Wowpedia
Advertisement
Wowpedia
240,497
pages
This article is about the lore of the character. For his strategy in the Shadowlands encounter, see Kel'Thuzad (Sanctum of Domination tactics). For other encounter tactics and uses, see Kel'Thuzad (disambiguation).
NeutralKel'Thuzad
Image of Kel'Thuzad
Title Archlich[1][2] / Arch-Lich,[3]
Lich Lord of the Plaguelands,[4]
Lord of Naxxramas,[4] Icon-TCG.png Cult Master[5]
Gender Male
Race(s) Lich, formerly human (Undead)
Class Necromancer, Mage (formerly)
Affiliation(s) Mawsworn
Former affiliation(s) House of Rituals, Cult of the Damned, Scourge, Kirin Tor (Council of Six), Magocracy of Dalaran, Alliance of Lordaeron
Occupation Lieutenant of the Jailer
Former occupation(s) Archmage of the Kirin Tor, Sorcerer,[6] member of the Council of Six, leader of the Cult of the Damned, majordomo of the Lich King, Archlich of Naxxramas, Baron of the House of Rituals
Location Various
Status Deceased (lore)
Killable Shadowlands
Mentor(s) The Lich King
Student(s) Helcular, Ras Frostwhisper, Bronjahm, Nelesis
Companion(s) Mr. Bigglesworth (pet), Obrahiim (trusted adviser)

“I was cast out by my comrades, exiled, forced to wander the frozen wastes. But I was not alone. Not entirely. The voice, now my only companion, guided me to my destination. Strange, nightmarish creatures awaited me at the entrance. I felt my blood run cold, as cold as Icecrown itself. Inside, I bore witness to horrific acts, demonstrations of power, power that could be mine for the asking. Terrified, I ran, but did not get far. All too soon, my choice was made. Too late did I realize that such power does not come without a price. Now, the world will pay a far greater toll, for I have returned. I am Kel'Thuzad. Your curiosity will be the death of you.”

— Kel'Thuzad[7]

Kel'Thuzad (pronounced /'kɛlθʔzɑːd/) was a powerful human mage, and a member of the Kirin Tor until his interest in the dark arts caused him to be expelled. He went on to become the founder of the Cult of the Damned and one of the principal agents of the Lich King responsible for spreading the plague across Lordaeron.[8][9]

After bringing the plague to Lordaeron, he was slain by Arthas Menethil. When Arthas became a death knight, he resurrected Kel'Thuzad as a lich so he could summon Archimonde the Defiler into Azeroth. Following Arthas's departure for Northrend, Kel'Thuzad was left to command the Scourge of Lordaeron from his floating necropolis, Naxxramas. Following his first defeat, he and his necropolis moved to Northrend, where he was once again defeated.

In death, Kel'Thuzad entered the afterlife Maldraxxus and rose to a position of power within the House of Rituals, a position he used to plunge Maldraxxus into chaos in order to further the efforts of his true master, the Jailer, across the Shadowlands. After his machinations were revealed, the archlich escaped to his master's side in the Sanctum of Domination, where he was destroyed for good in a final confrontation with Azeroth's heroes.

Kel'Thuzad is one of the most iconic antagonists in the Warcraft franchise. He first appeared in Warcraft III as a hero in the undead campaigns. He appeared in World of Warcraft as the final encounter of Naxxramas, implemented in patch 1.11 and retuned for level 80 in patch 3.0, and returned as a secondary antagonist in World of Warcraft: Shadowlands. He also makes appearances in Old Hillsbrad Foothills and the Plains of Nasam. Kel'Thuzad appears as a central character in the Hearthstone sets Curse of Naxxramas and Scholomance Academy, and he is a playable character in Heroes of the Storm.

Biography

The Kirin Tor

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

Kel'Thuzad of the Kirin Tor.

Before the Second War, Kel'Thuzad was a member of the Council of Six, the high council of the Kirin Tor — the masters of Dalaran. Of the Kirin Tor's leaders, Kel'Thuzad was the most eager to gain access to the Guardian's Library — the depository of knowledge hoarded by Medivh in his tower of Karazhan - and thus he was most upset when the library was lost. After Medivh's death, Kel'Thuzad and the other senior members of the Kirin Tor questioned Medivh's apprentice, Khadgar, about what happened; Kel'Thuzad seemed particularly interested in discovering more about the mysterious Order of Tirisfal, which — as he pointed out to Antonidas, the leader of the Kirin Tor — was relevant when discussing Medivh.[10]

When Jaina Proudmoore was in her third year of apprenticeship, Antonidas introduced her to Kel'Thuzad, who at the time was said to be one of the finest mages in the Kirin Tor.[11]

Kel'Thuzad witnessed the death knights of the Horde during their raid on Dalaran before the Invasion of Draenor and became even more interested in necromancy after seeing what its power was capable of.[12]

Call of the Lich King

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

“As my lieutenant, you will gain knowledge and magic to surpass your most ambitious dreams. But in return, living or dead, you will serve me for the rest of your days. If you betray me, I shall make you into one of my mindless ones, and you will serve me still.”

— The Lich King's threat and promise of power

The necromancer Kel'Thuzad.[13]

A handful of powerful individuals, scattered across the world, heard the Lich King's mental summons from Northrend. Kel'Thuzad was the most notable of them, and the first to answer the Lich King’s call.[14] Long considering him above the scriptures of his peers,[15] Kel'Thuzad had been considered a maverick for years due to his insistence on studying the forbidden arts of necromancy. Driven to learn all he could of the magical world and its shadowy wonders, he was frustrated by what he saw as his peers' outmoded and unimaginative precepts. Upon hearing the powerful summons from Northrend, the archmage bent all of his considerable will to communing with the mysterious voice. Convinced that the Kirin Tor was too squeamish to seize the power and knowledge inherent in the dark arts, he vowed to learn what he could from the immensely powerful being named the Lich King.

