- This article is about the Wolf Cult in Gilneas and Duskwood. For the Wolfcult in Grizzly Hills, see Wolfcult.
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The Wolf Cult is a secret worgen cult in Gilneas that saw the worgen curse as a blessing, calling it "The Purity", with the Purity of Essence as their code. It was created by Alpha Prime - the first worgen - in order to spread the worgen curse and search for the legendary Scythe of Elune. Their goal, to use it to free the remaining worgen trapped in the Emerald Dream, and seek revenge on Malfurion Stormrage. Knowing he could not find the scythe by himself, Alpha Prime began his cult by recruiting Archmage Arugal and used him to spread the worgen curse to the humans of Silverpine Forest. The cult also had a presence in Duskwood, searching for the Scythe of Elune there after the death of its previous wielder, Velinde Starsong. In Gilneas, they were based in Shadowfang Keep and the Blackwald, while the Duskwood branch based out of the now-abandoned Manor Mistmantle and Roland's Doom.
War of the Satyr
- Main article: War of the Satyr
The legacy of the Wolf Cult begins nine thousand three hundred years ago, as the War of the Satyr took its toll on the already crippled kaldorei people. Beginning to lose the war, some druids drew on the power of Goldrinn, harnessing the Pack Form. Although a powerful weapon, it was difficult to control, and Malfurion banned the form from use. Furious, some Druids of the Pack rebelled and abandoned the front lines, determined to harness the wolf form. Ralaar Fangfire - one of Malfurion's star pupils - followed soon after, after his friend Arvel died because of Malfurion's decree.
Ralaar too loved the raw fury and primal energy - or "essence" - of the pack form, but realized his Shan'do was right. The Pack Form draws on the raw fury of Goldrinn, proving far too powerful to control. Led by Ralaar as their newfound "alpha", the Druids of the Pack brought the Fang of Goldrinn to Belysra Starbreeze, a Priestess who held the Staff of Elune. The Priestess called on the moon goddess, and moonlight forged the two relics into one, creating the Scythe of Elune. The Scythe changed the kaldorei druids into worgen; savage wolf-men able to communicate as elves, but fight with the fury - the essence - of the wolf god. Armed with this new form, Ralaar took the name Alpha Prime, recruited more kaldorei, and brought the fight to the Satyr. They were successful, destroying a satyr stronghold that would have taken the kaldorei days. But as Malfurion called his former pupil a monstrosity, Alpha Prime led the worgen to attack the kaldorei as well, seeking revenge for the death of Arvel. Those bitten became worgen themselves in mere moments. Wrought with guilt, Belysra Starbreeze gave the Scythe of Elune to Malfurion, who soon after founded the Cenarion Circle to combat the worgen.
Malfurion tricked Alpha Prime and the worgen and used the Scythe to banish them to the Emerald Dream. There, Malfurion believed that his former pupils would enter a peaceful eternal slumber beneath the enchanted tree known as Daral'nir, but would turn out to be eternal torment for creatures meant to run and hunt. With the worgen out of the way, and the satyr crippled, the kaldorei won the War of the Satyr. The coveted Scythe of Elune was given to the sentinel Mel'thandris, was buried with her upon her death, and forgotten.
- Main article: Invasion of Gilneas
Soon, with Arugal's influence over the Silverpine worgen and using them to wreak havoc on his enemies, Alpha Prime later infiltrated Gilneas by using underground tunnels hidden underneath the Greymane Wall and started inducting humans into the cult; turning them into worgen after they performed gruesome murders on innocent people, which came to be later known as the Starlight Slasher murders. The cult and its leader then allied themselves with the Forsaken, an enemy of Gilneas and the Alliance, who also had an interest in obtaining the Scythe of Elune. With Gilneas distracted by political divisions, the cult had been secretly afflicting Gilneans with the worgen curse, bolstering the worgen population and using their numbers to build a feral worgen army that would be used to launch an attack on Gilneas City. An associate of Halford Ramsey, only known identification being the surname Cox, was also a member. The devastating attack weakened the nation's defenses and paved the way for the later Forsaken invasion.
Though the Forsaken discovered the whereabouts of the scythe, unbeknown to Alpha Prime, their machinations were foiled by worgen adventurers when the scythe was retaken and returned to priestess Belysra Starbreeze. Believing that the Gilneans and priestess Belysra's night elves no longer wielded the scythe, Alpha Prime led the Wolf Cult to attack Belysra's forces at Tal'doren. To his surprise, Belysra unveiled the Scythe of Elune and tried to use the scythe to banish Alpha Prime's worgen back to the Emerald Dream. Before Belysra could complete the spell, she was shot in the arm by a Forsaken dark ranger. With Belysra dropping the scythe, Alpha Prime then had his Forsaken allies surround Belysra and her Gilnean allies. Alpha Prime took the scythe and was about to finish Belysra with it, but he was ripped to shreds by a spirit wolf who turned out to be the ghost of Arvell. With the death of their leader, the Wolf Cult scattered; leaving the Forsaken without their lupine allies and open to attack from the night elves and Gilneans.
Following their leader's death, the remains of the Wolf Cult that survived were forced to disperse and went into hiding.
