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Cult of the Damned
Cult of the Damned.jpg
Heraldry of the Damned

Main Leader:

Archlich Kel'Thuzad

Secondary Leaders:

Darkmaster Gandling (Deceased)
Dar'khan Drathir (Deceased)
Lady Deathwhisper


High Elf
Night Elf
Blood Elf

Base of Operations:

Scholomance (Current)
Icecrown Citadel (Formerly)

Major Settlements:


Theater of Operations:




The Cult of the Damned, a group of living beings that serve the Lich King, formed shortly before the outbreak of the Third War while the Scourge was still loyal to the Burning Legion. Members of the Cult are mostly human, although all who wish to serve the Lich King, regardless of race, can and indeed have found a way to join the Cult, especially during the Northrend Campaign where almost all races from within the Alliance and the Horde had a significant presence within the Cult's ranks. Following the death of the Lich King at the hands of Tirion Fordring, the Cult has been diminished, but still remains active. Lead by Kel'thuzad, who has since gone into hiding since his defeat within Naxxramas, it still remains true to its original goal: to scourge the living from the world.

History of the Cult

The Cult of the Damned was created shortly after the end of the War of the Spider when the then Lich King Ner'zhul cast down the Nerubian armies of Azjol-Nerub and claimed the majority of the continent of Northrend as his own. With a large army of undead at his command, and no real opposition save what came from the Drakkari Empire of Zul'Drak, he could finally turn his attention to the south, to the true target of the Scourge, the Kingdom of Lordaeron.

Unable to act on his own due to his immobile state, the Lich King sent out a telepathic call to any who desired power, promising that and more to any who would chose to serve him. Many who heard this call accepted the offer, chief among them being Kel'thuzad, Archmage of the Kirin Tor and member of the Council of Six. Kel'thuzad, who was at risk of losing his status within the Kirin Tor due to his experiments with the forbidden art of Necromancy was quick to abandon his position within the Magocracy of Dalaran and after some time traveled north to the frozen lands of Northrend. Once there he prostrated himself before the Lich King, offering his soul up to the Lord of the Damned. In exchange for his loyalty and obedience, Kel'Thuzad was offered power and immortality but was kept as a mortal so that he could complete the first stage of the Lich King's plan, which was to create the Cult of the Damned, a group of men and woman who would set the stage for the scourge invasion of Lordaeron.

Kel'thuzad returned to Lordaeron now firmly loyal to his new undead master. There he spent three years preaching about the Cult of the Damned to the overworked and disenfranchised masses. He promised immortality and a society free from the burdens imposed upon them by their current lords and kings. Many were quick to join Kel'thuzad's new religious sect, swearing loyalty to the Lich King. Even those with power and those of position were not immune to the call of the Cult, with Kel'thuzad able to sway many into the service of the Lich King who in turn offered their wealth and lands to aid in the growth of the cult. Soon, many of the northern settlements of Lordaeron were swearing loyalty to the Lich King instead of loyalty to the King of Lordaeron, and when this occurred, the Lich King moved to enact the second part of his planned invasion. The Plague of Undeath was ready to be unleashed.

To act out the second part of his plan, the Lich King created a large number of Plague Cauldrons. These cauldrons would act as large dispensers of the Plague of Undeath, an incurable affliction which would kill all those who contracted it, before raising them as minions of the Scourge under his thrall. The plague was quick to spread, but spread even quicker once Andorhal was taken over by the Cult. As the primary distribution center for grain in Lordaeron, it was one of the most critical settlements for the Cult to control. With it controlled, the Cult could infect the grain that was distributed to settlements far and wide throughout Lordaeron, quickly spreading the plague to other critical settlements such as Hearthglen, Stratholme and Corin's Crossing. While Kel'thuzad's first life ended in this endeavor, it did not end the Scourge invasion of Lordaeron. The Kingdom would eventually fall, as would the nearby Elven Kingdom of Quel'Thalas and the Mage City of Dalaran. Kel'thuzad would be raised by Arthas Menethil and appointed to lead the Cult once again, this time as a malevolent Lich rather than a charismatic necromancer and through Kel'thuzad and the Book of Medivh, Archimonde and the armies of the Burning Legion would be summoned to purge the world of Azeroth of all life.

While it would seem that the Cult of the Damned had outlived it's usefulness now that the Burning Legion controlled the Scourge, the truth of the matter was rather different. The defeat of the demonic army on the slopes of Mount Hyjal and the death of Archimonde was not just a victory for the Alliance and the Horde but also a victory for the Cult, for with their destruction the Lich King was now free of their control and able to enact his own plans. These started with expanding control over more of Lordaeron but shifted when Illidan Stormrage cracked the icy prison that held the Lich King's essence. Arthas was forced to return to Northrend to protect his master, defeating the forces of Illidan Stormrage, Kael'thas Sunstrider and Lady Vashj on the slopes of Icecrown Glacier. After narrowly defeating Illidan in single combat, Arthas ascended to the very top of the glacier where he found the frozen prison of the Lich King and with a swing of his runeblade Frostmourne, he shattered the prison entirely before he donned the Lich King's helmet, also known as the Helm of Domination. In doing this he became the new Lich King, the helm giving him the telepathic powers of Ner'zhul while allowing him to retain the strength and mobility of his human body.

