The Fall of Silvermoon (WC3 Undead)

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The Fall of Silvermoon
The Fall of Silvermoon (WC3 Undead)
Campaign: Path of the Damned
Place: Silvermoon City, Quel'Thalas
Outcome: Decisive Scourge victory
Belligerents


Commanders and leaders
Strength
Casualties and losses
  • Moderate
  • Massive
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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 Fall of Silvermoon is chapter 5 of the Path of the Damned campaign.

It involves the final stand of the outnumbered high elves under Sylvanas Windrunner against the overwhelming might of the Scourge led by Arthas. It would see the high elves nearly annihilated, their kingdom and capital city in ruins, their greatest commander converted into undeath, and the fount of their magical powers defiled by Arthas to resurrect Kel'Thuzad.

Loading screen

Moments later, on the outskirts of the elves' capital of Silvermoon...

Creeps

Mercenary Camp

Villagers

(Sylvanas appears twice on this map; the one closest to the Undead base appears at the start of the mission in an early attack and is permanently killed by the player, leaving only a single Sylvanas, who conveniently doesn't need to be revived at an altar before being seen.)

Transcript

Tichondrius appears.
IconSmall Nathrezim2.gif Tichondrius: You've done well...so far. But the true test still lies before you.
IconSmall ArthasDK.gif Arthas: I was wondering when you'd showed up.
IconSmall Nathrezim2.gif Tichondrius: I am here to ensure that you do your job, little human. Not do it for you.
IconSmall ArthasDK.gif Arthas: I will reach the Sunwell on my own, dreadlord.
IconSmall Nathrezim2.gif Tichondrius: Be warned. It is a pool of mystical energy from which the elves draw their immortal powers. They will not give it up easily.
Tichondrius teleports away.
IconSmall ArthasDK.gif Arthas: Do you think that he suspects that you've been aiding me, necromancer?
IconSmall Ghost.gif Kel'Thuzad: I'm sure he suspects quite a bit. It is his nature to assume the worst. Now steel yourself. The hour of my rebirth draws near.

During the Mission

IconSmall SylvanasHE.gif Sylvanas Windrunner: Did you forget about us, you wretches? Bash'a no falor talah! ("Taste the chill of true death!")[3]
IconSmall Ghost.gif Kel'Thuzad: She is persistent. Reminds me of you, death knight.
IconSmall ArthasDK.gif Arthas: Shut up, you damned ghost.

Optional Mission

IconSmall Necromancer.gif Necromancer: Lord Arthas, the elf woman will likely attempt to summon reinforcements.
IconSmall ArthasDK.gif Arthas: Then watch for her runners! None of them must get through!
IconSmall Necromancer.gif Necromancer: Lord Arthas, Sylvanas has sent a runner to Silvermoon. The elves are sure to send more forces at us!
IconSmall ArthasDK.gif Arthas: The gargoyles we brought back from Northrend could be useful here. The beasts can spot their runners along the main road.
  • IconSmall Necromancer.gif Necromancer: Lord Arthas, Sylvanas has sent a runner to Silvermoon.
  • IconSmall Necromancer.gif Necromancer: Sylvanas has sent out another runner! It must be stopped!
  • IconSmall Necromancer.gif Necromancer: Lord Arthas, the messenger has reached the city. We should expect an attack soon.

Optional Mission Complete

IconSmall ArthasDK.gif Arthas: I salute your bravery, elf, but the chase is over.
IconSmall SylvanasHE.gif Sylvanas Windrunner: Then I'll make my stand here, butcher. Anar'alah belore. ("By the light of the sun.")[3]
Arthas runs forward and swings Frostmourne at Sylvanas.
IconSmall SylvanasHE.gif Sylvanas Windrunner: Finish it! I deserve...a clean death.
IconSmall ArthasDK.gif Arthas: After all you've put me through, woman, the last thing I'll give you is the peace of death.
IconSmall SylvanasHE.gif Sylvanas Windrunner: No! You wouldn't dare!

Outro

IconSmall ArthasDK.gif Arthas: Citizens of Silvermoon! I given you ample opportunities to surrender, but you have stubbornly refuse! Know that today, your entire race and your ancient heritage will end! Death itself has come to claim the high home of the elves!
IconSmall ArthasDK.gif Arthas: Now, arise, Kel'Thuzad, and serve the Lich King once again!
The ghost of Kel'Thuzad enters the well to spread corruption to the land and is reborn as a lich.
IconSmall Kel'Thuzad.gif Kel'Thuzad: I am reborn, as promised! The Lich King has granted me eternal life!
IconSmall ArthasDK.gif Arthas: I've upheld my end of the bargain, lich. Are you ready to tell me about the dreadlords now?
IconSmall Kel'Thuzad.gif Kel'Thuzad: Certainly. But not here. They have eyes and ears everywhere. We'll talk where it's safe.

