Once a verdant, mountainous land teeming with lakes, streams and forests, what was known as the Red Steppes before the War of the Three Hammers is now a hellish wasteland of fire and brimstone. The Burning Steppes was once a province settled by the Kingdom of Stormwind, ruled by the House of Morgan. Now virtually abandoned by Stormwind, the Burning Steppes is controlled by the Blackrock Clan, minions of the black dragonflight and agents of the firelord Ragnaros.
This rugged region is full of craggy foothills, scattered boulders and warring factions. Rivers of lava dot the landscape, as well as charred earth and burning ruins. The sky is a red hue here, due to sporadic eruptions from Blackrock Mountain. Blackrock Spire, an orc stronghold in the Second War, stands proud and defiant among the mountains. Black dragons and Twilight's Hammer cultists under Nefarian hold the spire's upper levels, while hostile Dark Iron dwarves dwell in the depths. The surrounding countryside is home to Blackrock orcs and Fire-Gut ogres, all brutal castoffs from the Second War. The Molten Span, a massive stone edifice in the north, bridges a river of fire and leads to Khaz Modan.
While many use the Burning Steppes as a thoroughfare, it is populated by one of the few successful orc settlements in Azeroth. These orcs follow the barbaric practices the orcs used from before the Third War. Deeper into the region, ogres, dragons, and the Dark Iron Clanof dwarves can be found. With the volcanic activity and lava flow, the weather is perpetually hot and dry.
The Burning Steppes are located north of the Redridge Mountains and south of the Searing Gorge. It is dominated by Blackrock Mountain in the northwestern area. It is a central location housing the Blackrock clan, the black dragonflight and various creatures.
The Blackrock orcs have long maintained a lasting settlement around the volcano known as Blackrock Stronghold, staying hidden from the road but always keeping watch for Alliance attacks. These orcs are more typical of the type of the First and Second wars rather than the current Horde in Kalimdor: Bloodthirsty and savage, they mine the mountains around Blackrock Spire for metals with which to make weapons and armor. In recent years, they have begun spreading outward, frequently terrorizing the Stormwind-held Redridge Mountains to the south. They have allied with the Firegut ogres from the south, as well as the black dragonflight, readying themselves to make a push that will violently expand their territory. But Stormwind — not to mention some friendly Dark Iron dwarves and certain members of the Horde — will not allow them to succeed.
Prior to recorded human history, the steppes were teeming with life - the home of many mountain species including goats, ettins, and mountain lions. In fact, it is said that the very icon of the Kingdom of Azeroth was inspired by the mountain lions of the Red Steppes - a sad fact, as the mountain lions went extinct shortly after the War of the Three Hammers.
Given their namesake, the "Red Steppes", by human settlers from Stormwind in the 7th Century P.C., the land was colonized by the Arathorian Empire and its bountiful supplies of iron were quickly tapped. After the War for Stormwind's Independence, the House of Wrynn granted the House of Morgan reign over the province within the realm of the Kingdom of Stormwind.
After their exile from Ironforge Mountain, The Dark Irons settled the Red Steppes' plains and established a colony called Thaurissan. Their sorcery and trickery turned out to be their undoing. Their thane, a mad sorcerer named Thaurissan, tried to summon elemental minions to aid him against the Bronzebeard and Wildhammer dwarves, but instead he summoned the elemental fire lord Ragnaros. Ragnaros' arrival melted several mountains in this range and forged a great volcano in the blast's epicenter. Now, the remaining Dark Irons live as puppets to Ragnaros and his fire elementals, who dwells under Blackrock Spire.
Orcs also came here after the Second War and maintained settlements around and within the volcano, the climate being to their liking. The Horde conquered Blackrock Spire and used it as a base of operations during the campaign against the Alliance of Lordaeron in the Second War. Warchief Orgrim Doomhammer slew the human hero Anduin Lotharbythe foot of the volcano near the war's end, though Lothar's death turned the tide and spurred the Alliance on to crush the failing Horde.
After the end of the orcish wars, a grand monument was constructed in honor of Anduin Lothar, its sword pointing directly at the gates leading into Blackrock Mountain. Once a year, the Brotherhood of the Horse makes a pilgrimage to the site, honoring the sacrifice made by their beloved Grandmaster.
Lacking the grace and beauty of Khaz Modan's peaks, the Burning Steppes' mountains show the force of the energy that twisted them. The very rock melted when the volcano was formed, and lava changed the surrounding areas forever. The Blackrock Spire is awe-inspiring in its sheer mass and obvious devastation, while the rest of the land visibly attempts to recover from the damage done by the summoning of the Firelord, Ragnaros.
In the northwest of the Burning Steppes sits the impossibly high Blackrock Mountain. It is a volcano that is still active over 500 years after its birth at the summoning of Ragnaros. The Burning Steppes are mostly under the control of the Black Dragons and their Blackrock Orc allies. In the midst of the barren Steppes are the Thorium Brotherhood's town of Chiselgrip and the Ruins of Thaurissan, the ancient Dark Iron capital that was destroyed in the summoning of Ragnaros. In the north, the Horde maintains a small outpost at Flame Crest. In the southeast, the Alliance clings to the scarred ruins of the town now known as Morgan's Vigil.
Adapted from Wowpedia.