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This article is about the lore of Stratholme. For the instances, see Stratholme Main Gate and Stratholme Service Entrance. For the original instance, see Stratholme (original). For the Culling of Stratholme, see Culling of Stratholme (disambiguation).

Stratholme gates2.jpg

The gates of Stratholme


City ruins




Holy Light (formerly)


In ruins

Stratholme (pronounced ˈstrathːhɔlm[1] or STRATH-olm)[2] was the northernmost and second most populous city of the kingdom of Lordaeron, and it was where the Order of the Silver Hand was founded. Today, Stratholme is the Scourge's capital in Lordaeron. The mad Prince Arthas ravaged the city in the Third War and the undead moved in soon after. Stratholme burns to this day.

The city included many well known buildings, from the glorious Bastion of the Silver Hand to Fras Siabi's famous tobacco shop.


Second War

Stratholme was the second largest human city in Lordaeron, matched only by the capital. At the beginning of the Second War, Stratholme, specifically the Alonsus Chapel, was the location where the Archbishop Alonsus Faol founded the holy Order of the Knights of the Silver Hand, and indoctrinated its first five members, including Uther the Lightbringer and Saidan Dathrohan.

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During the conflict, renegade Alterac soldiers and sailors were brought here to be restrained until they could be escorted to Capital City for interrogation.[3] Stratholme was also an important port town and the chief source of Alliance oil in the north. While the city was preparing to deliver massive amounts of oil to the kingdoms in western Lordaeron, the Horde sabotaged its refineries and oil platforms to halt the shipment, and then destroyed the city.[4] With the destruction of Stratholme, the Alliance supply lines to Quel'Thalas were severed.[5]

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Prior to the burning of Quel'Thalas, Turalyon, Alleria Windrunner, Khadgar, and their army disembarked near Stratholme and went to Quel'Thalas.[6]

Of Blood and Honor

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The city was also where the one of the original paladins, Tirion Fordring, was tried for treason against the Alliance for defending the orc Eitrigg. The trial was conducted by Uther the Lightbringer himself and overseen by various leaders of the Alliance. Tirion was found guilty, stripped of his powers (unsuccessfully), and was exiled from the Alliance lands. The following day the city came under attack by a small but well trained band of orcs under the command of the young warchief Thrall, determined to save Eitrigg. Amidst the chaos Tirion and Eitrigg escaped into the countryside.

Stratholme gates before the Culling.
A burning Stratholme after the Culling.

Third War

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Main article: Culling of Stratholme

Just before the Third War the Plague reached Stratholme in infected shipments of grain, most likely from Andorhal. The populace, unaware of the plague, baked and consumed the infected grain. The dreadlord Mal'Ganis was silently overseeing the operation.

Soon after, as the first undead started to rise, Prince Arthas and a contingent of soldiers arrived at Stratholme, but realized that the city had already been infected. Arthas thought that the only way of keeping the plagued (but not yet turned) citizens out of the hands of Mal'Ganis was by killing them. Most of the soldiers, including Uther the Lightbringer and Jaina Proudmoore chose not to help Arthas, thinking his purge was madness. Arthas and some soldiers, however, went on, and the city's population was almost completely massacred by them, along with the undead. Arthas confronted Mal'Ganis inside the city, but the dreadlord told him to seek him out in Northrend, fleeing from the site. The majority of the few survivors left with Jaina Proudmoore.

Stratholme was later taken under the control of the Undead Scourge. After the end of the war, when Arthas was called back to Northrend, the lich overlord Kel'Thuzad established Stratholme as his capital[citation needed]  and positioned his floating fortress, the necropolis Naxxramas, above the ruined city.


Stratholme in the Ashbringer comic.

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World of Warcraft

Stratholme burning.

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Stratholme was quite possibly the largest stronghold held by the Scourge in all of Lordaeron. Leading Scourge forces in the city below was a former noble turned death knight by the name of Baron Rivendare, who coordinated the efforts of the Lich King in the Plaguelands, where he constantly battled the force of the Argent Dawn. However, one small area remained under the control of the living: the Scarlet Bastion, from where the Grand Crusader Saidan Dathrohan himself led the Scarlet Crusade against the Scourge. However, the Crusade's fanaticism led them to believe that any who were not members were corrupted by the undead, and must be destroyed. As a result, the Argent Dawn sent adventurers to kill the Grand Crusader. However, they discovered that the Grand Crusader had in fact been dead for years, having been replaced by the dreadlord Balnazzar. They eventually overcame the demon, however, leaving the remnants of the Scarlet Crusade to deal with the Scourge alone.


Cataclysm This section concerns content related to Cataclysm.

Stratholme is divided into two instances: the Main Gate, and the Service Entrance.

Balnazzar, having suffered bitter defeat,[7] has shed his human form and killed all of the Crusaders, raising them into undeath and calling them the Risen.[8] Cannon Master Willey, Archivist Galford and Malor the Zealous are now undead and known as Willey Hopebreaker, Instructor Galford and Commander Malor.

Baron Rivendare, having traveled to Naxxramas, has been replaced by his son, the fallen paladin Lord Aurius Rivendare.

