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For the Cataclysm version, see Stratholme.
For the level 80 wing of the Caverns of Time, see Culling of Stratholme.

The city of Stratholme

[27, 8]

(pronounced ˈstrathːhɔlm[1]) was the northernmost and second most populous city of the kingdom of Lordaeron, and is the city where the Order of the Silver Hand was founded. Today, Stratholme is the Scourge's capital in Lordaeron. Prince Arthas ravaged and set fire to Stratholme in the Third War to "purge it" and the undead moved in soon after. Stratholme burns to this day, and its districts have been split between the overzealous Scarlet Crusade led by Grand Crusader Dathrohan, and the Scourge forces led by the death knight Baron Rivendare.


Stratholme on the map from the Warcraft II manual

Stratholme as seen in Warcraft II

Stratholme in Warcraft III.

Stratholme burning

Stratholme in the Ashbringer comic.

Stratholme was the second largest human city in Lordaeron, matched only by the capital. At the beginning of the Second War, Stratholme, specifically the Alonsus Chapel, was the location where the Archbishop Alonsus Faol founded the holy Order of the Knights of the Silver Hand, and indoctrinated its first five members, including Uther the Lightbringer and Saidan Dathrohan.[2]

In Warcraft II (Second War)

Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness This section concerns content exclusive to Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness.

In Warcraft II Stratholme is shown to be located on the northeast edge of Darrowmere Lake. Stratholme was the chief source of Alliance oil in the north. During the Second War, it was preparing to deliver massive amounts of Oil to the kingdoms in western Lordaeron. The Horde sabotaged its refineries and platforms to halt their shipment, and destroyed the city. With the destruction of Stratholme, the Alliance supply lines to Quel'Thalas were severed.[3] This siege and Stratholme's role, although of vast importance strategically, is not mentioned in the World of Warcraft Chronicle and have not made it into canon. The reason behind this is probably that Stratholme's location was retconned for Warcraft III and World of Warcraft.

Between wars

In later games Stratholme lays farther to the north from Darrowmere lake, on the edge of Quel'Thalas. In its glory days, it housed nearly 25,000 people,[4] and included many well known buildings, from the glorious keep to Fras Siabi's famous tobacco shop.

The city was also where the one of the original paladins, Tirion Fordring, was tried for treason against the Alliance for defending the orc Eitrigg. The trial was conducted by Uther the Lightbringer himself and overseen by various leaders of the Alliance. Tirion was found guilty, stripped of his powers (unsuccessfully), and was exiled from the Alliance lands. The following day the city came under attack by a small but well trained band of orcs under the command of the young warchief Thrall, determined to save Eitrigg. Admist the chaos Tirion and Eitrigg escaped into the countryside.

Third War

Just before the Third War the Plague reached Stratholme in infected shipments of grain, most likely from Andorhal. The populace, unaware of the plague, baked and consumed the infected grain. The dreadlord Mal'Ganis was silently overseeing the operation.

Soon after, as the first undead started to rise, Prince Arthas and a contingent of soldiers arrived at Stratholme, but realized that the city had already been infected. Arthas thought that the only way of keeping the plagued (but not yet turned) citizens out of the hands of Mal'Ganis was by killing them. Most of the soldiers, including Uther the Lightbringer and Jaina Proudmoore chose not to help Arthas, thinking his purge was madness. Arthas and some soldiers, however, went on, and the city's population was almost completely massacred by them, along with the undead. Arthas confronted Mal'Ganis inside the city, but the dreadlord told him to seek him out in Northrend, fleeing from the site. The majority of the few survivors left with Jaina Proudmoore.

Stratholme was later taken under the control of the Undead Scourge. After the end of the war, when Arthas was called back to Northrend, the lich overlord Kel'Thuzad established Stratholme as his capital and positioned his floating fortress, the Necropolis Naxxramas, above the ruined city.


Stratholme is quite possibly the largest stronghold held by the Scourge in all of Lordaeron. Leading Scourge forces in the city below is a former noble turned death knight by the name of Baron Rivendare, who coordinates the efforts of the Lich King in the Plaguelands, where he constantly battles the force of the Argent Dawn. Kel'Thuzad raised undead structures among the human ruins. Undead and necromancers control the city while gargoyles and frost wyrms patrol the sky. Noxious orange mist oozes from the buildings and poisons living creatures, transforming them into servants of the Scourge. Kel'Thuzad's rule here is absolute, and from here he stretches his skeletal hands to control the surrounding plaguelands.[5]

Some consider Stratholme to be one of the most dangerous places in Azeroth outside of Northrend. Today the city houses a few hundred Scarlet Crusade warriors from the Crimson Legion who fight against the thousands of undead.

From World Dungeons on the old WoW site:

Once the jewel of northern Lordaeron, the city of Stratholme is where Prince Arthas turned against his mentor, Uther Lightbringer, and slaughtered hundreds of his own subjects who were believed to have contracted the dreaded plague of undeath. Arthas' downward spiral and ultimate surrender to the Lich King soon followed. The broken city is now inhabited by the undead Scourge -- led by the powerful lich, Kel'Thuzad. A contingent of Scarlet Crusaders, led by Grand Crusader Dathrohan, also holds a portion of the ravaged city. The two sides are locked in constant, violent combat. Those adventurers brave (or foolish) enough to enter Stratholme will be forced to contend with both factions before long. It is said that the city is guarded by three massive watchtowers, as well as powerful necromancers, banshees and abominations. There have also been reports of a malefic Death Knight riding atop an unholy steed, dispensing indiscriminate wrath on all those who venture within the realm of the Scourge.