Approximately five years before the Third War,[16] Antonidas learned that Kel'Thuzad had been experimenting with necromancy by reanimating dead rats. Fearing for the safety and reputation of Dalaran, Antonidas had Kel'Thuzad's properties searched, and all items tainted by dark magic were confiscated and destroyed. Antonidas warned Kel'Thuzad that he would be stripped of his rank and holdings, and exiled from both Dalaran and Lordaeron, if he did not abandon his "madness". Leaving behind his fortune and prestigious political standing, Kel'Thuzad abandoned the ways of the Kirin Tor and left Dalaran forever. Prodded by the Lich King's persistent voice in his mind, he sold his vast holdings and stored away his fortunes. Traveling alone over many leagues of both land and sea, he finally reached the frozen shores of Northrend. Intent on reaching Icecrown and offering his services to the Lich King, the archmage passed through the ravaged, war-torn ruins of Azjol-Nerub. Kel'Thuzad saw firsthand the scope and ferocity of Ner'zhul's power. He began to believe that allying himself with the mysterious Lich King would not only be wise, but potentially fruitful.

Kel'Thuzad met with Anub'arak, who told him of all the power he could wield. Frightened by the horrors that he saw in Naxxramas, Kel'Thuzad teleported out and tried to escape. Unfortunately, he was surrounded by wraiths and was brought back inside.[17]

Kel'Thuzad comes before the Frozen Throne.

After long months of trekking through the harsh arctic wastelands, Kel'Thuzad finally reached the dark glacier of Icecrown. He boldly approached Ner'zhul's dark citadel and was shocked when the silent undead guardsmen let him pass as though he was expected. Kel'Thuzad descended deep into the cold earth and found his way down to the bottom of the glacier. Within the endless cavern of ice and shadows, he prostrated himself before the Frozen Throne and offered his soul to the dark lord of the dead. The Lich King was pleased with his latest conscript. He promised Kel'Thuzad immortality and great power in exchange for his loyalty and obedience. Kel'Thuzad, eager for dark knowledge and power, accepted his first great mission: to go into the world of men and found a new religion that would worship the Lich King as a god.

To help the archmage accomplish his mission, Ner'zhul left Kel'Thuzad's humanity intact. The aged, yet still charismatic wizard was charged with using his powers of illusion and persuasion to lull the downtrodden, disenfranchised masses of Lordaeron into his confidence. Once he had their attention, he would offer them a new vision of what society could be — and a new figurehead to call their king.[18]

Cult of the Damned

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

The necromancer Kel'Thuzad, master of the Cult of the Damned.

Kel'Thuzad returned to Lordaeron in disguise and in the floating dread citadel Naxxramas,[19] and over the span of three years, he used his fortune and intellect to gather a clandestine brotherhood of like-minded men and women. The brotherhood, which he called the Cult of the Damned, promised its acolytes social equality and eternal life on Azeroth in exchange for their service and obedience to Ner'zhul. As the months passed, Kel'Thuzad found many eager volunteers for his new cult amongst the tired, overburdened laborers of Lordaeron. Surprisingly, Kel'Thuzad's goal to pervert the citizens' faith in the Holy Light towards belief in Ner'zhul's dark shadow was easily attained. As the Cult of the Damned grew in size and influence, Kel'Thuzad made sure to keep its workings secret from the authorities of Lordaeron at every turn.[20]

On Caer Darrow, Kel'Thuzad made a deal with the Barov family and some of his cultists moved into the Scholomance.[21] Kel'Thuzad also convinced his friend Baron Rivendare to join the cult.[22]

Compendium of the Fallen

With Kel'Thuzad's success in Lordaeron, the Lich King made the final preparations for his assault against human civilization. Placing his plague energies into a number of portable artifacts called plague cauldrons, Ner'zhul ordered Kel'Thuzad to transport the cauldrons to Lordaeron where they would be hidden within various cult-controlled villages. The cauldrons, protected by the loyal cultists, would then act as plague generators by sending the plague seeping out across the unsuspecting farmlands and cities of northern Lordaeron.

The Lich King's plan worked perfectly. Many of Lordaeron's northern villages were contaminated almost immediately. Just as in Northrend, the citizens who contracted the plague died and arose as the Lich King's willing slaves. The cultists under Kel'Thuzad were eager to die and be raised again in their dark lord's service. They exulted in the prospect of immortality through undeath. As the plague spread, more and more feral zombies arose in the northlands. Kel'Thuzad looked upon the Lich King's growing army and named it the Scourge — for soon, it would march upon the gates of Lordaeron and scour humanity from the face of the world.[23][24]

Scourge of Lordaeron

WC3RoC-logo.png This section concerns content related to Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos or its expansion The Frozen Throne.

The necromancer Kel'Thuzad in Warcraft III.

The necromancer Kel'Thuzad in Warcraft III.

Kel'Thuzad, upon the Lich King's instruction, oversaw the infection of the small town of Brill where he was discovered by Jaina Proudmoore and Prince Arthas. From there he quickly fled and they followed him back to Andorhal, where he told Arthas of Mal'Ganis in Stratholme. Enraged, Arthas hunted Kel'Thuzad down and killed him, but not before Kel'Thuzad told him his death would mean little. But they were not finished yet.

After Arthas had traveled to Northrend, and slain Mal'Ganis with Frostmourne, he returned to Lordaeron and betrayed his kingdom and became a servant of the Lich King. Kel'Thuzad began to appear to him as a ghostly apparition after his protector, Gavinrad the Dire, was slain by Arthas and Kel'Thuzad's remains were reclaimed. He appeared only to Arthas, and told him that he was not to trust the dreadlords, explaining to Arthas that they were the Lich King's jailors, and promised to explain all of the Lich King's plans to Arthas once he walked the earth again in Quel'Thalas.

Kel'Thuzad watched over Arthas as he made the slow procession to the Sunwell in Silvermoon against the stratagems of Sylvanas Windrunner. Eventually, Arthas ravaged his way through the two Elfgates and finally laid siege to Silvermoon itself, breaching through to the fabled Sunwell. Arthas placed Kel'Thuzad's remains within the well, and with the help of Tichondrius, Kel'Thuzad was reborn into the terrifying form of a lich.

The lich Kel'Thuzad in Warcraft III.

Arthas battling the forces of Dalaran while Kel'Thuzad summons the demon lord.

