Northshire Valley is a pristine valley in Elwynn Forest in which both Northshire Abbey and several outlying vineyards are located. The Northshire River also flows through it. The serene valley is often visited by adventurers from all over the world due to its historical significance in the Church of the Holy Light.
Northshire Valley is surrounded by impenetrable mountains, with the exception of a pass to the South which is protected by thick stone walls and a guarded entryway. A river runs through the valley, which eventually exits Northshire and empties into Crystal Lake.
Historically a sleepy and peaceful valley that fed into the forests of Elwynn, Northshire Valley as it came to be known was settled by colonists of the Arathorian Empire shortly after the establishment of the colonial port of Stormwind. It was found that Arathorian grapes took exceptionally well to the climate - thus settlers planted them in great abundance to reap the profits of the empire's taste for wine.
Consumption of wine in the Holy Arathorian Church during festivals or religious events was so engrained in the Arathorian colonists that it made absolute sense to construct a monastery at the valley's center. Northshire Abbey was built to house such a demand. Its popularity among the colonists eventually led the local priests to establish a monastic school within its halls so the abbey would be known as more than a center for religious drinking.
War for Independence
At the onset of the War for Stormwind's Independence, the abbots of Northshire were hotly divided between the orthodox priests who supported the empire and those who believed that the Stormwind Militia's cause was just. The valley remained without major conflict throughout the entirety of the war due to its status as a sacred site.
When the militia claimed victory over the Arathorian Legion, Logan Wrynn I marched with his army to the gates of Northshire. Upon being recognized by the abbey-knights and the abbots themselves, Lord Logan gave a fiery speech thanking the priests and the light for the Stormwind Militia's victory. So moved by his speech (and perhaps by his army) were the priests that they blessed his claim as King of the new Kingdom of Stormwind and pledged their support to his cause.
Thus the abbot and priests of the abbey of Northshire would form the first of the Clerics of Northshire, splintering from the church of Arathor.
Clerics of Northshire
For centuries, the Clerics of Northshire provided sanctuary and guidance to those in spiritual need within the kingdom. Through the Ten Years' Strife and the conquests the kings of Stormwind made after it, the church of Stormwind grew more and more influential as the kingdom staked its claim to power in the nations that emerged from the collapsed Arathorian Empire. Both the countrymen and men of the cloth of Northshire Valley profited greatly from the kingdom's expansion, as tithes funneled in from throughout the realm were put towards public works and beautification of the valley.
Destruction in the Orcish Wars
In what some religious scholars lament greatly while others celebrate as an act of the Holy Light's hand of fate, the Orcish Horde invaded Northshire Valley and its abbey in the closing weeks of the First War - driving the Clerics of Northshire to flee with the rest of the Kingdom of Stormwind to the Kingdom of Lordaeron, where the clerics would ultimately unite with those of Lordaeron to form the contemporary Church of the Holy Light that stands to this day.
Alas, the church and all of its vineyards were brutally sacked by the orcs who would remain in Nortshire living off of their plunder for the next several years.
Reclamation and Corruption
Soon after the Orcish Horde was defeated at the foot of Blackrock Mountain, High General Turalyon led a charge into Northshire Valley that routed what orcs remained. Greeted by reeking death and the ruins of their once great abbey, the surviving citizens and Clerics of Northshire began the lengthy process of rebuilding their homes with the aid of taxes garnished from the Alliance of Lordaeron.
It was the dissolving of that Alliance that marked the first of several misfortunes to fall upon the valley. In what some contemporary scholars attribute to the dark magic of Onyxia and the Black Dragonflight, wolves and kobolds began attacking settlements in the valley with an unnatural vigor. It was soon after the dissapearance of King Varian Wrynn that the Defias Brotherhood established its own foothold in the valley, claiming several vineyards on the eastern side of the Nortshire River.
Unable to deal with the problems Northshire faced alone, the Stormwind Army enlisted the aid of several adventurers who ultimately were the salvation of the province. Those who aided were granted several tokens of armor and wealth from the coffers of Northshire Abbey before they moved on to aid elsewhere in the kingdom.
Invasion by Blackrock Orcs
After the Cataclysm that shook the kingdom to its foundation, the Blackrock Clan of orcs launched a daring attack upon Northshire Valley through a mountain pass exposed by an earthquake. King Varian Wrynn, determined to maintain control in his realm, sent several regiments of the Stormwind Army to fight back the orcs and regain the valley. Although most of the eastern vineyards were burnt to the ground, Northshire Abbey remained undamaged due to the quick deployment of the army's troops.
Adapted from Wowpedia.