Led by their indomitable king, Genn Greymane, the proud citizens of Gilneas once stood with the Alliance against the vile orcish Horde that sought to conquer all of Lordaeron. Gilneas survived but, in the years following the Second War, the kingdom drew ever inward. Distrustful of their former allies, the Gilneans erected a mighty wall at the borders of their land, closing off their nation – and their hearts – from an ever-darkening world.
The Worgen curse originated from a druidic sect who followed Goldrinn, known as Druids of the Scythe. They shapeshifted into the feral worgen and eventually lost their minds to its violent nature. The other druids agreed that they must be locked away, and thus put them into eternal slumber deep beneath a tree… until the day the Archmage Arugal and Velinde Starsong tampered with the Scythe of Elune, releasing them. The curse could not be contained, persisting in the lands of Silverpine and extending into the walled nation of Gilneas, where the curse rapidly reached epidemic levels. The citizens of Gilneas found themselves trapped by their own doing, with no hope of escape. They retreated deeper within the isolated domain, and there they survived, fearful of the savage presence that lurked just outside the barricades. Tensions among the displaced citizens escalated over time, resulting in a civil war that now threatened to destabilize the embattled nation even more. There were those among the Gilneans, however, who clinged to hope. Many believed that a cure for the worgen curse may exist, although others had nearly given up, fearful that if the barricades should fall, their humanity would be lost forever. Meanwhile, outside the wall, many heard frightening rumors of men who walked upright and could talk, but hunted and howled like the wolf.
*A player who chooses worgen before the collapse of the wall (Cataclysm) will have escaped Gilneas and will need to be in human form as often as possible.
As humans, the people of Gilneas differed very little from other humans. They of course had a unique culture and accent, but shared physical traits with all others. Nearly all worgen can maintain their humanity at any given time. However, when feeling heavy emotion (especially rage, guilt, and fear), no worgen can control their inner beast. Older or weak-minded humans can very easily become mindless and lose themselves to the curse.
As worgen, they resemble a cross between human and dire wolf. Their body is covered in coarse, grayish-black or occasionally white fur with long claws and snarling teeth. The creature’s eyes are mottled yellow in colour, unblinking and devoid of any discernible emotion other than hunger. Feral worgen packs of those thoroughly lost to the curse behave almost exactly like wolves, but tend to be more fearsome and effective. Worgen who regularly practice meditation or inject themselves with a serum created by Gilnean chemist Krennan Aranas can maintain balance indefinitely. In worgen form, males and females generally have the same effects, increasing their height by about a foot (although all worgen become hunched over) and greatly increasing muscle mass. Most of the body stays humanoid, however tails are usually grown and faces gain lupine snouts with sharp teeth. The process is relatively quick, and although presumably painful, the worgen usually ignores the pain due to the massively increased adrenaline levels. Worgen who remain in control can talk and think as well they could in human form, although they prefer raw meat and have an underlying urge to kill something, making them generally unpleasant to be around.
– The inherent nature of the worgen makes them ruthless. Increase your chance to critically strike by 10%.
– As a result of their origin, worgen have an unnatural resistance to both Nature and Shadow damage (they both do half damage).
– Not only do worgen frighten any mount they’re near, they can get on all fours and run just as fast for just as long. No need for a mount.
– In wildness is the preservation of the world, so seek the wolf in thyself. Gain [speed] for three rounds and become immune to [slow] and [immobilization] effects. Only usable once per encounter.
- Death Knight – The Lich King resurrected the Archmage Arugal after his failure in trying to lead the worgen. As a result, Arugal was able to regain (mostly reclaim) some of his followers who were then forced into undeath. Although extremely fierce and cunning under the control of the Lich King, worgen who broke free from his grasp are perhaps more in control than their living counterparts, since their bestial needs were mostly broken upon death.
- Druid – As stated above the worgen curse was created by night elf druids, and the night elves feel somewhat responsible and are helping the worgen fight for their city. During this time the night elves have taught the worgen the terms of magic that led to their creation, druidism. The presence of harvest-witches like Celestine suggests that Gilneans already had a good start with druidism. She makes reference of druid practices being “the old ways” and recounts a time when their powers supplied food during a time of famine, pointing to druidic roots as a base, even before night elf contact. This is agreed with in “Lord of the Pack” short story when Genn Greymane stated “He had heard that druidism was practiced among some of Gilneas’s agrarian folk, but he hadn’t been exposed to it until recently”. It seems many Worgen have at least tried to embrace the druidic herritage of their new race after their transformation. This can be seen as a coping mechanism, or the fact that the natural powers can help them keep control of their animalistic rage.
- Hunter – Worgen hunters were competent as humans alongside their mastiff companions hunting in their kingdom of Gilneas. After becoming worgen and so beasts themselves, it was a natural step for them to become even more affiliated with the wild.
- Mage – The curiosity and intellect of a human mage usually did not disappear after becoming a worgen. In fact, nearly every Gilnean mage that was cursed maintained control over their predicament due to their high mental capacity.
- Priest – 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 the brink of the wild 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.
- Rogue – As Gilneans were once human, they are an obvious choice for rogues. Since their transformation they have become quite vicious and even more furtive. Gilneans were also trapped in such a gloomy city behind their wall for so long that shadows have become a second nature, and their new abilities as a Worgen only heightened their prowess as a rogue.
- Warlock – Many worgen may have been warlocks as humans, having a high chance of maintaining control with an above average intellect. The kingdom’s isolation may have also contributed to the appearance of dark magi in Gilnean society, who eventually turned towards demonic powers. Other speculations include straying from being mages or dealing with their curse in another way.
- Warrior – Worgen warriors are likely common as the kingdom of Gilneas had many footmen and knights. Unlike the half naked wild worgen who fight like animals with teeth and claws, the Gilnean worgen fight like men, wearing plate and mail and armed with steel swords and polearms.