Worgen

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Playable races in World of Warcraft
TBC Draenei · Dwarf · Gnome · Human · Night elf · Icon Cataclysm 18x18.gif Worgen MoP Pandaren
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For the playable race, see Worgen (playable).
Worgen
Wolfheart Varian and Worgen.jpg
Faction/Affiliation
Character classes
Racial capital
Racial leader(s)
Homeworld
Primary language(s)
Secondary language(s)
Average height

8 ft (female), 8 ft (males while hunched over)[1]

Worgen [ˈwɔɹgɛn] are large, lupine humanoids reminiscent of werewolves that walk upright, but lope on all fours to run. They primarily inhabit forests and are skilled hunters. Being bitten by or drinking the blood of worgen causes humans and night elves to be transformed into one. After the transformation, worgen are overcome by rage and guilt, gradually losing all vestiges of their former lives and turning feral. By controlling their emotions, worgen may resist being overcome by their feral instincts.

Originally inadvertently created as a result of night elf druids assuming a Pack Form that embraced the fury of the wolf Ancient Goldrinn during the War of the Satyr, they were sealed within the Emerald Dream after it was discovered they were spreading their beastly form through what would become known as the worgen curse. Centuries later, they were unleashed once more by the human Archmage Arugal to fight the undead Scourge. Eventually the curse found its way to Gilneas, where many of its inhabitants were transformed into worgen, including King Genn Greymane. After being taught how to control their inner beast by the night elves, many worgen are now members of the Alliance.

History

Origin

Early art by Samwise Didier.

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.[2]

Release

A worgen stalking his prey

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.[3] 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. 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.[4] He then cursed the village people of Pyrewood to turn into worgen whenever the sun went down.[5] 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.[6] 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.[6] 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.[7] Black Riders from Deadwind Pass came to Duskwood looking for the Scythe and murdered a family of farmers in the search to find it.[8] 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.[9]

Wrath of the Lich King

WotLK This section concerns content exclusive to Wrath of the Lich King.

Eventually, Arugal was killed, and the worgen under his protection turned to live on the wilds of Silverpine Forest. In World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King, 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.[10] Some worgen that served under Arugal have been forced into the service of the Lich King, turning them into Death Knights.[11]

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.[12]

Cataclysm

Worgen after the Cataclysm.

Cataclysm This section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.

Main article: Worgen (playable)

In World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, 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.[13]

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.[14]

Gilnean worgen.

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.

Biology

Appearance

Worgen are wolf-like creatures who possess coarse hair, pointed ears and long snouts. However, one will also immediately notice their differences from wolves, namely their powerful, two-legged bodies which sport long fangs and dagger-like claws.[3] Females are on average around 8 feet tall, as are males when hunched over.[1]

Reproduction

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. In theory, 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.[15]

In addition to bites, the curse can also be transferred through the consumption of worgen blood.[16]

Resistance to undeath

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, called simply the Ritual of Balance,[17] — 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, but the powers of the Lich King himself are sufficient enough to raise worgen as death knights.[18]

Weaknesses

Worgen seem to have an innate weakness against the  [Wolfsbane] plant. This can be observed during several quests, first in A [74] Wolfsbane Root, where the disguised worgen ask the player to remove the Wolfsbane plants near their village, and Katja mentions that she has "allergies" to the plant. Second is during H [14] In Time, All Will Be Revealed where Belmont asks the player to gather Wolfsbane for him... however, the true nature of the plan is first observed during H [16] A Man Named Godfrey, where Belmont is seen coating weapons in "Wolfsbane Oil" in an emote. If a player inspects the buff that Belmont gets, it reads "Weapons coated with wolfsbane oil. Deadly against worgen.".[19]

Worgen also hate fire.[20]

Culture

Worgen warrior

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.[21] 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.

Similarly, the Forsaken discovered that the Archmage Arugal had access to enchantments that allowed his favored worgen servants to retain a fair deal of their human intelligence as well. The source of these enchantments remains a mystery to this day, as Arugal took these secrets with him to his grave.[18]

Faith

Worgen are naturally drawn to and revere the wolf Ancient, Goldrinn,[21][22][23] 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).[24] 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.[citation needed]

Magic

Some of the worgen described by Ur were skilled in the mystic arts. According to Ur, "their magic is of darkness and corruption", and curses and supernatural poisons are common.[3] In Duskwood, the Shadow Weavers of the Nightbane pack conjure foul shadows to tear their enemies apart from a distance.[25]

