|This article or section should likely be dramatically changed after the Cataclysm expansion.
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 Lordearon 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.
World of Warcraft: CataclysmThis section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.
In the upcoming expansion Cataclysm, the Undercity will be "redesigned to accommodate flight.", as seen on the image to the left.
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
Although the memorial to King Terenas appears to be a stone tomb, it was shown in Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos that after his death, Terenas was cremated. Furthermore, the urn containing his ashes was used to resurrect the Lich Kel'Thuzad. It is unknown what happened to the King's remains after this point. Even if it does not actually contain his remains, it is speculated that the memorial was made by members of the Forsaken with fond memories of their former King, but the true origins of the tomb remain unknown.
The Throne Room
When you stand in the Throne Room, at least in the center of the circle on the floor, with the ambient sound turned all the way up, in the background noises you can hear small clips of Arthas, Medivh, and King Terenas. For those who wish to hear this without venturing into the Undercity, the ambient sound file is located at (WoW Directory)\Data\Sound\Ambience\WMOAmbience\UnderCityThorneRoom.wav.
If you look closely on the floor of the throne room, near the foot of the throne, you can see a small trail of blood that was left by the crown as it rolled onto the floor.
By the same token, in the outer hall leading into the throne room, one can hear the celebration of Arthas' return by Lordaeron's citizens. The floor is littered with dead rose petals, the same ones seen showering Arthas during the cutscene in Warcraft III.
When standing by the bell outside of the throne room you can hear it ringing.
- 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 the 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
Notes, tips, and additional info
- Ralston Farnsley has 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 on 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 will be changed in World of Warcraft: Cataclysm where the ruins of Lordaeron will be fully built.
- 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 have, 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.
Undercity's Upper floor
- Patch 1.4.0 (2005-05-05): Patrolling scouts that can see through stealth and invisibility have been added to the Undercity.