Turned this up while working on my portfolio. Usually when I re-read things I wrote a long time ago, I cringe, but I’m still pretty pleased with this one. The assignment, for Azeroth World News, was an in-world travelogue in the style of Lonely Planet, that could also be read as a guide for players.
In all my travels around Azeroth, I haven’t found any place as easy to navigate as my hometown of Ironforge. The city is built in a ring, around the Great Forge, which makes navigation very simple, even for newcomers. If you do find yourself disoriented, don’t be afraid to ask the cheerful dwarven residents for help. We’re friendly people, at least towards other Alliance members! The Defias brotherhood and other thieves known in the human lands don’t dare show their faces around the burly Ironforge guards, so the guards always have time to help visitors find their way.
Although the city is located in the middle of inhospitable mountains and snow, it’s easy to get to Ironforge via a griffin from other major cities. Human visitors may prefer to take the free underground tram from Stormwind.
Ironforge’s most famous attractions are the Great Forge and Great Anvil in the center of the city. These functional monuments were built by the dwarves in ancient times, to honor their Titan ancestors. Blacksmiths from all lands meet with the Deepforge brothers and the other dwarven metalworkers who congregate at the Great Forge. I hate to brag, but the dwarves really do produce the finest metalwork weapons and armor in the world.
Be careful around the molten metal lake, especially when traveling with small children, pets or wayward minions.
Dwarves are best known for their metalsmithing skills, but they are also excellent stonesmiths. The main gates of Ironforge are a fine example of dwarven stonecarving. Today, this area is a dueling ground for dwarves and visitors alike.
Inside the city, across from the Great Anvil, sits the High Seat of King Magni Bronzebeard. While the king is too busy to grant every visitor an audience, tourists can catch a glimpse of the dwarven royalty and his advisors in ruler’s throne room.
A lesser-known attraction in Ironforge is Stonebrow’s Clothier. A chatty guard told me that Jormund Stonebrow isn’t just a tailor, but a known slayer of giants, having killed seven in one blow! While you’re shopping in Stonebrow’s, head upstairs to visit Eric the Outfitter. An Ironforge tuxedo or stylish shirt would make a lovely souvenir of your trip.
If the bustle of the inner circle isn’t for you, try the quiet of the Forlorn Caverns. This small lake offers surprisingly good fishing. Make sure you stop and see Ramsin Donner’s extraordinary pet, a cute baby murloc! He claims to have more, but he wouldn’t sell one to me.
Before you leave Ironforge, you should visit Tinkertown, the gnomish section of the city. After the tragic fall of Gnomeregan, the surviving gnomes brought their families to seek refuge in Ironforge. Today, Tinkertown is full of interesting works of Gnomish engineering… just look at those mailboxes!
After shopping and sightseeing, you’ll want a good meal. Dwarven fare is hearty, but it’s not all the tough jerky and dry pork ribs that humans would have you believe. The Stonefire Tavern, located just inside the main gates of Ironforge, serves roasted quail and wild hog shank, a local delicacy that shouldn’t be missed. Epicurians in Ironforge should try Myra Tyrngaarde’s homemade cherry pies. Be sure to sample the dwarven stout while you’re in town or any of the mead, port and bourbon offered at Stonefire.
In addition to delicious Dwarven fare, Innkeeper Firebrew offers the famed dwarven hospitality, which really is hard to find elsewhere in the Eastern Kingdom. Grumpy barkeeper Jarel Moor at Stormwind’s Slaughtered Lamb, greets would-be customers with his endless warnings about sitting near the shadows, and I won’t even mention Skindle in Rachet, with his dire warnings about his exploding stove… Is it any wonder that dwarven hospitality is famous throughout Azeroth?
The city of Ironforge is a delightful city, full of beautiful dwarven stonework, jovial residents and good shopping. I hope to see you at Firebrew’s Tavern!
Originally written for Azeroth World News in 2007.