The lich Kel'Thuzad in Warcraft III.

As they traveled to Alterac, Kel'Thuzad explained that the Scourge was merely the harbinger of the Burning Legion, and that he would summon the first of the demons, the eredar warlock Archimonde to the mortal world. After slaying the orcs guarding the Demon Gate, Kel'Thuzad communed with the dark lord who told him that he must go to Dalaran and steal the Book of Medivh.

After Arthas led the attack on Dalaran and killed Antonidas, the book was retrieved and Kel'Thuzad began the lengthy summoning process, with Arthas defending him from the many attacks of Dalaran and the Kirin Tor. When all was complete, Archimonde stepped through the portal and was free to act according to his plans. His first act was to promote Tichondrius to the leader of the Scourge, rendering Arthas and Kel'Thuzad of little use. However, Kel'Thuzad was confident in the Lich King's grand design and disappeared amidst the chaos of Dalaran's destruction. He told Arthas the final part of the Lich King's plan, then teleported him to Kalimdor.

Kel'Thuzad resurfaced as the Legion raked across the Plaguelands, and in the aftermath of the invasion, he remained in the Capital City as one of the Lich King's lieutenants. Arthas had gone to Kalimdor on Ner'zhul's command to find the rogue demon hunter, Illidan, leaving only Kel'Thuzad and the banshee Sylvanas Windrunner remaining in his stead. However, both knew that the Legion was defeated long before the dreadlords who remained in Lordaeron did.

Arthas returned in a fury and chased the dreadlords out of the capital, and Kel'Thuzad was relieved to see him. With the Legion's generals gone, they turned to the human villages who were escaping to the mountain passes. Kel'Thuzad thought that perhaps they would be a fitting sacrifice to the Lich King and led his necromancers into battle against the paladin Magroth the Defender and his men protecting the human refugees. But as they cut a swath through the human forces, Arthas suffered some violent seizures, and Kel'Thuzad considered recalling their forces, but the King forbade it, and they continued on their macabre mission. In the aftermath, Arthas received a vision from Ner'zhul, who told him to return to Northrend. Kel'Thuzad immediately prepared for his departure, but they were abruptly ambushed by the dreadlords, and separated. The dreadlords unleashed their forces against Arthas, but Kel'Thuzad found his own way out of the city.

Kel'Thuzad later came upon Arthas in the clutches of Sylvanas and her wicked banshees. She was about to strike when Kel'Thuzad unleashed his forces against her and her sisters. With the banshees dead, Sylvanas was forced to retreat. Kel'Thuzad escorted Arthas to the shore, where he had prepared a fleet of ships for his departure. Arthas asked Kel'Thuzad, as his most loyal servant and trusted friend, to remain in Lordaeron and ensure that his legacy endured. Kel'Thuzad swore on what was left of his life to carry out that mission at any cost. While Sylvanas and her Forsaken claimed the Tirisfal Glades, Kel'Thuzad returned to the Eastern Plaguelands, which he ruled from the flying necropolis Naxxramas.

Kel'Thuzad created the Four Horsemen, which he considered as his greatest creation,[citation needed]  and served as Kel'Thuzad's guards. Sapphiron also joined the citadel to guard Kel'Thuzad's chamber. In Naxxramas, Kel'Thuzad appointed Razuvious as the trainer of death knights.[25]

Ashbringer

Comics title.png This section concerns content related to the Warcraft manga or comics.

After being manipulated by Saidan Dathrohan (who was possessed by the dreadlord Balnazzar), Renault Mograine betrayed and murdered his father, Alexandros Mograine. Renault slew his father using the Ashbringer - an act of evil that corrupted the sword. Collecting the body and blade, Kel'Thuzad transformed Alexandros into a death knight - the leader of his Four Horsemen.

With assistance from members of the Argent Dawn, Renault's younger brother Darion managed to infiltrate Naxxramas and defeat his undead father. He then fled the necropolis with the Ashbringer. After conferring with Tirion Fordring, Darion learned that his father's soul was trapped in the sword and that only a great act of love could set it free.

When Kel'Thuzad staged an attack on Light's Hope Chapel, Darion ran the Ashbringer through his own heart - sacrificing his life to release his father's soul. An explosion of light destroyed most of the lesser Scourge, but Kel'Thuzad was unaffected. He reanimated Darion as a death knight. While his primary goal had eluded him, he was content to take Darion as his prize, reasoning that the Scourge could always return to Light's Hope.

Shadow of the Necropolis

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

Kel'Thuzad battling adventurers in his sanctum.

In the Lich King's haste to spread the plague of undeath over Azeroth, he gifted Kel'Thuzad, with the flying citadel of Naxxramas, a horrific base of operations for the Scourge. Consistent attacks from the Scarlet Crusade and Argent Dawn factions weakened the defenses of the floating fortress, enabling an incursion that led to Kel'Thuzad's defeat.[26]

Kel'Thuzad sought Atiesh.[27]

During the first Scourge Invasion, the Scourge attacked Stormwind City, which later led to an Alliance counterattack. Bolvar Fordragon recruited Alliance heroes who raided Naxxramas and defeated Kel'Thuzad.[28]

Kel'Thuzad was the last encounter of the dungeon Naxxramas, implemented in the patch 1.11, and was the end game boss of the original game of World of Warcraft. He was ultimately defeated by the players, but does not die. As a lich, he may reform using a magic item known as a phylactery. Had Kel'Thuzad's phylactery been destroyed along with him, Kel'Thuzad would have been defeated forever, but some things do not happen as they should.

The quest N [60R] The Fall of Kel'Thuzad describes how the player, who likely wanted to destroy the phylactery, is manipulated by some mental force to give the phylactery to Father Inigo Montoy in Light's Hope Chapel. Something very unusual was going on there, and the Argent Dawn reported that the phylactery did not reach their hands. A traitor among the ranks of the knightly order of the Argent Dawn absconded with Kel'Thuzad's cursed remains and fled to Northrend, where the fallen lich could be reanimated.[26]

Caverns of Time

Bc icon.gif This section concerns content related to The Burning Crusade.

