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Worgen are large, lupine humanoids reminiscent of werewolves that walk upright, but lope on all fours to run.
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. It is likely that what Ur actually saw was the Emerald Nightmare, which humans would not have known about at the time. 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. It is around this time that Arugal was introduced to Ralaar Fangfire, now calling himself Alpha Prime. Arugal swore fealty to Alpha Prime and the two of them created a Wolf Cult to search for the missing Scythe of Elune. 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. Arthas discovered 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.
Worgen grow thick hair, possess feral canine appearance and their height is 8 feet for both sexes. Their fur and eyes vary in appearance, usually ranging from a light to a dark 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.