Death Knight, Druid, Hunter, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warrior.
Barrow Deeps, Timbermaw Hold, beneath Mount Hyjal, Kalimdor.
Angrim Blackmaw, son of Ungarl
Take a look at the current level flow chart of Kalimdor and Eastern Kingdoms. Every zone has a particular amount of levels, which align with adjacent zones. On the two main continents, there is practically no room for new starting areas, without having to redo everything once again. No proper-minded man will want to do that, nor will the players of WoW having it redone.
Every other race that wants to be introduced would have to start on an island, like the Draenei and the Goblins. Most of the current suggestions are races who start on a new island, too.
However, the current zones are all above ground? What if we were to have a starting zone, below ground. One of the zones that exists in Warcraft lore, but is not in World of Warcraft yet, are the Barrow Deeps. Located below Mount Hyjal, it’s where Malfurion and Tyrande released Illidan from his imprisonment, and the location where Druids of the Claw have been “sleeping for thousands of years”.
Rumor has it that the Barrow Deeps are actually a part of a bigger underground cave network, part of which can be seen in the Timbermaw Hold, which connects Felwood with Moonglade and Winterspring.
So, let me see what we can make out of that information, while adding in our own lore.
It’s widely known that different tribes of Furbolg live near the Timbermaw Hold, we have the Timbermaw, obviously, but also the Deadwoord and the Winterfall. That being said, the Timbermaw Hold stretches all the way to Azshara, where it is inhabited by the Blackmaw. Currently, the Blackmaw are hostile to both the Horde and the Alliance, but in the Horde quest ‘The Blackmaw Scar’ Haggrum Bloodfist tells you the following:
Later in the region, the player is asked to sabotage the negotiation between the Night Elves and this tribe of Furbolg. The Horde even kills Ungarl, the Chieftain of the Blackmaw, and all is done for them.The Blackmaw furbolg that live in this area have broken rank with their Timbermaw brethren as we began to aggressively settle Azshara. They've gone wild, <class>, and harass our forces at every turn. Worse, we have seen them engaging the night elves from Talrendis on friendly terms. We cannot allow the two to ally!
Or, at least, that’s what the Horde thinks. After Ungarl’s defeat, the Blackmaw, led by his eldest son Angrim, retreated back into the Timbermaw Hold. Angrim, possibly smarter than his father, overheard Haggrum and Andorel, right before they launched their nasty offense on the Blackmaw. Hoping to reach the Night Elves by traveling though the Hold, as traveling through Azshara would be their personal death note, he pulls his forces back into the Timbermaw Hold. Upon retreating, the Blackmaw believe they have been scouted by the Horde forces near the Blackmaw entrance, and decide to collapse the entrance. As they travel deeper into the Hold, they realize that the Shattering has made the tunnel that connects the Timbermaw Hold with the Blackmaw entrance collapse. As a result, they are trapped deep inside the Hold.
Hoping to find another exit near the Barrow Deeps, the Blackmaw journey deeper in the underground tunnel system. This is where the player would start. You are one of the Blackmaw Furbolg who survived the Horde attacks, and followed Angrim into the caverns.
What could be done in the caverns?
Some of Hyjal’s roots have been corrupted by Archimonde, and with it, and the Furbolg that had been living in the Deeps (the Barkskin tribe) have been corrupted by the roots. As the Deeps are just below Hyjal, there’s various kinds of beasts living in the deeps, mainly spiders, but some bears as well. We also know that it had been the sleeping place of Night Elven Druids, both of the Claw and of the Talon.
Through phasing, the deeps will change as you move along through quests. At first, you have to kill some of the corrupted Furbolg, so that the Blackmaw at least have a place to rest, using the Barkskin tribe’s huts. Using those huts as your base of actions, you are sent deeper into the Deeps, searching for water to survive. Using the new quest-on-pick-up system, you complete the quest as you encounter Barrow Deep Bears, who appear to live close by an underwater lake of sorts. The Blackmaw believe these bears have once been Barkskin Furbolg, corrupted beyond recognition. As the quest tells you to help out some of these poor Furbolg, and put them out of their misery. Upon looting them, you encounter something the Blackmaw would have never imagined. The bears drop Night Elven Relics.
Returning to Angrim’s High Advisor, you’re being told that these Relics indeed are Night Elven. The High Advisor remembers the history of the Barrow Deeps, and tells you these bears might actually be forgotten corrupted Druids of the Claw, that might regain their conscience if the source of the corruption is destroyed.
