribes were eventually united by the Arathi tribe into one great nation known as Arathor. The capital of this nation was Stromgarde, a fortress in the Arathi Highlands. Eventually, Arathor splintered into the seven kingdoms that formed the first Alliance of Lordaeron -- Dalaran, Gilneas, Arathor -- now called Stromgarde, Stormwind, Kul Tiras, Alterac, and Lordaeron.

Patch 54 PTR New scenario, Stromgarde Keep
During the Third War, Stromgarde fell -- and its leader, Thoras Trollbane, was assassinated. His son Galen became the leader of Stromgarde, but he was killed by Horde some time between the events of Wrath and Cataclysm -- he's now an undead quest giver who seems to have given up all hope of reclaiming his land, and instead works for Sylvanas. In the meantime, the remaining survivors of Stromgarde still fight from Refuge Pointe to try and reclaim the last bastion of what was once a mighty empire.

Except that Galen wasn't the only Trollbane. Galen's cousin Danath was a lord of Stromgarde at one point in time, until he left with the Alliance Expedition to Draenor after the Second War. Since then, Danath has been fulfilling his duties in Outland, although he's vowed that one day, he'll return to Stromgarde and restore it to greatness. Stromgarde isn't just a ruined city -- it represents the history of human civilization itself.

And it also represents a foothold in the north. While we don't know for certain what Stromgarde is going to involve, there are several possibilities. This could be the next leg of Varian's trials of the High King. It could be Danath's return to Stromgarde. It could be a battle between the Forsaken and the soldiers of Refuge Pointe. What it makes me wonder, however, is how it will end. Will we just have a scenario, or does this scenario hold the potential for a new in-game Alliance base near Hillsbrad, replacing the devastating loss of Southshore? Only time, and the new PTR, will tell.

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