Their malice is evident in their arsenal of ice worms, abominations, and a host of other undead monstrosities. Known for their numbers and ruthlessness, the horrific campaign across Azeroth left nothing but destruction and despair. The once prosperous human kingdom of Lordaeron is now a terrifying testament to their destructive power.
While their power may seem insurmountable, they are not without their weaknesses. With no free will, their members are completely dependent on the Lich King's instructions. Their strength is indeed great, but the tide is known to turn when they lose their will to lead.
The Scourge's influence on the history of World of Warcraft is deep and significant, turning heroes into villains and igniting epic conflicts. They remain an iconic part of the game, and their chilling echoes echo throughout the annals of Warcraft history.
The origins of the Scourge can be traced back to the introduction of plague-tainted grain into Lordaeron. This plague was created by Kel'Thuzad, a former human sorcerer who served as the right-hand man of the future Lich King. The grains consumed killed and turned individuals into undead, creating an army for the Lich King. But the force that pushed the Scourge into the mainstream it is today was the fall of Prince Arthas Menethil. Determined to protect his kingdom from the plague and the approaching undead, Arth was eventually turned into a tool of the Lich King. Driven to madness, he killed his father, King Teren, which resulted in the death of Lordaeron.
Midway through the story, the Scourge became the ultimate terror, with Arthas as its leader. After retrieving the powerful weapon Frostmourne from Northrend and becoming a Death Knight, Arth fused with Ner'Zhul to become the Lich King, making the scourge more terrifying than ever. The Scourge remained a dominant force, relentless in its attacks on Azeroth. Despite internal strife and the rebellion of the Forsaken, a group of freed undead led by Sylvan Windrunner, the Scourge remained a threat to be reckoned with.
Much later, during the Wrath of the Lich King expansion, Scourge faced great resistance from the heroes of Azeroth, which resulted in Artha's death. Today, the Scourge is mostly inactive, controlled by the current Lich King Bolvar Fordragon. But his legacy still haunts Azeroth, and the chill of his deadly grip is still felt across the world.
The Lich King
Heigan the Unclean
The lands are characterized by landscapes of degradation and desert, which are the terrain of large-scale battles and warfare. The land is full of tombs and monstrous structures that reflect the scourge's power and influence. The land also has monstrous citadels and fortresses that tower over the land and cast a shadow of terror and desolation.
Given the horrific nature of the Scourge, these regions are deliberately unwelcoming and dangerous. Icecrown Citadel features soaring spiers and towering ramparts in the foreground, while within is a maze of crypts and catacombs that echo with the cries of the souls trapped within. It is a realm where the very walls seem to resonate with the menacing power of the scourge, and the stench of the dead and the undead hangs in the air.
Also, Dragonblight, another scourge-controlled region, is a graveyard for dragons where they go to die, resulting in a strange skeletal terrain. This rugged and chilling geography of the Scourge is a fitting backdrop to their gritty history in the World of Warcraft universe.
Legacy and Impact
The Scourge's impact goes beyond their initial invasion. Their destructive path brought poignant stories of loss, resilience and heroism. Their presence directly led to the formation of the Forsaken faction, and characters such as Arth Menethil, Sylvan Windrunner, and Darion Mograine became central characters in the story.
Even after their main storyline ends in Wrath of the Lich King, their influence lives on. They serve as a cautionary reminder of the corruption of power and the terrifying potential of necromantic magic. Their enduring legacy continues to shape the game's lore and world, making Scourge an undisputed staple of the World of Warcraft universe.