Utgarde Keep (pronounced OOT-ghaard) is the name of a keep located within the Howling Fjord. The keep is located on the shores of Lake Cauldros. Utgarde is inhabited by the vrykul (led by King Ymiron), a Viking-like race who were bent on proving their strength to the Lich King, who will raise the most worthy of their warriors to serve him beyond the grave. Enemy encounters within the keep include vrykul, their minions (such as worgs), and various types of undead.
The vrykul are a race of half-giant warriors native to the Howling Fjord located in southeastern Northrend. It is said that, in ancient times, the vrykul inhabited the land, founding a vast and prosperous civilization. Then one day, without warning or explanation, the vrykul vanished, leaving behind only deserted villages and abandoned temples. Due to the settlement of Valgarde, the vrykul have recently returned. Loyal to the slumbering King Ymiron, rumors abound that they serve the Lich King. They are savage in nature, and tie into the titan creation myth that is slowly unfolding as events of the expansion take place.
These formidable warriors have begun attacking Horde and Alliance settlements, and many of the vrykul are pouring out of the fortress of Utgarde Keep, not far from Valgarde. The vrykul's motives and their whereabouts for the past several thousand years remain a mystery.
Inside Utgarde Keep, the Dragonflayer clan builds massive engines of war and train proto-dragons to act as steeds for their raids.
Following the end of the War against the Lich King, the vrykul's power and strength within Utgarde and the surrounding regions have diminished, also because of the death of King Ymiron, the vrykul raids on the Alliance and Horde settlements in the region have all but ceased.