Worgen groups

Alliance Alliance
Neutral Independent
Defunct/Eliminated

Notable worgen

Genn Greymane, King of Gilneas.
Name Role Affiliation Status Location
Neutral   Ralaar Fangfire The first worgen; Alpha Prime of the Druids of the Scythe and Wolf Cult Druids of the Scythe, Wolf Cult Deceased Unknown
Alliance   Genn Greymane King of Gilneas Kingdom of Gilneas, Alliance Alive Various Locations
Alliance   Darius Crowley Leader of the Gilneas Liberation Front, former rebel Kingdom of Gilneas, Gilneas Liberation Front, Alliance Alive Various Locations
Alliance   Tobias Mistmantle Gilnean war hero and brother of Stalvan Mistmantle Kingdom of Gilneas Alive Various Locations
Alliance  Ivar Bloodfang Leader of the Bloodfang pack Bloodfang pack, Kingdom of Gilneas Alive Various Locations
Alliance  Denmother Ulrica Leader of a worgen pack in Felwood Kingdom of Gilneas, Alliance Alive Talonbranch Glade, Felwood
Boss   Admiral Ripsnarl Defias admiral Defias Brotherhood Killable Ironclad Cove, Deadmines
Combat  Marl Wormthorn Corrupted druid loyal to the Burning Legion; creator of Maldraz and the Tainted Forest Burning Legion Killable Tainted Forest, Blasted Lands
Combat   Apothecary Berard The only known Forsaken to have been affected by the worgen curse; possibly the same person as Berard the Moon-Crazed Wolfcult, Independent Removed Pyrewood Village, Silverpine Forest
Boss  Big Bad Wolf Karazhan Opera event boss Independent Killable Opera Hall, Karazhan
Boss  Eviscerator Prisoner and gladiator Independent Killable Ring of the Law, Blackrock Depths
Combat   Garwal Alpha worg of Rivenwood, hiding in worg form Wolfcult, Scourge Killable Rivenwood, Howling Fjord
Combat  Selas Lieutenant of Archmage Arugal Wolfcult, Scourge Killable Bloodmoon Isle, Grizzly Hills

Inspiration

The worgen bear a strong resemblance to the "Myrkridia" from Bungie's Myth II: Soulblighter (a contemporary of Starcraft), especially the idea of them being from another dimension. Beside that, the worgen obviously resemble a werewolf as it is known in popular fiction, particularly the part where they managed to get the curse under control and only changed when the moon was up.

Hunter pet

Garwal was a tamable pet during 3.1 until a hotfix was deployed on 7 July, shortly after the discovery was widely known on the internet. During this time, the tamed Garwal pets were no longer an effective pet as they were stripped of their abilities and could not even be fed.

Community Manager Blizzard Entertainment Zarhym responded on the forums shortly after the hotfix with this statement:

Blizz.gif
Re: Worgen pet. | 2009-07-07 22:49 | Zarhym
The worgen should not technically belong to any of the pet families and was therefore removed. This means the pet no longer has access to pet talents or abilities. Whether or not similar circumstances with hunter pets in the past have occurred isn't really relevant. Given the nature of the creature that was tamed in this case, we feel it should not belong to any of the eligible pet families from which a hunter can choose his or her combat companion.

...We don't want hunters to have worgens as pets. That is the reason whether you find it reasonable or not.

View original post

On 21 July, the Garwal skin (appearance) was changed to a normal white worg for all players who had tamed him, and normal pet abilities were restored for those players.

In the RPG

Rawr!
Worgen pack

The RPG Icon 16x36.png This section concerns content exclusive to the Warcraft RPG and is considered non-canon.

Resembling a cross between human and dire wolf, the hunched over creature is roughly humanoid. Its body is covered in coarse, grayish-black fur with twitching claws and snarling teeth. The creature's eyes are mottled yellow in colour, unblinking and devoid of any discernible emotion other than hunger.[27]

The worgen are thoroughly evil, delighting in torturing and devouring intelligent creatures. They enjoy hearing the screams of their victims as they tear them apart piece by piece. Worgen never show mercy or remorse. They may seem savage, but they are fairly intelligent and possess a cruel bestial cunning that can come as a surprise to the unprepared. Worgen society is patriarchal, with the eldest male leading the pack. Worgen never challenge leadership; the patriarch leads until he is physically incapable of doing so any longer, at which point his younger kin devour him. The worgen see this not as cruelty, but a great honor — they consume the bodies of their fallen unlike that of their victim's bodies. They believe the flesh and blood of their own kind improves their strength and cunning. Worgen look like humanoid wolves. They dwell in simple huts and usually wear cured leather scraps as rudimentary armor. Worgen do not use weapons, preferring to tear foes apart with their claws. They stand 6 feet tall, except when loping along on all fours, and weigh around 250 pounds. They speak their own language, made up of a variety of growls, barks, and howls.[28]

Most worgen keep their wolf-like forms at all times, but experiments by the mage Arugal have resulted in human/worgen "hybrids" who only appear as worgen under the light of the moon. They carry with them a dark, corrupting malaise that grows wherever they infest, making the surrounding area dark and gloomy. Fiercely territorial creatures, they rarely stray from the general vicinity of the place in which they first appeared. Fearless beasts, they brazenly prowl near both villages and monster lairs. Although worgen display an apparent fondness for nighttime and its darkness, they can perform equally well in the daytime.[27]

Pure killing beasts, worgen tend to attack any creatures that they encounter, regardless of whether animal, humanoid, Scourge or something even more fearsome. Strangely, however, worgen refuse to feed on the remains of their victims, preferring to shred and tear the corpses and then to return immediately to prowling. Rumors suggest that worgen somehow receive sustenance continually from their native dimension... as well as guidance from a distant force.[27] Worgen are usually encountered in small packs near sites of recent intense magical activity.[27] A pack may contain four to twelve individuals.[28] A worgen tribe may contain between twenty and two hundred individuals.[27] The reason for the worgen refusing to devour most of their victims may be some lingering vestige of sanity in the worgen's minds.

Combat

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.[27] 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.[28] The saliva of a worgen carries a dangerous infection that can prove deadly against those who are bitten.[27]

Notes and trivia

Gallery

See also

References