In Duskwoood, Revil Kost, who investigated the Wolf Cult in Duskwood, has returned to the area. Belysra Starbreeze and Valorn Stillbough, who had opposed the Wolf Cult in Gilneas, also arrived in Duskwood to investigate the worgen there. They brought the Scythe of Elune, which caused the Nightbane to become restless.
- Gilnean worgen
- Bloodfang Pack - led by Alpha Prime, the Wolf Cult in Gilneas is seen attacking the city en masse. Ingame, this is depicted with various Bloodfang Worgen.
- Shadowfang Pack - Archmage Arugal served Alpha Prime, as a general of the Wolf Cult. The Shadowfang Pack and Sons of Arugal were loyal to him, and protected him in Shadowfang Keep.
- Moonrage Pack - Archmage Arugal likewise controlled the people of Pyrewood below the keep, known at the Moonrage Pack.
- Duskwood Worgen
Theology and religion
Purity of Essence was a book written by Alpha Prime that included pages of philosophies, rites, rituals, preachings, rantings, and more. It was written by Alpha Prime, printed by Maxwell Higgens, and comes in brown, green, and red hardback covers. Everything an aspirant needs to know is contained within.
What some declare an attack, the Wolf Cult proclaims as a gift or blessing. The Wolf Cult refers to the worgen curse as the "purity of essence" or simply "the purity", worgen as "pure ones", and the Scythe of Elune as "the Fang of the Father". Alpha Prime called his followers brethren and brothers. After the bite, the first change is referred to as the awakening.
Goldrinn and Elune were both worshipped by the Druids of the Pack, who would become the founders of the cult. The two deities are the sources behind the Scythe of Elune, and thus the worgen curse. Alpha Prime believed worgen to possess the fury and unbending will of Goldrinn as juggernauts of rage, held fast only by the magic of the moon goddess, embodied in what he saw as a pure form.
Hierarchy and leadership
The Wolf Cult was led by Alpha Prime since the dawn of the worgen. However, as their numbers grew, the elder recruited those capable of leadership. This first included Archmage Arugal, the Gilnean who had released Prime and his followers from the Dream. Each resulting pack held its own leadership, with Gervase leading in Duskwood, Arugal leading the Shadowfang, and even several worgen alphas among the Bloodfang, all reporting to Alpha Prime. Alpha Prime attempted to recruit the Gilnean detective Halford Ramsey for this purpose. The Wolf Cult in Duskwood referred to Alpha Prime as The Master of All.
Rites and rituals
The Righteous Kill (also called the "final trial" or "final test") is the rite of passage and is referred to as a test of loyalty for aspiring members. The challenge is described as the elimination of a foe or target who challenged the mind, body or spirit of the aspirant. But by the time of the attack on Gilneas, Alpha Prime was disobeying his own rules, and targets were unarmed, helpless, and defenseless. In Gilneas, the victims were all King Greymane supporters, were attacked with a knife, and became known as the Starlight Slasher murders. Once contained to Gilneas city, Duskhaven saw its first Starlight Slasher victim one day before the Cult attacked the city. This is how the cult determines if a human is worthy to join their ranks, but impressive spirit and rage may mark a human as worthy regardless.
The Blessing of the Blade is the rite of initiation performed by the Wolf Cult in Gilneas and Duskwood. The Wolf Cult holy book, Purity of Essence, says "Upon completion of the test of loyalty, the aspirant will receive the blessing of the blade and be marked. Only those who are marked may be consecrated. Aspirants are marked with a scythe or sword by a member of the cult, with two others bearing witness. The aspirant is later bitten on the left shoulder, bestowing the worgen curse. Some humans join and serve the cult without becoming worgen.
The Wolf Cult was created to spread the worgen curse and bolster numbers, and there were at least two major branches, one in Gilneas and one in Duskwood. In the game, there are two major feral packs that boast high population, the Bloodfang, and the Nightbane. These Bloodfang and Nightbane packs are likely the Gilnean and Duskwood Wolf Cult branches respectively.
- Duskwood cult / Nightbane Pack: Although not outright stated, the Nightbane pack are likely the Wolf Cult seen in Dark Riders. They are in the same territory in Duskwood, have the same goals (such as their shared search for the Scythe of Elune), and that both inhabit Roland's Doom. Althea Ebonlocke suspected that the Wolf Cult was connected to the worgen, later confirmed in the comic. Nightbane worgen are also called the Wolf Cult by Revil Kost. After the death of Gervase, they are now led by Packleader Marus.
- Gilneas cult / Bloodfang Pack: Similarly, the Bloodfang Pack are likely the Wolf Cult seen in Curse of the Worgen. They too share the same territory, positive view of the worgen curse, and Bloodfang Worgen were present for the worgen attack on Gilneas, orchestrated by the Gilnean Wolf Cult. After the death of Alpha Prime, they are now led by Packleader Ivar Bloodfang.
- ^ a b c d e f g h i Curse of the Worgen Issue 1
- ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Curse of the Worgen Issue 3
- ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Dark Riders
- ^ a b World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, pg. ??
- ^ a b c d e f g Curse of the Worgen Issue 2
- ^ a b c d e f g Curse of the Worgen Issue 5
- ^ a b c
- ^ a b c Curse of the Worgen Issue 4
- ^ a b Curse of the Worgen Issue 3, pg. 28