The first time I played through Kezan/the Lost Isles, I found two places that I thought I might want to come back to at will. After a little bit of fiddling around with some throwaway toons to establish the exact quest sequence boundaries of the zone phasing, I suspended two alts in a Goblin Time Capsule. The first time I played through Gilneas, nothing really stuck out to me as spot I’d want to preserve. Weren’t the Ruins of Gilneas available for all to explore? After I’d played all the way through Gilneas a couple more times (with characters who are no longer Worgen; WTB tailored top hats), though, I realized that the one region of Gilneas that you can’t go back to was the place I was most often thinking I might want to revisit. The town of Duskhaven falls off the map in the earthquakes that accompany the Shattering and is underwater in the Ruins of Gilneas.
Karlotta, therefore, lives in Duskhaven.
You’ll be about level 5 when you first arrive in Duskhaven — level 6 or 7 if you did a lot of grinding of Bloodfang Worgen in Gilneas City — but there isn’t much of anything to do. No herbs, no mines, and the Forsaken soldiers down by the boats are so close to each other that they’re tricky to single-pull. The herbs and mines don’t phase in until you complete Invasion and the Forsaken attack begins in earnest. I continued down the quest chain to the Allen Farmstead and completed Unleash the Beast and Two by Sea (for the “Flying” Worgen Robes, lol), but kept Save the Children! in my log so that I could keep telling the little brats to go back in the house where it’s safe. Having done all these things, and having farmed the Forsaken invaders for linen to make her tailored robe, Karlotta is now level 8. The zone phases again a couple of quests later, after Leader of the Pack, when the Hammond Farmstead falls into the sea.
In Duskhaven, I have access to all of its houses — each of them furnished in a unique arrangement — and to the outlying areas of the Hammond/Allen Farmsteads, Crowley Orchard, Hayward Fishery, and Grandma Wahl’s cottage. The latter three locations are furnished, but their inhabitants are mysteriously absent. (They don’t appear until you turn in Evacuation… after the earthquakes that destroy the Hammond Farmstead.) There’s no way to get around the gates blocking the road leading up to Greymane Manor, though, and, on the other end of the road, the Queen’s Gate never opens, even in the Ruins of Gilneas. I haven’t tried swimming around the coast from the Hayward Fishery, but I imagine that I’d probably hit an invisible wall somewhere if I tried it. In the Ruins of Gilneas, the sunken houses of Duskhaven are all closed up, and, except for the Hayward Fishery, the surrounding areas are completely gone.
One of the spots in Duskhaven that I was saddest about not being able to come back to is this pretty little rose arbor out by Grandma Wahl’s cottage.
I’m still trying to decide whether Kymberlea got married at the Cathedral in Gilneas City, or out in the countryside at a rose arbor like this one.
Then I went flying around western Lordaeron with Kiraleia, in that burst of “yay, flying!” after she hit level 60. First, I visited the faerie ring in the Whispering Forest of Tirisfal Glades. Then I went down through Silverpine into the Ruins of Gilneas and, out of curiosity, flew up to the top of the mountain in the far western point of the map, directly north of Tempest’s Reach, just to see what was there.
Lo and behold, there was an expanded version of the rose arbor!
The sun never seems to shine in Gilneas (making me wonder how they managed to grow enough produce to keep themselves alive), but if you’re wanting a wild, moody, atmospheric place for a wedding, a romantic confrontation (whether positive or negative in outcome), or even a meeting of a clandestine society, this might be just the place you’re looking for.