- Note: For characters 110 and above who have completed the Battle for Lordaeron, Undercity will be in its current, destroyed phase. For characters below 110, Undercity appears as it did before.
The Undercity is the capital city of the Forsaken undead of the Horde. It is located in Tirisfal Glades, at the northern edge of the Eastern Kingdoms. Far beneath the ruined capital city of Lordaeron, the royal crypts have been turned into a bastion of evil and undeath. Originally intended by Prince Arthas to be the Scourge's seat of power, the budding "Undercity" was abandoned when Arthas was recalled to aid the Lich King in distant Northrend. In Arthas's absence, the Dark Lady, Sylvanas Windrunner, led the rebel Forsaken to the Undercity, and claimed it for her own. Since taking up residence, the Forsaken have worked to complete the Undercity's construction by dredging the twisted maze of catacombs, tombs, and dungeons that Arthas began.
HistoryThis section concerns content exclusive to the Warcraft novels or short stories.
The Undercity was so named many years before the Forsaken claimed it as their own. Far beneath the palace of Lordaeron, the Undercity held the ancient crypts and catacombs of Lordaeron's royalty, as well as the city's dungeons and sewers. Although the Undercity was only intended for prisoners and the dead, the poorest of the Lordaeron people lived within. When the Alliance captured Orgrim Doomhammer, they sent him to the Undercity; sometime later he managed to escape and wandered for many years afterwards.
Lordaeron's capital city stood for centuries, a monument to humanity's might. In the Third War, Prince Arthas slew his father, King Terenas, in Lordaeron’s throne room and ransacked the city. He planned to use Lordaeron as his capital on this continent and ordered his minions to expand the catacombs beneath the city. Then the Lich King summoned Arthas to Northrend and the work was left uncompleted.
During Arthas' exodus, Sylvanas Windrunner broke free of the Lich King’s control and took many banshees and other undead with her. With Varimathras' assistance she defeated the dreadlords that controlled the city and set her newly dubbed Forsaken to finish Arthas' job in the dungeons. The Forsaken carved the Undercity and now rule the surrounding countryside.
Wrath of the Lich KingThis section concerns content exclusive to Wrath of the Lich King.
While the forces of the Horde and the Alliance were concentrated on a joint effort at Angrathar the Wrathgate, an uprising broke out within the Undercity. Demons of the Burning Legion and Forsaken rebels led by the dreadlord Varimathras and Grand Apothecary Putress managed to take control of the Undercity, killing several Forsaken and nearly killing the Dark Lady as well. In response the Horde led by Sylvanas Windrunner and Warchief Thrall attacked from the front entrance to reclaim the city. While the Alliance led by Varian and Jaina attacked from Sewers to restore Lordaeron to the Alliance. The ensuing battle ultimately killed both Varimathras and Putress, along with their fellow demons and Forsaken rebels.
However being no stranger to broken dreams, it is only fitting that Lordaeron bore witness to the end of the Horde-Alliance treaty as King Varian declared war upon the Horde after seeing the status of the once proud city. Jaina subsequently teleported the Alliance back to Stormwind.
With Patch 3.3.0, Thrall sent a legion of Kor'kron Guard led by captain Bragor Bloodfist, who replaced Varimathras, with Kor'kron Overseers replacing the Undercity Guardians, in order to ensure that the events of the Battle of Angrathar the Wrathgate never occur again. Some guardians still remain in the Sewers; it's unknown if this is an error or not.
After the death of Arthas, the Undercity was attacked by the Emerald Nightmare's mists and shadowy warriors of nightmares. Sylvanas, half of the Forsaken and all Horde representatives were having nightmares. Sharlindra and some Forsaken witnessed Sylvanas' murmur and moments later, shadowy figures attacked Sharlindra and her followers - thus the whole Undercity was enveloped by the Nightmare.
World of Warcraft: CataclysmThis section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.
In Cataclysm, the Undercity was "redesigned to accommodate flight.", as seen on the image to the left. The city has been fleshed out from its original "cardboard cutout" setup and is now a complete edition of the broken Lordaeron.
World of Warcraft: Battle for AzerothThis section concerns content exclusive to Battle for Azeroth.
For retaliation in the burning of Teldrassil during the War of the Thorns, Anduin Wrynn and the Alliance lay siege to the Undercity. Sylvanas, having expected such an attack, attempts to trap the Alliance leadership multiple times with blight, but this is thwarted each time by Jaina Proudmoore. It is during this last blight explosion that the entirety of the Undercity is engulfed, leaving it uninhabitable even for the Forsaken.
