|Previous: March of the Scourge|
|Next: The Shores of Northrend|
|Campaign: The Scourge of Lordaeron|
|Outcome: Alliance victory|
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The Culling is chapter 6 of The Scourge of Lordaeron. It was the slaughter of a large portion of the civilian population of Stratholme at the hands of Prince Arthas, who sought to prevent the spread of the Plague of Undeath at any cost necessary. This event also marked the (temporary) disbanding of the Silver Hand, as Uther the Lightbringer refused to follow the order of executing civilians. More importantly, the event marked Prince Arthas's first major step to becoming a death knight by slaughtering his own people.
- Countless unnamed villagers (males and females)
As Arthas begins the massacre, the dreadlord Mal'Ganis appears and begins "collecting" those civilians who have already been transformed into mindless zombies (he teleports the zombies into the Twisting Nether for safe keeping). Mal'Ganis gloats that soon the people of Lordaeron will belong to the Scourge. Arthas refuses to let that happen and quickens his slaughter of the populace. The two sides proceed to ravage the city building by building. Finally, when most of the city is in ruins and its inhabitants either dead or converted, Arthas and Mal'Ganis confront each other face to face. Arthas demands that Mal'Ganis fight him here and now. Mal'Ganis, however, tells Arthas to gather his forces and come to Northrend. It is there that they will settle this conflict. Mal'Ganis then teleports away. Arthas vows to hunt Mal'Ganis "to the ends of the earth."
- Arthas: Glad you could make it, Uther.
- Uther: Watch your tone with me, boy. You may be the prince, but I'm still your superior as a paladin.
- Arthas: As if I could forget. Listen, Uther, there's something about the plague you should know. Oh no. It's too late. These people have all been infected. They may look fine now, but it's a matter of time before they turn into the undead.
- Uther: What?
- Arthas: This entire city must be purged.
- Uther: How can you even consider that? There's got to be some other way
- Arthas: Damn it, Uther. As your future king, I order you to purge this city.
- Uther: You are not my king yet, boy. Nor would I obey that command if you were!
- Arthas: Then I must consider this an act of treason.
- Uther: Treason? Have you lost your mind, Arthas?
- Arthas: Have I? Lord Uther, by my right of succession and sovereignity of my crown, I hereby relieve you from your command and suspend your paladins from service.
- Jaina: Arthas, you can't just...
- Arthas: It's done! Those of you who have the will to save this land, follow me. The rest of you... get out of my sight.
- Uther: You've just crossed a terrible threshold, Arthas.
- Arthas: Jaina?
- Jaina: I'm sorry, Arthas. I can't watch you do this.