Elwynn Forest, aka the Forest of Elwynn or simply Elwynn, is a vast woodland of stately hardwoods nestled just below the foothills of the Burning Steppes to the north. The Redridge Mountains lie to the east, and to the south, across the Nazferiti River is Duskwood. It is the heartland of the human Kingdom of Stormwind.
Little is known of Elwynn's history before Elwynn Forest was settled by the Arathorian Empire centuries ago, other than that it was inhabited by a number of different human pagan tribes of fair skin and hair. After its conquering by the Arathorians, Elwynn thrived as a colonial depot where iron, lumber and foodstuffs were harvested and shipped back to Strom via Stormwind Harbor.
War for IndependenceEdit
As the Arathorian Legion's needs taxed the empire to a straining point, a number of the colonial citizens of Elwynn protested to their imperial governors, who ignored their pleas and levied higher taxes and steeper demands upon the land's production. After the Culling of Lakeshire in 6 P.C., the protests in Elwynn turned violent as many in the imperial province of Azeroth took up arms against the Arathorian Legion. From the northern mountains in Elwynn, Logan Wrynn I founded the Stormwind Militia that would eventually drive the Arathorian Empire from the lands in the War for Stormwind's Independence - thus founding the Kingdom of Stormwind.
Consolidation of the RealmEdit
After the collapse of Arathorian authority in the continent of Azeroth, the Stormwind Militia was quick to make Logan Wrynn I their beloved King. Elwynn Forest was soon divided up into regional holdings and estates to be held by those loyal to the independence fighters, most notably the generals and lieutenants of the Stormwind Militia. Each of the new provincial rulers of the Kingdom were well taken by most of Elwynn's inhabitants. Those who supported the Arathorian Empire fled for their lives and property to the north, where the Arathorian Empire still held land in the Red Steppes before its conquering by Daniel Wrynn.
Without the watchful eye of the mages of Arathor, the hedge witches and wizards of the forests gathered and practiced openly their twisted magic - a blend of poisionous druidism and demonic worship. In Elwynn, the rogue mages turned the local wolves against the people of the new kingdom, ravaging small towns and outlying farms. Adam Wrynn, the son of Daniel, gathered what few true-hearted mages he could find in the realm, and himself founded the Stormwind Circle of Magi to combat the mages. The scattered cultists and druids were forced into exile by local militia supplemented by the Stormwind mages, many of them taking refuge in the deepest reaches of the Brightwood Forest.
10 Year's StrifeEdit
Years later, when King Thomas Wrynn I was found murdered in his chambers, Queen Mary exiled his brother, Samson Wrynn, from Stormwind City, claiming that it was he who assassinated the king. Shunned by nearly all who came across his path, Samson was eventually taken in by a tradesman's caravan that wandered the kingdom. As soon as Samson was percieved to be out of the kingdom's stage, Queen Mary began a reign of terror - levying breaking taxes, abolishing the Church of Northshire and the Circle of Magi, and executing all who stood in her path. The Wolfcult returned in force, overtaking several towns and villages not protected by the mages of Stormwind.
From his exile, Samson Wrynn found support in the Lords of Elwynn Forest, Westfall and Redridge Mountains, gathering an army that besieged Stormwind City and drove Queen Mary into hiding with her young son. After gaining the sear of the Kingdom, Samson reformed the Church of Northshire and Circle of Magi - directing them to hunt down the Wolfcult with the newly gathered Stormwind Army.
After the Wolfcult was vanquished and the Queen's eventual demise in Brightwood in 135 K.C., Elwynn returned to the peaceful state that it is known for today - its lush forests teeming with life, and its villagers happy with the bounty of the land.
The First WarEdit
Elwynn Forest was captured by the Orcish Horde during their bloody campaign to Stormwind in the First War. The resources culled from the bountiful woods helped fuel the Horde's war machine, and much of the forests were razed as the orcs marched across Elwynn. The town of Goldshire and the Abbey at Northshire were both tragically destroyed by the Horde. When Stormwind fell to the orcs and Anduin Lothar led the humans to Lordaeron, the Stormreaver and Twilight's Hammer clans assumed domains in Elwynn forest.
Liberation and RevoltEdit
When the humans of Stormwind finally retook their city at the end of the Second War, they regained Elwynn as well. It cost the Kingdom of Stormwind a significant amount of gold and resources to rebuild their broken homeland. As a result, the kingdom's economy flagged in the years since it was rebuilt.
Many of the middle and lower classes became fed up with high taxes and unpaid labor in service of the kingdom. Many of these dissidents defected to form the Defias Brotherhood (led by the Stonemasons Guild, the architects who reconstructed Stormwind and weren't paid anything). The Defias Brotherhood reaches into Elwynn Forest from time to time, preying on lone travelers, although their main center of operations lies somewhere in the province of Westfall.
Elwynn has returned to much of its former majesty and glory. Northshire Abbey was rebuilt and has become a recruiting center of sorts for the Stormwind army. Goldshire and its famous Lion's Pride Inn have returned to their former glory as a bustling hub of activity. Today, the only reminders of the Horde's occupation are a few scattered orcish catapults, broken and rotting. Meanwhile, the humans of Stormwind rejoice as Elwynn once again becomes the pride of the Kingdom of Stormwind.
