The Culling (WC3 Human)
| Previous: The Prince and the Prophet|
| Next: Divergent Courses|
|Campaign: The Scourge of Lordaeron|
| Outcome: Alliance victory
|Commanders and leaders|
|Casualties and losses|
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The Culling is chapter 6 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 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.
- villagers (males and females) Countless unnamed
As Arthas begins the massacre, the dreadlord appears and begins "collecting" those civilians who have already been transformed into mindless zombies (he teleports the zombies into the Twisting Nether for safe keeping). Mal'Ganis gloats that soon the people of Lordaeron will belong to the Scourge. Arthas refuses to let that happen and quickens his slaughter of the populace. The two sides proceed to ravage the city building by building. Finally, when most of the city is in ruins and its inhabitants either dead or converted, Arthas and Mal'Ganis confront each other face to face. Arthas demands that Mal'Ganis fight him here and now. Mal'Ganis, however, tells Arthas to gather his forces and come to Northrend. It is there that they will settle this conflict. Mal'Ganis then teleports away. Arthas vows to hunt Mal'Ganis "to the ends of the earth."
- 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. It's too late. These people have all been infected. They may look fine now, but it's 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 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.
- Uther the Lightbringer: You've just crossed a terrible threshold, Arthas.
- Arthas: Jaina?
- Jaina Proudmoore: I'm sorry, Arthas. I can't watch you do this.
During the Mission
- Arthas: Father...forgive me for what I must do.
- : I've been waiting for you, young prince. I am Mal'Ganis.
- 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!
- Necromancer: Go sniff somewhere else, pup. You best draw back to your Sea Nelie farm and await the end of your reign.
- 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 were your true destiny will unfold. Mal'Ganis: Gather your forces and meet me in the arctic land of
- 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!?
- 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.