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Mar 19

Scouting Report – A New Grove

Scouting Report by Khoruun Oakheart.

After the corruption of our Grove by the Emerald Nightmare, the Gladewardens convened and determined that the safest course of action was to burn the infected lands to prevent the corruption from spreading.We were able to recover six seeds from the heart tree, and the ashes of the land received blessings from a priestess of Elune. In the aftermath of these events, the avian spirits guarding the area departed, and will no longer assist the order.

By order of Captain Starflare, Khoruun Oakheart has scouted the Eastern Kingdoms in search of a new location for the Gladewardens to form a home grove. After extensive review, three sites have been selected for consideration, based on the following criteria:

Location: The new Grove must reside in the Eastern Kingdoms. In the long term, it may prove wise to establish sister Groves in Kalimdor and other continents, but placing a home base so far from First Light’s operational command would be ill advised. Additionally, the Grove must be a neutral site, open to parties from both the Alliance and Horde.

Strategic Value: The Grove must be defensible, should threats to our lands arise once again. Any location chosen must also serve the mission of the Gladewardens, and First Light as a whole – to provide refuge, defense, light, and healing to a vulnerable world and its citizens. Though the Gladewardens are an order with roots in nature, we must not retreat into the world at the expense of its civilizations.

Connection to Nature: The Grove must have a strong connection to the natural order. Our rangers must be able to form a bond with the local wildlife and native spirits, and our druids and mystics must be able to commune with the land with minimal interruption.

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Site One: Seradane – The Hinterlands

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When departing from Tyr’s Hand, we need not look far for our first potential site. Immediately to the south, beyond the mountain pass to the Hinterlands, lays the forest shrine of Seradane. This place was once home to the Green Dragonflight, though their kind have long since departed. The glade now lays unguarded, and the savage forest trolls threaten to consume the area.

Location: Seradane may be the most convenient option of the three, located a short ride from the main base of Tyr’s Hand. It is, however, not easily defensible. There is an advantageous chokepoint to the north, near Tyr’s Hand, but the forests to the south and west are largely exposed – the glade is also exposed by air and sea to the east.

Strategic Value: The Hinterlands is a remote region, largely ignored by both the Horde and Alliance, and is populated by groups with a history of neutrality – namely the Wildhammer Dwarves, the Revantusk Trolls, and the High Elves of Quel’Danil. Though they have taken steps to take sides in recent years, they may be sympathetic to a neutral order were we to make our intentions known.

Connection to Nature: Though the Green Dragonflight has departed, their influence on the grove remains. More notably, the Hinterlands is also home to a rather large population of bears. With the corruption of Ursoc, it is unclear if these noble beasts will continue their peaceful vigil of the forest, or if they have become agitated by recent events.

OOC Observations: This area is huge! Plenty of space to RP here. Also, the allied races and the heavy troll influence offers potential opportunity to segway into Battle for Azeroth and the Zandalari plots.

 

Site Two: The Blackwald – Gilneas

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The forests of the northern kingdoms have been devastated by the Undead plagues, with few exceptions. To the west, there is a forest known to the Gilneans as the Blackwald. It is home to a holy tree known amongst the Kaldorei as Tal’doren, though it appears the Worgen and the Kaldorei largely abandoned the site after Sylvanas Windrunner drove the alliance out of Gilneas.

Location: The forest is not as close as the Hinterlands, but still a relatively short distance from Tyr’s Hand. It is unclaimed by the Horde or Alliance – the Banshee Queen appears to have overlooked the forest in favor of the city, and the Alliance has all but abandoned Gilneas – save for a few stubborn souls, including our friends in the League of Lordaeron.

Strategic Value: Gilneas suffered greatly at the hands of the undead. The Kaldorei and the Gilneans fled to Teldrassil, while the Cenarions and the Argents turned their attentions to the Plaguelands. There are many still in need of protection from the cursed powers in that region, and creating a refuge for those souls may bring light to that dark place.

Connection to Nature: The Grove has an extremely strong connection to Lo’gosh, the wolf spirit, and Mu’sha, the Mother Moon – known to the Elves as Elune and Goldrinn. Our Gilnean allies know the history of that place well – the wolf spirits are savage and unpredictable, but they are also fierce protectors. The forest is also home to elk, foxes, hawks, and hounds – the Gilneans were hunters before the fall, and the animal populations have grown unchecked in their absence.

OOC Observations: This place looks cool as hell, and most people don’t come through here. There aren’t any quests that take people in here, except for the Worgen starting quests, which is a totally separate phase. Sophy tested it, and can confirm there are no phasing issues! Also, could potentially tie in with Kul Tiras, the Drust, and the harvest witch stuff. Definite potential here.

 

Site Three: The Twilight Grove – Duskwood

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The lands between Lordaeron and Stormwind have been utterly ravaged by war, and much of the natural resources have been spent to fuel their war machine. To find a plot of land suited to our order’s needs, we need look much further south – to the forest of Duskwood. It is a bleak land, to be sure – home to criminals, ogres, and the dead – but at the center of it, there is light. The twilight grove.

Location: Obviously, this site takes us far beyond the typical boundaries of the order’s influence, though that may not be a terrible thing. It would create a foothold in the southern kingdoms, and it is surrounded on all sides by impassible hills, making it easily defensible should the need arise.

Strategic Value: Duskwood borders Elwynn Forest, allowing for a staging ground should we wish to re-engage diplomatic efforts with Stormwind. Additionally, such a location would open up the possibility of travel through Booty Bay, Grom’gol, and the Dark Portal – offering a freedom of movement that is prized amongst Gladewardens. More importantly, the people of Duskwood could use Light to banish the darkness that plagues that region.

Connection to Nature: The Twilight Grove appears to predate the settlement of the humans. Though the region of Duskwood is home to a number of unsavory groups, the Twilight Grove seems…resistant to such influence, which may be beneficial given the fate of our last Grove.

OOC Observations: This one’s a bit of a reach, but I love this area. Unfortunately, so do some other groups! It’s pretty popular, for obvious reasons. The zone looks cool as hell.
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Final Recommendation: Any of these Glades would make a suitable settlement for our new grove in the eastern kingdoms. If the goal is immediate proximity to Tyr’s Hand, the Hinterlands is an obvious choice. If we wish to focus on the blighted lands, our efforts would be well served in Gilneas. If we wish to expand our influence and mobility in the Eastern Kingdoms, a southern outpost may be advisable. The final decision rests with the captain.