Within the Old Hillsbrad section of the Caverns of Time, a still-human Kel'Thuzad can be seen conversing with Helcular in Southshore.

Wrath of the Lich King

Wrath of the Lich King This section concerns content related to Wrath of the Lich King.

Kel'Thuzad at the Plains of Nasam.

Commander Eligor Dawnbringer: "The lich, Kel'Thuzad. He serves the Lich King without question, a necromancer of great prowess in life, turned into a master of necromancy after his death. It is said he is the most loyal of the Lich King's subjects. Kel'Thuzad has survived trials that would have long since shattered the souls of even the greatest of the Brotherhood. He readily gave his life at Arthas's hand, later to be brought back - reborn in the power of the Sunwell. In the Plaguelands, Kel'Thuzad was again defeated by the agents of the Argent Dawn. However, his phylactery was delivered to a false agent of the Brotherhood. We have yet to discover who stole his phylactery or why."

Kel'Thuzad once again returned as the final boss of the relocated Naxxramas — now floating above the Carrion Fields in the Dragonblight, besieging Wintergarde Keep. When the phylactery was given to Father Montoy, it was not delivered to the Argent Dawn; his hoarding of the artifact (instead of destroying it or giving it to the Argent Dawn) allowed Kel'Thuzad to regain corporeal form. (Montoy appears to have been rewarded for this effort as he is now a lich himself — known as Thel'zan the Duskbringer — and located within the Wintergarde Mausoleum below Wintergarde Keep, which is currently under siege by Naxxramas.)

In the quest H [10-30] The Plains of Nasam, Horde players are sent to the Plains of Nasam in a siege tank to destroy Scourge forces in the area and rescue injured Warsong Hold troops. They are also called on to identify the leader of the Scourge in the region — Kel'Thuzad himself, who stands upon a dais and is surrounded by Stitched Warsong Horrors, Plague Spreaders, and other Scourge constructs.

In Naxxramas, Kel'Thuzad appointed Baron Rivendare to replace Alexandros as the fourth Horseman.[25] In a manner very similar to how he was originally defeated, the champions of Azeroth stormed the dread citadel and defeated the lich lord once again.

Kel'Thuzad did not have his phylactery on his person during his second defeat, but it was nevertheless destroyed at some point.[29] After his defeat, rumors quickly spread that his soul was lost to the Shadowlands.[30]

Shadowlands

Shadowlands This section concerns content related to Shadowlands.

Kel'Thuzad in the Vault of Souls.

Within the Shadowlands, the Arbiter assigned Kel'Thuzad's soul to the realm of Maldraxxus due to the great ambition he displayed in mortality. However, the broker Ta'lora notes that given Kel'Thuzad's importance to the schemes of the Jailer, it is possible that the Arbiter's judgment was somehow manipulated. It's unclear exactly when Kel'Thuzad started working for the Jailer, but Ta'lora notes that it is plausible that the Jailer was able to peer into the mortal plane and came to see Kel'Thuzad as a means to extend his influence on Azeroth back when he was still a living necromancer.[29] Kel'Thuzad himself later claimed that he had only pretended to serve "false masters" and that he had actually been working to architect Azeroth's end all along.[31]

Upon arriving among the necrolords of Maldraxxus, Kel'Thuzad joined the House of Rituals and rose through the house's ranks at a record pace due to his talent in necromancy and due to secretly receiving stores of anima from fellow servants of the Jailer in Revendreth.[29] He soon became one of the two barons serving under Margrave Sin'dane (the other being Baroness Ninadar). He took the place of Baron Balmedar, whom he then also shut out of the house's dealings.[32] Kel'Thuzad subsequently used his position and influence over Sin'dane, along with Margrave Gharmal of the House of Constructs, to begin turning the houses of Maldraxxus against each other through treachery and deceit in order to further the plans of the Jailer.[29][33][34]

Through his manipulation of Sin'dane and Gharmal, Kel'Thuzad caused the destruction of the House of Plagues in what looked like an accident.[29] Not long thereafter, he orchestrated the downfall of the House of Eyes—specifically the destruction of their necropolis Nurakkir and the death of their leader Margrave Akarek—through his servants in the House of Rituals, namely the liches Mor'Bitan,[35][36] Zelmany,[37] Drava'ora,[38] and Fal'zinge.[39] The baron then convinced Sin'dane and Gharmal to launch a joint invasion of the Temple of Courage in Bastion.[29] The invasion's leader, the lich Nalthor the Rimebinder, stated that his "master" had ordered him to destroy Bastion and harvest the corpses of its kyrian inhabitants for the Maldraxxi armies,[40] but it's not clear if he was referring to Sin'dane or Kel'Thuzad. Via his servant Lady Ouix'Ara, Kel'Thuzad also continued securing anima from Revendreth, now not just for himself but for all of the House of Rituals[41] and House of Constructs.[42] More specifically, the venthyr Tithelord supplied Lady Ouix'Ara and her fellow Kel'Thuzad loyalists at Death's End with anima[43] from Sire Denathrius' stockpiles[44] in return for Maldraxxian weapons.[45][46]

Shortly after the Maw Walkers arrived in Maldraxxus, Kel'Thuzad told Mor'Bitan to personally perform a ritual at the Rotting Mound that would apparently grant him more power as a reward for his assault on the House of Eyes,[35][36][47] but the ritual was sabotaged and Mor'Bitan was killed by Baroness Vashj and the Maw Walkers.[36]

Sire Denathrius later gave Kel'Thuzad—whom he called a "faithful ally"—the Medallion of Dominion, which had previously belonged to Prince Renathal.[48][49] This medallion would allow the baron to take control of countless venthyr and, with enough anima, even manipulate the very fabric of the Shadowlands.[3][49]

The image of Kel'Thuzad mocking his enemies at Death's End.

