Lady Sylvanas had been methodically and patiently overseeing the creation of this contagion for several years now, and it seemed the time at last had come to test it. During the Lich King's initial attack on the cities of the Horde and Alliance, a renowned apothecary named Grand Apothecary Putress set up camp in Shattrath to counter the Lich King's own spreading plague.
After numerous stages of experimentation, Putress succeeded in forming a counter-agent and curbing the spread of the plague of undeath. For his efforts, he gained favor within the Forsaken's ranks, and Sylvanas dispensed him to assist the Horde advance into Northrend. Nevertheless, the attack convinced Warchief Thrall to commit to a Northrend campaign, much to Sylvanas' approval.
The Forsaken were one of the major superpowers to advance on Northrend. While the main Horde force attacked and conquered regions of Borean Tundra , the Forsaken fleet comprised of customized Lordaeron ships dredged up from the ocean  laid siege to Howling Fjord. Coming under the banner of the Hand of Vengeance , the Forsaken army tasked with delivering apt revenge against Arthas, the queen's navy swiftly crushed the Alliance Northwatch fleet and cornered them on the shores of the Fjord.
No sooner had the Forsaken began their assault, however, had the Lich King turned his gaze back to his former servants: Prince Valanar offered the Forsaken commander High Executor Anselm the chance to renounce his fealty to Queen Sylvanas and return to the Scourge's embrace.
However, Anselm swiftly disposed of the san'layn prince, and had adventurers slay him for his insolence in making mock of the queen and killing his men. The Hand of Vengeance also waged a war against the vrykul , and the Royal Apothecary Society's field-testing plaguebringers drenched a number with a potent strain of blight in order to test its final stages of production.
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Their efforts would come to a head during the events of Dragonblight , where the Forsaken stationed at Venomspite and Agmar's Hammer perfected the final strains of the plague brought over from New Agamand. The Forsaken also came into conflict with their old enemy the Scarlet Crusade, now dissolved and reformed into the Scarlet Onslaught. However, just as the hour of the Forsaken was to approach, tragedy struck.
During the battle for Angrathar the Wrathgate , Grand Apothecary Putress and renegade plaguebringers made their appearance. After questioning the newly-arrived Lich King as to whether he thought the Forsaken had "forgotten" or "forgiven" him for what he had done, Putress drenched the battlefield in a massive strain of blight, causing huge losses to the collaboration of Horde and Alliance forces present.
The blight was so powerful, in fact, that Arthas himself was brought to his knees. The Lich King fled back to Icecrown, and Putress was left to cackle triumphantly at the destruction wrought on by the plague. Putress' actions were outside the orders of the Forsaken and, concurrently with the Wrathgate attack, Varimathras had usurped control of the Undercity. Sylvanas barely escaped with her life and her loyalists, and the Forsaken were taken in by Thrall while they planned their next move. In a conversation with Jaina Proudmoore , Thrall and Sylvanas reveal that Putress had allied with the treacherous dreadlord in order to depose the Dark Lady's rule.
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Despite this, Jaina warns them that King Varian Wrynn nonetheless holds them responsible, and is considering leading an army into the Undercity in order to reclaim Lordaeron for the Alliance. Unwilling to abandon the Undercity to the traitors, Sylvanas, Thrall, and Vol'jin lead a Horde counterattack in order to remove Varimathras from power and restore the Undercity to the Forsaken.
After fighting their way through a Burning Legion -controlled Undercity, the Banshee Queen and the Warchief succeed in killing Varimathras and retaking the Royal Quarter. As they prepare to strike at Putress, however, King Varian enters and declares his intention to end it all there.
Before the battle can increase in intensity, Jaina swiftly teleports the Alliance forces out of the Undercity, resulting in a successful Horde restoration. Though the Undercity had been restored to its rightful masters, the repercussions of the Wrathgate have hounded the Forsaken relentlessly. Their abomination guardians were either removed or relegated to the sewers, and Kor'kron overseers were deployed to watch over the Forsaken from that point forward. Thrall's trust for the Forsaken seems to have become thinner than ever, and their credibility in the eyes of the wider Horde has also suffered.
With the Undercity securely back in Horde hands, Lady Sylvanas personally made her way into Northrend in order to claim vengeance upon Arthas.
