Trudging through the Ashes
Location Vandermar Village
Result Scourge victory



Alliance of Lordaeron

  • Local Populace
  • Town Guard
Commanders and leaders



Alliance of Lordaeron

  • Unknown
Casualties and losses


  • Light

Alliance of Lordaeron

  • Heavy
Next Digging up the Dead
This article contains lore taken from Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne, the manuals, and/or official bonus maps.

Trudging through the Ashes is chapter 1 of Path of the Damned.

Loading screen

The Lich King's plague of undeath has spread through the Capital City and into the outskirts of Lordaeron. Shocked and disheartened by the loss of their beloved king, the forces of Lordaeron were scattered by the ravenous undead warriors. Now, Lordaeron is but a shadow of its former glory - and Prince Arthas has yet to be seen...




Map as seen in Reign of Chaos


Main Quests

Availablequest BTNAcolyte.png Rescue Acolytes

  • Rescue 20 Acolytes
  • Arthas must survive

The Acolytes of the Cult of the Damned are hiding amongst the local populace disguised as simple villagers. You must rescue them and be careful not to alert the local guards to your presence.

Optional Quests

Availablequest BTNGraveYard.png Find the Graveyard

  • Bring Arthas to the Graveyard
  • Arthas must survive

The newly dead await you in the local cemetery. You need only approach and call out to them, and they will serve as your loyal warriors in the Lich King's name.



Arthas, riding Invincible, appears at a graveyard.
IconSmall ArthasDK.gif Arthas: What trickery is this?
The death knight notices Tichondrius standing atop a nearby hill.
IconSmall ArthasDK.gif Arthas: Mal'Ganis! I don't know how you survived, but I will--
IconSmall Nathrezim2.gif Tichondrius: Calm yourself, Prince Arthas. I am Tichondrius. Like Mal'Ganis, I am a dreadlord, but I am not your enemy. In truth, I've come to congratulate you.
IconSmall ArthasDK.gif Arthas: Congratulate me?
IconSmall Nathrezim2.gif Tichondrius: By killing your own father and delivering this land to the Scourge, you have passed your first test. The Lich King is pleased with your... enthusiasm.
IconSmall ArthasDK.gif Arthas: Yes. I've damned everyone and everything I've ever loved in his name, and I still feel no remorse. No shame. No pity.
IconSmall Nathrezim2.gif Tichondrius: The runeblade that you carry was forged by the Lich King and empowered to steal souls. Yours was the first one it claimed.
IconSmall ArthasDK.gif Arthas: Then I'll make do without one. What is the Lich King's will?
IconSmall Nathrezim2.gif Tichondrius: The Cult of the Damned must be rallied once again. Many of the acolytes have been in hiding amongst the populace. Once you've rallied them, I will give you further instructions.

During the Mission

BTNAcolyte.png Acolyte: Greetings, great lord. Our master, Kel'Thuzad, told us that you would come.
IconSmall ArthasDK.gif Arthas: Kel'Thuzad? How could he have known that--
BTNAcolyte.png Acolyte: Be wary. If the townsfolk see your undead minions, they'll call the local guards to stop you.
  • BTNFootman.png Footman: Prince Arthas? Arm yourselves!
  • BTNAcolyte.png Acolyte: Seek out the local graveyards. Those buried there will serve you well.
  • BTNKnight.png Knight: How could you murder your own father?
  • BTNFootman.png Footman: You bastard!
  • BTNKnight.png Knight: You've betrayed us all!
  • BTNKnight.png Knight: You should burn in hell!
  • BTNFootman.png Footman: Kill them all!
  • BTNAcolyte.png Acolyte: I live only to serve, great lord.
IconSmall ArthasDK.gif Arthas: I cannot afford to lose any more acolytes.

Optional Quest

IconSmall ArthasDK.gif Arthas: I'm in luck. These graves were dug recently.
IconSmall ArthasDK.gif Arthas: Arise in the name of the Lich King.

Mission Complete

IconSmall Nathrezim2.gif Tichondrius: Well done, death knight. The Cult is nearly assembled.
IconSmall ArthasDK.gif Arthas: Lordaeron lies in ashes. What good are these cultists to us now?
IconSmall Nathrezim2.gif Tichondrius: They will aid you in your next undertaking.
IconSmall ArthasDK.gif Arthas: And what's that?
IconSmall Nathrezim2.gif Tichondrius: You will go to Andorhal and recover the remains of the acolytes' former master, the necromancer, Kel'Thuzad.


Alliance of Lordaeron


  • The villagers Robert and Tyler are a references to the movie Fight Club.
  • During the early release of Reforged, children were made invulnerable during the story campaigns. This created a design flaw in this stage that prevented the player from stopping any child from warning the guards of Arthas's forces. This issue was later patched.