Ashenvale is a lush forestry located in the near center of Kalimdor. It has been the home of the Night Elven people for centuries and is a vastly ancient woods. The forest is home to an treasure trove of ancient fauna and flora, making Ashenvale a highly populated enviroment. This has made Ashenvale a ripe picking for many, especially ever since the New Horde's arrival to the continent. Because of this, Night Elves and Orc forces alike have scrambled for what the region holds. Though the Night Elves have always traditionally held the land, the New Horde has set out on various campaigns for it's resources, but many grew unsuccessful, only grasping small pockets of land to harvest.
The woods are sacred to the Kaldorei population, who see value in all life. Given Ashenvale's abundance in life (In contrast to many other Kalimdor regions), Ashenvale is highly regarded as a traditionally important land.
Because of this, much of Ashenvale is largely untouched and is a pristine haven of colossal trees, towering hills and many lush vales located in between.
War and the Aftermath
- See main article: War of the Ancients
Not much is known about Ashenvale during the War of the Ancients, but it was said that Xavius had a tower within the forest.
After the Sundering of the ancient Kalimdor, the night elven civilization was built in and around the forests of Ashenvale. Sometime later, Highborne, who defected from Queen Azshara, foolishly attempted to convince the kaldorei race of the power of magic by unleashing a magical storm upon Ashenvale, though it was forbidden. Thus, the Highborne were exiled.
Some years after the War of the Ancients, the satyrs gathered the few demons that remained and engaged in a war across Ashenvale in the War of the Satyr.
Afterward, Malfurion entered the Emerald Dream and Tyrande and her Sentinels continued to patrol Ashenvale.
- See main article: Third War
A group of goblins under Neeloc Greedyfingers had started deforesting the area before the Warsong clan arrived, but were prevented from doing much damage by the local furbolg tribe. The orcs acquired the goblins' aid after ending this threat. The elusive dark trolls had a settlement here. Powerful artifacts, enclosed in circles of mushrooms, were protected by forest guardians. Cenarius restored the cut trees but was killed by Grommash Hellscream tricked by the Burning Legion masters.
Ashenvale was later attacked by the demons. An unnamed village was destroyed, along with the family of Vandel, who survived as he was hunting out in the forests.
Changing of the World
Two attacks happened here during the time before the Shattering. Firstly, a horrific attack on night elves Sentinels by orcs, though not from the Horde. The elves were skinned and placed by trees. Secondly, when the druids of Cenarion Circle set up a meeting led by Hamuul Runetotem and Elerethe Renferal. The orcs attacked again and slaughtered all the tauren and night elves druids. The only survivor of the massacre was Hamuul. As the Cataclysm was about to start, fires began to burn from lightning strikes.
Garrosh Hellscream became the new Warchief of the Horde in the wake of the Cataclysm and unleashed great war in the forests of Ashenvale. He sent orcish warriors and goblins engineers into the heart of forests, where great battles were fought against Sentinels led by Haldrissa Woodshaper, commander of the night elf forces protecting Ashenvale. In an attempt to get help, she sent her best scout Aradria Cloudflyer to Darnassus, but she was struck down by orcish archers. Aradria was thought dead but fortunately, a druid Parsis rescued her and she was able to deliver her message to Darnassus. Moreover, eight Magnataurs and proto-drakes were brought from Northrend and released against defenseless Night elven Sentinels. Garrosh intended to build another city of the Horde in the center of Ashenvale, which would rival Orgrimmar. Many Night Elven outposts have fallen since the invasion. Tyrande Whisperwind, Shandris Feathermoon with Sentinels, and Alliance troops went to Ashenvale to help relieve Haldrissa's elves, but in the chaos of the battle, Haldrissa was slain and Tyrande was wounded. The battle became bleak. However, Varian Wrynn, Genn Greymane and the army of worgen arrived to turn the tide. Varian himself stood against the new Warchief. It was a fierce battle but Goldrinn's blessing of unyielding energy gave Varian the advantage over his foe. Before anyone could strike a mortal blow, a dying magnataur divided the two combatants and Garrosh with the attacking Horde were forced to retreat. Su'ura Swiftarrow took Haldrissa's position and new better-situated outposts were quickly commissioned along the eastern edge of the territory. The Alliance reclaimed and rebuilt Silverwing Outpost which was made the staging ground for supplying the Alliance's counterattack. Before leaving, Tyrande blessed Silverwing Outpost.