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Together with her dark rangers, the Banshee Queen infiltrated Icecrown Citadel and fought her way through to the Halls of Reflection , where she came face-to-face with the blade that took her life. After Arthas successfully fought her off, however, Sylvanas was forced to face her inability to defeat her greatest foe alone. However, with his death, a void was left - while Sylvanas and the Forsaken had existed solely to claim their vengeance, the Dark Lady could only ponder what was left for them. This section concerns content related to Cataclysm.
As it happens, the Forsaken - having successfully partaken in the fall of the Lich King - have turned their attention to other pursuits. For one: the complete conquest of Lordaeron. Now, along with being mistrusted by her own allies, Sylvanas recognizes that many of Azeroth's other inhabitants still see her people as a threat, even after the Lich King's defeat.
As their numbers dwindle by the day, the Forsaken have begun fortifying their holdings around the Undercity, working to prove their loyalty to the Horde's cause even as they ready themselves for any future attacks. After the Lich King's death, a number of the more intelligent former Scourge members were accepted into the Forsaken's ranks by Queen Sylvanas.
Some of them, the Val'kyr , have brought with them a new age for the Forsaken: the ability to "procreate" via their necromantic abilities, bolstering their numbers. The second generation Forsaken are individuals who were raised into undeath by these Val'kyr. The risen dead of the new Forsaken generation are given a choice of what to do after they are reborn.
Some of them, such as Valdred Moray , accept their fate, and seem keen to make themselves useful and serve the Forsaken in death. The resurrected Prince Galen Trollbane seemed resigned to the fate that befell him and while not particularly enthusiastic about killing his former allies,  he personally gave the quests to slay them for the good of the Dark Lady.
On the other hand, others do not react so positively. Lilian Voss reacts in horror to what she had become, and Marshal Redpath , not happy with his fate, attacks Deathknell after the transition. Some of the new Forsaken simply kill themselves on the spot. Dumass is perhaps the most extreme case of how the process can strip away rational thought and intelligence.
After the Cataclysm , the Forsaken launched an offensive against Gilneas , after being ordered by Garrosh Hellscream to do so. The Forsaken appear to be taking on a more offensive stance regarding the war with the Alliance, and with their new ability to bolster their ranks, their stranglehold on Lordaeron has become tighter than ever. The Forsaken have also began to fortify their own territories, stepping up from their previous preferences of run down human-esque buildings in favor of their own architecture, seen briefly in Northrend.
This section concerns content related to Warlords of Draenor. Forsaken activity on Draenor is in Warspear and Horde Garrison, alongside other members of the Horde.
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Benjamin Gibb ventured into Spires of Arak as Sylvanas's agent. This section concerns content related to Legion. During the invasion, various Forsaken joined the class orders. This section concerns content related to Battle for Azeroth. The Forsaken stand adamantly as Sylvanas loyalists throughout the Blood War, with her using her psychologically manipulative tactics to ensure they remained angry and spiteful towards the Alliance and, eventually, towards Saurfang's loyalists as well, and with her eliminating any Forsaken who attempted to break away.
Ultimately Sylvanas betrays even them, denouncing them, like the rest of the Horde, as 'nothing' and abandoning the majority of them.
This leaves the Forsaken without a home or a leader, and now, like the rest of the Horde, they have an uncertain future of their own to find. The Forsaken capital of Undercity is always awake, just like the Forsaken themselves. The city is a place of dark, somber colors, stone walkways and steps. The Undercity has inns, forges, and businesses that cater not only to the undead, but visitors from the Horde, with whom the Forsaken have allied themselves. There are some illumination in the form of dim lamps and muted torches.
These sources of light are not merely there to serve the living; though the undead have no true need of light, it perhaps gives Undercity's chief inhabitants a facade of some other existence. The Forsaken navy is composed of ships dredged up from the bottom of the ocean. Most of them were once among Lordaeron 's fleets. There are some among the Forsaken who read tea leaves in order to divine the future. According to the Deathguards , black, grey and dark purple are the prescribed colors.
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While most Forsaken are loyal to the Undercity and their Banshee Queen, there are different cases. Leonid Barthalomew looks at his undeath as a malady. An illness that merely requires treatment, hence his loyalties to the Argent Crusade. Upon first being raised, a Forsaken does not have free will. It takes more concentrated magic to release an undead's mind. However, some undead, especially those who die in combat or under extreme stress and are raised soon after, enter into a violent, frenzied state. Undead in this state are easily manipulated and their rage is often directed at the foes of those who raised them.
After the effects wear off, if the risen corpse has not been destroyed, they are given the same ultimatum that other Forsaken are offered: join the Dark Lady or return to the grave.