Hoping to save some of the Druids, you are sent out go collect different sorts of poisons from different sorts of spiders. These will be mixed into antidotes, which you will have to use on one of the bears. Temporarily regaining his conscience, he tells you the directions to the source, and that it is guarded by the Largest Bear Ever (yes, a reference to the Warcraft 3 mission, where Tyrande and Malfurion could encounter the Biggest Panda Ever).
Returning to Angrim, you get to lead a small army of Furbolg into the Largest Bear Ever’s’ lair. As the Furbolg joining you attack the Largest Bear Ever, your task is to destroy the essence of corruption.
It appears to be a corrupted seedling of the tree of life. Upon destroying it, the Largest Bear Ever regains his conscience, and transforms back into his own form – the Night Elf Archdruid Narala Feralweed.
You return to the Barkskin encampment with your Furbolg army, the uncorrupted Night Elves, Archdruid Narala Feralweed, as you hold the destroyed corrupted seedling in your hand. Still trapped in the Barrow Deeps, the Night Elves and Furbolg decide to combine efforts. You return to the Azshara exit, where the combined strength of the Furbolg and the Druids manage to destroy the collapsed wall, creating an opening just big enough for a Furbolg to fit through. Still realizing there’s Horde outside of the tunnel, the Blackmaw/Druid alliance decides to send you and Narala Feralweed to Darnassus, where Malfurion and Tyrande resort. They can take it from there, rescuing the ones trapped in the Hold. Narala shapeshifts into her flight form, and takes you to the Temple of the Moon. During that quest, you get the temporary title <Blackmaw Messenger>. After a nice little scene, which includes you showing the corrupted seedling and Tyrande/Furion’s reunion with Narala, who was believed to have been killed by Archimonde, you form an alliance with the Night Elves (and thus with the Alliance), as it would’ve existed anyway if Haggrum wouldn’t have interfered.
The Night Elves and you return to the Blackmaw entrance, obliterating the Horde forces that come too close, freeing the trapped Blackmaw and Druids. The Blackmaw get accepted into Darnassus, and from that point onward you can continue your leveling journey like any other race. You should be around level 12 after finishing these quests, much like the Worgen and the Goblins.
Q & A (or statements and replies, for that matter):
Q. This idea sucks.
A. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but please, elaborate why you think it’s a bad idea.
Q. You suck.
A. Thank you.
Q. Why Furbolg?
A. I like Furbolg. On top of that, there’s already Furbolg tribes aligning with the Draenei and Night Elves. It would make sense for them to align with the Alliance. They have also been mentioned in the Alliance Player’s Guide as an Alliance race.
Q. Why not Pandaren, which are relatives of the Furbolg?
A. Pandaren rarely leave their little island of Pandaria, and if they do, they don’t align themselves with any faction.
Q. Why Blackmaw Furbolg?
A. I wanted to use an existing Furbolg tribe. There’s very few tribes currently that aren’t corrupted. The Timbermaw, Barkskin and the Stillpine are pretty much the only ones, next to the Blackmaw, which, in itself, is offspring of the Timbermaw tribe.
The Timbermaw are truly neutral, and I did not want to break that.
The Stillpine are already aligned with the Draenei, and it didn’t have enough room to give them their own storyline as to why they became Alliance.
That would leave the Blackmaw and the Barkskin. The Barkskin aligned themselves with the Night Elves already, when their Shaman was rescued by Malfurion and Tyrande. Ever since that moment, nothing has been heard from them. It wouldn’t make too much sense for them to pop up all of a sudden, after living underground all that time, and join the rest of the Alliance in their adventures. Corrupting them, making them completely mind-numb would also give them a reason why they have never shown up.
Instead, I decided to take the Blackmaw, who are already at war with the Horde, as noted by Haggrum, and are losing said war. For that matter, they need to form an alliance with a stronger army, such as the Night Elves, are the Alliance for that matter.
Q. What’s up with that corrupted seedling?
A. It was planted by Archimonde’s servants, to ensure his mission to destroy Nordrassil. Even if Archimonde would fail, the growing tree would corrupt Nordrassil, and ultimately, the entire of Kalimdor. However, a tree doesn’t grow all that fast – save a tree of life.
Q. Why a spider as racial mount?
A. Furbolg are pretty big, and for that matter, they would need quite a large mount. Furthermore, a mount needs to be something that is found close to their natural habitat. WoW’s spiders are generally pretty big, are found in the Barrow Deeps too, and having an 8-legged mount would be pretty nice as a change.
After destroying the seedling, the Furbolg tamed some of these uncorrupted spiders.