With the aid of Maw Walkers, Baroness Draka of the Necrolord Covenant and the soul of Kael'thas Sunstrider ultimately discovered Lady Ouix'Ara's operation at Death's End and that Kel'Thuzad was the one responsible for the unrest in Maldraxxus. After Ouix'Ara was killed, an image of Kel'Thuzad appeared to taunt the "meddlers" and invite them to face him in the House of Rituals.[50] Prince Renathal and Baroness Draka proceeded to work together with Maw Walkers to stop the traitorous Tithelord at his manor. Kel'Thuzad personally appeared during the battle, supplying the Tithelord with Maldraxxi troops. However, when the Tithelord told the Arch-Lich to use the Medallion of Dominion to help him defeat the invaders, Kel'Thuzad refused and instead left the Tithelord to die, stating that the venthyr had served his purpose and that he needed to attend to "the next part of the plan".[3]

Kel'Thuzad's attempted ritual to breach the Maw.

Members of the House of Constructs later returned to Maldraxxus with spoils from their raid on Bastion, including Kel'Thuzad's "personal prize"—the kyrian Bearer Thedrin. Along with the Revendreth anima,[41] the baron planned to use the Bearer in a ritual to breach his master's prison: the Maw.[51] Meanwhile, the deposed baron Balmedar allied with the Necrolord Covenant[32] and helped Necrolord Maw Walkers infiltrate the House of Rituals by killing and taking on the appearance of Kel'Thuzad's favorite acolyte, Nelesis,[52][53] which would allow them to learn the Arch-Lich's intentions. Balmedar's invisible oculus continued accompanying the Maw Walkers as they reported to Kel'Thuzad in the Vault of Souls.[54] The Arch-Lich sent his "acolyte" to collect a set of tomes he'd ordered from Baroness Ninadar[55] followed by some ritual reagents from Jor'dan the Powerful.[56] Balmedar had the Maw Walkers bring the ingredients to him instead, but not before the heroes learned from Jor'dan that Kel'Thuzad was awaiting a broker shipment from Oribos containing the last of the reagents.[57] After ambushing the Cartel Ba shipment,[58] the Maw Walkers recovered the reagent in question: a Domination Blade from the Maw.[59] This caused Balmedar to realize what Kel'Thuzad was planning, but since the baron was too powerful to confront directly, the Maw Walkers would instead have to stop his ritual by returning with the now sabotaged reagents. Kel'Thuzad had begun to suspect that there was a traitor in the house's ranks after what happened to the broker caravan, but he was impressed by his "acolyte's" resourcefulness when she presented the Domination Blade to him[51] and asked her to assist him in the final ritual. The sabotaged reagents did cause the ritual to fail when the baron attempted to sacrifice Bearer Thedrin with the Domination Blade, but they also triggered a burst of feedback that shed the heroes' disguise and revealed Balmedar's oculus. Realizing that he had been deceived, Kel'Thuzad had both Balmedar and the heroes captured and imprisoned in the Vault of Souls.[60]

Balmedar and the heroes managed to escape, but before they had a chance to warn Sin'dane of her baron's treachery, Kel'Thuzad personally confronted her and Baroness Ninadar at the entrance to the Hall of Sorcery. Sin'dane told Kel'Thuzad that he could not match her power, but Ninadar suddenly betrayed the margrave by stealing her weapon, the Staff of the Primus, while stating that she was weak and that it was time to anoint a new margrave. Kel'Thuzad proceeded to bind Sin'dane in magical chains and mockingly asked Balmedar and the Maw Walkers if they had come to celebrate his victory. He then summoned his old ally, the dragon Sapphiron, to deal with the interlopers while he departed to the necropolis Exoramas with the captive Sin'dane.[61] With Ninadar's backing, Kel'Thuzad thus took full control of the House of Rituals.[62]

Kel'Thuzad with the Medallion of Dominion and the captive Sin'dane in Exoramas.

After mustering their respective forces, the Necrolord and Venthyr Covenants assaulted the House of Rituals to remove Kel'Thuzad's influence. The Arch-Lich's image taunted both of the invading parties—the former attacking the stronghold's southern walls, the latter teleporting into Exoramas—but the covenants managed to separately reach the Prime Arcanum in the house's center, where Kel'Thuzad and his minions successfully performed a ritual to open a portal to the Maw, summoning a Maw Infernous. Together, the two covenants defeated the creature and pushed on to Exoramas, where Kel'Thuzad was keeping Sin'dane trapped in a block of ice and drawing power from her. The Arch-Lich mocked the gathering, especially Kael'thas, who sought vengeance against the lich for his part in the destruction of Kael's homeland years before. Baroness Draka told Kel'Thuzad to surrender or be destroyed, but he merely replied that the Jailer's plan was unfolding "exactly as intended" and that they would not live to see its completion. Most of the attackers spread out to hold off the lich's skeletal minions while the Maw Walkers focused on weakening the traitorous baron himself so that Balmedar could free Sin'dane with the Staff of the Primus. When he placed the staff in her hand, it allowed her to shatter her icy prison, stunning Kel'Thuzad in the process. She declared that he would answer for his crimes against both Maldraxxus and her. Kael'thas wanted to claim his vengeance by incinerating the lich, but General Draven intervened to grab the Medallion of Dominion from the lich's chest. Before the covenants had a chance to detain the lich, a group of Mawsworn arrived through a portal from the Maw and helped the lich escape to his master's side.[33][63]

Chains of Domination

As the covenants invade the Maw to take the fight directly to the Jailer, Kel'Thuzad directed the Mawsworn in striking back.[64]

The Maw Walkers and their allies later assaulted the Sanctum of Domination, while the Jailer began enacting his plan to steal the final key from the Arbiter. The heroes fought their way through his minions, eventually confronting Kel'Thuzad at the apex of the soul river. With all his schemes and manipulations coming to a head, Kel'Thuzad vowed that death would answer to nobody but him, and that he would have his vengeance on the mortal champions who foiled all his plans. During the ensuing battle, the Maw Walkers destroyed Kel'Thuzad's phylactery. With true death finally approaching the lich, Kel'Thuzad unleashed his full power and the armies of the dead in a futile last stand. Kel'Thuzad would be struck down for the last time, his dying words expressing his disbelief that death did not answer to him.[65]

Locations

Notable appearances
Location Level range Health range
Kel'Thuzad (Classic) ?? 3,150,000
Old Hillsbrad Foothills 55 2,555
Borean Tundra ?? 6,693,600
Dragonblight ?? 13,945
Kel'Thuzad (tactics) ??
105,660,600
2514,660,000
Maldraxxus ?? ??

