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"My people have suffered so long... if only I could shoulder more of their burden."
Worgen are a playable race featured in the Warcraft series. They are a race of large, lupine humanoids. Worgen are members of the Alliance.
Long ago, amid a brutal war between the night elves and the demonic satyrs in Kalimdor, a group of druids practiced a powerful yet unwieldy form that embodied the fury of the wolf Ancient, Goldrinn. Taught by Ralaar Fangfire, these Druids of the Pack sought to temper the uncontrollable rage inherent in their chosen form. To do so, they willingly submitted to the energies of the Scythe of Elune, a mystical artifact created from Goldrinn’s fang and the staff of Elune.
Rather than abate the druids’ fury, however, the weapon transformed Ralaar and his followers into worgen: bestial humanoids enslaved by their own primal instincts. Blinded by all-consuming rage, Ralaar’s druids tore through friend and foe alike during battle with the satyrs. Night elves wounded by the unruly beasts contracted a virulent curse that turned them into worgen as well. Desperate to stanch the affliction’s spread, Archdruid Malfurion Stormrage mournfully banished the worgen beneath Daral'nir within the Emerald Dream, where they would be in peaceful slumber for all eternity.
Years later, several individuals started investigating about the worgen. Ur, a mage of Dalaran, did research on worgen but never summoned them. He found out that the worgen seemed to hail from a dark and treacherous world, from which there was no corner which was truly safe. Another of these individuals was Archmage Arugal. Frustrated by the destruction of Dalaran by the Scourge and against the advice of his peers, Archmage Arugal elected to summon an army of the extra-dimensional entities by using Ur's research. With King Genn Greymane's blessing, these original worgen—cursed druids from Azeroth's ancient past—were then released from their prison.
The summoned worgen fought at first against the undead armies, but quickly turned on the wizards themselves. Unfortunately, the methods of removing them from their prison did not appear to be reversible, which left the insane druids unfettered and unrestrained. The curse of the worgen rapidly spread among the human population, transforming ordinary men and women into ravenous, feral creatures. They sieged the keep of the noble Baron Silverlaine. Situated above the tiny hamlet of Pyrewood, the keep quickly fell into shadow and ruin.
Driven mad with guilt, Arugal adopted the worgen as his children and retreated to Silverlaine's former mansion, the estate now known as Shadowfang Keep. He then cursed the village people of Pyrewood to turn into worgen whenever the sun went down. The curse, however, was not contained.
At approximately the same time, the night elf Sentinel Velinde Starsong was given the task of clearing Felwood of demons. She prayed to Elune and was granted the Scythe of Elune, which had been the tool for the creation of the original worgen, and which could also summon worgen. Velinde received a vision after touching the scythe, in which the worgen battled an unflinching enemy, Lords of the Emerald Flame, in a vicious war. In reality, the Lords were the satyr that had fought against the night elves and worgen in the War of the Satyr.
Using the Scythe of Elune, Velinde was able to summon a very large number of worgen to fight at her side against the demons. Later Velinde began to notice that some of her force were unaccounted for. It was as though the Scythe of Elune no longer required her presence to perform the summoning process. Perplexed by this development, she ordered the remaining worgen to remain at the Shrine of Mel'Thandris in Ashenvale and began to search for Archmage Arugal, whom she had heard also summoned worgen. From that point on her fate became a mystery, but it was rumored that she was killed in Duskwood and lost the Scythe of Elune. Black Riders from Deadwind Pass came to Duskwood looking for the Scythe and murdered a family of farmers in the search to find it. The Terrowulf worgen tribe stayed at the Shrine in Ashenvale for a while, and eventually left, though it is not known where they went. Meanwhile worgen Wolf Cults have begun to pop up in human lands and contributed to the spread of the worgen curse. It is revealed that these wolf cults have also been trying to obtain the Scythe of Elune for themselves as well.
It is also known that the dark mage Morganth was searching for the Scythe of Elune, and stole Ur's Treatise on Shadow Magic as well.
Wrath of the Lich KingEdit
Eventually, Arugal was killed, and the worgen under his protection turned to live on the wilds of Silverpine Forest. Arugal's activities and brought him back from the dead to work for him. This also meant that several worgen under Arugal's command, the Bloodmoon worgen, allied with the Scourge in Northrend, staying in particular in the Grizzly Hills. Some worgen that served under Arugal have been forced into the service of the Lich King, turning them into Death Knights.
Worgen death knights are entirely of their own minds once freed, the bestial instincts having been shattered by the Lich King's will and their self-control having been restored after the Battle for Light's Hope Chapel. The result is similar to a worgen who has drank from the wells of the Wild Home.
