Meanwhile, far away from the Borean Tundra, the Howling Fjord makes up the southeastern portion of Northrend. This area is accessed via a boat from Menethil Harbor for Alliance, and a zeppelin for Horde. For the Alliance, you get the feeling that you are not welcome as soon as the boat enters the zone and passes under this...
Nevertheless, your boat lands safely at Valgarde Keep, an Alliance outpost that has been established in the shadow of Utgarde Keep.
The Horde begin at Vengeance Point, established by the Forsaken, before moving onto New Agamand.
Utgarde Keep is the seat of power for the Vrykul, a barbaric race of giants who serve the Lich King, because they view him as their "Death God".
They are one of the major antagonists in this expansion, and you are introduced to them almost immediately, as they are attempting to raze Valgarde Keep from the moment you step off the boat. Your first responsibilities are to help turn them away, and once you've gained a rest, you get a quest to investigate their history. You are given a substance that allows you to enter the spirit world and experience visions of the past, but as you wander through the dream-like world, you are given an unpleasant surprise.
Arthas is there, and he immobilizes you and monologues about how powerful he is, and how weak you are, and unworthy to fight him. He says that he will definitely destroy you, but not just yet, and then kills you. Yes, it seems a little bit strange.
You reenter your body and continue your investigation into the vyrkul, and eventually discover that humans are actually descendants of the giants, and those vyrkul who were discovered to give birth to those 'deformed ones' were cast out, and their children killed, by the tyrannical king of the vyrkul, Ymiron. Some parents, however, hid their children to grow up in secret, which led to the human race.
It's not all infanticide and giants in the Howling Fjord, however. There is a particularly amusing quest chain with Big Lebowski references....a flaming forest filled with dragons...
noble walrus warriors....
and, presented without context, surfing on a flying, flaming spear.