Let’s talk about some theories and speculations about Dragon Isles. In the pre-patch for Shadowlands, a new level 1 to 10 zone aimed at new players was added into the game- Exile’s Reach. In this zone you fight harpies, ogres and quillboars. This one itself is gorgeous featuring World of Warcraft’s newer zone art and updated landscapes. And the questline itself is well designed as it’s quick paced, easy for players of all skills levels. Also shows you a little bit about your chosen class. The craziest thought occurred to me- what if Exile’s Reach is the Dragon Isles or at least connected to it in some way. Let’s look at what we know about these two places and see if we can connect the dots.
1:20 DRAGON ISLES
The Dragon Isles are a cluster of islands said to be located north of Lordaeron which is the Tirisfal Glades area and west of Quel’thalas the blood elf territory. These isles not only relate to dragons but they are said to have temples to the Old Gods as well. The Dragon Isles were not thought to be canon for a long long time as they were cut from being put into the game. All the way back in the Alpha of World of Warcraft itself there was nothing in the game that really talked about them until recently.
The Battle for Azeroth expansion added new instanced content called Island Expeditions. Whether you liked these little adventures or not, they actually had a variety of lore nibblets tied to them. Not just about the islands themselves but in the form of randomly dropped quest items that hinted at future events.
One such item is the Unscarred Black Scale. This item sends you on a bit of a goose chase to find Wrathion, the black dragon prince to ask him about it. You find one of his agents instead and what they have to say is quite interesting.
This agent explicitly mentions the Dragon Isles proving that while they could still be a myth, they are at least properly acknowledged in the geographical lore of Azeroth. It’s important to note the name of the Dragon Isles. Isles is plural, the word isle means a small island or peninsula and in this case there’s multiple. So not just one big island and could be part of a broken up cluster much like the broken isles. Coincidentally at the end of Battle for Azeroth, Exile’s Reach, a mysterious unturned island, was added into Azeroth’s geography. This is a small island located northeast of Stormheim which is a part of the broken isles and said to be at a considerable distance away so much so that it is between the broken isles and Northrend out in the North Sea. Exile’s Reach is identified as part of an archipelago which is an area that contains a chain or group of islands scattered in lakes, rivers or even the ocean.
Here’s the world map as is now in patch 9.0.5.
The Dragon Isles are supposed to be located somewhere in the ocean (with X mark) .
Exile’s Reach on the other hand is supposed to be located in this area here, see below (with X mark).
According to the loading screen, when you leave Exile’s Reach as an alliance player, the location you are leaving is shown on screen as well confirming its location description.
These locations happen to be in the same general vicinity. And given that Exile’s Reach is part of an archipelago, the Dragon Isles could very well be a part of that same chain.
One more point to chew on, while you are here on Exile’s Reach you can’t zoom out to the world map and it isn’t explained why. Which seems a little suspicious.
And if you notice, we don’t see the entire island when you are here on Exile’s Reach. The land on the map (shown above) extends beyond the visual border. What else is up there? Exile’s Reach is likely just the name of the part of the islands we’re on and not the whole island itself.
With all that information in mind, I believe that Exile’s Reach is connected to the Dragon Isles somehow. We very well could see it in a future expansion, I do hope so. I could be totally wrong but it’s still fun to speculate. What do you think of my theory?