It is revealed that the worgen curse has spread into the secluded kingdom of Gilneas, transforming many of its inhabitants into worgen, called the Greymane worgen. However, with the help of their night elf allies, they have developed a partial cure to the curse which allows them to retain their sanity even while transformed. After the Shattering, the Greymane Wall was destroyed, allowing the Forsaken to attack and invade Gilneas unhindered. The Greymane worgen have been fighting the Forsaken in Gilneas and Silverpine Forest ever since, but most of their non-worgen citizens had to flee Gilneas to the safety of Darnassus. The night elves, who created the curse in the first place, felt obliged to help the Greymane worgen. They created a dwelling in Darnassus for them to seek refuge in as the war for their home rages on. Afterwards, Gilneas was re-inducted into the Alliance.
The Gilneans, many of which are now infected with the worgen curse, are now found across the world, fighting for the Alliance in the Southern Barrens, Ashenvale, Felwood, and many other areas. In Silverpine, former rebel leader Darius Crowley is leading the Worgen offensive to defend Gilneas, with the help of Ivar Bloodfang and the Bloodfang pack. Recently however, agents of Sylvanas Windrunner kidnapped his daughter Lorna Crowley, holding her to ransom in exchange for Crowley's surrender. Darius ultimately chose to surrender and fled into Gilneas. However Bloodfang continues to the fight against the Forsaken in the Hillsbrad Foothills and has even recruited the aid of the Stormpike Guard.
Many worgen have taken up the druidic arts as a way to cope with their transformation, to help control their animalistic side or even to learn more about themselves and the powers that helped their race begin.
According to Denmother Ulrica in Talonbranch Glade, with the bringing of the Gilnean worgen into the Alliance, it appears that even the feral worgen of Kalimdor have joined the fold. These worgen would be the original night elves of the Druids of the Pack, who caused the worgen to come into existence to begin with.
Mists of Pandaria & Warlords of DraenorEdit
Many worgen joined the Alliance and went to Pandaria. They served as soldiers, battling the Horde and other threats. After Garrosh Hellscream's defeat, many worgen ventured back in time, through the Dark Portal to aid the Alliance in ending him and the newfound Iron Horde.
Worgen grow thick hair, possess feral canine appearance and their height is around 7 feet. The worgen have various eye colors, ranging from blue, to red to orange. Their fur varies in color from a white color to a gray color, to a black color.
Worgen usually hunt in packs under the guidance of an Alpha. Alphas are the strongest member of a pack and holds dominion over the other worgen in his or her pack. Those who seek to overthrow the Alpha and take his or her place must best him or her in combat.
Worgen generally tend to prefer more natural habitats like forests; they are natural hunters and have a propensity to hunt. What can be inferred from the Gilnean worgens' hunting behavior is that respect can be earned within the pack by the number of prey hunted or by hunting an incredibly elusive or dangerous prey. Alpha Prime describes being unable to hunt as excruciating torture for his kind. Once bitten, worgen go through stages of the Mindless state, eventually losing their last vestiges of their former lives and gaining a full feral mentality; an irreversible transformation.
Worgen must always control their emotions lest they lose themselves to their form's feral instincts. Rage and guilt are two known emotions that illicit a worgen's transformation. One way worgen can temporarily keep their sanity is by injecting themselves with a serum created by Gilnean chemist, Krennan Aranas. Another method is undertaking a night elven ritual that makes peace with traumatic events, thus bringing balance between the human and worgen sides. This ritual involves eating a piece of Moonleaf (to help the mind prepare for the ritual) and drinking holy water from moon wells that recalls traumatic and peaceful events so that a person may gain understanding and balance of one's self.
Worgen are naturally drawn to and revere the wolf Ancient, Goldrinn, who in a way, is the progenitor of their race. Some worgen, having had a natural connection to nature, have also taken up druidism. Typically, those whose minds have been brought back from wildness will continue to revere the same concepts they did prior to their turning into a worgen (such as the Gilneans, many of whom still believe in the Light). It is seen though that some of those who have been turned also embrace and revere the nature-related spirits that resulted in the worgen concurrently with their former beliefs.
Worgen are not technically a race and thus cannot reproduce like one. The worgen curse is just a curse. Its origins are rooted in the druidic pack form that was later altered by the Scythe of Elune. The end result is worgen we see today, beings that can transmit their affliction to others via a single bite. If two worgen were to mate and produce an offspring, that offspring would not be a worgen. The child would merely possess the genetic material of his or her parents, like any other child sans the curse.
