The Howling Fjord is a region located in southeastern Northrend. Ripped into the southern coastline lies Daggercap Bay, where the forces of Arthas originally landed on the continent before proceeding north and west to Dragonblight.
The majestic fortress known as Utgarde is located in the center of this region; it is a dungeon complex and one of its sections, Utgarde Keep, is one of the two first areas where forces of the Alliance and Horde were sent to deal with threats of the Vrykul.
Howling Fjord contains bases of both factions and does not have a faction-specific emphasis. From the tuskarr settlement of Kamagua on the Isle of Spears, located off the southwestern coast, there is a giant turtle vessel able to transport the Azerothian Heroes to Moa'ki Harbor in the Dragonblight and from there on to Unu'pe in the Borean Tundra.
Howling Fjord has dark forests, open plains, treacherous rocks, and what used to be the only city — and port — on the continent. The north edge of the Howling Fjord has low hills and thick forest. The land smooths out to the south, however, and the trees fade back, to be replaced by grain and a few hardy fruits and vegetables. Daggercap Bay dominates the southern end, which is all rock. Most people live in Valgarde or in a semicircle above it. The fjord has its share of wildlife. Bears, wolves and other creatures prowl the forests, and small animals sneak through the farmland as well. Birds roost in the trees and steal grain and seeds, and the warmer climate and rich soil draws insects and other vermin as well.
Howling Fjord received its name because the wind that races in from the sea on all three sides produces a constant howl, like a maddened beast seeking its prey. Other than the noise, Howling Fjord is pleasant. It's not as heavily forested as the Grizzly Hills, or as hilly, but the temperature here is a little milder; between that and the flatter terrain it’s an ideal place to grow grain and other crops. Small farms dot the landscape, particularly down south near Valgarde. To the north the trees begin again, and creatures roam there from the hills above, making it more dangerous but also an excellent place for hunters.
This is the only region in Northrend that was dominated by humans and dwarves. That's entirely because of Valgarde, however — without that city it would be an even match between those humans and dwarves and the Drakkari and the furbolgs, not to mention the murlocs as well. Almost everyone lives in Valgarde. The exceptions are the farmers, who have their thickwalled farmhouses by their fields, and the hunters and trappers, who live in small camps among the trees and come south only to trade or sell. This region was also the only Alliance-dominated region in Northrend. The Howling Fjord really is Alliance territory, though, and here the Drakkari and even the furbolgs are the ones at risk.
Recently, the vrykul have appeared and the Forsaken have built a village, contesting the region's Alliance territory status.
Howling Fjord was a favorite on Northrend from the first time explorers reached the continent through the Daggercap Bay. The natural harbor provided an ideal launching point for expeditions throughout the continent. After the Lich King arrived, the Scourge swept across the continent, conquering most of its races and claiming many of the towns and citadels. During the Third War, Prince Arthas Menethil of Lordaeron arrived with his soldiers to destroy the dreadlord Mal'Ganis and punish him for the plague unleashed in his homeland. Arthas and the dwarven noble Muradin Bronzebeard joined forces against Mal’Ganis, who they thought to be the Lich King's lackey. When Arthas’s father summoned him home again, the prince responded by hiring mercenaries to burn his own ships, and blaming only them for the act of treachery, thus forcing his men to stay and fight. He searched for and obtained the cursed blade Frostmourne in the nearby region of Dragonblight, killing Muradin in the process. He used Frostmourne to defeat Mal'Ganis but lost his soul to the Lich King as a result. Arthas staggered away alone after the battle, and his men were left behind, stranded on Northrend. These humans and dwarves founded Valgarde. They also built the fortifications that protect it to this day. As Valgarde grew, its residents forced the Drakkari and furbolgs back into the Grizzly Hills and beyond, making the region safe enough for brave farmers to till the land. During the War against the Lich King, the settlers of Valgarde were dealing with newly reawakened vrykul warriors, who raided them from their home of Utgarde Keep. In addition, Ironforge prospectors have discovered a new race of iron dwarves which hinted to their own ancient origins. Finally, the Forsaken settled here and engineered a new plague, ready to strike at the Lich King. Their main settlements are Vengeance Landing and the town of New Agamand, named after the famous mills family which once lived in the Tirisfal Glades.