Withered creatures are twisted, withered husks of once-mortal creatures now horribly transformed into malicious undead servants, bolstered by the Lich King to the ranks of the Scourge through necromancy. They retain their intelligence, their special abilities, and sometimes (and most disturbingly) their memories.
Some are maddened creatures, longing for their old lives but forever barred from that path, taking out their resentment on the living. Others wallow in despair, repulsed by their forms but forced to bear them, waiting patiently and hopelessly for the sweet release of destruction. Still others revel in their new powers, embracing their new unlives with an insane fervor. The only constant among the withered is that none of them remains unchanged by the touch of Ner'zhul.
While the Scourge created the first withered creatures, other types of withered creatures have since come into existence. In some cases, those who die violent deaths at the hands of undead rise spontaneously as withered creatures. Particularly evil beings sometimes find themselves cursed after death, unable to rest quiet in the grave. Greedy folk who cling to life with both hands sometimes attain a withered state through sheer force of will. Necromancers who traffic with the forces of life and death can rise as withered creatures after death, and some seek out the transformation deliberately.
No two withered creatures look exactly alike. Most retain their mortal forms, yet with a dry, dead look about them, as if they were empty husks. Some lose their flesh entirely, remaining as animated skeletons. Others rot continually, shedding slick white flesh and writhing maggots in their wake, but somehow never losing mass. Most bear glowing eyes, usually yellow, red, or green, and certain similar abilities.
Any dead creature that is brought back through the use of necromancy or any creature brought close to death by a member of the Scourge becomes withered. This possibility reflects the plague’s effects on non-humanoid beings. The plague is not only effective on humanoids; it also infects plants and animals. In theory, there could be some withered shambling mounds or other vegetative creatures in existence, as well. Becoming a member of the withered allows the creature to keep its extraordinary, supernatural, and spell-like abilities along with its intellect, although the guiding intellect of that creature is now malevolent and loses all ties with any past life. Even if the animal was once benevolent and with good intentions, it loses all thoughts of morality and ethics once it has been revived with the plague. Sometimes these creatures are fleshly zombies; other times, they are animate without flesh, becoming skeletal creatures with magical abilities to maintain their own bodies despite the plague's physical ravages. Blue dragons that become frost wyrms are withered.
- Rot Hide gnolls
- Frost wyrms
- Withered half-elves
- Withered ogres
- Withered shambling mounds
- Withered gnolls
- Withered trolls