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The Dreadlord Insurgents were one of the Scourge forces loyal to the Burning Legion during the power struggle in Lordaeron following the Legions's defeat at the Battle of Mount Hyjal. The Dreadlords Insurgents were commanded by Balnazzar, Detheroc and Varimathras.
After Arthas Menethil returned from Kalimdor and while he secured his Kingdom, the dreadlords were able to discover that the Lich King was losing control of the undead. Sylvanas Windrunner, who had regained her own will, met with the Dreadlords in secret and they made a pact to kill Arthas. At the same time the Dreadlords strength, coupled with the Lich King and Arthas losing their powers, allowed them to gain control over the majority of undead.
With their numbers and Sylvanas's assistance the Dreadlords prepared a trap for Arthas. Arthas was ambushed in Capital City and was separated from his majordomo, Kel'Thuzad. The Insurgents undead then hunted Arthas throughout the city. The king battled their forces eventually escaping from there. He survived the onslaught and Sylvanas' assassination attempts, and sailed to Northrend. As a result of Arthas being forced to flee a power vacuum was created in Lordaeron, with there being three undead factions at large. One was the Scourge under Kel'Thuzad's control. Another was the precursor to the Forsaken; Sylvanas' forces and her banshees. Finally there were the Dreadlord Insurgents, retaining control over large unholy armies, including the mind controlled soldiers of the Lordaeron resistance under Garithos.
Kel'Thuzad chose not to interfere and was not seen for the most part of the Scourge Civil War. Sylvanas, on the other hand, was offered a place in the new order that was being forged by the Insurgents. She refused, and Varimathras launched an assault upon her base. Sylvanas improvised, and possessed local creatures using banshees to turn them against the Insurgents. In this manner she swayed Mug'thol, Blackthorn, and possibly Zul'rogg and the Murloc Puddle Lord. This gave her several factions of beasts to throw against Varimathras. Eventually, she was successful, and Varimathras joined her in exchange for his life.
The Dreadlord Insurgents still controlled much of Lordaeron, however. Detheroc's pet Garithos was protecting his master within a fortified city. With her banshees at hand, Sylvanas possessed the human gate guards and turned them on one another, allowing her army into the city by cover of night. While the soldiers of the Lordaeron Resistance slept, Sylvanas set about killing her enemies and taking the city. By the time Detheroc's men awoke, at least one encampment had been destroyed. This caused the undead to strike at Sylvanas's base outside of the keep. However, despite their best efforts, Sylvanas managed to secure her troops, strike out against her enemies, and ultimately gain control of the city. While Garithos and his men were freed, Detheroc's undead forces were destroyed with Detheroc himself torn to bloody shreds.
Ultimately, it was in Capital City that the Dreadlord Insurgency met its end. Sylvanas forged an alliance with the Lordaeron Resistance, promising Garithos that he could have Capital City in exchange for help in killing Balnazzar. Garithos agreed, and despite tensions, Sylvanas and the Resistance stormed Balnazzar's fortifications.
Balnazzar proved a tenacious foe, throwing both demons and undead at his enemies, but he was surrounded and the city was destined to be taken. Sylvanas ordered Varimathras to kill Balnazzar, and it appeared that he did so. Sylvanas then betrayed the Alliance resistance and ordered Varimathras to kill Grand Marshal Garithos which he gladly did. From that moment onward, the Forsaken were declared, and they became the dominant undead force in Lordaeron. As time passed, Kel'Thuzad was to return to action and waged his war against the Forsaken, but by then the rebel undead were firmly entrenched.