Abilities

Naxxramas
Main articles: Kel'Thuzad (Classic), Kel'Thuzad (tactics)
During N [60] The Medallion of Dominion / N [60] The Third Fall of Kel'Thuzad
  • Ability creature cursed 03.png  Death and Decay — Inflicts Shadow damage on impact and leaves behind a necromantic pool that inflicts Shadow damage every 1 sec as long as enemies remain within it. 
  • Spell frost frostblast.png  Frost Blast — Conjures a frost orb and hurls it at an enemy, Inflicting Frost damage and rooting targets it collides with for 6 sec. 
  • Ability deathknight pillaroffrost.png  Glacial Spike — Summons a Glacial Spike at the enemy's destination, inflicting Frost damage to enemies within 6 yards and knocking them back. Once summoned, the Glacial Spike will death grip enemies greater than 10 yards away before it explodes, inflicting Frost damage to enemies within 7 yards. 
  • Spell warlock soulburn.png  Soul Fissure — The ground under the current enemy target explodes, inflicting Shadow damage to enemies within the impact. 
Sanctum of Domination
Main article: Kel'Thuzad (Sanctum of Domination tactics)

Quests

The House of Rituals
  1. N [60] The Pupil Returns Activequest
  2. N [60] The Baron's Plan AvailablequestActivequest
  3. N [60] Mistress of Tomes Availablequest
  4. N [60] Cantrip Collections and N [60] Errant Enchantments
  5. N [60] The Hall of Tomes Activequest
  6. N [60] Necessary Ingredients Availablequest
  1. N [60] Designed to Fail Activequest
  2. N [60] Caught in the Act Availablequest
Objective of

Quotes

Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos

WC3RoC-logo.png This section concerns content related to Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos or its expansion The Frozen Throne.
For unit quotes, see Quotes of Warcraft III/Undead Scourge#Kel'Thuzad.
  • "We have been discovered, my brothers! Flee and continue with the operation!
  • "I'm sorry I can't stay and chat, but...duty calls."
  • "Hello again children. I am Kel'thuzad and I've come to deliver a warning. Leave well enough alone. Your curiosity will be the death of you."
  • "Naive fool. My death will make little difference in the long run. For, now, the scourging of this land... begins."
  • "Tell him nothing! Only you can hear me. The dreadlords cannot be trusted. They are the Lich King's jailors! I will tell you all...when I walk this earth again."
  • "I am reborn, as promised! The Lich King has granted me eternal life!"
  • Arthas: So. You're not upset about me killing you that one time?
Kel'Thuzad: Don't be foolish. The Lich King told me how our encounter would end.
Arthas: The Lich King knew that I would kill you?
Kel'Thuzad: Of course. He chose you to be his champion long before the Scourge even began.
Arthas: If he's so all-knowing, then how can the Dreadlords control him like they do?
Kel'Thuzad: They are agents of the ones who created our master: The fiery lords of the Burning Legion.
Arthas: What is this Legion?
Kel'Thuzad: It is a vast, demonic army that has consumed countless worlds beyond our own. Now, it comes to set this world to the flame. Our master was created to pave the way for its arrival. The dreadlords were sent to make sure that he succeeded.
Arthas: So the plague in Lordaeron, the citadels of Northrend, the slaughtering of the elves... It was all just to prepare for some huge demonic invasion?
Kel'Thuzad: Yes. In time, you will find that our entire history has been shaped by the coming conflict. Now come; we have much work to do.

Kel'Thuzad uses the Demon Gate to contact Archimonde.

Kel'Thuzad: I call upon thee, Archimonde! Your humble servant seeks an audience!
Archimonde: You called my name, puny lich, and I have come. You are Kel'Thuzad, are you not?
Kel'Thuzad: Yes, great one. I am the summoner.
Archimonde: Very well, then. There is a special tome you must find... the only remaining spellbook of Medivh, the Last Guardian. Only his lost incantations are powerful enough to bring me into your world.
Kel'Thuzad: Where should we search for it, great one?
Archimonde: Seek out the mortal city of Dalaran. It is that the tome is kept. At twilight, three days from now, you will begin the summoning.
  • Arthas: The circle of power has been prepared per your instructions, lich. Are you ready to begin the summoning?
Kel'Thuzad: Nearly. I've been reading through Medivh's spellbook. His knowledge on demons alone is staggering. I suspect that he was far more powerful than anyone ever realized.
Tichondrius: Not powerful enough to escape death, that is for certain. Suffice to say, the work he began, we will finish... today. Let the summoning commence!
  • Kel'Thuzad: Come forth, Lord Archimonde! Enter this world and let us bask in your power!
The center begins to burn, and several flames around it shoot up as Archimonde appears.
Archimonde: Tremble, mortals, and despair! Doom has come to this world!
Archimonde turns around, facing Kel'Thuzad.
Archimonde: You have done well, little lich. My plan worked perfectly.
Another green teleportation effect appears close to the center, and Tichondrius appears.
Tichondrius: Lord Archimonde, all the preparations have been made.
Archimonde: Very well, Tichondrius. Since the Lich King is of no further use to me, you dreadlords will now command the Scourge.
Tichondrius: As you wish, Lord Archimonde.
Archimonde: Soon, I will order the invasion to begin. But first, I will make an example of these paltry wizards... by crushing their city into the ashes of history.
Archimonde makes a flash of magic with his hand, as if to emphasize his point, and runs away. Tichondrius follows him.
Arthas: This has got to be a joke! What happens to us now?
Kel'Thuzad: Be patient, young death knight. The Lich King foresaw this as well. You may yet have a part to play in his grand design.

Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne

WC3RoC-logo.png This section concerns content related to Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos or its expansion The Frozen Throne.
Kel'Thuzad: Back, you mindless ones! You shall not fall today, my king.
Kel'Thuzad and his magi destroy Sylvanas's banshees.
Sylvanas Windrunner: This isn't over, Arthas! I'll never stop hunting you!
Kel'Thuzad leads Arthas to the shore.
Kel'Thuzad: The effects of her arrow will wear off in time. All the preparations for your journey to Northrend have been made.
King Arthas: You have been a loyal friend, Kel'Thuzad. I don't know what the future holds, or if I'll even return, but I want you to watch over this land. See to it that my legacy endures.
Kel'Thuzad: I shall, King Arthas, I shall.