The Undercity is an extension of the crypts and dungeons originally beneath Lordaeron's capital city. The Forsaken dredged out complex catacombs and caverns. The place is dark, smells of corpses and has an evil feel. Spiders, oozes and other subterranean creatures occupy the distant passages. It is drastically different from any of the other capital cities for the Horde. Unlike Thunder Bluff and Orgrimmar, which are at the surface and often the sites of multiple festivals, the Undercity is dark, dreary, and cold. The Forsaken, however, are known for holding two festivals, Hallow's End and Pilgrim's Bounty.
The city is made up of roughly symmetrical quarters arranged around a circular center.
- Ruins of Lordaeron (outdoors area beyond and including the entry area)
- Trade Quarter (city center at the bottom elevator exits)
- Rogues' Quarter (southeast from the Trade Quarter)
- Magic Quarter (northeast from the Trade Quarter)
- War Quarter (northwest from the Trade Quarter)
- The Apothecarium (southwest from the Trade Quarter)
- Royal Quarter (south from Apothecarium entrance)
- Sewers (through tunnel west of city)
- Canals (interspaced between the different quarters)
Points of interest
- The Bank in the very heart of the city, in the middle of the Trade Quarter.
- The Bat Handler stands in the southwestern part of the Trade Quarter.
- The City Hall in the northeastern edge of the Trade Quarter.
- The Auction House is located in the circular area that leads between the Trade Quarter and the rest of the city.
- The mailbox is located on the north side of the upper rim of the Trade Quarter. Mailboxes are now also located near the auctioneers.
Orb of Translocation
Since the release of The Burning Crusade, players with the expansion are able to access an Orb of Translocation to the Silvermoon City palace, making it easy for anyone to travel between the two cities without having to go through the Plaguelands. The translocator works both ways. The Undercity orb is located in a newly opened city section west off the main part of the Ruins of Lordaeron. The translocator teleports you to the Inner Sanctum of the Sunfury Spire within Silvermoon City.
It cannot be used by the Alliance.
King Terenas' tomb
It is unknown who constructed the memorial to Terenas. It's possible that some Forsaken, feeling some residual loyalty to Lordaeron did it. It could also have been the members of the Silver Hand from when they retrieved Terenas' body. Another possibility is that the remaining Alliance forces in Lordaeron under Garithos erected the memorial during the short time that they controlled Capital City before Sylvanas took control.
It is also unclear what the tomb actually contains, since Terenas was cremated and his ashes were scattered by the wind.
Voices In The Throne Room
Some may note they hear whispers and voices throughout Undercity, but within three areas in the Ruins of Lordaeron, there is significant words spoken. All of these sounds relate back to Warcraft III, in which Arthas returned to Lordaeron and killed his father, King Terenas.
In the area where the bell is, you can hear the bell ringing in the ambiance, signifying Arthas' return. Upon moving from the bell tower to the hall before the throne room, the ambiance heard is the cheers of the People of Lordaeron welcoming Arthas back home. Upon the ground is dead rose petals, significant from the cutscene in Warcraft III in which the citizens showered Arthas with them as he walked to the throne room.
Upon entering the throne room, multiple voices are heard, the first being King Terenas and the warning given by the prophet, Medivh. Soon after, you hear the exchange between Arthas and his father as he kills him. The blood stain of the crown falling on the floor from Warcraft III can also be seen on the floor near the throne.
The following are the lines heard, which come in 5 separate waves. To best be heard, turn off your music and sounds, leaving only ambiance on and turned up.
- Medivh: "Yet Prisoners they are, my good king."
- King Terenas: "What is the meaning of this? Who are you?"
- Medivh: "Humanity is in peril. The tides of darkness have come again..."
- Arthas: "You no longer have to bear the weight of your crown. I have taken care... of everything..."
- King Terenas: "What is this? What are you doing, my son?!"
- Arthas: "Succeeding you... Father..."
- Arthas: "Let your eyes be closed..."
- Arthas: "This kingdom shall fall... And from the ashes shall arise a new order that will shake the very foundations of the world."
For those who want to hear this without venturing to Undercity, it was once possible to hear the sound by going into the data files, however, with the new file structure implemented by Blizzard this sound can only be heard by typing the following:
It may be easier to execute this by using a macro, as to make sure you don't misspell anything. Also, this is considered a sound when executed this way, so you must have your sound on and nothing else to hear it best.
Below are the two cutscenes where the voice clips are taken from.
- Main article: Undercity NPCs
From her throne in the Royal Quarter, the banshee queen Lady Sylvanas Windrunner rules with the support of the dreadlord Varimathras (Bragor Bloodfist, post-Battle for the Undercity) and the ghostly Sharlindra. Other luminaries include Bethor Iceshard, who is a powerful wizard that heads the joint warlock and mage guilds in Undercity, and Master Apothecary Faranell of the Royal Apothecary Society.
