A couple of years ago, at my oldest daughter’s suggestion, I read “Arthas: Rise of the Lich King” by Christie Golden. It was a wise suggestion considering that I started playing World of Warcraft around the time the Wrath of the Lich King expansion came out. Because of that, I’ve always had a fondness for the lore of Arthas and the Death Knights. Having just written that, I’m now thinking “Arthas and the Death Knights” would be a cool name for a band. But I digress…
I loved “Arthas: Rise of the Lich King” and I thoroughly enjoyed learning more about the background of the Lich King. I think the book was wonderfully written by Christie Golden and I was immediately a big fan of her writing. I know Christie had to work with the Warcraft creators to get the details of the lore right and I’m sure that’s a hard job, especially when there’s so many fans who are obsessed with details. She did it beautifully in my opinion and I’m envious of her writing ability.
Having learned the background details of Arthas from the book and knowing that it played out in Warcraft III, I was tempted to try playing that game just to experience it. I never did though and I’m actually glad I didn’t because the other night I experienced something new and wonderful in World of Warcraft, the Culling of Stratholme dungeon.
In the book, the culling of Strat is one of the big events that begins Arthas’s descent into madness and evil, and it’s where Uther Lightbringer and Jaina Proudmoore leave, unwilling to help him with such a gruesome endeavor. I didn’t even know it was a dungeon until I queued for a random dungeon that night and that’s what I got into. I’ve been playing World of Warcraft since 2008 but I love how the game continues to surprise and delight me.
I imagine a lot of Warcraft players and Warcraft book readers know how the Culling of Stratholme happens, so I won’t retell it here with words. Instead, I’ll share my screenshots from my dungeon run that night. I was playing my void elf hunter, Val, but everyone gets turned into a human for this particular dungeon. In some of the pics my human hunter looks purple because the entropic embrace of void elves doesn’t agree with her skin tone. I really enjoyed the dungeon because it felt like I was stepping into a very familiar story and experiencing it firsthand. I’m going to run it with my oldest daughter sometime because she loves Arthas and all that lore even more than I do.