- See main article: Cataclysm
The Horde military sent troops to reinforce Mor'shan Ramparts, which had fallen victim to a renewed effort by the Silverwing Sentinels to drive out the Horde from Ashenvale. The Silverwing sentinels weren't just laying siege to the Mor'shan Ramparts, however: they were also launching simultaneous attacks on Splintertree Post and the Warsong Lumber Camp. Eventually, the Horde adventurers and military were able to break the siege of the Ramparts. Pushing north from the Ramparts, the Horde took control of Silverwing Outpost, and using Kodo Caravans, they were soon able to break the siege of Splintertree Post. An orcish warlock poisoned the forest heart, which struck a huge blow to the Sentinels. Horde covert operatives killed the commanders leading the siege of Warsong Lumber Camp, thus bringing the alliance offensive to an end.
After the sieges of Splintertree and Warsong Lumber camp were broken, eastern Ashenvale was under complete horde control, save for Forest Song. The Horde armies pressed westward, taking control of Silverwind Refuge by using a corrupted form of a water elemental and also began an attack on Raynewood Tower and Raynewood Retreat, killing many of the druids and sentinels stationed there. However, the Horde was not able to deliver the finishing blow at Raynewood, as the Druid leader continued to revive the Dryad defenders of the post. The Horde even started firebombing Astranaar, and with victory in sight, they moved in to take Maestra's Post, one of the few remaining Alliance encampments. If Maestra's post fell, all of Darkshore and eventually Teldrassil would be vulnerable to continued Horde attacks. While the siege of Maestra's post was beginning, the Horde engineers at the captured Alliance base of Silverwind Refuge were finishing up a giant bomb, designed to be used on the Night Elves in Stonetalon Mountains. Many of the Horde battalions started to move south to reinforce Krom'gar's army in Stonetalon, bringing the bomb south with them.
This success was short-lived, however, when the mobilized armies of Darnassus were able to break the siege of Maestra's post, and pushed the Horde out of Astranaar. After pushing the Horde out of Astranaar, the Alliance armies reinforced Raynewood retreat, breaking the siege thereby taking on the shade of the Ancient spirit of Shadumbra, and killing many horde soldiers and destroying their demolishers in the process. Alliance heroes rebuilt Dartol's Rod which allowed them control over the Furbolgs near Silverwind refuge, using them to weaken the Horde army there enough to allow the Sentinel's to retake the camp. The alliance military moved back eastward, cleansing the tainted forest heart and killing the Horde overseer at the Lumber Camp, along with a Sin'dorei Ambassador. At this point, only pockets of horde resistance remained, bringing the war full circle, in favor of the alliance.
Though results of Tyrande's request was never seen, she had allowed the Horde unimpeded access to Azshara's lumber in return for the complete withdrawal of Horde forces from Ashenvale.
Sometime after, during the Third invasion of the Burning Legion, Ashenvale came under siege by Satyr forces rallied under Rethazar the Fallen.
- See main article: Blood War
Leading up to the events of War of the Thorns, Ashenvale was considered a peaceful and boring post for a Sentinel. Hostilities between the Alliance and Horde began again in Ashenvale on the Horde's march to Darnassus, and Astranaar's population was killed.
During the course of the Blood War, Alliance soldiers continued pouring into Ashenvale, reinforcing their holdings, and attacking Horde outposts across the forest. The remaining Sentinels of Ashenvale were under the command of Tara Thenysil.
The majority of settlements within the Ashenvale are Alliance controlled and have been the home of many Night Elves for centuries. However, due to the increased encroachment of the Horde, not only are many large Horde fortresses scattered along the forest, but also are counterpart Alliance structures built to suppress the oncoming tide of orcs.
Many of these structures include Zoram'gar Outpost and Raynewood Retreat.
Due to Ashenvale's main inhabitants reverence for the woods, very few exports are delivered out of Ashenvale, leaving the forest relatively safe. However, this has allowed the orcs from Orgrimmar to set up massive lumber industry initiatives, cleaving off whole sections of forestry so they may survive and thrive within their hardy environment in Durotar.
Adapted from Wowpedia