Crusade Commander Eligor Dawnbringer, Master Craftsman Wilhelm, and Packmaster Stonebruiser offer quests just inside the main gate; Crusade Commander Korfax and Archmage Angela Dosantos are inside the service entrance.

After killing both final bosses on every side, the Argent Crusade attacks and takes the city.

An invisible wall blocks any attempts to access the un-instanced Stratholme with a flying mount.


Legion This section concerns content related to Legion.

During the Burning Legion's third invasion, the city was invaded by the Ebon Blade in order to retrieve the saddle of Deathcharger's Reins. The death knights fought against a Patchwork Horror and a ghost named Vivian's Lament.[9]

The Knights of the Silver Hand and their Highlord traveled to Stratholme for Stratholme Holy Water to purify Aurius Rivendare's mount Shadowmane, creating the Glowing Reins of the Golden Charger. The death knight Raemien the Soultaker wanted to spread the plague once more.

The remaining Scourge members and Raemien were killed and the Silver Hand resolved to keep a closer eye on Stratholme.[10]


Maps and subregions

Map of the western half of Stratholme.
Map of the eastern half of Stratholme.
Stratholme Main Gate

Stratholme Service Entrance

Stratholme's shops and services

The RPG Icon 16x36.png Warcraft RPG

Related achievements

Dungeon Journal

Stratholme was once the jewel of northern Lordaeron, but today it is remembered for its harrowing fall to ruin. It was here that Prince Arthas turned his back on the noble paladin Uther Lightbringer, slaughtering countless residents believed to be infected with the horrific plague of undeath. Ever since, cursed Stratholme has been marred by death, betrayal, and hopelessness.

In the RPG

The RPG Icon 16x36.png This section contains information from the Warcraft RPG which is considered non-canon.

Getting to Stratholme is exceedingly dangerous and trying to enter it is a death wish. In its glory days, Stratholme housed nearly 25,000 people. Now it is a place that swarms with undead and their mortal servants. Dark magic pervades the air — it feels oily.[11]

The ruined Temple of Light is located here.[12]


Stratholme is a horrible, dark place, full of blacks and purples and the putrid orange mist. Undead buildings mix with human ruins. Abominations, ghouls, zombies, skeletal warriors, wraiths, necromancers and liches wander the streets and chant dark paeans in their sanctuaries. Gargoyles and frost wyrms patrol the skies. Kel'Thuzad's massive necropolis, Naxxramas, floats above the city like a bloated, diseased creature, and its violet lights, visible from miles away, symbolizes Kel'Thuzad's absolute dominance over the land. Stratholme is an impregnable fortress of evil.[11]


During the Second War, Stratholme was a valiant member of the Lordaeron Alliance. It was once the most glorious human city in Lordaeron, however, the mad Prince Arthas, believing its citizens had contracted the plague, ravaged the city during the Third War. It never recovered. The few that survived fled west to Kalimdor with Jaina Proudmoore.

When the Lich King summoned Arthas to Northrend, the traitor placed Kel'Thuzad as the leader of the Scourge located in the Plaguelands. The lich took the city after the Burning Legion's defeat and erected Scourge structures throughout the ruins establishing Stratholme as his base, and the surrounding lands completely under his rule. Stratholme is also the home of Baron Rivendare. Once a wealthy human landowner who the plague corrupted, and he pledged himself as a Scourge death knight. His duty is to round up and murder any human survivors he can find.

After the Third War, the Scarlet Crusade formed and mounted a series of small insurrections. The Crusade has been waging this dirty, underground war for several years now, and the fight has taken its toll. The Crusaders still attack the Scourge at every opportunity, however. Forest trolls under warlord Thresh'jin also moved in after the Third War. With the fall of Lordaeron and Quel'Thalas, the trolls see a path to reestablishing their old dominion.[13]

Right now, with Stratholme in Kel'Thuzad's hands, the Scourge has a method of summoning a nearly infinite supply of reinforcements.[14] Baron Rivendare and Kel'Thuzad are two key figures in the Scourge's power structure, and if someone managed to raze the plagued city and destroy them both, that would likely be sufficient to reclaim much of the Plaguelands. Taking a small group against Stratholme would be suicide and it would require the full support of all of the Alliance and/or Horde's races for the type of assault needed to take down Kel'Thuzad.[15]

Notes and trivia

  • High Abbot Ferren Marcus was originally a citizen of Stratholme.
  • The city had a zoo before the Scourge invasion and it notably exhibited exotic beasts such as wildkin and thunder lizards.[16]
  • The uninstanced copy of Stratholme in the open world can be accessed by flying over the mountains from the old Quel'Thalas zone, which itself is accessible from Tirisfal Glades. This version of Stratholme is still considered to be part of the Quel'Thalas zone by the game, and players in it will be listed as being in Quel'Thalas when searched via /who or checking their guild roster.


This article or section includes speculation, observations or opinions possibly supported by lore or by Blizzard officials. It should not be taken as representing official lore.

Stratholme was originally depicted as being on the shore of Darrowmere Lake in Warcraft II. Unless it was rebuilt and seemingly landlocked in northern Lordaeron after the Second War, this might have been retconned. Alternatively, the city's location may have been rewritten, instead being located on the shore of Lordaeron's northern coast, where a small bay is located.[17]




External links