The Scourge is one of three major undead factions on the world of Azeroth (the other two being the Forsaken and the Knights of the Ebon Blade), and a major player for control of the world. They have a vast "empire". ( ) ( Created initially as the precursor to an invasion by the )Burning Legion after their previous failures, the Scourge broke free from their demonic masters and — under the iron rule of the dread Lich King — have built up their power base on the Arctic continent of Northrend. Their influence spreads throughout Northrend, as well as the Plaguelands in northern Lordaeron and southern Quel'Thalas, and even Kalimdor to a small degree. A terrifying and insidious enemy, the Scourge remains perhaps the most dangerous threat to the world of Azeroth.
Some creatures of the Scourge are not technically undead, but instead are monstrous constructions created by the science and magical experimentation of the acolytes and necromancers following Ner'zhul. These are constructed creatures fashioned by the perverse experimentation of the Lich King's followers and do not occur In any natural fashion.
Monstrous members of the Scourge are not particuarily intellilgent, having been created from the leftover pieces of enemies and friends alike. They are, however, very loyal and almost fanatically devoted to whatever task is appointed to them. These creatures are not truly individuals, having little will of their own other than that given to them on creation or through the current descriptions given In their orders. ( )
The Scourge was (and still is) a vast army of the undead created by the Lich King — the being formerly known as the orc shaman Ner'zhul. Under the control of the Burning Legion, the Scourge's mission was to spread terror and destruction across the world in anticipation of the Legion's inevitable invasion. The Lich King, who ruled the icy realm of Northrend from his Frozen Throne, created the terrible Plague of Undeath, which he sent southward into human lands. As the plague encroached on the southlands, countless humans fell prey to Ner'zhul's mental control and life-draining sickness every day, swelling the ranks of the already-considerable Scourge.
Though Ner'zhul and his Undead Scourge were bound to the will of the Burning Legion, the Lich King constantly strove to free himself and gain vengeance upon the demons for dismembering his body and damning him so completely. Shortly before the Battle of Mount Hyjal, Ner'zhul engineered the downfall of the Legion by having his lieutenant, Arthas Menethil, alert the Demon Hunter Illidan Stormrage to the presence of the Legion in Felwood. Illidan's attack on the demons there brought about the death of Tichondrius and the destruction of the Skull of Gul'dan, which greatly weakened the Legion and made it possible for the Alliance, Horde, and Night Elf forces to stop Archimonde during the Battle of Mount Hyjal. It was at this point that Ner'zhul was finally capable of making his bid for freedom, effectively cutting all ties to the remaining demons as well as the remaining demon lord, Kil'jaeden. Such a move inspired Kil'jaeden to incredible heights of anger, and it was the demon's turn to lust after vengeance. But, thanks to the Legion's defeat, Kil'jaeden was stripped of his capacity to simply bring about swift destruction, and was forced to use more subtle methods to dispose of his rebellious creation.
Shortly after the Battle of Mount Hyjal, Kil'jaeden contacted Illidan Stormrage with an offer too tempting for the Demon Hunter to refuse: Slay the Lich King and be granted the awesome power of a demon lord. Gathering his once-Highborne allies, the Naga, Illidan traveled to the Tomb of Sargeras and began weaving a massive spell targeting the Frozen Throne using the Eye of Sargeras. However, the spell was interrupted at the eleventh hour by Illidan's brother Malfurion Stormrage, Maiev Shadowsong, and Prince Kael'thas Sunstrider. Though the spell was not completed, enough potent fel energy had been siphoned to cause a fracture in the Lich King's icy prison. This caused Ner'zhul's powers to weaken, especially his control of his undead. It was during this time that a large band of undead, led by Sylvanas Windrunner, regained their free will and left the Scourge and named themselves the Forsaken. Desperate, Ner'zhul contacted Arthas, the greatest of his Death Knights, by telepathy and commanded him to return to Icecrown Citadel at once.
However, the matter was complicated by Kil'jaeden once again. Growing impatient with Illidan's failures, the demon lord instructed him, with his allies the Naga and newly named Blood Elves, to travel to Northrend and put an end to the Lich King personally. Arthas's undead forces battled Illidan's army at the base of the glacier, the aftermath of which left Illidan wounded and his troops broken. Arthas, victorious, proceeded into the Lich King's throne chamber where he used the runeblade Frostmourne to shatter the Frozen Throne and free the essence of Ner'zhul. The spirit of the Orcish shaman then bonded with that of Arthas, and Arthas/Ner'zhul became one of the most powerful beings the world had ever known.
