This article is about the floating undead citadels. For the temple of Bwonsamdi, see Necropolis (Nazmir). For the Warcraft III buildings, see Necropolis (Warcraft III). For the Nazmir quest, see H [20-50] The Necropolis.

The Zerekriss, a Necrolord necropolis.

The necropoli (also pluralized as necropolises) are large floating structures used by the Necrolords and the Scourge to transport troops and lead assaults.


Multiple necropoli over Maldraxxus.

Each of the five Necrolord houses of Maldraxxus possess at least one necropolis. Several of the structures appear to serve as the personal command centers of the houses' margraves, such as Margrave Krexus' Vortrexxis.[1] Operating a Maldraxxi necropolis requires a well-coordinated crew,[2] including a helmsman who must pilot the structure using a particular kind of magic,[3] as well as a mechanic to repair it and keep it airborne.[4]

The Primus was personally involved in the design of at least one necropolis, the Zerekriss, which he shaped with his bare hands.[5] Prior to his disappearance, he maintained a network of portals that linked the necropoli of Maldraxxus directly to the Seat of the Primus. The anima drought and the recent destruction of many of the necropoli have rendered those connections inactive, however.[6]



Naxxramas over the Dragonblight.

Inspired by the nerubians' distinctive architectural style after the War of the Spider,[7] Obrahiim, the Traveler conceived the necropolises known as Naxxramas and Acherus: The Ebon Hold for the Scourge.[8] Necropolises can be summoned by acolytes and serve as the central command structures of the Scourge army. Even when unattended, the vengeful spirits of the dead protect the necropolis from enemy attackers. As the presence of the undead in the living world grows stronger, necropolises can be further modified into halls of the dead and finally into black citadels, giving the Scourge the power to raise more ancient structures and operate more efficiently.[9]

During the Scourge Invasion, multiple necropolises appeared in the skies of Azeroth, transmitting communications and other assistance to the Scourge's ground forces.[10] While the Forsaken dealt with curing the plague, the Church of the Holy Light pledged itself to destroy the necropolises.[11] Using the concentration of Light energy from the naaru of Shattrath City and the shared benedictions from its faithful, the Church created holy artifacts able to strike down the flying structures.[12]

World of Warcraft

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

In World of Warcraft, generic types could be seen during the Scourge Invasion, and the mighty Naxxramas could be found in the Eastern Plaguelands.

Wrath of the Lich King

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

Malykriss: The Vile Hold.

The necropolis of Acherus: The Ebon Hold was used to train new death knights and lead the assault against the Scarlet Enclave. It was stated to be even more powerful than Naxxramas.[13] However, Acherus was taken from the Lich King by the Knights of the Ebon Blade.

Meanwhile, Naxxramas moved to the Dragonblight, in Northrend, where many other necropoli can be found, notably in the Borean Tundra and Zul'Drak. The Scourge had also begun construction of Malykriss: The Vile Hold in Icecrown, as a replacement to Acherus. Being made entirely of saronite, it would have been even more difficult to destroy, but its construction was interrupted before completion.[14]


Notes and trivia

  • It was originally stated that the first necropolises were of nerubian origin and stolen by Lich King's forces.[15] This was retconned into the Scourge building the necropolises after being inspired by nerubian architecture.[8]
  • While the plural form of the Greek word "necropolis" is "necropoleis", Blizzard uses "necropoli"[6][16][17][18] and "necropolises".[19][17]
  • In Warcraft III, a Necropolis could be upgraded into a Halls of the Dead, which in turn could be upgraded into a Black Citadel. These types don't exist in World of Warcraft.
  • The Undercity was originally called "Necropolis" in the early development of World of Warcraft.[20][21][22]
    • The city's design reflects this, as its circular layout with four distinct quadrants is reminiscent of Naxxramas and Acherus.
    • The quest H [10] Delivery to Silverpine Forest still mentions the Necropolis instead of Undercity. Given the quest's ID range, the quest text is a remnant from the alpha.
    • Before the Storm refers to the Undercity as a "subterranean necropolis".[23]