- Light's Hope Chapel, Eastern Plaguelands
- The Sepulcher, Silverpine Forest
- Forsaken High Command, Silverpine Forest
- Brill, Tirisfal Glades
- The Bulwark, Tirisfal Glades (Added in Patch 3.3)
- Tarren Mill, Hillsbrad Foothills
- Hammerfall, Arathi Highlands
- Revantusk Village, Hinterlands
- New Kargath, Badlands
- Sandy Beach, Vashj'ir
- Ralston Farnsley had the Undercity repeatable Runecloth quest used by non-undead Horde players to obtain the right to ride skeletal horses.
- There are two Zeppelin towers within fairly short walking distance of the Ruins of Lordaeron, one offers flights to Orgrimmar and Grom'Gol Base Camp, the other to Vengeance Landing.
- Do not worry about falling into the green liquid; it is harmless, and you may get out of it by finding a sewer pipe exit (exterior of the Undercity) or a small stairway (interior of the Undercity). You can even fish in it, but you won't catch anything magnificent....
- The Undercity doesn't have a fruit vendor.
- Using Detect Invisibility or a similar ability within the Ruins of Lordaeron (within the walls but before entering the throne room), it is possible to see low-level undead mobs (each named "Citizen of Lordaeron"), similar to the Unseen in Duskwood.
- Though from the outside players see many towers and rooftops, they are in fact nothing more than an illusion. The former Lordaeron capital is sparsely decorated in-game with only the courtyard, translocater room and tomb being an actual part of the former structure. The game designers did not intend for anyone to see Lordaeron from above, or get to other parts, just to walk through it. This has been changed in World of Warcraft: Cataclysm where the ruins of Lordaeron were fully built.
- The surface above Undercity received a facelift for Cataclysm; before that, it was just empty terrain with the city existing in a hole in the ground. Through wall-jumping, players could actually access this area by scaling the ruins' walls where they meet the mountains, after which they could peer into the city, or even jump in.
- Balconies above the inner circle parts of the War Quarter, Mage Quarter, Rogues' Quarter, and Apothecarium can be seen while flying in and out of the city by taxi. These empty balconies, aside from a single food crate, are on the same level as the Trade Quarter and are connected by footbridges that span above the corridors leading to and from the Trade Quarter and the outer quarters. These balconies and their connecting bridges can actually be seen on the map of Undercity. They cannot be reached on foot, but a mage can use Slow Fall, a priest can use Levitate, and an Engineer can use a Parachute Cloak to reach these balconies. From the top of the sewer tunnel where vampire bats pass, a player can activate either any one of these, mount up, run and jump, aiming to the left of the tunnel, to land on the balconies above the War Quarter. Video of how to reach them.
- There are portions of the Undercity where effects from Warcraft III were deliberately inserted into the game as ambient sounds. These areas are the throne room, the hallway directly outside of it, and even the bell tower located just at its entrance. Near the bell, you will hear the churchbells ringing when Arthas returns to Lordaeron before he becomes a death knight.
- In the hall before the throne room, there are still scattered rose petals on the cobblestones from Arthas' return. In the throne room itself, a slight trail of blood — from when Terenas' crown rolled on the floor after Arthas murdered him — can be seen near the throne. What is most chilling is that the room echoes with Arthas' own voice saying the words, "Succeeding you, father," his words before he murdered his own father.
- On the in-game map of the Undercity, the emblem of the Scourge is used instead of the regular Forsaken emblem.
- Sylvanas Windrunner seems to find the Undercity appealing to the eye, in spite of its rotting guards, necromantic constructs and mysterious green fluids. When she, Thrall and the player invade the Undercity during the , she exclaims, "What have they done to my beautiful city?"
- At one time there was a glitch in the game, so that a character running towards the opposing wall of a descending elevator would fall through the world, into Stonetalon Mountains, and then the Alterac Mountains. This may suggest that Blizzard used a vertical system for zone placement in addition to the existing horizontal one, creating another reason for not allowing flying mounts in classic content.
- Guards spawned from civilians are only level 65.
- A Tauren riding on a Kodo Mount has to dismount to enter the elevators through the throne room.
- A book at Acherus: The Ebon Hold states that "Our sources inside the Undercity report that the Horde is mobilizing to stage an assault on Northrend.", revealing that Undercity has, or had, infiltrators within the city walls.
- The new Orcish guards replacing most of the Forsaken guards and Abominations inside Undercity also have their own flavour of text responses when players interact with them when finding out something like Class or Profession trainers. They have distinct reservations about Undercity, from its Inn, to its Cooking and sometimes hostile responses, particularly for players wishing to find the Warlock trainer.
- After the Battle for Lordaeron, the city is inaccessible by players due to the plague. Though they can fly overhead, a quick death awaits if they land. Even the back entrance to the Sewers has been blocked by a massive boulder.
- Players can speak to Zidormi on the road to access the time before the fall of the Undercity.