Four years after the transformation of the Lich King, Arthas still resides in Northrend, presumably rebuilding Icecrown Citadel. While the status of the Scourge in the northern continent is currently unknown, the undead in Lordaeron — under the command of Arthas' majordomo Kel'Thuzad — continue to hold the Plaguelands from the enemies of his lord Arthas. It is likely that Arthas plans to retake all of the former Lordaeron from the Forsaken, and from there possibly conquer the whole world.
At the top of the organization is the Lich King, Arthas, who sends orders from his ice fortress in Northrend. His direct underlings are liches, undead mages and necromancers with incredible power to spread plague and command undead armies. It is unknown how many liches there are, but Arthas’s right-hand lich is Kel’Thuzad, who reigns in Lordaeron and has his hands full fighting the Scarlet Crusade and the Forsaken, the undead who broke free from the control of the Lich King. The banshees under his command often lead scouting troops to discover new areas to infiltrate, while other important Scourge members include necromancers, responsible for raising and commanding the dead, and the Cult of the Damned, a bizarre group of mortals so fascinated by the undead that they follow them, worship them, even emulate them, hoping to one day be damned as the undead are. They don’t see the foulness and evil, but rather power and eternal life.
Most of the undead report to a region’s leadership of necromancers or liches, who in turn report to Kel’Thuzad. He reports pertinent information to Arthas, but he doesn't inundate his lord with all of the details of the happenings on the continents. If they take over another city the size of Stratholme, or re-enslave the Forsaken, that would be news worthy of telling the Lich King. The rogue undead, the Forsaken, are wild cards. Arthas lost much of his power over the undead before becoming the Lich King, which allowed one of the more powerful banshees, Sylvanas Windrunner, to escape his hold. She freed many more undead creatures, and currently leads the Forsaken from her tunnel complex underneath the former capital city of Lordaeron. While they are not part of the Scourge and do not fall into the Scourge organization, they work along the same lines — kill the living and dominate the undead. Arthas sees the Forsaken as something akin to lost sheep, and would rather bring them back into the Scourge than eliminate their forces. He has many plans for Azeroth, so he can’t focus entirely on Sylvanas, so its unknown when he’ll turn his full gaze to her and her followers. The interesting thing is that the farther from a lich or a necromancer the undead get, the more disoriented they are. They lose the command of the Lich King, but they don’t necessarily become free. Once the will of the necromancer or other controlling force leaves their head, they have no memory of their former selves, and they shuffle around, mindless husks, searching for someone to lead them. Only necromancers can command the undead.
Arthas leads the Scourge in Northrend from the Frozen Throne, those beasts are everywhere in Icecrown. The Scourge’s secondary base is the continent of Lordaeron, in the city of Stratholme, Arthas’s first conquest. It was a bustling city of 25,000 people, and now it’s gone. There are few if any remaining mortals there, except for those of the Cult of the Damned and mortal necromancers. Lordaeron’s north and eastern areas are practically abysmal with the Scourge. Their foul stench permeates the air. Yet the Scourge has reached all areas of the world, dripping down through Khaz Modan and into Azeroth, and even west to Razorfen Downs Kalimdor. Arthas wants his finger on everything happening in the world, and he has the forces to do it. About the only place the Scourge doesn’t go is the Undercity in Lordaeron, but there are so many Forsaken there, that one couldn’t tell if there is Scourge presence there or not. Though, the Forsaken might know. ( )
The members of the Scourge are easy to spot, smell and identify. And it doesn’t take much to join. All it takes is to either love the Scourge or be undead and under the Lich King’s spell, and you’re in. One does not need to do much to be in this organization. Some of the first members were mortals who had fallen in the undead plague. People sickened from the plague and died, only to rise as zombies. This city-razing technique proved to be not as efficient as the Lich King desired, apparently, because he started telling his necromancers to desecrate graveyards and raise up even more members. Only two things seem to separate a Scourge servitor from the Lich King’s will: whatever faltering in the Lich King’s power allowed the Forsaken to free themselves from his grasp, and destruction of their bodies. Scourge creatures are bidden to do the Lich King’s will, and they do this with a blind fervor. The Cult of the Damned is an enigma. No one knows why they do what they do. Whatever the reason, they willfully follow the Scourge, dressing in dark robes, doing their bidding, while helping to spread the plague into more and more cities. ( )
The Scourge in Azeroth
The Scourge is primarily concentrated in the Plaguelands. Their primary fortification and "capital" is the ruined city of Stratholme, currently split between Baron Rivendare's forces and the humans of the Scarlet Crusade. The Scourge has also been seen in Tirisfal Glades and Silverpine Forest in Lordaeron, and all along the Dead Scar in Quel'Thalas, which runs from the Ghostlands all the way into Eversong Woods through Silvermoon to the Sunwell Plateau itself. They also have been reported to have a presence as far away as the Barrens in Kalimdor; "ambassadors" from the Scourge, as well as powerful undead beings, have fortified themselves (along with the plagued Razorfen quilboars) in Razorfen Downs.