People and CultureEdit
Unlike in Duskwood, Elwynn Forest is close enough to Stormwind City to enjoy considerable guardianship. Home to many farmers, loggers and miners, Elwynn Forest is a tranquil region with several friendly places to stop. Little troubles this region; kobolds infiltrate some mines, and murlocs have moved inland to reside in some lakes and rivers, but overall it is safe. One should stick to the roads though, as the forest is home to many fearsome and territorial creatures. Those who can defend themselves are not in any danger, but others may not be so lucky. Loggers and fishers fuel Stormwind’s economy, and a diligent militia keeps it safe from the kobolds and murlocs that occasionally surface. The Defias Brotherhood, a group of robbers and bandits wearing red masks, has recently become a growing menace in the region.
The humans have lived in Elwynn for centuries, but members of all Grand Alliance races can be frequently seen traveling and residing in Elwynn due to its proximity to the capital, Stormwind City. Most residents of Elwynn are involved in one of its major industries: logging, farming, fishing or mining. They are also renowned for the breeding of their Evendales: steeds especially prized by adventurers for their loyalty and steadiness in the face of danger. The people are hardy and hard-working and for all its pomp and grandeur, Stormwind City wouldn’t last long without a constant stream of food and supplies to support its population.
This exchange has become increasingly threatened by kobold invasions, vicious feuds among farmers, and attacks from wild animals. The Defias Brotherhood once terrorized these lands, but Elwynn became more tranquil after their downfall. Northshire Abbey remains dedicated to recruiting and training any adventurers brave enough to help keep the peace. Likewise, the Blackrock Orcs, emboldened by the Stormwind Army's streched state throughout Azeroth, have launched several attacks on the people of Elwynn in attempt to secure arable land for their charred domain.
The region organizes its festivals and celebrations around the planting calendar, its two biggest parties being the planting and harvesting festivals. It also hosts the burning of the Wickerman. Elwynn is also visited periodically by the famous, traveling Darkmoon Faire. True criminals in the area are usually sent to Stormwind City for trial and punishment, as most people care more for their jobs than housing criminals. Goldshire has a small holding area for drunks and pickpockets, but few stay in the clink for very long. Elwynn’s towns will welcome most any travelers, especially those who want to shop or trade to help the local economies. They are especially kind to those willing to lend a hand in a tough spot.
Elwynn is a gorgeous span of fertile land and thick forests. The weather is brightly sunny and cheerful during the day and silent and peaceful at night. It enjoys consistently good weather, warm and humid with few stormy days. Gentle rain falls just enough to make everything grow full and lush. This woodland is known by many to be pleasant and tranquil. Lieing below the southern foothills of Blackrock Mountain, the Forest is a labyrinthine mixture of rushing rivers, various lakes, and forests of magnificent trees and lush glades. Its rich farmland is a result of frequent rains. Dotted throughout the forest are small farmsteads growing crops such as wheat, pumpkins, melons and grapes.
Stormwind City itself sits proudly in the northwestern hills of the region, its gates opening down onto the Forest. East of Stormwind and behind a thick wall lies the peaceful Northshire Valley and its Abbey. The roads leading from Stormwind and Northshire converge to the southeast just north of the Duchy of Goldshire. Goldshire is Elwynn's largest settlement besides Stormwind itself, a bustling city with several taverns, a theater, and a strong wall. Second to Goldshire is the mountainous city-estate of Westridge, carved into the mountains south of Stormwind City and stretching out to several fortified walls near its southern foothills. Before the Duchy of Westridge is the imposing Westbrook Garrison. This barracks and surrounding grounds house a number of the Stormwind Army, and protects Elwynn's western border. The Earldom of Eastvale in the east near the border with Redridge Mountains is also a significant landmark and the center of Elwynn's lumber industry, its history as a crossroads for contlict in the Kingdom well known. On the road from Goldshire to Eastvale is the Tower of Azora where mages conduct arcane experiments in seclusion.
Recently several of the lakes have been found to be inhabited by hostile murlocs. Northshire was the pride of Stormwind's vineyards until recently, when Defias bandits drove off the farmers and occupied the farm and fields. After the Shattering, Northshire's peace was broken as it was infested with goblin assassins and Blackrock Orcs. Bears, wolves, spiders and boars constitute the bulk of the region's large wildlife. The creatures are hostile everywhere except for the protectorate around Northshire Abbey. Kobolds infested the Jasperlode Mine and Fargodeep Mine. Gnolls have erected camps in the Forest's Edge region and the northern rim of Stone Cairn Lake. It is rumored that both the kobolds and gnolls are somehow associated with the Defias Brotherhood. Murlocs have taken up residence in and around Stone Cairn Lake and Crystal Lake. Defias presence in the region has been growing and their people have holdings at Mirror Lake Orchard, Northshire Vineyards, the Brackwell Pumpkin Patch, Jerod's Landing and Stone Cairn Lake.
Adapted from Wowpedia.