Maps and subregions

Alonsus Chapel

 · The Crimson Throne · Crusaders' Square · Elders' Square · Festival Lane · The Gauntlet · The Hall of Lights · The Hoard · King's Square · Market Row · The Scarlet Bastion · The Slaughter House · Slaughter Square

Dungeon denizens

Stratholme pre-Cataclysm bosses


Bosses Monsters
King's Square
Market Row
Crusaders' Square
The Scarlet Bastion
The Hall of Lights
The Hoard
The Crimson Throne
Festival Lane
Elder's Square
Alonsus Chapel
The Gauntlet
Slaughter Square
The Slaughter House
  • Mindless Skeleton


The gates of Stratholme.

On first entering Stratholme through the main entrance, the gate closes. Therefore, the only way out is to fight your way to the service entrance (the key to which is held by Magistrate Barthilas), also known as the "back door", or use a hearthstone or mage portal to get out. Teleporting out is also possible through the dungeon finder, if it was used to form your group. If someone is already at the service entrance, they can use the lever to open the gate and let others in. Another way to do this is duel, then aggro nearby hostiles (or just aggro monsters from the start), slip through the door in ghost form, and resurrect on the other side.

Stratholme is basically divided into two parts, though the boundaries are somewhat vague. Scarlet Side or "Live Side", which goes from the main entrance into the Scarlet Crusade-controlled citadel, and Scourge Side or "Undead Side", which can also be accessed from the main entrance, but more commonly through the Service Entrance (which requires a key or Lockpicking 300) to the Scourge slaughterhouse. However, both "sides" are part of the same instance and players can complete both tracks. When using the dungeon finder the end boss, and thus the side of Stratholme your party needs to clear, is determined by the entrance you are ported to. The main gate will lead to the Live Side, while the service entrance will lead to the Undead Side. Players can complete the other side as well, but will not earn credit for completing the dungeon until they destroy the end boss of the appropriate side. The Money achievement.png Stratholme achievement requires completion of both sides, but this can be accomplished during separate runs.

Engineers can blast their way through the Service Entrance using Seaforium ([Powerful Seaforium Charge] or better), and blacksmiths a skeleton key ([Arcanite Skeleton Key] or better). However, if you do, remember to take two charges with you, as there are two doors to open.

To get to Baron Rivendare, the 3 Ash'ari Crystals must be toppled. These Crystals are guarded by 3 of the bosses: Baroness Anastari, Nerub'enkan and Maleki the Pallid. Kill them, and all the trash mobs inside the ziggurats they guard, and the Crystals will be toppled, allowing you entry to the Slaughterhouse where Baron Rivendare waits.

Scarlet side

The Scarlet Bastion


Undead side

Festival Lane

The Slaughterhouse — where Baron Rivendare dwells.


The streets of Stratholme.


Main article: Stratholme loot

Caverns of Time: Old Stratholme

The city's main cathedral, now called the Scarlet Bastion.

Stratholme is the premise of the fourth wing of the Caverns of Time, set approximately six years from the present in World of Warcraft. This is actually the setting of a Warcraft III Human campaign mission. In this instance, players are part of Prince Arthas' forces as they arrive in Stratholme, shortly before the purging of the city that eventually led to Arthas' descent into madness.

Culling of Stratholme is a level 80, 5-man wing, and the players will aid Arthas in destroying the town and killing its plagued denizens.[6]


  • A map called Ruins of Stratholme exists for Warcraft III. Stratholme was once a bastion of Alliance power, but now it stands as a burning testament to the evil of the Scourge. Only the bravest of heroes would dare enter this ruined city, for the undead armies of Kel'Thuzad still hold sway over the haunted capital.
  • It is interesting to note that there is a raid Instance portal at the end of the instance, outside the Slaughter Square. This cannot lead to Naxxramas, as it used to be floating above the city, though the teleporter may have once been meant to be inside the ruins. There are ruined flags carrying the insignia of Lordaeron inside the tunnel, which are not seen anywhere else inside Stratholme.
  • The Ghostly Citizens and Spectral Citizens in the instance will emote back things like /wave and /dance.
  • It should be noted that [Stoneskin Gargoyle Cape] drops in this instance. This particular item is white and longer than your Averagecloak.




WoW Pro Lore The Scourge of Lordaeron-0

Arthas purges Stratholme

Stratholme_Mount_Farming Stratholme_mount_run_-_how_to_solo

Patch and hotfixes

  • World of Warcraft Patch 1.10.0 (28-Mar-2006): Cap changed from 10 to 5 players.
  • World of Warcraft Patch 1.6.0 (12-Jul-2005):
    • Several spawns removed from Stratholme. This should make for a more enjoyable 5 player experience. Also, you will now be able to make additional attempts at Ramstein and/or Baron Rivendare should your initial attempt fail.
    • The trapped chests in Stratholme will now show up for Detect Traps and can be disarmed. In addition, the number of creatures that come out of the trapped chests has been reduced.
    • Many creatures in Stratholme have gained Detect Invisibility/Stealth.
  • World of Warcraft Patch 1.4.0 (2005-05-05):
    • 26 new Rare items have been added to Stratholme.
    • Several Uncommon items have been upgraded to Rare quality.
    • There is a new load screen for Stratholme.
  • World of Warcraft Patch 1.3.0 (07-Mar-2005):
    • Capped at ten players.
    • Lengthened the respawn time of many of the creatures in Stratholme.
    • Crimson Conjurers will no longer roam in pairs.
    • Changed the way the Gauntlet area works. The Crystals no longer respawn.
    • The Crystals no longer fire ribbon of souls (this was causing in-combat issues).
    • Fixed a bug that was causing monsters to leave combat in mid-fight, thus regaining all their health.


External links