The Cult was ecstatic and vowed to serve the new Lich King as they had the old provided that he in turn furthered the efforts of the Scourge. They worked themselves into a frenzy to prepare Lordaeron for the day when the Lich King would eventually return to grace them with his presence. This fervor continued until the end of the Northrend Campaign when Arthas was defeated by the paladin Tirion Fordring atop Icecrown Citadel and Bolvar Fordragon claimed the Helm of Domination as his own, promising to become the Jailer of the Damned and contain the spread of the Scourge entirely.

Current Status of the Cult

While the Cult was severely culled during the Northrend Campaign it was not destroyed entirely. The Archlich Kel'thuzad, the original creator of the Cult, still lives although he has vanished from the known world and the Cult still continues to operate as it did during the reign of Arthas, attempting to plague and destroy the known world despite fierce opposition from the Horde, Alliance, Argent Crusade, Knights of the Ebon Blade and Cenarion Circle.

Sects of the Cult of the Damned

There are many sects of the Cult of the Damned; what separates them from the larger organization might be their location or a particular specialization.

Plagueheart's Sect: The Damned (Guild)

Plagueheart and members of his sect make preparations for war.

Just before and during the launch of the attacks of the Alliance and Horde on Northrend, a sect of the Cult of the Damned began its work within Stormwind under the oversight of Plagueheart, a rising necromancer within the cult's ranks.

They began a harsh campaign in Stormwind; with the threat of the joint assault of the Alliance and Horde on Northrend, where their Master lay, they took far more drastic and brutal tactics at first. They kidnapped high ranking officials, murdered random civilians to inspire terror and fear, and concocted countless plagues to poison the whole of Stormwind and its surrounding areas. 

With the help of Count Vrenna, Plagueheart launched an attack on Sentinel Hill in Westfall. Count Vrenna's forces stormed the feeble guards, slaughtering them and providing bodies for Plagueheart's necromancers to raise. To further the carnage, Plagueheart's necromancers catapulted the men and women manning Sentinel Hill with cannisters of plague, befouling not only the defender's lungs but the grass and air.

Following that initial attack and its astounding success, attacks commenced on Darkshire and Lakeshire, though their forces were repelled then.

Their defeat in Darkshire and Lakeshire marked the descent for this sect. Its adherents melted back into the populace of Stormwind and attempted to blend in as well as they could, but the presence of Argent Crusade-affilianted organizations and the Scarlet Crusade's presence within the city complicated matters for the cultists. The Argent Crusade- and Scarlet Crusade-affiliated organizations launched brutal campaigns to discover, torture, and kill members of the sect. 

This forced the sect to eventually relocate its operations: he fled with what cultists survived the onslaught and eventually made it to the Western Plaguelands. It was there, in the Plaguelands, that the Necrolord disappeared. The sect slowly fragmented and fell apart, until none remained. 

However, in recent years, this sect has made a resurgence, led once more by a returned Plagueheart, proclaiming himself a prophet and Supreme Overseer of the whole Cult. Instituting a broad range of reforms, Plagueheart now attracts many to his ranks.

Cult of Ner'zhul (Guild)

The Cult of Ner'zhul was a sect of the larger organization during and immediately after the War for the Frozen Throne. While it originally kept to the orthodoxy of the Cult, it was eventually revealed to be led by a dreadlord by the name of Hal'desh.

Initially reported, the Cult of Ner'zhul sought to reclaim the Frozen Throne from the Argent Crusade; the Cult's true motivations were eventually revealed to involve the reclamation of the Scourge on behalf of the Burning Legion, whom were once the Scourge's overseers and masters.

The Naradin

The Naradin (also known as the Cult of Galathramas) are cultists in a sub-sect of the infamous Cult of the Damned. Its structure was built mainly from survivors of the War against the Lich King, and has gained followers over time. It became the Naradin in dedication to Zal'narad.

While the original Cult seems to carry out the original ideals of the Scourge, the Cult of Galathramas hides within the necropolis, awaiting the moment to begin their operations.

The leader of this cult, Ravar the Reaper, preaches the idea that Kel'thuzad is the ultimate savior of the Scourge and that Zal'narad, the ruler of Galathramas, is a gift from the Lich King, from beyond the grave. When the dreadful necropolis was finally completed, and the plans laid out, Ravar the Reaper decreed that Zal'narad was the supreme gift of the Lich King, and the Cult became known as the Naradin, a cult dedicated to Zal'narad.

The Kingdom of Lordaeron
Lands Capital City (Undercity) · Tirisfal Glades (Brill · Deathknell · Scarlet Monastery) · Silverpine Forest (Shadowfang Keep · Ambermill · Pyrewood Village · The Sepulcher) · Hillsbrad Foothills (Durnholde Keep · Hillsbrad Fields · Southshore · Tarren Mill) · Eastweald · Western Plaguelands (Andorhal · Caer Darrow · Hearthglen) · Eastern Plaguelands (Corin's Crossing · Cinderhome · Darrowshire · Light's Hope Chapel · Scarlet Enclave · Terrordale · Tyr's Hand) · Stratholme
Organizations Government House of Nobles · Argent Lordaeron
Military Lordaeron Army (GAN · Argent · Restored) · Lordaeron Navy (GAN · Argent)
Other Church of the Holy Light · Knights of the Silver Hand · Scarlet Crusade · Argent Dawn · Argent Crusade · Scourge · Cult of the Damned
Notable Figures Terenas Menethil II · Arthas Menethil · Calia Menethil · Uther the Lightbringer · Othmar Garithos · Alexandros Mograine · Alonsus Faol · Aedelas Blackmoore · Tirion Fordring
Events Second War · Third War (Culling of Stratholme) · Battle for Hillsbrad