Resistance to UndeathEdit
The worgen curse makes raising them into undeath far more difficult than it is for normal humans. the worgen curse has roots in both the Emerald Dream (through the wolf Ancient, Goldrinn) and the holy power of the goddess Elune. In addition, those worgen who imbibe the waters of Tal'doren—through the ritual they undergo to maintain balance between the worgen curse and their humanity—have a further resistance to the corruption of undeath. Sylvanas' Val'kyr are less powerful than the Lich King and are unable to overcome this resistance and turn worgen into Forsaken.
Worgen prefer to hide in shadows before leaping great distances upon their foes. They attack with feral tenacity, slashing with their deadly claws and biting with sharp, infectious fangs. Worgen are nearly fearless and typically fight to the death, relying on their regeneration to save them. Worgen love nothing more than to pounce on an opponent and tear him to ribbons. If a foe is helpless, the worgen delivers a coup de grace before moving on to another target, unless the fight is well in hand. Then it turns to torture (or "playtime") — and the unfortunate victim is almost certain to wish he had died. The saliva of a worgen carries a dangerous infection that can prove deadly against those who are bitten.
Other methods of combat, usually used by sane worgen, are typical warriors. They wield a one-handed weapon and shield.
Prior to the Age of Chaos, Stormwind was the mightiest of the Seven Kingdoms, and King Archibald boasted of having built up Gilneas without the help of Stormwind. At the onset of the Second War, Genn Greymane’s heart bled for Stormwind and the young King Varian Wrynn, but he did not feel as if that was justification enough to join the Alliance of Lordaeron due to the costs of Gilnean lives. King Genn reluctantly supported Lord Regent Lothar as commander of the Alliance army due to his lack of a nation and the political benefit of his Arathi bloodline. Stormwind and Gilneas were frequently at odds within the Alliance. Their opposition had little to do with national rivalries, but with their drastically different attitudes towards the Alliance of Lordaeron. Stormwind was arguably the greatest beneficiary of the Alliance’s success, since the Alliance not only helped Stormwind regain its territory from the Horde, but also helped pay for the reconstruction of Stormwind. Gilneas on the other hand was skeptical of the Alliance, particularly of Lordaeron’s role as its central power, and Genn also felt that the Alliance was nothing but an economic drain to Gilneas. King Terenas convinced the Alliance nations, including Gilneas, to contribute to the rebuilding of Stormwind and the construction of Nethergarde Keep. Gilneas, however, eventually left the Alliance due to continued border disputes and the high taxes that resulted from the many post-war Alliance projects.
King Varian Wrynn and the worgen under King Genn Greymane effectively turned the tide against the Horde forces of Garrosh in Ashenvale. After the battle, Stormwind became a supportive sponsoring party for readmitting Gilneas back into the Alliance. King Genn now stands beside of King Varian in Stormwind Keep, and King Varian has deployed the 7th Legion to aid the Gilneas Liberation Front reclaim their homelands.
Gilneas probably held strong cultural relations and with long historical ties with the various dwarf clans of Khaz Modan. During the times of the Arathor Empire, the humans of Gilneas and Alterac explored Khaz Modan, establishing first contact with the dwarves. It was around this time, “The humans and dwarves shared many secrets of metal-smithing and engineering and discovered a common love for battle and storytelling, which marked the beginning of friendship between these two races. In later centuries, King Archibald boasts of having built up Gilneas without the assistance of Stormwind, Lordaeron, or Quel’Thalas, but conspicuously leaves out the similarly industrial nation of Ironforge. Indeed, Gilneas and Ironforge share a similar dedication to industrialization, metalworking, and engineering, including the use of firearms and cannons in their militaries. There is not, however, any direct indication of Gilneas’s foreign policy with Ironforge or the Aerie Peak.
At the welcoming banquet of the Alliance summit in Darnassus, Genn Greymane spends much of his time conversing with most of Kurdran’s party, regaling them with tales of his battles against the Horde while enjoying dwarven ale. Furthermore, the dwarves were the most eager non-sponsoring party to readmit Gilneas back into the Alliance. Darnassus initially acts as Gilneas's chief sponsor, since they are their primary benefactors. In the second vote, both Darnassus and Stormwind effectively act as Gilneas's sponsors. The dwarves were the first to support Gilneas in the first vote, and they were the first to support Gilneas in the second vote.