The necromancer-lich Kel'Thuzad, the majordomo of the Lich King, once controlled the Scourge in Lordaeron from his citadel of Naxxramas, floating over Stratholme and Plaguewood in the Eastern Plaguelands, but Kel'Thuzad recently retreated along with his floating fortress and returned to Northrend, in order to combat the forces of Dalaran and the combined might of the Alliance and the Horde. The high elf traitor Dar'Khan Drathir, slain during the Third War, rules the Scourge in Quel'Thalas from the fortress of Deatholme in the southern Ghostlands, to the northeast of Stratholme, while Amnennar the Coldbringer, a lich, rules the Razorfen Downs in Kalimdor
Notable commanders and allies
- Kel'Thuzad is the founder and leader of the Cult of the Damned, and is a majordomo to the Lich King. [??]
- [??] Anub'arak is the leader of the Scourge nerubians, and is a majordomo to the Lich King.
- [??] Baron Rivendare was the leader of the Scourge forces in Stratholme, and is now the leader of the Four Horsemen in Naxxramas.
- [??] Sindragosa is the Queen of the Frostbrood, and was the prime consort of Malygos
- Blood-Queen Lana'thel is the leader of the San'layn. [??]
-  King Ymiron is the King of the Vrykul, and is the Chieftain of the Dragonflayer clan.
- Overlord Drakuru is the Scourge warlord of the Voltarus necropolis in Zul'Drak. 
-  The Shade of Arugal is the founder and leader of the group of cultists that call themselves the Wolfcult. He directs every move of the cult and oversees the worgen activity from the top of his new base-of-operations, the Shadowfang Tower on Bloodmoon Isle in the Grizzly Hills.
- [??] Falric was one of Arthas' close friends, and was his Captain throughout the Third War. He marched alongside Arthas when he killed his father, and Falric was in charge of bringing Capital City to ruin, which he did gladly. Alongside with Marwyn, he guards the private chambers of his master, known as Halls of Reflection.
-  Dar'Khan Drathir was the overseer of the Scourge forces in Quel'Thalas; he was killed and beheaded by players at the behest of Magister Kaendris. He also features as the main antagonist in The Sunwell Trilogy.
- Amnennar the Coldbringer was the overseer of the Scourge forces in Razorfen Downs, and is the leader of the Death's Head quilboar; he was slain by players at the behest of Archbishop Benedictus and Andrew Brownell. 
Notable former servants of the Scourge
- [??] Sylvanas Windrunner was once the Ranger-General of Silvermoon, before being slain and raised by Prince Arthas personally into the first of the high elven banshees. She served as one of Arthas' primary generals, until she and a number of banshees broke free from the Lich King's control, creating the foundations of what would become the Forsaken.
- [??] Alexandros Mograine was once a renowned paladin, known as the Ashbringer. He was murdered by his son, Renault, and was raised by Kel'thuzad as a death knight. His soul was later saved by his son, Darion.
- [??] Darion Mograine was once a member of the Argent Dawn, and eventually became a high-ranking servant of the Lich King. Mograine and the death knights under his command broke free of the Lich King's grasp and became known as the Knights of the Ebon Blade, dedicating themselves to bringing down the Scourge.
-  Thassarian was the first of the death knights to rejoin the Alliance. Like the other death knights, he was once a servant of the Lich King.
-  Koltira Deathweaver was the first of the death knights to rejoin the Horde. Like the other death knights, he was once a servant of the Lich King.
Minions of the Scourge
- Lich: The Lich King's most powerful spell-casters, most of them were once orc shamans, warlocks and Death Knights. Kel'Thuzad, resurrected by Arthas during the invasion of Quel'Thalas, is the most renowned and most powerful of the liches, and is styled as the Archlich as a result. Other liches include Araj the Summoner, former headmaster of Scholomance, Ras Frostwhisper, who conducts experiments in Scholomance's laboratory, and Amnennar the Coldbringer, master of Razorfen Downs.
- Necromancer: Members of the Cult of the Damned who practice death magics. Kel'Thuzad, the master of the Cult of the Damned, is a former necromancer. In life, Dar'Khan Drathir — overlord of the Scourge in Quel'Thalas — was a necromancer, but whether or not he retains his powers of necromancy after his death at the hands of Anveena Teague (and later resurrection) is unclear.