Battle

Main article: Scourge invasion of Quel'Thalas

Although the Elven Ranger Corps fought bravely against the relentless onslaught of Arthas' Scourge, the elves were unable to keep the Death Knight from seizing the Key of the Three Moons and pushing into the Inner Kingdom. Arthas wasted no time in fortifying his position to the southwest of the city. Sylvanas then set up her own base across the river from Arthas' right flank and began leading strikes against the Undead.

As the battle began outside the Undead base, word reached Arthas that Sylvanas was sending runners (by foot for some reason) to alert Silvermoon of the attack and summon reinforcements. Arthas however, had anticipated this and positioned Gargoyles along the roadways. The flying beasts quickly and easily slew every runner sent, keeping Silvermoon in the dark and ensuring that Sylvanas would receive no reinforcements.

After beating back several assaults by Sylvanas, Arthas advanced his forces to the bridge between his and Sylvanas' camps where fierce fighting ensued. After a brief yet bloody stalemate, the Scourge gained the upper hand. As the attacks began to wind down, Arthas and his forces charged into Sylvanas' camp, slaughtering all in their way. Sylvanas' warriors fought bravely to the last man, but were inevitably overwhelmed. As her base crumbled around her, Sylvanas was personally approached by Arthas. Before she could load her bow, the Death Knight cut her down. In sadistic retribution for resisting him so fiercely, Arthas transformed Sylvanas into a banshee, binding her to the Lich King's will.

With the Ranger Corps destroyed, nothing stood between the Scourge and Silvermoon. Arthas and his forces regrouped, reinforced and marched on the city's gates. As the Undead approached, Dragonhawk Riders plummeted down upon the Scourge and rained missiles upon them, inflicting heavy casualties. Yet even these elite warriors fell victim to Arthas' Crypt Fiends who ensnared them in webbing and forced them to the ground where they were easily destroyed by Scourge warriors. Entering the city itself, the Undead encountered fanatic last-ditch resistance from the elves. Yet despite their fury, they could not hold back the dead, who rolled over them like a wave of carnage. Even the powerful arcane constructs built to protect the Sunwell could not hold out for long against the horrid wave of Undead. As the final defenders were wiped out, Arthas placed Kel'thuzad's remains in the Sunwell, resurrecting him as a lich and fouling the well. Quel'Thalas had ceased to exist as a nation.

Briefly...

A few lucky elves managed to evade their undead pursuers and escape into the wilds. These hardy survivors would eventually band together under Prince Kael'thas Sunstrider and become the blood elves.

Notes

Building an high elven army as the Scourge.
  • Do not try to "chip away" at Silvermoon with rushes. A single failed attack will cause a devastating counterattack on your base that you will almost certainly not be able to defend from. Don't let the Runner get there, either, as you will have to deal with this counterattack in addition to Sylvanas's forces. Only go for the Sunwell if you are sure you will make it in one try.
  • It is, albeit only being a mistake overlooked by Blizzard, possible to use Banshees (after the optional quest with destroying Sylvanas' base is complete) to possess high elf workers. These are still able to build buildings, some human and some high elven-ones (these buildings were not designed to be player-built, and can actually overlap other buildings). You can produce both human and high elven units via the High Elven Barracks with this. It is even possible to produce heroes from the Altar of Kings. As the limit to how many heroes the player may have is disabled, you can produce as many as you want. This can add some jolly fun to the mission! A good strategy to capture workers without alerting Silvermoon is to avoid killing the workers in Sylvanas' base while destroying all her buildings.
  • The west and east halves of Silvermoon function independently of each other, but it is the east half that poses the greatest threat to you once aware of your presence. If you alert Silvermoon by attacking the west, the east is likely to attack your base while your forces are on the opposite side of the map. You would do well to attack the east first for that reason.
  • If the necromancer unit is killed during Sylvanas surprise attack in the beginning of the mission, then the dialogue warning about Sylvanas attempting to warn Silvermoon will not occur and the optional quests will not show up on the mission menu. Though players will still be able to create Gargoyles but the "new unit" acquired mention will not trigger.
  • It is possible to hire forest troll mercenaries during the battle, possibly coming from Zul'Aman.
  • The banshee units are unlocked after destroying the base of the Elven Ranger Corps, implying that they were raised from the dead bodies of rangers like Sylvanas.
  • Once dead, Sylvanas drops a Hood of Cunning, implying she wore it in life.

References

  1. ^ No role, although the battle was fought to revive him.
  2. ^ a b Death Knight (manga); Lorewise only.
  3. ^ a b The Warcraft Encyclopedia/Thalassian