Throughout the world of Azeroth, Gilneans and dwarves work in close company. When the Horde initially encounter’s Jaina’s Human Expedition in Kalimdor during the Third War, a dwarven mountain king commands the Gilneas Brigade. The blacksmith Jordan Stilwell of Pyrewood Village later moved shop to Ironforge where he worked closely with the local dwarves. Dareth, a Gilnean druid, also stands by Jordan Stilwell outside the gates of Ironforge. The dwarven Explorers' League readily extended membership to the Gilnean Wulfred Harrys and other worgen. Gilneans are also found in the dwarven camp in the Badlands. In Hillsbrad Foothills, the Bloodfang worgen and Stormpike dwarves of Alterac become mutual allies against the Forsaken. In the Blasted Lands, it's the dwarf, Enohar Thunderbrew who sends you to help the spirits of the worgen pass on to the next life. The dwarf Garrod Pubhammer can also be found among the Gilneans of Surwich in the Blasted Lands.
Gilneas has minimal direct contact with the gnomes of Gnomeregan, so their relations remain difficult to ascertain. At the Alliance summit in Darnassus, none of the interactions between High Tinker Gelbin Mekkatorque and his people with Genn and the Gilneans are recorded. Gnomes and Gilneans are found in common company in only a few scattered locations, such as Fort Livingston in Northern Stranglethorn and Windshear Hold in the Stonetalon Mountains. The most noteworthy interaction between Gilneans and gnomes occurs at Farwatcher’s Glen in Stonetalon. The gnome Salsbury the “Help” is dressed in Gilnean fashion and standing alongside the worgen druid Hierophant Malyk, hoping to gain his trust so that he can be taught how to become the world’s first “gnomegen”. Hierophant Malyk also uses Salsbury’s engineering to help exterminate the black dragon roost at the Charred Vale.
Gilneas had little political and cultural contact with the reclusive high elven nation of Quel’Thalas. Nevertheless, the Kingdom of Gilneas may have not thought well of the high elves. King Archibald Greymane, in particular, speaks of how "[Gilneas] certainly did not grovel to the long-eared arrogance of those demi-humans in Quel'Thalas". King Genn Greymane would have carried his father’s sentiments of Quel’Thalas as well. King Genn, however, does not provide his reaction to the prospect of Anduin Lothar, as a descendant of King Thoradin, to act as an emissary to the elves. Gilneas withdrew from the Alliance shortly after Quel’thalas, though for not entirely the same reason. As allies of the Horde, the blood elves of Quel’Thalas have become the sworn political enemies of Gilneas, though there is little love lost between the two nations.
In a short amount of time, Gilneas has developed close national ties with the night elves in the Alliance. These racial bonds have been formed over spilt Horde blood, guilt, and gratitude. Even before Gilneans ever encountered night elves, their people had received second or third-hand rumors of the night elves and their druids. As the night elf Belysra Starbreeze claims, given the night elven origin of the worgen curse, "the destinies of [their] two races have been linked since the Curse befell [them]". Velinde Starsong was the first night elf who sought to investigate Arugal’s worgen of Silverpine, though her mission would fail in Duskwood, but she would not be the last. Other night elves began sneaking into Gilneas to investigate the worgen shortly before the Shattering. King Genn Greymane worked closely in secret with the moon priestess Belysra Starbreeze, who taught him much of the night elves and worgen in hopes of stopping the Wolf Cult and its leader Ralaar Fangfire. King Genn kept the night elves’ presence in Gilneas a secret, fearful that Lord Vincent Godfrey and other lords would be unable to handle the full ramifications of the truth. King Genn and Belysra were, however, unable to stop Alpha Prime in time, and the Wolf Cult unleashed the worgen epidemic upon Gilneas City and other surrounding towns. In the time that followed, many night elf druids assisted with restoring the sanity of feral worgen.
Following the fall of Gilneas, the night elves transported much of the Gilnean populace back to Darnassus even though that was not their original mission. Tyrande Whisperwind and Malfurion Stormrage now host the Gilnean refugees within their capital of Darnassus. Their druids grew the Howling Oak, which was created from a tree seed native to Gilneas, in Darnassus for the Gilneans. Malfurion works for the betterment of Gilneas largely out of the guilt he feels for being indirectly responsible for the nation’s worgen epidemic, which led to its downfall. According to Krennan Aranas, the night elves are not a people “to throw out idle welcomes to just anyone,” testifying their commitment to the Gilneans.
Gilneans view night elves with a mix of gratitude and humility. While the Gilneans are thankful towards the night elves for their continual assistance with Gilneas, the worgen curse, and providing a place of refuge, the night elves are, nevertheless, a reminder of their fallenness as a people and that the proud Gilneans required aid. Gilneans generally do not like feeling dependent on others and would prefer to have a hand in saving their own hides. Gilneans help the night elves to not only show their gratitude, but also to prove their own worth as allies.
