Battle for the Undercity

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For the quests during which this battle happens, see A [74] The Battle For The Undercity and H [74] The Battle For The Undercity.
Previous: Battle of Angrathar the Wrathgate
Next: Gunship Battle
Wrath of the Lich King The Battle for the Undercity
Conflict: War against the Lich King
Place: Undercity
Outcome: Reclamation of the Undercity by the Forsaken
Declaration of war between Alliance and Horde
Commanders and leaders
Casualties and losses
  • Light
  • Light
  • Annihilated


Shortly after the battle for Angrathar the Wrathgate begins and Dranosh Saurfang is slain by the Lich King, Grand Apothecary Putress appears on a cliff overlooking the battlefield and uses Forsaken catapults to unleash the newly developed plague on the unsuspecting forces gathered below. The losses on all sides are great, and perhaps the greatest loss is the death of the Alliance hero Highlord Bolvar Fordragon.

Soon after, it is revealed that Putress and several members of the Royal Apothecary Society had sided with Varimathras, who had secretly remained loyal to his nathrezim brothers and the Burning Legion while serving under Sylvanas Windrunner. Together, the two had orchestrated a coup d'état and forcefully taken control of the Undercity, nearly killing Sylvanas in the process.

Battle for the Undercity


Determined not to allow the dreadlords a foothold in Horde territory, Thrall and Sylvanas planned an immediate counter-attack.[1] In the midst of their planning, Jaina Proudmoore arrived bearing terrible news: in the wake of Bolvar Fordragon's death, King Varian was preparing for a possible war with the Horde. Thrall assured Jaina that the Horde had no official interest in war unless provoked and that he would ensure that justice would be done.

After informing the Alliance diplomats that the Horde was not responsible for Grand Apothecary Putress' treachery and that only the Lich King would gain if the Horde and Alliance were to fight one another, Thrall along with Sylvanas and Vol'jin led the assault into Undercity itself to reclaim it for the Horde. After fighting the Forsaken rebels and the demons within, the combined might of the Horde slew the traitorous demon Varimathras.


After receiving word of Bolvar's death, Varian was overwhelmed with anger and sorrow, having considered Bolvar a brother ruling his kingdom and raising his son for years. He sent Jaina Proudmoore to Orgrimmar to discover the reason for the Horde's betrayal, which he deemed an act of treason and demanded retribution for his friend's death. Jaina returned and informed Varian that Varimathras and the Royal Apothecary Society had betrayed them all and the Horde no longer controlled Undercity. Having already ordered an assault on Undercity while Jaina was away, King Varian deemed that not only was it the perfect time to bring Bolvar's murderer, Grand Apothecary Putress, to justice, but to also retake Lordaeron for the Alliance as well.

Varian and Jaina gathered the Alliance army and attacked Undercity, hoping to reclaim it as Lordaeron for the Alliance and bring Putress to justice. When entering Undercity, Varian becomes disgusted by the condition of the once great city, which he knew since childhood. Tracking Putress to the Apothecarium, Varian and Jaina defeated him. But, to Varian's horror, they also discovered dozens of mutilated and defiled human corpses, on which the Apothecary Society experimented to create the New Plague; realizing that although the Alliance and Horde agreed to a small truce over the years, the Forsaken had been secretly creating a means to kill them all.


Ultimately, both Varimathras and Putress were killed, and Varian confronted Thrall and Sylvanas in the Royal Quarter. Battle ensued, though Lady Jaina Proudmoore intervened by freezing the combatants solid and teleporting all Alliance forces out.

The Battle for the Undercity ended the cold-war between the Alliance and the Horde, with King Varian's declaration of war.

Meanwhile, in order to ensure that no more Legion-aligned abominations crawled out of the Apothecarium, Thrall sent a legion of Kor'kron Guard led by Bragor Bloodfist to occupy the Undercity, guarding it from threats outside, and from any that may remain within following The Battle for the Undercity.

Years later, the Alliance would attack Lordaeron and the Undercity once again in the Battle for Lordaeron.


Burning Legion


Dave Kosak on a solo scenario to relive the Battle for the Undercity

It's kind of a bang for the buck thing. Like say we redid Battle for the Undercity - we could do it now with much better tech, right? That's a lot of work, and who would want to go back and play the Battle for the Undercity - we'd almost have to create a heroic so you'd revisit it again. Maybe if we could make a really cool compelling gameplay scenario it might be worth it, to do it as a fun little Caverns of Time thing, but I'd rather spend that time - it's the same resources - doing a current, modern-day scenario that tells you what happened with Sylvanas. I think that's probably more exciting than revisiting old content. We're committed to having these patches come out faster, so we have to be really picky and choosy about where we spend our time, so we can get content to people as fast as possible.[2]