- This article is about the Warcraft III mission. For other uses, see Culling of Stratholme (disambiguation).
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The Culling is Chapter Six of The Scourge of Lordaeron.
It was the slaughter of a large portion of the civilian population of Stratholme at the hands of Prince Arthas, who sought to prevent the spread of the Plague of Undeath at any cost necessary. This event also marked the (temporary) disbanding of the Silver Hand, as Uther the Lightbringer refused to follow the order of executing civilians. More importantly, the event marked Prince Arthas's first major step to becoming a death knight by slaughtering his own people.
Early the next morning, on the outskirts of Stratholme...
Stratholme has a unique map, with Arthas attacking the city from the north. It notably contains a zoo.
The map is way more similar to its World of Warcraft incarnation, with several modern landmarks like the gates of the city, the Bastion of the Silver Hand, Market Row, and Alonsus Chapel. By extension, the city's architecture has been redesigned to better suit the style of the Alliance—the orca statues and Grecian-styled columns have been removed. However, these assets will remain available in the map editor. Other differences include:
- Salramm the Fleshcrafter and Meathook show up when destroying some buildings.
- There are a few orcish grunts and troll headhunters as a creep camp labeled "Lost Patrol".
- When Arthas approaches the castle situated at the same approximate area as the future Scarlet Bastion, Stratholme militiamen wearing red leave the building and attack him.
BlizzCon 2018 difficulty selection screen.
- villagers (males and females) Countless unnamed
- Destroy plagued villager houses
- Kill 100 zombies
- Stop Mal'Ganis from claiming 100 zombies
Mal'Ganis seeks to turn Stratholme's citizens into his Undead slaves. If he is successful, his armies will be unstoppable. You must destroy their homes and put the plagued wretches out of their misery before Mal'Ganis can claim their souls.
- Uther, Jaina, and the Knights of the Silver Hand arrive at Arthas' base outside Stratholme.
- Arthas: Glad you could make it, Uther.
- Uther the Lightbringer: Watch your tone with me, boy. You may be the prince, but I'm still your superior as a paladin!
- Arthas: As if I could forget. Listen, Uther, there's something about the plague you should know...
- Arthas: Oh, no. We're too late. These people have all been infected! They may look fine now, but it's just a matter of time before they turn into the undead!
- Uther the Lightbringer: What?
- Arthas: This entire city must be purged.
- Uther the Lightbringer: How can you even consider that? There's got to be some other way.
- Arthas: Damn it, Uther! As your future king, I order you to purge this city!
- Uther the Lightbringer: You are not my king yet, boy! Nor would I obey that command even if you were!
- Arthas: Then I must consider this an act of treason.
- Uther the Lightbringer: Treason? Have you lost your mind, Arthas?
- Arthas: Have I? Lord Uther, by my right of succession and the sovereignty of my crown, I hereby relieve you of your command and suspend your paladins from service.
- Jaina Proudmoore: Arthas! You can't just--
- Arthas: It's done! Those of you who have the will to save this land, follow me! The rest of you... get out of my sight!
- The knights depart.
- Uther the Lightbringer: You've just crossed a terrible threshold, Arthas.
- Uther and Jaina begin to take their leave.
- Arthas: Jaina?
- Jaina stops for a moment, without turning around.
- Jaina Proudmoore: I'm sorry, Arthas. I can't watch you do this.
- Jaina leaves.
During the Mission
- Arthas: Father, forgive me for what I must do.
- Mal'Ganis teleports into Stratholme, flanked by two Ghouls.
- Mal'Ganis: I've been waiting for you, young prince. I am Mal'Ganis.
- Mal'Ganis and the Ghouls destroy a nearby building and begin transforming its denizens into Zombies.
- Mal'Ganis: As you can see, your people are now mine. I will now turn this city household by household, until the flame of life has been snuffed out... forever.
- Arthas: I won't allow it, Mal'Ganis! Better that these people die by my hand than serve as your slaves in death!
- senile father and await the end of your reign. Necromancer: Go sniff somewhere else, pup. You best draw back to your
- Mal'Ganis: I live once more!
- Arthas: We're going to finish this right now, Mal'Ganis. Just you and me.
- Mal'Ganis: Brave words. Unfortunately for you, it won't end here. Your journey has just begun, young prince.
- Northrend. It is there that we shall settle the score between us. It is there that your true destiny will unfold. Mal'Ganis: Gather your forces and meet me in the arctic land of
- Mal'Ganis teleports away.
- Arthas: I'll hunt you to the ends of the earth if I have to! Do you hear me? To the ends of the earth!
- Mal'Ganis: Obviously... you are not as strong as the Dark Lord believed. Now, feel the wrath of the Scourge, as you drown under the flood of the living dead!
- Peasant: The roof is collapsing! Run!
- Peasant: What did we do to you?
- Peasant: You're suppose to be our prince!
- Peasant: You're suppose to be the Defender of Lordaeron!
- Peasant: The King's men are attacking! Run for your lives!
- Peasant: The walls are falling in! Get out!
- Peasant: What have you done? What's going on?
- Peasant: Mercy, milord!
- Peasant: What have you done!?
- Population of Stratholme
- Originally children were meant to come out of buildings and be killable objectives for the mission, in addition to men and women. Several sound files of villagers panicking and begging for mercy are installed but unused. These were both deemed too disturbing and their triggers were turned off.
- By hacking into the game, the triggers can be simply turned on.
- Villagers do not attack before turning into undead to give the player the moral choice of waiting for them to turn first or killing them before they become a threat. This also forces the player to directly kill villagers if they choose to.
- The map editor shows unused regions around the fountains in the city called Way Gates, suggesting the map could've been originally intended to be navigated with teleporting points.
- In Battle of Azeroth, Lady Katherine Proudmoore sees this in a vision at Thros, when she finds Jaina in which Jaina thought that "We should have stopped him. He never would have turned. He'd still be alive."
Caverns of Time
- ^ Game Informer #308: Reforging Real-time Strategy
- ^ a b c Warcraft III - Design Insights Highlights 01: Human Campaign
- ^ Abelhawk, Warcraft III Easter Eggs 1: The Scourge of Lordaeron