Field Photographer Friday is a weekly look at the lore and history behind locations around World of Warcraft. This week, we're taking a look at Shattrath City!
Shattrath City was once the capital of the draenei on Draenor and home to a powerful priesthood called the Aldor. The city was invaded and destroyed by the orcs after they became corrupted by drinking demon blood. The orcs would go on to invade Azeroth through the Dark Portal, starting the First War. Following the orc's defeat in the Second War, their then-chieftain Ner'zhul attempted to open several portals to other worlds. The power released from the ritual tore Draenor apart, turning it into Outland as we know it today. The ruins of Shattrath City survived, but now the world itself was as broken as the city.
The city stayed in ruins until the Sha'tar found it sometime before the Burning Crusade expansion. The Sha'tar are a powerful faction of naaru led by A'dal, and they came to Outland in their quest to stop the Burning Legion. As news of the naaru's arrival spread, the Aldor returned to the city and grew in strength as they continued to rebuild. Soon after, Illidan sent the forces of Kael'thas to destroy the city again, however, upon arriving at the city, they laid down their arms and asked the naaru if they could serve them. A'dal accepted their service and the Scryers faction was born.
The Aldor were still weary of the Scryers, so they both established their own settlements on the two upper tiers of Shattrath City. This brings us to the state of the city as it first appeared in the game at the start of the Burning Crusade expansion. The naaru made their home in the Terrace of Light at the center of the middle tier, while the lowest tier was home to hundreds of refugees displaced by the Burning Legion, along with various shops and vendors.
Throughout the Burning Crusade expansion, Shattrath City would serve as the central hub for Horde and Alliance heroes in their fight against the Burning Legion and its allies. The city didn't change much over the expansion, and with the defeat of the Burning Legion in Outland, the city can still be found in the same state.
During the Warlords of Draenor expansion, in the alternate-universe Draenor, heroes were given the opportunity to see what Shattrath City looked like in its glory days, before it was first destroyed. The city appeared much larger than it did on Outland and had more prominent draenei architecture, a high contrast to the much grittier present-day Shattrath City. Unfortunately, this pristine city would be successfully invaded by Blackhand and the Iron Horde. Although not completely destroyed, its inhabitants were forced out and its ports served as a launching area for Iron Horde attacks. This continued until Horde and Alliance heroes retook the city with the help of Durotan, Draka, Khadgar, Maraad, and Yrel.
With alternate-Draenor secured from the Iron Horde, it's unlikely the alternate-Shattrath City will see any activity soon. While the Burning Legion has returned to Azeroth, I still wouldn't expect present-Shattrath City to see any activity either. Outland was heavily secured against further Burning Legion offensives and the Legion seems much more set on attacking directly at the heart of Azeroth.
Recommended Reading for characters related to Shattrath City
The Elder Shaman Ner'zhul was the Warchief of the Draenor clans that remained uncaptured after the Dark Portal was originally destroyed in Azeroth.
The powerful naaru leader of the Sha'tar.
Former self-proclaimed Lord of Outland and leader of the Illidari demon hunters. Twin-brother of Malfurion Stormrage.
Kael'thas Sunstrider was a senior member of the Kirin Tor and the Prince of Quel'Thalas, the last of the Sunstrider dynasty. -Wowpedia
Former chieftain of the Blackrock clan, and first Warchief of the Horde.
Chieftain of the Frostwolf clan, father of Thrall.
Mate of Durotan, member of the Frostwolf Clan.
A legendary wizard, Khadgar is a master of the arcane arts and a constant thorn in the side of the Burning Legion. -Battle.net
A powerful draenei paladin and self-sworn protector of his people.
Join me every Friday as I work to expand my lore knowledge while completing the Field Photographer achievement. Read lore summaries for each location and follow up with resources where you can go more indepth! I encourage you to share your own selfies and any additional lore resources you know of in the comments below, or tweet me @PrestonDvorak. Bonus points* if the selfie is somewhere you shouldn’t be (such as an Alliance player in Orgrimmar)!
*Points are meaningless and have no monetary value, but they’ll never give you up or let you down.