NeutralCaer Darrow
Caer Darrow.jpg
An overview of Caer Darrow
Leader(s)  Darkmaster Gandling
  Formerly  Lord Alexei Barov †
Race(s) IconSmall Ghost.gif Ghost
ScourgeScourgeScourgeScourge Scourge
  Formerly HumanHuman Human
Affiliation(s) Cult of the Damned, Scourge
  Formerly House Barov, Kingdom of Lordaeron, Arathor (presumed)
Status Haunted

Caer Darrow is an island[1] and a ruined keep[2] located on Darrowmere Lake in the Western Plaguelands. Kel'Thuzad established the headquarters of the Cult of the Damned under this ancient human fortress, in the catacombs that became Scholomance, a school of necromancy.[3]


Ancient history

The fortress on Caer Darrow was built long ago by humans.[3] It was also the site where an ancient high elven runestone was placed.[2] At some point it became part of the kingdom of Lordaeron.

Second War

WC2BnE-logo.png This section concerns content related to Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness or its expansion Beyond the Dark Portal.

Caer Darrow in Warcraft II.

During the Second War, the island was invaded by the Horde, the fortress sacked, and the sacred runestone captured.[2] The stone was hewn into pieces which were used to create the Altars of Storms, arcane structures which allowed Gul'dan to instill magic into the Horde's ogre allies.[4]

When Uther the Lightbringer embarked for the isle on a mission of mercy to aid and comfort the survivors of the bloody raid, he was ambushed by privateers from Alterac.[5] In the naval battle that followed, some of the sailors were captured; during questioning in Lordaeron's capital, they confessed their nation's treachery to the Alliance, leading to Alterac's eventual ruin.[6]

The Barovs and Scholomance

Following the Second War, the fortress at Caer Darrow was restored. The manor was the Barov's primary residence amidst their far-reaching empire which comprised Caer Darrow, Brill, Southshore, and Tarren Mill, but as the years closed to the Third War, the aristocrats became depressed, greedy, and rageful. After decades of rule, in order to preserve their fortune and hold of the land well past their lifespan, the Barovs made a deal with Kel'Thuzad, leader of the Cult of the Damned. The once opulent keep of Caer Darrow secretly became the horrific Scholomance, a school of necromancy.[7]

Six months passed and the keep became decrepit and inhabited by dark undead beings. Acolytes of the Cult learned their craft, while the family servants were used as experiments for the Plague of Undeath.[7] Finally, while the Scourge did not even yet fully exist in Lordaeron, a devastating disease, which was not the Plague that the Scourge would employ later but an experience of Scholomance,[8] was unleashed and ravaged Caer Darrow before a visit from Uther the Lightbringer was scheduled.[9] None survived,[10] while the plague variant compelled its victims to wander as ghosts. According Mathias Shaw, this variant of the plague of undeath is now extinct, but he still prefers to avoid sending his agents there.[8]

Caer Darrow's ruined fortress.

World of Warcraft

WoW Icon update.png This section concerns content related to the original World of Warcraft.

After the Third War, the island and surrounding lake had already become lifeless and still. The spirits of many of the island's inhabitants remain, only visible with the spectral essence given by the manor's former servants. The ghosts are cursed to relive the last memory they had before the town was destroyed.[10]

Weldon Barov has recently acquired the deed for it. Putridius guards the entrance to Scholomance.


Legion This section concerns content related to Legion.

While looking for clues to the Scepter of Sargeras' location, a warlock adventurer traveled to Caer Darrow,[11] discovering members of the Shadow Council gathered there, led by Jergosh the Invoker. With the aid of Braelyn Firehand, the group located and found the Book of Medivh, likely by torturing the Cult of the Damned,[12] but were killed before the book could be returned to Gul'dan.

Exploring Azeroth

WoW-novel-logo-16x62.png This section concerns content related to the Warcraft novels, novellas, or short stories.

Following the end of the Fourth War, Caer Darrow is still in the hands of the Cult of the Damned present in Scholomance, as Mathias Shaw stated that the Argent Crusade reported that some of the Barovs are still there and Darkmaster Gandling has many puppets to play with. This includes Jandice Barov and Rattlegore.[13]

Specters of Caer Darrow

Caer Darrow's town entrance.

Note: you need  [Spectral Essence] to see the specters.  [The Eye of Divinity] also works.

WoW Icon update.png The subject of this section was removed from World of Warcraft in patch 4.0.3a but is present in Classic.

In the RPG

Icon-RPG.png This section contains information from the Warcraft RPG which is considered non-canon.

Caer Darrow is located on the solitary Isle of Darrow, which in itself is found in the middle of Darrowmere Lake. The keep of Caer Darrow is perhaps the oldest human monument in the world and stands tall upon this isle. The keep's defenders abandoned it during the Third War. The ruin may hold many wonders, but unfortunately it crawls with undead and their few remaining demonic allies, including at least three dreadlords.[14]


  • The prefix caer, is Celtic (Scottish, Welsh and Irish) for "fort", is used in the names of several famous Scottish, Welsh, and Irish castles, such as Caerlaverock, Caerphilly and Caernarfon.
  • The crypt on the north-facing cliff (Kirtonos the Herald's area) is nearly identical to the tomb of King Barov and Queen Ravenovia from the Ravenloft campaign setting for Dungeons & Dragons. This is just one of several references connecting Scholomance to Ravenloft.


This article or section includes speculation, observations or opinions possibly supported by lore or by Blizzard officials. It should not be taken as representing official lore.

Speculatively, with the keep being so old, Caer Darrow may have been built during the time of the empire of Arathor or before.


See also


External links