- Skeleton Warrior: Raised by the necromancers to battle against the enemies of the Scourge.
- Gargoyle: Fliers who possess the ability to turn to stone to heal themselves.
- Zombie: Shambling, mindless corpses with a desire to consume human flesh; they also serve as "cannon fodder" in the mass armies of the Scourge.
- Skeleton: Mindless, bony monstrosities, and the primary "grunt" of the Scourge Army.
- Ooze: Plague carrying oozes serve as its spreaders.
- Bone golem: Created as bodyguards for powerful necromancers.
- Crypt fiend: Formerly the warriors of Azjol-Nerub, raised by the Lich King after the Spider War.
- Crypt lord: The former Kings of Azjol-Nerub. Anub'arak, the last king of Azjol-Nerub, is a crypt lord who serves as a majordomo to the Lich King. Anub'Rekhan is another crypt lord and resides in the Spider Wing of Naxxramas. High Priest Naferset is one of the "holy men" of the Temple City of En'kilah.
- Shade: Ghosts of acolytes who give their lives willingly to the Lich King. Often shades serve as scouts, unseen by normal eyes, allowing the undead to ambush the unwary. The dreaded Eyes of Naxxramas in Stratholme are prime examples of the use of this tactic, as they will summon gargoyles to attack if they are not killed quickly. The Eyes of Dar'Khan in Deatholme are also shades.
- Wraith: Vengeful spirits that retain their intelligence and individuality.
- Ghoul: Among the Scourge's shock troopers, ghouls — especially those in Eastern Plaguelands — have the trapped souls of the innocent still within their rotted forms.
- Wight: Monstrous zombie-like creatures. Wraiths often tend to keep "extraordinary" enemies alive and turn them into these monsters to spread the plague. The Ravenian in Scholomance, Magistrate Barthilas in Stratholme and Feugen and Stalagg in Naxxramas are the most known examples of wights.
- Abomination: These massive creatures are made from several human bodies tied together. They are exceptionally strong, and are used by both the Scourge and the Forsaken.
- Frost wyrm: The resurrected corpses of blue dragons, combining their frost magics with their fealty to the Lich King. Sapphiron, guardian of Kel'Thuzad's inner sanctum in Naxxramas, is a frost wyrm.
- Death knight: Corrupted Paladins who have forsaken the Light in favor of eternal life as a servitor of the Lich King. Before fusing with the Lich King, Arthas was once the first and greatest of the Death Knights; others include Baron Rivendare, Lord of Stratholme; Darkreaver, who is summoned in Scholomance; and the Four Horsemen, who reside in Naxxramas.
- Banshee: Ethereal spirits of the fallen elves of Quel'Thalas. Sylvanas Windrunner is a former banshee.
- Flesh giant: Gigantic versions of abominations, flesh giants are created by stitching together the corpses of slain giants native to Northrend. A different type of flesh giant, developed in Naxxramas (Grobbulus) is an example of this) have had huge syringes placed where their right hand would be, allowing them to inject vile substances into their enemies.
- Flesh titan: Horrific constructs created with greater intellect than the simple-minded abominations, and they possess deadly electrical attacks. Thaddius, located inside Naxxramas, was the first flesh titan to be seen in WoW; it is said that he was stitched together with the bodies of women and children, and that their souls are bound together in eternal torment within this cursed form. Another flesh titan is Thrym, created by Prince Navarius using the corpses of storm giants.
- Undead beast: Humanoids are not the only things stitched together into horrific monsters. These creatures are created using only animal parts. Gluth, the plague-dog that feasts on defective zombies in Naxxramas, is one of the few undead beast known to exist.
- Fungal monster: Essentially gigantic walking fungi, these beasts are either corrupted bog beasts from Azerothian swamps or actually grown within places like Naxxramas (as the plague grows huge fungal vales, such as Plaguewood). Loatheb, who resides in Naxxramas, is a fungal monster.
- Death's Head and Razorfen quilboar: After the old crone Charlga Razorflank conquered Razorfen Kraul, she allied with the Scourge and now Razorfen Downs, the traditional capital city of the quilboar race, is inhabited by the undead under Amnennar the Coldbringer.
- Vrykul: In recent days, the vrykul — a race of vampiric half-giants native to Northrend — have made their reappearance after millennia of slumber. Led by King Ymiron, the vrykul have allied themselves with the Lich King so that he will raise their dead as warriors in his service. In addition, the Scourge appears to be aiding the vrykul in expanding underneath the Howling Fjord.