Road to Damnation

WoW-novel-logo-16x62.png This section concerns content related to the Warcraft novels, novellas, or short stories.
"Peasants remember the Second War just as well as we do. Say what you like about the orcs; their warlocks wielded great power. Power against which we had precious little defense. We have an obligation: we must learn to wield and counter these magics ourselves."[17]
"We've been called heretics for centuries. The church has never been fond of our methods. Such sentiments notwithstanding, we are still here."[17]

World of Warcraft

WoW Icon update.png This section concerns content related to the original World of Warcraft.
Main article: Shadow of the Necropolis trailer#Transcript
Main article: Maexxna (Classic)#Quotes
Main article: Thaddius (Classic)#Quotes
Main article: Loatheb (Classic)#Quotes
Main article: Four Horsemen (Classic)#Quotes
Main article: Sapphiron (Classic)#Quotes
Main article: Kel'Thuzad (Classic)#Quotes

The Burning Crusade

Bc icon.gif This section concerns content related to The Burning Crusade.

Conversation with Helcular

Kel'Thuzad appears in human form along with Helcular in the Old Hillsbrad Foothills wing of the Caverns of Time. He patrols between the main road through Hillsbrad and Southshore. At some point he stops and converses with Helcular:

Kel'Thuzad says: Keep your voice down, Helcular. Strangers abound...
Helcular nods.
Helcular says: So you can teach me this...this...
Kel'Thuzad says: Necromancy. It is called necromancy. And yes, I have it within my power to bless you with this gift.
Helcular says: And the Kirin Tor? What have they to say of necromancy?
Kel'Thuzad says: That is none of your concern, Helcular, as you are neither Kirin Tor nor a necromancer.
Kel'Thuzad says: But to be perfectly frank, I do not give a damn what the Kirin Tor think! They are fools, set in their archaic ways.
Helcular says: Then teach me, Kel'Thuzad. Teach me everything you know...
Kel'Thuzad nods.
Kel'Thuzad says: In due time, Helcular... All in due time...
If the pair encounter the Captured Critter that has been killed by the children Sally Whitemane and Renault Mograine then Kel'Thuzad continues.
Kel'Thuzad says: Come, Helcular, let me give you a small taste...
Kel'Thuzad utters some unintelligible words.
The critter is brought back to life.
Kel'Thuzad says: Now do you see, Helcular? Do you doubt the power? I control life!
Kel'Thuzad says: And death...
The critter dies again.
Kel'Thuzad says: I'm still working out some minor details...

He is still seen wearing the robes of the Kirin Tor, but due to the nature of the conversation, it is presumed that he has already joined the Lich King, or was in the process of doing so.

Wrath of the Lich King

Wrath of the Lich King This section concerns content related to Wrath of the Lich King.
Main article: Maexxna#Quotes
Main article: Thaddius#Quotes
Main article: Loatheb#Quotes
Main article: Four Horsemen (tactics)#Quotes
Main article: Sapphiron (tactics)#Quotes
Main article: Kel'Thuzad (tactics)#Quotes
Periodically at the Plains of Nasam
Kel'Thuzad cackles maniacally.

Shadowlands

Shadowlands This section concerns content related to Shadowlands.

Dialogue

Main article: It's Treason, Then#Notes
Main article: The Tithelord (quest)#Notes
Main article: The Baron's Plan#Notes
Main article: Designed to Fail#Notes
Main article: Caught in the Act#Notes
Main article: The Traitor Unmasked#Notes
Main articles: The Medallion of Dominion#Notes, The Third Fall of Kel'Thuzad#Notes

On-click

Greeting
  • Well, what is it?
  • You had better not be wasting my time.
  • You may now address your master.
Irritated
Farewell
  • All proceeds according to plan.
  • Death's victory draws nigh.
  • Obey the will of Kel'Thuzad.

Gossip

Vault of Souls, while the player is wearing Illusory Guise
Prepare well, Nelesis, for the hour of our triumph is soon at hand.
If the player has a melee weapon equipped
That is certainly an interesting armament you carry, acolyte.
I trust you're not contemplating a change in vocation?

Other

In the RPG

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

He is perhaps the second most powerful undead entity in the world.[68] Kel'Thuzad called Linnena Hallow to be by his side as he sowed the undead plague through Stratholme.[69] The Rod of Undead Mastery was given to Sylvanas Windrunner by Kel'Thuzad to aid her in her duties when she was part of the Scourge.[70]

Alternate timeline

A version of Kel'Thuzad exists in a timeway where history turned out completely different and which was entered by Thrall during the Cataclysm era.[71]

In Hearthstone

Hearthstone This section contains information exclusive to Hearthstone and is considered non-canon.
  • Kel'Thuzad is the primary antagonist, narrator and final boss of the Curse of Naxxramas adventure in Hearthstone. Defeating every boss in the adventure, including the lich himself, awards him as a legendary card. His flavor text reads: "Kel'Thuzad could not resist the call of the Lich King. Even when it's just a robo-call extolling the Lich King's virtues."
  • Kel'Thuzad's living self appears in the Scholomance Academy expansion, as a legendary neutral minion known as Headmaster Kel'Thuzad. In this expansion, he runs Scholomance as the headmaster of the school alongside the dungeon's bosses as faculty members. His flavor text reads: "You wish to know my secrets, hmm? I carry a little bits of tuna in the sleeves of my robe, he loves that. Oh, you meant the risen dead? That was trivial, trivial."
    • Before the expansion's release, Kel'Thuzad was purchasable as a promotional mage hero. His flavor text reads: From Archmage to Archlich, Kel'Thuzad defies convention. Conventions like, "staying alive" or "being nice."

Notes and trivia

Speculation

Questionmark-medium.png
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.