Night elves, especially among the druids, assisted the Gilneans and the worgen in establishing communities across Azeroth, such as at Talonbranch Glade (Felwood), Farwatcher’s Glen (Stonetalon Mountains), and Surwich (Blasted Lands). Gilneans are otherwise a fairly common sight among night elven communities. Shandris Feathermoon has even brought female Gilnean worgen of the Moonclaw Pack into the Sentinels. The Gilneans Silvia, Tambre, and Adella received training from Shandris Feathermoon herself so that they may lead their pack and reclaim Gilneas. Lyros Swiftwind, who assisted the Gilneans in Gilneas and the Howling Oak, has also begun teaching the worgen of using wisps at Talonbranch Glade.
Yet not all night elves took kindly to their Gilnean guests. Night elves such as Maiev Shadowsong and her closest wardens felt that the night elves would be better off without the worgen. To that end, Maiev Shadowsong had tried to blame her killings of the Highborne on the Gilnean worgen. Although Maiev’s plot ultimately failed, it’s unclear what relationship the Gilneans have with the Highborne elves. King Genn also apparently distrusted the Highborne after learning of their past history and assigned his aide-de-camp Eadrik observe them, though Malfurion dissuaded King Genn from further spying. Archmage Mordent Evenshade, the leader of the Highborne, can be found among the Gilnean refugees at the Howling Oak in Darnassus. The worgen Sentinel Silvia works with the Highborne at the Tower of Estulan in Feralas.
There has been minimal interaction between the Exodar draenei and Gilneas, with all of it happening after the fall of Gilneas. At the Darnassus Summit, King Genn briefly exchanged pleasantries with the prophet Velen, but Velen’s attention became fixed on Prince Anduin of Stormwind for the rest of his time there. Ishanah, high priestess of the Aldor, representing Velen, would later vote in favor of admitting Gilneas into the Alliance. Although Gilneas likely considers the draenei their allies, the two races have kept their distance, whether intentionally or unintentionally, from each other.
Any Gilnean foreign policy towards the Horde only began following the arrival of the Stormwind refugees and King Terenas Menethil II’s call for the formation of the Alliance. Despite their initial reluctance to join the Alliance of Lordaeron, the people of Gilneas have only held the Horde and its races in negative regards. Gilneans, particularly King Genn, viewed the orcish Horde as a bunch of "green scoundrels" and "bloody, savage beasts". King Genn Greymane believed that Gilneas could withstand the Horde own their own, but he was nevertheless convinced by Lord Godfrey and Lord Crowley to join the Alliance, though he only provided a token force. Although King Genn boasted of his victories against the Horde during the Second War, he also felt the war only gave his nation dead Gilneans. Following the Second War, King Genn felt that the maintenance and operation of the orc internment camps were an unnecessary expensive drain on Gilnean coffers. Although King Genn seceded Gilneas from the Alliance, his negative views towards the Horde never wavered.
The people of Gilneas, however, would not encounter the Horde again until much after the Third War with the spread of the Forsaken into Silverpine Forest. Although Pyrewood Village and Shadowfang Keep - both of which had already become woren strongholds for the Wolf Cult of Alpha Prime and Arugal - fell to the Forsaken, Greymane Wall held strong. The Horde, however, did not become a serious threat to the nation until the rise of Garrosh Hellscream as warchief of the Horde before the time of the Shattering. Garrosh ordered Banshee-Queen Sylvannas Windrunner and the Forsaken to take Gilneas to procure use of its ports. The Forsaken renewed their siege against Gilneas. To secure victory, Sylvannas made a secret pact with the worgen Alpha Prime, founder of the Wolf Cult, to weaken Gilneas’s interior in exchange for the Scythe of Elune. Furthermore, Lord Vincent Godfrey and the other eastern lords Baron Ashbury and Lord Walden sought to make a deal with the Forsaken by capturing King Genn, though their deaths prevented further negotiation from taken place.
Seeking admittance in the Alliance, King Genn sought to prove the worth of the worgen as allies against the Horde. Gilnean worgen alongside King Varian Wrynn of Storwmind fought against the Horde forces under Garrosh Hellscream in the forests of Ashenvale. Their ferocity against the Horde convinced King Varian that Gilneas and the worgen belonged among the Alliance. Now with Gilneas back in the fold of the Alliance, King Genn has committed his people against the Horde, wherever they may be, or whatever other challenges face the Alliance in the hopes that the Alliance will help his accursed people regain their homelands.
Trivia & NotesEdit
- Worgen joined the Alliance before the goblins joined the Horde.
- Not everyone was cursed when the worgen curse swept through Gilneas. The surviving humans, the Gilneans are perfectly fine.
- Worgen are the only race to not have a race-specific mount, as they are wolves and can run on all fours.