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Kel'thuzad as a lich


Human (formerly), Lich


The Scourge


Leader of the Cult of the Damned



Kel'thuzad, a powerful mage, served as a member of the Council of Six, the governing institution of the Kirin Tor of Dalaran, until expelled and exiled for dabbling in the dark arts. A short while later, receiving a mental summons from the Lich King, Kel'thuzad traveled to Northrend. He would eventually found the Cult of the Damned, which would help create the Scourge.

Under the direction of its founder and leader, the Cult spread the Plague of Undeath across Lordaeron. During this process, Kel'thuzad would be slain by Arthas. After Arthas' conversion in Northrend, Kel'thuzad is resurrected as a lich by the former paladin to allow Kel'thuzad to summon Archimonde the Defiler.

Kel'thuzad would go on to serve as Arthas' lieutenant until his departure at which time the lich commanded the forces of the Scourge in the Plaguelands from the dreaded necropolis, Naxxramas. After his defeat, he relocated Naxxramas to Northrend during the Horde and Alliance's war against the Scourge. Though he was again defeated, his phylactery remains unaccounted for; it can be assumed that the potential for his return has inspired many to keep to the faith of the Cult of the Damned.


After his exile from Dalaran, Kel'thuzad begun hearing a voice within his mind, leading him towards Northrend. Later, he discovered that this voice was that of Ner'zhul. When reaching the frozen wastes, Kel'thuzad found foul creatures guarding the way and was given a tour through the emerging necropolis of Naxxramas by Anub'arak—the fallen and converted King of the Nerubians. While there, Kel'thuzad witnessed various atrocities, including the painful death and conversion of a woman, who would later devour her imprisoned husband, and attempted to flee. Subdued and led atop the Frozen Throne, Kel'thuzad saw the Lich King for himself.

Kel'thuzad pledged fealty to the Lich King and would name his master's army "the Scourge." He would later go on to gather disenfranchised peasants as followers of his new religion, the Cult of the Damned, which promised power and eternal life to those who worshiped the Lich King as a God. With his newfound following and powers, he would unleash the plague upon Lordaeron.

By infecting grain in the city of Andorhal, the necromancers of Kel'thuzad would spread the plague across the Kingdom of Lordaeron—including the vital border-city of Stratholme, which would later be purged by Prince Arthas Menethil. Before the culling, Arthas and Jaina Proudmoore slew Kel'thuzad, but he attested that his death was "meaningless" and was "but part of the Master's plan."


After his slaying at the hand of Prince Arthas Menethil and the subsequent conversion of the Prince, Kel'thuzad was then resurrected by his own killer—as promised and predicted by Ner'zhul—by use of a sacred burial urn holding King Terenas Menethil II's ashes and protected by Lord Uther the Lightbringer, which was then placed inside the Sunwell and recreating Kel'thuzad as a Lich.

Accompanying Arthas, Kel'thuzad would advise and assist his soon-to-be new master in defying their Burning Legion creators to attain control of the Scourge independently. Arthas would then trick Illidan Stromrage into taking the Skull of Gul'dan to destroy the Dreadlord, Tichondrius. Eventually, Ner'zhul's power had begun to wane and the two swiftly returned to the Frozen Throne.

Once Arthas merged with the Lich King, Kel'thuzad would later oversee much of the Scourge's operations throughout Northrend and the rest of the world—particularly during the War against the Lich King. Twice, Kel'thuzad was defeated within the floating temple-city of Naxxramas and slain, but his phylactery was never found on both occasions. Some suggest that he yet exists or lays dormant in preparation for a revival of the Scourge.


Given that Kel'thuzad was the Archlich of the Scourge, many had taken up his teachings and modeled themselves after him. One such group was the Thuzadin, a subsect of the Cult of the Damned found within the defiled city of Stratholme.