- Val'kyr: Vrykul women "ascended to immortality" by the Lich King to aid him in dominating the spirit world.
- Rot Hide gnolls: These undead gnolls, led by Thule Ravenclaw, were once Mudsnouts but were unable to escape the Lich King's plague, and now many of them serve as undead minions to the Scourge.
- Plague eruptor: The Lich King's most recent experiment, the rotted skin of these grotesque creatures are covered with plague-ridden pustules which spread the Lich King's dread contagion when they burst.
- Darkfallen: Darkfallen are what appear to be vampiric elven necromancers. The San'layn, a group of renegade elven princes, are darkfallen.
- Geist: These creatures were once executed criminals that have been raised in undeath by the Scourge.
- Worgen: Large, wolf-like humanoids, reminiscent of a werewolf, that exist only to terrorize and destroy. These creatures are thoroughly evil, delighting in torturing victims and devouring intelligent creatures. It was due to Arugal's summonings that some of the ravenous worgen were brought into the world of Azeroth.
- Bane spider: Creations of the Scourge.
- Ice troll. Mind controlled
- Mind-controlled Wendigo.
Manual of Monsters
Appart from the mentioned above, the Appendix Three of Manual of Monsters mentions the following allies of the Scourge: Alley Reaper, Chardun-Slain, Corpse Whisperer, Golem, Crystal, Fleshcrawlers, Huecuva, Fleshcrawlers, Nightshades, Wyvern (Drakonid), Hag, Swamp, Ice Haunt, Marrow Knight, Mistwalker, Ratman, Red Witch, Bane Cloud, Demon Spider, Bonewing, Corpse Whisperer, Dark Womb, Demon, Locust, Despair, some Gallows Eye, Siege Undead, Skull King, Touch Corrupter, Vermin Host, Barrow Wight, Blood Bones, Bog Mummy, Demiurge, Shadow, Lesser Shadow, Zombie, Juju Zombie, Bone Cobbler, Coffer Corpse, Draug Zombie, Brine Zombie, Four-Armed Gargoyle, Green Gargoyle, Margoyle, Haunt, Ghoul Wolf, Shadow Wolf, and Spectral Troll; however the validity of the source is disputed.
- Lich King ( Arthas Menethil/ Ner'zhul) (undisputed ruler)
- Kel'Thuzad (second-in-command to the Lich King, master of Naxxramas)
- The Cult of the Damned
- Thel'zan the Duskbringer (Commander of the Scourge forces assaulting Wintergarde Keep)
- The Four Horsemen
- Araj the Summoner (ruler of the ruins of Andorhal)
- Ras Frostwhisper (ruler of Scholomance)
- Devlin Agamand
- Darkmaster Gandling
- Noth the Plaguebringer
- Gothik the Harvester
- Heigan the Unclean
- Instructor Razuvious
- Other liches, necromancers and ordinary undead
- Anub'arak (ruler of the ruins of Azjol-Nerub)
- Sindragosa (Queen of the Frostbrood)
- Dar'Khan Drathir (overseer of the Scourge in Quel'Thalas)
- File:IconSmall Marrowgar.gif Lord Marrowgar (Commander of Icecrown Citadel defenses)
- Thule Ravenclaw (Leader of the Rot Hide Gnolls, Lord of Fenris Keep)
- Amnennar the Coldbringer (overseer of Razorfen Downs)
- Archmage Arugal
- Blood-Queen Lana'thel (Blood Queen of the San'layn)
- Prince Theraldis
- Prince Atherann
- Prince Tenris Mirkblood
- Prince Taldaram
- Prince Sandoval
- Prince Valanar (Overlord of Borean Tundra, Master of Naxxanar)
- Prince Keleseth (Overlord of Howling Fjord, Ambassador to the Vrykul)
- Prince Navarius (leader of the Scourge forces in Zul'Drak)
- Kel'Thuzad (second-in-command to the Lich King, master of Naxxramas)
Cults & groups of the Scourge
- Cult of the Damned: The Cult of the Damned is a band of mortals committed to serving the undead. It was formed and founded by Kel'Thuzad during the opening days of the Third War, during which the Scourge was working to establish its foothold on Lordaeron.
- The San'layn: The San'layn is a faction of darkfallen, renegade elves from Quel'Thalas under the rule of the Lich King. The San'layn in particular appear to be a group of elven princes, led by Blood-Queen Lana'thel.
- Wolfcult: The Wolfcult was founded, and is led by, none other than the Archmage Arugal. The purpose of the cult is predominantly to spread Arugal's dark influence throughout the Grizzly Hills area and to create an army of worgen at his disposal.