As Chronicles mention that his soul did not return to his phylactery after his defeat in Naxxramas, and as he appears in the Shadowlands when next encountered, it could be that a kyrian intervened by breaking their rules. N [60WQ] Limbo indicates it is a kyrian's duty to return a lich's soul back to their phylactery and not take them to the Shadowlands so long as the phylactery remains intact, something that did not occur here.

Gallery

TCG
Hearthstone
Heroes of the Storm

Fan art

Videos

See also

References

 
  1. ^  [Champion: Rottgut]
  2. ^  [Wand of the Archlich]
  3. ^ a b c N [60] The Tithelord
  4. ^ a b  [Lil' Phylactery]
  5. ^ Cult Master Kel'Thuzad
  6. ^ World of Warcraft: Game Manual
  7. ^ Shadow of the Necropolis trailer
  8. ^ Kel'Thuzad and the Forming of the Scourge
  9. ^ The Scourge of Lordaeron (History of Warcraft)
  10. ^ Tides of Darkness, pg. 105-106
  11. ^ Cycle of Hatred, chapter 8
  12. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 3, pg. 29-30
  13. ^ Warcraft III Artwork: Kel'Thuzad
  14. ^ Naxxramas, the Floating Necropolis
  15. ^ 2017-09-05, KEL'THUZAD ENTERS THE NEXUS!. Blizzard Entertainment, retrieved on 2017-09-12
  16. ^ Arthas: Rise of the Lich King, chapter 9
  17. ^ a b c Road to Damnation
  18. ^ Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos manual, pg. 97-98
  19. ^ Ultimate Visual Guide, pg. 192
  20. ^ Kel'Thuzad and the Forming of the Scourge
  21. ^ Eva Sarkhoff
  22. ^ Ultimate Visual Guide, pg. 169
  23. ^  [Compendium of the Fallen]
  24. ^ Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos manual, pg. 98
  25. ^ a b Eligor Dawnbringer#Dragonblight
  26. ^ a b Shadow of the Necropolis
  27. ^ N [60R] Atiesh, the Befouled Greatstaff
  28. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 3
  29. ^ a b c d e f World of Warcraft: Grimoire of the Shadowlands and Beyond, pg. 142 - 143
  30. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 3, pg. 175
  31. ^ Kel'Thuzad (Sanctum of Domination tactics)#Quotes
  32. ^ a b N [60] The Wayward Baron
  33. ^ a b N [60] The Third Fall of Kel'Thuzad
  34. ^ N [60] Grave Intent: Margrave Gharmal says: Our new allies have granted us power beyond imagining. Sin'dane's new baron spoke true!
  35. ^ a b N [52] War is Deception: Mor'Bitan says: Our new baron bids that I complete the ritual personally. Harvest the anima before my arrival. Do not fail me, Mephiles!
  36. ^ a b c N [52] Straight to the Heart
  37. ^ N [60] You Cannot Run
  38. ^ N [60] You Cannot Hide
  39. ^ N [60] You Can Only Die
  40. ^ N [52] Now or Never
  41. ^ a b N [60] The Baron's Plan
  42. ^ N [60] An Abominable Discovery
  43. ^ N [60] Reconnaissance... for my, uh, Recovery
  44. ^ N [60] You're Dead To Me
  45. ^ N [60] There's Always a Paper Trail
  46. ^  [Orders from the Tithelord]
  47. ^ N [52] Tainted Cores
  48. ^ N [58] The Authority of Revendreth: Sire Denathrius says: Bring the Accuser to me and her medallion shall be yours. The Prince's is already promised to another faithful ally.
  49. ^ a b Renathal's Notes
  50. ^ N [60] It's Treason, Then
  51. ^ a b N [60] Designed to Fail
  52. ^ N [60] Playing Favorites
  53. ^ N [60] A Fitting Guise
  54. ^ N [60] The Pupil Returns
  55. ^ N [60] Mistress of Tomes
  56. ^ N [60] Necessary Ingredients
  57. ^ N [60] The Final Reagent
  58. ^ N [60] Explosive Schemes
  59. ^ N [60] No Crate Unturned
  60. ^ N [60] Caught in the Act
  61. ^ N [60] The Traitor Unmasked
  62. ^ N [60] The Better Part of Valor
  63. ^ N [60] The Medallion of Dominion
  64. ^ Tormentors of Torghast
  65. ^ Shape the Fate of the Shadowlands in Chains of Domination
  66. ^ Lil' K.T. mail sent to player
  67. ^ World of Warcraft Trading Card Game: Scourgewar. Blizzard Entertainment. 21: Kel'Thuzad.
  68. ^ Manual of Monsters, pg. 182
  69. ^ Lands of Mystery, pg. 190
  70. ^ Manual of Monsters, pg. 173
  71. ^ Thrall: Twilight of the Aspects
  72. ^  [Champion: Rottgut]
  73. ^ Heroes and Villains
  74. ^ Bronjahm#Adventure Guide
  75. ^ N [43D] The Lich, Ras Frostwhisper
  76. ^ Naxxramas, the Floating Necropolis
  77. ^ Scourged Whelpling
  78. ^ Michael McConnohie on IMDb (2009-04-01). Archived from the original on 2011-05-08.​ “Actually, you're both right. They did recycle a lot of what I did as Kel'Thuzad from Warcraft III, but when they came back full circle and started using me as the Lich King again, they thought the voices of these two were far too similar. As I understand it, they re-voiced my KT dialogue to put some distance between the characters, being concerned they might "confuse the players."
  79. ^ Resurrecting Kel’Thuzad: The Lich Comes to Life – Heroes of the Storm. YouTube (2017-09-05). Retrieved on 2020-12-26.
  80. ^ Sean Copeland on Twitter (2014-07-18)
  81. ^ Nyorloth Twitter Post
  82. ^ Kel'Thuzad (Sanctum of Domination tactics)#Quotes
  83. ^ N [60] The Jailer's Grasp

External links

Preceded by:
None
Position:
Headmaster of the Scholomance
Succeeded by:
Araj the Summoner
Preceded by:
Magistrate Barthilas
Position:
Ruler of Stratholme
Succeeded by:
Baron Rivendare
Advertisement