The Culling (WC3 Human)

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This article is about the Warcraft III mission. For other uses, see Culling of Stratholme (disambiguation).
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The Culling
The Culling (WC3 Human)
Campaign: The Scourge of Lordaeron
Place: Stratholme
Outcome: Human victory
Commanders and leaders
  • None
Casualties and losses
  • Moderate
  • Moderate
  • Annihilation of civilians
This article or section contains lore taken from Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne, the manuals, and/or official bonus maps.

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 Uther the Lightbringer 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.

Loading screen

Early the next morning, on the outskirts of Stratholme...


WC3RoC-logo.png This section concerns content related to Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos or its expansion The Frozen Throne.

Stratholme has a unique map, with Arthas attacking the city from the north. It notably contains a zoo.

WC3Reforged-icon.png This section concerns content related to Warcraft III: Reforged.

The map is way more similar to its World of Warcraft incarnation, with several modern landmarks like the gates of the city, the Bastion of the Silver Hand or Alonsus Chapel. The other differences include:

  • Salramm the Fleshcrafter and Meathook also show up when destroying some buildings.
  • There are a few orcish grunts and troll headhunters as a creep camp labelled "Lost Patrol".
  • When Arthas approaches the Castle situated at the same approximate area as the future Scarlet Bastion, Stratholme militiamen wearing red leave the building and attack him.


Zoo animals



  • HumanHuman Countless unnamed villagers (males and females)



IconSmall Arthas.gif Arthas: Glad you could make it, Uther.
IconSmall Uther.gif Uther the Lightbringer: Watch your tone with me, boy. You may be the prince, but I'm still your superior as a paladin.
IconSmall Arthas.gif Arthas: As if I could forget. Listen, Uther, there's something about the plague you should know...
IconSmall Arthas.gif 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!
IconSmall Uther.gif Uther the Lightbringer: What?
IconSmall Arthas.gif Arthas: This entire city must be purged.
IconSmall Uther.gif Uther the Lightbringer: How can you even consider that? There's got to be some other way.
IconSmall Arthas.gif Arthas: Damn it, Uther! As your future king, I order you to purge this city!
IconSmall Uther.gif Uther the Lightbringer: You are not my king yet, boy! Nor would I obey that command even if you were!
IconSmall Arthas.gif Arthas: Then I must consider this an act of treason.
IconSmall Uther.gif Uther the Lightbringer: Treason? Have you lost your mind, Arthas?
IconSmall Arthas.gif 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.
IconSmall Jaina.gif Jaina Proudmoore: Arthas, you can't just--
IconSmall Arthas.gif 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!
IconSmall Uther.gif Uther the Lightbringer: You've just crossed a terrible threshold, Arthas.
IconSmall Arthas.gif Arthas: Jaina?
IconSmall Jaina.gif Jaina Proudmoore: I'm sorry, Arthas. I can't watch you do this.

During the Mission

  • IconSmall Arthas.gif Arthas: Father...forgive me for what I must do.
IconSmall Nathrezim.gif Mal'Ganis: I've been waiting for you, young prince. I am Mal'Ganis.
IconSmall Nathrezim.gif 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.
IconSmall Arthas.gif Arthas: I won't allow it, Mal'Ganis! Better that these people die by my hand than serve as your slaves in death!
IconSmall Necromancer.gif Necromancer: Go sniff somewhere else, pup. You best draw back to your senile father and await the end of your reign.
IconSmall Nathrezim.gif Mal'Ganis: I live once more!

Mission Complete

IconSmall Arthas.gif Arthas: We're going to finish this right now, Mal'Ganis. Just you and me.
IconSmall Nathrezim.gif Mal'Ganis: Brave words. Unfortunately for you, it won't end here. Your journey has just begun, young prince.
IconSmall Nathrezim.gif Mal'Ganis: Gather your forces and meet me in the arctic land of Northrend. It is there that we shall settle the score between us. It is there were your true destiny will unfold.
IconSmall Arthas.gif 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!

Unused quotes

  • IconSmall Nathrezim.gif Mal'Ganis: 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!
  • IconSmall Human Female.gif Peasant: The roof is collapsing! Run!
  • IconSmall Human Female.gif Peasant: What did we do to you?
  • IconSmall Human Female.gif Peasant: You're suppose to be our prince!
  • IconSmall Human Female.gif Peasant: You're suppose to be the Defender of Lordaeron!
  • IconSmall Human Male.gif Peasant: The King's men are attacking! Run for your lives!
  • IconSmall Human Male.gif Peasant: The walls are falling in! Get out!
  • IconSmall Human Male.gif Peasant: What have you done? What's going on?
  • IconSmall Human Male.gif Peasant: Mercy, milord!
  • IconSmall Human Male.gif 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.[1]
    • By hacking into the game, the triggers can be simply turned on.[1]
  • 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.[1]
  • 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.

Caverns of Time

Wrath of the Lich King This section concerns content related to Wrath of the Lich King.

Players are able to experience this event in the Caverns of Time: Culling of Stratholme in Wrath of the Lich King.